Sunday, November 4, 2012

What Is Responsive Web Design?

Responsive web design is basically one website which can work on many different screen sizes. It is based on the idea that design and development should respond to the user’s behavior and environment based not just on screen size but also platform and orientation.  One URL address containing the same content should work on multiple devices such as desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

Why Should I Switch my Website to Responsive Design

With the introduction of devices such as Amazon’s new Kindle Fire, Samsung’s Galaxy S III and Apple’s new mini-Ipad, it is important to have web design that adapts itself to multiple sizes. A site with a responsive design looks good on a smartphone, a tablet, an e-reader as it does on a desktop.  According to a recent survey, mobile devices are projected to overtake desktop PCs as the dominant Internet platform by 2013. Projections indicate that by 2015, the number of mobile Internet Users will balloon to 1.9 billion in 2015 from 800 million in 2009 while desktop Internet Users will rise to 1.6 billion in 2015 from 1.4 billion in 2009. 

Responsive web design saves money, saves time, improve search and performance.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

What is the Difference Between Web Design and Web Development

Web design and web development are often used interchangeably.  However, there is a difference and it's important to know the difference so you are able to choose the right service and the right company that is appropriate for your business or project.  Web design is the creation of the visual layout. This includes the graphical elements on a page such as images, text, font, etc. Tools used for web design includes Adobe Photoshop and Dreamweaver. Web development is the phrase used to describe the technical aspects of a website. In other words, the programming required in order to present the right information in the correct format to your visitors. It is used to describe database-driven web designs using dynamic scripting languages like PHP, ASP, ASP.NET and Coldfusion. The term can also be used for client-side scripting such as JavaScript and Java.
More often than not, these two disciplines will overlap. A web designer is usually familiar with the basic codes and a web developer is normally able to create a functional web design. It is nearly impossible for a web designer to be considered good at his or her job without understanding coding. After all, most clients want to have a "one stop" service for their website creation needs.  Hence, most web designers will be able to design and code a website to function the way you want it to. This is because most websites do not require hyper-technical code. If a client wants a web site that is more advanced than your average website, a web developer is what he or she would need.  Sites that require the option of user-generated content, for example, will need ways for a user to log-in, permissions to determine what the user can and cannot authorized to post or edit, etc. The same goes with e-commerce or online games. In these cases, a web designer would be out of his or her league. However, having a web designer that is able to advice on the visual elements of a page would still be highly desirable.
It would be beneficial for clients with complex requirements in website design to work with a web development company who has both designers and developers.  Furthermore, if a company wants their website to be found, a digital marketing company that offers a "one-stop" shop would be ideal.  These companies are capable of promoting the site, creating custom applications and integrating the website with social media management elements.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Why and How to Create a Custom Cover Facebook Page?

With over 800 million potential Facebook users and more than 50% active users on any given day,
Facebook is the most popular social media website and it can be used to keep in touch with your family and friends, make new contacts or advertise your business. More and more, people are using Facebook to research companies, products and services as an alternative to Google. Almost all big companies like Coke, Target and Starbucks own a Facebook profile, with small and medium size businesses following the lead.

A custom Facebook page is one way to get more ‘likes’ for your page. A cover photo on your Facebook page is the larger photo at the top of your timeline, right above your profile picture. Cover images are public and are visible by anyone. With cover photo you can advertise your business or attract your visitors.

When most people first upload their Facebook page, more often than not, the image size is not the right size and will not fit properly. Here is an ultra-quick tutorial on how to make the most of this Facebook option. Photoshop or Illustrator can be used for creating or editing the Facebook cover photos.

As you may already know, the Facebook cover photo is not a common image size. If you want to have a great-looking cover photo on you profile you should take advantage of the cover photo’s exact size and shape.
  • Measurements of Facebook cover image are 851 pixels wide and 315 pixels tall.
  • Image has to be at least 720 pixels wide.
  • Profile picture measurements are 160 x 160 pixels and a minimum image upload size should be 180 x 180 pixels.
  • If you upload an image that is smaller than 851 x 315, it will be stretched to fit and it can be grainy or distorted.
  • For designing a first-rate cover photo you must use high-quality images and photographs.
Here you have a basic template with precise sizes of your cover photo and cut-outs. 

Of course, you can always have a company like Top Web Rank create your business page for you.  Top Web Rank helps organizations build, monitor, manage and measure their social media efforts across popular social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Our Sacramento / San Francisco based digital marketing company offers a complete end to end solution ranging from social strategy creation and implementation to rich application development and analytics that help brands and entrepreneurs turn prospects into loyal clients. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

When to Post to Facebook or Twitter

Social Media Marketing is no longer an option for the vast majority of businesses.  Social media channels are a good way to increase a company’s trustworthiness and goodwill. They are also a primary way to obtain leads, engage with customers and get access to customer’s feedback.  In terms of search marketing campaigns, study after study reveals that social media have proven to generate traffic back to the Company’s website.
With the importance of social media and the time it takes to manage a successful campaign, it makes sense for most businesses to hire a social media consultant.  Running a social media campaign takes a lot of time and energy.  A social media company helps find ways of representing businesses through social media in a positive and authentic way. If you do decide to manage your own social media campaign, here are some tips on when you should post your tweets, links, etc.
Research has recently been completed about when to post branded updates to social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. Interestingly, all social media cannot be treated the same.  As the researchers wrote, “It’s easy to see that just like your neighborhood restaurants; each social network has its own culture and behavior patterns. By understanding the simple characteristics of each social network, you can publish your content at exactly the right time for it to reach the maximum number of people.”
The study found, for example, that on Twitter, the best window is 1 to 3 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. The best window for Facebook is 1 to 4 p.m. While other social media sites, such as Tumblr are later in the night. Specifically, for Tublr, a posts will do best after 7 p.m. The research found that Facebook usage peaks at 3 p.m. ET on weekdays, with Wednesdays being the busiest day of all. Of course, these are national studies. The 3 PM time slot takes into account both Eastern and Western time zones.  As for weekends, Sundays can be slow. Interestingly, for Twitter, consumer engagement with brands appears to increase on the weekends, particularly for certain brands. Sports brands, for example, are typically up to 52% higher than average on weekends, while apparel companies can see increases of more than 30%.  As for the best time to Tweet, there is a larger window of opportunity. Marketers should target the peak usage hours of 8 AM and 7 PM. The study suggested that marketers will get about 30% more interest than they would by posting at any other time. Link postings, however, one should aim for sometimes between 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM, as this is the time frame in which they’re likely to get the most clicks. Sending a tweet with a link after 8:00 p.m. should be avoided — as should posting links after 3:00 p.m. on Fridays. The researchers also recommend not posting the links you want to go viral during the weekend.
These are but a few of the nuances one needs to know to run a successful social media campaign.  Companies such as Sacramento’s Top Web Rank can run your entire social media campaign from scheduling your Facebook updates to sending Tweets to running a contest promotion and sending printable coupons to your fans. Top Web Rank can also send run fun polls and promotions for your business!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

What is a Favicon and is it Important?

A favicon is short for favorite icon. It is also known as a shortcut icon, url icon or a bookmark icon. A favicon is most commonly 16x16 pixels but can be 32 x 32, 48x48, etc. It is a file used to associate a particular website. A site like Blogger, for example, has a favicon that distinguishes the site from other sites.  It is prominently displayed on the left hand side of the tab and looks like the graphic at the start of this blog.

A favicon makes sites stand out from other sites.  When your site is crawled by search engine bots, favicon.ico is one of the files that they search for.  It helps with online branding and could help your clients return to your site.

A favicon is also useful because it helps your clients identify your site easier. As sites are adding bookmarking options, it helps to make your website stand out visually. The favicon makes it easy to find and easily click on your tab right away. You can create the favicon and a web design company like Top Web Rank can incorporate it on your site or a company like ours can create it for you as part of their logo design services.

Favicons are really an important part of the website, just like any images in a website and we believe it is as important as the logo of a website. To make a website distinct from the others it is necessary to have a favicon in the website for both branding and usability purposes.

By: Sacramento Search Marketing Firm | Sacramento Internet Marketing

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Role of Blogs in your Search Marketing

Business blogging and content marketing make an effective search engine optimization (SEO) strategy for generating traffic and improving your website’s ‘stickiness’. The first and most important part of the search engine strategy (SES), is to ensure people are coming to your site who is interested in what you have to offer.  Second, you want to ensure that those same people stay on your site to read or view what they believed they were coming for in the first place. Recent research suggests that the length of time someone stays on your site has a big correlation in your website rankings. At Top Web Rank, we treat blogs as one important piece of the puzzle to ensure your clients find the content they are looking for and ‘stick’ around. Blogs, when integrated with other pieces of the puzzle, including posts, videos, audios, sales text, white papers, reviews, etc. is an important piece to keep your customers engaged and interested.

Combined with social media, blog services talk directly to your customers and prospects without editorial filters. Blogs also are the perfect cornerstone of social media, meaning they are the perfect hub for social media campaigns.

If you do plan to manage your own site, here are some tips to help you:

Social Media: Use social media such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit, StubleUpon, YouTube, etc to promote your blog. Remember that no one knows your blog exists if you don’t tell them about it. Build up a presence on social media channels to drive people back to your blog. Invest your time in it. On Tweeter, tweet when you first publish your blog. Tweet post again later in the day and with a different introduction. Tweet a third time a few days later. We are not advocating, however, to tweet about your post every hour.

Structure Content: Group your blogs in accordance with common themes. This categorization will help not only help your readers find their desired content but also help the search engines that interpret and index your content smoothly. The end result is better rankings on the search engines.

Updated Contents: People love new content. So do search engines! Research suggests that search engines have penalized websites that have not been updated for a period of time.

RSS Feeds: RSS feeds help you distribute your blog posts to a larger audience and enhance your link popularity. This tool is effective in disseminating not only text but audio and video as well.  The RSS feeds enable your users to receive updated content from the web log automatically. In addition, the RSS engines will regularly include your web log content.

Build a Community: A good blog can pave the way for an effective interaction among similar minded individuals. Create a sense of belonging and participation at your blog. The outcomes of establishing a good community includes repeat traffic, interaction and good vibe amongst your readers.

Create Search Engine Friendly URLs: Choose a friendly uniform resource locator (URL) for your blog. This makes it easier for search engines to locate and crawl your posts. Use a URL shortener where you can track clicks.

Submit your address to blog search sites and directories: Register your blog at Technocrati, Daypop, Blogdex, Popdex, and other sites.

Other tips include: connect your blog with Google+, build your followers by following other users, post and comment on their blogs regularly, if you mentioned someone in your post, ping them,

While blogs can be a perfect vehicle to promote your business, the problem is blogs take a lot of time to write, edit and especially promote. Using a Blog Writing Services like our professional blog service will save you time, so you can focus on your business! Our Sacramento Blog Service: you provide the inspiration, and we provide the perspiration.

By: Sacramento Search Marketing Firm | Sacramento Internet Marketing

Lesson from a Clever Bird Using Bread As Bait

Bird makes investment to get bigger ROI (Return on Investment).

Check out this great MSN video: Clever Bird Uses Bread As Bait

By:  Sacramento Search Marketing Firm | Sacramento Internet Marketing