2018 was a big year for the Sharp Innovations team! We look back at some of the highlights of the last year and thank you all for being a part of our exciting trajectory toward the future.
Perhaps the most exciting news of 2018 for us was finally obtaining a certification we’ve been working toward for quite some time. Rewarded for an effort that stretched over three years, we completed the process to become GSA certified. This allows us to work with all government agencies, whether at the state or federal level, for all their web development and digital marketing needs. We’re one of the select few firms in PA who can do so, and we look forward to this new set of challenges.
“The only constant is change.” That’s how web development is defined, and in 2018 nothing will be different.
Users are continuously expecting more from their online experiences. Content should be engaging, intuitive, and accessible everywhere in real-time, especially on mobile devices.
Here are some online trends to watch in 2018.
Browser extensions are key add-ons for the major browsers and have been for years. Extensions improve a browser’s user interface and make browsing easier for the user.
If you’re planning your marketing strategy for the New Year and haven’t thought about your digital presence, now is the time!
2017 saw a number of important changes as search engines such as Google and Bing have continued to evolve in an attempt to deliver the best results for web users. By keeping up with and adapting to these changes, you can help ensure that your website is making the biggest impact and delivering the best returns from search engines for your business.
Here are a few different ways to improve your SEO results in 2018:
- Fully Optimize Your Local Listings – For any business who sells their products or services at their location, at a minimum you should have a verified Google Maps and Bing Places business listing set up and maintained by you or on your behalf. This will let your local customers know where you are and when you’re open.
And there are proven ways to get even more out of these listings, especially as “near me” searches are as prevalent as ever. An interesting shift, however, is the exclusion of “near me” in the search query, but the expectation that local results are still delivered.
Every day, almost all of us use the Internet in one way or another, and the crazy part is that we might not even realize we are using it for what we are doing. For instance, when you pick up your phone and check the weather, that app is accessing the Internet to get the information it needs to relay to you. When you go home at night and nothing good is on television and you put on Netflix, all of the choices you have to watch are on a database on the Internet, and all of that streaming takes place over the Internet.
And what about so many other things that we hear about and use, such as Amazon’s Alexa? Yes, even that is using the Internet. Security companies are using the Internet to allow you to see your cameras on your mobile device or even to control your lights using your mobile device. Using the Internet, your exact location can be pinpointed on a map. You can post how you feel on social media. What is this web coming to, though?
If we think about the many different innovations that are being made each and every day, we can see a greater need and a greater use for the Internet. One of the greatest inventions for the Internet was the use of accessing it over cellular towers. This has allowed for a lot of new innovation. For instance, self-driving cars. They have to navigate and be controlled remotely. This can all be done over the Internet in combination with a GPS system.
One of the simplest ways to improve your online marketing presence is establishing a business listing on Google and Bing. But just having a presence isn’t enough. To benefit fully, you must make your presence a hard-working member of your marketing team.
Too often we find that businesses fail to take the extra few moments to fully detail their profiles. By adding several set of photos (inside, outside, team, at work, etc), business hours, a 360-degree virtual tour, and other useful data, you are directly providing not only Google with additional information on your business, but potential customers as well, and photos add more of a human touch to your website. This additional information can help improve click-throughs on your business listing, your local pack ranking, and your localized organic ranking.
If you are not part of the minority of businesses currently taking advantage of these features, it’s likely that you’re missing out on another simple way to improve click-throughs, your local pack ranking, and your localized organic ranking – Customer Reviews.
Your website should be hard at work driving targeted traffic and leads to help complete all the goals that you had when you created the site. Whatever your goals may be, and even if you currently have or have had in the past signed up for search engine optimization (SEO) services with another internet marketing firm, it may be wise to perform an SEO audit.
But first, don’t let the word “audit” scare you. We’re not the IRS, and an SEO audit is actually a positive experience that can help to bring you more business.
In an SEO audit, the first step is a comprehensive diagnostic survey of your website, and this survey will gauge how your current website is performing and how you (or our internet marketing team) can ideally approach your site’s optimization.
Nowadays, how many businesses don’t have some form of website? Even small businesses know the importance of having an online presence so people can find them. However, many of those websites are years behind the curve in how they were built and even in the information that they contain. While having any online presence is certainly better than having none, having a modern website that follows current industry standards will do significantly more for you and your business than will a website that’s a couple of years old.
It wasn’t too long ago that your website only required you to think about how it would display on desktop computers. In today’s world, if you aren’t thinking about mobile and tablet devices, as well, you are likely ignoring the majority of your visitors’ preferred method of interacting with your web content. That’s because as many as 60% of all internet searches now take place on mobile devices.
So, now is the time to start thinking about your website from a mobile-first view rather than the desktop-first mentality of yesterday. Simply put, thinking mobile-first means placing the emphasis on user experience on mobile devices, rather than having it be an afterthought to the desktop design.
With the ever-growing rate of mobile sites, it has become increasingly important to also improve the usability of the site. One of the large factors in this is that of page loading speed being as quick as possible, to not slow users down as they use your website. Along with this, Google and other search engines have realized the importance of this, and as such, they emphasize and prioritize sites that are well optimized for this in their search results. This is because they recognize the reality of how users interact with your site, and the experience they have if it loads slowly. In fact, Google has found that 53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load.
From our computers to our phones, and even to custom computer devices, apps are used everywhere as a part of our daily lives. Whether it be for entertainment, convenience, or for a work-related need, these applications we use make what we do simpler and more efficient. If talk of apps and what all the thought-process that goes into them is too much stress and hard to understand, contact us now and we can help you to better understand your options, otherwise, read on…
Apps are most recognized today through their use on mobile devices, but that is truly just a name for something that has been used long before on desktop computers as well. Fast forward to today, and while mobile phones are taking off in the amount of usage and popularity, desktops still remain as a steady tool, especially among the working world. The desktop app is not dead, in fact, there have been, in recent years, new technologies intended at making applications made for the computer easier and more streamlined to create, which also allows for greater innovations and faster build times. What is this method? In conjunction with using Node.js and Electron, we can help to deliver a fully custom app, with all the features you could expect. This technology builds on top of a variation of chrome, so everything that you love and gain out of Chrome’s usage, can also then be applied to that app. This would include its speed, responsiveness, up-to-date HTML/CSS, and more. We can even help to set up automated updates to your application to ensure users are always on the newest version of your great application tools.