Tag Archives: New Technology

Progressive Web Apps: The New Frontier for Mobile Browsing and Marketing

Progressive Web Apps Technology - Eminent SEO

For mobile and web optimization, having the best of both worlds is typically a far-fetched dream for businesses. However, in 2015, Google developers defied the status quo of mobile browsing by creating progressive web apps (PWAs). They resemble the mobile apps we are all used to, but are quite different: more accessible and no drain on your phone’s hard drive. A far-fetched dream is now a reality.

What Is Progressive Web App Technology?

Progressive web apps (PWAs) are a method of software development. PWAs differ from other applications because they unite traditional websites with mobile applications. Modern browsers, such as Safari and Microsoft Edge, offer extensive benefits that have not been usable through a mobile device in the past.

However, PWAs seek to fuse the features of web browsers with the convenience of mobile devices. The increased popularity of mobile device usage among consumers places a demand on companies to follow suit with mobile-friendly websites. While making a hybrid of the best of web browsing and mobile browsing is the goal, it’s also the primary challenge.

Mobile Sites vs. Mobile Apps

Mobile sites receive more traffic than mobile apps. Companies that are not well-known tend to do better with mobile sites than with mobile apps. An established or a widely known company can easily transition from a mobile site to a mobile app because customers are familiar with the brand and want to further interact with the company through a different interface.

However, lesser-known companies are Mobile Sites Vs Mobile Apps - Eminent SEOusually discovered by prospective customers through a wider range of communication, which is the benefit of mobile sites. Potential customers who have never heard of a certain brand are more likely to stumble upon the business through the broad exposure of a mobile site, rather than the exclusive loyalty of a mobile app.

While mobile sites are usually better for wider visibility, mobile apps consume more of a user’s device time. Mobile apps are useful for customers who have interacted previously with a business. That means most small, local businesses or B2B businesses would find mobile apps unprofitable. However, if a customer, or potential customer, has browsed a company’s website or entered the doors of a business, then a mobile app could be effective to keep a line of communication going.

For example, Schlotzsky’s has an app that tracks the number of sandwiches a customer has purchased, providing a visual countdown until the consumer reaches a free entrée. The app features much more, though, such as company updates, special offers, alerts, franchise locations and a menu. Since Schlotzsky’s is a nationally recognized business, a mobile app enhances its brand loyalty and communication with customers.

The Benefits of Progressive Web Apps

PWAs maintain the strength of a full-blown web browser without restricting mobility. The computer’s web browser isn’t reduced in power, just size. In the past, users might have hesitated to use their mobile device over a computer web browser due to the latter’s complex functionality and powerful processing system. However, pulling out a laptop while standing in line at the grocery store isn’t practical.

On the other hand, users loyal to their mobile devices objected to using computers or laptops for their bulkiness and long loading times. From their perspective, the convenience of reaching into a pocket and sending an email within seconds was more practical than commuting to their desk space to boot up a computer. However, to profit from the ease of mobile browsing, the hefty sacrifice of web browsing’s power was non-negotiable.

PWAs put an end to the past give-and-take of internet browsing commonly endured by the business community. Here are the benefits PWAs have to offer:

Push Notifications

Real time, fast updates of a user’s apps that summarize priority information instead of accessing an email address or waiting to log in on a computer.

Better Layout

More responsive arrangement and simpler navigation than the mobile version of a traditional website.

Offline Accessibility

The PWA runs continuously, even when offline. While working behind the scenes, it tracks the user’s actions, all without direct user communication.

Hardware Utilization

Hardware features such as geolocation, microphone and camera are embedded and accessible in PWAs.

Less Data Consumption

This means less lag time for users in delayed or restricted internet access locations. Less data consumption could also make a big difference when it comes to users’ monthly phone bills.

Community of Internet Users

PWAs don’t require a download and are free, making them more likely to attract a larger number of active users.

How to Optimize Progressive Web App Content

Web Apps Unsupported Browser Icons - Eminent SEO

The future of online communication is paved by PWAs. App developers need to remain cautious of Google’s page indexing and implement correct coding methodology to counteract it. Companies should strive for a powerful online presence by utilizing the best SEO practices to inform users and retain customers.

PWAs supplement current websites but, at this time, are less effective independently. After a company’s website is established, bulked and refined, incorporating a PWA is the next business step.

Here are some tips to get started:

  • Don’t send clients to an unsupported browser site.
  • If supplying information from several URLs, utilize “rel=canonical” to avoid identical content violations in the eyes of search engines.
  • Don’t use the AJAX crawling arrangement on original sites.
  • Don’t use hashtags. Googlebot doesn’t store URLs that use this symbol, and several PWAs possess a hashtag (#) in their URL address. The result is erased content past the hashtag, or pound sign. The solution is to use a URL structure according to SEO best practices instead of URLs that include a hashtag.
  • Ensure a website is viewable through the lens of Google. The Fetch and Render feature in Google Search Console accomplishes this task.
  • Double check that sources are accessible, and not restricted by robots.txt.
  • Limit hyperlinked sources, especially JavaScript files, to prevent partially loaded pages.
  • Cautiously use JavaScript, as some search engines may be incompatible with it.
  • Denote website changes with a sitemap file when utilizing Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).

If you feel like you’re ready to get started on your first PWA, check out Google’s dedicated Progressive Web Apps platform.

The Next Steps

Mobile Phones Mobile Technology - Eminent SEO

Mobile apps were once the next step for companies with an established brand, and they’re still valuable in many cases. However, the recent creation of PWAs is the next logical step for most businesses, as they foster enhanced company communication, stronger brand loyalty and easier user navigation.

While the benefits of PWAs are staggering, the construction of such a website may seem overwhelming. That’s where Eminent SEO comes in. Eminent SEO can help build a new website from scratch – one that has mobile responsiveness and customized features for smartphones. To learn more, call us today at 800.871.4130.

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Making the Most of Communication Technology

Making the Most of Communication Technology

Text messaging, online interaction and mobile media have already transformed the ways we communicate. The Pew Research Center reports that 56% of Americans now own smartphones. On an average day, 36.6 billion messages are sent via SMS-text message or chat apps like iMessage and WhatsApp. By 2014, that number is expected to surpass 50 billion messages. An increasing number of us spend most of our days using some form of electronic communication to manage workplace and personal relationships.

At the same time, few things can ruin a relationship faster than a miss-timed text or a message taken out of context. A report from Forbes, candidly entitled “Don’t Include Me On a Group Text Message Unless You’re Trying to Punish Me,” reminds us that the rules for proper e-communication etiquette are changing almost as quickly as the technology itself. Because communication technology holds such a prominent place in our daily lives, it’s more important than ever to consider how text messaging, email, and other mobile media are also changing how we build and maintain relationships.

The Upside

When it comes to the upside of communication technology, some of the most promising aspects involve improving collaboration and strengthening existing relationships. Initially, consumers are making good on professional and educational technologies that allow for increased collaboration. Three of the biggest providers of Cloud technology – Dropbox, iCloud, and SkyDrive – report a combined 675 million users. Google’s new(ish) Drive provides not only online storage, but also a platform for synchronous document editing across remote locations.

These types of technologies in addition to text messaging, instant messaging, and video-conferencing have created increased opportunities for convenient collaboration across time and space. In doing so, human communication experts argue that workplace relationships are strengthened in several key ways:

  • Co-workers develop close relationships that some describe are as comfortable as friendships. Text messaging, instant messaging and social networking at work allow employees convenience and efficiency in their communication, so these relationships develop rather quickly.
  • Employees also enjoy increased task interdependence, in that they can use communication technology to manage each other’s availability. When individuals are collaborating on a project, sometimes a quick text message or Google chat is appropriate to answer technical questions, without getting bogged down with the small talk that sometimes accompanies a face-to-face interaction.
  • Finally, employees often create a sense of community around their online collaborations. Communication technology simply brings more people to the table, allowing individuals to grow their social networks and online communities in ways previously limited by time and space. Such features are important in an expanding global marketplace.

These benefits of communication technologies are also evident in personal relationships. In an increasingly competitive and unpredictable economy, more families are living apart for employment purposes. This rise includes not only extended families, but also spouses and their children. As such, text messaging, videoconferencing, and mobile media are often vital technologies that families need to keep in touch. Additional benefits include:

  • A strengthening of existing relationships. Whereas text messaging is not always the most effective way to initiate and form a relationship, mobile communication devices help existing bonds stick together.
  • Combatting loneliness. One of the biggest risks that long-distance relationships face is loneliness, and videoconferencing, in particular, helps to alleviate the burdens of maintaining relationships across great distances.

The Downside

As more and more devices, programs, and platforms are developed, it is important to take a practical and somewhat cautiously optimistic approach to this topic – especially because of the downsides of our growing reliance on communication technologies. The drawbacks also focus on workplace and interpersonal relationship maintenance.

As workplaces become more connected and collaborative, there is a growing concern among organizational scholars that we’re becoming too plugged in. Employees are expected to do more with fewer resources, a phenomenon that Communication scholar Sharon Kleinman called the “culture of efficiency.” Communication technologies are a part of this culture, because they are believed to help speed up several of our workplace interactions. However, there are consequences for this emphasis on efficiency. Colleagues have grown to expect immediate responses to a text message. Employees are expected to respond to emails and text messages after work hours. These changes in communication practices also place significant burdens on workplace relationships.

  • Managers and supervisors now assume that their employees are “always on.” This can lead to work-family spillover, where individuals take time away from their personal relationships to deal with their workplace relationships – often without compensation.
  • The assumption of “always on” also increases the likelihood for employee burnout or other productivity problems – especially when individuals spend more and more of their days answering text messages and emails than doing the work that they’ve been hired to do.
  • Finally, if communication technologies have made workplace relationships more like friendships, then missing a text or failing to respond to an email immediately can prompt a much harsher reaction from our co-workers.

The workplace is not the only space where communication technologies often make our relationships more challenging. On an interpersonal level, text messaging, email, and videoconferencing do keep us more connected; however, they are not a magical fix for all relationship maintenance problems. Psychology Professor Mark Becker from Michigan State has argued that media multi-tasking, or using multiple communication technologies at once, is directly linked to increases in anxiety and depression. Communication scholar Lisa Stafford outlines some additional downsides that we might encounter when it comes to communication technology and personal relationships:

  • A loss of privacy and control. Individuals have little control over the texts or emails that they send, pictures that they post, or other communications that they put on the Internet. Those messages can be forwarded by well-meaning friends or family members in ways that the original sender never intended.
  • Paradox of constant connection. Text messaging can help romantic partners stay close even when they are apart; however, some partners get annoyed when their significant other interrupts them during work or time with their friends.

Developing Your Tech Etiquette

When it comes to managing the upsides and downsides of communication technology, there is no lack of tips for text messaging or rules for relationships. The most important lesson, however, is to develop your own tech etiquette. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Be mindful with your messages. In other words, think before you text. Think about how and when the person on the other end will receive your message, as well as any follow-up messages (e.g., be wary of tech features like group messaging, because they often lead to unnecessary disruptions in the receiver’s day).
  • Take safety seriously. No matter how good your privacy settings are, if you don’t want something public, then don’t post it to the Internet. Additionally, be careful mixing your work and home texts. The Supreme Court has ruled that your employer has the right to view any text messages sent from a work phone – no matter how private you think they are.
  • Formality is ok. LOL, SMH, and other abbreviated text-speak are not for everyone – there is nothing more awkward than a well-meaning grandmother who thinks LOL means lots of love. Chat apps like iMessage and WhatsApp have taken over the market from SMS text messaging, meaning that text messengers can now squeeze in many more characters in a single text. And it’s ok – preferred even, when it comes to business and professional settings – to ditch the text-speak and start using full sentences and proper grammar.
  • Turn it off. Give your brain, your anxiety levels, and your ego a break and turn off the technology every once in a while. The world will go on if you miss a text message. Some industry professionals even suggest declaring “email bankruptcy,” (e.g., kicking up your out-of-office notification to tell senders to re-send their message next week, because you’re not reading anything this week). It’s more important for you to pay attention to other relationship maintenance practices that get lost when we rely on too much technology. Balancing our use of technology with other forms of communication – like a good old face-to-face conversation – is an important part of managing healthy relationships.

How do you think communication technology has changed your relationships?

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This Article was written by Marianne LeGreco, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her research focuses on organizational and health communication, and she has published research on using communication technology to assist with community-based initiatives.

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Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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How Mobile Augmented Reality Will Change the Lives of Everyone on the Planet

Blippar future technology

A new movie trailer came out yesterday for the Will Ferrell movie “The Campaign.” If you want to watch the trailer, all you have to do is pull a dollar bill out of your pocket, aim your ipad, iphone, or android phone at the currency – using the app “Blippar” – and the dollar bill comes to life. Will Ferrell replaces George Washington on the bill and the various words and engravings turn into fighter jets and eagles soaring and many other “American things.”

This impressive technology comes from Blippar, a tech company in the United Kingdom, which has been hinting all over the web at the newest things they intend to become “Blippable.” The company considers it’s technology “highly advanced,” and promises that it will take us into a futuristic new world.

Blippar™ is a revolution for traditional print and marketing offering the power to turn every single piece of print or physical branding in the real world into an instantaneous digital, interactive experience,” Blippar proudly states.

Using image-recognition technology, Blippar is able to recognize quite quickly what is on your mobile device’s screen and then enhances the reality by making the environment interactive, allowing 3d images and videos to swirl around you.

After only a single hour of Blipping nearly everything I could find, I am as confident as Blippar staff is, that this technology will definitely change the world.

While there is not a wealth of information on the company or the product yet — the start-up is still in its infancy as they are perfecting the technology — there are many videos of what this app can do, and what they plan to do.

video blipper

 

Watch a video of “what exactly Blippar is,” and how it works.

 

 

 

 

blipper video

 

Watch a video of how Blippar turned Virgin Media Magazine completely interactive. Billionaire Richard Branson is excited to be using this technology and is devoted to pushing Blippar’s possibilities to its limits.

 

 

Blipper Video

 

 

Amazing video ad for Nissan/The Dark Night Rises.

 

 

 

Visit Blippar’s Official Website for more details, images, and demos.

Zachary Ankeny

After attaining my Associates Degree in Visual communications in 2000, I set off on a long career as a freelance writer and graphic designer. I have designed and headed many marketing campaigns for companies big and small all around the country. It is my belief that graphic design and writing go hand-in-hand, as they are both forms of communication. My non-fiction works have been published in dozens of magazines and publications. I have written for – and worked with – organizations such as: Banner Hospitals, The Jerome Historical Society, The Arizona Historical Society, City of Tempe, City of Bakersfield, Town of Gilbert, Wildhorse Ranch Rescue, Cynic Magazine, e|Fiction Magazine, and many more. Writing and designing is my passion and I look forward to continuing on with it for many years to come.

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