Monday, February 11, 2013

Mobile App vs Mobile Website

Many people and companies are starting to go mobile, and getting into mobile marketing campaigns since over half of the US population accesses information by a smartphone. Even Google has said it, "mobile isn't a trend, it's the new era." Before getting started with a mobile marketing campaign there are a few things that you should know.

When getting started with a mobile marketing strategy to build your company's mobile presence, there are two main routes to take: a mobile application (app) and a mobile website. If this is your first mobile marketing campaign, the difference between mobile app and mobile website can daunting. Before we get started we should have a solid understanding of what a mobile app and mobile website is.

mobile app versus mobile website

Both mobile apps and mobile websites are viewed on smartphones like iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows smartphones, and both will help with your mobile marketing campaign and presence. However, apps and mobile websites serve different purposes, and what you need for your mobile marketing campaign depends on what your goals are for your end result.

A mobile app is an application you download from iTunes, Google Play, BlackBerry App World or Windows Market Place. The app is then installed onto the users respective device, and the user can access the app on their device without using the users' data and subscription plan (there are some exemptions based on how the app works). A mobile app will either come with all the content downloaded within the app, or may need to pull further content from the internet. To reach a majority of users the application has to be developed for the iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and Windows phone.

A mobile website lives on the internet and is accessed by utilizing a mobile browser on a users' smartphone. Mobile websites are designed to compliment your existing website (if you have one, and you should). On your existing website you can have code installed to have a user automatically redirected to your mobile site when the user accesses your site through a smartphone. With a mobile website it doesn't matter if the user is on an iPhone, Android, BlackBerry or Windows phone, as they are accessing your site through the browser on the smartphone.

Now that we know the differences of a mobile app and mobile website, which is better to have?

The answer is up to you, and your goals. If your goal is to be interactive like a game, and reach a specific niche, a mobile app is the way to go. If your goal is reach the greatest number of people with mobile friendly content, a mobile website is the way to go. In some case you may want a mobile app and a mobile website, but generally, a mobile website should be the first step you take in starting your mobile marketing campaign.

With a mobile website you are going to reach the greatest number of people. People can access your mobile site a number of different ways including: scanning a QR code, finding your site in a search engine like Google and Bing, going directly to your standard website and being automatically redirected to your mobile site, or by accessing any number of ways that people access a website.


Friday, February 8, 2013

How To Market Your Restaurant Using a Smartphone

Going mobile just doesn't just mean having a mobile website and it doesn't necessarily mean you have to pay for a sms/text message campaign. Today Tottiko Mobile is going to show how a restaurant can use their iPhone or Android and social media to market their business. This project is super simple and doesn't take much time, but before you personally get started with this project you will want to have:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Tumblr
  • and of course Followers
Are you ready?
  1. Prepare a dish for either a customer, employee or for yourself.
  2. Take a photo of it.
  3. Upload it to Instagram.
  4. Share it on all of your social networks.
  5. Make use of hashtags ie: #lunch, #dinner, #location.
  6. Give a link to your mobile website (your mobile website should have your menu, a call to action, and a map to your location).
  7. Not necessary, but offer a deal if they mention the ad you just put out.
And that's it! If you have a daily special, you may want to do this daily. Not only is this a fun, easy and extremely affordable way to market your restaurant, it also keeps you in touch with your customers while building your presence on the internet.

Want to get your customers involved a bit more? Ask to take their photo while they are eating, upload and share the image, and don't forget to tag the person!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Three Keys of a Mobile Website

We are in the new era, the era of mobile, and there is no denying it. People use their smartphone for nearly everything. People are playing games, checking in with Foursquare, they are updating their statuses on Facebook, they are tweeting, and more. Want to go out to dinner and try something new? People are turning to Yelp, Urban Spoon, Google Local, etc. for recommendations. These profiles that people are checking out usually have a link to the business's website; and a standard website doesn't usually function as well as a mobile website.

A mobile website is designed to give smartphone users the best experience with a business's website. Before getting a mobile website there are a few key things to keep in mind; below are the three key fundamentals of a mobile website.

Speed

One of the main purposes of a mobile website is that it loads faster on a user's smartphone compared to a regular website. Typically a user will wait three seconds for a site to load before they leave to go to another website, most likely your competition's. A fast loading mobile website will ensure that a user at least sees your site.

A way to help boost a mobile websites loading time is to have the layout as a single column, and use primarily text. After all, most of the information a user is looking for is text. Keep your images to a minimal; when you do use images, make sure they are a small file size (without losing quality), and use height and width attributes so the browser can prepare the layout faster. Now that your site is loading fast, a user has to be able to easily use your site.



Usability

Along with having your mobile website load fast, make your mobile website an easy to use, and interactive. A user should be able to come to your mobile website and have little... actually, no question about what to do. Users should be able to quickly get the information they need, and have a clear call-to-action.

Text and navigation should be easy to read and easy to use. With a regular website on a smartphone, users have to "pinch and pull" to get the desired information. Sometimes the information is an image instead of text, so it's not interactive, and on a smartphone that means it's not usable. Information like your phone number, business hours, location, even a map to you should not only be easy to find, it should be convient to use.

Don't only have your phone number on your mobile website, have a "click-to-call" button as well. Have a map to your location? Have it to where if a user clicks on it, it brings up their map/GPS program on their smartphone. With speed and usability that leads to our third key of a mobile website, experience.



Experience

A website is typically the first experience a potential customer has with your business. Now that more people are accessing websites from their smartphones, your mobile website is that potential customer's first experience. You want your business, website, and mobile website to carry the same brand image.

A mobile website is designed to compliment your already existing website. Your mobile website doesn't need all the "bells and whistles" your regular website may have. All those "bells and whistles" will actually effect your speed and usability, leading to a bad mobile experience. With a mobile website you are essentially stripping down your content to the essentials. Remember though, you still want to keep your brand's identity; and when it comes down to it, your brand is your main image and color scheme. Now that your brand is established, your mobile website is loading fast, and it's easily usabile, put yourself your customer's shoes. Think about what a potential customer is looking for:
  • What does your business offer?
  • Are you open?
  • How can I contact you?
It's really that simple.



Conclusion

With your optimized mobile website, users can successfully interact with your business through their smartphone. Having a mobile website gives you a distinct advantage competition, and applying these fundamentals will ensure a good mobile experience your customers.

Tottiko builds affordable, mobile SEO optimized, mobile websites for small businesses. Tottiko is located in North Attleboro, Massachusetts and can be reached by clicking here, by going to Tottiko.com, or by calling (508) 202 - 0736. Follow Tottiko on Twitter, Like Tottiko on Facebook and +1 Tottiko on Google Plus.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Local SEO

Local search is on the rise, especially since more people are using their smartphones to look for local businesses. Is your business's website showing up in local results? If not, here are some tips to ensure that Google lists your website in their local results.

1. Your Address
It's surprising on how many business that don't have their business's address on their website. Most businesses do have their address posted, but it's usually only on their contact page. Your business's addreess should be on every webpage of your website. A simple place to put it is right in the footer of your website.

2. Page Titles
I don't know how many websites have the standard "Home Page" as a page title. "Home Page" tells me your customers, and search engines nothing, not even your business name! Ensure your page titles are descriptive, unique, have keywords and are different for each webpage of your website. A good method is usually list your service, then your business name, and if you can put in your location; just keep your title to 65 characters or less.

3. Mobile Website
Most local search is being done on a user's smartphone now. Take a minute and view your business's website on your iPhone, Android, Blackberry or Windows phone. Is it easy to use, or are users going to "bounce" to another website? If you don't have a mobile website, your competition probably does.

4. Use Google
Is your business listed in Google Places, which is now integrated with Google Local which is on Google Plus? Do you have Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools installed on your website? If you answered no to any of these, I highly suggest you get them, after all they are free.

Want more tips on how your business can better it's internet presence, click here.


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Mobile SEO

Mobile SEO is a term that has been on the rise since the inception of the mobile internet. Here's a little secret mobile SEO is pretty much the same practices as standard SEO. If you don't know what SEO is, SEO stands for search engine optimization and it is the process of making a website easier to find in a search engine. Good SEO keeps two key aspects in mind, search engines and website users. Now that we understand what SEO is, how does mobile SEO differ?

Mobile SEO entails the same process as traditional SEO but requires an emphasis on two main components: speed and usability. Before we get into the speed and usability, let's go over some basic SEO and mobile search.

Mobile SEO - Like SEO

A mobile website's SEO campaign should not be any different that that of a regular website's SEO campaign. Just like in SEO, you have to know where your target audience is coming from. Are they coming to you from a search engine, local directory, or social media?

Either way you have to be there. In Google search results will show users links to social platforms and directories like: Facebook, Twitter, Merchant Circle, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Google Local and more. Look for what is showing up in regular search results on the computer and mobile search results on your smartphone. Once you know what is coming up in the results, make sure your business's website is on those websites.

Mobile SEO - Mobile Search

People are going to come to your business's website many different ways based on how your target audience works. So with this said we are going to target mobile search through a search engine like Google. In regular search engines people will type out long phrases to find what they want, this is not the case with people doing a mobile search. When people do a mobile search they are typically looking for something local. A typical search is <keyword> <location>, ie "Cuban Food North Attleboro."

Another aspect to keep in mind is predictive text. What are the terms that show up right away? Do they apply to your business? If so, those are what you should be using. Keep your keyword optimization short and easy for your mobile website.

Speed

Smartphones have made people mobile, people are constantly on the go and people want things fast. The faster your website loads the better; and a mobile website loads a lot faster than a regular website. Typically a user will wait five seconds for a website to load before they go to another (your competition's) website.

To help your website load faster focus on primarily having text on your website, and not as many images (as they take long to load). Give users what they want as quickly as possible. A smartphone user is usually looking for a service, contact information, and hours of operation.

Usability

When a user comes to your website from Google, Yelp, a social media link, or anywhere, they need to know what exactly to do. Text should be easy to read, navigation should be obvious, and there should be a clear call to action.

With a mobile website a clear call to action is very easy to do. A "Click to Call" button makes it to where a user can click on the button and it directly calls you. Is your business a business that people actually have to go, like a store or restaurant? Include a map to your site, when the user clicks on the map it will launch the smartphone's GPS program.

Mobile Websites by Tottiko

A mobile website from Tottiko encompasses mobile SEO tactics from the ground up. When building a mobile website Tottiko developers check with W3C mobile standards to ensure quality code, and check with Google's "How To Go Mo" guide to ensure usability and speed of the mobile website. As we stated earlier, users will typically wait five seconds for a mobile site to load, after five second a user will go to another site. As we move forward mobile users will wait for less time. At Tottiko, we have developed our mobile website to load in 0.22 seconds.




Tottiko builds affordable, mobile SEO optimized, mobile websites for small businesses. Tottiko is located in North Attleboro, Massachusetts and can be reached by clicking here, by going to Tottiko.com, or by calling (508) 202 - 0736. Follow Tottiko on Twitter, Like Tottiko on Facebook and +1 Tottiko on Google Plus.

Mobile Website Special Offer

In celebration of our launch we are offering a limited time offer special on mobile websites. Are you or any businesses you know looking to go mobile... spread the word and help your local economy. Click Here

mobile websites special offer

Monday, February 4, 2013

Carbon Twitter for Android

The popular and highly anticipated Twitter client, Carbon, from developer Dots & Lines has been released for Android (finally). If you have Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or higher, I highly recommend getting this free twitter client.



From the Google Play Store:
Carbon experience for Android Smartphones. No Tablet support yet.
Simple, Dark, and a dash of elegance for your Twitter day-to-day pleasure.
Carbon is a Twitter client, but unlike other Twitter clients. All of your Twitter content on one screen. A screen that doesn't get you drilling down to many other screens to reach to what you want. Timelines, Lists, Favourites, Searches, Trends, Profiles, all there.
  • Tilt Timeline to Refresh
  • Power Scroll: Scroll/Swipe up or down using Two fingers to jump to top or bottom of Timelines
  • Tap+Hold on Tweets to make everything clickable right on the Timeline
  • QuickTimeline, home screen quick Timeline for Lists, Searches, Trends, etc...
  • Rich Timelines with full inline images and videos
  • Rich and HD style for User Profiles
  • Rich and fun Conversation View
  • Threaded Direct Messages
  • Background updates with quick actions for Jelly Bean, per account
  • Username Autocomplete
  • Filters for Hashtags, Users, and Keywords
This is the first version and a start. We're adding new features and we'll fix bugs as we get requests and reports. Send them our way!