Responsive & Mobile-Friendly Web Design Is Now A MUST!
Google announced that it will be updating it’s search results to feature mobile-friendly content to mobile users and penalizing non-responsive websites! Read the full announcement here. That means if your website is not upgraded to a responsive or mobile-friendly format, you will begin to drop in the search results.
This year the number of Google searches from mobile devices will exceed the number of desktop searches for the first time in history, and Google is preparing for that landmark event. You should too!
“Starting April 21, Google will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.”
Call MIMO Solutions today for a free consultation and mobile-friendly website audit at 816-616-2201. Click here to call from your mobile device.
What is responsive web design?
Responsive web design means that the website changes and adapts to many screen sizes. It makes sure the website’s template width fits smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers. The website will read the type of device loading the page, and adjust the design to look great on that screen size.
Prior to about 5 years ago, this type of web design was really difficult to achieve. It required separate sites for mobile and desktop, but now one responsive design handles the changes automatically.
Click here to see a responsive, mobile-friendly website in action.
Just select the desired device in the top yellow bar, and you will see the website automatically resize itself to fit each screen size.
MIMO Solutions can upgrade your existing website to a responsive, mobile-friendly template!
How much does a mobile-friendly web design cost?
Not as much as you think!
MIMO Solutions is offering a special Google Update 2020 Special.
We will upgrade your existing WordPress site with a new mobile-friendly template for only $1,000! Or, we will upgrade your old static HTML site to WordPress with the responsive template for only $2,020.
We are proud to announce the launch of a brand new website for the Triumph program. Triumph Over Emotional Eating is a weight loss support group that will change the way you think about food, and change WHY you eat.
Check out the new website and support group program at http://triumphprogram.com/
We are proud to announce the launch of an amazing new website for Modern Log Homes in Kansas City…
Check out the great gallery and fun new website design:
What is local Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Have you ever heard of Google My Business, Yahoo Local Directory, or searched for a service professional in your area on Bing Maps or your favorite map tool?
When you search for a local business in Kansas City on Google, you will probably see some local map listings. They are usually presented in odd numbers of results: 3, 5, or 7 depending on the competition and number of results. These are direct links to the Google My Business listings and your companies Google+ page. They usually look something like this:
That is our client Superior Door Service in the #2 spot for this very competitive keyword.
Kansas City Search Engine Optimization
Local Kansas City search engine optimization can be very difficult if your business is located outside the Kansas City metro area. If you address is in KCMO, then you are more likely to come up in a search phrase with Kansas City in it. However, if you own a business in Parkville, Lee’s Summit, Overland Park or Olathe, you probably still want to come up for KC search phrases, but it is going to be a lot more difficult.
This type of local search engine optimization may require the help of an expert. You don’t want to sacrifice your great local ranking in your municipality, but you want to add the Kansas City search phrases as well. Good and qualified search engine optimization specialists can help you get it sorted out and have the best of both worlds…
Great local search engine optimization is the fastest way to the first page of Google!
That is especially true for competitive businesses looking to do business around the Kansas City metro area. Google continues to attach more organic ranking factors to map listings, reviews are become more crucial, and Google+ activity can help as well. At MIMO Solutions, we offer full service G+ optimization, local search engine optimization, directory listing fixes and building combine with advanced local SEO techniques to help you get those coveted Kansas City rankings.
Call us today for a free analysis and consultation of your local Kansas City map and directory listings.
Marketingprofs and the Content Marketing Institute release the results of their 2015 Content Marketing Trends survey recently, and we thought it would be cool to explore these challenges and how to overcome them…
1. Producing Engaging Content
54 % of respondents said they were having trouble producing engaging content. Here are MIMO Solutions, we have solved that problem for dozens of B2B marketers. Sure, the obvious answer is you can pay us to create it for you, but let’s talk about how you can do it yourself. First, start by asking yourself, “If I had all my customers and prospects in one room today, what would I most like to tell them?” Usually, the answer is “BUY SOMETHING!” Unfortunately, that message gets old really quick. How can you share your knowledge with your audience and educate your prospects about what you do, how you do it better or differently? Most companies have enough stuff going on to create engaging content. They just forget to post it.
Do you have a product launch, event coming up, new challenge or question from your customers, did something happen in the news? Start paying closer attention to your newsworthy events, or you are going to have to pay us to do it for you…
2. Producing Content Consistently
50% of B2B respondents claimed this challenge. I assume most of them don’t know what to say, but there are additional challenges since we covered that in #1. Not enough time and other business priorities are the most common excuses and complaints here. You have to get into the habit of blogging and sharing on social media. It is a learned skill and once you make it a habit, it becomes easier and easier. Start by setting an appointment on your calendar and treat it like it is an appointment with your biggest client. Don’t cancel or move it. It is an appointment with your biggest client, in fact, it is an appointment with all of your clients!
Next, use scheduling tools. There are programs like Hootsuite that let you schedule your social media posts in advance, so you can plan out your whole week or month. All good blogging platforms have this as well. You can take a day and write all your posts for the month, or you can write in off hours and schedule them to go live during the business day.
3. Measuring Content Effectiveness
Now this one is a little more tricky, and 49% of B2B marketers agree. First, you have to set up the tracking tools, then you have to decide what effective means for your business, and then you actually have to look at the results. Some metrics to consider when looking at your effectiveness include: number of views, number of likes and shares, number of click-thrus, and number of conversions to leads or customers. Most people are looking for new customers, but that is not the end all be all in Internet Marketing. Growing your number of email subscribers could actually increase your sales for years, not just the few days after you post something.
Increase your effectiveness by building your email list, not your followers on any other site, or your direct sales. If you get in the inbox, you have endless opportunities to get into the wallet.
4. Producing A Variety of Content
42% of people saw this a challenge. Personally, I think this is one of the easiest parts about Internet marketing. Each piece of content can be repurposed into all the other forms of content and reused. For example, each blog you write can include an image for Instagram or Pinterest. You can share that blog post on all your social sites, and then include the post in your email blast. After that, you can collect a series of blog posts for a whitepaper or ebook. You can talk out the subject for a podcast or video for YouTube or make a slide show with more images and share that again on social media or Slideshare. You can even turn the topic into a webinar… All from one really cool subject.
Another challenge though is getting a variety of topics. I covered some topic ideas in #1, but you can also set a topic for each day of the week or create themes for the month. How can you divide up your topics? By product, market or service? Could you share about different uses, industries, or price points? What else do you have going on people should know about? New sales, repairs, re-orders or upgrades? The possibilities are endless. Try Google for ideas…
5. Lack of Budget
Finally, we get one that we can’t do for you at MIMO Solutions. You have to come up with your own budget. Think of it in time, money and resources. What are you willing to invest in your future success. Typically, about 10% of your total revenue is a good marketing budget, but it varies by industry and profit margin. 41% of B2B marketers cited this one as a challenge. I am guessing it is because in large companies the marketers are not setting their own budget, and who wouldn’t want a blank check? For small business, you save yourself a lot of money by doing things yourself, but you can save a lot of time by hiring us to do it for you. One thing is for sure though, Internet marketing needs to be done. People don’t have the time or attention span to window shop or research in person anymore. The majority of your buyers are doing that online.
Start with a small budget and move your way up. Effective marketing should get a healthy return on investment so you can reinvest or grow your budget as you figure out what works. Try small promoted posts on Facebook or LinkedIn for $40. Try $100 in Google pay-per-click Adwords. Invest a small amount in monthly search engine optimization, email blasts, or blogging and see what works for you before you go all in.
There are lots of challenges in B2B marketing online. Skill gaps, finding team members to help, lack of an integrated marketing plan, lack of buy-in from ownership or management, and other technology related challenges can be tough. However, there are still endless opportunities for success online. I won’t kid you with the pipedream of viral videos and Billion dollar acquisitions, but think about your competition for second. You only have to be a little better than them to get that #1 ranking and a lot more leads from your Internet marketing.
Make a resolution to get better or get help with your Internet marketing this year…
We just launched a brand new site for some awesome plumbers in North Kansas City… Check it out:
Logo design can be the most fun or most frustrating part of starting a new business or rebranding and existing business…
It all depends on the company and graphic designer you choose to do your logo.
Bad graphic designers are one-trick ponies, who can only create in one style or with one vision, and then they run out of ideas. Good graphic designers can take your vision and ideas and turn them into a reality. Great graphic designers understand the balance between giving what you want and giving you what you need. They can negotiate between parties and process multiple inputs, and then take all the information to create something new, fresh and unexpected. I always love it when the outcome is better than the vision I had in my head for the logo.
At MIMO Solutions, we only use great graphic designers in Kansas City to create your logo. We hire and work with professionals who understand that getting paid to design a logo is different than being an artist who creates what they want. They understand how to balance our clients needs, yet never settle for poor quality or functionality.
Logo Design Formats & Functionality
Logos are often simple artistic designs, but they can be very complicated when it comes to formats, flexibility, and functionality. You want your logo to be unique and instantly recognizable, yet it needs to be simple enough to be embroidered on a shirt or hat, printed on a variety of materials, and still look good blown up to gigantic proportions on billboards and signs.
For those reasons, you will want to stick to what is called “vector” or “line art” for your logo. That means that every part of the logo is drawn with lines and shapes instead of pixels like in a photo. You have probably seen where photographic look bad shrunk to tiny sizes or blown up too big. However, with line art, your logo will be able to stretch to infinite sizes with perfect resolution.
You will also want to stick to solid colors and fairly standard color options. Gradients, dots and small stripes don’t embroider well and they run together in small imprints like on a pen or other promotional item. Also, gradients can be trouble in screen printing for t-shirts or other items. You will probably want to limit our number of colors as well. It will save you a ton of money in your marketing for the rest of the life of your business… One and two color logos are often have as expensive to print or embroider than 4-color or full-color logos.
In short, you can have a great looking logo that works for a long time on a lot of different places, but it is probably going to cost you a small investment in a great graphic designer to get started.
Call us today or share your questions in the comment below about our graphic design and logo design services in Kansas City.
WordPress is the world’s most popular website platform, but is it right for your organization?
In order to choose the correct website platform, you will first need to determine your goals. It all depends on what you want it to do. That being said, WordPress is the world’s most popular platform for a reason. It can handle the simplest to the most complex website designs and functions. Here are a few of the reasons we prefer WordPress for most of our clients.
Open Source Structure
WordPress was built and is maintained in an Open Source environment. What that means is that program is open to the public and free to use by all. A collection of programmers take suggestions and make upgrades based on the feedback that they get. Everything about WordPress is public information so programmers around the world can make improvements and suggestions to alter its functionality. What that means for you is that you don’t have to pay to use WordPress as your content management system for your website, and you shouldn’t have to pay for much custom programming, since the best programmers in the world have already developed solutions for most of the usual situations.
Possibly the greatest thing about WordPress over other platforms is its ability to make mobile-friendly websites without custom programming. Responsive design was developed in the last 5 years to allow websites to grow and shrink to fit the screen size of whatever device is being used to load you website. That means your site will look different on a smart phone than on a computer, and it will rearrange things to make it more user-friendly for your visitors. WordPress has some responsive capability out of the box, but adding a responsive design template can make a huge difference to your overall results, and it avoids the cost of having to build a separate mobile site or phone app.
Easy Design & Functionality Upgrades
The other great aspect of using design templates is the flexibility for upgrades. Technology and graphic design changes so rapidly that most people were having to completely rebuild their websites every 3-5 years. Now, with WordPress, you can keep your content, pictures, and database the same, and just overlay a new design on the frontend to bring your site up to date. This takes the cost of an upgrade from thousands of dollars down to as little as a few hundred if you can do it yourself.
A Wide Range of Plugins & Tools
Another cool aspect of open source programs and WordPress in particular is the ability to add on custom plugins, widgets, and tools to add special functionality to your website. With WordPress, most of these are already built by amazing programmers. Want to add social media widgets, ecommerce functionality, or user profile pages? All of these are already made and can be added to your site very quickly. Some are free and open source, other premium plugins can cost up to a couple hundred dollars, but in general, you are saving thousands that this type of custom programming would take on a traditional website or a build-your-own solution.
Security & Speed
Everyone has heard about websites being hacked, and WordPress in no different. There is no way to completely stop hackers, but with WordPress security updates and fixes come very quickly, typically before your normal small business site ever gets affected. The largest platform in the world has already dealt with most of the challenges that custom solutions have yet to see, plus they have the best proactive and reactive staff to deal with these attacks. The same thing is true with speed. As the most popular solution on the web, WordPress has developed tools and servers have developed technology to make sure these sites stay up and stay fast for the life of the website.
Getting started with WordPress
Are you sold? There are two ways to get started with WordPress. You can set up your own blog on WordPress.com or you can download the program and install it on your own hosting package and domain name. WordPress.com is free to get started, but it has some limitations for plugins and some design templates are more expensive. We recommend buying a small, dedicated WordPress hosting package and your domain name at Godaddy, and they have tools to automatically install the program for you. Another great way to get started is to go to WordPress.org and start learning more about it. There are plenty of articles, forums, and tutorial videos around the web to help you learn as well.
Call us today for a WordPress consultation and internet marketing plan at 816-616-2201.
Modern SEO Explained:
Old School Search Engines
A lot people have differing opinions about search engine optimization (SEO) these days. Most of them are out of date. When the major search engines were first developed in the late 1990’s, SEO was mostly about putting keywords on the page. Originally, it was all about keyword stuffing, putting the keywords everywhere and anywhere on the page so that you had the word there the most times. The search engine companies quickly learned that this was a bad way to rank people, because anyone, including porn companies, could put any keyword or phrase on the page and rank highly, regardless if the page actually had anything to do with the phrase or not.
The search engines changed their ranking structure by assigning quality, density, and other scores to the pages. Since, the search engines knew that they couldn’t take your word for it, they started looking for more objective metrics by which to measure. The looked at how long the domain name has been registered, the keyword density and context, and other page attributes like title tags, image names, and text size, in order to determine what the page was really about. This was a major shift in search engine optimization, because it required some attention to detail and finesse in your page planning. However, it was still largely in your control, and people still cheated the system.
The biggest shift in SEO came from Google’s invention of the Pagerank. Google was the first to include “off-page” information in their rankings. This means that Google no longer takes your word for it. They want to know what other sites say about your page. They look at what sites link to you and what descriptions they include in the links. The number and quality of people linking to you count like referrals towards your high ranking. This was another major shift in the search engine optimization landscape, and became much more harder to cheat. However, where there is a will, there is a way, and people began trading and buying links to their site, and thousands of directories and submission services popped up where you could create your own backlinks. Google was forced to adjust by adding quality of backlinks into their pagerank system.
Modern SEO & Individualized Rankings
Google has proved that they can largely stay ahead of the people trying to cheat the system. Current rankings are based on thousands of indicators and measurements. They include things like your social media activity and follower, your page traffic, backlinks and local map listings, review sites, page loading speed, and still some on page things like original copy, copy length in words, and the usefulness of the content. Google is literally watching and tracking every move you make and everyone else makes on the web. This means they can see who likes and stays on a site when they find what they are looking for and rank that page high based on the stickiness of the website. If everyone that visits your site, goes back and searches again, Google can downgrade you for that term because they know you are not providing what searcher want to find…
They also now have the power to show different users different search results based on their personal preferences. That means if they know you are a golfer, they show you golf results when you type in “handicap”, but if you are physically disabled, they can show you medical results when you type in “handicap.” This largely means that keywords are completely irrelevant, and the context in how you use the words are more important. Google has openly admitted that they don’t even factor the “keyword” HTML tag anymore. They don’t have to take your word for what your site is about. They can figure it out based on all the web activity around the world.
What does this mean for you and “SEO experts”?
Well, it means that it is impossible to game the system. There are no more magic tricks that get you high rankings for a certain keyword or phrase. You have to do the hard work of actually earning a spot in the rankings by providing searchers what they need, doing it fast, and doing it so well that they tell other people about it and they stop looking. Modern search engine optimization is about building an online reputation for your website and organization. While there still are some basic optimization techniques to showcase your website in the best possible light to the search engines. These techniques are more about NOT making mistakes, than they are about ranking you higher, and there are thousands of mistakes that amateurs could be making. However, after your site, social, and map listings are optimized, your ranking results will largely be determined by the quality of your content and your company.
Don’t hire an SEO expert without finding out what they are going to do for you. If they are still focused on keywords for search engine optimization, they may be 15 years behind the times. If they are focusing on your online reputation and quality content, then you may have found a winner!
Good luck and good content!
The Patrick Lentz Band had an impressive web following when we met them. Patrick has thousands of follower, especially on his amazing YouTube channel. His challenge was that it was not translating into the sales and bookings that it should. We optimized the website, rebuilt the home page shown here, took over management of this pay-per-click advertising, and also did some video optimization on YouTube and cleaned up his social media. What you find now is polished, professional and just as impressive as the band itself.
Suzann Thompson Designs is a full-service, residential interior design firm with a distinguished reputation. We were happy to create a visually stunning website to match her style. A new and very cool photo slider in the header and an amazing gallery make this website the perfect showcase for Suzann’s talent.
The Decorative Touch web design was important because and interior designer needs a great looking website to show off the great looking rooms! Janine had some amazing pictures for the photo gallery and an amazing reputation, which meant featuring testimonials and reviews all around the site. She is also a great blogger for fashion and home design trends. The combination made for a really cool online presence.