Ten years ago this month, out of the spare room of my college house, I started Insivia.  I was great a tech, had a business and marketing degree from John Carroll – what didn’t I know and what couldn’t I do?

Well, I have learned a lot over ten years and now I want to take some time each month and share two marketing or tech insights I have picked up along the way or that I’m watching very closely for the future.  They will all be geared towards increasing the top line or improving the bottom line for our businesses – that’s why we are here. So, let’s dig in!

Mobile.

It’s not new, but it’s necessary.

Trends are pushing towards phones and tablets to be the majority of devices people use to visit sites over the next year.  You may think your audience isn’t visiting on mobile, but even if you have 1 visit on mobile it matters. You never know who could be that next big client visiting your site.

So, what’s most important?  Giving mobile visitors what they want. Is it finding your office, store or your phone number?  Is it getting a quick overview of what you do because someone brought up your name in the car to their next meeting?  Reading articles while in the line at the grocery store? (Seriously, I do that last one a lot.)

Open up your site on your phone today and ask yourself these questions: Does my site work on a phone?  Is it easy to read?  Is it easy to get to what my visitors might want on the go?  If the answer to these are no, start thinking about this for your 2012 plans.  This doesn’t have to be a big, expensive project.  It can be as simple as picking the top three things visitors will want and making a mobile version that let visitors have them.

Search

This is always an important topic. I have seen businesses go from the third page to the first page for the right term and see massive impact on their business.  I find owners are surprised after they see how many people are out there searching and wanting to do business with a company like theirs right now.

I’m going to give the basics on how it works. You can do these things yourself to get big results. It’s all about relevancy.  The search engines are in business to get more people searching so they can display more ads.  If their customers get search results that aren’t relevant to what they searched, they aren’t going to come back and search again.  It’s that simple.  Here’s how we become relevant so search engines will rank us.

Create Valuable Content. 

People link to valuable content and they share it.  Google sees links to pages as a confirmation that it is valuable.  That’s why ‘link-building’ is a huge part of SEO.  But recently Google has been changing their algorithm to not count things like ‘link-farms’ that post a ton of content and distribute links across the internet to them.  So, the best way to build links is not to make tons of them, but to create big value that everyone wants.

Beg/Borrow QUALITY links.

So, Google is cracking down on bad links, but you still have partners, organizations and other connections on the Internet.  Ask a partner to place a link back to your site.  Make a quality comment on an industry blog article.  There are good ways to link-build that will provide a ton of value.

Have a well-designed site.

Title tags are very important (these are what you see at the top of your browser window or the headline in your search results), so have  headlines with the right keywords in them.  Other than that, build a site that is fast and easy to use.  Google is changing their algorithm to detect bad user experiences on sites and reduce their rank.  Again, it’s about providing good value to their customers and if they send them to a horrible site that is hard to use, they might stop using Google.

Hope you got some value out of the information above.  If there are specific topics you’d like to have me write some thoughts on, just e-mail me at andy@insivia.com.  Till next time.