mobile website image

Step up to Mobile-Friendly

One of the great truths of the universe is that the internet is always changing—that’s obvious to everyone who hasn’t lived under a rock for the past 25 years. Users are now able to access the internet in a number of ways that couldn’t have even been imagined 10 years ago, even 5 years ago. Phones, tablets, laptops, gaming devices, and even watches are becoming increasingly popular as a way for visitors to find a website. So it’s a no-brainer that having a website that is optimized for these mobile devices is increasingly important to any business.

As an added incentive to go mobile, Google started rolling out its mobile friendly algorithm update on April 21, 2015, which boosts mobile search rankings for websites that are mobile friendly.

In a sharp increase from only three years ago, mobile traffic now exceeds desktop traffic. Companies like Yelp have reported that mobile internet accessing is now significatnly higher than browsing from a desktop computer. And if a website isn’t mobile-friendly, folks are likely to lose interest right away and search for a competitor’s site.
To further inspire you to get your website up to date, here are 5 of the benefits of having a mobile friendly website.

Improved User Experience
A mobile website is much easier to read and navigate through. If the user can’t easily browse and read the content on your website from their mobile device, they will leave uninspired. Some reports show that 60% of mobile users in the past 12 months have encountered problems when browsing websites that have led them to abandon the page.

Increased Time on Site
As with everything that exists online, it is all about time. You have a limited amount of time to capture a website visitor’s attention. People spend an average of 90 seconds on any web page. Obviously less time on a mobile devices because users are accessing websites while out and about, on the go. If a visitor is able to easily navigate a page and the content is written mobile friendly, chances increase of converting visitors into customers.

Faster Loading Time
Speed is important because (as stated above), time is limited. A normal website that isn’t mobile optimized will render very slowly on your mobile device or it may not load at all. A mobile friendly website will load quickly because the code is structured in a way that it is compatible with mobile devices. Studies show that the average mobile website user will abandon a page if he/she has to wait more than 6-10 seconds.

Improved Mobile SEO
As far as Search Engine Optimization (your ranking on web browsers) we are all at the mercy of Google. They are king pin and they make the rules we all must follow, whether we like it or not. Google recommends that webmasters build their sites as responsive, and then reciprocates by increasing the likelihood your site will rank well in its Google mobile search. Not mobile-friendly? Then the website loses hierarchy.

Competitive Advantage Over Your Competition
Your competitor may already be ahead of the game with a beautifully optimized mobile website. Out of the top 200 retailers surveyed, 68 companies didn’t have a mobile ready website (1 out of 3). So it might be safe to assume they don’t. But certain industries are much more progressive in web and internet marketing. You might want to visit the websites of your competition to see if they are mobile optimized. This will give you an idea of the landscape and where your company falls.

Posted in Search Engine Optimization

To SWAG or not to SWAG. That is the question

SWAG. Stuff We All Get. Promotional Giveaways. We all use them and they all end up on our desk at work or in our purses. I have a tiny sewing kit in my purse from a local bank. I am reminded of them every time I have to sew an emergency button on. There is a tape measure from a local hardware story in my desk drawer at work. I’m surprised how often I need to measure something…or a co-worker borrows it to measure something and we see that logo there every time. My keychain boasts a tiny, colorful VW bug that is also a flashlight. Who doesn’t love a VW bug? It reminds me to Rideshare everytime I use my keys.

California Governor, Jerry Brown, has asked state agencies to not purchase meaningless giveaways. Granted, our illustrious governor is a politician, NOT a marketing director, so he can’t help the fact that he knows squat about the value of branding. He’s just trying to save the state money and however misguided, we can’t fault him for good intentions. (Now we ALL have opinions as to effective ways to cut the state budget…but we won’t go there)

Not too long ago a government survey was taken and the question asked whether they thought SWAG, or giveaways, have any real value — or whether they’re just silly expenses. They received a myriad of answers, and here are a small sampling of them:
“From time to time I have purchased ‘swag’ pens, pencils, pins, hats, to promote the City of Milford. I do believe they have value. Part of my job is to promote the city. Little mementos with the city’s name and logo (‘A Small City with a Big Heart’) end up somewhere that may lead to a new company coming to Milford. We have site selectors come in once a year and give them a cap. They also promote a sense of pride in the community. Most cost around a dollar or less in value but they pay off in a myriad of ways.”
“I do believe promotional giveaways…can serve a purpose. If used effectively it achieves an organizational goal and good marketing and advertising — I still have (and have used) a safety whistle on my keychain that my county public safety office distributed when I was 20 or 21. It’s rubbed off by now, but at one point it had police contacts on one side and victims services contacts on the other. A double whammy — it was there when I needed it and prevented an attack. I still give them credit for providing me with a strategy for staying safe.”
“I work for a public library and we use lots of bags, bookmarks, and pencils to promote our website which you can use to access databases and individual library accounts. The key is to pick a swag item that has long-lasting value … The giver has to point out the information to the recipient and make sure the recipient is an appropriate audience. Just my two cents.”

Here are just a few helpful tips when choosing SWAG for your business or campaign:
1. Choose branded promo items. (make sure your logo or name and at least your website is imprinted on it) Blank SWAG is a waste of money.
2. Choose Promotional Items that are strategic, appeals to your target audience and stays consistent with your business brand.
3. Use “smart” SWAG. Something that the recipient will be more likely to hold on to and use.
4. Be clever. People appreciate and will hold on to clever over mundane.
5. Consider the “perceived value” of what you are buying and buy accordingly.

Posted in Branding, Uncategorized

What’s Not to LIKE?

So you’ve finally got a business facebook page. Hooray! Welcome to Social Media. Look around and get comfortable here cause it’s not going away. You’re posting awesome facts, news and photos about your company but how can you get people to read it? You need “likes”. And you need a lot. Here are a few tips on how to get folks to “like” your facebook page and follow your posts:

• Post consistent, fresh and graphically pleasing information that engages people. Do you sell widgets? Post the top 5 most unique widgets that people are looking for and the history behind them. Something to make followers interested.
• Reward loyal followers…give a shout out your clients/followers in a special posting about them. Everyone loves to be applauded.
• Promote your Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram—whatever other social networks you are using—on your facebook page. Buddy up together and get more attention!
• Integrate Facebook social plug-ins to encourage connections such as Facebook’s Likebox, Like button, and Comment stream. Look around your Facebook account. You’ll discover all these features and more.
• Click “Suggest to Friends” in the upper right hand corner of your home page. Get your personal facebook friends on board and let them help spread your message. Ask your friends and employees to do the same. Grandma will do it, you know she will.
• Remind your followers to Like and Share. Let them expand your reach by sharing your postings to their own Facebook friends. It’s like a pyramid scheme…but in a good way.
• Like your audience in return. Become a FB friend then Like and Share and especially comment on their postings. Participate outside your page.

There are many other means of gaining a following on Facebook. These few are just the “tip of the iceberg” (pun intended). But use your facebook page, walk around in there and see what it can do to promote your business which is, after all, our goal in Social Media Marketing.

 

Posted in Uncategorized Tagged |

Facebook is for Olds

You’ve seen ‘em—and you probably know a handful of ‘em and wonder what planet they came from. Every teenager in this country is glued to their cell phone, fingers feverishly tapping out Lord Knows What Message on their tiny keypad to Lord Knows Who. Texting. It’s a social addiction and America has it in spades. In my day it was called talking on the one telephone in the house that was affixed to the wall on a short cord in the kitchen so everyone in the house knew who you were talking to and what you were talking about. And dad gave you 5 minutes to talk so you weren’t monopolizing the line. Even still, IDK—IMHO, sometimes I long for the good ole’ days. Totes.

But it’s not merely texting our teens are up to. Enter the smart phone and Social Media. 9 out of 10 teens are using social media. And the top social media contender? Yes, I heard you say Facebook. Surprisingly, not so much. Teens have always been a large piece of the social media-use pie, with Facebook the number one flavor. But we find it losing ground to other competitors. As recent as Fall of 2012, Facebook was the #1 social media platform among teens, according to consumer reports. 42% of our teens primarily used Facebook over Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest and all others. Twitter ran a hot second, coming in at 27%.

This Fall (2013) we are seeing a 17% increase in Instagram use among teens. And guess what they are posting on Instagram? 91% are selfies (photos of themselves). Twitter-teens have remained steady at 26% with Facebook-teens decreasing to a mere 23%. Instagram and Snapchat are close on the heels of Twitter as well as Tumblr.

And what about Facebook? Apparently its for Olds. Although statistics show the kids are not abandoning it altogether, they are diversified in their social media use. As parents and grandparents we need to be aware of how they are engaging and with who. For eg., If you have’t checked out Snapchat you must. Danger Will Robinson, danger. I’m just saying.

What does this mean in the World of Advertising? It means we grown ups must put down our 8-track tapes and pay attention. Teenagers are the adults of tomorrow. Scary thought but they are, indeed, a force to be reckoned with, and their social media trends are changing more often than their attitudes.

Posted in Saba Marketing Tips Tagged |
Delbert on Time Management

Hey, It’s Your Dime…Use it Wisely

I find myself frazzled at the ad agency from time to time. I feel like I take a deep breath when I get there in the morning and don’t let it out till I leave in the evening. The to-do list grows exponentially as my sanity shrinks. I find myself fondly remembering that old commercial “Calgon take me away!” and the camera panning to a smiling, house-wifey looking relaxed woman taking a nice comforting bath in what one can only assume to be Calgon-infused water. Yeah. That ain’t me.

Time management. The ever-fleeting hope of the hassled. I’m not an expert but here are some practices I’ve developed along the path of my career:

1. 30 Seconds Or Less
Not all to-do’s are created equal nor do they all take the same amount of time. Some items can be completed very quickly. When a to-do crosses your desk, ask yourself if it can be completed in 30 seconds or less. If so, just go ahead, do it, and get it over with — just one less thing to have to worry about later!

2. Use Siri
I used to wake up at midnight remembering things I’d forgotten to do that day. I’d jump up, get a pencil and pad and write it down. Now I use my iphone, tell Siri to send me a reminder and BAM! It’s written down and taken care of, Siri will remind me the next day and Bob’s your uncle.

3. Consolidate Routine Actions
It’s a 20 second walk from my office to the fax machine and the central office; the hub of the company. I save all my papers and faxes in a stack and take care of faxing, sorting into mail slots and dropping orders off with the office manager all at the same time, a few times a day rather than every 15 minutes. My boss asked me if I’d like him to put a fax machine in my office for my own convenience. I politely refused him and said “Walking to the fax machine several times a day is the only exercise I get.”

4. Shut Your Door
If you have the luxury of a door to your office, shut it when you need to go deep into concentration. That is a signal to your co-workers and drop-in visitors that you are not available. If they don’t get the hint and barge in anyway, tell them you are changing your clothes when the door is shut. That will make them knock first. Hopefully,

5. To Do List
You must have a date book, a calendar, a daily and weekly to do list to jot down notes. Yes with an actual pen or pencil. And check them off when completed. I make notes a few days ahead in the to do book to remind myself of upcoming tasks or to check on the status of jobs in the works. You have to figure out your own system. One that works best for you. And utilize your digital calendar in your computer if you don’t already. Mine syncs with my iphone and ipad. Priceless.

P.S. I wasted 8 minutes finding the Delbert comic at the beginning of this blog. Sigh.

Posted in Saba Marketing Tips
interview

Top 7 Ways to Fail at a Job Interview

Are you in the market for a job? Job interviews can be intimidating to the unwary interviewee. Here are some tried and true ways to guarantee you never get a call-back.

1. Leave your cell phone on.
I actually interviewed a young man who’s cell phone went off in the middle of the interview. His ring tone was some nasty rapper flinging the “F” word around. He answered the phone (it was his mom) and using a disrespectful tone, told her he was in a meeting and hung up. This mother showed him to the door post-haste.

2. Talk about yourself ad nauseum.
Yeah. Put your potential employer to sleep. I guarantee you that he or she will be half-listening and wondering how much of your co-worker’s time will be wasted listening to your chattering.

3. Be desperate and insecure.
This one is hard to hide because you really might be desperate and insecure. You have to sell yourself but be cool, calm and collected. Business-like but genuine. That’s a tall order I know. Good luck.

4. Have no idea about the company you are interviewing with; what they do, who they are.
You must must must at least check out their website and come to the interview a little informed. Know something about them. A young man I recently interviewed scored big points when he mentioned he read the blogs on this website. What? I said. Does anyone really read these blogs? He went above and beyond and it worked.

5. Be late to the interview.
No no no no no. I can’t say that enough. Be early.

6. Bad-mouth a previous employer.
OMG. Leave your sordid past in the dark. Chances are that past employer is known by your potential one. Employers stick together. It’s like a little club.

7. Lie on your resume, or about your abilities.
Or just exaggerate. Grandma said “Cheaters never prosper” and “The cream rises to the surface” along with “you reap what you sow” and other applicable proverbs. Just don’t talk too much (see #2) and the chances are fewer that you’ll put your foot in your mouth. One mis-truth and you can kiss that job goodby. Forever.

Posted in Uncategorized Tagged , |

Websites 101

Back in the bygone days of the late 90′s I used to tell clients that “someday” you will need a website. Back in those days a website was a cool new bell and whistle that only the hippest companies were interested in. Back in those days, emailing still wasn’t used as often as the good old-fashioned phone call and pdfs were just beginning to make their presence universally known and change a graphic designer’s life forever.

Nowadays we scoff at any company that doesn’t have web presence. I tend to doubt their validity and ask myself if they are legit. A website is a basic marketing tool in these enlightened days. As much as a logo and a business card. Even more so than that yellow pages ad some business people still insist on paying hundreds and even thousands of dollars for when, let’s face it, the yellow pages in general are changing to a lovely shade of rust.

Having said that, simply buying a template and slapping a website on the internet can do more harm than good. In the same way that hand drawn logo by your high school nephew that your wife thinks is charming can represent your company straight into the poor house. Friends don’t let amateurs design their friends website. That’s better left to the professionals. Your website, like your logo is the public’s first impression of you and the type of work you do. If I’m looking to buy Widgets, I want to know the Widget company I use is easy to contact and appears to be professional; like they know what they are doing. Their website home page can communicate that impression to me (or not) at first glance.
As dear old mama used to say “Plan the Work and Work the Plan”. Find a web developer who can address and implement your unique website needs into your design. Who can create a website that works for you…isn’t just another pretty face.

We specialize in web design at Saba Agency. We will sit down with you and glean information, ask questions and offer suggestions and ideas then work them into the best darn website you could want, and in a timely manner. And because our Creative Team are all in-house and working Monday through Friday, you can’t beat our quick response time.
Check us out at sabaagency.com. We’re here for you.

 

Posted in Uncategorized Tagged , , , |
images-3

Are You Mobile-Friendly?

Advertising is changing rapidly with each passing second. The field of ad technology in particular is constantly thrust forward by every introduction of new innovations for attracting online attention in an attempt to gain potential customers. Nothing stays the same nor does it stay around for long. Remember 8-track tapes and Beta VHS players? I don’t either…

The ad industry is charging forward at a rapid pace and only those strong enough to adapt will survive.
With the increase of the smart phones in the world, advertisers realize the advantage of harnessing this method of online consumption. According to statistics, 47% of mobile users between the ages of 18-34 say that they have clicked on a mobile advertisement in the past 3 months, and 54% of them made a purchase from their mobile device in the last 6 months. I’m one of those 54% and the more ease of use that smart phones bring, the more we consumers will use them.

So this begs the question, “Is your website smartphone friendly” Can the consumer find you on the web and easily read and use your website…or is it displaying teeny tiny on the screen requiring a magnifying glass to see it? If it’s too small to see, will quickly be clicked away.

We at Saba Agency specialize in creating custom, unique, user-friendly websites for our clients and going the extra step to create a mobile-friendly version for their smartphone customers and clients. Our clients tell us it’s a great tool for their marketing arsenal.

It’s money well spent and when you think about it, the only smart thing to do.

Posted in Uncategorized Tagged , , , , |

Is Your Phone Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?

You can find out a lot about a person from looking at their smart phone home screen. Is the music app front and center? They are a music lover. Are there 12 apps for photos and photo tweaking software on their phone? Yup. They love photography. Or the New York Times app or stock market app? They are a serious business person. Where’s the Facebook app? Is it in the toolbar? That can show you how much time is spent/wasted finding out if Aunt Susie’s chihuahua survived his first bath or how a bff scored on her SATs or…OMG…idk.

The internet is a force to be reckoned with and the makers of smart phones reckoned they’d better jump into the inter-pool. Over the years they have become expert swimmers and we are all using our phones to browse the internet like never before.

This brings up the question. Is your website smart phone-friendly? Can I access your website on my iphone and even read it? Or is it so tiny and hard to navigate that it’s too much effort and I’m going to forget about it and go back to Aunt Susie’s chihuahua?

Making a website smart-phone friendly is a piece of cake for any good web developer. And something we at Saba Agency are recommending more and more to upwardly mobile and savvy clients. We can’t say enough how vital a marketing tool your website is for your business. And with potential clients constantly on the go nowadays, how important it is that you be every present, ever friendly and ever accessible for them.

Something to think about as we enter into 2013, where all things internet will only progress forward at an even faster speed….even without Steve Jobs.

Posted in Saba Marketing Tips Tagged , , , , |