Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Voice Search is changing SEO Optimization: Prepare your Website

Do you prefer Siri, Alexa, Amazon Echo, Cortana, or using your thumbs to type search queries onto a small mobile keyboard? Because of their convenience, more and more users, especially mobile web users, are taking advantage of voice searches. In fact, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced that about 20% of Google searches are now voice searches. This number is expected to rapidly climb, so future-proofing your business means optimizing your website for voice searches. You can do this through your website’s content or platform.

On the content side, there are a few easy steps your marketers and writers can take to optimize your existing platform for voice searches.

  1. Many people use voice searches to find local businesses. You need to make sure Google knows where your business is located. Make sure you have an up-to-date address in your Google My Business account. To a lesser extent, also make sure you’re included on Bing Places. “Nearby” and “near me” aren’t useful keywords to add to your content, but an accurate address will ensure you’re getting hits from these searches.

  2. People speak differently than they type, especially when they’re typing with their thumbs. You might type “best pizza NYC” but say “Hey Siri, where’s the best pizza in New York?” As a rule, voice searches:
    1. Are longer
    2. Use natural spoken language
Make sure you are optimizing content for both voice and traditional online searches.

  1. Google likes short answers. Including 29-word snippets into your content makes it very voice friendly. These snippets have the added bonus of being very shareable on social media. In fact, highly shared content on social media does tend to perform better in voice searches even though Google doesn’t factor social media into its search algorithm. What makes a good Twitter post often makes a good voice search answer.

  2. KISS: Keep it Simple Stupid. This (in)famous acronym applies here. The average voice search result was written at a 9th-grade reading level, so leave the Scrabble vocabulary at home and use short, simple sentences.

All of these content changes will help improve your website’s performance in a voice search, but there are technical changes that need to be made as well.

1. Voice searches favor sites that load faster. Voice searches are almost exclusively used on mobile devices. If your site loads quickly (Everything on the screen should be visible in less than one to three seconds, max.), your website will have a huge advantage.

2. Use structured data. Don’t just use HTML to make your website attractive to human users. Use structured data to add invisible information to make your website more attractive to search engine bots.

3. Use HTTPS. The “S” stands for “secure.” Websites that use the HTTPS protocol prevent information being sent between a website and a user from being accessed by third parties. Google has been giving HTTPS websites and ranking boost since 2014, and this applies to voice searches as well.

Voice search is still a relatively new technology, and optimizing for it is not yet standard practice. That means businesses who optimize for voice search have access to a less crowded field.

At Innuy, we have experienced developers that can take your mobile app and website to the next level. Our team uses the latest modern technologies in mobile like Javascript: ReactJS & Node.js to build robust interactive apps with real-time environments. Call us at +1 252 723 5982 or contact us to learn more!

Monday, May 6, 2019

Agile Methodology: 5 Phases of Mobile App Development

The world has gone mobile, and there’s no going back. Nearly 200 billion apps are downloaded each year, with users engaging with an average of 9 apps each day. With more and more digital content being consumed on smartphones and mobile devices, smart companies are vying to keep pace in the evolving technological world.

The revolution began in 2014, when the number of mobile users surpassed desktop and laptop users. In response, Google’s algorithm began favoring responsive web design and mobile-friendly websites. Utilizing new technology in smartphones, trends like voice search, AI, and mobile apps have exploded onto the market. Now, if your business isn’t mobile-friendly, it’s likely losing at least 50% of potential leads right off the bat -- a statistic which isn’t viable for future success.

Why Develop a Mobile App for your Business?

Apps are now standard for large companies, with businesses like Facebook, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Starbucks finding innovative ways to generate sales and engagement through the unique capabilities of mobile apps. Apps allow a business to directly connect to the end-user, even creating push notifications to stay on the front page of a smartphone, and adding gamification like badges and rewards for customers who stay active on their apps.

Smaller local businesses like local news stations, exercise studios, educational programs, job agencies, non-profits, and local event venues are also discovering financial growth through app development. The sheer simplicity and overall “stickiness” of apps makes them desirable for building a brand, pushing out information like new discounts or upcoming events, and generating passive revenue through online sales or in-app microtransactions.

With mobile phones and apps, companies can fit all their services into their customers’ pockets and directly connect with them no matter where they are.

Time Investment and Cost of Mobile App Development

The best way to break down the overall costs of building a mobile app is to look at the overall time investment involved. And the best way to break down the time investment is to look at what’s involved in each phase of mobile app development.

Apps usually have a longer development phase than websites. Depending on the type of app--native, hybrid, or web--the overall time frame has the potential to vary widely. However, a good estimation for a v.1.0 app is around 4-6 months. Let’s take a closer look at what happens during that time frame.

Stages of Mobile App Development

Most mobile app development teams will use an Agile methodology to organize each phase of development. Each phase is slightly different, but overall this framework acts the same in each phase. We begin by having a deep-dive communication about the customer’s needs and vision. During this discussion, we set up agreed upon milestones. Then we move in two-week long “sprints”, during which time we focus heavily on coding and building all that’s been discussed. At that point, we show our current progress, and have another in-depth discussion about how to move forward. Then, we set up new milestones and sprint again. This process allows us to work steadily and efficiently through each phase, but not get too deep before checking that we are still moving in the desired direction.

A complex app with many features may require more time to build than simple apps with a narrow scope.

While every project is different, here is a basic overview of the stages of app development.

1. Discovery Stage - Three Weeks

This fundamental stage is critical for the overall success of the app.

During this stage, you should be formulating the overall concept of your app. As with all marketing campaigns, begin by defining the target audience. Once you know who your app is being designed for, have marketing teams research the target demographic, determining things like:

  • How old is the target demographic?
  • What other current trends are popular with this audience?
  • What kinds of apps do they already use?
  • What are some popular features of those apps?
  • What price point does that demographic typically spend on apps?
  • How will you monetize the app?
  • What marketing technology will your app need? Microtransactions? Gamification? Push notifications? Voice recognition? GPS? Social media integration?
  • Where will you sell your app?
  • How will you promote your app?
  • Is your app competitive in its intended market?
  • What similar apps already exist?

By the time your market research is done, you will ideally know the weaknesses, strengths, threats, and opportunities that will define your strategy and business plan for your mobile app.

2. Planning Stage - One Month

The Planning Stage is commonly more technical and complex than the Discovery Stage. Now that you have a market analysis, you should have an idea of what kinds of features to include, how to configure the app, and whether or not you’ll develop as a native app, a hybrid app, or a progressive web app. You’ll also choose between iOS or Android -- or both.

It’s time for wireframes. Developers will sketch a rough draft of the app layout, including features like a search menu, login screen, social media sharing buttons, profile building options, GPS, voice capabilities, e-commerce and cart features, and more.

3. Development Stage - One to Two Months

Once all the wireframes are drawn and you’ve determined the functionality and features of your app, it’s time for the development team to start building the app.

First, the Graphic Design team will need some time to create icons and buttons to give your app a uniquely branded and visually stunning appearance. This is called the User Interface (UI). The UI is critical for ensuring your app stands out in the market.

Then, developers will begin working on the Front and Back End development in two-week sprints. Then, developers will often pause to show their progress, get approval from the client, and then sprint again.

4. Testing Stage - One to Two Weeks

Your app is almost done, and we know you’re eager to get it on the market! However, it’s important to take some time to check for bugs. During this time, the development team will essentially “use” the app as if they were an end-user. They’ll test logging in, push notifications, navigating the menu -- essentially clicking every link, video, or image there is to click!

Everytime something fishy happens, the developer will add it to the “Bug List.” Then, the team will go back through and fix each bug. After that, they’ll comb through it again one final time, to make sure the functionality is seamless and speedy, providing a great user experience for your first customers.

5. Updates - Ongoing

Ever notice how many apps have a v.2.0 or more? If your goal is a seamlessly perfect mobile app, which never crashes, offers ever-evolving services, and becomes part of your customers’ daily lives -- updates are expected. That’s why popular apps like Facebook, Netflix, and Candy Crush have regular updates on your mobile device.

Once your app has launched, the development team will gather post-launch feedback and create necessary changes. Now, it’s time to launch a great mobile app marketing strategy and see how your app is received by your clients. Updates are often part of a successful app strategy.

Is Your Company Ready for a Mobile App?

If your company is ready to expand into the world of mobile apps, the developers at Innuy are experienced and up to the task! Whether you’re looking for Native or Hybrid technologies, our team specializes in Javascript: ReactJS & Node.js to build robust interactive apps with real-time environments.

Our team specializes in providing affordable web development from Latin America--often costing 30-50% less than developers in the US. Innuy’s developers can serve as your primary mobile app development team or as a supplement to your current team. Call us at +1 252 723 5982 or contact us to learn more today!

Monday, April 22, 2019

Losing Money: 5 Ways Your Outdated Website is Affecting Your Bottom Line

In the modern tech world, a company’s website is essentially their storefront, creating the first impression for thousands of potential customers. It only takes 50 milliseconds for a site visitor to form an impression that determines whether or not they’ll dive deeper -- or become just another percentage on your bounce rate.

On average, a website redesign is recommended every three years. In just three years, the differences in style and design are instantly discernable--newer websites look fresh, and dated websites show their age. However, modern designs and bouncing site traffic aren’t the only concerns of an outdated website; in fact, that just scratches the surface.

Just like with a new car or new smartphone, entropy takes its toll. Little by little, links begin to break, security measures grow outdated, page load times grow longer, templates become outdated, SEO rules change, and new technology like voice search becomes standard. Within a few years, your company website’s fresh new code and modern features are no longer impressing Google’s algorithm.

With all of these potential issues, there are still only three main reasons an outdated website causes impacts a company’s bottom line:

  1. Your website can’t be found on Google, due to outdated optimization
  2. Your website is repelling visitors, due to outdated design or poor user experience (UX)
  3. Your website lacks modern integration, causing less efficiency for employees

By assessing your company website for each of these issues, you can determine whether or not it’s time to invest in an upgraded website.

1. Page Load Times

Slow load times can negatively impact both your website’s findability and its bounce rate. According to current data, nearly 50% of users expect a load time of 2 seconds or less--and roughly 40% of users will leave the site immediately. Worse yet, Google recently announced that slow load times will impact search ranking as part of their new algorithm.

If your company’s website was built prior to three years ago, it’s likely that the templates and design popular during that time period wasn’t built to be as speedy as modern websites. Google has built a tool for testing load times. If your page speed load times are more than 2 seconds, it’s definitely time for a website upgrade!

2. Broken Links

Links are the lifeblood of a website. Internal links help your guide visitors through a desired “customer’s journey” towards the ultimate goal of a conversion. External links help boost your website’s SEO-juice by showing Google your content is well-sourced and connected with industry leaders. Finally, backlinks from other websites show Google that your content is high quality, which boosts your ranking for key search terms.

With links being this important -- how much damage do you think a broken link does?

Broken links lower your ranking on Google, impacting the searchability of your company. If a Google bot crawling your page runs into a dead link, it may prevent it from properly indexing your website, leading to decreased SEO value.

Broken links can also cause broken trust -- imagine if a visitor reading your latest blog entry clicks an enticing link to learn more about your services, only to discover it goes nowhere. You’ve just lost a potential conversion.

While broken internal links can be fixed using a 301 redirect, valuable backlinks can be lost forever. Over time, the degradation of links is best fixed by creating a fresh, clean new website.

3. Lacking Voice Search Capabilities

As web technology advances, old methodologies begin losing traction. With the advent of voice assistants like Siri, Cortana, Alexa, and Google Assistant, it is projected that over 50% of all searches will be voice search within the next year.

Similar to how responsive, mobile-friendly websites became a mandatory upgrade for companies wanting to survive in the world of smartphones, voice search functionality will soon become critical for modern business websites. Losing over 50% of search traffic is a large blow to anyone’s bottom line.

If your company’s website isn’t set up with voice search functionality, that’s a good sign it’s time for an upgrade.

4. Limited Reach and Integration

Old technology limits a business’ ability to reach and engage with their target audience. Some newer functionality is expected by visitors, such as:

  • Voice search
  • Client login to view online profile and history
  • Online quotes
  • Databases for reports
  • Easy newsletter sign-up
  • Quick checkout process
  • Auto-fill form functionality
  • Chatbots and AI
  • Click-to-call business number

If a company website lacks these modern conveniences, it can leave a poor impression at best. At worst, it may lead to potential clients leaving the website in frustration. For example, it may seem simple, but if a visitor is browsing on their smartphone and finds your company number isn’t click-to-call, it forces them to have to find somewhere to write the number before dialing. This seemingly small inconvenience can significantly lower conversions.

Limited integration doesn’t just hurt sales--it also impacts productivity on the business-end.  Many new websites can integrate with modern software and automation services like Salesforce, HubSpot, MailChimp, and dozens more depending on the industry. This allows employees to easily save and access customer data, quickly set up automated A/B testing campaigns, and have overall more efficiency.

Some website designs save time and money on the company-side, just as much as they impact lead generation. Our team has set up website integrations that save hours of work and frustration for employees, leading to a healthier bottom line and happier staff.

5. Giving Permanent Clients to Competitors

No one would intentionally give a client to the competition. But if slow load times, outdated design elements, or missing functionality causes a visitor to bounce off a company’s page, where do you think they will go next?

Odds are they are going back to their Google search results to look at the next website on the list -- the competition.

If the competition’s website has a sleek new design, quick load times, and modern functionality, that immediate comparison will likely make the potential customer never give the first business a second look. Ever again.

Business A just lost more than a one-time deal. They likely just gave a lifelong customer to Business B.

Take a look at your competitor’s websites, and determine whether or not your company has the edge.

How can you tell your business website is outdated?

There are a few red flags that can let you know it’s time to update your company website.

  • Slow load times.
  • Large amounts of text.
  • Inconsistent fonts and colors
  • Distracting, gaudy backgrounds or animations
  • Outdated company information
  • Long forms
  • Broken links
  • Links to old and outdated news
  • Not optimized for mobile
  • Overuse of obvious stock photos
  • Excessive keyword stuffing
  • Broken images
  • Small, hard-to-find call-to-action
  • Phone number that isn’t click-to-call
  • Complicated back end that doesn’t save data; inefficient for employees
  • Lack of social buttons

Likewise, here are a few things to look for in a newly upgraded website.

  • Quick load times, less than 2 seconds
  • Large, easy-to-read fonts
  • Consistent brand colors throughout website
  • Small blocks of simple text, with heavier use of graphics
  • Clean, simple backgrounds and colors
  • Minimalist or Flat design
  • Updated company information
  • Links to modern articles from recent years
  • Optimized for mobile
  • Optimized for voice search
  • Customer-oriented content strategy, rather than keyword stuffing
  • A bold, easy-to-see call-to-action
  • Short forms, using auto-fill if possible
  • Login information stored, with customer profiles
  • Phone number is click-to-call
  • Automated newsletter sign-up for easily automated marketing
  • Easy-to-use back end that saves time for employees
  • Social buttons and focus on social media

Take Your Company’s Website to the Next Level

If your company’s website is ready for an upgrade, the web and mobile app developers at Innuy are ready to help enhance your online presence. Whether your team is developing a mobile application, progressive web app, AI, data science, or IoT, our developers can help your company create a dynamic, unique, integrated project.

With expertise in Python, Django, and Javascript, our team specializes in providing affordable web development from Latin America--often costing 30-50% less than developers in the US.
Innuy’s developers can serve as your primary development team or as a supplement to your current team. Call us at +1 252 723 5982 or contact us to learn more today!

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

9 Reasons to Choose Python for Your Next Development Project

Choosing the best programming language for your company’s next web development project can be a daunting task. There are many factors to weigh when considering which programming language will be the best fit. Often, choosing a coding language involves trade-offs--some languages will offer more versatility, but also lead to a longer, most costly project. Python’s ease of syntax, for example, allows for quicker development. This increased productivity typically allows for less work hours, which leads to a less expensive overall project.

Another consideration -- some coding languages don’t have a long lifespan. So if you’re creating a website or mobile app that needs to remain fresh and modern for many years, you need to forecast which coding language that ages well. For example, in the early 2000’s, PHP and Ruby on Rails seemed like an exciting trend; however, very few developers use these languages in 2019.

The best way to balance of benefits versus detriments is to take a close look at the unique needs of your specific project and decide which language fits best. While non-technical project managers may be more likely to rely on their developer’s expertise, it’s important to have a basic understanding of the benefits and detriments of specific programming languages. Likewise, more tech-savvy project managers will benefit from a more in-depth look at the features, versatility, and cost-savings of a Python development project.  

Criteria to Consider when Choosing a Development Language

With all of the trade-offs involved between coding languages, it’s important to have some basic criteria to consider when determining which language fits your specific project.

Here are some criteria to carefully weigh:

  • Longevity of the language

  • Overall cost of development projects using the language

  • Time commitment involved in each language

  • Efficiency of the language

  • Accessible platforms and frameworks

  • Difficulty of the programming language

  • Community support

  • Versatility of the code (especially if you have a more complex project)

For the purposes of this article, let’s take a look at the Python programming language, measuring it against each of these criteria and exploring the benefits of the code.

1. Python is Rising in Popularity
Python is rapidly rising in popularity. As the number one programming language of 2017, and data from Stack Overflow forecasts Python outgrowing all over programming languages--including C, Java, and C++.

2.  Social Media Platforms use Python

Internet giants like Reddit, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube utilize Python as their development language. Each of these social media platforms need an immense amount of coding versatility to create entirely unique and dynamic websites. Also, because these popular social media websites use Python, it increases the likelihood that Python’s customer support, accessibility, and efficiency will last for a long time.

3. Python has Optimal Integration

Because Google has listed Python as their first and foremost choice, most of Google’s tools are developed with Python frameworks in mind. This makes Python a safe bet for integration into Google’s cloud services and Google Apps--making it a perfect fit for Google partners. This integration with Google also ensures the longevity of the Python language.

4. Python has Extensive Community Support

Python has a wide community of passionate fans and developers who enjoy discussing the language, troubleshooting issues, and sharing their latest code. These coders run everything from a message board community to actual conferences and local events for Python enthusiasts.

Many open source communities are devoted to Python, with thousands of programmers across the world working together to improve Python’s core functionality and add features. There’s even a Python Wiki, where people can search for specific topics--or even write a topic and share their knowledge! Should your team ever need support or assistance on a Python project, it’ll be easy to find answers online.

5. Python’s Features Enhance Productivity and Speed

Python offers several capabilities that allow for quicker, easier coding and enhanced productivity, such as:

  • Process control capabilities

  • Strong integration with other tools and software

  • Internal unit testing framework

  • Object-oriented design

  • Text processing
These features not only make Python easier for developers, but also easier for end-users, since your team will be able to easily integrate a Python website or mobile app into the automation software you’re already using.

6. Python is Free -- It’s a Core Value!

One of Python’s core values is to remain open source and free. Therefore, the entire set of supporting tools, libraries, and modules are totally free. Integrated development environments like Pydev with Eclipse and Spider Python can be downloaded for free.

The open source mentality and “we’re in this together” community environment leads to expanded development resources and code being made available--for free--as time goes on.

7.Third Party Modules and User-friendly Data Structures  

As we’ve already seen, Python supports open source code-share, and easily integrates with third-party software. Along these same lines, the Python Package Index (PyPl) contains third-party modules that maintain Python’s proficiency in interaction with other languages and platforms.

PyPI – Python package index contains third-party modules that makes Python proficient in the interaction of other languages as well as platforms.

8. Speed-Coding Through User-Friendly Data Structures

The Python language offers ease of syntax that allows programmers to complete code in less steps, especially when compared to Java or C++.

Python accomplishes this by including an embedded dictionary of data structures, which allows coders to create fast runtime data structures. Dynamic, high-level data typing shortens the length of support code required to make a program.

In short, Python allows for less typing, which means faster coding.

9. Excels Over JavaScript at Object-Oriented Code

JavaScript is another popular programming language, partially due to the speed and versatility that come with “object-oriented” programming. Python’s object-based subset is very similar to JavaScript, utilizing a programming style that uses simple functions and variables without engaging in class definitions. However, Python supports coding much larger programs, with better code reuse.

Learn More About Our Python Development Projects

Python’s constantly-growing libraries and open source support communities make it a great choice for any development project. Whether your team is developing a Mobile Application, Web App, AI, Data Science, or IoT, Python provides a dynamic and proficient framework that is gaining popularity with complex apps and social media websites across the Internet.

Many software development companies use Python because of its efficient syntax, growing features, and versatility of code. If you have a development project in the works, our team of experienced Python developers can help your company create a dynamic, unique, integrated project.

Call our team of web developers at +1 252 723 5982 or contact us to learn more about our services and all the benefits of using Python for your next development project.