Mobile – Social media business strategies blog Sun, 25 Mar 2018 22:10:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Mobile – 32 32 How to create mobile-friendly content with Google’s AMP Tue, 17 Jan 2017 10:49:52 +0000 Continue reading ]]> How Accelerated Mobile Pages can fuel your mobile marketing strategy

Target audience: Businesses, brands, mobile marketers, digital marketers, advertising agencies, SEO specialists, entrepreneurs, educators, journalists, Web publishers.

Post by Anna Rodriguez

annaA lot has been said about Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and how it affects business owners, startups and digital marketers. AMP is a Google-backed open-source project that launched last February as an open standard to make it easier for any publisher to have pages load quickly on mobile devices.

In an increasingly mobile world, AMP is a tool or open source framework that speeds up browsing when you’re using a mobile phone or or tablets. Think of it an easy way to build lightweight web pages.


Photo courtesy of Unsplash via Pexels

The wonders of AMP

AMP, like Facebook’s Instant Articles and Apple’s Apple News, is designed to reduce bounce rates and improve users’ social media experience. With this framework, publishers need not worry that their target audience is ignoring their content because it’s too cumbersome to read on a smartphone. AMP boosts loading speed by as much as 85%, significantly cutting bounce rates.

Google is placing more and more emphasis on speed and mobile friendliness. AMP helps with that.

Google’s new framework is not yet considered a factor in page ranking, but its indirect impact cannot be understated. Some of the most influential ranking factors are content quality, content length, image optimization and multimedia. Google is also placing more and more emphasis on speed and mobile friendliness. An AMP-optimized page with quality content will increase its chances of making it to the top of research results. Thus, AMP improves ranking albeit incidentally.

Perhaps the most important benefit of AMP to businesses and publishers is increased advertising revenue. AMP “seeks simultaneously to create a great user experience, to give more autonomy to publishers to deliver that and to develop effective advertising for the mobile Web,” according to Tony Danker, chief strategy officer at Guardian News & Media. Google’s new framework restricts pop-ups widely used for online ads. However, there are ad technologies such as Google AdSense, Amazon A9 and AdTech that businesses and publishers can use in concert with AMP. Developers are also working on more AMP extensions to enable paywalls and subscriptions.

relay race

Photo courtesy of Pixabay via Pexels

AMP leads mobile publishing

In May 2015, Facebook launched Instant Articles. Apple’s Apple News was released a month later. Facebook allows users to open pages without leaving the Facebook environment. Publishers may import their content with the Instant Articles API, an RSS feed or use a third-party platform like WordPress. Apple News enables publishers to create articles directly in its News Publisher or import articles through the Apple News API.

In October 2015, Google’s AMP offered an easier alternative for publishers to distribute content. By adding HTML extensions, a Web page is optimized without needing to go through an app or third-party platform. Businesses are also spared the extra task of re-creating articles.

“If there’s one partner to get in bed with, it’s Google, because they’re always on the up-and-up,” Noah Szubski, chief product officer at the Daily Mail in London, said recently. He commends Google’s collaborative approach and easy access to leadership and engineers. “You get all the tracking, you get the ability to monetize, your AMP pages look the way you want them to look,” he says.

The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BBC, Financial Times and the Daily Mail are a few of the publishers that tip their hat to AMP’s positive effect on their social media sharing, and they’re effectively use AMP to expand their readership.


Photo courtesy of Unsplash via Pexels

The international cast of social media mobile businesses

The future of the Internet is in mobile. More than half of the world’s population consists of active mobile phone users. This rate has been increasing at an average rate of 16% annually. Social media is the new battlefield for information and online business. Instagram is more than a photo-sharing site for many Asian users. The Facebook-owned site is a top shopping venue for Asian consumers.

A recent poll suggests that about 30% of online sales in Southeast Asia occurred via social media sites in 2016. This dwarfs the 7% rate in the US. Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam are among Facebook Shop’s 10 largest markets in the world. These emerging markets are projected to help propel the global economy in the decades to come.

With AMP and Instant Articles, businesses are able to market products better and reach more consumers through a faster browsing experience.


Photo courtesy of Clem Onojeghuo via Pexels

AMP & interactions in social networks

According to a Google study, 40% of users abandon pages that take more than 3 seconds to load

How does AMP affect mobile interactions? “A better, faster mobile web is better for everyone, including users, platforms like Pinterest, and publishers,” Jon Parise, product engineer at Pinterest, wrote on the Pinterest blog. According to a Google study, 40% of users abandon pages that take more than 3 seconds to load. This is alarming for publishers and online businesses.

Before AMP, Nuzzel’s founder Jonathan Abrams tried various ways to improve website speed from reducing server response time to optimizing images. “A page loads in less than half a second when Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages is enabled,” he said recently.

Evidently, AMP improves social media interactions. Publishers can concentrate on producing quality content, including multimedia that can make message delivery more effective. AMP fuels content marketing strategies.


Photo courtesy of Lisa Fotios via Pexels

Improving social media interactions via AMP

AMP offers businesses and publishers an overview of relevant data via its analytics tools. By adding the amp-analytics element to the body of the web page, developers can enable page, event and social tracking. Page tracking monitors the number of visitors on a particular page while event tracking measures user interactions with content. The latter can be tracked independently from a page. To know when a user clicks on a piece of social media content, the social interactions analytics captures the number of times users “tweet,” “like,” “share” or perform other social network-related actions. Developers can also create their own configuration to monitor and extract data they need from their social media sites.

With this data, businesses and publishers are guided as they develop more refined mobile and social media marketing strategies. They’re able to define the type of content to produce, the multimedia to use and ways to improve social media interactions.


Photo courtesy of Unsplash via Pexels

AMP needs to accelerate further

Publisher Thrillist reported that 15% of its search traffic is generated from AMP while USA News Network attributes 12% of all mobile page views to Google’s open source framework. Now, businesses and publishers want Google to step up the game.

“I’d like to see them offer more advertising options, but the whole premise is speed,” John Potter, chief tech officer at Purch, said recently. Michael Kuntz of USA Today Network adds that they want AMP to be “more about video, branded content, richer opportunities.”

The world’s largest tech companies are seeing the trend in Internet browsing and online business. The future is in social media and mobile browsing. Facebook, Apple, and Google launched platforms in an effort to improve users’ browsing experience and accommodate companies’ business pursuits. Today, Google’s AMP is leading the mobile publishing race.

Are you using AMP on your business’s website?

Anna Rodriguez is a content writer, digital marketer and real estate manager. Connect with her on LinkedIn.
Mobile app stats & growth trends you need to know (infographic) Tue, 12 Apr 2016 10:10:22 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Post by Andrew Gazdecki
CEO at Bizness Apps

Financial forecasters expect the mobile app industry to double over the next four years. As the evidence has indicated for some time, the mobile industry is exploding with growth. Such a large potential for growth suggests that mobile stakeholders need research, and more research, to buttress their decision-making.

So we’ve done some homework and gathered the data to show you where the most growth is coming from in the app industry.

Both the iOS and Android platforms are projected to grow substantially by 2020, and as mobile technology continues to evolve, the potential for companies of all sizes to get involved in mobile sooner than later has never been more important.

Bizness Apps crunched the numbers based on app economy forecasts by popular app metrics site App Annie, so check out the infographic below to see the results:


For a deeper dive, read the entire report here:

Trends for 2015: Light apps, unbundled experiences Mon, 05 Jan 2015 13:02:31 +0000 Continue reading ]]> timelapse
A timelapse created with Instagram’s Hyperlapse, one of a new breed of apps.

Why people are loving Facebook Messenger, RWND & Hyperlapse

Ayelet NoffThe past year has been a year of exciting revolutions in the mobile universe. New mobile messaging and sharing platforms in every conceivable medium — images, videos, texts and even two-letter words — are constantly inventing and reinventing new ways for us to communicate.

With different apps available in different mediums, communication is getting better. In the past we may have thought that the most convenient platform for messaging or socializing would be a one-stop-shop that enables communication across multiple mediums. These days, the latest trend is apps becoming ‘‘light.’’ With specialized apps becoming more popular and concise, it’s become clear that we no longer require a single outlet for our social mobile needs when different platforms can suit our specific needs perfectly and better convey a tailored experience.

Despite early resistance, Facebook Messenger was the most downloaded free app for iPhones in 2014, passing both WhatsApp and Snapchat

With unbundling becoming a growing trend, we’re starting to see more and more specialized apps with unique advantages. Facebook’s Messenger app is a great example. When Facebook first launched the new app, users were reluctant to adopt the unbundled app. Complaints and angry op-eds were everywhere. Yet despite early resistance, Facebook Messenger was the most downloaded free app for iPhones in 2014, passing both WhatsApp and Snapchat.

Some were also skeptical about Instagram’s Hyperlapse, which has been extremely popular with users and made it onto several best of 2014 lists. Hyperlapse features built-in stabilization technology that lets you create moving, handheld time lapses that result in a cinematic feel, as the Instagram blog puts it. Yo (disclosure: Yo is a Blonde 2.0 client), which is a zero character messenger app with one feature, has garnered incredible success worldwide, emphasizing people’s desire for light, sleek and simple apps.

RWND: A focus on simplicity & fun

Another great example is RWND (disclosure: RWND is a Blonde 2.0 client). RWND is a light, simple and fun applet, with one function: an instant replay button. It lets users create an endless loop of their perfect moments; a baby’s first steps, a proposal, or your idiot brother falling on his face attempting to jump over the family cat. Any video recorded or uploaded will play back and forth on an endless loop. RWND is all about one basic thing – fun! You’d be surprised how many hours you can spend watching loops of hilarious videos, created either by friends or random strangers using the app.

The RWND team previously worked on a video sharing social network called Zarfo. They noticed that users were always skipping back to short moments in a video, uploading long videos when all they really needed is 2.5 seconds. That’s how they came up with RWND (in only 30 days). They realized their users were looking for something clean and simple, and they gave them exactly what they wanted.

Both the mobile world in general and the app universe specifically are constantly changing and evolving. At the moment everything is shifting toward unbundling and lighter, simpler apps in general. Everyone is following this trend – and with social media giants like Instagram and Facebook are already on board, many more are sure to follow in the near future.

SMS marketing: A good add-on for your social media campaigns Mon, 06 Oct 2014 12:01:56 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

SMS marketing is powerful and direct, but it can be intrusive if you don’t establish boundaries.

The power of coupons to convert … and other mobile tips

Target audience: Marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, brand managers, businesses, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

Post by Andrew Lisa

Andrew-LisaShort message service (SMS) marketing is among the most direct and effective forms of marketing ever invented. It requires substantially less budget and technical know-how than other popular forms of digital marketing such as apps and social media marketing.

At its purest, in fact, SMS marketing is social marketing. Club promoters and entertainment publicists have used SMS marketing as a cornerstone of their campaigns to create buzz and increase sales since the technology appeared 22 years ago. Your business can, too. Just know the medium and develop a strong strategy.

Wait for an invitation and give them a way out

The article “Best Practices for Mass SMS Campaigns” starts by outlining the two most important elements of SMS marketing: get permission before you text and always give them a way to unsubscribe.

The reason SMS marketing is so powerful is because it is so incredibly personal. Our cell phones – especially our smartphones – are our banks, our photo albums, our Internet cafes and our mailboxes.

Respect boundaries

When you send a text message, it’s not the same as knocking on someone’s front door, but it’s in the same ballpark. It is against best business practices – and the law – to send SMS marketing messages to people who did not give you the OK or who want to stop receiving them. To prevent problems down the road, get confirmation that they want to be on your list by having them text a certain word or phrase in response to an offer to send them deals and updates.

Telemarketers annoy people when they call at dinnertime. Text messages, too, must be timed with consideration.

Coupons and contests: The tools of the SMS trade

Cell phones have seen many evolutions, but the power of SMS marketing never gets old.

Cell phones have seen many evolutions, but the power of SMS marketing never gets old.

Contests are one of the greatest ways to harness the power of SMS marketing – or any social marketing platform, for that matter. Spend money on a good prize that’s relevant to your customer base – it will be worth every penny if it helps you build a loyal customer base.

One of the most basic rules of SMS marketing is to provide something with value. Coupons – or coupon codes, which are a great way to get out of asking your customers to click a link – give your customers something genuinely worthwhile, and they convert to sales more through SMS than in any other format, including social media marketing.

SMS marketing targets one of the most intimate and familiar methods of communication used by the public. It is powerful and direct. Use it, but don’t abuse it. Make sure you give your customers something of value, and always give them a way to stop receiving messages.

Andrew Lisa is a freelance marketing writer who covers social media marketing and SMS marketing. Follow him on Twitter at @andrewscottlisa.
From telephone party lines to social media Fri, 25 Jul 2014 07:01:41 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Phone-evolve

Photo credit: CC-BY, weelakeo, Flickr

The way we communicate is in transition

Target audience: Marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, analysts, brand managers, businesses, educators, journalists.

Ayelet NoffThere was a time when social media meant a telephone party line. Phones have come a long way since then, especially the introduction of hand-held cellular phones that could be carried in your pocket or purse. Nevertheless, for the most part, the telephone has remained a one-to-one communications device.

That might have been the end of the story – until the Internet and then social media emerged. Over the past 10 years, we’ve all been caught up in the fun and usefulness of being able to share and exchange ideas and information across the globe through social media. Not surprisingly, as our mobile phones got smart, we found ways to bring apps and tools from our computers into them, allowing today’s phones to act as conduits to the mushrooming social world.

Not surprisingly, the telephone industry was forced to sit up and take notice, especially as alternatives to traditional telephone service began to appear that incorporated social media culture and, just as important, cheaper voice services through the Internet.

The first major evidence of this was Skype, which was founded way back in 2003. Today Skype allows conference calls, video chats and screen-sharing between as many as 10 to 25 people. At one time, that sort of service was limited to big businesses that could afford expensive conference calling. Now, families and friends group-call on a regular basis.

The end of land lines?

Does all this signal the end of the land-line phone?

Not quite yet. Skype still has some drawbacks. It does not provide the ability to call emergency numbers in many places (such as 911 in North America). The landline also facilitates a home or business Fax machine. For many business, especially the legal world, a secure fax line (unlike online fax services like eFax) remains an essential tool.

In addition, despite the proliferation of mobile phones, there are still parts of the world transitioning more slowly, as expensive broadband and wireless infrastructure is built up. It will happen. But it will take time.

With so much in transition, consumers have sought a middle-ground: the reliability and functionality of home-based calling (like being able to hook up that fax machine) with the advantages of a digital network. The answer was VoIP, which a number of smaller companies were able to develop and market very effectively.

netTALK is able to offer VoIP phone service through a small device that connects to an Ethernet port on a broadband connected router without the need for a computer (unlike Skype)

A company like netTALK is a great example (disclosure: netTALK is a Blonde 2.0 client). No strangers to communications technology, netTALK’s founder, Takis Kyriakides, invented and patented the LK3000, the first handheld language translation device. The company was able to innovate very quickly and offer consumers a kind of compromise, best-of-all worlds answer.

netTALK is able to offer VoIP phone service through a small device that connects to an Ethernet port on a broadband connected router without the need for a computer (unlike Skype). They’ve also offered free app-to-app calling, an obvious nod to the proliferation of wifi service.

The next-generation, Cloud-based VoIP, offers all sorts of advantages for both home-users and businesses. As a cloud-based service, your business line will have web-based phone system administration, integrated voicemail to email, “find me” capability and much more.

Eventually, we’ll all be mobile and digital. It will be the only way for phone companies to satisfy consumers who want more powerful apps, cloud-based services, and portable management of “the Internet of things.”

Will the landline disappear completely? Will smartphones be replaced by wearables? The future is impossible to predict. But, it’s safe to say, as telecom giants and cable providers slug it out, and consumer groups blast both high rates and lousy service, the companies that are able to offer affordable, adaptable phone service will continue to flourish by providing a stable bridge between the old and new technologies.

InContext: The coming onrush of contextual devices Thu, 06 Feb 2014 13:01:33 +0000 Continue reading ]]> incontext
VCs Josh Elman, Charles Hudson and Bubba Murarka (the three gents at center) were among the speakers on hand at InContext 2014 (Photo by JD Lasica).

Will contextual data create better user experience that drive more engagement?

Target audience: Tech professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, brand managers, businesses, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

JD LasicaWe all know that the rush toward the mobile Internet is the mother of all megatrends. Less well known is a fascinating, still nascent subset of mobile: contextual mobile devices. That was the topic of an afternoon gathering yesterday called InContext 2014, hosted by EverythingMe yesterday at Terra Gallery in San Francisco’s SoMa district.

(It’s a crazy week for me. Here are the Flickr photos I shot Monday and Tuesday at Startup Grind in Silicon Valley. Yesterday, InContext. Today, attending CMX Summit to hear about community building.)

At InContext, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, mobile analysts and journalists exchanged views on what looks to be the Next Big Thing in mobile: contextual awareness. The idea, in short, is this: You give people what they want when they want it without them asking for it.

Contextual technologies are about anticipation, automation and personalization, as Dave Smiddy quoted Robert Scoble, author of “The Age of Context,” who was on hand to moderate one panel.


Seth Sternberg of Google pointed out that two to three years ago, you never had the need to log into Google. Today, you do, given the company’s push toward personalization and contextualization. You might type “My Flights” into a Google search query (see inset), or Google might ask if you want to download the Android version of the OpenTable app for your smartphone. The goal, he said, is “to create a better user experience that drives more engagement.”

Josh Elman of Greylock Partners: “We’re just on the cusp of figuring out what to do with all this data. What are the human problems we can really start to solve again?”

Andy Hicklrof ARO said the current period reminded him of the semantic text wars of the early 2000s. “We’re in same world with contextual technologies where we’re trying to extract meaningful data about how to provide value to people.”

Mobile analyst Benedict Evans offered some interesting questions: “What should your phone know? When can you stop reading 50 blogs to find something great? What can be done once the cloud can collect and analyze how 2 billion people use their phones?”

He also predicted Apple will eventually go to 800 million or 900 million smartphone devices and Android will go to 3.5 billion smart devices. “The potential poison for Apple comes down to innovation,” Evans said, “if Google offers an open platform and experience where more innovative things happen.”

His provocative, insightful Slideshare presentation is here:

Other highlights and takeaways

If there was one common note throughout the day, the speakers agreed that context still has a long, long way to go. Said Brendan Eich of Mozilla: “With my calendar, there’s ideal and there’s real. My phone still doesn’t know when I’m running late.”

• The cheerleading about Google Glass appears to be subsiding. (I predicted several months ago that version 1.0 will be a dud.) Scoble, who was rapturous about the possibiities of Glass in his Age of Context book published last fall, has recently soured on the technology’s prospects in the consumer market in the short term. Said Scoble: “We’re in the Apple II days, where the young kids are playing with it, but it’ll really become adopted by the public and in everyday use by 2020.”

• Andy Hickl on geolocation: “We’ve come to grips with the fact that we’re a blue dot on a map and someone in Mountain View knows where we are.”

• More Hickl: Over the next 18 months, contextual data will mature and “get into the hands of people who know how to do something useful with it – large companies with biz dev departments.” We’ll see if the corporate boys really know how to use it in the interests of consumers.

• Twice in the past week — yesterday with a TechCrunch reporter, last week with a VentureBeat reporter — the journalists couldn’t bother to give me 30 seconds of their time after they moderated panels on subjects I have some affinity with. As a former reporter, I can honestly say I’ve never done that, even when on deadline. Here’s a good rule to follow, people: Don’t disrespect your audience. It reflects poorly on your employer, and you might be losing a story lead (in yesterday’s case, you did).


Book review: ‘Age of Context’ captures the pulse of new tech

7 Web development apps for your tablet Mon, 02 Dec 2013 13:02:40 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Hackers-Keyboard-Android
Hacker’s Keyboard for Google Play.

When does a tablet beat a PC? When it’s more convenient

Target audience: Web developers, Web publishers, content creators, marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, brand managers, businesses, nonprofits, educators.

Guest post by Teddy Hunt

teddy-huntWhen you have a website, sometimes you’ll get the urge to add or change something in the middle of the night. Rather than waking up and walking across your place to the PC, you choose to roll over and grab your tablet.

The only problem, though, is that browsers for tablets are pretty clunky for developers, publishers and content creators, and there’s no real easy way to do what you need to do. Here are a few Web development apps that can give you a hand.

View Web Source

1Sometimes you may need to make a minor change to your code. For these instances, a tablet isn’t ideal at all — unless you have the View Web Source app at your fingertips. As the name suggests, this app allows you to view the web source code on your webpage — through your mobile device. The app makes the text come across extremely clear and very readable. You’ll be able to copy the source code to the clipboard and paste it elsewhere, whether you want to store it on the device itself or email it to yourself with notes on what to change later. See the Web Source Viewer app for Apple’s iOS or the View Web Source app for Google Play.


2WordPress is frequently used as the engine that powers millions of websites and blogs, thanks to its flexibility. The WordPress app (see the iOS and Android versions) is open source, allowing you to do basic things like make posts, edit your work, view stats, and more. It’ll also deliver notifications, so if someone comments while you’re working, it’ll pop up and show you. This is essential if you have a WordPress hosted site, especially one focused on news, as you can update it with the latest information regardless of where you happen to be.

Webmaster’s HTML Editor Lite

3You’ll want a flexible HTML editor, and Webmaster’s HTML Editor Lite (see the iOS and Android versions) fits the bill. With this app, you’ll not only be able to edit HTML, but you can edit PHP, JavaScript, and CSS. It supports undo and redo, so if your finger slips and accidentally breaks your site, you can go back and fix it. It also has support built-in for HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. This app looks fantastic and runs smoothly, but it runs pretty much perfectly on, say, the best Lenovo tablet. The app also supports the regular hotkeys, just in case you decide to use an external keyboard connected via Bluetooth.

Hacker’s Keyboard

4The Android keyboard isn’t terrible, but for coding, it’s not ideal. Hacker’s Keyboard changes that for you. With Hacker’s Keyboard (see the Google Play and iPhone versions), you’ll have a standard keyboard layout on the screen, complete with five rows of keys. You’ll also have multiple layouts, along with support for different languages. If you’re going to do any sort of typing on your device, this is a must-have.


5This is extremely handy if you need to access the files on your site but don’t have a PC nearby. It’s free, and not only can you access your files, you can upload and update files as well. It also has several guides, so if you’re confused about what to do, AndFTP (Google Play only) will help you out.

Google Analytics

6It’s important to see the statistics of your site so you can know whether people are actually reading or not. Google Analytics is completely free, and it’ll show you the visits and conversion rates. It’ll also show you what country the majority of your traffic comes from as well as graph the data for you. (See How to Calculate Traffic from Tablets and iPads with Google Analytics on Oracle’s Compendium.)


7If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of transferring files via FTP to your site, Dropbox is a popular secondary choice. You’ll be able to upload whatever files you need then access them at a later time. You can also upload files and send them to a third party, so if you need to send a file to someone and it’s too large to send from phone to phone, you can upload it here and then give them a link so they can download it. (Download Dropbox for iOS or Google Play.)

Trying to develop from a mobile platform doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Give some of these apps a try and your life could be a lot easier. Do you have a favorite Web development app?

Teddy Hunt is a freelance content writer with a focus on technology.
5 reasons mobile search should be a priority for your business Wed, 09 Oct 2013 12:00:50 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Mobile search
Photo by Bruce Clay on Flickr (CC BY)

It’s time to invest in an accessible, mobile-friendly website

Target audience: Mobile marketers, social media marketers, website developers, PR professionals, SEO specialists, businesses, entrepreneurs.

Guest post by Christian Arno

Christian-ArnoSmartphones are changing the way many of us live and interact with people and businesses. It won’t come as a surprise that 80 percent of Americans don’t leave home without their phone, and that number is rising. If you’re on a train or in a coffee shop almost anywhere in the world, you’re likely to see people staring at small screens and tapping messages. On the Tokyo subway, it’s common to find the only people not using their phones are sleeping.

In light of this, mobile search marketing has become an important way to reap the rewards from this phenomenon and direct traffic toward your content. Here are five reasons why mobile search marketing should be a priority for your business or your client’s business.

Search engines are the most visited sites on mobile

1Smartphones give people a way to access your content in a way that was previously only accessible via a desktop computer or laptop. Think of smartphones as portable supercomputers: They can give you access to virtually any information you need, and search engines are there to help point you in the right direction. So it’s only natural that search engines are the sites that people call up most often on their mobile phones. According to Google’s Think Insights, search engines are the most visited sites, with 77 percent of smartphone users frequenting them. The next most popular sites on mobile devices are social networks (Facebook, Twitter), retail (Amazon) and video sharing websites (YouTube). The study also revealed that searching via mobile phones grew by 400 percent last year.

Mobile phone searchers take action

2A study commissioned by Google titled, The Mobile Movement: Understanding Smartphone Users, revealed that nine out of 10 searches on a smartphone result in some sort of action – whether it’s a visit to a website or a purchase or something else. The study reported that three out of every four searches on a mobile phone will result in a follow-up action, with 55 percent of these occurring in under an hour. Simply put, mobile phones have resulted in more actions being taken after use of a search engine. So keep that in mind.

The study also reported that 24 percent of users recommended a brand or product to others as a result of their search. So the repercussions of one person’s mobile search can be far-reaching.

Mobile searchers are more likely to click on the top search result

3One part of using a search engine on your mobile is that you want to find information quickly when you are on the go. It makes sense that mobile searchers are more likely to click on the top search result. Therefore, it’s worthwhile to invest in things like Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or Pay Per Click (PPC) to get your site to the top of a Google, Bing or Yahoo search. Because if you wind up on page 2 or 3, very few mobile users are going to stick around long enough to find you.

Users search for local information

59 percent of people who search for a local store will actually visit.

4Google also reported in ThinkInsights, its hub for Google’s hub for marketing agencies, that 95 percent of smartphone users look for local information and that 88 percent of those people take action within a day. They found that 59 percent of people who search for a local store will actually visit – a fact that should be capitalized on. This makes it important for businesses to localize their website appropriately.

To do this, one thing you can do is use a local domain. For example, if a company based in London has a version of their website translated into Korean, the domain will not be as credible as You could even create a subdomain, for example, This will also boost your SEO because search engine algorithms take location of the search into consideration. Local results are more likely to have a country’s top level domain and will been seen as locally relevant.

It goes without saying that it’s important to make sure your localized website is translated properly. One option is use free tools such as Google Translate, but that can go wrong very quickly. Language is complex and leaving your business in the hands of translation software is only asking for trouble, given the state of the technology, especially if your website is more than a few pages deep. The best option is to use a professional translator, based in the country you’re targeting.

Smartphone search is everywhere

5With smartphone use on the upswing around the world and estimates that 2 billion people will have smartphones by the end of 2014, it’s certain that the future is mobile.  Search marketing is moving away from desktop computers and is now available anywhere, 24 hours a day. Users could be searching for a place to eat in a new city at 3 am, or looking for a clothes shop on a Saturday afternoon.

So it’s clearly worth investing in an accessible, mobile-friendly website and aiming to reach the top of the search results on the small screen.

is the founder of Lingo24, a provider of translation services in California and all over the globe. Launched in 2001, Lingo24, Inc. now has more than 200 employees spanning four continents and clients in more than 60 countries. Follow them on Twitter at @Lingo24.
Photos of Launch conference for mobile startups Wed, 02 Oct 2013 12:01:56 +0000 Continue reading ]]> pablo-sandoval
Pablo Sandoval of the San Francisco Giants, former World Series MVP, demonstrated Zepp at Launch Mobile.

JD LasicaIspent the past two days at Launch Mobile & Wearables, a gathering of several hundred entrepreneurs, technologists and startup staffers in San Francisco organized by entrepreneur/VC Jason Calacanis and his team.

As usual, I did more tweeting than blogging, but I also captured more than 60 photos of the event, seen in the Flickr set above. (I still love you, Flickr!)

The grand prize winners were three startups:

SoundHound, a brilliant bit of software that helps users identify songs, summon up song lyrics on the spot, conduct voice search (including identifying radio segments) and much more.

Zepp Labs, which trotted out Pablo Sandoval of the San Francisco Giants and former Giants star JT Snow to show off a multi-sport training system, tiny sensors — and big crack of the bat.

MyTime, which lets you book appointments online with top-rated merchants, such as massage therapists, dentists, hair stylists, acupuncturists, chiropractors and other services.

I agree with the judges — terrific selections, all worth a look.

Ansa: Text friends safely, securely & without regret Mon, 30 Sep 2013 12:01:40 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

Go ‘off the record’ when sharing sensitive messages

Target audience: Startups, network managers, college students, privacy experts, mobile users, educators, journalists, Web publishers.

JD LasicaMobile is taking over the world, as tens of millions of us migrate from desktops and laptops to smartphones and other mobile devices. Today I’m attending Launch Mobile in San Francisco to get a sense of the latest trends (see my tweets by following @jdlasica on Twitter). And earlier this month I attended TechCrunch Disrupt, where a number of young social and mobile startups were on display.

One of the startups that caught the eye of the judges was Ansa, a messaging app that gives you control over the messages you share. One judge called it “Snapchat for grownups.”

I interviewed co-founder and CEO Natalie Bryla in this 6-minute video:

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With interest in privacy growing, given what’s happening with the NSA and beyond, Ansa has found a market opportunity by focusing on the idea of giving control back to the user. Ansa — a five-person startup in San Francisco — lets you go “off the record” and have full conversations with friends or co-workers that will automatically disappear after a period of time you designate.

A ‘safe place to share and have fun with friends’

“Texts are too permanent,” Natalie says, so Ansa gives users “full control and the ability to pull things back at any time.” That includes texts, photos and videos that you share with someone else who’s using the app. She says anyone can use Ansa “to gossip, to complain about the boss” and to share personal notes or images without fear of reprisal or recrimination.

Who is Ansa targeting? College students at first. Their team is fanning out this fall to enlist campus organizations to integrate Ansa into their existing social networks.

One additional interesting twist: Ansa’s business model anticipates the use of “ephemeral ads” flash sales where you have 10 seconds to redeem a merchant’s offer. Could be interesting.

The ultimate vision, Natalie says, is “to just build a really safe place to share and have fun with friends.”

I think it’s not surprising that two women co-founders are at the helm of Ansa, given women’s generally higher awareness of and sensitivity to online security and privacy concerns.

An early version of Ansa is available for both Apple’s iOS and Android devices. Check it out and start communicating more securely!