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3 Proven Ways To Increase B2B Leads Through Social Media

Tips From Professional Social Media Marketers

Many businesses think of social media as a brand-building tool more than a lead generation one. The truth is that social media can be used to generate and refine leads in both B2B and B2C markets.

With the right strategy in place, you can capture leads on-the-spot and add them into your sales funnel. This article will bring you information on how you can specifically capture more B2B leads from your social media profiles.

1. Choose the Right Platform

There are several social media platforms to choose from. However, you’ll be making a critical mistake by signing up for every social media platform and expecting results.

This is because different types of individuals gather on specific channels. Facebook is an easy choice for B2B marketers because it has the largest following in the world.

Though, many marketers neglect LinkedIn, which is arguably a better-suited platform for bringing in B2B leads.

Make sure you conduct extensive research on your target audience before you randomly choose a platform to advertise on.

2. Use Video Content

Video content is a popular form of Content among Millenials. Rightfully so, creating videos for your brand is a great way to showcase your products and services in a digestible manner for your target audience.

For Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, you can produce captivating videos and promote them to millions of users.

The main takeaway here is to get creative with how you display these videos.

Don’t waste your time mindlessly drilling into your prospects’ heads about how your products or services are the best for them. Instead, allow your prospects to make their own decisions.

With that said, create videos that show why your offerings can be an invaluable aspect of your prospects’ lives. For example, a software company could ideally create a video that displays the difficulties their customers face without their product and tie in footages of what life would be like for them with their product.

A theme like this, combined with a clever call-to-action (CTA) can encourage your target audience to give your products or services a shot without any direct promotion.

3. Share Links to Gated Content

Gated content is exactly what it is – it’s content that’s only accessible to people who provide some form of credentials.

Usually, businesses require people to submit their email addresses to receive a whitepaper or e-book.

This is an example of how gated content works. Fortunately, social media is an incredible way to share your gated content. The best way to do this is to create an enticing call-to-action and offer a case study embedded in the content you’re giving away.

For example, a company selling marketing automation software could structure their social media ad to say, “58% of our clients have reported a 124% increase in revenue of our automation software. Figure out how by grabbing a copy of our case study today.”

Business leaders are always looking for new ways to make money on social media, and an ad like that could be too enticing to pass up. By creating valuable content for your target audience, you can receive quality leads who will provide you with their email addresses so you can convert them at a later date.

Do you want to begin attracting more leads through Social Media with professional help? If so, contact Agency Partner Interactive to learn more about how we can help you.

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The Standard Guide To Using DevOps For Small Businesses

Tips From Professional Software Developers

Productivity is an integral part of any business. Every organization should strive to set and achieve strong productivity goals to increase the output of deliverable and boost revenue.

One way small businesses are increasing their productivity among their development and operations team is by using DevOps. In fact, 31% of small businesses are using are implementing DevOps across their Organization.  

If you aren’t in this 31%, here’s how you can utilize DevOps to make your small business run smoother.

What is DevOps?

DevOps is a set of efficient practices that bridges IT and Software Development operations to shorten the product development life cycle. DevOps is essential for providing the continuous delivery of top-quality software.

These practices help foster better communication and collaboration between operations and software development teams. 

With quality being at the pinnacle of importance, the purpose of DevOps is to boost customer satisfaction and increase the speed of delivery through constant improvement and iteration.

What are the Benefits of Using DevOps

You may be wondering “DevOps sounds like an ideal strategy, but why should I invest my time and resources into implementing it for my small business?”

DevOps not only provides benefits you should want for your business, but it also has benefits your business won’t survive without. 

These benefits include:

  • Increased Turnaround Time DevOps makes continuous software delivery simple while optimizing quicker turnaround times.
  • More Project Flexibility – Since code is fragmented into smaller parts, participating teams can separate the project into groups to tackle at a later date.
  • Enhanced Productivity – Through collaboration and communication outlined by DevOps, productivity goals can be easily achieved.
  • Significant Stability – DevOps provides more stability to work environments through automation.
  • Optimized ROI – DevOps helps participating teams to avoid wasting time on going back and forth, thus decreasing software costs and maximizing a net increase in profits.

For any business to thrive, strategies must be set in place to effectively boost productivity. With that said, let’s lay out a step-by-step guide for you to begin implementing DevOps for your small business.

How to Implement DevOps for Your Small Business

DevOps is a straightforward process, and it’s never been easier to get started putting the strategy in place for your small business. Here’s how you can get started.

  1. Identify the need for DevOps for your business. The benefits listed in this article are great selling points you can mention to your team, but focus on how the implementation of DevOps can benefit your customers.
  2. Break down DevOps for your team. You should demystify the concept of DevOps to reduce the resistance of accepting the strategy.
  3. Select Your Team of Learners. Begin the implementation process by selecting a group of risk-takers who are willing to learn the ropes of DevOps.
  4. Establish Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Determine the central objectives you would like to be completed by your DevOps team and reward your team if they complete them.
  5. Iterate and Continue. Refine your objectives and make changes if necessary to maximize the growth of your DevOps Strategy.

Do you need direction in how to begin your DevOps strategy for your small business? If so, Contact Us Today to receive a customized consultation session so we can help you take the next step in your business.

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Digital Marketing For Retailers

Tips From Professional Digital Marketer

Even if you have a successful “bricks and mortar” store, why would you ignore potential customers online? You are in business to make a profit, and you need to reach as many shoppers as possible to accomplish this.

No matter what kind of retail store you have, Digital Marketing should be a component of your business operations. Want to know more? Read on! 

What is Digital Marketing?

Marketing is essential for all kinds of businesses, but now it has moved from the more traditional formats such as advertisements, flyers, and billboards to where most people spend a significant amount of time – online. 

With traditional methods, there is little to no interaction with the actual customer. Digital marketing opens communication between the retailer and the consumer, initiating conversations with a two-way flow of information. 

Methods of Digital Marketing

There are various methods of Digital Marketing, and it may take some trial and error to find what  works best for your business. We look at some of the most common ways below. 

Online Store

Whether you have a full-blown eCommerce Website with online payments and delivery or a catalogue-style page using click and collect in-store, you must keep the lines of communication  open between you and your customer.

Use online forms, texting, or AI Chatbots to answer any questions they may have. 

When an order is placed, an SMS or email alert should be sent to the customer with precise details about their order, where to collect it or when it will be delivered. 

Email Marketing

Using an Email Marketing Service such as MailChimp, is an excellent way of staying in contact with your clients.

Regular newsletters or updates on new products or discounts land directly in your customer’s much-used inbox.

Unfortunately, there is a fine line between spamming and emails of value, so exercise caution to ensure client retention. You do not want to lose clients due to over emailing. 

It is also crucial to obtain consumer consent to send them  emails and offer opt-in/out options to allow control over how much material they receive. 

Mobile Promotions

Using SMS or Push Notifications to inform your client base of new products or discounts is an easy way of using digital marketing. Set up your database of consenting clients and send out messages or coupons with special offers for use in-store or online. 

Social Media 

Nearly every adult on the planet uses Social Media of some sort. Tapping into platforms where  your target audience is active gives you the perfect medium to inform, educate, and sell. 

Again, caution is advised when using Social Media Marketing as a sales tool. No one wants to be bombarded with advertisements while online. A better way to win customers is to engage with them in conversations about your products or related matters; then they will be more likely to purchase from you in the future. 

Digital Marketing is not necessarily a quick way to get sales, but rather it is a method of keeping you in front of current customers and reach more potential customers. It helps you to connect and start a conversation in the hope of leading to a sale. 

Start your Digital Marketing Conversation today, get in touch with Agency Partner Interactive and let us help you hit your sales targets.

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How Do Social Media Influencers Make Money?

Tips From Professional Social Media Marketers

The 21st century has introduced new forms of celebrity, most notably that of the influencer. From the Kardashian-Jenner clan to bloggers covering niche interests like travel, fitness, or fashion – influencers are filling up our Instagram feeds. These influencers have turned their popularity, and social media marketing savvy into full-blown careers. 

Becoming a paid influencer usually requires a significant amount of working for free with little return on investment (ROI) to gain a following and become an attractive partner for brands. How influencers make a living may seem mysterious, but the components are simple once you break it down.

What Does it Mean to be an Influencer?

Influencer is a catch-all term that belies the amount of work required for success. While what you see on Instagram is based in reality, it’s important to remember that the glamour and carefree lifestyle is presented only after taking dozens of photos, selecting the ones conveying the influencer’s image and brand, and editing and filtering them before  posting.

These are not accidental lifestyles. Achieving influencer status requires hard work, planning, plus some talent and luck. Like any unconventional lifestyle, the cost-benefit analysis must be considered. Brittany Kulick left a traditional career in marketing  to start The Sweet Wanderlust. “I’m working harder than I ever did when I worked a traditional job,” she admits, “but I wouldn’t trade it for anything! I love sharing travel tips, hidden gems, and itineraries with my readers and getting to work from anywhere in the world.” 

Successful influencers essentially run their lives as a small business. “While my Instagram feed is full of me frolicking on gorgeous beaches and eating amazing desserts,” says Kulick, “many don’t know what goes on behind the scenes to make this lifestyle happen.” It’s crucial to learn and implement best practices for gaining traction online including Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Website Design, and so much more. 

Diversifying Revenue Streams

Even successful influencers need more than one way to earn. The most efficient among them join together two or more revenue streams in their social media marketing strategy. Even those who make Hundreds of thousands of Dollars Per Post still need to make plenty of organic content, or risk coming across as a sell-out.

Successful influencers produce a combination of organic content and sponsored content. Influencers must be careful – if they aren’t discerning in accepting partnerships, they could undermine the trust and potentially lose some followers as well as sponsors(more followers = more sponsorship potential).

Selling products, whether digital or physical,  produced by the influencer alone, or in collaboration with brands, is an obvious way to capitalize on your brand, Kayla Itsines is a perfect example of someone who has turned social media clout into a veritable empire, with over 11 million followers on Instagram, and a successful line of digital fitness products such as eBooks and a workout app. Physical products can be anything related to your social media marketing strategy, for example, T-Shirts with Cute Slogans, or Kitchen Products inspired by a love of food and travel. 

Partnering with brands, either as a brand ambassador or with a sponsorship deal, helps influencers leverage their likes. Brand ambassadorships are long-term relationships, often with a monthly paycheck and expectations to feature a product or service a certain number of times per month. Short-term sponsored content may be a single Instagram image of you using their product, a blog post review, or a series of posts. Both brand ambassadorships and sponsored content have specific rules regarding disclosure, and it’s essential to be mindful of that as both a producer and consumer. 

Branching out into other forms of media, such as podcasts or webinars, can help grow your audience and share your knowledge. Podcasts can be monetized through premium subscriptions, and once a webinar is created, it can be sold countless times and transformed into a passive income stream.

Many Influencers use affiliate marketing, which rarely pays the rent, but  provides a supplemental income. Most also work as freelance content creators, utilizing their skills and popularity to find clients. 

While savvy Influencers have perfected the formula of doing what they love and making a living at it, it certainly isn’t as easy as it looks! If you want to influence more people  get in touch with us here at Agency Partner Interactive, and let’s form a successful partnership today.

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5 Questions To Ask Before Hiring a Web Design Firm

Tips From Professional Website Designers

Is your old website looking tired and dated? Or maybe you have a new company or product launching and need a stylish website to draw in the customers? Whatever the situation is, it is essential that you get a website that showcases your company and meets your branding needs. 

If you decide to Hire a Web Design Firm to handle the build, it is vital that you get one that understands your requirements and wants. Here are a list of questions to quiz your Web Design Firm to find out if they are the right fit for you. 

What is Good Design?

Starting with a deceivingly simple question might be the best way to figure out right away how well a web design firm knows their craft. They should be able to explain, in simple terms, how the Best Web Designers efficiently gather content and graphic elements to build a positive user experience. They should also be able to show you mock-ups of what they feel is a good design for your type of website. 

Can I See Your Client Portfolio? 

Knowing the web design agency has produced work for a similar industry or sector will boost both your confidence and trust that their team can deliver a website that encompasses your company’s principles and is strategically aimed at your audience. Plus, you will be able to check how versatile they are in terms of brand conceptualization. So go ahead and ask to see their Work

How Comfortable are you with Change?

Web designers and their clients don’t always see eye to eye. One is an expert in design elements; the other understands their audience best. The indisputable fact here is that enterprises, brands, and audiences are always evolving, and so is design.

Therefore, when creating a website for a company or client, a Web Design Agency needs to keep in mind that changes will be necessary either due to artistic differences or brand evolution. Finding designers comfortable with change will make the process so much easier.

How Do Your Web Design Firm Measure Results?

A website can look great, but if it doesn’t achieve its core purpose of meeting the client’s end goal, it can be deemed as a failure. It’s important to clarify with the design team which metrics they report on to ensure website success.

This should include Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Techniques to enhance unique visitors. Additionally, the conversion rates from the page can be a clear indicator as to whether the website design is fulfilling its duty.

Who Will be Working on my Project?

It is vital to establish clear communication with the design team working on your Website Development Project, so getting to know them is a great idea. Make a point of meeting the team and asking them who would be your direct point of contact, then check that you are on the same page. This way, you establish a solid foundation of ownership and accountability from early on.

Want to know more about web design before hiring an agency? Contact Agency Partner Interactive to hire a firm you can depend on.

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How to Hire the Best Marketing Firm

Tips From Professional Digital Marketers

Your company is launching a New Product or needs to expand its customer base, so you decide it is time to bring in the big guns – a Marketing Firm. How do you choose which one will deliver your Requirements? What kind of Marketing do you need? We endeavour to answer these, and more questions as we explore how to Hire The Best Marketing Firm or Digital Marketing Agency

Types of Marketing Firms

These days, in-bound marketing is the most commonly used form of getting people to buy your products or services. It involves engaging potential customers, usually through social media, content, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and branding, rather than searching for customers or simply placing an advertisement.

Most good marketing firms offer all of the above services, but some may only concentrate on one or two aspects. A content marketing agency will likely focus on creating short and long-form content for websites and ebooks as a way of marketing. They may also employ SEO tactics in the creation of the material and will keep in mind your company’s branding, but their focus will be on the writing of blogs, articles and ebooks. 

Likewise, a Branding Firm will mostly concentrate on how to pitch your product or service while a Social Media Company will be more concerned with your interactions on Facebook etc, and an SEO specialist will look at your current content to bring it up to standard.

Decide What Your Company Needs

If your business already has clear branding and an active following on social media, you may decide to spend your marketing budget on content-driven material. The saying “content is king” is very true in today’s digitally focussed marketplace. Potential customers have become more savvy and like to learn more about the companies they engage with before they purchase. By adding articles, blog posts or even value-adding ebooks, you give your audience extra and help to build a feeling of trust, especially if you are an authority or thought leader on a subject. 

Hiring a Content Agency will provide you with material for your website that will keep your site fresh and impact on your SEO. If the agency can create SEO Content – content containing keywords that make it easier for Google to rank you – then you are more likely to appear higher up in Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) meaning more people will see you. 

Choose the Right Firm

When it comes to choosing the right firm for your company, it is essential to know how much time and money you are willing to commit. Marketing is rarely a fast-acting process. It can take months, even years, to become a recognized company in what will probably be a crowded market. 

If you require content or social media posts daily, you might be best to look for a larger digital agency with a team of creators, but if you need to market less regularly, then a small firm or a freelancer might be the option most beneficial to your business. 

Whichever direction you decide to go in, bear in mind that marketing is essential if you wish to compete. It is no longer as simple as putting an advertisement on television or the internet. The most successful companies know that people want to engage and be informed rather than receive a sales pitch, so don’t skimp on your marketing budget! To learn more about how to get the most out of your budget, get in touch with Agency Partner Interactive today.

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What Are Progressive Web Apps?

Tips From Professional Web Developers

A Progressive Web App (PWA) is a website with additional, more app-like capabilities than a traditional website.

These capabilities include the ability to work offline and to send push notifications. With a PWA, users can access all these features through their standard web browser.

There are specific requirements to be considered with a Progressive Web App. It must be able to run on any browser and in any form, whether it be a smartphone, desktop, laptop, or tablet.

Progressive Web Apps must be accessible through a secure URL and are always run through an HTTPS. Finally, they must be app-like and downloadable, while maintaining the regular engaging updates expected of a website.

Benefits of Using a PWA

App developers at Google have come up with a handy acronym for the benefits of using a PWA: FIRE–Fast, Integrated, Reliable, and Engaging.

Since they do not need a steady internet connection to function, PWAs are usable in areas with limited or no internet connectivity. That may be on an airplane or a remote mountaintop–as long as the user had an internet connection when they first engaged with the PWA.

PWAs are helpful because they are ultimately a Faster and More User-friendly experience, similar to accessing the website on a computer, but with quicker load time and without using as much bandwidth, plus have the ease of use of native apps.

They are also Discoverable on Search Engines, which can help reach more potential customers or users. Because the PWA is located at a web address, it is also easier for users to share with each other via a URL, while still being downloadable and more accessible–this provides excellent potential for them to go viral.

Drawbacks of Using a PWA

Like all browser-based technology, PWAs are limited by the browser the user has available. App developers need to keep in mind some browsers, even the latest ones, may not support all of a PWA’s functionalities. The user can still receive the bulk of the information available on the website, and the same level of security, but will miss out on the higher-level features, and it may not work offline. 

Best Practices for Progressive Web Apps

Designing a PWA requires multiple areas of focus for App Developers. The secure website needs to be able to function across browsers and needs to load quickly, even in slow network areas. Universality is essential.

One of the most important functions of PWAs is that they must be progressive–that is, making the experience of using the PWA exciting and taking advantage of the most modern capabilities, while remaining functional on older browsers.

The Benefits of integrating the Best Features of the Web with the best features of a Native App are often worth the extra work setup requires. Once the web and downloadable features are established, the upkeep is minimal as long as there is new content and features are distributed  regularly to keep users engaged. Contact Agency Partner today to discuss how we can help you get the most out of PWAs.

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Native Vs. Hybrid Apps

Tips From Professional Mobile Developers

Though smartphones have only been around for about a decade, it is impossible to imagine life without them. Apps have become our newspapers, entertainment, and social lives. Mobile apps are expected to be a nearly $200 billion USD industry by 2020. The design and functionality of apps are critical for gaining popularity, which is why deciding whether to design a native or hybrid app is a crucial step in the app development process.

Casual smartphone users may be unfamiliar with the difference between the two, though the ease of use can vary depending on which type of app it is. Native applications are developed to perform a specific task for use on a specific platform. Hybrid apps are web-based; therefore,  most functionalities of a hybrid app require an internet connection. 

Benefits of Hybrid Apps

One advantage of hybrid apps is that the user experience is consistent across platforms. Hybrid apps require significantly less work pre-launch because they work universally with one set of code. App development is Much Faster with Hybrid Apps so that they can be released in a matter of weeks or months. If time is a factor, or budget is limited, hybrid apps may be the way to go.

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are hybrid apps. The user navigates through the app, and information is loaded based on the selections of the user. Applications such as social media maintain higher functionality as hybrid apps – otherwise, they would need to download more information than a smartphone can store continuously.

Sometimes, this can hinder ease of use – if the server experiences an overload from too many simultaneous requests, the app is rendered temporarily nonfunctional. Most people Abandon a Mobile App if it fails to load upon first use. 

Benefits of Native Apps

Developing a hybrid app may be more convenient for programmers and designers, but it could  result in user dissatisfaction. Because Native Apps are Designed Individually for Android, iOS, or Windows, app developers can code the style of the phone into the app, so  swiping, clicking, and other features have platform-specific integrations, making the experience feel more natural for the user.

Native apps are more secure, faster, and more reliable. The information can load instantly regardless of the internet speed available. Most of the content on a native app is downloaded before the first use of the app, allowing it to work in any condition. 

Choosing a native app could be more beneficial to startup companies because they are easily found in app stores, like Apple’s App Store for iOS or Google Play for Android – as long as startups have the development skills, time, and budget for the upfront development requirements.

There is no universally better option for Hybrid vs. Native Apps. The choice depends on your team’s availability of resources, and which functions are most important for the specific app’s use-ability and purpose.

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The Future Of Mobile Apps

Tips From Professional Mobile Developers

Global sales of smartphones dropped for the first time in 2019. This is terrible news if you’re a cell phone manufacturer, but it could be great news for your business. The 3 billion global smartphone users downloaded a total of 194 Billion Mobile Apps in 2018, a figure that is only expected to grow in the future if trends continue.

Apps have revolutionized the way we use our phones –  with most users spending 90% of their Screen Time on apps.

With more than 2.4 Million Apps available for download and a 23% Rate of App Abandonment after one use, how can you stand out among the noise? In this article, we’ll look at the future of mobile apps to determine the probable impact of upcoming technology on how users interact with content on mobile phones.

Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Mobile Apps

Artificial Intelligence

Every mobile phone currently utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) – whether their name is Siri or Alexa or it responds to the call of “OK Google.” In the future, we will likely see an increase in the use of apps built around AI  to increase productivity and save time. 

Internet of Things

The internet of things (IoT) refers to any device with an on/off switch and an internet connection. Wearable IoT devices like smartwatches, fitness trackers and household IoT devices such as doorbells and baby monitors have automated basic tasks.

In the coming months and years, we are likely to see a rise in apps built around IoT devices as users increasingly adopt IoT technology to communicate, track goals, and simplify daily tasks.

Personalization and its Effect on How Users Interact with Content

Location-Based Technology

From Tinder to Uber to DoorDash, many apps rely on Geolocation technology. In the future, we may see Geolocation used to increase a user’s experience with location-based special offers and other on-demand, location-specific services to make life easier. 

The integration of location-based technology with an IoT device provides endless options for Mobile App Developers.

Predictive Analytics

Smartphone users are rarely separated from their device. This constant companion can gather an incredible amount of data on the user based on where they travel, with whom they communicate, and how they use the applications on their phone.

Predictive analytics can increase user engagement and brand loyalty in a specific app by altering future offerings based on past behavior to improve a brand’s relationship with a client and increase sales.

Innovative apps with cutting edge technology can increase customer satisfaction and increase sales. The use of intelligent design and the latest trends is the key to avoid joining the 23% of apps abandoned after one use.

If you want to join the mobile app revolution, we want to help. Get in touch with Agency Partner Interactive today, and let our expert app designers create a Responsive Mobile Application designed to increase engagement and revenue.

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Artificial Intelligence And The Future of Web Design

Tips From Expert Web Developers

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has Been Trending in Web Technology for several years. It is used by brands and websites to analyze large amounts of data, improve communication with their Website visitors using chatbots, and it is revolutionizing the way we Design for the Web.

Adobe, Wix and Firedrop are companies that are already using artificial design intelligence to make Web Design easier for their users.

While the technology is not quite there yet, AI will change the way we design websites in the future.

What is Artificial Intelligence for Web Design?

Artificial intelligence is computer science technology that lets machines and computers perform human functions. The technology is programmed by a developer to learn and adjust from its experiences and then apply those adjustments to new inputs. 

AI web design is a form of artificial intelligence that uses machine learning to implement design principles, identify trends, and generate a personalized web design.

Artificial intelligence is Growing at a Rapid Pace with a 14 times increase in the number of active startups in the last ten years. Skills for creating machine learning techniques was one of the top three in-demand skills on Monster.com, and global revenues are projected to increase exponentially by 2025.

Artificial Intelligence Applied to Web Programming

Currently, if you want a website, you have three options:

  • You can learn to code and do it yourself
  • You can design it using a drag-and-drop website builder that doesn’t require coding. Both of these options are time-consuming, requires patience, and design skills;
  • Alternatively, you can get a professional to design it for you, which can be costly. 

Artificial Intelligence can be applied in web programming to add information, update databases, develop codes that solve problems, and help developers Create Apps that are more efficient than human-coded apps. It allows developers to delegate the programmable aspects of design and freedom to be more creative.

Artificial design intelligence could be your best option in the future, for Creating a Website without time and money constraints.

Artificial Intelligence Applied to Web Design

Web design is not only about creativity. It’s also about knowing the best practices of design and how to implement them. AI Virtual Assistants will be available for people who build websites to help simplify the design process and compare it to the Database Of Best Practices.

Artificial Intelligence virtual assistants can create personalized web design by asking the user questions and customizing the content based on their answers such as basic photo editing, and layout and design. 

The most popular virtual assistants currently are Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Google’s Assistant.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence provides the analysis and Data Mining needed to process Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Data. The predictive engines that Artificial Intelligence builds are becoming smarter and create information on what users want.

Websites Using Artificial Intelligence Design

Aside from Adobe, Wix and Firedrop, other websites are using artificial intelligence design at an advanced level.

Google uses a learning AI system called RankBrain. It  impacts search results by guessing words and phrases with a similar meaning. Amazon also uses artificial intelligence for its search results providing users with the appropriate combination of products and tracks customer browser history to offer  recommendations for future purchases.

Netflix uses it to suggest videos to its users based on their viewing history.

Artificial Intelligence technology is becoming part of everything we do. Although the technology is still in the early stages of development, it is the future of web design. Until then, let Agency Partner’s Web Designers help you with your website needs and keep you up to date with the latest artificial intelligence design trends for your website.

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3 Tactics To Gain More B2B Leads

Increase Your B2B Leads With 3 Simple Tactics
Tips From Digital Marketing Experts

Looking for the key to capturing high-quality B2B leads? This article aims to unlock the secret by offering simple tactics to increase relevant leads with a high conversion rate. From an old classic like email marketing to new trends in content marketing and social media, we’ll show you three top tips to capture leads in 2019. 

Use Content Marketing to Reach B2B Leads

Are you one of the 91% of companies using Content Marketing for B2B Leads? If not, it’s time to create a content marketing strategy. As a whole, it costs 62% less than traditional marketing and yields approximately three times as many leads. In this age of authenticity, 70% of consumers would rather learn about a company through content than through an advertisement. 

Create content that is well-written, relevant, and valuable. Be sure to optimize the custom content with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) keywords to increase your chances of being found on search engines. Offer solutions for readers at the exact time they’ve searched for it, positioning your company as an expert in your field. This high level of trust means that readers will consider hiring your company instead of your competitors. Incorporate a lead magnet into your content to capture an email address and add the lead to your sales funnel. 

Email Marketing 

In 2018, the number of Email Addresses Worldwide reached 3.8 million. That number is only expected to grow in the coming years. With an average return on investment (ROI) of $38 for Every $1 Spent, this is excellent news for marketers. 

To capture email addresses, offer a free resource in exchange for your prospective customer’s email address. Then, utilize automation functionality to nurture leads, and position your company as the answer to their problems. Set up highly customized funnels and track results to increase your conversion rate. 

Social Media: LinkedIn Leads and More

For companies focused on B2B leads, LinkedIn is a veritable gold mine of potential clients. In fact, 80% of B2B leads, and 46% of social media traffic to B2B Websites comes from LinkedIn. The potential to gather LinkedIn leads is so high that this is a social media platform you can’t afford to ignore.  

Join active groups in your niche on LinkedIn and get involved. However, forewarning, don’t break the cardinal sin of LinkedIn by flooding groups with unsolicited link-drops. Wait for the appropriate time and place to introduce your business as a solution once you’re respected as a helpful voice in the group. 

LinkedIn also offers advertising solutions with robust targeting to reach high-quality leads. If your research shows that your target businesses are on other social media platforms– Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram also offer advertising options. 

In the US, 80% of Internet Users Interact with Social Media and blogs. With social and content marketing strategies in place, you’ll be one step closer to increasing your customer base. If you want to improve and gain more B2B Leads Strategy, Agency Partner can help. Let us create Email Marketing Campaigns with highly clickable subjects, corresponding landing pages, and video that’s sure to create high engagement. Get discovered on Google with our Search Engine Optimization that drives revenue. Want some help on the social side? We offer Social Media Marketing Services to increase Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn leads through creative campaigns. Get in touch and let’s talk leads!

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How Small Businesses Use Web Analytics

Tips From Digital Marketing Experts

Did you know that less than 30% of Small Businesses currently use website analytics to grow their business and 18% report not tracking anything at all? If you’re not utilizing website analytics to grow your business, you may be missing out on a huge growth opportunity. Have you ever wondered how website analytics can help your business thrive?

Web analytics provide an insight into the performance of a website and is a valuable tool for any business that has a website. Many web hosting platforms offer packages that include web analytics tools. Google Analytics and Open Web Analytics are two free services useable with any site. These tools provide you with detailed reports and analytics on an immense amount of data and answer many questions such as: How do your website’s visitors behave once they’re on your website? Who is your audience? How old are they and where are they from? How did they find your site? What is your most popular content? What is your conversion rate?

Information gathered from analytics can help increase overall business intelligence and help you make informed business decisions. Let’s take a look at four reasons why website analytics are essential for growing your small business.

Traffic and Conversion

A fundamental feature of any Web Analytics system is to give you an endless stream of insights to measure the performance of a site. The web analytics interface breaks apart the data on how many visits your site has had, how many page visits individual pages have had, plus information on where the traffic originates, what content visitors read, and the amount of time spent  on your site once they’re there. By identifying where visitors come from, your company can determine where to best focus marketing efforts.

Analyze Visitor Data with Web Analytics

Analytics Reports can help paint a picture of who your audience members are. Not only can you gain valuable insight about your audience demographics, but you can also discover geographical information about where in the world visitors access your site from. This information can be extremely beneficial, particularly if the business is international, or considering breaking into a new market.

Marketing Optimization

Are you using online marketing to advertise products or services you offer? If you’re investing in online advertisements, you’ll want to calculate the return on this investment. By using website Analytics, you can track which Online Advertising endeavors successfully direct traffic to your site. If you have an eCommerce Website, you’ll also have the ability to see if visitors click through your Website to make purchases. You can analyze and use this data to create future Online Marketing Campaigns.

Keyword Research

93% of Online Experiences begin with a search engine, so Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plays a crucial role in creating a successful online presence. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) should be at the forefront of your mind when creating content for your website. To become discoverable in a search engine, you first need to generate a list of keywords applicable to your business.

Web analytics is an essential tool to help businesses find and understand their target audience. Understanding traffic and conversions, analyzing visitors’ data, optimizing your marketing efforts, and tapping into keyword research are just a few of the reasons companies around the world  maximize their business intelligence and reap the benefits of website analytics.

Are you ready to give your company a competitive advantage? Let Agency Partner Interactive help you identify and implement the strategies that will help your business prosper.

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What Business Intelligence Features Does My Small Business Need

Tips From Business Intelligence Experts

The Global Business Intelligence and Analytics Software Market is predicted to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 10.4% over the next several years, reaching approximately $55.48 billion by 2026. Is your company taking advantage of the software that can save your small business time and money?

Business intelligence (BI) refers to the tools, technologies, and strategies employed by enterprises to collect and analyze raw data and turn it into actionable information. Small businesses often neglect to engage a business intelligence strategy, assuming the software is too expensive or that BI is a strategy reserved for bigger corporations.

There’s a new host of BI platforms offering scalable features catering to small businesses, which will save you time and money. This article looks at some of the business intelligence features that are important for your small business. 

Business Intelligence Dashboard

Remember the days when data for a report had to be collected by the technology department or compiled by a data analyst? With BI, all employees can access the information needed for their role in an easy-to-use dashboard, customized with relevant information. Using BI software that allows dashboard customization allows you to look at the information that’s most relevant to your company. BI brings multiple data points into one place, saving time by eliminating a bottleneck from the technology department and decreasing the potential for misinterpretation.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Each department should be able to provide their own data sources in whichever BI platform you choose. Marketing, Sales, and Finance Departments can add Web Applications like Sales-Force, Facebook, Databases, and Cloud Data. Once installed, your data sources fill your dashboard with KPIs to monitor your business’ success. These KPIs will help you track your goals and growth over time.

Data Visualization

Say goodbye to your Microsoft Excel spreadsheet with dozens of data columns. When deciding on business intelligence software, look for built-in data visualization capability. Graphs and charts update in real-time to present data in a clear and accurate format. You’ll save time creating presentations and can use the time saved to analyze and act on the data presented. 

Predictive Analytics

Dashboards and data visualization technology allows you to analyze current and historical data. Business intelligence platforms also offer predictive analytics so you can understand what is likely to happen in the future. 

Predictive analytics uses artificial intelligence to study past data and historical trends to predict potential outcomes and future customer behavior. Look for BI software with predictive analytics functionality that’s easy to understand so that you can take action based on the predictive analytics results.

Business Intelligence software gives insights to the employees who need them most in a format that is easy to understand and ready to present. An investment in BI technology for your small business will result in time saved for your employees and money earned when these tools are used to their full capacity. 

Are you ready to take the next step to invest in your business? Let Agency Partner help you determine the software and strategy to set your business up for success.

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Google Ad Strategies for 2019

Tips From Digital Marketing Experts

In 2018, 1.3 million businesses, nonprofits, and website publishers in the United States used Google’s search and advertising tools to generate $335 billion USD of Economic Growth. There is no doubt that Google is the most used search engine and its digital marketing platform houses effective tools for any business. To keep up with the ever-changing digital landscape, try implementing these Google ad strategies to keep your business flourishing.

Mobile-Specific Google Ads

With 72 Percent of the World predicted to be using only a smartphone to access the internet by 2025, if your business isn’t implementing mobile-specific ads, you’re missing out on a substantial amount of traffic. You must make sure that your website is mobile friendly and that both load time and site speed are performing at maximum capacity. Depending on your campaign type, it is possible to format mobile-specific Google ads as images, texts, calls-only or digital content. 

Google Ad Extension

Google ad extensions add value to your Google ads and Digital Marketing Campaigns, by including extra information for customers such as location, call buttons and links to particular parts of your website. Ad extensions supplement your ads with a broader scope of immediate information for customers, meaning more exposure and click-through rates for your company. Google Ads choose the extensions used for each individual Google search, but you need to determine which extensions best support your business’ goals and utilize the  options from there. 

Revisit Conversion and Call to Action

Customers on your Website are at different stages in their purchasing journey and shouldn’t be subject to the same Conversion Action. Chart out the different buying stages and work out which conversion action belongs to each stage. Target your customers’ specific needs, to  provide better overall customer experiences, and you’ll likely convert them into repeat customers. Additionally, place your calls to action into your ad campaigns where they make more sense. Then you better understand what and who you are missing and can take action to fill the gaps.

Use Date Ranges to Organize Re-targeting Lists

Ensure your Ad Campaigns work smarter, not harder, by creating ads specific to your re-targeting audiences. Remember that not all visitors should be placed in the same group when creating re-targeting campaigns. Date ranges are a helpful tool when grouping your users into audiences–the user who visited your page two days ago is going to be much different than the one who visited two months ago. The time-frame of when a user last visited, along with how likely they are to convert, should be considered when creating your re-targeting Google Ad, Pay Per Click (PPC), and Digital Marketing Campaigns. 

Implement Test Automation Software

Automation is a powerful way to optimize your advertising strategies. Google Ads has a built-in draft and experiment tool that helps you determine if changes implemented to assist in growing your business. It is a powerful, easy way to test a variety of strategies and provides quality data that enables you to analyze results and make informed decisions for future campaigns.

As you can see, there are many tools and simple, practical steps to take to ensure you are optimizing Google Ads, Pay-Per-Click (PPC), and your digital marketing campaigns. However, if you would like to speak to a professional, Contact Agency Partner Interactive to discuss strategies and see where you could add value, create efficiency, and drive growth in your business.

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Basics of The Topic – Cluster Content Model for SEO

Adopt a Topic Cluster Model to Get Found Online
Tips From Digital Marketing Experts

We can all agree that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the key to getting found online. Writers spend hours researching the best long-tail keywords and getting high-quality back-links. You are publishing well researched, relevant articles and doing everything right and yet; the views aren’t rolling in. Adopting a topic cluster model on your website is imperative to positioning yourself as an expert in your field and increases your chances of getting found online. 

What is a Topic Cluster Model?

Websites with hundreds of thousands of monthly views have cracked the newest trend in SEO: topic clusters. But what is a topic cluster?

A topic cluster involves a “pillar” or cornerstone of content. This is content that is written for a fairly high-level keyword. This pillar content is equipped with additional supporting articles that expand on and link to this main topic as well as any other relevant or supporting pages. Just as in architecture, your cornerstone should be substantial and able to stand alone. The cluster content is published to surround the cornerstone and establish your brand as an authority on a topic of your choosing. Below is an example where the keyword, “workout routines,” is the pillar content. The pillar is supported by topic clusters which are more specific breakdowns that expand on keywords that are related to workout routines. In this example, keywords such as “workout routines to lose fat” and “workout routines to get abs,” among the others, are examples of cluster content. In aggregate, the supporting topics create a topic cluster of conversation that all support the pillar content page of “workout routines.”
Topic Cluster Model Example

How Can a Topic Cluster Improve my SEO Efforts?

A search engine’s main job is to deliver results that are relevant to the search query. When a website offers a cluster of related content, search engines use Latent Semantic Indexing to understand the web of interrelated and supportive content. Along with domain authority, high-quality backlinks and long-tail keywords, developing a topic cluster demonstrates your authority to the search engine, boosting your rankings in the SERP (search engine results pages). 

Practical Steps to Create Your First Topic Cluster

Creating a topic cluster may seem like a daunting task, but it’s a methodical process that has the potential to yield great results. Follow these six steps to create your first topic cluster.

Choose a Pillar or Cornerstone Topic

Assess your brand and the goals of your organization. Your pillar or cornerstone content should be a topic on which you already have some level of expertise. Use a keyword research tool like “Keysearch” to determine which long-tail keywords you’ll target in your pillar article.

Brainstorm and Research Keywords to Support the Pillar

Once you’ve decided on your pillar theme, it’s time to brainstorm supporting topics that can easily link to the pillar article on your website. It’s important to research your chosen keywords to ensure that people are searching for them and that high ranking is attainable for those keywords. 

Update Old Articles

Start with the low hanging fruit. You may already have articles on your website suitable as cluster content. Update those articles to optimize for SEO and to support the pillar article. 

Write the Pillar and New Cluster Content

Using the keywords you researched, it’s time to create the pillar and start your Topic Cluster Model content. A pillar article should be broad and long-form, ranging from 2,000 to 10,000 words in length. The cluster content should be shorter posts that give detailed explanations on the subtopics in your pillar article.

Build Your Web by Linking Cluster Content to the Pillar and Other Supporting Articles

You can boost your results on SERPs by increasing the number of relevant internal links in your content. Search engines view links as a relationship, and linking related articles shows those search engines that you are an authority on your pillar content. When linking, use your keyword as the anchor text to further boost your authority on the topic. 

Publish and Promote

While Google crawls your website soon after a new post’s publication, it may take three to six months to see results for your SEO efforts. Use Social Media Marketing and Newsletters to give your articles an initial boost in traffic while waiting for your content to rank on search engines. 

Understanding how to leverage a topic cluster model to boost your content is imperative if you want to be found online. Now that you know how to build a topic cluster, the next step is to research your keywords, write and optimize your content and watch the traffic that is sure to come your way. 

Hiring a Specialist Consultant or Agency is the most efficient and effective way of handling your Website Content. Agency Partner can help because we have professionals who can establish your brand as an authority on a topic of your choosing to drive Targeted and Potential Clients. Call Agency Partner Interactive Today to discuss your project in greater detail.

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Leads on LinkedIn

LinkedIn Lead Generation: 6 Tips for More B2B Leads
Tips From Digital Marketing Experts

More than 255 million adults are living in the United States. Of those, 163 million have a Profile on LinkedIn. Worldwide, professionals join the platform at a rate of two per second for a total of 645 million members in 200 countries and regions. In addition to personal member profiles, there are 30 million companies represented on the platform.

The big question is: “Do LinkedIn members use the platform for buying decisions?” The answer is a resounding “yes!” A LinkedIn survey showed that up to 63% of B2B Buyers used LinkedIn to support their Purchase process in the past year, and 80% B2B Leads are Generated through LinkedIn. If you have a business, it is imperative to have a LinkedIn lead generation strategy. This article will explain the best practices for using your personal and company LinkedIn profiles to capture more leads. 

Start with all the Facts

Before you can begin finding LinkedIn leads, it’s important to build a strong foundation – that’s your personal profile. Take the time to completely fill out your profile with employment history, skills, accolades, and education.

This step is so vital, yet it is the most often overlooked. LinkedIn members with complete profiles are 40 Times more likely to Receive an Opportunity through LinkedIn than members with an incomplete profile. 

Just like Google, LinkedIn utilizes keywords to show your profile to relevant individuals. Optimize your profile by researching appropriate and specific phrases – for example, a search for “accountant” yields over 6 million results.

Conversely, using the phrase “Certified Public Accountant in the non-profit industry in Dallas, TX” yields only 89 results. Be as specific as possible  to get found by the right leads. 

Ask for Endorsements and Recommendations

Once you have a complete profile, ask current and past colleagues and clients for their endorsements and recommendations. Before you connect with potential leads, you’ll want to show that you are trusted and competent in your field of expertise.

Build a Company Page

While some LinkedIn lead generation strategies must be completed through personal pages, others require a free company profile through LinkedIn Pages.

Once you have a page for your organization, you can share your employees’ posts and client posts about your company as well as using customize-able call-to-action buttons to encourage participation in specific campaigns. 

Be sure to share your company page with employees and current clients through newsletters and other social media platforms to spark the initial growth of your page.

Join LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn groups are a gold mine for building connections and finding leads. At this time, though, only individuals can participate in groups. (That’s why your completed personal profile with links to your company page is so essential.) 

Get creative when joining groups. Join local industry groups, but also research where potential clients are spending their time online and join those groups too. While it’s imperative to join the conversation and position yourself as a thought-leader within the community, it’s also important to refrain from overly self-promotional posts. You may even consider founding a group to position your company as an authority in your industry and capture even more B2B leads. 

Set up Laser-Focused Ads 

Are you ready to make some connections with prospective leads who aren’t in shared groups or your current network? Utilize LinkedIn’s powerful advertising platform to reach targeted leads through your company page. 

Text Ads

Text Ads offer a budget-friendly solution with Pay Per Click (PPC) and cost per impression (CPM) pricing options with no contracts or commitments. With this kind of advertising, you’re only paying for the ads that work. Text ads appear on the right-hand sidebar of the desktop version of LinkedIn to prospects in your niche. Fine-tune your audience by utilizing LinkedIn’s targeting options. 

Sponsored Content

Sponsored content and direct sponsored content are native ads which employ single image ads, video ads, and carousel ads which appear directly in a prospect’s news-feed. The difference between sponsored content and direct sponsored content is that sponsored content promotes an update that’s been previously posted on your company page – giving it reach beyond your current audience. Any new campaigns must start in your company news feed. Direct sponsored content is an ad created for a specific target group. The creative can be produced and modified without cluttering your company news-feed. 

Whether you’re using text ads or sponsored content, track your conversions in LinkedIn’s analytics, or Integrate their Tracking with your own Website

Use InMail for LinkedIn Lead Generation

InMail is LinkedIn’s messaging service. With their free account, you can only message people with whom you are currently connected. However, for as little as $47.99 per Month, you can utilize InMail to message prospective leads through a robust targeting system. There’s a cap on the number of Sponsored InMail a member can receive, so leads are more likely to be receptive to this type of targeted InMail – especially if you’re offering a product or service that’s relevant to them. When crafting your InMail, be sure to avoid sales-heavy verbiage and offer something of value to the lead. 

InMail allows you to personalize pitches, offer a clickable call-to-action, and only delivers when members are active – so you’re more likely to reach LinkedIn leads that will actually see your advertisement. 

Do you want to tap into the incredible power and potential of LinkedIn? Agency Partner Interactive can help! Let us assist you in building a loyal following of targeted, potential clients. Learn more about our LinkedIn Lead Generation Service and set up a time to talk through your business needs today.

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The Definitive Guide To Maximizing Your PPC Campaign

The Guide For Boosting ROI from PPC
Tips From Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Experts

If you’re investing significant resources in your pay-per-click (PPC) campaign, the worst thing to do is get complacent or gullibly believe that results will always come eventually no matter what you try.

This could lead to you wasting time and money on PPC strategies that just don’t work. Of course, effective PPC strategies take time to develop and produce results (both positive and negative), especially during experimentation.

However, if you aren’t cognizant of using fundamental PPC strategies and building off of them, your campaigns won’t be effective.

To help you maximize your PPC campaign, this guide will outline fundamental PPC strategies and innovative ways you can alter them to obtain steadfast results.

Understand your audience

I know.

Every PPC-related article on the internet will likely tell you that you need to understand your audience for your PPC campaigns to perform better.

However, in Digital Marketing knowing your audience goes beyond demographics. You’ll need to intrinsically understand their shopping patterns, motivations, and reservations before purchasing to craft the perfect PPC strategy.

Depending on your consumer base, whether they’re B2B or B2C, these values will differ tremendously. To give you more context, here is a marketing funnel for both B2B and B2B audiences from TrackMaven.
PPC marketing funnel
You’re probably wondering what’s the difference between B2B and B2C consumer bases. After all, the funnel between the two consumers doesn’t seem all that different.

Let’s start with B2B consumers. These clients go through a much longer sales funnel because purchasing decisions typically go through a host of executives, who then rationalize the decisions instead of an emotional trigger that results more commonly in consumer purchases.

With that being said, average consumers vary. Some might conduct extensive research before buying a product or service. Some may just purchase from you based on a whim.

Nonetheless, the difference between these two consumer bases should reflect on how you structure your PPC campaign.

For example, since B2B consumers go through an elongated journey to make a purchase, you should provide top-of-the-funnel marketing resources to give them all of the information they need to confer and eventually make a purchasing decision.

Conversely, B2C consumers are attracted to a more straightforward marketing approach. They mainly want to know how your product or service will immediately benefit them. If your campaign reflects this, they’ll usually decide without extensive time and research.

Now that you understand this fundamental tip, here are some actionable ways you can incorporate new PPC methods to give your campaign a boost.

  • B2B Audience – Market any helpful e-books that will convince your audience that your service will be beneficial to them. Don’t promote anything. These e-books should only highlight the problem your audience has and provide a solution.
  • B2C Audience – Keep PPC ad copy extremely enticing. Don’t advertise the features of your product or service. Instead, promote the benefits and people will click.

In summary, B2B PPC strategies require you to know much more about your consumer base, while B2C strategies are essentially more product-focused.

Craft the perfect offer

Let’s take a moment to paint a relatable scenario.

An employee of a large consulting firm, Mandy has been tasked with finding the best available lead management software available. Knowing nothing about lead management software, she does a Google search for “best lead management software”, and she immediately sees numerous ads on the results page.

She may click the first ads she sees or some that catch her attention. Ultimately, most of these ads will offer free trials and one will offer a free buyer’s guide.

Which form do you think Mandy will fill out first?

With a buyer’s guide, not only are you more likely to capture a high-quality lead, but you are also providing Mandy with exactly what she needs, a helpful guide to help her navigate through a complicated app.

For this reason, crafting the perfect offer is paramount to the success of your PPC campaigns. Using outdated offers, such as live demos and free trials, will ultimately lead to your offer being rejected, ignored, or skipped over.

This is because there is profound evidence that proves that the alternatives are much more effective. What’re the alternatives, you may ask?

The answer is anything that will provide value to your audience without them being forced to commit.

PPC Hero recently experimented with their B2B audience by using demo videos in their ads. They found that demo videos have much less friction than live demos and free trials, because people may be hesitant to commit or spend time talking to a sales rep.

By adding a “watch demo video” call-to-action (CTA) to one of their core website pages, they received a 122.45% increase in conversions.
Google Ads PPC marketing

Furthermore, if you have prospects landing on your website directly through a search engine, chances are that they’ve never heard of you.

This means that you have a small chance of convincing a potential customer to sign up for a free trial on search terms that most ads are using, such as “best” or “top”.

Because of this, your offer has to break through the reservations a potential customer may have about working with you. The only way this can happen is by creating an offer that your audience can’t resist and won’t immediately commit to.

Doing so will allow them to see what you’re all about and make a decision for themselves.

Calibrate Search and Social Messages

You should never treat social media users the same as search engine users. Although your PPC campaign may exist on both platforms, using the same message will be counterproductive to what you’re trying to achieve.

Also, user behavior is vastly different across your marketing channels, so why craft the same message?

Let’s dig a little deeper into the concept.

People go on social media networks to consume content. These people aren’t looking for any salesly or consumer-related. They just want content, whether it’s informational or entertainment-based.

However, those that arrive at your website via search engine are looking for something. They have a need or want, and they believe you can help.

Again, why use the same message on both platforms? The reason this question is being asked twice is that many businesses and marketers fall into this trap in an attempt to streamline their PPC campaign.

Just like how you shouldn’t create the same social media posts on your Facebook and LinkedIn accounts, you definitely shouldn’t make this mistake.

For social media PPC campaigns, you’re targeting users based on their demographics, such as their job title in the case of LinkedIn. For Paid Search Ad Campaigns, your ads’ visibility is based on keywords.

Therefore, people who search for these keywords are actively looking for a product or service, whereas, a social media user is minding their own business looking for engaging Content.

It should now be apparent why offering an educational resource is better on social media, rather than search. Ultimately, your PPC ads on social media should strive to build awareness, through e-books and reports.

Anything that stirs an emotional response will do well on social media.

Meanwhile, paid search ads should get to the point and make an offer. Demos and interactive content are great for these ads because people who click them are looking for a solution to a need or want they have anyway.

If you’re still lost in how you can calibrate your messages across social media and search platforms, just remember this fundamental question.

“Why are my prospects using this platform?”

And, there you have it. You should instantly surmise that Facebook users didn’t log on to be advised to sign up for a free trial of anything. Therefore, create a campaign that centers on driving emotional responses from your target audience.

For example, this video ad from Sephora works because it showcases multiple promotions and piques the curiosity of their target audience.

retail mobile marketing

That’s why the ad was able to achieve a 41% higher click-through rate (CTR) than the brand’s previous ads.

Do you want to emulate the same success through all of your marketing channels? If so, take a look at this infographic from Orbit Media that details how you should structure both social media and paid search ads.

Google Ads PPC Management Search v Social Ads

Prioritize Remarketing

Finally, we’ve arrived at one of the most popular PPC strategies, known as “remarketing”.

Once you’ve got someone to land on your website and they leave without converting, you’d want to bring them back to your site for a second chance, right?

This sounds very much like the concept of dating. However, what if this same person doesn’t convert after a third or fourth time?

What’s going on?

The answer is that you’re probably using the same offer every time. Obviously, if that person didn’t bite on the offer you originally introduced, they won’t budge if you do the same again.

Now, let’s present a solution. First, cut off any leads that just aren’t in your market. Not everyone who visits your website through an ad is interested in working with you.

They may just be curious, found another solution, etc. Therefore, only begin the remarketing stage for leads that have visited your landing page at least twice.

Similarly, you can do the same for leads who left your website in the middle of filling out a form.

Next, segment your leads based on where they are in the buyer’s journey. For example, for leads that haven’t watched your demo video, retarget them with a demo ad.

For leads that have watched the demo video, follow-up and re-target them with a free trial ad. The goal here is to be very specific with your segmentations so you can convert leads throughout your marketing funnel.

In Social Media Marketing, the strategy is the same. If you have received PPC insights from social media users who haven’t converted, you’ll have to understand the proven social behaviors for these users.

This is: social media users are constantly scrolling on their feed and may not want to commit to you just yet.
Why?

Because they’re still busy scrolling on their feeds.

With an accurate remarketing strategy, you can send a gentle reminder at an appropriate time to re-engage social media users who have left your site.

Realize Your SERP Potential

There was a promising study conducted by Advanced Web Rankings where they studied the differenced in CTR between ad placements on the search engine result pages (SERP).
Google-Ads-PPC-optimization
It’s important to realize right now that PPC success doesn’t solely depend on placement, but rather a myriad of other factors, such as conversion value, budget, competition, industry, geotarget, LTV, and more.

For certain industries, it may be beneficial to bid higher to rank high for productive keywords. However, in competitive markets, your ROI will begin to decline at a certain point using this strategy,

Ideally, it’s up to you to find the right balance for your particular market.

For example, paying a high price for a competitive market like auto insurance may not be profitable, considering how people normally shop for auto insurance.

Similar to B2B Marketing, consumers will readily shop around for auto insurance until they can find an affordable deal for the right type of coverage they’re looking for.

Because of this, a Search Engine user may click on your ad, no matter if it’s first, second, third, or fourth on the SERP.

Regardless of this fact, humans make most purchasing decisions based on trust, and nothing screams trust more than high-ranking websites.

So, the moral of this section is to realize that ad placement isn’t everything for a successful PPC Campaign. Nonetheless, your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Strategy should work together to maximize your CTR and create the perception that you’re a leader in your industry.

Final Words

Now that you realize the fundamental strategies of building a solid PPC campaign, it’s up to you to conduct your own experiments and use your data to create PPC Ad Campaigns that work for you.

Understanding these fundamental strategies and the unique characteristics of your business will help you to achieve long-lasting results, instead of relying too much on online advice and your gut to design your campaigns.

Search marketing is a very competitive game of Marketer vs. Marketer. We know that Google and Bing are continually adjusting their Search Engine Algorithms and the best way to ensure that you are not wasting your time and money is to hire Agency Partner to do it for you. API has experience in managing big Budget PPC accounts so whether you are managing a budget of $5,000 or $50,000 per month, contact Agency Partner Interactive today and let us help you maximize your ROI.

ppc_marketing_work_for_attorneys

Does PPC Marketing Work for Attorneys

PPC for Lawyers - Does it Work?
Tips From Digital Marketing Experts

Finding clients as an attorney can be one of the most daunting tasks. You’ve made your checklist -chose a specific area of law, check; went one step further and chose a niche, check; created a website, check. You’ve done the networking, making lists of prospective clients and referrals, you’ve even put up free resources on your website. All of these things are great, but they haven’t really generated much in the way of people calling for your services.

The answer is rather simple to use Online Marketing Strategies, such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Marketing. PPC is one of the best ways to get your name out to potential clients. The place to start is with Google Ad Words and Microsoft Ads (formerly Bing Ads, part of the Bing Search Engine Platform). While there are numerous PPC Platforms, these two are the Most Commonly Used by the clients you are seeking.  

Navigating PPC marketing can be tricky, but with the right knowledge, you can achieve high visibility on Google or Bing Searches, display effective Ad Campaigns, overcome the challenges and be on your way to an increased client base.

What is PPC for Lawyers?

Pay Per Click (PPC)  is Online Advertising that you pay for each time your ad is clicked. The amount you pay per click is determined by bidding in an ad auction with Google Adwords or Microsoft Ads. Basically, you are bidding against other law firms for the use of relevant keywords in your ads. When a search is performed using your keywords, your ad is shown first. It is one of the most effective digital marketing aids to generate clients in a very competitive legal market. 

There are several factors to consider other than just paying for clicks and bidding on keywords, in the determination of where your ad will rank. First, you need to conduct research to establish what your keywords are going to be, based on the law you practice and what keywords your competitors are using. Your ad also needs to be relevant to the search queries that your clients are seeking. Keep in mind that the Landing Page is where the advertisement sends the client. The headline needs to be highly specific and relevant to the client’s search, and your landing page needs to have a call-to-action that is clear and also relevant to your client’s search. If your landing page is not applicable and another firm’s is, you could lose that potential client.

Why You Should Choose PPC for Your Law Firm

Marketing for a law firm is not the same as Marketing for other Businesses. PPC ads can significantly help boost a law firm’s client base. Here are three reasons why you should make PPC a key marketing strategy for your practice.

  •  PPC Ads Have High Visibility on Google or Bing Searches

When someone uses Google or Bing to search for an attorney, the top three to four listings are PPC ads from Google’s Adwords or Microsoft Ads. There is a much higher click-through rate for these top ads. Having a PPC ad gives you an advantage and an opportunity for higher visibility by a wider audience.

  • Your Competitors are Using Them

With so many law firms out there, just having a website isn’t enough. Every time a potential client goes online to search for an attorney in your specialty, they will pull up one of your competitors who has a PPC ad, instead of you.

You need to make sure you show up in their search by using keywords that make you stand out from your competitors. 

  • You Have Control of the Keywords

Keyword control makes PPC ads a core marketing tool for your firm. You chose the keywords and phrases to put in your ads, you have control over your PPC Optimization, and therefore, you determine how you target your clients.

Research and select Keywords, with the help of Google and Microsoft to identify what the right keyword phrases are for you. A few words can make or break a PPC Ad Campaign. If you take time during your ad planning process to figure out what you have to offer and who your target clients are, you can adjust your keywords accordingly.

Knowing your clients makes it easier to implement a PPC Strategy.

Best Type of PPC Ads for Attorneys

There are three types of PPC ads proven to have the best results for attorneys:

  • Display Ad Campaigns

Google Display Network and Microsoft Advertising Network partner with reputable websites to help you reach a much larger target audience. Being part of a Display Network can also put you in front of clients before they start searching for your skillset. Some ad types work better when you are linked to a Google Display or Microsoft Advertising Network, such as responsive display ads, uploaded images ads, Gmail ads and engagement ads.

  •  Search Ad Campaign

Search ad campaigns appear when a potential client searches for the services you offer. Your ad will appear directly above or below the top-ranking Google and Bing search results. You only pay for this ad when people click it.

  • Re-Marketing Ad Campaigns

Re-Marketing ad campaigns let you tailor your ads to people who have visited your website at least once before.

Overcoming Challenges with PPC Ads for Law Firms

The one deterrent to PPC marketing is the cost. The ads can be quite expensive. Some of the more specialized legal industry keyword bids can cost over $100 USD per click, costing you thousands of dollars per month. However, because you are only paying per click, the benefits of the higher conversion rate could outweigh the cost for you. The conversion rate for the legal industry on Google can be as high as 6.98%. The bottom line is that PPC ads have been a proven marketing tool to get clients. 

PPC marketing is very competitive, and Google and Bing are continually adjusting their search engine algorithms.

The best way to ensure that you are not wasting your time and money is to hire Agency Partner Interactive to do it for you. API has experience in managing PPC accounts. Call Agency Partner Today and let them help you generate the PPC Marketing Strategy you need to grow the client base you want for your law firm.

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “Does PPC Marketing Work for Attorneys” instead.

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Top Healthcare Marketing Tips

Increase Conversions on your Healthcare Website
SEO Tips for Healthcare Marketing

There are several Healthcare Marketing Trends in 2019 which can bolster success and drive conversion for your company. In recent years, advances in technology have caused a shift in marketing methods, which make it necessary to step up your outreach strategy.

Tried and True – Healthcare Marketing That Works

Just because you need to keep up with the times doesn’t mean you need to throw classic marketing out the window. There are many methods that have lasted the test of time and should be maintained as you evolve your marketing techniques. 

Old School Marketing Evaluation

Start with an audit of your services and products. This will give you a well-rounded picture of your business, and also help refine your target audience. It’s important to review your business regularly to ensure that you’re on track with your goals. From here you can grow a “patient persona,” which reflects your target audience. This will be a core dimension of your marketing strategy. 

Next, answer these questions: What makes my target audience choose my practice to solve their health problems?

How does my website reflect that I am the best choice to address their issues? 

These two questions can help focus the messaging and original content on your website. Remember, no matter the original intent of your practice or its goals, you will only gain conversion and clients if they feel like you’ve gone the extra mile to take their Personal needs into Consideration.

People in pain want to know who you are, what you offer, and how you’re going to help them, specifically, right at the Onset of Visiting your site. When trying to find a dentist or a doctor they want to visit or type a question about their specific pain into a search engine, they want a specific answer with clear, concise information. 

New World Order – Healthcare Content Marketing

Today, when most everyone has a smartphone – and yes, there are now more Phones than People in the World – it is absolutely necessary to have a focused digital marketing and content strategy. Ads are a thing of the past with Millennials, a generation that utilizes ad blockers and would rather source content for free. They want to believe that real worth is communicated and vouched-for, i.e., reviewed. 

Healthcare Marketing for the Web Browser

Long-Tailed Keywords are going to have the greatest search engine optimization (SEO) impact. Consider content that includes whole sentences or phrases like: the bone in my ring finger hurts or doctor, specialist for holistic acne treatment. You get the picture. When you consider what your healthcare practice is providing, consider specific questions patients have asked in the past; that’s what your target audience is going to google. You want the sequence of words that is going to attract the highest volume response.

Healthcare Marketing for Mobile Phones

Speaking of phones, your website probably needs to be Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) compatible. AMP takes that fancy website you’ve just had us Build and converts it to being smartphone friendly. Websites will not automatically translate what looks great on a desktop.

It may not look the same, or it may be a very basic version for handheld devices. The thing you’ve got to keep in mind is that mobile devices are king. A detailed Study by Google reminds us that roughly 40% of people make searches solely with their smartphones.

The Full Picture – What to Include in Healthcare Marketing

Once you’ve got a sense for your target audience and how you’re going to attract them to your website, you’ve got to keep them there. There are a few things you can do to truly engage your patient base to drive conversion.

Video Marketing 

A short 2-10 minute video by a doctor or dentist is a great way to advertise your bedside manner with future patients.

This gives the viewer a chance to draw their own conclusions about the kind of person you are and builds trust that you were willing to put something of yourself out there.

Customer Touch Points and Online Reputation

How a customer or patient interacts with your website is huge. This includes referral sites, back lines, and reviews.

Patients can find services through more than just search engines. It’s important for you to communicate through multiple platforms, like Facebook or Twitter, to keep your name fresh. Your Online Reputation, including links to verified sources, will help improve the validity of your content, which will drive your SEO and search engine results. 

Location-Based SEO

Location-relative content is going to be an important driver. It’s not useful if your search results come up on an India-based Google search when your hospital or practice is located in Dallas. Your content needs to be location-specific with language which is understandable to local readers. 

Healthcare Call to Action!

Any which way you go, a Call to Action (CTA) is going to be a necessary part of your marketing strategy. At Agency Partner Interactive, we can help improve your website, leveraging modern trends, and help you build a marketing strategy that will include mobile device outreach and long-tailed sentence search results. Give Agency Partner Interactive A Call and let us improve your patient outreach today!

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “Top Healthcare Marketing Tips” instead.

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CEO’s 5-Minute Guide to SEO

Tips From Digital Marketing Experts

There’s no point selling the best products in town if your storefront is down a back alley and in a basement. Likewise, the website that showcases your services needs to be easily discovered by those looking for them. With 63,000 Searches Happening per Second, Google is the equivalent of the busy shopping mall location that will be seen by your perfect customers. But to get into that sought-after position among the rest, you’re going to need a great SEO Strategy.

This guide to SEO will give you an overview of what that means.

How Important is Google Really?

Whatever you’re selling, people are Googling it. More than half of them will click on the top three search results, and a whopping 92 percent of all people will click a link on the first page. If you’re not on the first page of Google’s SERP, you’re in that basement down the back alley. Investing in a good Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Strategy is one of the smartest things you can do for your business.

Pay per Click (PPC) vs. Organic Optimization

You could pay for a Google Ads campaign for instant exposure, but it will cost you every time someone clicks through – and will stop working the moment you stop paying. Ranking organically is harder to do but it’s a superior long-term strategy. Once you’re up there, the clicks won’t cost you anything, you’ll reap a higher ROI, and those rewards will last a long time. You can either throw money at a quick fix or invest in a long-term strategy that offers higher conversion rates and lower ongoing costs.

Where do People Click?

The average search engine user is getting smarter about how Pay-Per-Click (PPC) works, and most scroll past the ads, knowing that they represent companies who paid for their positioning rather than leading the industry through quality content. Our eyes are becoming trained to simply ignore PPC results along with banner ads and pop-ups.

Highly ranked organic results suggest you’re an influential player in your field; they receive more clicks and result in more traffic and more sales, more of the time.

Prove It!

Another advantage of SEO is that every aspect of it is measurable. There is a plethora of Easy-To-Use Tools that will help you evaluate where your customers are taking action. Data and statistics obtained from the web mean you can continually evaluate and adapt your approach for optimal results.

What are the Elements of Good SEO?

While ever-changing, Google uses over 200 factors in their ranking algorithms, with varying levels of influence. For simplicity, we’ll divide these into on-page and off-page SEO.

On-page SEO is the easiest to manipulate. The factors that improve your position here include:

Off-page SEO can be a little more complicated to manage and deals largely with the “perceived authority” and trustworthiness of your site. It is influenced by:

  • The number and quality of links to your website;
  • The diversity, relevance, and authority of linking sites;
  • User reviews and site reputation;
  • The age and history of your website; and
  •  Mentions of your brand elsewhere on the internet.

Your Digital Marketing Team

Developing optimal SEO requires Team Collaboration. An SEO team might consist of five or six different specialists working on a single project, and could include a web developer, a web designer, a graphic designer, a marketing manager, content writers and editors, guest blogger outreach managers, data analysts, and a project manager. Everyone needs to be current with recent developments in this field, and working together cohesively.

Sounds Complicated!

Unless this is your area of expertise, it probably is complicated! This is one area where you don’t want to make mistakes, take shortcuts, or hire a cheap SEO rookie that leaves your website damaged from a Google penalty. One bad choice or attempt to cheat the algorithm could send your website’s SEO value plummeting and, like your high school GPA, it can take a lot of time and investment to recover your position once this has happened. SEO costs can vary greatly and there is such a thing as affordable SEO, but don’t fall victim to cheap SEO! 

Hiring a specialist consultant or agency is the most efficient and effective way of handling your company’s SEO. If you’re serious about improving your company’s Google standing, contact the digital marketing experts at Agency Partner Interactive to discuss your needs today.

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “CEO’s 5 Minute Guide to SEO” instead.

Using the power of Artificial Intelligence, we turned this blog into a video for you. Check it out below!

 

 

 

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The Costs of Custom Mobile App Development

Tips from Top Mobile Developers

This article discusses the most important factors in custom mobile business app development,  to help you understand the process, and get it all right in the first stage of your project.

Let’s jump right in by setting reasonable expectations to budget your apps’ development costs, because believe it or not, globally, more people own a mobile ‘phone than a toothbrush. While this might be a sign that we need more toothbrushes, it’s definitely a huge opportunity for custom mobile app development for businesses.

A lot of numbers get thrown around regarding the costs of custom mobile business app development costs, the price of building an app, and getting it to market on the Windows, Android or Apple platforms. The question of how much you should invest in building a custom mobile app provokes more questions at the initial stage. Industry surveys point to nearly nothing, over the low six-figures to over 1 million dollars.

The price for developing an app from idea-to-market correlates with functional features and demands of the client.

The ballpark figure that is accepted by the industry at large is between $100,000 and $500,000 USD, but small apps with few features can cost between $10,000 and $50,000. 

The cost of keeping your app running each year will equate to 20% of the cost of making the app. This is without factoring changes in trends, new innovative technologies, or major infrastructure issues that could impede the normal running of your app.

This is the Formula to Calculate the cost of making a custom mobile business app:

(App Features∗Time)∗HourlyRate=Cost

This simple, yet realistic formula, can be used to structure your budget: App features can be separated in different complexity levels as we will see later on in this article. Time stands for the time needed to code the features described in the app’s functional scope. The hourly rate stands for the pricing of your developer, developer team or agency.

Another way to understand and manage costs is to break down the level of complexity of the app. Factors would include features from simple, moderate to complex; the costs estimate per hour would fall in the range of $50 and $100/hour –prices vary in terms of technical expertise, experience level and geographical location of the app developers appointed to your project.

For instance, experienced iOS app developers in the US can charge on average $120 – $140/hour, whereas junior developers in Eastern Europe can charge a rate of $40 – $60/hour.

This table from Think Mobiles gives you some estimates on mobile app costs based on varying complexity levels:

Complexity Features Time, hrs Cost $50/hr Cost $100/hr
Simple No API integration, no back-end, standard UI components, simple features like email subscription, login, calendar, etc. 400 20,000 40,000
Moderate Custom UI features, payment features, API integration, headsets and tablets adaptation, back-end server 500-800 40,000 80,000
Complex Multi-language support, 3rd-party integrations, custom animations, complicated back-end, professional design, real-time features, etc. 800-1500 75,000 150,000

A good way to understand development costs is to look at examples of well-known, popular mobile apps in the world today. If we look at your favorite apps and name three prominent examples the estimated development costs of Whats-app are for instance 750-1000 hours at a realistic hourly rate of $130/hour the costs for building the app in the US are $150,000-200,000.

For Instagram, the estimate is somewhere between 800 and 1200 hours, which adds up to $100,000-150,000 app development costs. Uber is a little more complex as it requires different features for the passenger’s interface than for the drivers` interface with an estimated development time of around 950-1200 hours the total cost results in around $120,000-150,000.

You can play with various app cost calculators on the internet, or get real and sit down with an experienced developer team to find a neat estimate for your budget and future app development costs that reflect your projects aspirations realistically. If you work with an experienced developer team it will help you to look at factors like geography, the newness of the technology, complexity and application size which will factor into the final price. 

The Internet is full of articles about freeware and building your mobile app at no cost by choosing ready-made modules. These platforms are usually staffed with ads and are not to be taken seriously when it comes to custom business app development. Projecting a professional and refined image would require you to discard this strategy as an option.

Although there are few inspiring success stories of self-made app developers that turned into huge success stories. Brian Wong founded Kiip in 2010, with his colleagues Courtney Guertin and Amadeus Demarzi. Kiip, is a mobile app rewards platform that lets stores or businesses give real-world rewards for in-game achievements. And Robert Nay developed his first gaming app at the age of 14, a physics puzzle game that has had more than 16 million Downloads, to date.

Although you might have the next supernova business app idea and are on the lookout for investors to cover development costs fully, you need to set your budget first. According to the Code-Mentor your budget is determined by the scope and design of your project. The scope gathers functions, features and the main value proposition that make your app unique, while the design covers Wire Framing, user flow, and prototyping.

Another important factor is the market you choose, either Windows, iOs or Android. Custom business app development costs come with many variables as you will have come to realize at this point.

Going from idea to product, you might want to consider hiring professional assistance who understands the field of app development to make sure that misunderstandings between you and the developer, or developer team, will not become a big cost factor. 

And don`t forget good freelancers are usually fully booked at least a few weeks in advance, don`t expect immediate availability or just plan in some weeks in advance on your development timeline. Same is true for the price range of good developers or as Benjamin Franklin put it: “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of a low price is forgotten.”

So, you are all set, safe and sound, when it comes to estimating the costs of your app project…

…Ok, sorry if we overwhelmed you here with knowledge in this article, the different variables of bringing your idea to product can be complex. You might want to consider talking to us directly.

Our experienced development team and project strategists can make themselves available to discuss your project in greater detail. To learn more about what makes sense for your business, Contact Us Here.

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “The Costs of Custom Mobile App Development” instead.

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UpCity’s 2019 Local Excellence Award Winner

Agency Partner Wins Dallas Award

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 29, 2019
Agency Partner Interactive
14681 Midway Road, Suite 200
Addison, Texas 75001
marketing@agencypartner.com
Agency Partner Named 2019 UpCity Local Excellence Award Winner in Dallas
Agency Partner honored by UpCity as one of the top 20 service providers in Dallas.

Dallas, TX — On August 29, 2019, Agency Partner Interactive announced the company has been named one of the top 20 service providers in Dallas as part of UpCity’s Local Excellence Awards.

Dallas Excellence Award - Top Digital Agency

UpCity is an online marketplace that helps businesses find B2B service providers they can trust. UpCity’s Local Excellence Award winners are selected based on the UpCity Recommendability Rating, a proprietary algorithm that measures a provider’s credibility, recommendability, and reputation based on digital signals.

“The strength of our marketplace is built on the credibility of truly excellent providers like Agency Partner,” said Dan Olson, CEO of UpCity. “We are pleased to honor Agency Partner with a Local Excellence Award in Dallas.”

UpCity introduced National Excellence Awards earlier this year and has now launched a local version for the top service providers located in their top ten performing cities which includes; Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Miami, Philadelphia, Seattle, San Francisco, and San Diego.

As a company, Agency Partner Interactive specializes in devising technology and marketing solutions that help businesses accelerate top-line growth in addition to improving profitability. From basic web and app design to executing digital marketing with the power of artificial intelligence, the Agency Partner business team works with Dallas-based startups, SMBs, and has the capacity to serve full enterprises.

“It’s an honor to be included in this award,” said Muhammad Younus, CEO of Agency Partner. “As a company, we spend our days working to help our clients attain that next level of growth. In addition to feedback from our clients, awards like this help us to step back from our day to day and recognize how all of our individual contributions come together to make something truly impactful.”

About UpCity

UpCity helps businesses find service providers they can trust. Our Marketplace creates and empowers successful relationships between businesses and service providers from marketers to accountants to HR professionals. We provide transparency and insights to dramatically improve the B2B partner selection and purchase experience.

Over 225,000 businesses visit UpCity each month seeking services from over 35,000 providers in over 600 cities in North America. UpCity helps partners in the Marketplace grow their business and build their digital recommendability.

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What iOS 13 and the New iPadOS Means for Business?

Tips from Technology Experts

Apple is one of the largest tech companies in the world. When they announce new products, it is a two-hour production and the world takes notice, because everything you know about Apple can change in those two hours. Apple unveiled a new version of its iOS operating system in June, and the future of iOS just got better.

Alongside the update to iOS 13, they are also giving iPad its own operating system, iPadOS. That’s right; the future iPad will no longer be iOS. This new operating system is exclusively designed for the iPad tablet. Proving that not only does Apple set trends, but it also chases them. iOS 13 is a huge overhaul to iOS, and it is packed with features making it faster and more efficient than ever before. These new features will make it more convenient to do business.

When the new iOS 13 and iPadOS are released this fall, what will that mean for your business practices?

Key Performance Features for Your Business

iOS 13 and iPadOS have much to offer businesses. These features – detailed below – are the key performance features for your business.

Privacy and Security Features

Most apps and services today require users to create a profile or log in with a social ID. Apple’s new privacy and security features protect user’s data and connectivity usage. These include background tracking notification, weak password warnings, and a new sign-in feature that protects your employee’s personal information in a convenient and data safe way.

The privacy feature called “Sign-In With Apple” allows you to sign in to apps and websites with your Apple ID or a unique random ID via the click of a button. Your Apple ID will confirm your identity via Touch or Face ID and quickly log you in. When apps require your name, any personal information or an email address, Apple won’t provide it unless you give it permission. It then takes this security measure one step further. You will have the option of how you want your email address shared with an app, site, or service developer. Apple can now generate a unique, randomized email address which will forward messages to your real email address. 

What makes this feature even more attractive to your business is that companies can create and manage employee’s Apple IDs separately from their personal IDs. This is especially useful for companies with BYOD (bring your own device) policies. This helps to separate personal and business data, eliminating data privacy issues when it comes to mobile device management concerns.

Improve Workflow and Hands-Free Operations with Siri

Siri gets improvements across the board. Siri shortcuts are now built into the device and will suggest personalized shortcuts for simple tasks, instead of having to download them in a separate app. This same feature will also make it easier to set up custom routines and interact with third-party apps.

The new voice system smoothes out complex words and sounds more natural. Also, new to Apple AirPods, Siri can now read messages as soon as they come in and you can reply immediately without having to stop what you’re doing.

This will help improve business workflow. These new Siri improvements make it easier to communicate via your devices with clients and staff. 

Better Battery Life

Apple is finally bringing its popular Dark Mode to Apple’s iOS mobile devices. Not only will this give you new dark backgrounds and notifications across all your Apple apps, but this feature will increase battery life and offers battery management options – your apps will download faster than ever before. It is a definite plus if you have remote and field-service employees.

Faster App Updates

iOS’ performance boost features 30-percent faster unlocking with Face ID, a 50-percent smaller app download, and a 60-percent smaller app update – all working to remove the hassle of keeping business devices up-to-date.

iPadOS Features Increase Productivity

The iPad gets all the same changes you will have on iOS 13, plus additional features just for the iPad. Surprise, iOS 13 turns your iPad into a laptop replacement. By pinning a few widgets to your home screen, you get some pretty helpful new additions to your iPad.

iPadOS will give you better file management capabilities by using external hard drives. Your business will get SMB support. Not only will you be able to share iCloud folders, but you can also share files, folders, and printers used by other systems besides Apple. 

You will have the capability to zip files into a folder, making it easier to send them via email. Uncompressing the content of zip files into an expanding folder with access to the files just got easier too. These file management features will make remote working on an iPad a breeze.

Using Mac apps in side-by-side views gets a huge improvement, with Slide Over and Split View features. Now your iPad is performing like a desktop. Need to see multiple screens? No problem. You can also drag content from one app into another and still easily slide between apps. These iPadOS features are another plus for multitasking.

Along with the major features we’ve listed, here is a list of other features that will exponentially improve your business practices:

  • Safari now shows desktop browser views.
  • The Apple Pencil latency has been cut in half.
  • You can download fonts directly from the App Store onto your mobile device.
  • There are new gestures for navigating and manipulating text. 
  • When calling a business that offers business chat, your device will offer to start a business chat so you can interact from a text message instead of through a phone call.
  • You can add attachments, like documents, to events you have scheduled in the calendar app.
  • Apple’s Smart Lists will group your reminders in a schedule so they are ready when you need them.

Supported Devices 

Not sure if these iOS updates will work on your device? Here is the full list of supported devices for iOS 13 and iPadOS.

Apple did not announce an exact release date for iOS 13 or iPadOS. But a mid-September release, just ahead of the year’s new iPhone is predicted. There may also be additional features as Apple is known to hold out on releasing the details of some key features until the next iPhone launches. 

As always, Apple is focused on performance improvements and enhancements of its products for consumers, alongside improving productivity and workflow for businesses.

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “What iOS 13 and the new iPadOS means for business” instead.

Using the power of Artificial Intelligence, we turned this blog into a video for you. Check it out below!

mobile_first_Indexing

What is Mobile-First Indexing?

Tips from Digital Marketing Experts

How many times do you pick up your phone to search the web for information? In fact, you are probably reading this article on a mobile device right now. Using your mobile device to access information has become the norm. In order for your company to be competitive, you must be found on Google’s search results. 

Mobile-First Indexing and Google Results

Mobile-First Indexing is Google’s process of using the smartphone agent in their Googlebot web crawler to scan your site and index it’s content for the search engine. It uses this as the starting point to help mobile users find what they’re looking for in a format that provides the best mobile-friendly experience for the user, and–if it is a great site and experience–increases your ranking on Google.

Historically, Google used the desktop version of a site’s content when evaluating if it matched a user’s query. Now, the mobile-first version of your website will be considered the primary version on Google. You should know that there is not a separate index for mobile-first scans; if the content on an old site is relevant, it will continue to be returned on the SERP.

It is time to let go of the past. Now it is necessary that your online footprint is equal across both the mobile and desktop versions of your website. You should already be writing and designing content (including text, images, videos, and links), structuring your data and meta-data (titles, descriptions, meta tags) and experiencing your website so that it is mobile-friendly.  

What Does This Mean for your Site?

As of July 1st, mobile-first indexing is enabled by default for all new (or previously unknown to Google Search) websites ready for the Googlebot indexing scan. For older or existing websites, Google will continue to monitor and evaluate websites based on its best practices

If you are an older website, once Google sees a site is ready, it will designate the site as ready for mobile-first indexing and it will notify them of their readiness through its Search Console

If you’re a new website, you don’t have to do anything. New sites are already showing users and search engines the same content on both their desktop and mobile devices.

Evaluate Your Users Experience 

Just because your old site or your new site is ready for mobile-first indexing, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to evaluate your user’s experience. 

First, Google has provided an easy tool to test and see if your site is Mobile-Friendly. You just have to insert your site and Google will give you the information you need to fix it. If you need more guidance, Web Grader has a great tool that evaluates your site and gives you detailed information on how you can make your site user-friendly.

Second, pick up a mobile device and check out your site from a user’s point of view. Write down ways you think will enhance the user’s experience based on the information that you are trying to relay. 

Here are four steps to help you enhance the user’s experience:

  • Keep it simple

Mobile sites don’t need as many bells and whistles as they did in the past. Keep only the website elements you truly need. Ask yourself if each element is really necessary. If not, get rid of it.

  • Conveying your message

Make sure your message and Call to Action (CTA) are easily understood. Check text links and forms to make sure they work. Create easy-to-use buttons for connecting to other pages. Check that your forms are easy to fill out on a mobile device. Consider using mobile-friendly CTAs such as SMS text messaging and live chat.

  • What about SEO?

Instead of solely looking at keyword synonyms you have to start thinking about the whole mobile experience. Look at the problem a specific search query is trying to solve, and then craft a content-based response that is appropriate for that query.

  • Make the necessary changes 

Now you are ready to make the necessary changes to create a user-friendly site for mobile-first indexing. If all of this is overwhelming, and you’re feeling unprepared to tackle mobile-first indexing on your own, get help from a Professional SEO Team.

There’s no question that mobile devices have changed the way we deliver information. Now that Google has rolled out mobile-first indexing for all sites, it is time to make sure you have a website for the devices people are using most. So, evaluate your site and implement the necessary changes to make it user-friendly. Mobile-first indexing is just an additional way that Google is addressing the needs of its, and by extension, your audience. 

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “What is Mobile-First Indexing?” instead.

Using the power of Artificial Intelligence, we turned this blog into a video for you. Check it out below!

marketing_strategy

Kick That Conversion – Score Big With Your Website’s Visitor-To-Lead Conversion Rate Using SEO and Other Essential Strategies

Website’s Visitor-To-Lead Conversion Rate Using SEO and Other Essential Strategies
Tips from Digital Marketing Experts

Focusing your attention on the type of visitors you want to attract to your website is a major part of increasing your visitor-to-lead conversion rate.  Making your site a haven for warm leads is essential to your success. Concerns regarding the quality of your leads should be just as high up your list of site goals as the focus on the foot traffic. Quality and quantity are a non-negotiable, interconnected, dynamic duo.

User Experience (UX)

Your site needs to be stylish, approachable and trustworthy–just like your favorite leading lady or leading man in that iconic role you love. A clear and uncluttered website, with a focused call-to-action, interactive content, aligned branding, and intuitive design principles, will make your site visitor more likely to achieve conversion. 

Removal of all friction between the customer and your goal action for them is equally important. While it is tempting to add in lots of additional products and ideas, as they cruise down the home straight to take your desired action, it can create unexpected hurdles and the last thing anyone wants is a disqualification as your ‘near conversion’ flounces off the pitch in disgust and frustration from what should have been a simple process. 

Value Proposition

Here we are, down to the nitty-gritty of the sales pitch. However, this isn’t any old school sales patter. Give them absolute clarity of vision. This is the real deal of why your customer should invest their financial and social resources on your product or service. You are sure to be the savvy and practical answer to their specific problem, because they found their way to you, and because you are investing the best of yourself in what you offer. So tell them that. Offer valid reasons, a solid value proposition, why they need you and your brand.

Improved SEO

Where is a discussion about web marketing without a reference SEO? It is truly the roadmap for all serious entrepreneurs and businesses. Without it, you have little-to-no direction, and no-one can find you. Yet with it in hand, the landscape opens up and opportunities abound. Make sure all of your SEO keyword opportunities are maximized and updated regularly. Without this essential box ticked, all those lovely organic searches with strong purchase intent will breeze past you from the half-way line.

Multiple Personas 

Facebook has the data, you have the creativity and vision, and so, with a decent dollop of analytics, you have a pretty solid team. Focus on the capacity to visualize the personas of the people you want to turn from cold visitors to warm leads and conversions. These personas will be able to show you how best to interact with your real-life site visitors.

They will also show you who the real visitors are. Not the expected, not the projected, but the real. You might find that a different, broader version of a non-traditional demographic than expected, is engaging with your brand. Rather than trying to corral the people you think ‘should’ be there, you are then in the enviable position of being able to tailor your style to suit them, encouraging an ever-rising conversion rate.

Website Experiments

As the saying goes, there are so many different ways to skin the proverbial cat that you won’t be able to please all of the people, all of the time. But with a keen eye on your analytics and a bit of experimentation, you will be able to find out what the majority want and tailor your sales plan and web site to fit those expectations. You are also best placed to utilize chatbots when you have deduced your best visitor personas and are in experimentation mode, ready to gain and utilise even more analytics. Try different marketing channels, and audit different aspects of your sales conversion funnel, especially if your analytics look rough in one area. Test what works in reality, not just in theory.

And keep testing!

Climbing Conversion Rates 

It’s what we all strive for, and with a few adjustments to your processes, you will see that your time poring over statistics and analyzing data has been well spent. This is something that will need to be done regularly to keep the flow of savvy, focused-on-the-next-big -thing customers engaging with your site. After all, this is a process, a journey.

It is never static, and it is never done! Keep kicking those conversions!

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “Score Big With Your Website’s Visitor-To-Lead Conversion Rate Using SEO and Other Essential Strategies” instead.

Using the power of Artificial Intelligence, we turned this blog into a video for you. Check it out below!

facebook_marketing

Firm Foundations For Your Facebook Ads Strategy: How To Build A Solid Base, One Brick At A Time

Tips from Digital Marketing Experts

Just when you think that Facebook has been toppled from its social media top spot, a review of the actual reach and capacity of this mammoth of the social media world has everyone sitting up and considering how to maximize their ad strategies. 

Facebook has one of the world’s largest user base with 1.62 billion subscribers and 2.41 Billion Active Users in the second quarter of 2019. It is one of the most engaged, so why take a page from its playbook? After all with numbers this big, it is all about making the best use of them.

Statistic: Number of monthly active Facebook users worldwide as of 2nd quarter 2019 (in millions) | Statista

So take notes, get your ducks in a row, and your game plan sorted, because this juggernaut is here to stay, and you need to be on board. But don’t worry, we have all the tips to help get you sorted out with a solid Facebook Ads Strategy, so you can sit back, and watch your conversions soar.

Duo, Trio, Quad

The first consideration, and it’s a major one, is to keep Facebook and Instagram working in tandem because they are one-and-the-same behind-the-scenes–a fact is often forgotten–so keep this pair collaborating to your benefit.

Think, ‘integrated ads strategy’ with Instagram, Facebook, and all the other platforms out there. An omnichannel experience is what both you and your customer need. This is a bottom line, non-negotiable. Your marketing plan must be seamless and holistic.

Experiment with ‘Bots’

With Ad Bots becoming more sophisticated and normalized, now is the perfect time to experiment with computer-generated marketing. The tech itself is nothing to be afraid of, how it’s employed and with what tone, is the issue. ‘Engagement Baiting’ by fishing for swipes, taps, and reposts is right out in 2019. Instead, you want to develop long-term engagement–life-long customers who are much more likely to convert.

While you are in experimental mode, get creative, and then test everything. Send out an engaging, and meaningful post or blog to assess the interest. It’s much more cost-effective than a full-blown analytics campaign.

Video is King

Long Live Video. Businesses love Facebook Video Ads. Use it to drive conversions but ensure the focus is to empower your customer with a side order of Brand Integrity, and the development of trust. People are likely to buy from companies they have positively encountered on social media, so consider creating or developing your brand identity from an anchor or hero Video for maximum impact. 

Retargeting from long-form ad engagement video followed up with a ‘call-to-action’ via short video ad, post, email, tweet, etc, is much more likely to get a new convert. It is also easier to then expand the information to ‘lookalike’ audiences, speeding up the turnaround process and reducing costs.

Nano, Niche, and Micro

We are in the time of the nano- or micro-influencer. There has been a shift from celebrities delivering information to niche experts whom we can trust, people with whom we can identify. They are less distant, more relevant, and certainly more approachable. Align with one of them, and it is a short skip, and a jump, to getting the conversions.

Are You Responsive?

To say that you have a ‘Responsive Website’ which is not enough. You have to prove it. Multiple devices are here to stay, and your site must show all the fancy whistles and bells on each and every one. Ensure that every type of media will run efficiently on desktop, tablet, mobile, Android, and IOS. The last thing you want is a block to your customers’ conversion where they throw their hands up in disgust, and leave the site, never to return. 

Multiple Persona

Facebook can link you up with any demographic or niche you can imagine because it has so much info on all its users and the algorithms to sift it. Forget about an ‘app for that’, Facebook can help you find your niche group and target them through its persona-driven data. Think about maintaining diversified and comprehensive ads which target different personas, but don’t just make assumptions on who they are, get the stats and work from that.

Contextual Content (and lots of it)

Get creative with ‘life events targeting’. Facebook knows when the wedding is, or was. So consider how the market can drive itself by targeting upcoming anniversaries and events. Being narrow in focus can mean increased costs (CPMs) but being specific, relevant, and targeted means being able to tailor the marketing, increasing the chances of conversion. Staying broad offers a lower cost, a more ‘vanilla’ approach, and a reduced, individual appeal.

Looking For Love

Consider yourself to be looking for the customer that represents the real deal, full-blown, lifetime love–not some fly-by-night fling or disposable fad. Developing this relationship will increase their Lifetime Customer Value (LCV), and you’ll likely to get repeat conversions. You will also get the power of ‘word-of mouth’–if one friend has a good experience, then all the friends know about it–hey presto, warm leads.

Remember, 55 percent of people bought something Online After seeing it on social media, with Facebook and Instagram taking up the top spots for driving product discovery. You just cannot afford to ignore this duo. 

If you need help navigating the FB-IG building blocks to build, a solid, long-lasting plan for your business, contact us at Agency Partner Interactive and talk with a Professional Digital Marketing Strategist to get your ad empire growing so you too can tower over the marketplace!

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “How To Build A Solid Base, One Brick At A Time” instead.

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build_seo_pillar_content

Building SEO Pillar Content

Tips from SEO Experts

When creating a business website, your pillar content is going to be the main, broad topic of your website. The topic can be anything: real estate, shoes, perhaps software. The pillar is the businesses underlying sales objective. 

Creating a successful website requires a strategy. At the foundation, your pillar is your SEO keyword or keywords. It is the topic your customers will use when performing a search–a search that should lead directly to you.

Pick a Content Topic

Pick a topic which is relevant to the consumer. Try not to be too specific or too broad at this stage. You should consider how much your audience cares about the topic, if it ties to your services, and if it has a good search volume.

Your main topic can have with sub- or “specific” topics branching off from this central theme and are relevant to your pillar content. 

Create a Pillar Strategy

Once you’ve identified your topic and subtopics, you need to create a table of contents – a list of all relevant information regarding your SEO content. This is the place to identify your overall objectives and goals.

Consider who the audience is, why are they looking for this, and what they need to know. How is your information going to serve them better than what they can find elsewhere? 

Content Outline

You need to create website building steps so that you have a process. Your outline is effectively going to be your to-do list. Your outline should, roughly, include landing page, menu with subtopics, subtopics pages, payment platform, contact page, and customer service pages. Next, add to that list your editing process steps.

Edit your Content

It’s important to build this time into your to-do-list, as this is the refinement that elevates your content from decent to great. Editing steps should include narrative flow, format, editorial style, and grammar and spelling. That means you should edit your entire web content four separate times, focusing on each editing method separately, to ensure your content is perfect.

Content Deadlines and Communication

Set deadlines for each step of your outline. This will give you a structure and a timeline to follow. It’s important to keep in mind that during the content creation stage that the content does not have to be perfect. It just needs to be created. You’ll refine that content during the editing stage. Where that may seem like doing double the work, the truth is that focusing on one thing at a time will keep your mind clear and your deadlines approachable and attainable. 

You’ll likely be communicating with a team of designers and content writers at this point and it’s important to remember that communication is key. Whether it’s questions or obstacles, you should establish a respectful and approachable rapport with your teams. They need to feel that you are available and willing to talk about the process. 

Content Design

Lastly, you’ll want your team to implement the design, such as images, video, color, and font – all the additions that make a website engaging and friendly. This will improve your dwell time with customers and help improve engagement and conversions. Agency Partner has 10 years experience creating and implementing pillar strategy and will provide you with the expertise to get your website launched successfully.

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “Building SEO Pillar Content” instead.

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inbound_website_marketing

6 Steps to Creating a Successful Inbound Website.

Tips from Web Development Experts

Inbound websites are the way of future marketing. Analytics surf your content for your businesses interests and funnel specific ads relative to those interests directly to your customers. It’s called Inbound Marketing. Instead of outbound marketing, that of casting a wide net, this method focuses on the conversion of a specific target audience.

Outbound marketing is becoming more ineffective as customers are showing signs of ‘banner blindness’. They want to know why the product is good for them, specifically. There are a number of things to consider to make your website an inbound traffic lane. 

Your Website Sells

Whether it’s blogs, education, a portfolio, or physical products, your website is your first line of sales. Your sales team should be referencing your webpage daily for leads. Your webpage should strive to sell your product for you so that by the time a customer talks to a sales rep, the sale has already been made. 

Your Website is all about the Customer 

Customers want to know they can trust in their time and energy investment. To accomplish this you need to provide valuable content–answer questions, provide education, be up-front, honest, and direct. 

Customers want clear, concise information to get them straight to the point. The best way to deliver that information is video. Customers want to connect and relate to others. They want normal people to review the product and explain to them, specifically, why that product is going to improve their lives. 

Website SEO

You need to be findable on search engines, and that means understanding search engine optimization (SEO) and formatting. You need to consider how your website functions and make it an appealing search result for the analytics. This has a great deal to do with dwell time (how much time a customer is on your page), content freshness (updates of what is on the page as well as how it is presented), website load speed (refresh rates), mobile access (computer to ‘phone conversation), and SSL Certification (the security of your website). 

Experience-Driven Websites

The business needs to express consideration for the customer experience. Your customer wants a personalized experience where information is clear and straightforward. Here questions can be answered quickly and easily, purchasing is a streamlined process, and the service is friendly and approachable. 

Website Conversion Rate 

Conversion rate is that of taking the unknown viewer and turning them into a known repeat customer which can be accomplished by adding a self-selection tool, such as a form, quiz, or chatbot on your website. This process will direct the customer to the desired information without forcing them to hunt through your content, generating data for the analytics to show that your site is providing value. 

Your Business Website  

At the end of the day, the biggest key to website success is you, the business owner. You need to be able to access and use your website with ease: to update content, track analytics, review sales, and provide excellent customer service.

Agency Partner can help you get there by building you a website with these points in mind. We’ll also include an easy to use content management system (CMS), ensuring that the back end work of maintaining and updating your website is a breeze. 

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “6 Steps to Creating a Successful Inbound Website” instead.

Using the power of Artificial Intelligence, we turned this blog into a video for you. Check it out below!

 

android_vs_ios

The Difference Between Android and iOS App Development

Tips from Web Development Experts

Two of the biggest brands, Apple with iOS and Google with Android, are consistently upgrading and reaching new levels within the tech world. Whether they’re improving phone features or fixing bugs, the value by which these companies operate is obvious–to improve the end-user experience.  

To keep users happy, certain aspects of the app development process need to be taken into account. Especially if developers intend to see a return on investment. Essentials such as programming languages, design principles, time constraints, budget, user spending, and location all need to be considered. 

Programming Languages 

The tools used to create an app need to be taken into account. Those with expertise in Java or Kotlin will find Android a viable choice for the development phase, as iOS apps are coded in Swift. When it comes to the building sites, or the Integrative Development Environments (IDE), Studio and Xcode cater to Android and iOS app design respectively. 

Design Principles 

Aesthetics play a crucial role in the success of an app. Visual elements have powerful impacts on users and their concentration or distraction levels. When these elements fit in with the intent of the application, users are inclined to continue using it, based on the ease and enjoyment it provides.

Costing Variations

If you are creating your own app, rather than hiring a specialist, there are no initial costs during the design and development phases. However, publishing your app on the Android and iOS stores will cost a small sum of money. Android has a one time fee of $25 USD, while Apple charges $99 USD annually.

App Store Verification 

App Developers need to be aware of the potential damage that they could do to a brand if their product is not perfect. Android app creators need to be vigilant about potential bugs and errors within their designs, as the screening process prior to launch is carried out by a bot.

Unfortunately, bots are not perfect just yet, which sometimes leads to applications being launched onto stores with minor faults–users are very quick to criticize any faults or bugs that are found. Apple’s verification can take up to three weeks to complete as it undergoes in-house expert scrutiny which makes it possible for rejection. 

Monetizing Applications

As a developer, armed with the knowledge that out of the two audience options, Android users are less likely to pay for apps, there is the chance to capitalize through in-app, optional purchases and the implementation of advertisement banners.

Android And iOS App Development

Developing an app for iOS may seem like a quicker process than doing so for Android, as the developer would only need to consider the Apple product lines released within 5 to 6 years. Whereas, when developing a mobile app for Android it must work on a wider variety of phones and tablets, which use varying Android operating systems. This explains why the app launches and updates are released earlier in iOS.

The end goal is to have the app available on both platforms., however, which can be costly to implement in the beginning. As is evident, when narrowed down to the skeleton, deciding between Android or iOS development systems is not an easy feat, however, the answer lies in the specs as well as the developer’s resources and intent.

With the help of our in-house experts, Agency Partner can assist with the design and development phases of both iOS and Android systems, curating your ideas and transforming them into innovative applications. From mobile versions of websites, restaurant applications, and games, Agency Partner can help you launch your app with ease.

We even provide industry-leading support post-launch, with a team of digital marketers who will make sure that your app is well-received by your target market.

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “The Difference Between Android and iOS App Development” instead.

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custom_web_application

99 Problems But Custom Application Development Isn’t One

Tips from App Development Experts

Creating a custom application is no small feat and it sounds pretty terrifying to most people, especially if you have no experience. If you happen to need a complex custom application with several integrations to power its features and functionalities, you should opt to hire a professional to take care of the design and development for you.

At a super high level, here is a look at some of the components that go into this effort. 

5 Things to Consider:

1. Choose a Hosting Platform 

A web host is a location where you decide to set up shop for your custom application. It is your landlord to whom you pay rent to house all of your digital content. Each page within your application is a room with its own set of amenities and décor such as the images you display on the walls.

As you can imagine, some applications will have more detail than others depending on the level of attention given to keeping it clean and orderly.

Just like any lease contract, you will want to do your homework when choosing a provider to host your custom app. Read all the terms and conditions and be sure to consider scalability. 

2. Choose a Brand and Domain Name 

A domain name or URL is your location’s home address. A website will typically serve as the front door to your web application — once you’re there, you step right into the app after successfully logging in.

In cases where you are building a custom app for mobile, whether it by for iOS, Android, or a Hybrid app, your website serves to direct people to the app store for downloads and updates.

3. Map It Out 

This step is a process of strategically mapping out the type of furniture and décor that will go in each room. As stated above, each page of your app is its own “room” and each will serve a specific purpose. Your Home Page, or Landing Page, will serve as your front door — the first visual people see upon arriving at your site.

Some people display big beautiful photos on their front door to entice people to enter while others may post their store hours and the services they provide and call it a day. 

Before you start designing or building rooms, you should have a clear strategy for the furniture and décor (i.e. content) that those pages will contain. Whatever you do, at each step, be sure to put yourself in the customer or users’ shoes when making decisions.

4. Design Your Custom Application

The design step is easily the most complicated step for most people because it is the first technical step of building a custom app. People often hire a professional UI/UX designer. UI designers are experts at designing the User Interface, which is what app users interact with at face level. The UI is what you see.

Additionally, a UX designer is someone who is an expert at User Experience design. These designers are a little more technical in nature and they aim to bridge the gap between the User Interface, the end users’ wants and needs, and how all that pertains to the overall business goal of the application. 

5. Keep Up With Maintenance 

Once you are up and running, you will want to ensure everything stays running smoothly and in working order.

You’ll most likely need a maintenance repair person. If a light bulb goes out or the air conditioner breaks, who is meant to repair it? As often as not, hosting providers will offer this as an additional service or as part of a package deal. So it’s worth having a look at the ones that do — especially if you are not very tech-savvy.

As you can see, building a basic application can be simple if you want a simple app for your business. However, the more complexities you add to your application, the more you’ll have to consider as it pertains to scalability, design, and development needs.

Choosing the right web host platform for your business app can be a daunting first step. Although no two applications are the same, all great apps have one thing in common – a plan from start to finish and an ability to consistently improve. You could go it alone, but with Agency Partner, we’ll help you get past any learning curves to ensure that your project creates the most immediate value for your stakeholders.

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “99 Problems But Custom Application Development Isn’t One” instead.

Using the power of Artificial Intelligence, we turned this blog into a video for you. Check it out below!

website_design_steps

5 Steps to Build a Website

Tips from Web Design Experts

Creating a website is no small feat and it sounds pretty terrifying to most people, especially if you have no experience. If you happen to need a complex website you could opt to Hire a Professional to take care of it for you; however, for a basic site, you may be able to DIY with a few simple steps, and not too many tools.

Here are five simple steps to get you started:

1. Choose a Hosting Platform 

A web host is a location where you decide to set up shop. It is your landlord to whom you pay rent to house all your digital content.

Each web page is a room with its own set of amenities and decor such as the images you display on the walls. As you can imagine some websites will have more detail than others depending on the level of attention given to keeping it clean and orderly.

Just like any lease contract, you will want to do your homework when choosing a provider to host your website. Read all the terms and conditions.

2. Choose a Domain Name 

A domain name or URL is your location’s home address. What’s cool about building a website is that you get to personalize it and choose your street name. You will want to put some thought into this as this is how people will remember how to find you on the web.

You will want to decide if you want a .com Address or one of the many other options. There is a fee to register a domain name and often you can find web hosting providers that will include a domain name registration as part of a Package Deal, which helps to streamline the process.

3. Map It Out 

This step is primarily strategically mapping out the type of furniture and decor that will go in each room. As stated above, each page is its own room and will serve a specific purpose. Your Home Page, or Landing Page, will serve as your front door–the first visual people see upon arriving at your site.

Some people display big beautiful photos on their front door to entice people to enter while others may post their store hours and the services they provide and call it a day. 

Before you start designing or building rooms, you should have a clear strategy for the furniture and decor (i.e. content) that those pages will contain.

4. Design Your Website

The design step is easily the most complicated step for most people because it is the first technical step of building a website. People often hire a professional even for the most basic websites at this phase after realizing, during the intense learning curve, how much work it can be.

There are, of course, cost-effective options when you Build a Website, but it would serve you well to learn some basic coding. That said, there are web hosting platforms that provide an easier approach to this phase with more drag-and-drop design options.

5. Keep Up With Maintenance 

Once you are up and running and opened your doors for business, you will want to ensure everything stays running smoothly and in working order. You’ll most likely need a maintenance repair person. If a light bulb goes out or the air conditioner breaks, who is meant to repair it?

As often as not, web hosting providers will offer this as an additional service or as part of a package deal. So it’s worth having a look at the ones that do–especially if you are not very tech-savvy.

As you can see, building a basic website can be simple if you want a simple website. However, the more complexities you add to your home, the more work it requires. It can be the difference between a tiny minimalist home in the country to a big house atop a mountain. Both are fully functional and operational, yet one has more bells and whistles to implement and maintain.  

Choosing the right Web Host Platform for your business can be a daunting first step. Although no two sites are the same, all great sites have one thing in common – a plan from start to finish. You could go it alone, but with Agency Partner Interactive, we’ll help you get started on the right foot and build a website that is best suited for you.

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch ” 5 Steps to Building a Website” instead.

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website_design_basics

Web Design Basics to Improve your Foot Traffic

Tips from Web Design Experts

 

7 Web Design Basics to Consider When Making Your Website the Best it Can Be

Web design is fundamentally the same as print design. You’re aiming for something that grabs attention, catches the eye and flows smoothly. The web design basics are the elements of contrasting color, font styles, layout, and borders. All of this is what inspires a customer to explore your site and invest in your content. 

Web Design Move-ability

Move-ability, or flow, is the design and navigation of your site. A crucial part of web design is concise web pages that are not too long with grammatical perfection and working links. That’s your message. We need to access your message with ease.

Web Design Page Layout

How is your foot traffic going to view this page? On a computer? A phone? A projector? Responsive Web Design (RWD) will Change the Perspective of your Web Page to device-appropriate dimensions so that no matter the platform, your website remains understandable and accessible. 
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is an accessible design option that will make creating web design layout a breeze. You can pick from templates or design from scratch. The benefits of CSS is that not only are the options vast, but they will impact every page of your site, saving both time and money as you implement updates to your design. 

Web Design Basics: Cursive Versus Print

Font style is a major component of web design. We already know that print is typically easier to read and understand than cursive. Where wanting to stand out is excellent, some fonts out there come across with the wrong voice or attitude. Aim for a font that reflects the Content of your work. 

Pastels or High Contrast in Web Design

The color Design of your site should reflect the nature of the content being sold. Consider your color wheel when you’re tweaking this Web Design. If I’m selling a yoga blog with classes, I’m going pastels. If I’m selling the Waldorf Astoria, it’s all non-gloss ivory and gold filigree. 

A Web Design Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

In web design, an appropriate picture can convey what too many words will make confusing. Studies have shown that people have an incredibly short attention span. Ensuring that your website features short content with visuals to get the message across will be a better grab than a block of text that the customer has to scroll through endlessly. 

Got the Map to This Web Design?

Navigation is one of the most important aspects of your web design. Links, subheaders, and menus should be visible, accessible and, of course, working. Try to make your pages loop back to each other instead of sending your foot traffic, offsite unless you absolutely have to. You want your foot traffic to engage with your site as long as Possible.

Agency Partner Web Design Software

Picking the right software for your web design can be a trying and annoying experience as so much information out there can be mean trail, error, and loss of time and money. With Agency Partner we’ll help you get on track to get your site up and running with concise information and clear web design. 

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A Webbed World: Design VS Development - API

A Webbed World: Design VS Development

Design VS Development 
Tips from Web Design and Development Experts

To accurately define the terms, Web Design & Development, the latter first needs to be divided into two components, front-end, and back-end. Each of these plays a purposeful role in the creation, execution, and receptivity of a website. 

Web Design VS Web Development

There is a fusion occurring in the web world. Developers and designers are often mistaken and casually interchanged when discussed. However, their CV’s boast skill sets that differ from the other. Job postings may also get them confused, especially as developers and designers are expanding their knowledge into each other’s fields.

While this gives them both more possibilities and understanding of a broader scope of web work, the two pools are flowing into one, and the water appears murky with confusion. These definitions, in layered order, should add a drop of clarity. 

Back-end Web Development

These developers have in-depth knowledge of how to work with the website’s core. Their focus is on how the site works, and they power it with programs like Java, PHP, Python, Net, Ruby, and more. It is also necessary for them to have a foundational knowledge of both HTML and CSS.

Their ability to communicate with the server is conducted through coded programming languages, which allows them to cultivate the external layout via the website’s back-end. Speed, responsiveness, and efficacy are all essential characteristics of a website, and as administrators of the unseen, the purpose of a back-end developer lies in foundation laying. 

Front-end Web Development 

With languages consisting of HTML, CSS, and Javascript, a front-end Web Developer’s task is to focus on the client’s perspective and build on what the back-end developer has put in place. They’ll fill in details such as drop-down menus, fonts, and sliders. When it comes to being aesthetically-minded, the front-end is the intermediate step between basic development and design.

They’re required to ensure a site or application’s attractiveness, ease of use, and SEO Ability, while a web designer plays purely with the user’s perspective. They employ a form of localization to ensure that the site platform translates across all web and browsing devices and ensure no errors or coding bugs exist. 

Web Design 

Web designers are the visual promoters and creatives of the web world who bring sites and applications to life. Their keen eyes and site-mapping expertise enables them to take an application or website and connect all its aspects for an attractive, harmonious feel and user experience.

They work their magic with balancing proportions of color, weight, texture, complexity, and other creative elements. Additionally, to make sure that the qualities don’t underwhelm or overstimulate the viewer to distraction, they determine the content that is spotlight-worthy.

Designers establish consistency and aesthetic balance for overall site acceptance and enjoyment. Their go-to tools are Adobe Photoshop, Sketch or Illustrator. It is also essential for Web Designers to have HTML, CSS, and Javascript dexterity

Back-end, front-end web developers, and web designers each cater to an aspect of the website and application process. It is clear that there are overlaps. While having broad knowledge is empowering, focusing your skills and experience into the skill set of one title is potent. 

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Dazzling by Design: The Web Design Process - API

The Web Design Process

Tips from Our Full Service Web Design Team

At our web design agency, we would like to believe that nothing happens by accident. Legendary doesn’t happen by birth and great doesn’t just come from good. Sure, some things happen by chance, but great web design is a very intentional, considerate effort. It requires a mixture of experience, artistry, a business case, and a really strong, tested web design process

From web design to website development, the unveiling of a new website is almost always a moment for congratulations and celebration — but the weeks leading up to that event are methodical and fairly linear.

Similar to a basketball player such as the late Kobe Bryant, leading up to the big game, a great deal of planning and practice goes into being ready for showtime. Without adequate preparation, there is no way to know if the site is ready for high volumes of traffic, form submissions, calls from customers, and more.  

Kobe Bryant Quote - No Excuses

To get to the point where a website can be deemed a brilliant, new piece of coded architecture, a coordinated effort among a project team of web designers, business analysts, and website developers is a must.

As a full service web design and development agency, we have been refining the full website design process for over 10 years. In that time, we have completed over 1800 digital projects, and from real-world experience we know that a successful website comes from a combination of excellent team players, trustworthy business data, considerate business analysis, and a touch of digital artistry.

So how does success become a reality? Measure twice, cut once… preparation. Great decision-making. Working with an experienced team that has a vision. There is so much that goes into this, but we’ll try and keep this as high level as possible. Keep reading as we dig deeper in the things that go into the website design process.

The Web Design Process is An Intentional, Linear Process

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The steps of the website design and development process are:

  1. Project Discovery Session
  2. Project Planning
  3. Design Phase
  4. Development Phase
  5. User Acceptance Testing and Launch
  6. Website Maintenance (routine)

Step 1: Information Gathering and Discovery

The first part of the web design process is arguably the most important. A friend of ours is famous for saying “measure twice, cut once.” In the web discovery phase, this is where you work to ensure alignment among all stakeholders. The stakeholders for your website project may include the technical project team, business users, customers, and others that count on your website to be a successful, functional business tool.

Whether you are building a custom site, a WordPress site, or a Magento or e-commerce site, make sure to include your digital marketer in this planning effort. A website is a huge part of digital marketing. Without considering the needs and expectations of customers, your market, and even the competition, there is no context for your site.

Without context, your site lacks focus and purpose.

Step 2: Planning Your Website Project

Understanding the objectives of the new website is key. Following your project discovery phase, the project team is able to identify and plan for specific resources that will need to be called upon to address your website’s unique requirements.

By working with you to fully analyze the business goals, objectives, and considerations that were previously discussed, you are now able to set a project timeline. At a high level, this timeline will set expectations for how the project will advance moving forward. This should include a full understanding of milestones, deliverables, and a reiteration of payment schedules.

Step 3: Web Design – A Pixel Perfect User Interface (UI)

This design phase is a fun one because this is where you get to see your great ideas come to life in a more tangible way. In Step 3 your web design will work to create an impactful User Interface that is focused on facilitating a high quality, frictionless User Experience.

So while things are still light and without any code, you have an opportunity to focus on creating a fantastic web experience that is most likely to result in high conversions. Depending on your site’s purpose, your marketing team may tend to measure conversions as form submissions, product purchases, or phone calls.

Some things that come to play in this process are graphic design, user experience (UX), user interface (UI) design, sitemaps, page layouts, and wireframes.

Here is where the fun of throwing creativity into the ring happens — a knockout between Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock, in terms of concept, color, and web design process. Once the ideas have settled and the business logic takes over, style tiles prove to be a great method of ensuring consistency throughout the site. To wrap up the design phase, your project team will look to you for final approval before advancing to the development stage.

Step 4: Web Development and Integrations

This is where things get real. The nuts and bolts of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and HTML (HyperText Markup Language) coding mesh together here, raising the site from being just a static design to being a functional web page.

In this process, code is written to bring your design concepts and mock-ups to life. This is where you see the power of your color palettes, visuals and content come into play as a marketing tool. During the development phase, your marketing team should have ample time to focus on content creation and a full on-page SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy for the new site. 

As a note of advice, you should ensure that there is a road map for onward travel. After all, this site should not be considered a static project and a true website should always be a work in progress; to maintain your site’s health, it will need constant updates and adjustments to meet ongoing browser, device, security, and user needs. Similar to the latest software update that your smartphone mandated, your website requires at least that same frequency of attention (at a bare minimum).

Finally, once your software developers have finished programming your site, it is time to seek final approval before moving on to testing, delivery, and upload.

Step 5: Testing and Delivery

This is the final dress rehearsal before your site launches. All of the pieces of the coding will need a run-through, any link issues ironed out, and final tweaks made so that it is pixel perfect, and ready for the opening night. In this effort, make certain that every button clicks and functions as expected. Also be sure that the site is tested on mobile devices, desktop computers, and even big screens. In 2020, your site should be mobile optimized and responsive. 

‘Creating a buzz’ might seem counter-intuitive for a website but consider fine-tuning your up-to-the-minute keyword and SEO strategy to be exactly this. Make certain to conduct a thorough and competitive keyword research before writing and placing your meta titles, meta tags, and meta descriptions on each webpage. Ongoing SEO costs can vary tremendously, and whether you are seeking local SEO visibility or you require a more national or global online presence, this step is crucial to ensuring that search engines are able to crawl and understand the subject matter of your site. Also, consider placing a Google Analytics tracking code so that you have a basic understanding of site traffic and user behavior. If your website is your company’s primary source of revenue, you might also consider adding some sort of heat mapping analytics tool and leveraging insights that come from Google Search Console. 

Once your site has been fully tested, make sure everyone who is involved in the web design process understands how the whole site runs. And then you are ready… give your software developer or project manager a final approval and then your site is as good as live! 

Step 6: Web Maintenance 

Another essential part of this process is understanding that it will never be finished. As time moves on there will be a million little ways to tweak the setup, ensuring that it continues to be a market-leading website, rather than an old hat that has fallen off the shelf. Routine site speed optimizations are necessary and recurring site updates should be performed to be viewed favorably by search engines and your site’s users. 

In order to keep the site fresh and enticing, keep on top of content, global color and image trends, as well as developments in your field. Most companies will create a monthly budget for website maintenance in order to keep overhead investments predictable and under control. Think of this as a visit to the Web Mechanic – a regular checkup to keep things running smoothly and routine adjustments will help avoid a major accident and drastic overhaul in the future.

 

Still Have Questions? Give Us Call or Submit a Form and Let’s Talk About It. 

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Basic HTML for Internet Marketers - API

Tag, You’re It: Basic HTML for Internet Marketers 

Tips from Digital Marketing Experts

Between the brackets, there is a whole new world that, once uncovered, will unlock many doors for marketers with a basic knowledge of HTML. You can use your coding knowledge to create a variety of headings, format paragraphs, line breaks, lists, and to set up your photos for SEO detection. So prepare to dip into the seemingly secretive world of coded meanings and symbols as we present some basic HTML tips for Internet Marketers.

HTML for Internet Marketers 

Any owner of a website or blog will profess that working with a developer is helpful when getting your content live, yet having a basic knowledge of HTML will save you from always having to dial 911 for assistance. Learning this skill is a liberating and empowering move in the tech-intensive world of today. 
Tip: When using HTML commands, most “opening” tags have a corresponding “closing” tag that nearly matches. The difference is that the closing tag is always preceded by a slash. This tells the computer where to start a command, and where to end the command. Pay close attention to the examples below.

Hyperlinks

Hyperlinks are transporters, one click on a hyperlinked image, word, or sentence and you’re taken to a different document section, an entirely new website, or to begin a download of a PDF or ebook. Hyperlinks shown in blue underlined text, called anchor text. 
The essential key is an opening <a tag and the hypertext reference (href), as shown here:

<a href=”https://www.destinationURL.com”>click this link”</a> 
The result: Click this Link
Arguably, the most important hyperlink is the one that takes your customers to your website so you’ll want to memorize this:

<a href=”https://www.agenypartner.com”>agencypartner</a> 
The result: Agency Partner Interactive
Now, simply replace the anchor text with your URL.

Paragraphs and Spacing

The popular paragraph <p> tag is placed at the beginning of, you guessed it, a paragraph. Its closer is the </p> tag. This tells the computer where the paragraph starts and where it ends so it can format it accordingly:

<p>Place your paragraph content between these tags.</p> 
You may find times when you want to reformat elements within the paragraph.
<p>To shorten a line of text, enter a line break like this.<br>
The content will continue on the next line.</p>
To increase the space between lines, say to double-spacing, change the opening paragraph marker to include a line-height command:
<p style=”line-height: 2;”>This will double-space all the lines within your paragraph. You can set this to 1.5 for less space, to 3 for more, etc. Note that this HTML command will only work on the specified paragraph. If you want to use it for multiple paragraphs, you will need to use the line-height tag on each.</p> 

Headings

These eye-catchers are reasonably easy to code and are very important in catching the attention of search engines. They begin at <h1> and move inversely: as the numbers increase, the headings decrease in size:

<h1>Big, Bold and Beautiful!</h1> 

<h2>Resize your headings with ease</h2> 

<h3>Discover the How-To</h3> 

Lists

While they utilize the same format and are both flanked by list-item tags: <li>. Bulleted and numbered lists have additional tags used at the start and finish of each list: <ul> will give you bullets while <ol> is used for numbered lists: 

Bulleted

<ul>
<li>bullet 1</li>
<li>bullet 2</li>
<ul>

Numbered 

<ol>
<li>number 1</li>
<li>number 2</li>
<ol>

Images

Often, picture sizing and image resolution can be troublesome. A good tip is to resize your pictures before uploading. This also maintains proper proportions. 

Labeled images containing keywords have a better chance of being noticed in search results. And, in the off chance that a picture doesn’t load at all, the “alt” text at least provides the user with a better description than “jpeg10678”.

<img>src=”https://agencypartner.com”alt=”place alternative image description here”> 
These tools and basic HTML knowledge are resource savers. A solution that would have taken you hours to discover, are now be easily visible and the glitch resolved with these simple, must-know coding tags. Consider your virtual toolbox upgraded!

Website Kickoff Meeting - Agency Partner Interactive

What to Ask in a Website Kickoff Meeting

Tips from Web Design Agency Experts

For new websites and web redesign projects alike, the website kickoff meeting is the crux of the working relationship between a client and the website design agency

Essential to the web design process, this kickoff meeting is the ideal opportunity to identify the high-level scope of the web project and discuss the needs of its stakeholders. To keep everyone focused on the goal and unified in purpose, adequate preparation is crucial. For the most part, the following eight questions are a great foundation for building the website kickoff meeting agenda. By all means, these don’t cover everything, but they help share the basics! 

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Not sure how to begin? Contact our award-winning team today and we’ll walk you through the process.

If it isn’t already clear, let’s just reiterate that this website discovery meeting is the time to explore the tactical roadmap and determine any limitations that may affect the project.

To avoid any future surprises, be sure to invite all the right people — not only the top tier management but everyone who has a stake in the project. If there is anything that you want to include in the meeting agenda, ensure that your project manager has it well ahead of time, and the topic will be integrated into the agenda  of the meeting.

So let’s get to it. Here are eight questions you may be asked during the course of your website kickoff — complete answers to these will maximize the value of everyone’s time and ensure a productive, long-term partnership.

Common Website Discovery Questions

Website redesigns: “What on your site is currently working?”

Most businesses redesign their website once every two to three years, so periodic website redesigns are very normal. Before jumping into this type of project, there is a great deal of benefit to assessing what has been working about your site, and what you would like to see it do differently or better in the future. Asking this will elicit what isn’t working as a matter of course but this question will start the process on a positive note. If any existing user data, such as Google Analytics engagement metrics are available, the team should see that! In the not so distant future, we expect to see high volume websites change their design, dynamically, using artificial intelligence!

Website redesigns: “What do you most want to change about your site?”

Think: “what do I need more of from my website?” Whether you need to boost more sales to your eCommerce site or you’re looking for more phone calls or form submissions, use this as an opportunity to dream big for a couple of minutes. The free flow of ideas should paint a picture of the overall vision, company direction, and tone and style of the target goal for phase 1 of the project. Save the practical issues for later. This is just about establishing a vision and honing in on what the immediate and long-term return on investment should be.

All Web Design Projects: “Who is your site’s target audience?” 

We want to align with all, not part of the website’s target demographic — sidelining anyone is a missed opportunity from the outset. Understanding the needs of the client and how to improve their customers’ experience is the heart of the project, essential to client satisfaction and positive outcomes.

All Web Design Projects: “What is your business goal?”

This is probably the most important question for any website development plan. Are you trying to sell something? Create a sticky site? Or generate leads through an email or newsletter? Find out what the client wants each visitor to do. Knowing the answer will determine the best way to engage customers and spearhead the web design process.

All Web Design Projects: “How would you describe your company?”

These answers will help to establish tone and voice and allow you to build a site in conjunction with the client’s brand. Answers such as, “fun” and “corporate” will determine what the website presentation should be–bright and lighthearted, or serious and direct.

All Web Design Projects: “What is your most important benefit?” 

Remember, customers are interested in benefits — they don’t care much about the features save for how it solves their “problem.” Try to get the client to answer this question in less than three seconds. This will tell you what deep impressions they have about the company (service or product). Exploiting the customer benefits (and indirectly, the product features), the website should grab the site visitor’s attention. 

All Web Design Projects: “How do you fit into your market?” 

Who is the competition? Do you have any alliances? Understanding the successes and failures the competition will provide a wealth of knowledge about the market. Likewise, you may be able to build on the strengths of alliances that stretch the reach of your initial audience. Together, the perspective from these sources will help you discover gaps or identify new opportunities.

All Website Projects: “Within your market, what is your favorite and least favorite site, and why?”

This is a really quick way to discover what inspires your clients. How do their favorite sites look and feel? What is the user experience like? With a little research, you can determine what compels users to return to these sites–what’s engaging and what’s not. 

This may also be a good time to address your clients’ expectations so knowing what they like personally and professionally will ensure you deliver a project that they truly feel comfortable with and that does what it needs to do.

Project Gold

The website kickoff meeting is the opportunity for you to show that you know your stuff. It’s the time to educate the team, develop a cohesive plan, and inspire a: “We Got This Covered” attitude. It’s a process that will pay dividends in the quality of the web design process, the working relationship, and, ultimately, the work produced.

Successfully kicking off a Web Development project takes insights, communication, collaboration, and experience.

Now that you know what to ask in a website kickoff meeting, you can use these questions to guide your client to a definitive plan. Are you building your own site? These questions will help you solidify your goals.

Still need some guidance? 

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Contact our professionals at Agency Partner Interactive today to see how we can help you realize your dream website. For no obligation and at no cost to you, we’ll lead you through a 1 hour brainstorming session. Click below to get started now.

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eCommerce SEO Services Dallas - Agency Partner Interactive

Why eCommerce SEO Matters

Tips from eCommerce Experts

When you are trying to make sure your website is SEO friendly, it’s imperative that you’re on the ball from day one.

Due to the competitive nature of ecommerce, SEO is the critical component needed to raise your website from mediocrity to meticulous. Why? Because the keywords identified by search engines will drive customers to your website. Being a heavy hitter with your SEO means that search engines will place you near the top of the search engine results page (SERP), thus increasing your website’s sales rate.

Maintaining high-quality ecommerce SEO also means that targeted, organic users will easily find your website amidst the plethora of choices. If your ecommerce site SEO is up to scratch, you will appear on the very first page of Google searches. But if you really want to step up your game, you should be aiming for the top three results. At Agency Partner Interactive, we have compiled a list of techniques to whip your website into shape!

Let’s Get this Ball Rolling

Transforming your ecommerce site into a front-runner starts with keyword optimization. These highly targeted keywords need to pay homage to your niche. A good starting point includes using Moz’s Keyword Tool or Google Adwords to research words commonly used in online searches.

Researching your competitors is beneficial for several reasons too. You might feel they are out of your league at the moment, but it’s certain they are using tried-and-tested SEO techniques. There is no shame in borrowing from the best. Also, they may be your competitors, but a strategic collaboration can help you to generate more interest in your website so bear this in mind–a few shared links can go a long way.

When optimizing your own keyword roster, be careful not to be too general, as your website will undoubtedly rank lower. Creating Long-Tail Keywords will almost definitely improve your SEO rating.

Raise the Bar on eCommerce SEO Descriptions

You need to optimize your meta description–the short description shown directly below your page title in the SERPs. Although Google itself doesn’t read this, your customers will. This information is all they have on your site, barring the title and URL, before they decide whether or not you have what they need–so make it concise, clear, and relevant. Your product descriptions will also benefit from a second wind, so research similar products and use them as a guide, but be creative and make yours unique.

Mobile Optimization is a Slam Dunk

As most people use their smartphones to access the internet today, it’s crucial that you swing for the fence here. Make sure your ecommerce site is mobile friendly and you will likely see a boost in your SEO ratings. Before going live, test and retest every page on your website with various smartphone brands. Most importantly, ensure the checkout experience is as convenient as possible.

The Ball is in Your Court

The aforementioned tips are based on years of experience that we have gathered here at Agency Partner. They represent some of the most common tactics used on the web today. You may come across some sticky tricks but some quality research and perseverance will pay off in the long run. However, should you feel the need to chat with an expert, ecommerce SEO is an Agency Partner specialty and we are more than happy to help.

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Web Design Mistakes That Can Harm Your SEO - API

Web Design Mistakes That Can Harm Your SEO

Tips from Digital Marketing Experts

Web design should be classified as an art form in its own right. Just like any other creative work, a website conveys a brand message, communicates with an audience, and on occasion, provokes thoughts deeper than the Mariana Trench.

In the ocean of consumerism, it is vital that your customers experience smooth sailing from the second they embark on your ship. Not only do you need to captain your website like a fish to water, but additionally, you need to be aware of the web design mistakes to avoid.

Bugs naturally occur in website development and too many of these rogue waves could result in a permanent wave goodbye from your customer base. However, if there are any vessels you need to keep at bay, it’s web design mistakes that can harm your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). So if you want to have a whale of a time online, try to adhere to the following tips to avoid rocking the boat!

Is Your Navigation Completely Off The Map?

Ahoy there matey! If you want to really make waves in your industry, you need to make sure that your navigation is simple and straightforward. Reusing tried-and-proven attributes, like the placement of common navigation buttons, is the easiest way to keep things simple.

Running a tight ship here is one of the first things you should consider when building your website. People expect things in an instant, so if it takes too long to find something on your website, your customers are likely to abandon ship. But navigation is just the tip of the iceberg!

Make Sure Your Pages Aren’t Packed Like Sardines

Take a look at all the big fish in your sector and you will quickly realize they are averaging around 300 words per page. Another web design mistake to avoid is too much content. There is a lot of power in whitespace. Pictures and videos can add variety to your website, but use these sparingly. Too much will take longer to load and may even confuse visitors. Keeping your Web Design Responsive and ship-shape will help to Increase your SEO in the long-run.

Stem the Tide With a Good Call To Action

A call to action, or CTA, is simply prompting the user to do something–sign up for an email newsletter or take a simple quiz. From these actions, you’ll gather information about your users. These are your leads.

Without a good call to action, your revenue is going to be a drop in the ocean compared to what it should be. An effective call to action will ensure your conversion rate remains high and creating one is like shooting fish in a barrel. Keep it concise and make sure it tells your customers exactly what to do.

Note These Web Design Mistakes to Avoid Because There Are Plenty More Fish In The Sea

If your SEO is currently drowning under a Tsunami of bigger fish, then it may be time to rethink your Web Design Strategy. As far as the customer is concerned, there are plenty more fish in the sea, so your SEO rating has to be a Great White. You don’t need to find any port in the storm, just implement the suggestions that we at Agency Partner Interactive have made and watch your website splash its way to surf heaven. The world really is your oyster!

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Web Design Changes That Will Impact Your Conversion Rate - API

Web Design Changes That Will Impact Your Conversion Rate

Tips from Digital Marketing Experts

It doesn’t matter if you’re an industry leader or fresh out of college, making those all important web design changes can determine your business’s future. 

Your online presence and popularity are highly dependent on a small number of crucial factors, one being your marketing dexterity. What is this exactly? Your ability to connect and communicate with your target market is essential, and the occasional free sample won’t do you any harm.

But what if we said that website design is the most vital factor when thinking about conversion rates? Imagine walking into a shop and choosing not to purchase something because you dislike their wallpaper. With an average attention span of around eight seconds nowadays, people make their decisions very quickly. As your website design is the very first thing people will notice, it’s paramount that it stands out for all the right reasons.

All Roads Lead to Home…

…at least they should, anyway. Ensuring that your website design features simple navigation is one of the first steps you can take toward boosting your conversion rates. The fundamental rule is to make navigation from one part of the website to another as quick, simple, and painless as possible. Ideally, this should never be more than a single click regardless of where on the site you currently are. This makes it easy for your visitors to take favorable actions.

Pages overflowing with instructions are going to appear monotonous, so a minimalist design with plenty of white space and snippets of text will come across as elegant and professional – novelties that will surely entice your audience.

Don’t Fall Off the Bandwagon

As it stands, projections suggest that by 2020 nearly 3 billion people around the world will be using their smartphones to access a website. That is well over one-third of the global population – a huge piece of the pie indeed!

Therefore, it seems favorable to optimize your web design to account for such a proportional figure. Stuffing every detail of each page into such a small space might be impossible, so it is essential that you prioritize. A call-to-action at the top of each mobile page will be a terrific start, and footing these pages with contact information will provide a solid foundation. The rest of each page can be toyed with at your leisure. Just remember that customers don’t want to be scrolling until the end of the week.

Further Expertise on Web Design Changes

There are dozens, if not hundreds of websites out there that can aid in web design changes. However, and without trying to blow our own trumpet too much, we are among the best at what we do – our online portfolio is a testament to this.

If you want your conversion rates to compete with some of the most successful online brands, start thinking seriously about web design changes you can make right now. Here at Accunity, we are passionate about taking your website into the 2020s with some of the most creative tools and minds available. So what are you waiting for? Even web design changes are just a click away!

Summing It Up

At Agency Partner Interactive, we can help you navigate the tides of change. In addition to Website Design and content creation, we offer social media marketing, LinkedIn lead generation, Brand Strategist, and Business Consulting.

Contact us to talk to an experienced professional who can help set your business onto the right trajectory.

Reach out today and let’s talk about how we can help make you successful.

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How to Collect Website Leads Like a Pro - Agency Partner Interactive

How to Collect Website Leads Like a Pro

Collect Website Leads Like a Pro
Tips from Digital Marketing Experts

There’s nothing like throwing a party for all your friends, only for the atmosphere to drain and the whole thing eventually implodes like a high-rise on demo day. This same chain of events can be used to analogize the unfortunate fate of many a website. People come, have a quick look around, get bored, and then inevitably, get out! The result: nothing but walls, windows and a general feeling of emptiness. So, how can you turn your house into a home?

Start With the Right Welcome Mat

Your home page will make or break your website’s page views and session rates, so make sure it is nothing less than impeccable. A video is a sure fire way of keeping visitors engaged from the get-go. Wyzowl claims that 72 percent of people, in fact, prefer this compared to a text-based welcome. Make sure that all content on the home page is relevant and, above all, direct. Anything tentative could cause the less patient of visitors to look for windows of opportunity elsewhere.

Don’t Lounge Around, Interact!

Lazyboys are yesterday’s news. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 2019 is only going to push forward in terms of interactivity. Making your guests feel welcome and sociable is the key to throwing a good party, so get those conversational juices flowing while the atmosphere is still fresh. Surveys, polls, and quizzes are some of the best tools to collect website leads. Interact and Qzzr will get you started.

Be a Spectacular Host with Live Chat

Whether it’s a conversation about your cookies or concerns about a mailing address, it helps to be in the room–around the clock if possible. Live chat is an excellent way of turning visitors into conversions. Digital may be the future, but people still want a fast answer from a real person, so consider implementing this into your website optimization strategy.

Be a King in the Kitchen

Lead magnets will always add terrific value to your content effectiveness, so get cooking. It’s all well and good feeding people with solutions after they’ve coughed up their credit card information, but who can say no to a freebie? Think of it as a doggy bag. If your guests can try free samples of digital products like ebooks, they’ll remember you for all the right reasons.

The Party is Almost Over

Urgency and scarcity are two tried and tested marketing tactics. People hate FOMO (fear of missing out) on something, especially if it is discounted or merits a freebie. Consider using an egg-timer in one corner of your website or strategically timed pop-ups.

Now You Should Know How to Collect Website Leads

Hopefully, your party will be in full swing now, and your website optimization will be on its way to competing with the best out there. Use one of the methods we have published, or use them all. Alternatively, if you prefer the shortcut process, work with Agency Partner. We already have proven methods and practices that guarantee results. We have worked with publicly-traded enterprises to mom-and-pop shops. We understand the lead generation strategies and how they can impact businesses. Contact us for a free quote and see how our digital marketing solutions can help with your lead generation.

Summing It Up

At Agency Partner, we can help you navigate the tides of change. In addition to website design and content creation, we offer social media marketing, brand strategizing, and business consulting. Contact us to talk to an experienced professional who can help set your business onto the right trajectory. Reach out today and let’s talk about how we can help make you successful.

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “How to Collect Website Leads Like a Pro” instead.

Using the power of Artificial Intelligence, we turned this blog into a video for you. Check it out below!

 

Is Your CEO Tweeting Enough? The Rise of Social Media Relations

Is Your CEO Tweeting Enough? The Rise of Social Media Relations

Tips from Social Media Experts

Innovation and transparency are now key features in brand marketing strategies. Consumers are attracted to brands that are open about their intent and vision. Millennials are a mass commercial target market, driving consumer desires and expectations.

This means that brands lacking in those two particular values are going to want to emulate and prioritize them in their next strategic meeting on Social Media Marketing. With the purchasing pendulum swinging strongly to the side of moral and social merits, brands have the incentive to adjust to these millennial interests.

Social Media Strategy

Based on the structure and pace of social media and marketing, brand competition is stronger than ever. Anyone can start, populate, and build up a social media profile and become an active Twitter or Instagram participant in the commerce and advertising sphere. But a strategy is essential. With more visible stats geared to help companies understand what their target market wants, they’re able to maximize and narrow their efforts into profitable outcomes. Developing a marketing strategy is accessible and simplified through platforms such as Sprout Social.

The millennial age, otherwise known as the “avocado toast” generation, is ushering in companies that think about the environment, are self-care supporters, and don’t keep with the status quo. They support pioneering corporations that are affiliated with empowering social movements. To get a tangible idea, think biodegradable packaging, mental health awareness, and giving back to the community.

CEO-Consumer Connection

As millennial lives are strongly interwoven with constant technological access and connectivity, visible values of empathy and honesty go a long way. As found in a recent report from Sprout Social, it shows that CEO transparency has a substantial influence on millennial purchases. Consumer perspective has broadened to include the millennial expectation that companies active on social platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and Messenger, shouldn’t be hierarchical in their interactions.

They expect that the 61 percent of the Fortune 500 CEOs and C-suite members, who aren’t currently involved on these social media platforms, have as much a presence as anyone else–no matter their roles. Hence the question, “is your CEO tweeting enough?”

Brand Loyalty

Brands that are open, clear, and connective incite consumers to afford them second chances and 85 percent of consumers would stick with them through thick and thin, should they experience a crisis. The human elements of empathy, compassion, and loyalty are strong driving forces behind this new wave of business-consumer relating.

Millennials hold strong voices on social platforms and, as brands are impacted by lashing tweets, infuriated comments, and negative reviews, customer care combined with social media responsiveness is not only a branding tool but a necessity. However, it’s not only millennials but consumers in general who are now expecting brands to respond to DMs, assist with product or service problems, and be vocal when it comes to social issues.

Summing Things Up

The social media landscape toes the line between facade and reality and will undoubtedly see integrity-driven transformation around its adaptive axis. We can expect to see shifts and evolution in consumer expectations of business regarding personalization, transparency, and interaction.

At Agency Partner Interactive, we can help you navigate the tides of change. In addition to Website Design Service and Content Creation, we offer Social Media Marketing, Brand Strategist, and Business Consulting. Contact us to talk to an experienced professional who can help set your business onto the right trajectory. Contact us Today and let’s talk about how we can help make you successful.

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “Is Your CEO Tweeting Enough? The Rise of Transparent Social Media Relations” instead.

Using the power of Artificial Intelligence, we turned this blog into a video for you. Check it out below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Value of Social Media Influencers

Advertising Advocates: The Value of Social Media Influencers

Tips from Digital Marketing Experts

Pop culture, the breeding ground for fleeting fads and lasting trends, is seeing a rise in the contentious digitally-active world of social media influencer marketing. With its controversial tactics, it could foretell both the pitfalls and elevation of marketing in a commercial society.

Instagram and other social media platforms are so commonly used today that it would be remiss for brands not to utilize the space of endless-scrolling and double-taps. Given this vastly popular pastime, it is essential for companies to continually raise their social media presence to keep up with the changes in this virtual, social sphere. Along with brand awareness building and profile curation, companies are increasingly realizing the impact of influencer marketing.

Backing this trend, statistics show that when advertising products, influencers are able to convince 72 percent of their followers to trust an affiliated brand. Companies that promote their products and services with the help of influencers are seeing visible results.

Social Media Influencers Building Consumer Confidence  

As Influencer Marketing is founded on a structure of connection and confidence with their followers, the time and effort already spent building that relationship is something on which brands can capitalize. Armed with a large following and a strong belief in the product or service, influencers are inspired to express their advocacy and form a mutually beneficial connection with brands.

Valued relationships and leader credibility are integral reasons as to why users continue to follow certain influencers.

These Instagram ‘celebs’ have a wide reach and loyal customer base – two very important aspects of advertorial marketing. Through their affiliated influencers, companies are able to target a niche audience who is more likely to be interested in their products or services. With influencer endorsements, businesses are noticing improved conversion rates.

Influencer Integrity

The movement is gaining in popularity, not only because of the freebies and marketing opportunities influencers stand to gain, but because it is a fathomable reality not reserved only for celebrities. From scrolling teens on Instagram to mothers giving advice based on personal experience, anyone with a large enough following qualifies.

That said, authenticity is a significant component in the world of influencer marketing–there is a fine line between integrity and greed. In November 2017, Facebook admitted that 60 million of their accounts are automated, or fake.

These “bot” accounts are built, bought, and sold, then used to augment an individual’s follower base, making them appear to a bonafide influencer. Undetected, these faux influencers have swindled many businesses. Now companies are advised to thoroughly investigate potential influencers before engaging their services.

The Future of Advertising

Children, teens, and adults are immersed in the visual world of Instagram. It’s a source of cultural reference that promotes lifestyles, products, and services through a facade of smiling faces and pretty pictures. However, this is precisely what advertising is – it’s just stepped onto new platforms and is changing a brand’s reach and advertising success.

Summing Things Up

Forging into the digital marketing realm may seem a bit overwhelming for some. And with new features constantly being added to social apps, many believe that there’s no possibility of influencer marketing slowing down any time soon. So, is an influencer the right course for your brand? It’s a tough question. But you don’t have to go it alone.

At Agency Partner Interactive, we can help you navigate the tides of change. In addition to Website Design Service and Content Creation, we offer Social Media Marketing, Brand Strategist, and Business Consulting. Contact us to talk to an experienced professional who can help set your business onto the right trajectory. Contact us today and let’s talk about how we can help make you successful.

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “The Value of Social Media Influencers” instead.

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How to Create a Website in 10 Super Easy Steps

How to Create a Website in 10 Steps

Tips from Web Design Experts

To make progress in today’s world, whether as a blogger, business, or solo-artist, you need a killer website – something with flair and panache, packed with handy features and enticing designs. Follow our 10-step guide to successfully build exactly that.

Domain: It’s All In The Name

If you want to create an effective website, the essential first step is choosing a domain name and registering it with a domain registrar. When you go to the registrar’s site, they will tell you whether the domain name that you would like to use is available, and offer alternatives if it’s not. A good domain name enhances both the brand identity and credibility of your business when it is launched on the internet.

Make a Plan, Stan

So, you’ve got the domain name but you don’t want to be the same as your competition. Now is the time to develop a brand strategy; identify how to create a website that brings equilibrium between your brand identity and goals to transcend from the playing field of competition.  Perhaps you would like your website to be an extension of your brick-and-mortar store, or to fly solo as a revolutionary revenue rendering venture, or, maybe, your site may just be an additional marketing tool of your in-person services.

Don’t Make a Mess of Things

Do you know what impresses audiences the most? A damn good image. So, that’s what you need to portray! If you’ve got great content, you need a great website.
Who likes a pop-up? Not us. Good chance your audience isn’t too fond of them either. Get rid of ads, they are reminiscent of the old-fashioned, incredibly annoying, salesperson who hounds you as soon as you enter a shop. Don’t be that person.
Make sure that everything is easily accessible. Your audience does not want to trawl through a never-ending maze of pages to find the product or content that they need. Keep your website clean, concise, up-to-date, and easy-to-navigate. If you fail to meet these basic requirements, your website traffic will suffer, as will your potential earnings. Click-throughs on your website will only convert to a swift exit.

Give ‘em a Freebie

One of the very best sales techniques to date is free content. Make way premium, enter freemium. When companies sell content services, people will look at their website because, well, that’s what they want. The problem is, if they are hit with a price-tag upon entrance, it will turn them off. Everybody loves a freebie. So, instead of telling a person that you want money, entice them something gratis. The method is no different to angling; when you cast a hook into the lake, a fish looks at it and thinks, ‘well, that’s a hook, best swim away’, but if there’s a tasty grub-worm on there, they jump straight on it.

Psychological Lights: The Flow of Traffic

Traffic is the most crucial factor when it comes to a successful website. Once you generate visitors, you create a reliable revenue source. But until that time, your website will be relatively redundant, excellent though it may be.

Like Glue

Your website will quickly fall stagnant if you don’t work on generating traffic. You need to divert the flow of internet users all the way to your website, and then slap on the red-light, so they stay stationary in front of your product or services.
You can make the masses stay by posting consistent, quality content that informs them of relevant and timely information. Furthermore, you should be implementing emotion-evoking and engaging photographs, feedback surveys, and anything else that shows your business is better than the competition. First, though, you need to get the traffic to your location.

Search Engine Optimization

How do you get traffic? Simple: develop a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. Ensure that there are targeted keywords and phrases interwoven throughout your content, including articles, picture alt-text, product titles, meta descriptions, and product-related texts. Utilizing keywords will help your website rank higher on major search engines, like Google, and will help your audience find you when they require your products and services.

Incorporate Social Media

Social media is fast becoming one of the most dependable sources of advertisement for businesses online. According to Statistica.com, nearly one-third of the world’s population will be active social media users by 2021. The scope of platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter has grown exponentially over the past few years, and so, you need to jump on the trend.
Imagine and implement a social media strategy and have your in-house team schedule posts across each platform, inviting people to check out your website. Using social media is the best opportunity you have to market your “freemium” content.
Hook, line, and sinker.

Going Mobile

Now that we’ve touched on the influence of social media, we should also consider the devices from which your site will be accessed. Given that eight in ten Americans now use their mobile devices for online shopping, weekly, you need to make sure that your website is correctly optimized to suit that consumer demand. So when you plan that beautiful website, you need to be sure that it is optimized to load fast and that the layout is conducive to the smaller screens indicative of smartphones and tablets.

Analytics

Much like Big Brother, you can monitor your audience activities through web analytic tools. You can take a look at your visitors’ habits and analyze their viewing and clicking habits. Using analytics will paint a picture of trends on your website. Viewers may stay on a particular page for longer than another, or certain links may be clicked more often. From this information, you can develop your website to address their needs.

Summing Things Up

So, there’s our 10-step guide on how to create a website. One of the first things you will get into once your project begins is the web design discovery process. To understand what role it plays and its importance to the overall process, read our other blog titled “The Web Design Discovery Process.”
Remember, “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” and neither will your online success. However, if you implement our advanced tactics, or have our professionals at Agency Partner do it for you, your “Rome” will be built with modern expertise, and your website will reach new heights considerably faster than you expect. Contact us today and let’s talk about how we can help make you successful.

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “How to Create a Website in 10 Easy Steps” instead.

Using the power of Artificial Intelligence, we turned this blog into a video for you. Watch it below.

website launch checklist

Creating a Website Launch Checklist

Streamline your web design project

If you are currently preparing a new website or redesigning an existing one, you’ll know that it is both an exciting and daunting task. Like a well-oiled engine, there are lots of moving parts. To keep the project running smoothly, make sure that you pay attention to all of the little details; the creation of a website runs smoothly, but only if communication is effective and understanding between clients and developers is solid.

Here’s our step-by-step guide to ensure that your website launch is a success.

Make an Itinerary

Prepare a checklist titled ‘project management’ for your website. Create a website launch checklist, detailing what content and calls-to-action you need on the website.
Section your checklist to three parts:

  1. Content,
  2. Design, and
  3. Development.

From there, list the specific tasks, set deadlines, and assign them to the respective professionals. This will act as a comprehensive plan of action, leading up to the set launch date.

Prep a Staging Site

A staging site acts as a mirror image of your final website, hosted privately, away from the public domain. Staging sites are used to prepare content and make any necessary edits ahead of the live-launch of your final website.

The Testing Process

Once you’ve got your website made and fresh content uploaded to your staging site, start running tests to ensure that the website works as it should. Make sure that you test each and every component of the website, double-checking that everything flows and that there are no bugs.

If there are any bugs, bounce it back to development for a fix.

Start Operation Testing

When you’re ready to start your final testing, bring a halt to all content and coding processes, and test the following aspects of your website:

Website Running Speed:

  • The speed of your website affects the user experience and everything that comes with it – including the conversion rate, as well as your Google web search ranking.

Images:

  • Double-check that all of the images within your content are consistent in both quality and size. Also, ensure that your designers have included alt text tags with each and that the images are compressed for the web as these play a key part in the webpage load time.

Check your SEO:

  • Search Engine Optimization is the most important factor of a website that wants to rank well on search engines. Make sure that every web page features a unique meta description and appropriate title tag. Everything on your site should be optimized, but your priorities should be the titles, headings, and body content; the titles of each image and respective alt texts; and the URL for each page.

Mobile Optimization:

  • Most people browse the web via their cellular device. With that in mind, you need to make sure that your website is accessible and appealing to both desktop and cell phone users. Also, Google’s algorithm rewards your website with higher search engine rankings if it is optimized for both. So, get that right.

Test The Forms:

  • Forms are an important part of a website, and if yours incorporates any, make sure that they work correctly. Check that the forms lead to the intended webpage, or that they successfully trigger an email.

Test Your Links:

  • There isn’t much that’s more frustrating than clicking on a link and being redirected to the wrong page. Test all of your links to ensure that every button matches up.

Check Your Content:

  • Proofread all of your content, checking for grammatical errors, and keep an eye out for any ‘stock’ placeholder text on any templates, making sure that they are all replaced with your content.

Make Sure Your Formatting Is Correct:

  • Font codes are easily positioned in the wrong segments of websites during the coding phase. Double-check that your webpages do not fall foul of this common mistake; make sure that everything looks consistent and there aren’t any random anomalies.

Think Safety First

Safety is a big factor for businesses on and off the web. Make sure that your website features an SSL certificate. An SSL assures users that your website is encrypted and, subsequently, any data exchanged on your website cannot be intercepted by hackers. Google now incorporates SSL certificates into its rankings, and so, it’s a great plus if you have one.

Map Out Your Site Correctly

All websites have an XML sitemap, which is a file of code hosted on your site’s server. The XML is what Google’s search engine looks at, and it lists every relevant URL that your website uses for the structure.

Check the Legality of Content

Copyright rules everything, these days, from music and imagery to content. Make sure that your website doesn’t have any copyright issues or trademark infringements, and consult a legal team about writing a Privacy Policy for your website. The Privacy Policy will detail the information that you collect from your users, like cookies, and how you use the collated data, ensuring transparency between business and audience.

Run the Stress Test

If you are expecting high volumes of traffic on your website post-launch, you should run a stress test before releasing. The stress test will simulate virtual visitors, showing you, roughly, how much traffic strain your website can take before it loses the ability to run correctly. If you allow your website to reach a faulty state, at any point, users will start to disengage from your brand.

Post-Launch Preparation

Neglected websites are the worst. When yours goes live, it will be fully-functional, attractive, and well-positioned. This can change quickly. To avoid looking like an uncaring business, prepare to make enhancements for post-launch.
Create a document and list anything that you couldn’t manage ahead of the launch but would like to add to the website. After the launch, pay attention to the needs of your user-base; plan to incorporate additional features as and when needed.

Keep in Contact

You need to keep a positive relationship with all of the relevant members of your team and stakeholders. If any issues arise further down the line, these guys will be your go-to squad, there to rescue your website.

The Final Tick on Your Website Launch Checklist

You and your team will have worked incredibly hard to reach this point, but it isn’t over just yet. The day of launch will be a busy one, with the entire team present and ready to rectify any initial unexpected issues that your website may encounter. Also, make sure to submit your XML sitemap to all of the major search engines on which you’d like to be featured. Spread the word about your website launch via any and all media platforms, and then, tick off the final box your website launch checklist.

Summing Things Up

If you think this process sounds intimidating, we can help. At Agency Partner Interactive, our web design and digital experts can walk you through each stage of the process, as well as provide digital support services such as digital marketing and IT strategy consulting. Contact us today and let’s talk about how we can help make you successful.

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “Creating a Website Launch Checklist” instead.

Using the power of Artificial Intelligence, we turned this blog into a video for you. Watch it below.

 

Web Design Mockup Process

How to Create a Web Design Mockup

What is it and what role does it play?

If you consider a finished website as the main theatrical performance, the web design mockup could be regarded as its dress rehearsal.

What is a Web Design Mockup?

A web design mockup is the first visual representation of a website before it is created. This essential design phase is as an opportunity for stakeholders to express their desires and alleviate concerns.

The web design mockup will demonstrate all the visual aspects of the website, from color schemes and layout to fonts, images, navigation, and your company branding. The purpose of the mockup is to bring to light any irregularities or imperfections in the design. Perhaps the client has different expectations regarding the style, size or placement of certain elements, all of which can be quickly rectified during the web design mockup process.

Stages of a Web Design Mockup

Brainstorming

The first step of the web design mockup process is to thoroughly brainstorm everything. The most important question at this stage is: What do you want your website to accomplish? To answer this question, you must first know who your target audience is, what they want from your site, and what you can offer them. Use a whiteboard and write down their demographics, pain points, and your offerings.

Then decide what the objective of your site should be. Do you want to generate a mailing list? If so, then you should have a call to action, ask them to sign up for a newsletter or download an ebook.

Map it out

Next, map out the components on paper – content, images, logos, navigation tools, social media links, and the ever-so-important whitespace. As a design element, whitespace, or “blank” areas, make content more approachable because it is less dense and less likely to overwhelm the user. Graph paper and stencils with common navigation bar and buttons shapes will simplify the process.

As you design the layout, consider that you only have about eight to 10 seconds to capture your visitor’s attention. A clean, uncluttered appearance with easy navigation and relevant content is crucial. Further, a clean design may assist you when optimizing your site for smartphones.

Tip: If your goal is to generate leads, be sure to place the initial request for information – the call to action – toward the top of the site, then give your audience a second chance at the bottom.

Design It

This is where the design really begins to blossom. Using software like Photoshop, you can lay out all the pieces and evaluate color, whitespace, consistency, and repetition. Also, since it’s predicted that three-quarters of the world will access the internet via smartphones by 2025, this is when you should consider whether the design layout is optimized for these devices?

This is also the best opportunity to evaluate your brand messaging. Do the color schemes and font select support the image you want to project?

Test Test Test!

Now is the time to run the web design mockup through its paces. Does going from one section to another correlate visually? Are there any elements of the website that need to be removed or added? Next, show the prototype to as many members of your target-audience demographic as possible and collect feedback for improvements.

At the end of this process, you should be ready for the programmer. However, be prepared to start again, from the beginning if necessary, to refine your design and get it right the first time.

Summing Things Up

A web design mockup can save you time, money, and embarrassment. With these simple steps, you can look forward to your debut knowing that the performance will be its best. At Agency Partner Interactive, we have the web design and digital experts who can help you through each stage of the process, as well as provide digital support services such as digital marketing and IT strategy consulting. Contact us today to see what we can do for you.

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “How to Create a Web Design Mockup”

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web design discovery process

What Role Does the Web Design Discovery Process Play?

A Web Design Discovery Process Overview
What To Expect

To a neophyte, a website design discovery session is both exciting and mysterious. It is that first big meeting between a web development project team and key stakeholders that come together to ensure alignment around business goals, web design strategy and scalability, and general expectations around the process moving forward, among other details.

From the perspective of a website’s design and development team, the discovery phase is the most important phase of all. It’s the first stage of a web development project that investigates how the future website will best serve the demands of a business and its consumers. This is where questions about features and functionalities come into discussion. What sort of engine is under the hood of this new site? Does it need to integrate with payment processors, customer relationship management systems, marketing automation platforms, or something else? Are there specific cybersecurity or data privacy issues that have to be considered? For example, if you’re building a healthcare website, are there any HIPAA compliance issues for us to address? All of these questions matter in the earliest stage of your website design. 

You could say that the design thinking that goes into this process is the first phase of research and analysis. And, the most important piece? Considering your end-user and recognizing for whom the website is being designed.

Discovering Your Website’s End Goals

Of the many best practices of any web designer, a critical one is a thorough analysis of the website’s goals. Much like an interview process, you should expect that your website designer and web developer will quiz you on a series of topics related to your business, its goals, and how the website should play into that mix. Without a doubt, a quick deep dive into your company’s brand is also a part of this conversation.

In our opinion, a company’s brand comes down to six key components:

  • Focus on your customer
    • Who is your target audience?
    • How does your website impact that audience?
  • Culture
    • What can your customer expect from you? Do you promise that same thing every time, with everyone?
    • How can your new website further validate and support your customer and brand culture?
  • Voice
    • Is your brand serious and buttoned-up or is it playful and fun?
    • This impacts the tone of your web content, and can even play into your color psychology.
  • Feelings
    • What does your market think of you? What do you want them to think of you?
    • Consider how the American Airlines Customer Service portal make you feel, and then check out Tesla’s website. Big difference!
  • Impact
    • What are your values and how does that impact your every decision?
    • Does the website design look capable of achieving a specific, measurable business outcome?
      • If so, what is your specific, measurable, achievable business goal from this web project?
  • X-Factor
    • How do you position your brand relative to others?
    • Your new web design must truly empower your site, relative to your competitors…. does it showcase your X-factor?

It is important that you think through what your new web project is going to achieve. For the most part, you only have to show up to this meeting with your business problem, your vision, and your goals. From there, a capable team of website designers and web project managers will guide you toward the most impactful project plan.

In this first meeting, there are no “good” or “bad” answers. If your responses are thoughtful and relevant to your website, then they are valuable responses that will be strongly considered. If for some reason, key things are left out or added at a later date, your project team will work with you to determine the best path forward.

As a friendly heads up, we’ll inform you that the process may well seem like an awkward one — you may even feel uncomfortable being a part of it because some of the business questions you are asked are very specific — but the goal is to leverage your website as a digital marketing tool and establish your company’s image to the world. Everything we talk about is intended to get us from A to B (and then to C, D, E, etc). 

An example of discovery session questions may be as follows:

  • What is the desired project outcome? 
  • What is the project’s expected timeframe?
  • What is the budget for this project for its initial development?
  • Have you considered a budget for routine or periodic maintenance and updates?
  • Who is the project sponsor and what is their relationship to the key decision-makers?
  • Who is your target end-user and what are their expectations?
  • Are there any security requirements specific to accessibility or HIPPA compliance?
  • Is your website in need of post launch support, such as SEO services?
  • Do you need the assistance of a content writer to ensure that your messaging is powerful? 

Looking Externally

Understanding your business needs and objectives is absolutely essential. We need to understand where your company is relative to its market niche, and we have to understand where it’s going. A website can make a small business look massive, and similarly, it can make a big brand seem small and local. What is your goal and what does your web visitor expect from you? What do your customers need? We’ll need to establish the following subcategories to get things right:

  • Demographics:
    • The cultural narratives, region, and identity of the world from which your target market hails.
    • We will likely factor in the psychographics of your customer and work to understand how your site fits into that.
  • Backstory problems:
    • What are the problems, or pain points, of your audience?
    • What can your website provide to address those problems?
  • Your customers’ needs:
    • What are your audiences’ interests, what are they looking for, and how can your website provide a solution?
    • Is a mobile experience just as important as a desktop web experience?
  • How to exceed their needs:
    • What can we do for your business that won’t just satisfy your customers, but “wow” them?
    • Does this website need to accelerate your sales process? What sort of data do you wish to collect?

What’s the Point of this Web Discovery Process?

The point of the discovery process is simple: to design and develop an absolutely brilliant business site. 

Without a proper alignment around what it should do and for whom, then we’re sort of shooting in the dark. That’s why we work to clarify objectives, align around a project plan, and make sure that the voice of all stakeholders is heard and considered.

When we say everybody, we mean you, our client, and your team, including users, decision-makers, and anyone that will touch this project. Everybody also means our team as well, including the web designer, the website developers, and the marketing content creators – quite literally, everybody. That very reasoning is why discovery is one of the (most important) best practices to begin any web design process.

Not sure what to ask in your own website kickoff meeting??  Here's what to ask.

Summing Things Up

From day one, our experts will work with you to build your website based on information obtained during the web discovery process. Our award-winning web designers and web developers will confer with you throughout the entire development process. If revisions are necessary, we will work to ensure that the final result of your website becomes an extension of your brand, creating an engaging user experience, and helping to grow your brand’s reach and subsequent success.

Throughout this process, you can expect us to share suggestions and offer helpful solutions that help you more rapidly achieve your desired end result. Our goal is to help you enjoy the fastest, most impactful return on investment. To get the ball rolling on your project, all it takes is a quick, no-obligation first conversation. So let’s get the ball rolling.

We have completed over 1500 projects and we can share information that will help you fill in the blanks faster than not — Reach out to the Dallas based website experts at Agency Partner today.

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “A Guide to the Web Design Discovery Process”

Using the power of Artificial Intelligence, we turned this blog into a video for you. Watch it below.

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Mitigate Mobile Security Threats

With Heightened Productivity Comes the Need to Mitigate Mobile Security Threats

It has been predicted that by the year 202 nearly ⅔ of America’s workforce will use their mobile device or smartphone when carrying out their regular working duties. In fact, more than 60% of employees already do so.

Several companies have already made the shift towards permitting their employees to use their own device, as part of a company BYOD plan.  With the increase in technology adoption, and in order to keep pace with skyrocketing trends, businesses and IT management are wise to pay attention to mobile security threats.

Limiting Mobile Security Threats in the Mobile Business Age

The answer begins with the development of a strict security policy. If a business permits their staff to connect with the corporate data system through their personal device or smartphone, they need to take steps to ensure that they are doing so safely.

Businesses not planning to do this would be better off issuing company owned devices to those members of their workforce who need them and, in turn, forbidding access through personal devices.

However, in the long run, this will likely cost the business more money than it would have to just create and enforce a policy and allow employees to bring their own devices.

There are a few steps that businesses can take to lessen mobile security threats.

  • Take steps to ensure that all data is routinely backed up
  • Require the installation of company-approved security software
  • Block any unapproved apps
  • Report security breaches immediately
  • Consent to the consequences of noncompliance

Eventually, the use of personal devices in the workplace will become the accepted norm. Businesses have already started to recognize the great benefits of BYOD programs, especially in terms of productivity and even cost savings.

Just as technology expands, so does the ways in which criminals are using technology to their own advantage.

Companies must take the necessary steps to safeguard their information and data. Mobile device and security policies are some of the ways that can be done.

customer Loyalty - Agency Partner Interactive

Customer Loyalty is More Important than you Think

Customer Loyalty is More Important than you Think 

The success of a business mobile app is measured in many different ways. For some companies, nothing is more important than conversion rates or increasing the number of customers who make a purchase. For others, unique app views are paramount because it means that more new people are finding the company and seeing the brand for the first time. Regardless of how you measure success, one thing that must always be considered is customer loyalty – how loyal are app users to your particular brand name?

The Weight of Brand Loyalty in Mobile

For any business looking to market their brand, they often conceptualize their ideal customer as being whoever is the most likely to be able to influence the greatest amount of people. For example, they might target users who are extremely active on social media platforms and have a high following. The truth is, however, it doesn’t matter how many people that person is connected to if they are not loyal to your brand.

In fact, you would net far greater results to have a loyal app user with 50 social media followers advocating for your than you would with a regular app user with 5000. Why is that? Brand loyalty is everything! Especially when it comes to increasing the reach of your business mobile app.

When a customer is loyal to your brand, and to your mobile app, they are much more involved. This means that they are not only using your app regularly, but they might also be interacting with your brand through other forums as well, like on social media, and they are also telling their friends about the service they receive and the products they buy. As an added advantage, customers with higher engagement levels have been proven to regularly utilize mobile features like app sharing or referrals, which in turn drives more downloads and encourages new users.

There have been several studies dedicated to determining how increases in loyal customers relate to increases in overall profitability. For example, a 2013 report found that the average brand categorized 20% of their customer base as ‘loyal’ – and that these loyal customers visited the brand more than 10 times in a year.

How to Increase Mobile Customer Loyalty

Now that you understand the true weight of customer loyalty as it relates to your business mobile app, how do you go about guaranteeing that your customers remain loyal to your brand – and do not simply delete your app after the first use? Here are a few tips:

  • Focus on users who are most likely to use apps. Rather than fighting to keep one-time app users on your website, target the users who are already using apps frequently.
  • Research when and how you should be using push notifications.Push notifications are a fantastic way for apps to engage with infrequent app users, however, they have become more closely related to spam than a viable marketing tool. There is still value there, however, research how to use push notifications in a meaningful and helpful manner.
  • Offer rewards or incentives for customer loyalty.Thanking your loyal customers with rewards, points or some other incentive is a surefire way to increase loyalty to your brand and to entice new users to download anse use your app.

What other great tips do you have for increasing customer loyalty or brand loyalty? What has worked for you? We want to know.

 

show rooming - Agency Partner Interactive

Combating Showrooming with Mobile Apps

 

Showrooming has become the thorn in the side of nearly every retailer. And with good reason.

If you’re out of the loop, you might be asking yourself what ‘showrooming’ is and why it is relevant to your mobile strategy. Showrooming is a relatively new phenomenon and describes the act of visiting a brick-and-mortar retail location in order to try out a specific product, with no intention to purchase it from that specific retailer.

Instead, after trying out the product, the individual will use their smartphone to research the product and find out which online retailer is offering the same item for the best price.

The online industry has had several debates about how to best handle situations like this, the best approach comes from actually meeting the needs of shoppers who deploy showrooming tactics – on their smartphones.

As a retailer, you can leverage strategic mobile apps to encourage consumers to purchase the item in the store, even if someone else is selling it at a cheaper rate somewhere else.

Customer Loyalty

Consider various rewards and loyalty programs. Any app that promotes customer loyalty necessitates a strong strategy that hones in on creating a rewarding customer experience while they are in the store. If there are special discounts that can be found on the store app, there is a better chance that a purchase will be made.

Informed Store Associates

One of the driving factors for customers using their smartphones to make their purchases comes from the ability to conduct their own product research. So much product information is available online, things like product reviews, comparisons with other products, etc. The modern consumer wants to make informed buying decisions.

Interestingly, in-house sales associates are seen as less likely to know about the products they are selling then the Internet. Consumers are faced with the question of whether or not the person they are asking for feedback or information will really know the answer.

In contrast, if employees were armed with mobile apps that were capable of conducting the same research the consumers were doing, how much of a better position would they be in to educate customers?

By properly training employees, and giving them access to the tools they need to conduct their jobs, you are increasing the likelihood that they will be able to assist customers – and encourage sales – all things that lead to a stronger customer experience.