google_my_business

Why Your Google My Business Page Might Be Suspended

Expert Tips For Google My Business Pages

Having a Google My Business (GMB) page is a must for local SEO, local optimization, and to help you rank locally on Google. These free profiles are now ubiquitous. All your competitors have them, and the most relevant profiles display at the top of Google search results when Google users are searching for your type of business in their specific area.

Because Google My Business is so important to local SEO and helping your rank locally on Google, it makes getting your GMB suspended all the more frustrating because GMB suspensions instantly decrease your business’s online visibility.

If you try to log onto Google My Business and see that your profile is suspended, you are likely wondering, “Why is my GMB suspended?” The first step to answering this question, and to getting your GMB reinstated, is to find out if you have a soft suspension or a hard suspension.

Why Is My GMB Suspended with a Soft Suspension?

While no business owner wants their Google My Business page suspended, if it’s going to happen, you want it to be a soft suspension. This is because with soft suspensions:

  • You still show up on Google search results, so you can still rank locally on Google.
  • Mobile searchers can still call your business by tapping your phone number.
  • You won’t suffer from the visibility issues associated with hard suspensions.

The most likely reasons for soft suspensions are quality issues. Examples of quality issues may be an incorrect address (which can happen if you abbreviate your street name type from “Road” to “Rd.” or use “Ste” instead of “Suite” to note your suite number), or if you have accidentally created duplicate pages for the same address.
Soft suspensions are generally easy to correct.

Why Is My GMB Suspended with a Hard Suspension?

When it comes to having your business rank locally on Google, hard GMB suspensions are much more serious. That’s because, with a hard suspension, your Google My Business page won’t display at all. And while you can rectify issues that caused hard suspensions and get your page reinstated by appealing to Google, after a hard suspension you’ll lose all photos and ratings that your customers have previously posted.

There are several reasons why you may receive a hard suspension. These include:

  • Having Account Issues

When you have a Google My Business page, you get to assign users who can access and edit your page. At a very minimum, your users should include you or your internal marketing person, and your digital marketing agency.

Sometimes, however, certain users can cause your page to be flagged and receive a hard suspension. This is especially true if a user who has permission to modify your page has a recent activity that Google considers spammy.

If you recently added a user to your page and your account was quickly hard suspended, immediately remove that user and file an appeal to Google. If you’re the only user on your page, go to https://www.localguidesconnect.com/.

If you see that your account is no longer a part of the “Local Guides” program on Google, then your account is the reason for the hard suspension.

  • Using a Rented Mailbox as Your Business Address

If your Google My Business page is going to list a business address, it has to be an actual address of a business.

Rented mailboxes, such as post office boxes, FedEx mailboxes, and UPS boxes aren’t eligible addresses for Google My Business. If you attempt to list one of these types of rented mailboxes as your business address, you can expect a hard suspension

  • Listing Service Areas if You Have a Physical Address or Vice Versa

Google recognizes that some businesses have physical addresses, while others don’t but instead are service area businesses. Google wants to help both types of businesses rank locally on Google. That’s why you have the option to either display your physical address or your service area. Listing both, however, looks spammy to Google and is a surefire way to get a hard suspension.

  • Google Algorithm Updates That Don’t Work in Your Favor

Unfortunately, sometimes Google algorithm changes affect your ability to rank locally on Google and cause hard suspensions. In this case, you need to contact your digital marketing agency, make sure your Google My Business page meets all appropriate criteria, and submit an appeal to Google.

How to Appeal a Soft or Hard GMB Suspension

Whether you’ve received a soft or hard Google My Business suspension, you can appeal the decision in attempts to improve local optimization and rank locally on Google once again. To do so, first, rectify any issue that you’ve identified that may be causing the issue. If you work with a digital marketing agency, reach out to them for help with this. Digital marketing agencies frequently manage Google My Business pages for their clients and are well-versed in how to fix issues that result in suspensions.

Once your profile is updated and accurate, go to the “learn more” button that appears in the red suspension box on your profile to submit your appeal.

Rank Locally on Google By Getting Our Professional Help with Your Google My Business Page

As a leading digital marketing agency that specializes in local SEO and local optimization, we help several of our customers rank locally on Google by managing and optimizing their Google My Business pages. Many of our clients turn to us for GMB help because they don’t have the internal resources to manage digital marketing, they’ve tried optimizing their Google My Business pages on their own but still don’t rank locally on Google, or they simply want to be working with the best of the best in order to have the highest Google rankings possible.

We can help you with your Google My Business page all year long and are ready to go into crisis mode if you receive a soft or hard suspension. To learn more about how we help you rank locally on Google and manage your local SEO efforts, reach out to us today. You can call us at (214) 295-5845 or fill out our online contact form.

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google_my_business_page

What Addresses Can You Use on Google My Business Pages?

Expert Tips For Google My Business Pages

Google My Business is a free Google listing  – with no paid upgrades – that Google encourages all businesses to use to its fullest to help them rank locally on Google. The goal of this free listing is to provide Google searchers with the best, most relevant local information when they are searching for businesses in a specific area, especially when they’re on mobile devices and using search terms such as “gas station near me.”

One of the most important aspects of having a Google My Business (GMB) page, aside from helping you rank locally on Google, is to make it easy for Google users to find you. This means that in order to show up in search results, you need to make sure your business address is entered accurately so customers can find you, and you can enhance your local SEO. And of course, this means you must understand address use for GMB.

But what address works for GMB? Continue reading to learn tips from Google itself on how to make sure web searchers can find you and so that you rank locally on Google.

Address Use for GMB When You Have a Physical Storefront

If you serve customers at a physical location, that’s great! You need to make sure that you accurately enter in all the details of your postal address, including your:

  • Street number
  • Street name
  • Street type (like Avenue, Drive, Road, etc.)
  • City name
  • State name
  • Zip Code
  • Suite, unit, or floor number

Entering all this information accurately on your Google My Business page both helps with local optimization and also allows Google to place a map marker on Google Maps at your exact location. This makes it easier for Google searchers, especially those who are on the go and searching on a mobile device, to find you and go to your business.

Examples of What Address Works for GMB

If your address is:
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA, 94043

You want to enter that exactly on your Google My Business page. Even doing something that may seem harmless like abbreviating “Parkway” to “Pkwy” may make it harder for Google to accurately pinpoint your physical location and mark it on Google Maps. And you definitely don’t want to do that!

Address Use for GMB if You Are in a New Development or Rural Location

Sometimes, certain addresses are hard for Google Maps to find.  In these instances, Google Maps won’t accurately pinpoint your location, which could affect your ability for you to rank locally on Google or for customers to use Google Maps on their mobile devices to get directions to your storefront. This is especially true if your business is part of a brand new development that hasn’t yet been added to Google Maps, or if you are in a rural area.

If entering in your address as per the instructions listed above doesn’t accurately pinpoint your location on Google Maps, then you should include directional information like cross streets or nearby landmarks that Google Maps is able to accurately pinpoint. Doing so will help your location appear more clearly on Google Maps.

Address Use for GMB if You Have Multiple Locations

If your business has multiple locations, you should have Google My Business pages for each location to improve local SEO, enhance local optimization, and rank locally on Google for each of your business locations. You can manage your multiple locations by simply signing into your Google My Business Account.

Address Use for GMB if You Don’t Physically Serve Customers at a Location

Some businesses don’t serve customers at physical locations. Examples of these types of businesses include eCommerce sites, grocery delivery service providers, tutors who meet with students at community locations like local libraries, mobile notary publics, and more. This list really goes on and on.

Even if you don’t serve customers at a physical location, Google My Business still wants to list your business so that you can enhance local SEO and rank locally on Google. After all, Google is all about helping web searchers find the relevant information they want.

If you don’t serve customers at a physical location, then when you create your Google My Business page make sure to leave your business address blank and fill out the “Service Areas” field instead. Be thorough, and list all cities, towns, suburbs, etc. that you realistically service in order to best rank locally on Google and improve your local SEO and local optimization.

What Else Should You Include on Your Google My Business Page to Make it Easier for Customers to Find You?

Google My Business pages allow all businesses to add photos to their free profiles. You should definitely take advantage of this feature to, at the very minimum, add photos of the front of your business so that those who are searching for you on the go can easily spot your location from the street.

Make sure to keep these storefront photos current. If you paint your building, add window awnings or other architectural elements that change the appearance of your storefront, you want to update your business location photos so that customers don’t get confused by outdated images.

Get Help Ranking Locally on Google by Optimizing Your Google My Business Page

Because Google My Business pages are free profiles, they’re ubiquitous. Virtually all your competitors have one, and they’re using their best efforts to enhance local SEO and local optimization so they rank locally on Google. This means that having an updated, optimized Google My Business page is extremely important so that your GMB ranks higher than your competitors’ profiles.

As a digital marketing agency that specializes in local SEO, we help several customers every year optimize their Google My Business pages. If you’ve tried everything for local optimization but find you still don’t rank locally on Google, we can help. By using our SEO expertise and specialized SEO tools, we can find the best search terms to include on your Google My Business page to help you rank locally on Google.

For help with GMB, contact us today. You can reach us by calling (214) 295-5845 or filling out our online contact form.

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enterprise_mobility_strategy

Developing a Mobile Strategy for Your Enterprise Business

Expert Tips For Developing a Mobile Strategy

Mobile device adoption is ubiquitous and has been for several years. If your enterprise business doesn’t have a mobile app strategy yet, you’re missing out on huge opportunities that can boost your organization’s productivity and impact its bottom line.

Today’s enterprise businesses engage agencies like ours for a variety of mobile app development reasons. Some are looking to mobilize their workforce and allow their team members to easily complete internal processes on their own mobile devices. Others are looking for new revenue streams. And still, other enterprise businesses like yours develop a mobile app strategy to enhance customer experiences with their brands.

There are so many different ways that having a mobile app strategy for your enterprise business can benefit your organization. As a mobile app development agency, here is a list of the top reasons enterprise businesses like you engage us to help develop a mobile app strategy and create apps for them.

  • Enable Team Members to Make More Informed Decisions

With virtually all your team members having at least a smartphone, it simply doesn’t make sense to tie your employees down to desktop apps only. Having a mobile app strategy for your enterprise business based on getting information into your employees’ hands faster makes a lot of sense. This is especially true for enterprise businesses that have team members working in the field.

Imagine this. If you have a field sales team, for example, in the past they would have had to log onto their laptop to do things such as write field reports, schedule visits in your systems, and update your customer relationship management (CRM) solution.

Enterprise business mobile apps, however, can enable your mobile sales team to create this information in the field, at any time and from anywhere.

This type of mobile app strategy benefits enterprise businesses like yours in a variety of ways. First, the sooner mobile team members are able to update information in your CRM, the less likely they are to forget and therefore omit important information. Also, the sooner these items are updated or created, the faster your in-house team can begin acting on them, such as by scheduling follow up appointments with clients or using CRM data to make sales forecasts.

  • Improve Organizational Operations

Engaging in mobile app development for your enterprise business can also help you create apps that improve your organization’s internal operations. Let’s continue following the example of having a mobile salesforce team.

Without a mobile app, your salesforce needs to log onto the laptop to complete follow up activities such as creating invoices to be fulfilled by the home office. But with a mobile app on their smartphone, iPad, or tablet, this task can easily be performed in the field – even in the parking lot of your customer’s office.

Field sales team members can easily create invoices on the fly, which are automatically received by the home office.

This enables your inside sales team to fulfill orders faster, and thus, get your products into your customers’ hands sooner.

  • Unlock New Revenue Streams

Do you think that your enterprise business can’t generate more revenue by creating a mobile app strategy? Think again.

There are a variety of ways that mobile apps can help you increase your revenue. A few examples include:

  • Creating an app for ordering your products or services, which can make it easier for customers to buy your products and services and thus incentivize them to do so more often.
  • Creating custom digital content to be consumed via a mobile app.
  • Creating a mobile app version of a desktop app that your technology company might already have.
  • Provide Better Customer Service

Consumers love customer enterprise business apps for a variety of reasons. For example, if you create a mobile app strategy based on making it easier for your customers to purchase your products or services from their mobile devices, you’re removing purchasing barriers. Or, if you create a mobile app strategy for a customer loyalty app, you’re able to provide your customers with rewards and coupons, while also collecting invaluable information on consumer behavior, which can help you with sales and inventory forecasting.

  • Increase Brand Awareness

Consumers like your customers are spending an increasingly longer amount of time in front of screens, including their mobile devices. This means that creating a fun and engaging app that gets your brand in front of them can boost your brand awareness and your customers’ loyalty to your enterprise business.

For example, many enterprise businesses that have nothing to do with the gaming industries have found that branded mobile app games are a great way of increasing brand awareness among their consumers. This is especially true for brands that market to kids.

Everyone from toy stores to fast-food restaurants is gamifying their customer experience by creating apps that their customers – especially kids – love to play to pass their time away. And the more time your customers are spending on your mobile game, the more they’re thinking about you, and the more likely they are to choose you when it comes to their next purchase in your industry sector.

We Can Help You With Enterprise Business Mobile App Development

As a mobile app development agency, we help enterprise businesses like yours develop mobile apps, and flesh out a mobile app strategy, all the time. We have extensive experience helping enterprise businesses create the types of mobile apps we’ve discussed above, and we can help you with your enterprise business mobile app, too.

Whatever your specific needs or desires for an enterprise business mobile app, we can create it for you on either the Android or iOS platform – or both.

When you come to us for enterprise business mobile app development, you’ll have a dedicated project manager who will be your go-to contact person and help you through every step of the app development process. We make providing great customer service just as important as developing a modern, easy-to-use mobile app for your enterprise business.

We’d love to talk to you about your business’s specific needs. To schedule a conversation with us, call us today at (214) 295-5845 or fill out our online contact form.

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mobile_app_development_cost

How to Reduce the Cost on a Mobile App Development

Expert Tips For Mobile App Development

Do you have an exciting mobile app idea? Great! Our agency is ready to bring your Android app or iOS app to life.

We understand, though, that for some app innovators, finding capital to finance your mobile app development cost can be the biggest barrier to bringing your app idea to the market. Understandably, many people like you with app ideas are looking for ways to reduce the cost of mobile app development for an Android app or iOS app so they can get to market sooner rather than later. 

This makes sense. After all, the sooner you can start generating some app revenue, the sooner you’ll have more capital available to fully fund your app idea to your highest expectations.

As a mobile app development agency that has helped bring several Android apps and iOS app ideas to fruition, including from many app innovators just like you who are working with a limited startup budget, we know the tips and tricks to reduce mobile app development cost. And we’re here to share them with you!

Continue reading to learn how choosing your mobile app development platform wisely, as well as creating stages to develop a mobile app, can help you trim your initial mobile app development cost, get to market sooner, and start generating app revenue as soon as possible.

Mobile App Development Tip #1: Develop for Only One Platform at a Time

We know that in a perfect world, you would develop both an Android app and an iOS app simultaneously. But developing on both platforms means you need two development teams working at the same time. And for many, these expenses push mobile app development costs out of reach.

Instead, we suggest you do a deep dive into your target audience research to see which platform’s users you anticipate adopting your app most rapidly. If one platform has the potential to grow like wildfire compared to another, develop that app first so you can begin making revenue off your initial download, ad space, in-app purchases, or other app revenue models.

If you expect both an iOS app and an Android app to be adopted equally, talk to a boutique mobile app development agency like us to see what the mobile app development cost will be for both an iOS app and an Android app. Then, develop your app for the most affordable platform first.

Mobile App Development Tip #2: Create Stages to Develop a Mobile App

Not everyone has the budget to have the first version of their app be the full project version with all their desired bells and whistles. You may have several great features planned for your mobile app, but not enough budget to have them all built and released in version 1. That’s okay. Lots of iOS apps and Android apps start out with a few unique features that make them interesting and then release compelling updates with exciting new features over time.

In fact, many people just like you go with what we in the mobile app development industry call the MVP approach, which stands for the Minimum Viable Product. Basically, when you choose the MVP approach you:

  • Spec out what must be included in the initial version of your mobile app at a bare minimum in order to gain the traction and adoption you want (and thus, generate the revenue you’ll need to fund updates).
  • Create stages to develop your desired mobile app, with subsequent features that will be additional market differentiators being released in updated versions of your app.
  • Develop either an Android app or iOS app first, and add the second platform after you’re already generating income from your first app to fund that second platform’s cost of mobile app development.

Mobile App Development Tip #3: Work with Your App Development Agency to Create an App Road Map

Creating stages to develop a mobile app isn’t something you need to do entirely on your own. In fact, our Project Managers are very experienced in helping clients just like you do exactly that.

In the mobile app development industry, we use the term “app road map” to refer to the various stages an app’s development will take. When you come to us for an initial conversation, we want to hear about all your goals for your app, even if you know you’ll be developing by following the MVP approach. 

When you initiate a conversation with us, we want to know what today’s version of your ideal app looks like. From there, we’ll be able to help price out the cost of mobile app development for you to see what each piece of functionality will cost to develop.

By working together, we’ll be able to prioritize which features come first on your road map, and which come later.

This will help us to collaboratively determine what features will be in version 1, what features will be in version 2, and so on. 

We can also work together to determine when to introduce a second app platform. Depending on your unique goals, it may make sense to get your ideal app out on one platform first, then develop for the other platform.

Contact Us To Determine the Cost of Mobile App Development

Now that you know our tips and tricks for helping to reduce the cost of mobile app development, it’s time to take that next step forward and engage us in a conversation. We’d love to help you turn your app idea into a reality, and we’re here to help you price out and stage your Android app or iOS app development.

Our goal is to create a mobile app that meets your expectations and that your ideal users will love. And we want to help you get to market as soon as possible, even if your initial mobile app development budget is limited.

To get the process started, reach out to us today. You can call us at (214) 295-5845 to schedule an appointment to talk to our team about your mobile app ideas.

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mobileapp

What You Need to Know to Successfully Build a Mobile App

Expert Tips For Mobile App

So you want to know how to build successful mobile apps that’ll be a hit in Google Play and the App Store? Get ready to drink from a firehose! Here’s a list of 11 things every app team must know in order to build an app that’s a hit with users.

  • What’s Your Elevator Pitch?

One of the first steps you need to lock down in your mobile app development process is your elevator pitch. You’ve got a few precious seconds to explain your app to somebody and why it’s going to be the next big hit. What do you tell them in the clearest, most concise manner ever?

For example, are you creating an app to digitize your mobile sales force? Is your goal to enable your sales team to enter sales visits and outcomes from the road, getting that information into the office quicker than ever before? Or do you have a completely different idea? Bottom line – you need to have a concise, mantra-like explanation of your app to share with others.

  • What Business Model Are You Using?

When it comes to selecting a business model for your upcoming app, you have six main options:

  • Freemium, which is when you give users a free app to gain adoption, build trust, and encourage them to upgrade to the paid version.
  • In-app purchases, which are common in a variety of apps from games to Uber.
  • Ad income, which is when you make your app free, but sells ad space to other apps.
  • Selling user data collected from your app to a third party.
  • Affiliate, which is when your app makes money for promoting other products – either for services or a commission.
  • Enterprise apps you create to boost your own company’s productivity, reduce their paper usage, etc.
  • Who Will Use Your App?

Before you begin developing an app, you need to have a good idea of who is going to find it useful, interesting, or fun and use it. Oftentimes we flesh out these steps during mobile app development by creating user cases, so we understand who uses the app a lot, who uses it a little, and what needs to happen to get someone to use the app more frequently. Knowing this information helps us build successful mobile apps.

  • What Functions Does Your App Need to Do?

You may not be the technical person behind your app, but you’ve got to explain what features it needs at least at a high level. During our mobile app development process, we like to create user stories that explain how one process leads to another. It helps us to better understand who will be using the app, and how, as well as how different people will find the app useful for different reasons.

  • What Integrations Do You Need?

Many of today’s most successful apps require third party integration. You may be building an app that needs to rely on Bluetooth Beacons or Saas. The possibilities are endless.

  • Who’s Going to be Accountable for What?

At this (very important) step, you and your partner, if you have one, decide how you’ll work with your mobile app agency, and who will be responsible for what, and how much free reign your mobile app agency will have. The most important thing you can do in this step is to over-communicate. Make sure that everyone knows what’s expected of them, what they’re expected to come to you for, and how issues will be resolved.

  • What’s Your Budget?

You absolutely must know the cost of your mobile app, as well as how you’re going to get the funding to build it. And whether you’ll be self-funding or raising capital, your budget must be locked down so that you don’t overspend.

  • How Are You Going to Market Your App?

You can have the best, most bug-free app there is, but if you don’t promote it, it’ll get lost in a sea of apps in Google Play and the App Store.

Your app promotion plan is going to depend on what type of app it is. Are you creating a game for the youngest members of GenZ? Advertise on YouTube! Have you created a business productivity tool to be used in your own organization? Work with your corporate communications team to create an in-house marketing push, as well as helpful guides, videos, and other information that will aid in the app’s adoption throughout your company.

  • What Are Competing Apps Like?

You’ve always got to size yourself up against the competition. Even if your app is the first of its kind, look at the next closest competitor to see what they’re doing, what they’re not doing, what people love about it, and what they wish they could change.

  • What Are You Going to Do Post-Launch?

Selling an app isn’t an event – it’s a process. While your first upload to the App Store or Google Play is a momentous occasion, your app will need to be constantly iterated on – and have new features added – to keep it relevant. Before you ever have a line of code written for your app, you should know how frequently you’re going to review and update it every year.

  • Android? iOS? Both?

Finding the best platform for your app can be a tough decision, especially since the choice between Android and iOS can be polarizing. 

In some cases, though, making a platform choice is easy. Are you making an enterprise app and the company has standardized on iPhones? Then you’re making an iOS app. Do they use Samsung phones instead? Then you’re making an Android app. Remember, even if you want to develop for both platforms, you can always focus your initial mobile app development efforts on bringing one platform to life, first.

The Bottom Line When it Comes to Successful Mobile Apps

You need more than a vision to create successful mobile apps. You need a plan that’s tied to a schedule and a budget. 

At our mobile app agency, we help people just like you with mobile app development and determining the cost of mobile apps. If you need this assistance, we’re here to help! Simply call us at (214) 295-5845 to get the conversation started.

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mobile_development_agency

Factors Impacting Mobile Development Cost

Expert Tips For Mobile Development

Do you have a great app idea, and are wondering what the cost of mobile dev is to bring your idea to life? If so, you’re in good company. At our mobile app services agency, the estimated mobile dev cost is the most common question we get from new contacts seeking out our app development services.

The thing is, there’s no quick answer to this common question. You can think of estimating mobile dev costs the same way you would estimate the cost of purchasing a new house. What type of house do you want – a single-family home or a townhouse or condo? How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? Are you looking for a starter home that can be updated over time or a forever home with all the latest upgrades?

The purpose of this house analogy is to show you that the cost of mobile dev depends on the scope of your project.

And there are two main influences to project scope – internal and external mobile development factors.

Internal Mobile Development Factors

You – or your company – may have a lot of domain knowledge about the industry or consumer sector you want to target with the mobile app features you have in mind. Or you might just have a great idea, but need help fleshing it out. Your domain knowledge is going to directly impact the cost of your mobile dev. For example:

  • What’s the Scope of the Project that You Want to Outsource?

Some companies looking for mobile app services need help with the entire project, including specifying how the app will work. Other companies already have an idea of what they want, they simply need a team of app developers to do it. Where you fall on this spectrum will impact mobile dev cost for your app.

  • How Strong is Your Domain Knowledge?

Let’s say you have a great idea for a game app for kids. How much do you know about kids’ games, what colors and shapes they find appealing, what music they like, how challenging the app should be to keep them to want to continue playing it, and so on? If this knowledge is in your wheelhouse, then you’ll need less help from a mobile app services company like ours specifying your app.

But if you simply have a great idea, but don’t have the domain experience to spec the app out yourself, you’re going to require more mobile app services. While agencies like ours can definitely help with this process, this work will add to your overall cost of mobile dev.

  • Will You Be Providing App Assets?

Some companies seeking our mobile app development services have the in-house capabilities to create and share app assets, such as images for the app and app copy. If you’re going to be relying on your own internal team to create these assets, you’ll reduce your mobile dev cost. Conversely, if you need to outsource these tasks, your cost of mobile dev will go up.

  • What’s Your Entire Budget (Including for App Promotion)?

When determining what mobile app features to include, you need to be thinking about your entire app budget. And it’s important that you don’t forget the cost of promoting your completed app, too. After all, you can upload an app to the App Store or Google Play, but it needs to have a marketing push behind it to get people to download it.

Once you know how much of your entire app creation and promotion budget can be dedicated to each mobile app development stages – that is, planning and development, maintenance, scaling, and promotion – you’ll be able to have a better idea of what your mobile app dev costs will be.

  • How Tight (or Flexible) is Your Deadline?

As the old saying goes, time is money. If you have a tight deadline for turning around your app, you’re going to need a larger development team, and thus, your mobile app dev costs will be higher. 

Alternatively, if you’re flexible on your app upload date, a smaller team can work on mobile dev over a longer period of time, oftentimes for a lower cost of mobile dev.

External Mobile Development Factors

We live in a capitalistic society, which means, of course, that external mobile development factors are going to impact the cost of mobile dev for your new app. Some of the most common external mobile development factors include:

  • The Current Market Price for Developing Mobile App Features

The supply of mobile app developers – and the demand for them – is constantly changing. This means, at any one given point of time, the cost of mobile dev for the same app will be different than it would be at another point in time. 

Geography affects app development costs too. Mobile dev costs vary greatly by regions of the US and international locations.

  • Your App Contractor’s Company Size

When you work with an established mobile app development company like ours, you will be paying a premium for that expertise. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you should search elsewhere if your budget is on the small size.

Working with an experienced team may lead to more development delays, confusion, and bugs, which will end up costing you more in the long run.

  • Your App Contractor’s Location – And Whether or Not They Use Distributed Teams

If you think your app must be developed by Silicon Valley developers, get ready to pay a premium. The simple fact is that the local economy of where your app development company is located will affect your mobile dev costs.

After all, app development agencies have to be paid salaries comparable to what their local competitors are paying to their development teams.

However, this is where the beauty of the distributed mobile app development industry comes into play. You no longer need a Silicon Valley resident to develop your app.

Competent mobile app developers are located all across the US, and many of them work on remote teams using a variety of cloud-based workflow technologies to stay on the same page. 

The simple fact is, you really can find the same caliber of app development talent in Dallas, Texas as you can in Cupertino, California.

  • Whether or Not You’ll Be Using Emerging Tech in Your App

If you want to leverage emerging technologies and specialized development languages, you’ll be paying more for those services to create mobile app features because fewer people are capable of building apps with this new type of tech.

But if you want to use tried and true technologies, your talent pool will be bigger, which will drive down mobile app dev costs.

We Can Help You Develop Mobile App Features

If you need to outsource mobile app development, we’re here today. Contact us today to schedule a consultation by calling (214) 295-5845 or fill out our online contact form.

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “Factors Impacting Mobile Development Costinstead.

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

 

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The Role of Data in Microsoft’s TikTok Ambitions

 

Microsoft is in negotiations to buy TikTok’s American possessions. After discussions with the U.S. president, Donald Trump, last week, Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft has been given six weeks to work out a deal that satisfies the Trump administration and shareholders in Chinese parent company ByteDance. In an official acknowledgment that Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft is in negotiations with TikTok, the company issued the following statement:

“The discussions with ByteDance will build upon a notification made by Microsoft and ByteDance to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). The two companies have provided notice of their intent to explore a preliminary proposal that would involve a purchase of the TikTok service in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand and would result in Microsoft owning and operating TikTok in these markets. Microsoft may invite other American investors to participate on a minority basis in this purchase.”

The Value Of TikTok

This is where the problem begins. What is covered by the term ‘Amercian’ business and how much is it worth? It is impossible to say how much ByteDance is worth globally. However, at the end of May, it recorded a number of private share transactions that are not transparent but led Bloomberg financial wires to report that the company had an estimated market value of $100 billion. According to the report, which cited people “familiar with the matter”, the valuation was built on the expectation that TikTok — one of the company’s main offerings — would keep attracting advertisers as the social network continues to expand, particularly across a young adult demographic.

Equally important was an assessment by Andrea Walne, a partner at Manhattan Venture Partners that “the trading of ByteDance [shares] is reflective of the global wave of consumers who agree that ByteDance can displace Facebook as the leading social network.”

If for no other reason than this, TikTok would be an interesting buy for Microsoft and would make it a very strong competitor in a technology market that is one of the toughest to break. But is this really the reason?

Adam Rizzieri is Chief Marketing Officer with Agency Partner Interactive, a digital marketing agency based in Dallas. He believes that Microsoft’s interest in TikTok is largely for the data that is available through social networks and the value that that data could have across the company.

This is not new though. He pointed out that in 2007, Microsoft invested $240 million in the then three-year-old Facebook but that Microsoft was too late to the party and only acquired 1.6% of the business, earning it a little over $1 billion after dilution. “Apart from its $26 billion acquisition of LinkedIn in 2016, it has generally been unsuccessful at launching its own social networks, such as So.cl,” he said. “A move towards TikTok immediately gives it a functional, highly adopted social platform with over two billion downloads in the App Store and Google Play.”

If the sale goes through, Microsoft will also immediately earn revenue on the recently launched TikTok For Business Ads Manager, and in the long-term, the video platform will allow them to compete with Google’s YouTube and Facebook. “On top of that, Microsoft will utilize TikTok’s user data to connect with Gen Z consumers, driving innovation in new software and hardware products,” he added.

TikTok Data for Microsoft

PureVPN is a commercial virtual private network service owned by GZ Systems, which develops security-based apps among other things. Based in Hong Kong it has a foot firmly planted in the Chinese market. Muhammad Mateen Khan, a digital marketing strategy at the company agrees that this deal is about data. “This is the driving force behind concerns from the Trump administration over TikTok’s potential ties to the Chinese government and how that data might be misused,” Khan said.

The data could be used by Microsoft in a variety of ways. The software giant has long used Xbox Live to fuel parts of Microsoft Research for future software and hardware projects, and the usage data helps game developers and Microsoft better understand how people use their Xbox. Understanding how people interacted with and used the Kinect accessory for the Xbox ultimately helped Microsoft develop and improve HoloLens, too.

TikTok could also help correct a Microsoft blindspot and even influence how other software and services are developed inside the company. Microsoft has all the data it needs on business usage of software, but it has not been successful with pure consumer services in recent years, which has left the company with a gap of insight into consumer behaviors.

That is particularly relevant when you consider that many young Americans are growing up in an environment dominated by Android iOS, and Chromebooks in classrooms. With Gmail also dominating consumer email usage and document sharing through Google Docs, it is now possible to grow up in the U.S. without needing any Microsoft software or services. “Microsoft missed the mobile revolution and has been playing catch-up ever since, but it doesn’t want to miss an entire generation of future workers,” he said.

Network Users’ Data

If data is the new oil then the principal reason why Microsoft wants  TikTok is to cash in on the bonanza that the social network might offer. In recent years Microsoft’s gap of insights into consumer behavior widened after the company missed the mobile revolution, David Morneau of the Canada-based inBeat.Agency, a micro-influencer marketing agency that works closely with TikToK, pointed out.

Gen Z  that represents a majority of TikTok-ers grew up using very little or none of Microsoft’s software. They are active Android and iOS users. They use Gmail, Chromebooks, Google docs in the classrooms. With TikTok, Microsoft gets access to the data that will help make their products more consumer-friendly. “TikTok will open the doors to the world of AI consumer testing beyond the Office and feed Microsoft’s Augmented Reality ambitions,” he added.

What Will Microsoft Do?

So, what will Microsoft do with the data. Among other measures, Microsoft would ensure that all private data of TikTok’s American users is transferred to and remains in the United States, according to a Microsoft statement. To the extent that any such data is currently stored or backed-up outside the United States, Microsoft would ensure that this data is deleted from servers outside the country after it is transferred.

But it is not a done deal yet and there is a long way to go. The statement, which is dated August 2, adds that these discussions are preliminary and there can be no assurance that a transaction that involves Microsoft will proceed. “We do not intend to provide further updates until there is a definitive outcome to our discussions,” it adds.

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Mobile eCommerce Trends for 2020

Expert Tips For Mobile eCommerce Trend

As a digital marketing agency that helps several eCommerce sites with their marketing efforts every day, we’re always staying on top of the industry’s latest trends. And in 2020, both eCommerce and click and mortar shopping is becoming increasingly mobile.

In fact, Shopify recently reported that 82% of smartphone users stop to physically consult information on their smartphones when they’re standing in brick and mortar stores about to make a purchasing decision. With the power of mobile devices having such a strong influence on both brick and mortar and online purchases, it’s clear you need a mobile strategy and omni-channel strategy to successfully address both shopping scenarios.

To help you make the best mobile eCommerce decisions possible, here are the top 4 trends we’re seeing in mobile shopping thus far in 2020.

  • If You’re Not Anticipating Omni-Channel Shoppers, You’re Missing Out

Your business doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and neither do your customers. Today’s eCommerce websites and click and mortars need to be using an omnichannel marketing strategy to get their brand message in front of customers wherever they are, whenever they are.

Depending on your business size and brand, you may want to leverage a variety of digital and physical marketing channels, including:

  1. Ads optimized on mobile, especially for Pay-Per-Click and social media advertising.
  2. Remarketing ads for both mobile and desktop devices.
  3. Inbound marketing options such as SEO blogs on content relevant to your brand.
  4. Email marketing such as drip campaigns to prospects and customers.
  5. Out-of-home advertising such as billboards, bulletins, and bus shelters.
  6. TV ads or YouTube pre-roll ads.
  7. Radio ads.
  8. Point-of-Sale displays in physical stores.

When you have a good, omnichannel marketing mix, you can ensure that your customers are seeing or hearing your brand message wherever they are.

  • Simple Mobile Websites with Native Mobile eCheckouts Make it Easier for Customers to Buy Your Products

Today’s click and mortar shopper may be physically holding your product in his or her hand, but want to quickly jump on your website to read detailed product specs or watch a short product video before making a purchasing decision.

This means your mobile site needs to be easy to use, quick to load, and have all relevant information just a tap or swipe away.

When it comes to prioritizing these efforts, it’s clear that increasing the speed at which your mobile site loads takes center stage. Use smaller images so that your mobile website loads faster because today’s shoppers aren’t patient. In fact, BigCommerce found out that 40% of online shoppers will leave a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.

Your eCommerce checkout process should also be as frictionless as possible. For your mobile site, this means it should only take a few taps for your customers to go from viewing your products to purchasing them. 

Thankfully, nearly everyone in the industry has adopted responsive design by now, so pinching and zooming in online carts is a thing of the past. But additional tips to make it easier for your customers to buy from your eCommerce website include:

  1. Allowing customers to create accounts on your checkout site, so repeat customers can simply log in to load their preferred shipping and payment details.
  2. Limiting the number of forms customers need to fill into only the essentials.
  3. Using smaller sized images so that pages load faster. Long eCheckout times increase abandoned shopping carts.
  4. Accepting a variety of payment options that mobile users love, such as PayPal, Apple Pay, and Android Pay.
  • Social Marketing + Social Selling = Big Wins

Shopify recently reported that 55% of eCommerce shoppers bought a product after first learning about it on social media. This data point tells you just how important your social media strategy – both for organic and paid content – is when it comes to finding new prospects and converting them into paying customers who will hopefully keep on coming back for more of your products.

A great social selling technique to explore is shoppable Instagram posts – if that makes sense for your brand. For many eCommerce sites that are targeting Millennials and young GenXers, Instagram is a great social selling platform.

Other social selling tactics include:

  1. Offering special coupons or discount codes exclusively through your social media channels.
  2. Working with Influencers – especially on Instagram – to use your products and post about them with great content, compelling images, and carefully curated hashtags.
  3. If you’re selling to Gen Z, having an Influencer take over your brand’s Snapchat account or sponsoring videos posted by popular YouTubers with a strong following.
  4. Using social media remarketing ads to remind people about your products if they visited your website recently but didn’t make a purchase.
  • Create Mobile Apps that Offer Customer Loyalty Programs

Mobile apps for click and mortars and even strictly brick and mortars that offer customer loyalty programs are now bigger than ever. You’d be surprised what shoppers will download and install on their mobile device to earn a free coffee, get 5% off a purchase, or play on gamified mobile apps.

Everyone from big box stores to gas stations to grocery stores are creating mobile apps in which customers can find deals, redeem a nominal coupon, or get a preview at your click and mortar’s Sunday ads.

And if you aren’t already using mobile apps for a click and mortar customer loyalty program, you need to develop one now. These types of mobile apps give you a wealth of consumer data, allowing you to more accurately create customer profiles for your business, forecast product sales, purchase the right amount of inventory, and make the most timely promotions that’ll fly off your physical (and virtual) shelves.

Contact Us for Help with a Mobile eCommerce Marketing Strategy

Whether you’re having a hard time developing the right marketing mix for the omnichannel or need assistance with your eCommerce website, we’re digital marketing experts who can help.

To schedule a time to talk about your mobile eCommerce marketing strategy and needs, call us at (214) 295-5845 or fill out our online contact form.

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “Mobile eCommerce Trends for 2020instead.

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

 

 

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eCommerce Marketing Strategy During COVID19

Expert Tips For eCommerce Marketing Strategy

As the current resurgence of COVID19 cases in the US – especially in the Sunbelt – is showing eCommerce marketers like you, the COVID19 pandemic is going to stay with our country and the world for a while longer. But how can you best pivot your eCommerce marketing efforts to be sensitive about the COVID19 pandemic and its resurgence in the US while maintaining current customer engagement and finding potential new customers?

To help you stay relevant during these unprecedented times and maintain customer engagement, here are 3 eCommerce marketing strategies we recommend you deploy now.

  • Reach Out to Your Customer Base in an Authentic Way

COVID19 is affecting everything – from businesses to schools to the economy – so we know that it must be impacting your eCommerce business in some way too. 

Your staff might be working remotely now – while also trying to keep their kids entertained or on target with distance learning milestones – which may mean that it’s taking longer for your team to respond to customer phone calls and emails. Or, you might be experiencing delays in your supply chain or shipping timeline, which means it’s taking longer for your products to get into your customers’ hands.

Whatever your eCommerce business’s unique case, make sure to send an email update to your current customer base about how you’re both responding to COVID19 and how it’s impacting your business. Also, create a special page on your website – with an easy-to-see alert on your homepage – for new customers to read about these impacts as well.
For example:

  • If you’ve implemented a work-from-home policy, let your customers and prospects know, as well as any delays this new policy may have on customer service.
  • If your product shipments are taking longer to be received, give your customers a heads up so they won’t be left in the dark wondering where their packages are.
  • If you’re taking special precautions at your business location to make sure everything is properly sanitized to ensure a safer work environment for your employees, tell your customers. They’ll appreciate knowing you’re doing everything possible to protect your team.
  • If you’re doing anything special to support your community during this pandemic, such as donating a portion of sales to non-profits responding to COVID19 emergencies, share this information. Modern customers love hearing about corporate stewardship.

Whatever you do, don’t make promises you can’t keep. Adding a closing line to your customer email or COVID19 response web page such as, “Let us know if there’s anything else we can do to support you,” may sound helpful, but it could be easily misconstrued as carte blanche by some customers who have fallen on desperate times.

Instead, make supportive statements about your newly implemented policies you are ready to follow through on, such as promising a quick refund on a back-ordered item, and a full refund on an item that gets delayed in shipping by your predetermined amount of days, and so on.

  • Increase Customer Engagement Through Regular Social Media Updates

Social media has always been a great customer engagement tactic. But now that massive amounts of people are working from home and staying at home when they’re not working due to social distancing measures, more people are online now than ever before.

First, make sure to use your social media to communicate how COVID19 is impacting your business, just as was suggested in the tip above. Then, post content that is pandemic-sensitive to boost customer engagement.

For example, now’s not the time to be putting hard pushes on social media for a new product. And with many locations still having strict social distancing measures in place, it’s also not a good idea to encourage your followers to “venture out” or enjoy your products while “on a night out on the town.”

Instead, post social media content that checks in on how your customers are doing mentally and emotionally while being distanced from their friends and extended family members, juggling work and family obligations, shows how your products can assist them as they’re working remotely and social distancing, and highlights any community service or corporate stewardship you’re doing right now.

  • Use Your Blog – or Start Blogging if You Aren’t Already – To Increase Your Website’s SEO Value

Blogging has long been an important eCommerce marketing task to increase the SEO value of your website. When you blog SEO content relevant to your eCommerce business, it increases the likelihood it’ll rank high in search engines, and thus makes your eCommerce site easier for new customers and prospects to find.

But blogging has other values outside of the SEO world.

People love consuming good content. And since they’re spending so much time online these days, they’re reading more if it. This means a blog you write with the intention of boosting your SEO eCommerce marketing efforts can also be repurposed in an email blast to customers or a social post on a platform like Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. And best of yet, when your customers are reading your content as they’re spending their days inside their homes, they’re thinking about your brand and your products.

An Important Note on COVID19 Messaging

When you’re creating content specifically related to the pandemic, keep in mind that it can be a polarizing topic for some. If you’re a company that likes to put a flag in the ground and state your opinion on controversial issues, go for it and be true to your brand. 

But if you want your messaging to be all-inclusive, keep a neutral tone in all content related to the pandemic.

Call Us for Help Pivoting Your eCommerce Marketing Strategy in the Midst of COVID19

Are you so deep in the trenches making your business work during this pandemic that you don’t have time to dedicate to pivoting your eCommerce marketing strategy? If so, we completely understand and we’re here to help.

Our team of digital marketing experts is currently helping eCommerce sites just like yours adjust their marketing strategies in the wake of COVID19. We can help you develop a solid COVID19 digital marketing strategy too. 

Call us to schedule a free consultation so that we can learn about your business and your unique marketing needs in the wake of this pandemic. We can be reached at (214) 295-5845 or through our online contact form.

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “eCommerce Marketing Strategy During COVID19instead.

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