April 15, 2015

Web Design

5 Signs You Need a New Website

Web Design

5 Signs You Need a New Website

  1. Your site isn’t mobile friendly. More than half of your customers access information on the web via mobile devices. And they’ll leave immediately if your site isn’t mobile friendly. Need an extra push? Starting April 21, Google will start dropping mobile-hostile sites in search. Ouch.
  2. Your site is sloooooooooooooooooow. You already know this intuitively, but run a speed test just to confirm. Slow sites, those that take more than 3 seconds to load, bounce traffic off your precious pages like a trampoline.
  3. Antiquated technology. Open up your source code and search for <table> or <td>. If you find one, your site was probably built ten years ago. This code is rarely mobile compatible, and it contributes to slow download times.
  4. Analyze the cost/benefit of a patch job vs. a redesign. What is the potential cost of a slow site that loses half of the traffic that’s directed to it? Make sure you include the costs, e.g. social media, search ads, and content, of getting visitors there. Then add in the features your site doesn’t have that could be supporting your business. You need to make this call, but we suggest that if the cost of a fixer upper exceeds 20%, you should consider building a new one.
  5. Your site pales in comparison to the competition based on ease of navigation, speed, aesthetics, or usability. Your website is your online brand. If it’s sluggish, avocado green and a wicked maze to navigate, customers will move onto the next site.
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Googliness

Google Penalizes Mobile-Unfriendly Sites

Googliness

Google Penalizes Mobile-Unfriendly Sites

The latest update to Google’s algorithm, due April 21, has two land mines you should skirt. The search engine will now consider the availability of a mobile site as an important ranking signal. This just makes sense given that there are now more mobile phones in the world than desktop computers. The last thing Google wants to do with a search result is send a smartphone user to a site that’s not mobile friendly. Google is taking this change very seriously.

"Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will have a significant impact in our search results."   – Google

The second, and more serious penalty is for sites that use doorway pages. This is a black-hat SEO tactic that deceives search engines into thinking a site is something it’s not. An example might be a law firm (well, probably not a law firm) that wants to project a national image may have doorway pages for top U.S. cities. This technique is called cloaking and allows the law firm to appear in local search although their real office is in another city. Although Google never releases an exact penalty, it’s clear from the wording that this one will be savage.

Read entire text of Google’s announcement.

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Splitting Up

Ideopia Divides to Conquer

Splitting Up

Ideopia Divides to Conquer

Healthcare systems sell off hospitals and acquire others, and rebrand themselves faster than you can jump out of your scrubs. Behind the scenes, the reasons vary. Shareholders demand profits. And others, like BP (devastating oil spill) and Altria (lung cancer), rebrand and divest for less noble reasons.

You don’t need to be a mega conglomerate to benefit from a little gentle restructuring. At Ideopia, it’s not so complicated. We formed our medical marketing division to serve our healthcare and medical clients better, and to clearly identify Ideopia as a healthcare brand. Meanwhile, our Consumer and B2B advertising division can focus on clients in new categories.

We can’t advise you to split up or stay together without a longer conversation, but here are a few good questions to ask about the possibility.

Does your institution or practice serve distinctly different markets with different services?

Is the general perception of your brand accurate?

Do your different service or product groups require specialized knowledge, or sales and marketing channels?

Could you increase business if you were acknowledged as an expert in a new category?

Does your brand name carry equal clout in all the categories in which you compete?

Nodding your head? Maybe it’s time for your company to split up, or at least see a marriage counselor.

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