Monthly Archives: November 2011

Going Beyond Mobile-Friendly Sites to Mobile Apps

Last week I discussed the importance of having a mobile-friendly version of your site. If you want to get a bigger chunk of the ever growing mobile market though, I suggest that you don’t stop at a mobile site, but develop a mobile app for your users.

There are many different kinds of mobile apps you can offer to your users including games, productivity apps (i.e. specialized calculators, to-do lists, etc.), educational apps (i.e. industry dictionaries, reviewers and exercises, trivia, language tutorial, etc.), lifestyle apps (i.e. ticket store, real-time train/plane schedules, recipe book, yoga, etc.), and more. The point is that whatever industry you belong to, whatever topics you usually touch on, you’ll probably be able to think of an app that would be useful to your users.

The problem with this, however, is that it does take significant investment to come up with a good app. If you don’t have the resources to deliver a good app, do rethink your options before going ahead because you might be better off with a much simpler app that delivers in terms of quality (no buggy apps please!) instead of a potentially excellent and innovative app that ends up half-baked. Remember, first impressions last and you want your users to tie your name with a sound usable mobile app so that when you do release a bigger mobile app, you won’t be hard-pressed selling the idea to your existing user base, and hopefully in selling it to other users who most probably be basing their decisions on the feedback from your users now.

 

Image credit: Mobile App Developments

Mobile-Friendly Version of Websites a Must for Everybody

The popularity of mobile devices, particularly smartphones, is such that any serious online publisher should never overlook the needs of mobile users. These days, mobile users refer to just about any average Joe, from smartphone-toting moms to high-level executives who can’t do without their offices-in-a-pocket. With such a wide range of mobile users, no website is exempt from the need to have a mobile version of their site anymore.

If your site does not have a mobile version you can bet that you’ll be losing out on big opportunities. For one, shopping sites will definitely lose out on sales as customers are discouraged from completing their transaction due to the impossible check out process on their mobile phones. New sites will also lose out as once loyal readers shift to reading other online publications that offer the news in more mobile-friendly formats. The list just goes on and on.

As a publisher, this means that you really need to look into offering a mobile-friendly version of your site IMMEDIATELY. There are many DIY mobile website tools available that you can use to design and build the mobile version of your website. You can also just hire a web designer/developer to do the job for you.  And even if you just have a blog, there’s no real excuse for not having a mobile version since you only need to use plug-ins or change blog settings on WordPress and Blogger for your blog to have a mobile-friendly version.

So if you don’t have a mobile version of your site yet, what are you waiting for?

 

Image credit: Omeoo

Promoting Your Blog with Blog Search Engine

Promote your blogOne of the trickiest things about online publishing, particularly in blogging, has nothing to do with content generation. Although everyone claims that content is king, the truth is that there a lot of blogs out there that have great content but never get more than a handful of readers each month, if any at all.

The problem in many cases is that these blogs are just not accessible or searchable. Let’s face it, even if your blog does get indexed in Google, what are your chances of making it to the top search results as a new blog? Unless you already have a very wide online circle, there’s no way that you’ll get that much traffic from the major search engines, at least until your blog gets older and starts to rank better. In the meantime, you’re still left with the problem of growing your readership in as little time as possible.

One way to help get more traffic to come to your blog is by taking advantage of niche search engines. Instead of having to compete with countless sites on mainstream search engines like Google, targeting the users of niche search engines will automatically narrow down the competition.

A good niche search engine for blogs you might want to check out is the Blog Search Engine. The Blog Search Engine is an easy way to promote your blog without having to worry about rankings and SEO. All you need to do is submit your blog details and pay the $14.99, which will get you a review from Blog Search Engine aside from getting listed on the index. Once you get the confirmation email containing your username and password for the search engine, you will also have the option of upgrading your package to get more links from other blog sites, and even have your banner featured on Blog Search Engine.

Just remember, once you start getting visitors to your site from search engines, it is your job to keep them; so while I urge you to work on the accessibility of your blog, I can’t emphasise enough the importance of having relevant and interesting content that will keep your visitors coming back.