The World of Web Design and Marketing Underwent Major Life-Changing Events This Year for Companies Big and Small
The Internet has changed so much since I made my first web site in 1994 on AOL. It’s been growing and changing exponentially every since the first two “blue hyperlinks” connected the first two html web pages (now you know why i named my company Blue Hyperlink, it was the beginning of EVERYTHING!).
However, in the last couple of years, the Web has had the greatest amount of positive change since I made my first web site and helped a company get to page one a search engine. Why? Google wants to see original, professional, magazine quality articles along with the type and images that accompany the articles (pages and posts) to look like they belong in Time, or GQ, or Architectural Digest.
It wants content, but content comes in a combination of text, images and video. It can be video slideshows, or even an infographics now, so you don’t have to just write text! The more creative you are, the better your results will be!
Web sites now have to be polished and perfect and proofread (and I’m probably making mistakes as I write this so I’ll be spell checking it again).
The Web and all its amazing, ever-changing AMOUNT and TYPE of web sites evolve from what people WANT, NEED OR DEMAND!. They also change due to these and other factors:
- faster web speeds from our Cellphone Service providers and home and business ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) who are fighting for your business
- newer and more efficient devices that are being put on the market every day so fast that in two years your device it outdated
- brand new types of web sites, programs, and services are free and some are what consumers can afford to pay for
- the cellphone created a brand new type of program called an app (short for application) which is software that does something. Now web sites are adding apps to their portfolio of ways to digitally publish content that can now be interactive and incredibly helpful for viewers.
Think about the polygon search on Apartments.com. That’s a heck of a useful web site feature and it’s in their FREE app too! Realtor.com lets you setup a search for your dream property, lets you save it, then offers “real-time” updates as homes become available, you are immediately notified by your choice of text or email.
Instant notification. That’s something pretty amazing and different from the days when I helped realtors’ clients do their home loans, back in the 90’s. Wow, are things different from that blue dos based MS Word I typed on.
Everyone’s having to adapt, from consumers to local, small businesses and even large major companies like Coca Cola and Wal-Mart. I myself NEVER thought I’d own a computer watch, but i do! My Note 3 and Samsung Gear 2 Smartwatch sync everything, let me use apps, and helps me in my workouts testing my heart rate using built-in sensors.
YOUR BUSINESS OR ORGANIZATION NEEDS TO ADAPT OR BE PREPARED TO BE RUN OVER BY YOUR ONLINE COMPETITION
Every year there are major changes in EVERY ASPECT of the Web, and every day some new company comes up with an idea that changes who the world works. They do something different / better than what’s out there currently, and companies have to make changes to just keep up and continue making profits. In this economy, consumers have become MUCH more aware in the last few years, since they all have little computers in their pocket, whether they know to use them or not, they ALL learn to text, email, surf the web and download apps! These days, if your web site is standing still, it’s actually moving backwards.
I’m writing this to help companies looking to catch up with the times in order to:
- keep your current rankings in Search Engine Results Pages
- know your enemy (it’s an old but very important concept in business)
- surpass your competition by doing something BETTER or EASIER than they’re doing
- learn how to cultivate relationships, not just sell to new customers
IF they already haven’t begun their own major changes in regards to web design and how search engines and social media view them they’ll be doing it soon enough. It’s a fact, you have to adapt with the latest technology eventually so you can reach all of your customer base.
I also will tell you how Google is now ranking actual social media content, so if you’re lacking in that and your competition isn’t, they’re going to dominate the search engines, especially Google.
But where Google goes, Bing follows then Yahoo falls in line then all the rest. It’s like playing “Search Engine Dominoes”, if you build it for Google, then they all then eventually fall into place, one after the other, like clockwork but taking a little longer than an hour! And it all starts with a web design done the RIGHT WAY! you can only optimze for one search engine officially, so I ALWAYS pick Google, and now you see why.
Here’s the thing: if you let me help you do as Google asks and recommends and requires (that’s new too) I can help your web pages and overall your web site rank well for the important keywords that will bring your company leads, sales, customers, clients, readers, whatever your business desires is within your reach IF you just let me help you !!!.
Now on to the EXCITING STUFF!
Google has a huge influence in web design change. Every Search Giant has since the beginning. Their famous algorithm is based on an ever-changing formula of factors (sometimes 600 times in a year!)
The algorithm usually changes in small ways. It’s essential to their business model to keep up with millions of people trying to find another way into the top ten,
There are thousands of people working on its ever changing way of providing fresh, relevant and helpful content of all kinds for people using THEIR WEB SITE, www.google.com . THE PEOPLE USING GOOGLE’S WEB SITE ARE THEIR CLIENTS, SO THEY CATER TO THEM FIRST, JUST LIKE I DO FOR MY CLIENTS.
They interact with simple webmasters like my company and large digital publishing firms, companies with a full-time staff of writers, SEO experts, Social Media Gurus, and a crack team of the best web designers you can find, who may have found loopholes in their algorithm and then adjust accordingly to keep their SERP’s (STANDS FOR SEARCH ENGINE RESULTS PAGES) fresh, original, and relevant.
It’s why Google has stayed alive and kicking for so long (at least one of the many hundreds of reasons.
Google is Here to Stay
I firmly believe Google is here to stay for a very long time because they did things right. and I have NEVER SAID THAT BEFORE. I’m always skeptical because I watched Altvavista (WHO? Exactly) become irrelevant and unimportant.
I was watching the news when AOL get bought by Time Warner, and I watched as the YAHOO Directory become irrelevant, and both of those companies, though still here in different formats (remember the adapt or die? Here it is in action on a much larger scale!).
RESPONSIVE WEB SITES
This year boasted an exponential increase in digital devices including:
- hundreds of cell phones all with different sizes, some 4″ up to 7″ diagonally across the device
- dozens of new brands and shapes and sizes of tablets
- combinations of both with various names like laptop hybrids or phablets
- Kindle Fires in varying sizes,
- iPhones and iPads of varying sizes with new RETINA displays making 4K Videos and full resolution images on web site possible
- 4K Smart TV’s from 28″ to 70″ in homes and businesses with Internet Access showing those full sized, hi res images on the 70″ screens in Ultra HD format, in perfect quality!
The video below is a great example showing how a Responsive WordPress Web Site Works and it shows you how to see if your site is responsive. The web site design starts at 750 pixels wide and 920 pixels long (or if you change the devices’ orientation. it’s the opposite!
The video here of a responsive design or the full size of a computer screen – it’s a great example and the author describes the change as it happens and recommends what I talk about throughout my web site: creating responsive web sites with responsive content!
Google’s web crawler will tell Google what your site is all about and Google expects web sites to keep up with the times. Why? It’s in the Google Webmaster Guidelines., you’re free to read them and I encourage you, if you have any free time, to check it out and verfiy what I’m saying, since to new viewers are hearing me talk about all of this for the first time, they’re going to want to trust but verify. So there’s the door to the truth. I’ll always give you the “easy to understand, summarized version 🙂
It’s available online, and anyone can access it.. Along comes Responsive Web Design (which technically was invented a couple of years ago) is the new standard way to create a web site page or WordPress Theme so that it looks great, loads fast, and is easy to use and see all the content well visually on all types and sizes of devices, from a small cell phone to a medium-sized tablet, and ending with the classic PC / MAC tower or laptop viewing, but it goes even further.
The secret to making a responsive web site is that the design begins with the cellphone and folds out depending on on the size and shape of the device. Beautiful simplicity in its concept, but very complex in coding. So, responsive web sites do cost more. How much depends on many factors and we can talk about your specific project.
Even as i write this article, people are using their 50″ TV’s to surf the web or display the company web site on the wall in their office on a mounted 50” widescreen TV in their office to display their web sites and use their sites as a tool when clients come into the office. It can serve as a visual brochure with every page printable, instantly shareable, and printer-friendly, right in front of the client.
I won’t bore you with the details, but basically the design starts in a format that “folds” its content into longer pages so instead of a picture being next to another picture, it’s below it. That’s the simplest way to explain it.
AUTHORITY AND TRUST
Google has found a way to weed out the web sites aren’t from a trusted authority on the subject matter in question. It looks for an Author page on your site with your name, information and photo to show readers that you’re a real person writing to them, and searches for other places on the web where you have posted intelligently written articles or displayed rich, vibrant, shared content.
Search Engines also can tell if you’re assisting people who need help through social media, forums (every major piece of software has a support forum, it has a place to ask questions and get them answered, it’s searchable and usually divided into categories), question and answer sites (like Yahoo Answers). So…Yes, you’re going to have to write more, or hire people who can represent you and your business expertly on the web in articles: on your own web site, comments. An important note about writing a comment.
When you make a comment, you have to make an effort and actually READ the article and say something intelligent that will encourage the author to approve your comment because it will improve their web site or social media page! Make it as good as the comments you want on your web site.
I can actually search for web sites and send you links of blog / social media posts / articles that are worth your time. This way you won’t waste your time at all, you’ll helping your company.
SOCIAL MEDIA AND BLOGGING SITES
Social Media Marketing (or SMM) plays a HUGE part in this brave new world. If you think you can just post content one a week on Facebook, and post a couple tweets about you and your company, your company will be surpassed by the businesses taking social media seriously and doing what I’m talking about in this article.
Maybe you’ve heard of the 80/20 rule that applies to sales, marketing, blogging, commenting, and on social media. It’s means in order to become and stay successful, you help people 80 % of the time and promote yourself and / or your company the other 20% of the time.
I’m talking about time spent online doing the following things:
- posting helpful original content (see my definition of content below) that, if you were looking at it from the outside looking in as a first time viewer, you would REALLY WANT TO SHARE IT WITH ALL YOUR FRIENDS!
- liking and / or commenting on other peoples’ and companies’ posts / pictures / videos, adding a genuinely honest opinion on their comments section, maybe adding another point of view, even if it’s on the negative side, if it’s genuine and constructive, people will appreciate it
- sharing other companys’ and individuals’ postings onto your own Facebook Page or even a short commentary about something helpful from a competitor and include a few paragraphs in quotes and link back to their original article. That’s the highest form of compliment online.
- Twenty percent of your content can be obvious self promotion. Of course, that’s just a number for reference. But if you help more than self promote, you’ll get more positive responsive on everything you post and your engagement levels will rise and will turn into leads and sales!!!