Category “Standards”

5 Mistakes to Avoid When User Testing Your Mobile App

Tuesday, 22 December, 2015

People are becoming increasingly accustomed to using mobile for browsing the Internet. Right from shopping online, to reading news and accessing information from the web, all these tasks are performed using a Smartphone and/or tablets. This does not mean that desktop and other computer systems are not being used, or aren’t good enough, for carrying out online activities.

Sure, even desktop computers are being used for web browsing, however, mobile device usage seem to have exceeded desktop usage. With ever-increasing use of mobile devices, it is important that your website can address the mobile users’ needs. But, considering the fact that 54 percent of the digital media time people spent is on mobile apps, leveraging mobile application development can help expand your reach and maximize your profits.

It’s good, if you already have a mobile app. If not, then you should develop one without wasting any more time. But, what if you are unable to achieve expected results after launching an app? This means that there is some issue with your application – that might be stopping you from achieving your goal. But, user testing your mobile app can help you overcome any issues with the application.

In this post, I’ll help you explore what does user testing a mobile app means. Most importantly, I will share some mistakes that users commonly make when user testing an application.

User Testing a Mobile App: What is it and Why you need it?

5 Mistakes to Avoid When User Testing Your Mobile AppThe best way to test a mobile app is to know how consumers might react after using your app. Especially when you’re creating a mobile application for users benefit, knowing about how users are interacting with the app will help you improve and deliver an enhanced user experience. This is exactly what you achieve by ‘user testing’ an application.

Making use of mobile user testing will help you listen to your user’s mind – how they use their app and what changes they want in it. This saves your time into thinking of strategies (and methods) to improve mobile UX and increase its usability.

Essentially, conducting user tests on your app will make you understand what normal people (i.e. one who will be posting reviews about your app in the app store) expect from your application.

Mistakes You Should Avoid While User Testing Your App

1. Not providing a walk-through to explain user testing process.

There are several user testing tools available online. But remember that not all of those tools are same, and function in a different manner. And so, there’s a greater possibility that your users might not know how to get started with the process of user testing your mobile app via the tool you are using.

But, providing a walk-through to explain how your app users can make use of the ‘user testing tool’ can help them understand the process of testing the application.

2. Not giving users enough flexibility to test the app.

You must provide your app users enough flexibility to test the application. Doing so, will give app users a sense of ownership and they will share their views and opinions about improving the application in a better way.

3. Not choosing the right user testing tool.

Keep in mind that how efficiently your app will tested will depend on how good your user testing tool is. So, be wary about choosing the right user testing tool. Below are a few things you must take into account before selecting a user testing tool:

  • Choose one that helps get fastest user feedback.
  • Comes with wireframes and prototypes to enable real users understand what works and what not.
  • Allows to test on many different devices and mobile platforms.

4. Thinking of Is “user Testing” and “usability testing” to be same.

Often novice users believe “user testing” to be usability testing. There’s no denying that user testing a mobile app help determines app usability, but there’s a lot more to user testing than merely providing data that helps boost the usefulness of a mobile app.

User testing also helps you test the app for emotional engagement. And enables you to know others feel about your app, and are they able to achieve what they’ve expected from the app and so on. Simply put, user testing the app will let you know factors that can help keep your users engaged with your mobile application.

5. Testing the app after getting it published on app store.

It is highly recommended that you must user test the app before it gets published in the app store. That’s because, getting user reviews for your app will help refine its functioning before making it available for public use.

And, providing your target users with an end-product that meet their expectations and requirements, will help create a good first impression and thereby attract more users to your app model.

Conclusion

This post will help you understand what does user testing a mobile application means. In addition, you’ll get to know about some common mistakes we tend to make while performing user tests on an app.

This guest article was written by Sophia Phillips, who is an expert front-end & WordPress developer. Currently, she is employed with WordPrax Ltd.- a leading PSD Design to WordPress theme converter company. Sophia had written a remarkable number of articles on WordPress tricks and tips.

SEO Marketing: The prospect you might have ignored

Sunday, 7 December, 2014

The first thing that might have come to your mind is – What does SEO mean?

Is it some kind of a department in an organization? Or is it some kind of a marketing technique?

Hold your horses my friend, let’s take one thing at a time.

The article to follow will throw some light on the few things discussed above along with the skills required and prospects an individual has in this field of employment.

 

What is SEO?

  • SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is nothing but getting as much online traffic as possible from “ organic”, “free” or “natural” search results on various search engines.
    It is an effective marketing technique to let your website or web services appear foremost in the search results of any search engine.
     
  • For instance, search engines like Google and Bing have information collected about every page on the web, which is provided to the user at his disposal. But there is  a definite algorithm followed by these search engines to convert every piece of information into a search result.
    A website ranking higher in the search results has more number of people finding it, hence making the website being visited by users more often.
    Now, the key to higher rankings is making sure the website has all the ingredients that search engines need for their algorithms.
    The process of ensuring the same for a website is known as SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION.
     
  • The ingredients a website needs to ensure higher rankings are the words in the content, the hidden title of the web page, the number of back links provided and the reputation it holds on the basis of previous record.
     
  • In layman’s language, it is the process of affecting the visibility of a website to direct online traffic towards it. This marketing technique ensures that maximum users are able to reach out to the services or products a company’s website is providing. Hence increasing the business it makes.
     

What skills do you require?

There are various skills you require once you decide to enter this field. Some are discussed below.

Excellent Analytical Skills

This is the most fundamental requirement in this field and yes it is not a technical one. It’s not only about coding or syntax related problems, a major role that a professional in this field needs to fulfill is solving problems at the earliest. Knowing the information which is necessary, mapping it and making timely decisions are some steps the process of problem solving includes.

To improve analytical skills you need to build strategies, focus on all possible alternatives and plan accordingly. This plays a major role in increasing work efficacy.

Coding in HTML

Proficiency in HTML coding is one of the basic prerequisites required in this field of employment.

In order to deliver quality content to your audience, it is quite necessary to have a know-how of managing the content and that too in a way that it stays apt according to various online marketing trends.

Substantial Experience in Web Hosting

A person looking for a job in this field has to have some substantial experience in Web hosting along with the knowledge of various web hosting providers.

Web hosting also includes an important element called speed. Various search engines have algorithms which take numerous factors into account before making a content piece live, the loading speed of a site is one of them. Hence, prowess in these technical skills is quite significant to secure a job and survive in this field.

Knowledge About Content Marketing

Content is the only thing that engages a reader and is the most efficient way of getting users in your marketing funnel. Hence, being in the field of SEO it is quite necessary to be proficient in this skill.

It mainly comprises of 2 parts: Content Creation and Content distribution. As an SEO professional you should have the basic know-how of Content creation and in-depth knowledge of content distribution.

It will be your duty to act as a gatekeeper and support ideas that add quality to your content and are beneficial for the users. Skills like Keyword research, finding content gaps and distributing content also prove to be helpful.

Knowledge about Social Media Marketing

In a world where things like eating a sandwich or watching a movie become reasons for a status update on Facebook or any social networking website, it is quite necessary to have social media skills in order to excel in this field.

These skills need not be limited to maintaining Facebook and Twitter accounts, but the competency to divert traffic from these social media websites.

Employment Scope in this field

Getting into this field , there are various avenues you can discover. Some prominent ones are discussed below.

SEO Executive:

This positions offers a learning experience to an individual in SEO best practices and methodologies. Duties that come with this post include managing taxonomy/URL structures and domain level directs, maintaining keyword mapping for monthly optimization and prioritizing and implementing content changes along with the content team of the organization.

SEO Consultant:

An SEO Consultant working in the marketing division of any organization has the responsibility of keeping the SEO budget on track and managing the campaign budget expenses. He has to remain knowledgeable regarding the industry business niche and the customer’s search marketing objectives too.

SEO Manager:

A professional holding this profile has a team of various SEO executives. His job description comprises of managing this team and ensuring efficient content management and utilization to increase the business his organization makes. Working as an SEO Manager you can earn ₹3.5 to₹7 lac per annum (as in December 2013).

SEO Analyst:

An Associate search analyst has the duty of working with the copy writers, information architects and designers to form a search engine friendly website structure with a maintained balance between keyword density, form and function.

He also provides various SEO recommendations and keyword analysis to improve the position in organic search results. An SEO Analyst earns ₹ 1,45,270 per year (as on 2nd Sep 2014).

SEO Specialist:

The job of an SEO specialist is to maximize the online traffic to a site by developing original content to include keyword or phrases that’ll proliferate the traffic to a website.

Many small companies hire an SEO specialist instead of the whole time to look after this sphere of marketing. In India a job of an SEO specialist on an average will fetch you ₹ 1.8 Lac per annum (as in December 2013).

With private companies wanting to maximize their base in the country, this field is the most essential one to grow. All you need is to find the best fit for yourself.

The discussion above quite clearly shows that there are numerous avenues to be found in the field of SEO-Marketing. This article was written by Anshuman Kukreti, who is a professional writer and a keen follower of the global job market. An engineer by qualification and an artist at heart, he writes on various topics relating to employment across the country.

Why Responsive Design Should Be Your Prime SEO Strategy?

Thursday, 3 July, 2014

With an increasing majority of internet users coming from smartphones and tablets, it has become vital to have a website which can work flawlessly across different platforms and devices. This is where designers swear by the utility of responsive web design. However, online marketers or more specifically SEO guys have their own views about it. Here is what they think.

Responsive Web Design exploded onto the scene in early 2012, and since then has become increasingly important in the wake of increasing Smartphone and tablet adoption rate. RWD has established itself as the best way to design a website which mobile visitors love. It would be surprising if anyone would need an introduction in responsive web design, but nevertheless, RWD means that a webpage reformats itself as per the device on which it is being viewed. Thus, even if it is viewed on a tablet, or a smartphone, or a tablet computer, the website remains user-friendly.

However, SEOs are more concerned with traffic and keyword ranking than anything else. So why responsive design is making so much of noise in the online marketing scenario?

A little background
same content rwdEarlier, all that most SEOs would care about is getting high rankings in Google search, a task to which they took in all earnest and didn’t shy from using manipulative search engine tactics. However, as time progressed, search engines became smarter and more committed towards providing the user with best answers to their query.

As a result, the focus shifted slowly and steadily towards engaging the user and making him stay on the web page, and this is how user experience became an important metric to judge a website’s usefulness. Search engines use data to observe how people engage with web pages, which helps them judge the quality of the pages themselves. Usability and user experience are second order influences on search engine ranking success. Obviously, no one would like to link to site which has a bad reputation for its crummy design.

Responsive Web Design and SEO

With mobile traffic increasing its market share, it has become imperative for business owners and companies to have a mobile version of their websites. And that’s why we are witnessing a wider acceptance and adoption of responsive design.

When someone asked Google’s spam engineer Matt Cutts about responsive design’s relevance for SEO, the reply was,

“In general, I wouldn’t worry about a site that is using responsive design losing SEO benefits because by definition you’ve got the same URL,” Cutts said. “So in theory, if you do a mobile version of the site, if you don’t handle that well and you don’t do the rel=canonical and all those sorts of things, then you might, in theory, divide the PageRank between those two pages. But if you have responsive design then everything is handled from one URL, so the PageRank doesn’t get divided, everything works fine.”

Thus according to Google, responsive design is a smarter way to go about doing SEO for sites, because a separate mobile version has greater chances of having issues if it’s not implemented well.

Benefits of RWD for SEO

Google approves it

Google is the king-of-all when it comes to deciding the future SEO marketing strategy for a brand. With 67 percent market share, no one can afford to ignore what Google wants or recommends. According to Google, using responsive design is industry best practice while designing mobile sites. This is simply because responsive design sites have one URL and the same HTML, regardless of device, which makes it easier and more efficient for Google to crawl, index and organize content.

Low maintenance
Having two different websites, one desktop and the other mobile requires having two separate SEO campaigns, which again requires more resources. While it is a good thing for the SEOs, as more SEO jobs are created, however, for the organization or the brand, it’s more akin to wastage of precious time and financial resources. Besides, managing one site and a single SEO campaign associated with it is any day far easier than managing two sites & two SEO campaigns.

One site = One URL
One of the biggest drawbacks of having a separate mobile site is that the concerned SEO will have to build the authority of the site from scratch, which means a lot of work, and on most occasions, mobile sites fail to rank well as they are canonicalized to their desktop counterparts. Responsive design tackles this problem by enabling you to maintain the same set of back-links, which means all your links will be directed to the same domain, giving the site a jump in the SERPs.

Low bounce rate
Mobile websites often suffer from the problem of high bounce rate owing to the non-optimized design, or a content which is too different from the desktop version. Google takes this a negative signal, equalizing the high bounce rate with non relevant content and thus penalizing the site with drop in rankings. A responsively designed website presents the same content as found on the desktop version, which makes sure the visitors receive the same information what they are looking for, irrespective of device.

Saurabh Tyagi is an online media enthusiast and avid blogger who closely follows the latest SEO, and online marketing trends. He writes about various related topics such as job opportunity in SEO, web designing and content marketing amongst others

5 Startling facts making Drupal an SEO friendly platform

Tuesday, 3 September, 2013

Our perceptions have an interesting way of often tricking us into turning a blind eye towards something which is substantial, omnipresent and quite resourceful. We all know that Drupal is a CMS of abundant, and it is difficult to find another open source platform which is potent enough to match the capabilities of this platform. However, we let opinions of a few convince us into believing that there must be something wrong or amiss with this otherwise spectacular and superlatively power packed system.

One of these opinions (or misconceptions rather) goes to saying that Drupal is not really a SEO friendly solution. Well people stemming such mal conceptions either are not completely aware about Drupal or perhaps they are talking about some other system that we know nothing about. Because in our opinion Drupal fares convincingly well on the search engine front, so much so that it gives the rest of the system a tenacious run for their money. While amongst the three popular CMSs, the name of which we have grown so much accustomed to hearing – Joomla, Drupal and WordPress, WP takes away the prize for being the most SEO friendly system, Drupal happens to be a close second; and well, never mind Joomla, as soon as we discover something worth sharing about the its SEO features, we’ll update you (pun intended!).

5 Facts That Makes Drupal an SEO-Friendly Solution:

Here in this post, we are going to analyze the 5 different factors intrinsic to Drupal development environment, which makes it a hotshot SEO friendly solution. Chances are, these factors may have skipped your notice, and so you should make sure that all of these points are employed and optimized to provide your website with maximum search engine exposure. You may also think of hiring a Drupal Development Company for doing the same.

1. Complete liberty to create SEO Friendly URLs

Quite unlike WordPress, Drupal gives complete freedom and explicit control to create customized and SEO friendly URL structures. Every node (content element) created in Drupal can a receive a URL alias (customized URL) and while the WordPress supporters are going to site “Permalinks” in the defense, let us just burst their bubble by stating a mere fact that WP-Permalinks are not as specific and flexible as URL aliases provided by Drupal.

Besides, with Path Module, one of the many Drupal modules in place, you can come up with rather clean and Keyword optimized URLs, should you ever require doing that. The module is available on official sites for download.

2. Thorough Optimization of Page Titles

drupal pathologic modulePage title is merely a line in the HTML that defines the page. And perhaps it is the most important line that you are ever going to write about the page, as it plays the key role in letting visitors know what the page is all about, summarizing the page for the online users and for the search engines and with the proper use of keywords in it, the page title and significantly improve the search engine rankings of the website.

After carefully accessing the name of the website and its slogan, Drupal provides automatic page title generation and also offers individual node title for each of nodes. And if the content is rather complex, it lets you customize the automatically arranged titles. The Page Title module of this platform allows you to enjoy total control over the titles, write your own titles wherever a piece of content exists, predefine a pattern which should be employed for creating SEO friendly titles in future.

Any SEO expert would tell you that Page Title is really important for the fate of the website, and it is sort of awesome that Drupal gives you enough scope and flexibility to control the same.

3. Inexplicable ease of content creation

Content is the backbone of any SEO campaign and without having to use even an iota of coding, you can easily turn up with multi faceted content types and develop customized views. This is made possible with the CCK (Content Creation Kit) and Views modules, and it supports a myriad of content types such as podcasts, tutorials, articles, regular blog posts, new stories, sales forms and a lot more.

4. Easier improvement of the aesthetics with PHP Templates

An efficient theme is required not only to improve the aesthetics of the website, but also to organize the entire data for the search engines to read it thoroughly, and most importantly to retain the visitors flocking down to the website. Drupal makes use of PHP templates, which makes it very easy for the site owners to customize and enhance the aesthetics of the same. Besides, theming in Drupal is much simpler and easier than theming in WordPress.

5. References and Resources: Drupal is only flourishing

Lastly, we would like to bid adieus at a warm and positive note. With so many sites migrating to Drupal CMS ever so often, we can be rest assured that the CMS isn’t going anywhere. Also, the makers are hell bent on lowering the learning curve, as they have provided so many free resources and references for a Drupal Developer to learn and grow his potential through the same.

At anytime, if you ever feel stuck with your Drupal site, you can be rest assured that there will be either an online resource of a Drupal developer from its flourishing online community, to help you out with the same. Thus, opt for professional Drupal Development and enjoy all the benefits that this system has to offer.

This guest article was written by Jason Roiz, who is an enthusiastic creative writer and a web developer working with a leading OSSMedia Ltd. company. You may hire Drupal developer to expedite your web development projects.

A Marriage between Social Media and SEO – An Important Partnership for a Brand

Wednesday, 24 April, 2013

Traditional online marketing has evolved even further today, with brands looking for new ways to navigate the internet and succeed. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and Social Media both have become vital ingredients for a brand’s online success, and if used correctly together can be an important partnership.

At the root of branding is having a solid, marketable product, one that is easily recommendable from one person to another. SEO and Social Media can achieve this goal. Using SEO, a brand can increase its online presence, but linking in with social media can also increase a brand’s reputation
 

The importance of SEO in branding

search engine optimizationAccording to Wikipedia,SEO is “the process of affecting the visibility of a website or web page in search engine’s natural or unpaid search results.”  It is widely known that if your website doesn’t show up on the first or second page of a Google search result you will have very little traffic on your site.  Hence, why SEO has fast become one of the most important aspects of a brand’s online marketing strategy.  Recently, changes to Google’s search algorithm have forced online marketer’s to adopt new strategies with regards to search engine optimisation.  Whereas traditionally SEO relied heavily on linking and keywords, with perhaps less focus on content, this approach is no longer good enough.  The content has to be interesting, relevant, up to date and of a high quality.   For a brand, it is no longer enough to try to keep their high-ranking up artificially through content tricks and random, excessive linking.  Not only because Google itself has become advanced enough to recognize these strategies and penalize those that adopt them, but in equal measure because a brand’s consumers are more discerning. Today’s online marketers have to generate original content to build a brand’s supporters. Most importantly, they have to create a user experience that is going to make potential customers come back to that website or webpage, and want to share that experience with other users (via likes, shares,tweets,links etc).

The significance of Social Media for a brand

A Marriage between Social Media and SEO- An Important Partnership for a BrandEnter Social Media.  Social Media is defined as the means of interactions among people in which they create, share, and exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks.   Social Media enables users to create and share content.   The prime examples of this being Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yelp, and YouTube.   This user-generated content is the key to social networking.  Social media is an incredibly effective way of establishing a brand.  It doesn’t necessarily cost anything from the outset and has the power to reach thousands and even hundreds of thousands of potential subscribers.  One of the most incredible things that social media can do for a brand is to offer that brand transparency.  Transparency means that consumers want their brands to be real people, not just big logos.  Social media open this dialogue, and allows consumers to communicate directly, whether just to feel like the CEO is a real person, or to make sure accountability.  The other important aspect of social media is that it allows a brand to create a relationship with consumers through more entertaining ways such as creative apps, fun videos, sweepstakes, polls etc.

A marriage made in Google Heaven?

seo and facebook marketingA marriage between SEO and social media can be an important partnership for a brand if done correctly.  The new SEO is much more about the user experience first, then linkable assets (such as articles of interest, videos, free learning tools, polls, and apps), which in turn promote link building between sites and raising the search ranking of a given brand’s website. After that the key is to create user activity via social networking, such as Facebook (shares and likes), Twitter(tweets and retweets).  Not only does this mean more traffic to a brand’s site (building more brand awareness) but equally a more organic growth, coming from the users themselves and not an advertising agency.  This partnership can certainly make a brand appear more trustworthy and the product more likely to succeed.

Conclusion

Getting it right is very important for a brand, but if they can do it the results using a combination of social media and SEO can be phenomenal. Success in online marketing relies firstly upon creating and promoting a strong brand, and then further expanding this online. Most brands today have a social media presence, but it takes skill to use it correctly. In order to do this, online marketers should use this partnership between social media and SEO to create quality content which encourages users to engage with and promote the brand.

This guest article was written by Meera, who works for Printerpix, an online Photo Gift shop based in London. You can check out the reviews of Printerpix here. Meera enjoys writing on business related issues such as branding and logo design. In her spare time, she enjoys craftwork, cooking, reading and networking.

5 Reasons Bloggers Don’t Need SEO

Saturday, 3 November, 2012

Whether you just started up a design resources blog or you’ve been writing on yours for years now, you’ve probably heard of SEO, also known as search engine optimization. Sadly, today many blogger focus so much on SEO that they forget about what’s important – creating content.

If you’ve been focusing a lot on your SEO efforts, and ignoring your blog content, I wanted to give you five main reasons you don’t need SEO.

#1 Visitors are Humans

When people think of SEO, they often think of ways to “game” the Google search engine. See, you’re already doing things wrong here. What you have to understand is that people come to your blog to find information. If they don’t find what they are looking for, they are going to run onto the next site that may have their information. Now, if your website is good enough, then guess what? They are going to tell your friends!

#2 Referrals are King

This brings me onto my next point. What you’re going to find is that if you build awesome content, people are going to get a kick out of it. Because of this, they are going to keep coming back and yes, they are going to tell their family and friends! Let’s think about a real world situation for a second here. You’ve been to an amazing restaurant before, right? Well, did you just go home and forget about it? Probably not! You probably went out and told some friends, left a wonderful review and craved to go back, right? If you’re shaking your head yes, then you have to apply that same theory to your blog! People want something so good; they want to keep coming back.

#3 Returning Visitors are GOLD

While referrals are awesome, returning visitors are fantastic too. Again, let’s take a real world example again. If you think about your major corporations in the United States such as Walmart, Target and so many others, they don’t rely on new people every day, do they? Sure, while they do try to snag some new customers every day, many of those that shop are returning customers, right? You don’t want a blog that receives one customer and that’s it. Instead, you need to lure them back somehow. With email lists and great content, this is a great way to keep your blog name fresh in people’s heads.

#4 GOOD Content Breeds Links

While I’m not discouraging you to stop building links, you have to understand what a good and bad link is. If you’re leaving awful blog comments, writing boring articles on article directories and spamming forums, this won’t get you to the top. Today, Google is smarter than ever and they want to see legitimate links. These legitimate links are going to look natural and they are going to come from authoritative websites. So instead, of focusing 99% of the time on links, try to build content that gets links to it. Keep in mind that people want to link to things that are unique. SO if you’re writing about “5 ways to save money,” people will probably not want to link to that. Be creative, create something that people want to learn about and keep at it!

#5 Go Viral

If you look at any of the top websites on the web, many of them have returning visitors and at one point in their life, they went viral. Whether it was the front page of Reddit, a Yahoo! news story or even a mention on TechCrunch, these websites did something to jump start their project.
So what I want you to do is take off your website glasses and really look at your website. Get honest opinions; ask yourself what makes you better than the rest. While you can start up another tech blog, WHAT is going to make you different? Stop writing about rehashed material and stop building lame links. This isn’t going to be good for the long run and won’t add anything to your SEO efforts.
In the end, create great content, let the word spread and remember, a great blog wasn’t built overnight.

This guest post was written by Hannah, who works for Howmuchisit.org. A website that helps you find the cost of things.