During the past three years, desktop internet usage has declined from 90% to 60%, while mobile internet usage soared to 40%. If this trend continues, and it seems that it is likely to do so, mobile internet usage will soon surpass desktop internet usage.
The general approach used by most designers when designing for mobile devices is to create a responsive smaller version of their desktop website. This approach, however, is not the ideal strategy for designing mobile sites. Instead of merely scaling down a website, it is best to assess the client’s business and how important mobile accessibility is for their users.
The challenge for web designers nowadays is how they can design for various mobile devices which come in various different sizes. Here are a few best practices in creating better, more intuitive, and user friendly mobile user experience:
Provide Clear and Concise Content
Mobile users are typically on the go. This, combined with relatively smaller screens, makes it necessary to feature web content that is easy to read. Minimalism is key, with each web page having just one central focus.
For atypical gestures, such as a swipe to go to the next page or a horizontal scroll, make it easy for users to use these features by adding a small arrow or a hovering message.
Keep Menus and Navigation Simple
Unlike desktop websites with a menu bar at the top of their pages, mobile sites need something more compact to fit in the smaller screen. Instead of a menu bar, use a drop down accordion or icon on the top left or right of the mobile screen as your menu.
Refrain from having multi-level menus with sub menus that appear on hover and ensure that everything is accessible to mobile users.
Consider All Mobile Device Layouts
Image source: bradfrost.com
Always keep in mind that mobile devices come in several different dimensions. Don’t just design for a 320-pixel width, design for other sizes as well, like 176, 240, 320, 360, and 480 to 600 pixels for landscape.
You will need to make sure that your web layout is flexible and fluid so it displays properly on various screen sizes.
Focus on Touch Inputs and Gestures
Today’s mobile devices no longer come with a keyboard and a mouse, and the primary mode of interaction is touch so you will need to design for touch.
In doing so, it is vital that you consider the different sizes, shapes, and pressures of fingers to mobile device touch screens and ensure that buttons, forms, and other elements that require touch input are large enough so there would be no overlap with adjacent elements.
Product management training instructors stress the importance of users in determining product design and the same applies to mobile web UX.
By keeping these things in mind as you design for mobile users, you are then able to provide a more efficient and positive experience to your mobile users which will also help your clients in building trust among their target audience.
Do you feel as though you’ve maxed out your local lead potential and hit a wall in your sales? Unless you have been living in a cave, you are aware that technology, and digital marketing in particular, are the keys to business growth in the 21st century.
The problem for many business owners is the rate at which technology and marketing trends change, and the befuddling number of digital marketing options (how many social networks are there?!). Just sorting through it all can feel like a second job.
To help you out, we have put together a list of a few proven ways to expand your business outside of your local sector, and attract new customers.
Put Yourself Out There
The next time you attend an outdoor event in the heat of summer, say a 4th of July Parade, you will probably notice that the kids selling water are doing big business. This is because they are putting themselves in front of people who need their service.
Nowadays, the people who need your product or service are looking online. A 2015 study revealed that 57% of consumers take recommendations found on social media into consideration before purchasing a product or service.
Start out by using just one or two social media sites, say Facebook and Twitter, and post about new products, sales, job openings and your participation in community or charity events. Be sure to pay attention to what your customers are saying on social media about the offerings in your industry- this can point you towards innovations that will put you ahead of the curve.
Writing a blog is another great way to keep the conversation going. You may think that you don’t have time to write a blog for your business, but by utilizing content generation tools and services, you can publish content that will generate leads and establish you as an authority in your field.
It is now more important than ever to make sure that you are staying up with the technological advancements in your field. By combining your natural creativity and entrepreneurship with these changes in the active field, you can discover new ways to develop your products and market the outcome.
This results in much more attention from your customers in addition to an improved return on your investment. When your clients see that you are ahead of the curve and frequently innovating, they will want to learn more about your business and how they can become a part of it.
Due to increasingly streamlined technology, business owners can look forward to optimizing their operations and reducing the need for micromanagement. This frees up your time and allows you to focus on other aspects of your business.
Solutions like demographic trackers and SEO tools like Moz can allow business owners to stay ahead of the competition, especially if they are based in a particularly competitive field. Through these technological solutions, you can take a look at the statistics that matter the most.
You can see how successful your products and services are with a target audience, and you can run product tests more efficiently to determine how successful your products are.
Consider employing a content team to help you keep up on new mediums (apps, social media etc.) that may be beneficial for your business. With a content team, you can expect to keep up with your customers on a much more personal basis, especially when you are advertising for new services or specific discounts and deal plans.
Utilizing the most intuitive small business software available for your industry can make it easier for you to keep up with these mediums as well. Many software programs include mailing list options and all-in-one updaters that can allow you to upload content simultaneously across multiple platforms.
The Big Picture
While every business owner starts out focusing on their local prospects, it is crucial to begin expansion at the appropriate stages to improve brand awareness. A creative look at the latest technological solutions can be invaluable in helping new business owners expand and fine-tune their business plan.
What I love about keyword research is that there are no limits. You can actually investigate your keywords for a lifetime and still discover new great ones to improve your traffic.
That’s why I am always so excited to play with new keyword research tools and my recent favorite is SERPstat.
The tool adds new cool features every day and it’s been a joy to use so far. Here are three absolutely unique keyword research features that will help you generate more search engine traffic:
1. Identify & Compare Competing Pages / URLs
Quite a break-through in SEO industry, SERPstat lets you find highest ranking pages (not just domains!) for any search term you put in.
In this report you will find web pages that drive traffic for the given keyword and for the group of related search terms.
You can even compare up to three pages to see how their rankings overlap.
2. Find Missing Keywords
This feature is something you’ll love to use to improve rankings of your existing content. It lets you find keyword queries many of your competitors are ranking but you are not. Here’s how it works:
- Search for any URL
- Click the number under "Organic"
- Then click "Missing keywords" in the left-hand navigation
SERPstat will analyze your competitors and return the list of keywords they are ranking high but that page of yours is not.
- The more competitors rank for each missing keyword, the higher the keyword on the list (the higher the "Connection Strength").
- On top of that, you’ll see other pages from your site that rank for that term. (So you can optimize that page to rank higher) How cool is that?
[This is the goldmine of search engine optimization information to get your site rank higher!]
The beauty of this feature is that you can find absolutely new words to rank for you wouldn’t have found otherwise. That feature alone may help you improve your rankings dramatically and I am not aware of any other tool that can do that:
Some of these will be new content ideas, others will prompt you to go back and optimize your old content.
Note: You’ll only be able to see missing keywords if your page is already ranking for some terms in top 10.
3. Improve Your Site Second-Page Rankings with Tree View
The fastest way to find your site pages that rank on page 2 of Google is SERPstat "Tree View"
- Search for your domain
- Go to "Tree view"
- Click Filters
- Under "Domain position for a keyword" set from 10 to 20
These are your best candidates to move to page one!
Export the complete report of pages and the keywords these pages rank on page 2:
Now optimize them better!
4. Discover More Keywords with Cluster Research
The concept is simple and genius: Identify search queries that have many identical pages ranking in top 20 for them and you have a good list of closely related keywords.
SERPstat "Cluster research" does exactly that: The more URLs Google queries have in common, the closer the cluster terms are (the higher "Connection Strength"* is). For example, "SEO" and "Search Engine Optimization" must be closely related terms because Google ranks 6 identical URLs for those.
This is a great keyword discovery feature! Use these words to optimize your existing content as well as make your new content richer and more indepth.
* I wish that number was clickable for me to see which exactly pages are identical for both the terms.
5. Research Niche Questions
One of my favorite features for content inspiration: Almost every suggestion here is a new article idea!
Here’s how to get it work:
- Type in your core term in SERPstat search box and search
- Click "Search Suggestions"
- Click "Only questions"
Find lots of questions containing your keyword based on Google’s Autosuggest (i.e. questions people type in the search box). Most of these questions will look like an article idea to you!
**Currently SERPstat supports, Google.com, Google UK, Google Canada, Google Australia, Google Ukraine, Google Russia, Google Bulgaria, Google Kazakhstan, Google Lithuania, Google Latvia, Google Belarus and Google South Africa as well as Yandex Russia and Yandex Ukraine.
Disclaimer: I was granted a free premium access to SERPstat in order to use the above features.