August 2011 Newsletter

In This Issue:

Random Free Hosting Site

We'd like to congratulate Baker St. Harbour Bed and Breakfast for being the winner of this month's free site hosting. At the beginning of each month we will call up our own site's homepage. Whomever's site is the featured site when the page loads will get FREE hosting of one domain for one month. It's just our way of saying thank you.

Google Maps - Important Change

Making constant tweaks and adjustments to their user interfaces and overall user experience have always been the norm at Google. The latest change affects the number and kind of reviews shown for you business. Changes have already started to appear on Google Maps; now rendering simplified Place pages.

The big change that will affect your business is that review snippets from other Web sources have been removed from Place pages. Rating and review counts reflect only those written by fellow Google users. But as part of their commitment to helping you find what you want on the Web, they’re continuing to provide links to other review sites so you can get a comprehensive view of locations across the globe.

Some of the changes you’ll notice are so you can quickly get a sense for what other people are saying about a place, more easily upload photos of places you’ve been (by using a more obvious “Upload a photo” button), and see reviews in a single section on the page. Added is a call-to-action “Write a review” button to the top of the Place page to encourage you to tell Google what you think about places you’ve visited, while at the same time ensuring you get personalized recommendations in return when you’re signed in to your Google account.

Is Your Site Discouraging Mobile Visitors?

With mobile device usage skyrocketing, a mobile-friendly Web pages are practically essential. A mobile site means your customers can access information on the go, wherever they may be. It also means they’ll be more likely to share your site with friends, since they’ll be able to pull it up and show it to others, even when not at a computer.

Smaller screens, unfamiliar interfaces and slower load times are but a few of the obstacles facing mobile device users. A study revealed that 23 percent of mobile users have cursed at their devices while making a purchase; 11 percent have screamed at their devices and 4 percent of mobile shoppers have actually thrown their devices when things didn’t go as planned.

The time hasn't yet arrived where we suggest shutting down your Web site and jumping into mobile 100 percent. But it is time for providing visitors with multichannel engagement — testing the waters to find ways of augmenting sales and reservations through mobile. Augmenting sales through the mobile channel rather than relying on sales directly from mobile shoppers is the best approach to take in the current environment.

Most of today’s smartphone and tablet users rely on their devices for searching, browsing and gathering information, and not necessarily making purchases. Mobile consumerism is still very much a work in progress, but the convenience of finding a business’ Web pages while stuck in traffic or in line at the bank is a significant draw for users.

Mobile customers may not intend on making purchases directly from their smartphones, but they will very likely want to research products, compare prices or simply find a brick-and mortar establishment. You've got to make the process easy for them, or they will move to the next option without hesitation.

If your site doesn't have the basic information mobile users are looking for rendered on specifically designed mobile pages, we suggest getting in touch with us and discussing what it would take to make your current Web site interact better with visitors using mobile devices.

Old Article Worth Seeing Again

Often, small businesses will put minimal information along with their contact information on their Web site and think that's probably good enough. But today's Web visitors are looking for something more, and lots of good quality content is a great way to deliver value to your visitors and build credibility for your business. Not only that, but the search engines promote sites with more pages over sites with fewer pages. Your site will received a high ranking if it is more authoritative (has more pages) that similar sites.

Old Or Outdated Content

If you want visitors and search engines to pay attention to your Web site, you need to keep adding new content and updating the existing information on your Web site regularly. If your site never changes, the search engines will ignore your site, and visitors will not have a reason to come back. It's also unlikely that visitors will recommend your site to their friends and colleagues.

So your goal should be to periodically add new pages to your site. Each of the pages should have worthy content and be in the range of 500-750 words to gain the most benefit from a review by the major search engines.


New Sites Joining Us Or Completed Recently

Help these folks by visiting their site. All ya'll will remember how hard it is to get those initial "hits" so the search engines notice your site. So take a minute and visit their site.