Querying by Distance in MySQL - Header

Querying by Distance in MySQL

Is your website doing everything possible to help your clients find you and get to you? One valuable tool that you can use to accomplish this important goal is to include a “Locations” page on your site. Suppose that your business is a chain of restaurants. In that case, a Locations page can tell customers which of your eateries is closest to the hungry person’s present location.  If you don’t yet have such a page, it’s definitely something worth considering, and here’s how programmers go about building it.

Typically, such a page consists of a search field that allows their users to provide a location, and then returns a list of nearby destinations sorted by distance, often accompanied by a Google Map.

Your only asset is a database table containing all possible locations with columns specifying latitude and longitude. When the user submits their location, you’ll likely utilize the Google Maps API to retrieve the coordinates from an address, which you can then use to compare against your database records. Continue reading

Sharp Innovations Client to be Featured on Fox & Friends Sunday Morning

BeBalanced Logo One of the nation’s most popular TV hubs every Sunday morning, Fox and Friends, will host current Sharp client, BeBalanced Hormone Weight Loss Centers, this Sunday morning. BeBalanced has contracted us for a full website redesign, plus several elements of programming (like the integration of custom franchise landing pages) and search engine optimization services. Further, this Sunday will be the launch date of the newly redesigned website; the Sharp creative team has worked around the clock and after hours to have the ability to “go live” for our client’s special air time.

See the new site herewww.bebalancedcenters.com

The BeBalanced Background

Struggling with weight is a reality for people all across the United States. Founder, Dawn Cutillo struggled with her own female-related health issues and inability to lose weight, and wondered what kind of impact hormones played on the constant struggle. Continue reading

Sharp Team Unveils SEO Reporting Tool 1.0 | Header

Sharp Team Unveils SEO Reporting Tool 1.0

Not many web marketing firms can claim they have an in-house search engine optimization tool at their disposal, but now thanks to the forward-thinking SEO crew at Sharp, this has become a reality not only for our SEO team but for our clients as well. (It’s technically still in BETA but we’re letting the cat out of the bag)

Monthly reporting is nothing new to our dozens of SEO clients, in fact it’s the norm, but a tool custom-built for smaller businesses is a bit out of the ordinary, and we’re pleased to be able to offer it. We know our clients and their businesses, and therefore saw a need for a custom tool that offers a statistical presentation of results, trends, figures and more, that overshadows generic reporting.

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In many ways our SEO tool simplifies things. Rather than endless lists and tabs of statistics you’re probably very much removed from, our tool focuses a lot of attention on your bread and butter: sessions, conversions, search queries, etc. Continue reading

3 Quick Ways to Improve your Homepage | Header

3 Quick Ways to Improve your Homepage

Building a successful online presence for your business requires not only proper design, but rewarding internet marketing as well. As the internet and user behavior continuously evolves, so should your website in order to cater to the demands of your customers.

RLPS Interiors footer

RLPS Interiors maintains a clean footer while still covering all contact info a user might need

Your website’s homepage is the first place to look for improvement in a website review, since more often than not this is the first place people see when they find your company. In reviewing your homepage there are a few tried and true tips we find ourselves frequently recommending to our clients. Test them out on your website and you’ll likely find a boost in conversions, calls, or even walk-ins just by making a few simple adjustments. Continue reading

Why Security Is More Important Than You Might Think | Header

Why Security Is More Important Than You Might Think

The past couple of years have seen people becoming more concerned with how secure their information is as their lives continue on an exponential trend toward digitization. We communicate, interact, share, work, plan, and unwind through the magic of the internet. Whether you’re binging the latest season of House of Cards on Netflix, or trying to finish up that spreadsheet for work, society is becoming more dependent on the internet for everyday life. As our lives leave our devices and venture out to connect with computers all over the globe, it is becoming vital that the information we send and receive stays secure in between.

Why does this matter?

a padlock over binary code Information is used by a variety of internet companies for a host of reasons. Google utilizes search history to target ads that are better suited for the user. Apple collects information about how their phones are used so they can figure out what people are doing or want to do, and improve upon those things. Data collection is everywhere and can include information people may not care about, or information people would rather stay private. Text messages, for example, should not be sent in an unencrypted format. Few people can say they would be OK with their entire texting history being posted online for the world to see. In an insecure digital age, that is entirely possible. Other sensitive information is vital to keep secure such as medical histories, financial data, fingerprint scans, and more, all of which are transmitted over the internet every day. All of this data jumps from computer to computer in its journey to find its way to the recipient, and there are ways to intercept it along the way. Even HTTPS, a secure version of HTTP, is becoming a standard among websites that do not even necessarily take credit card or other payment information. You can read more about HTTPS here. Confidentiality and security are important, but how are they guaranteed? Continue reading

Progressive Web Apps | A Great Mobile App Alternative | Header

Progressive Web Apps: A Great Mobile App Alternative

For those who look at this and wonder, what a Progressive Web App (PWA) is, here is the definition from Google:

Progressive Web Apps are experiences that combine the best of the web and the best of apps. They are useful to users from the very first visit in a browser tab, no install required. As the user progressively builds a relationship with the App over time, it becomes more and more powerful. It loads quickly, even on flaky networks, sends relevant push notifications, has an icon on the home screen and loads as top-level, full screen experience.

Before we look at this any further, let quick go over the layer of technology behind this called a “Service Worker” that works at the network level. Unlike traditional web code, a service worker will continue to run even when you are no longer on the website, waiting for either a command from your phone/computer, or a command from your network connection. This command will then trigger the service worker to run the relevant feature that is enabled on that Progressive Web App.

Continue reading

How to Run a Successful Facebook Page For Your Business | Header

How to Run a Successful Facebook Page For Your Business

In today’s world, a successful internet marketing plan must include a social media presence. With the variety of different avenues people can take to find you, social media is one of the best ways to promote your brand.

Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and LinkedIn all have their own unique audiences, and your goal is to find the best mix of platforms for your business. No matter which mix you end up choosing, it likely includes Facebook since it enjoys the highest adoption rate among internet users.

There are numerous tricks and tips that go into running a successful Facebook page for your business, and we wanted to put together a helpful list of some of our favorites. We implement these practices every day when we manage social media campaigns for our clients here at Sharp Innovations. Continue reading

Audit Your Website with These Free Google Tools | Header

Audit Your Website with These Free Google Tools

You wouldn’t believe how many free resources are available that offer suggestions on how to improve your business’s website and online presence. Even if your website just recently launched, chances are there are areas for improvement, especially if you aren’t utilizing a search engine optimization (SEO) service.

For those business owners who are looking for any type of edge over their competition, we’ve put together a list of some of the most useful free Google tools available to improve your website and, in turn, your placement in the search engines. We encourage you to use these on your own website today! Continue reading

5 Ways A Video Can Boost Your Search Rankings - Header

5 Ways A Video Can Boost Your Search Rankings

Waching a YouTube video on a mobile phone One of the most popular websites in the world, YouTube, is one of the web’s greatest ways to consume content.  YouTube boasts over 1 billion users and has an average viewing session of 40 minutes on mobile devices,  so you can clearly understand why video content is so important in today’s market.

Adding a video to your website has numerous benefits not only for your brand and your message, but for your website’s ranking capabilities as well. Whether you’re a small startup looking to get in front of more customers or a Fortune 500 company looking to improve the bottom line, videos are a great way to invest in your business. Continue reading

Let’s Make English The Official Language of Business - Header

Let’s Make English The Official Language of Business

We often hear discussions about making English the official language of all government business in the United States. Maybe we should also think about making plain, understandable English the official language of business websites and all business writing.

Businesses frequently write in jargon that’s specific to their industries, and if they’re selling to a general audience, that’s not good for sales. If I can’t understand your website’s writing, I won’t know how you can improve my life, so I probably won’t call you. With that in mind, take a look at this copy from a website and see if you know how the business will improve your life:

Unleash your team by releasing them from all the administrative functions that technology can now provide. We specialize in technology integration solutions in very large enterprise applications or small custom web solutions including the web design & dvelopment*, SDLC, process redesigns, contact center technologies, digital commerce, and social media.

*Yes, the “e” is missing on the website.

Huh? Even after reading this several times, I don’t have a clear understanding of what the business does. I can figure out the first sentence, although “performs” would be a more appropriate verb than “provides”. That second sentence, however, is a real mystery, and a writer who assumes that I know what SDLC means certainly doesn’t know me. Continue reading