Responsive Websites: Now More Important Than Ever

20I’ve talked before about the benefits of responsive design and the importance of having a mobile friendly website. More than half the internet traffic in the world is now coming from mobile devices. While the desktop is not dead yet, the mobile browser is slowly but surely taking over.

That’s where responsive design comes in. Most small companies can’t afford to create separate websites for both desktop computers and mobile devices. There is such a wide disparity in the screen sizes of mobile devices that it can be difficult as a designer to satisfy all of them. But a responsive design automatically adjusts itself to any size screen, be it a 3000 pixels wide desktop monitor all the way down to a 300 pixels wide iPhone.

And now, as far as your Google listing is concerned, it’s more important that ever. Google just released an update to their algorithm that gives greater weight to whether your website is mobile friendly or not, giving a higher ranking to those that are. So, you may find yourself taking a hit in your Google rankings in favor of your competitors!

I had originally thought that this would only affect searches done through a mobile device. After all, it would make sense that, if you were doing a search on a mobile phone that Google should send you to a site that is designed for a mobile phone. But I am hearing stories now that that is not necessarily the case. Some customers report that after the update came out, they notice an immediate drop in their rankings.

So, now more than ever, it’s time for you to bring your site up to date and see if it’s ready for the future. or rather, if it’s ready for the now! At Marshmallow Fox Web Design, we’re ready to help you make your site responsive and adaptable to any device, and help your business grow!

 

 

April Special and Your “Must Read” Editorials

largeFor the month of April, Marshmallow Fox is offering any new customers free web hosting for one year! That’s a possible $250 value! Plus we still pay $25.00 to existing customers for any referrals that you send our way that end up with a signed contract. If you’ve had people who have been sitting on the fence about getting their website started, now’s the time to do it!

There has been a big kerfluffle recently about a high school kid who clams that the government can save hundreds of millions of dollars by switching from Times New Roman font to Garamond. Is this true? This guy doesn’t think so, and he has the facts to prove it.

I’ve talked about Facebook before and how you really should be active on it. But is it worth paying for? Maybe yes, but probably no.

And you should also read about the $600,000 Facebook ad disaster.

Don’t get me wrong. Facebook is free and at that price is a great value, but sometimes you get what you pay for. And sometimes not.

 

 

Three SEO Tricks You Can Do Yourself (in the Privacy of Your Own Home!)

1287369_60933722Many people consider SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to be an arcane science full of esoteric knowledge and tricks. And many SEO managers want to present it that way. They have their jobs to protect, after all, and if people knew how easy it can sometimes be, they’d be out of a paycheck. But, it’s not that hard, really. Let’s look at the top three things you can do to generate traffic to your site.

1: Promote, promote, promote.

For the most part, people aren’t going to know you have a website unless you tell them so. Do you have a billboard out on the highway? Make sure your URL is on it. Use a letterhead? (Yes, some people do still use snail mail.) Make sure your URL is there along with your contact information. And do the same with any emails you send out. Make sure it’s on your business card. Everywhere you give someone your name and address should also give them the URL of your website. Your billboards and business cards are only the introduction to your business. Your website will give them the whole story.

2: Content, content, content.

I can’t keep pounding this into my customers heads enough. Google loves content. The more content you have on your site, the more it can index and the greater your chances of being found. Don’t put too much on one page, though. Internet users tend to scan rather than read, so make it brief and to the point and spread it out through the site.

Not only does Google love content, but it loves new content. Keep your content fresh, add new pages, change things around a bit every now and then. Maybe you’ve gotten customers to visit your site once. Now you want to give them a reason to come back to your site. So, give them something new to look at or read every now and then.

3: Link, link, link

Once you’ve put something new on your site, tell people about it! Why wait for people to happen upon it by chance? Use an email service like Constant Contact to get the word out. Put links on your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn pages. (Remember, however, not to use Facebook as your website. Use Facebook to drive visitors to your website.) Don’t be afraid to go out and tell people that you have exciting new content and they should really go look at it.

After all, it’s how I got you to come to my website, isn’t it?

25 in 14 … and Win Free Web Hosting for a Year!

419846_14072013I’m not ashamed to report that 2013 was not a banner year for Marshmallow Fox Web Design. While necessary, the server transfer did take a lot out of us in terms of time, effort and profit. And we had a few projects that did not pan out as well as we might have liked.

Nonetheless, we soldier on and have decided to redouble our goals for 2014 and set a standard of 25 new or converted sites from now until the end of 2014. And we need your help.

How can you help? By telling everyone you know about us. I have always lived by the maxim “if you don’t like my work, tell me! But if you do like it, tell everyone else!” And that’s what I need you to do. Do you have friends, associates or business connections that may need a website, or are currently unhappy with their current provider? Tell them about us! Post about us on Facebook! Let people know that you have someone who is honest, capable, and reliable and can get the work done at a fraction of the cost that others may be charging.

But, you may ask … what’s in it for me? I’d be asking the same question.

We’ve run a promotion before where we pay you $25 for every referral you send us that result in a signed contract. We’re extending that throughout all of next year!

But, we’re upping the stakes as well. Now, for every referral you send us that at least results in a meeting, your name will be put in a drawing for a years free web hosting! That’s up to a $250 value and money in your pocket!

So … take a look around and help us out … and get rewarded in return!

Facebook Is a Fact of Life

It never fails. A customer, or a prospective customer will come to me616698_85054502 and ask, “Why aren’t more people coming to my website? What can I do to promote it more?”

The first question I always ask is “Are you on Facebook?” And the answer I usually get is “No, I don’t like / trust / care for / know how to use … Facebook.”

Well, to be honest, I have some issues with Facebook myself. But the fact of the matter is that that is where the people are.

Imagine for a second … there’s a big gathering of people in New York City somewhere (disregarding for a minute that New York City IS a large gathering of people.) You want to get the word out to those people that you have something they want and you feel they’ll pay you good money for. So what do you do? Do you go to the middle of Passaic, New Jersey and wave your little sign around hoping that someone will see it in passing? No, you go where the people are. And right now, online, Facebook is where they are.

That being said, you still want to protect your brand, and you still want to drive people to your website. Especially if you have an online shopping cart, your sales aren’t going to be made through Facebook. Your sales are going to be made by people coming to your site.

Here is the second thing I say to people: “Where’s your content?” I can’t beat that into people’s heads enough: Content, content, content; interesting content to attract people to your site and changing content to keep them coming back.

There have been many times where I’ve gone to someone site and seen a dearth of content, but then gone to their Facebook page and seen pictures, updates and all sorts of information. So, it makes me wonder, if these people are so all fired hot about getting people to visit their website, why isn’t all of this information … on their website?

The trick is to use Facebook to drive traffic to your site, not the other way around. Advertise your content on Facebook, but make them go to your website to get it. For example, some of you are reading this post because of an email blast that I sent out. But I’d bet you a lot more are reading it because of the Facebook link I posted. So, I’ve used Facebook to drive you to my own website.

Why is this so important? On Facebook, you’re competing with hundreds, maybe thousands of posts and, if you’re lucky, you’ll get a little “Oh that’s nice” as people scroll on by and see what else is on their feed. Here, I have your complete and total attention.

So, get used to Facebook. Used wisely, it can be your friend. And if you’re on Facebook already, use it to drive traffic to your site.