Go Mobile Or Bust: Google’s New Algorithm And You

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Tomorrow, Google will make a big change to the way it ranks websites. And the mobile will rise.

On April 21st, Google will make a significant change to its algorithm — rewarding mobile-friendly sites. What does that mean? Your website, your landing pages, and your blog should be fully optimized for mobile use if you want to come up higher in search results.

If you haven’t yet figured this out, an algorithm is a mathematical formula that gives a numerical value to data and if you meet the data criteria, you score higher. So how does this work and why the big change? According to Google’s Webmaster Central Blog, “The change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”

If you’ve already got a mobile-friendly site, you can look forward to the possibility of a higher conversation rate. Companies with a mobile-friendly site have three times the chance of increasing their conversation rate to 5% or higher.

If you’re not mobile-friendly, it’s highly likely that your ranking on Google will decrease dramatically when searched on a mobile device. This is a challenge for those who aren’t ready, but it also presents an opportunity to finally get your house in order. If you’ve been putting off mobile-optimization, you’ve pretty much run out of time.

But don’t panic. You’ve got three options for getting your company situated on the mobile side of things to satisfy Google’s new algorithm:

  1. Responsive Design: RUSSO’s own website and the sites we design for our clients are all create on Content Management Platforms like WordPress. Using such platforms usually comes with a Responsive Design feature that adapts the layout to the viewing environment for just about any device or operating system including tablets, Android Devices, iPhones, iPads, and more. Of the three options, this is obviously we’d recommend this one because using a platform like WordPress allows you to seamlessly implement mobile Responsive Design with minimal grunt work.
  1. Dynamic Serving: This is a setup where the server responds with different HTML (and CSS) on the same URL depending on the user agent requesting the page. Here, the site alters the HTML for mobile user devices, but the mobile content is “hidden” when crawled with a desktop user agent. Dynamic Serving isn’t as seamless as a Responsive Design because there could always be issues with the code changing from platform to platform.
  1. A Separate Mobile Site: This is a method we actually used to employ on behalf of our clients, but once we started using Content Management Platforms, we don’t see any use in a business managing two websites. Still, it’s an option for companies to have a website and then have a separate website for mobile-optimization. But the problems aren’t usually worth the effort. You need to maintain the content in two different areas, which creates more work for your staff, and there will inevitably be content continuity issues because you’ll always be juggling two websites.

In addition to this big mobile retooling, Google is also factoring other features into your mobile rankings. Features that might slow a website down and other elements that don’t translate across all devices will knock your rank down. For example, if you have a mobile site with a Flash component, you’re highly unlikely to have a high ranking on mobile Safari searches.

To test the mobile-friendliness of your website according to Google, click here

The Bottom Line: Your business relies on Google whether you like it or not. So keep yourself close to the top of the list with mobile-friendliness.

Download our 7 Tips For Improving Your Website eBook and learn more about avoiding the pitfalls of weak websites.

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Working Remotely Can Work!

Working Remotely Can Work!

Working outside the office is becoming a mainstream practice. We’ll show you how to make it work for you.

We are living in the Golden Age of working remotely. Sure there have always been professions that involve letter-writing and other types of correspondence from afar, but this is a special era of getting things done away from the office or on-the-go. In fact, more and more of us are working away from the office or with distributed teams.

Why is this? The movement to work on-the-go or away from an office is beneficial for employees and managers because it relies on measurable results. Over the past few decades, we’ve shifted our ideas of the successful business to one that’s “streamlined,” “lean,” and “nimble.” That means we define effective operations as one where the team can churn out work without being tied to a desk. It’s all about accountability. And frankly, autonomy makes employees more accountable, and therefore more productive.

It’s also been tested and proven that we achieve better results when we’re in a comfortable setting with a relaxed mindset. It’s become effortless to work in the space that makes you most comfortable — in your own living room or the coffee shop down the street — thanks to continually emerging technologies. And whether you run a small business or a work for a sizable company, you’ve got more tools at disposal than ever to work remotely.

Here are a few essentials for working smarter while working remotely:

Videoconferencing

Sometimes email doesn’t cut it. And sometimes you just need to show your face. And right now, there are two mainstream options for videoconferencing: Skype and FaceTime.

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Skype: While FaceTime is an Apple-only system, Skype runs on just about any desktop, tablet, smartphone, or smart TVs. It’s great for calls and IM if the other person has Skype. Plus, free video calling, free Skype-to-Skype calls worldwide and ability to call mobiles and landlines for a fee.

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FaceTime: FaceTime is an effortless way to come face-to-face with collaborators or clients right there on your iPhone. Most of us are basically attached to an iPhone and/or iPad, so it’s simple to just make a FaceTime call (with better video quality than Skype, we might add). Add a portable speaker and it’s perfect for a conference room full of people to hear. This is our method of choice.

Project Management Programs

This isn’t just for working remotely. Any office can benefit from an app, website, or paid service that helps you mange production. There are a ton of project management solutions out there, but the best ones are web-based and accessible from any location. Here are some of the most popular ones:

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Teamwork: This is RUSSO’s Project Manager of choice. It allows teams to organize work by project and task and gives everyone involved the freedom to work within the task and keep everyone else informed. It’s truly gotten us more organized, accountable for internal deadlines, and better informed about where we are on a project-by-project basis.

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Basecamp: Basecamp is a lot like Teamwork, but it’s missing some of the key features we like, including subtasks and the ability to attach files to tasks. Still, the program is easy to use, and let’s you arrange your calendars, set meeting schedules, track assignments, and store documents.

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Trello: If your team likes short and sweet notes — for progress and feedback — Trello is prefect for you. It’s like a bulletin board full of notes that you add to and delete as you finish. Plus, you can see everything about your project just by glancing at the board, and it all updates in real-time.

File Sharing & Storage

Most Project Management Programs will let you share and store files within the system, but it’s still good to have a back-up system in place for file-sharing. 

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Dropbox: Cloud storage that your files safe, synced, and easy to share with anyone. You can save files on your computer and then access them on your phone from the road. Plus, everything you keep in Dropbox is synced automatically to all your devices. It isn’t free for businesses, but Dropbox gives free trials.

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Google Drive: Right off the bat, Google Drive is accessible to anyone with a Google account. Here, you get the integration with other Google services because Google Drive is also linked with Google’s full suite of apps, allowing users to create and store documents, spreadsheets, and Powerpoint presentations.

So is this all you need to get things done? Not necessarily.

The movement to work away from work doesn’t mean the capital “O” Office is becoming obsolete. There will always be a need for a communal space for business and collaboration. There are some things we get in a shared workspace that we can’t get form anywhere else [clearer communication, the opportunity to make a physical human connection, water cooler chat], BUT we don’t necessarily have to be right next to one another anymore to get something accomplished.

So give work without walls a try. Untether yourself and see what you can accomplish.

Want to learn the best ways to leverage social media into actual, beneficial extensions of the brand? Download our A New Way To Approach Social Media eBook and take back control of your social strategy.

A New Way For NonProfit Healthcare Organizations To Approach Social Media
A New Way For NonProfit Healthcare Organizations To Approach Social Media