How is the Mobile Phone Revolutionizing the Way Users Use Search Engines?

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With each passing year, a growing number of people are turning to mobile phones as their preferred method of accessing the internet. While you may not realize it, this has likely changed your approach to using search engines.

In other words, using your phone to browse the internet is not the same as a desktop or laptop computer. For this reason, the way you use search engines to find information is likely going to be different as well.

Search Engine as a Jumping Off Point

When you use your mobile phone to browse the internet, it is safe to assume that a search engine is your jumping off point. When you open your internet browser, you are going to be presented with the ability to search for anything and everything that is on your mind.

With a computer, the first thing you may see when deciding to browse the internet is your home page. While this can be the case with a mobile phone, most people are simply taken to a search page and they begin from there.

Mobile Web Usage

Information is Still the Same

Although your approach may be different when using a mobile phone as opposed to a computer, the information that is presented to you is going to be the same.

For instance, if you use Google to search online you are going to receive the same results regardless of the device you are relying on.

Of course, the way the information is presented to you is going to be unique due to the fact that your mobile phone is smaller than a computer.

Design and SEO are Essential

As a mobile phone user, you know one thing to be true: there is nothing worse than visiting a website that is not optimized for mobile devices. This can make it very difficult to find the information you are looking for.

Webmasters are spending an increasing amount of time on mobile design, as well as their approach to SEO.

With more and more people searching while on the go, the potential for increased traffic is available. For this reason, companies such as GMG SEO are beginning to provide services to a growing number of businesses of all industries and sizes.

John Vlasakakis, owner of GMG SEO, said, “we are hearing from a lot of people who realize the importance of SEO from a mobile perspective. These people want to make sure their site is not only designed correctly, but that when people search via their mobile phone that they are being seen.”

With all this information, it is easy to see how and why mobile phones are revolutionizing the way users rely on search engines. If you are hoping to receive more search engine traffic among mobile users, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is your website designed for mobile users?
  • Do you have a professional SEO company working on your behalf?
  • Are you making any mistakes that could hinder your ability to generate additional traffic?

The Top Web Design Trends in 2014

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Business people all over Southern Ontario are starting to realize that they need a website that ranks high on Google. After all, that’s where people look first these days – even before the yellow pages. What many people don’t know, however, is that the criteria for a highly successful web page (one that ranks high on Google) have changed. These days, a website has to be responsive, simple, and tell a story if it’s going to help you and your business.

Does Your Website Respond to Different Devices?

As smartphones, tablets, and other handheld devices become more and more commonplace, it’s now necessary for your company’s website to be designed by a professional who’s an expert in Responsive Web Design. The guiding principle behind RWD is that the website looks great on your mobile phone’s small screen, the seventeen-inch monitor of your desktop computer, and everything in between.

In other words, for your website to be effective in 2014, it has to be designed and programmed in such a way that it adapts and resizes itself according to the device your potential customer is using to view it. It’s not good enough to have your website look great only on a desktop computer. If it comes out looking askew on someone’s iPhone, you’re toast!

Web Design Trends

Simplicity is Key

Simplicity doesn’t mean that you ought to have a website that appeals to people who are simpletons. Your content still has to be well-written and informative, and your images still have to be striking. Your page has to be laid out clearly and precisely in such a way that navigation is intuitive and users automatically click through.

To achieve this navigational simplicity, your designer needs to be experienced in performing Split Testing in order to determine how changes to key elements affect users’ behavior and activity on your webpage.

Tell a Story

People used to think that long-form content writing for the web was a waste of time. “As long as it has the right keyword density, that’s all that matters.” Fortunately that way of thinking is now a thing of the past. In fact, Google has made significant changes to its algorithm in order to deter keyword bombing and reward useful content.

One of the best ways to get people to actually read your carefully crafted content is to break up the written words into sections and couple these sections of text with high quality artwork, engaging design, and photography in such a way that the user is compelled to click through, scroll down, and keep on reading.

National Geographic, Time Magazine, Rolling Stone, and other iconic print publications have used this technique to keep them turning pages for years. Now the best webmasters in the world are doing the same to keep their readers clicking through, and there are many examples of how web storytelling has been used amazingly and effectively.

If you’re a business in Ontario, investing in the best Kitchener, ON Web Design will most definitely pay for itself with the increase in business you receive. If you don’t have a website, or you have one but haven’t updated it in years, then now’s the time.

Taking It to the Net: How the Internet Makes Buying a Home Easier

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 Buying a home can be simultaneously exciting and exhausting.  For the home owner, it can be a very involved process requiring them to view homes, negotiate an offer, and settle on closing costs.  Don’t forget inspections, hiring movers, and unpacking boxes.  The months preceding a move can be long and at times, grueling.

That’s what makes the Internet so appealing for property seekers.  With the click of a mouse, home buyers can access hundreds of listings in their price range without ever stepping foot outside their living room.  They can view the outside as well as the inside of each home by doing a virtual tour and accessing photos through the realtor’s website.  This saves the home buyer time because they get a feel for the types of properties they want to view in person.

A Powerful Tool That Makes Shopping for a Home Easy

If a particular home requires viewing, interested parties can contact the real estate agent in charge of the property and schedule a walk-through.  This allows the buyer to examine the listing more closely.  They can look at each room of the home with critical eyes and determine whether or not that particular listing would accommodate them and their family.

A free house valuation tool gives home buyers a better idea of what a property is worth.  Depending on the type of tool being used, a person can find out the following:

  • How much a house in any neighborhood has sold for
  • Match the sold price of a home to its advertised price
  • Track trends in properties
  • Get an idea of what a property is valuated at
  • Get a second opinion
  • Get an estimated price range to work with
  • Find a home’s value based on the price it’s selling for

The World Wide Web Offers More Options for Home Buyers

The Internet has given us the ability to do more, find more options to choose from, and make more decisions than ever before.  It used to be where the thought of moving would involve lots of planning, figuring out the financial aspect of the process, getting approved for a loan, finding a realtor, and then finding a home.  Once a home has been chosen, inspections and other things have to be finalized before moving.

The Internet can make it so much easier to do all of these things and give you options that you can use.  From finding a lender online to getting approved for a loan and then working with the realtor online, the need to take time out of your busy schedule is less than it was in the past.

The Turning Point

nice-house

The Internet has been a turning point when it comes to doing anything anymore, but especially when it comes to buying a home.  Realtors realize that they need a bigger online presence and better availability. Potential home buyers now have more they can do and the internet is key to all of this.  It’s all about getting to where the buyer can do everything short of buying the home without leaving their office chair.

Personal and professional obligations make it so people don’t have the time they used to have anymore.  The time that it takes to look at homes, find a realtor, and do all the paperwork at banks, it’s a lot and there are those who just don’t have that kind of time. The Internet not only cuts that amount of time down, but it makes it easier than ever to find the house of your dreams and go through the process necessary to make that dream a reality.

Your home is out there and finding it is just a couple clicks away.  The fun part will be getting approved and then getting everything packed up and ready to move.  At that point, it’s time to enjoy being a new homeowner.

 

How the Math Behind Search Engines Can Affect Local Business Revenues

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Search engines matter these days more than they have ever mattered in humankind’s history. Material- and service-hungry men and women use search engines on their desktops, their laptops, their tablets, their phones, etc., multiple times a day. This amounts to millions (if not billions) of chances to draw them in as customers to your local business.

Here’s the catch: you need to play the math right, or the Google algorithm will slap you silly!

Google Algorithm Uncovered

The largest and most popular search engine in existence, Google, utilizes a very intricate ‘algorithm’ to determine which websites deserve its attention. This algorithm measures signals like the following:

  •  On-Page Signals
  •  Backlink Signals
  •  Social Signals
  • Citation Signals
  • Review Signals

Google takes all these signals and then runs them through its algorithm, which then pops out some value that in effect determines the ‘value’ of your website. If you score well, your site ranks well and more people see it. If you don’t score well, your site tanks to the bottom of the search engine listings.

Google Signals Explained

Success in local business search engine optimization therefore relies on the proper utilization of SEO signals.

Google Algorithms

On-Page Signals

On-page signals refers to stuff such as:

  • the quantity of content on your site
  • the quality of the content on your site
  • the use of keywords and related phrases
  • the incorporation of relevant images
  • the incorporation of relevant videos
  • the user interface experience

If it sounds complex, rest assured that it is in fact quite complex, which is why hiring a professional SEO agent like http://seooutsourcingcompany.co.uk/seo/local-seo is always in your best interest.

Backlink Signals

Backlinks signals refer to how many other websites link to your site. The Internet is like a huge spider web. You want to have as many other sites linking to your ‘hub’ as possible. However, those sites need to be of a high quality nature. Simply put, Google prefers one ‘authority’ backlink to thousands of ‘spammy’ backlinks.

Social Signals

Social signals play a huge role in local business marketing these days. Google wants to know whether people are talking about on social networks like Facebook and Twitter. More chatter is therefore a good thing. However, Google also measures the rate of the chatter. If 1000 tweets of your website suddenly show up on Twitter, Google is going to think you are spamming.

Citation Signals

Good citation is one of the most important factors for local ranking. It pertains to accurate business listings of your company. You need to take advantage of every tool available — Google Places, Google Maps, Google Local, etc. — so as to get your business info listed in as many spots as possible. And these records must be regularly updated and maintained.

Review Signals

The last factor Google considers is that of reviews. Does your business have reviews on Yelp? How about Google+? How frequent are these reviews? Are they all positive or negative? All of these factors play a role.

Piecing It All Together

Conquering your local market via the Internet requires first conquering Google’s search engine algorithm. Doing this in turn requires using on-page signals, backlink signals, social signals, citation signals and review signals to your benefit.

The truth is that SEO is a tough business. You can rank your site and skyrocket your revenue, but it will mean investing both time and money into a sustainable SEO plan. And unless you possess a very thorough understanding of SEO dynamics, the greater truth is that it’s better to invest in an SEO professional.

Why? Because simple mistakes can lead to big problems in SEO. It takes only one error to ‘turn off’ Google and thus destroy all your hard work in one night. So unless you are prepared to master the math of the search engines (which is doable, though difficult), invest in an SEO professional right away!

Music to Our Ears: How Audio Technology Has Improved Over the Years

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It’s hard to imagine what the first record sounded like, back in 1878. According to the Audio Engineering Society, the first record played was “Yankee Doodle.” From there, over the next several decades we move from the phonograph records to eight-track tapes, vinyl LPs, cassette tapes, compact discs (CDs) and since 1998, MP3, short for MPEG Layer 3, or Moving Picture Experts Group Layer-3 Audio. With each new generation of audio recording and delivery, has come a significant improvement in sound quality, along with the equipment required to produce it.  Nowdays we see advance music technology by companies such as SONOS with the introduction of Wireless music systems.

The Horn

Horns were used as the earliest form of amplification, because they did not require electricity to use them. Edison, Magnavox, and other companies developed horns from the 1880s until the 1920s. At the time, they were used to record and playback audio.

The Electrodynamic Loudspeaker (The Modern Speaker)

Thanks to the development of voice radio and broadcasting, the horn and speaker were pushed forward developmentally to develop the electrodynamic loudspeaker, which we know to be the “modern” speaker. The first loudspeaker made its debut in 1921, but has undergone several changes since then. Now even incredibly small speakers are capable of producing high quality sound.

Flat Panel Speakers

Flat panel speakers actually come in many different sizes and types. These are designed to be a space-saving design compared to big and bulky boxes of speakers we saw well into the ‘80s and ‘90s. Flat panel speakers are the primary speaker configuration used today, especially with wireless speaker technology. Today’s flat panel speakers can blend in with nearly any decor, and take up just a fraction of the space they used to.

SONOS

Wireless Speaker Technology

With wireless speaker technology such as SONOS, it is now possible to have speakers located throughout a room for surround sound, or even throughout a home for true surround sound. Using the latest audio technologies, music can be streamed from your MP3 player or any number of online streaming services to the wireless speakers in any room of your home. Options include:

● iTunes

● Amazon Cloud Player

● Tune In

● Pandora

● Spotify

● And more

A number of speaker sizes and configurations are available, so you can get a customized approach for your home or office. This allows you to build the system that is not only right for your budget, but for the acoustics in your building, as well, ensuring you’ll get a top quality sound no matter what.

Before the advent of wireless speaker technology, surround sound meant running tons of wires to all the speakers in the room. Unless you were building a home and could put the speaker wire behind the walls or under the floors, it also meant having to run wire along the floors and walls. Speaker wire, depending on your setup, wasn’t always easy to hide.

We’ve come a long way with audio technology, and today’s sound is as close to being next to the real thing as you can get.

Why is the Internet in Australia so Far Behind the Rest of the World in Terms of Speed?

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When it comes to internet usage, Australia is not lagging far behind the rest of the world. The country may not be making as much progress as the United States, for example, but access is available to more than 80 percent of the country.

Although internet access is a good thing, we have to keep in mind that it is 2013. For this reason, people want to be able to move fast when browsing the online world. They don’t want to be held back, like they were in the 90’s when using a dial-up connection.

Unfortunately for many Australians, this is exactly what they are dealing with. Despite the fact that they have access to the internet, they are not able to get a connection that moves as quickly as they would like.

This may not be a big deal if the rest of the world was having the same issue, however, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, there are many countries with less developed infrastructure that provide faster internet to residents.

Not only is this an issue for residential customers, but those who are using the internet for work purposes also realize that this is a concern.

Australia Download Speed

How Slow is Slow?

A recent “State of the Internet” report published by Akamai shows that the average internet speed in Australia is 4.7 Mbps. When compared to the final quarter of 2012, this is an increase in speed of roughly two percent. While this increase is better than none at all, it is far from what those in Australia are looking for.

When compared to the progression globally, an increase of 2.1 percent is actually subpar. The connection speed worldwide increased by an average of four percent. Now are you beginning to see why this is such a problem in Australia?

Things get a little better when peak internet speeds are taken into consideration, with an average of 26.3 Mbps. This is an increase over more than nine percent over the final quarter of last year, which shows a huge improvement. When compared to the global peak average of 18.4 Mbps, Australia is actually performing above average.

From quarter to quarter, the increase in speed may not appear to be anything special. But when you look at how far things have come since the first quarter of 2012, your ears should perk up. The average connection speed increased by 31 percent during this time. Furthermore, the peek speed increase to 58 percent during this period.

Slow when Compared to the Rest of the World

When you look at the way things have been going over the past few quarters, it is hard to imagine why Australians may be unimpressed. However, you have to take a strong look at the way the rest of the world is performing to get a better idea of what exactly is going on.

In terms of speed, Australia ranks 41st in the world. This is not very good, considering the fact that the country is more developed than many of those that hold the top 40 spots.

In better news, the average peak speed ranking for the national is 37th. While better than 41st, this is still far behind many parts of the world

Which Country is at the Top?

Many may be surprised to find that the fastest internet connection can be found in South Korea, thanks to an average of 14.2 Mbps. When it comes to the highest peak speed, Hong Kong, China takes the prize with a blistering 63.6 Mbps.

Once you look at those numbers, you will begin to see why so many are disappointed in the average internet speed available to most residents of Australia.

While Australia is not the bottom of the barrel in terms of internet speed, it is easy to see that the country is far behind other developed countries. For this reason, it needs to consider what it can do in terms of offering broadband access to more people while also increasing speed along the way.

Key Stats

With all this information, you may have a hard time remembering everything. Here are a few key stats that you should keep in mind:

  • Australia’s average internet speed is 4.7 Mbps
  • South Korea is the world leader with an average internet speed of 14.2 Mbps
  • Australia is 41st in the world when it comes to average internet speed

Yes, Australia is far behind other areas of the world in terms of speed. However, the country is moving in the right direction and should find itself climbing the ranks in the years to come as long as it can stay on the right track. For Australian residents and business owners, this is a big deal.

Can it be Fixed?

Fortunately for residents in Australia, despite lagging behind other nations to a certain degree, the problem of slow (or semi-slow) internet can be solved.

It is hard to realize that things are moving in the right direction, but if you consider the stats above this is definitely the way the trend is moving. Over the past few quarters, dating back to 2012, local internet speed is definitely picking up.

Furthermore, it is important to consider the fact that a growing number of people throughout the country are gaining access to broadband internet.

This was first introduced to Australians in 2004-2005, at which time only 16 percent of the population had access. With each year since, there has been an increase. In 2010-2011, for instance, 73 percent of residents had broadband internet access.

Note: it is also important to pay attention to the fact that the overall number of residents with internet access, regardless of what type of connection, continues to gradually increase.

This problem, despite the fact that it is not as serious as it often times appears, can be fixed. Statistics show that things are getting better, and in the years to come Australia may find itself moving past other countries in terms of speed and number of internet users.

Changing Trends in the Australian Computer Repair Industry

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As a resident of Australia, you likely rely on technology on a regular basis. Like many, a computer is something you use day in and day out. While there is nothing wrong with this, and it is a way of life for many people, there is something you have to keep in mind: your computer could need repaired at some point in the future.

Like many, this is your worst nightmare. Not only does it mean that you have to pay money to have your computer repaired, but you may be without it for a day or longer.

No matter if you are a single user in need of repair or a company that requires assistance with computers on its network, you have to realize that there are several trends taking over the industry at the present time.

Before we go any further, it is important to note that no two computer repairs are the same. The issue you are having now may not be the issue your computer was facing the last time you required professional assistance. Additionally, the problem you are having may not be exactly the same as the next person (such as a coworker sitting in the office next door).

Computer Repair

Satisfaction Guarantee

A growing number of Australian computer repair companies are offering a satisfaction guarantee. In short, this means one thing: if you are not happy with the service, regardless of the reason, you will not be required to pay. Fortunately, when you hire a qualified repair company this is not something you have to concern yourself with. Instead, you know your computer will be repaired in the appropriate manner the first time around.

No Call Out Fees

What does this mean? In short, you will not be charged if your computer repair company needs to visit your home or office to take care of the problem. This is a big benefit, especially to those who don’t have the time to take their computer to a repair shop.

As a business owner, you should only consider companies that provide on site support free of charge. This makes your life much easier thanks to the convenience.

If it doesn’t get Fixed, you don’t Pay

This trend is one you should really get excited about. While it goes without saying that you want your computer to be fixed as soon as possible, if your repair company is unable to do so you will not be charged. This is a huge benefit, because you don’t have to pay any money, none at all, unless the problem is solved and your computer is back up and running as expected.

These three trends have become more prevalent in the Australian computer repair industry over the past couple of years. When hiring a repair company, be sure to keep these trends in mind.

So you don’t forget, here are the trends once again:

  • Satisfaction guaranteed
  • No call out fees
  • If it doesn’t get Fixed, you don’t Pay

It goes without saying that these trends favor the consumer.