Your New Website Focus

tech-news

Do you remember how you could have a website built on a few pictures and some text from your brochure?

Do you remember when what mattered was page ranking and the number of page views on your website?

Do you remember how this website could be successful without having to do anything to help it?

Do you remember when social media like Twitter could be safely ignored?

Those day are long gone. As a matter of fact, it’s been a few years since those things were true.

The newest changes are an evolution in the direction that Little Guy Creations has been repeating for years. Have great, in-depth content with pictures and videos, if you can. Engage with social media. Update your site periodically.

Many business owners don’t have time to spend on these things but then balk at the cost of having someone else do these things for them – that can truly be expensive. And then your web people are following their own program instead of doing what you need done.

Little Guy Creations wants to help you strike a balance between cost and results.
Benefit #1 – You know your business. You know what sells this time of year and what services people need. You let us know what to update your site with and when to update it, we take care of it.
Benefit #2 – We will advise you on what can be done to improve your web presence and how the web landscape changes. It can be a lot of work for you but once you are involved it becomes far easier to see the results you want.
Benefit #3 – You are in control of your website. You will understand your website and how it can make you profit. You can then make informed decisions about what will be good for your situation and what you want to avoid.

Visit our Standard Pricing Page and see what Little Guy Creations can do for you.

Little Guy Creations Continues To Watch The Web For Our Clients

We continue to accrue new customers, excited about their websites and growth. Our website owners always want to know if there is anything they can do to improve their websites, and we are happy to make and implement suggestions.

Sometimes, though, things are happening that will come to affect the internet down the road. We strive to make sure our clients are knowledgable and prepared for those changes.

For example, it appears that state governments will now start taxing internet transactions. For now, this only applies to online retail businesses grossing over one million dollars but sooner or later, this will apply to every transaction. It might be a few years, maybe even ten years but once governments start dipping their toes into a new revenue source, they only expand it. This is a good thing to keep an eye on for every business owner.

Another example of something we need to be warned about is something called “Google Now.” This is designed to anticipate what you need BEFORE YOU ASK and Google Now will provide it. It accomplishes this by gathering every scrap of data it can about you, personally, and then using it to personalize your internet use. Do you check the weather before you leave work? Google Now will realize that and simply serve it up to you. Or maybe you go to the gym after work; Google Now may figure that out and warn you that there is a traffic problem on your regular route to the gym. The possibilities are endless.

How does this affect the business website owner? Search results may become so personally tuned to the individual that no one’s Google Search will have anything in common with anyone else’s. That means your website probably can’t ever reliably get one of the top results on the search page. It’s already taking into account your smart phone or computer location to serve you local results when appropriate – search for pizza and you’ll get the closest pizza places around you, mixed with the big companies (Dominoes, Pizza Hut, etc) and the more popular local places with good websites. Note that the search rankings have little to do with how good the food is but more to do with whether or not you’ve visited their website in the past or searched for restaurant reviews on them or just you are physically close to them.

There will be even more personalization with Google and especially Google Now. (And the other web companies, too. All of them want to do this.) As you can see, what websites simply suffice at this point may not be able to hold their water in just a few years as technologies like Google Now are implemented.

This is one way that Little Guy Creations looks out for their clients. We are your partner in helping your website make the most of the web right now and in the future. Contact us today and we will discuss how we can help you.

Google Advertising Passes Print Advertising

Many business owners feel that they don’t need a website or the one they have is good enough.

Maybe that’s true. Maybe they have a restaurant that never has an empty chair. Maybe they never have times when business is slow.

Lots of businesses rely on local magazines or newspaper ads to spur on new business. And they work fine if you advertise in the right place which has the right audience and at the right time.

However, you should know we just crossed the line where Google Ads brought in more money than print advertising did during the first six months of this year. This is not to say that print advertising is disappearing entirely but the direction is for more people to be looking at screens than magazines and newspapers – and that’s where the advertising is going. Newsweek will be dropping its print product and switching to the web in January 2012. See the trend?

Imagine if they had just one more avenue to bring in business – one that worked 24/7 for them. We suspect that once a business owner thinks about it, they will realize that a website is both useful and necessary.

Once they realize that, it’s not that hard to make the leap to know that a website that periodically offers something new will bring in more visitors (customer/clients/interest.) Then they have to make that happen, which can be tricky and expensive to accomplish.

We can inexpensively help them build or improve their current website. Or help you with yours. Our smallest plans include small changes and updates so all you need to do is contact us.

We say we make websites better and that includes the process of making, improving and updating your website. We raise the bar on web services.

Changes To Your Website Viewers

In the September 2012 issue of Wired, there were a couple of articles that nicely summarize the direction that technology will be taking us over the next few years. If you are a business owner with a website, this is something you need to be planning for. We’re going to talk about some trends and technology which will drastically change how your website will be used.

First of all, Windows 8 (due to be released in Fall 2012 sometime) has a iPhone sort of interface. You access and drag things around with a fingertip, if you have a touch sensitive screen. It also runs by Apps – at least on the surface.

Second, within three to five years, keyboards and mice will be optional at best. There is now a three inch long motion capture device from Leap Motion which reads movements down to your fingertips. Obviously, this alone could replace your mouse and since there have been keyboardless keyboards, it won’t take much to add that function, too. And it already lets you draw and move around maps like your Smart phone does but you can also do it in three dimensions.

Developers are already dreaming up Apps that will take this far beyond these obvious first applications. Besides game and graphic design tools, there are examples of sculpting virtually, conducting orchestras and translating sign language into text. Other things like three dimensional data analysis become far easier to do with this technology as well. As pioneered by companies like Apple, you will have one effortless interface method for all your gadgets.

Thirdly, TV channels and the internet are becoming entwined. You can already check into a show you’re watching and see what other people are saying about it on social media like Facebook and Twitter. Newer Apps keep track of what you’re watching and using the audio from the TV; it automatically switches your device to match what you’re watching. This can only improve if connected via Wi-Fi to your cable box, as they plan.

Think you can live without this? Well, imagine that extra show content will be available to these users. Imagine being able to play The Price Is Right or Who Wants To Be A Millionaire from home? Or being able to access up to the second statistics on your favorite Football, Baseball or Basketball teams? Or your kids getting bonus levels and characters for their video games when they watch the cartoon the game is based on. Or recipe variations as you watch cooking shows. Or extra news as you watch the nightly news.

And let’s not even dive into detail on how much a business will need to be involved in social media to gain and keep a large customer base in the future. You’ll be checking your Facebook page multiple times a day – and more; Facebook is just one of many networks you’ll want to have a presence on.

And we can easily imagine a time where every device you have is integrated. You have a TV which will just as often be used for doing your computer work as watching Baseball. And the cable TV networks are worried about losing all their viewers to the internet, which is cheaper for the viewer and eliminates the cable company middle man. You can already watch a certain movie online whenever you want – imagine being able to cherry pick just the channels you want?

Now, if you’re still with us, imagine how these things will change how people view your website. Websites will need to be viewed on everything from phones to screens, which is handled in an ad-hoc fashion right now. TV screens are currently averaging 46 inches while ten years ago they were 34 inches. Look out for 60 or 80 inch screens in the next few years, which will require bigger living rooms to even use them.

The bigger the screen, the bigger the images needed to fill them. Bigger images require more bandwidth from the internet and processing speed from your TV, tablet or phone. The problem is that your phone doesn’t yet have the capacity to easily process that much information, which can crash your phone or cause it to hold. If you’re a business owner with a website, you don’t want it crashing when people visit. They never come back. As mentioned, there are some ways to work around this problem but none of them are foolproof.

There are other things you should be aware of, as well. As we’re sure you can imagine, people will expect a lot more from your website in the future; the least of which is having it load correctly on whatever size screen they happen to prefer. Will there even be desktops and laptops in another ten years? Or will your phone simply act as your house remote and entertainment center? (Along with acting as your wallet, phone camera and ATM.)

It’s important to note that these trends are just what the tech magazines are covering today. New breakthroughs in technology and cultural shifts in the next few years may make all this seem like a quaint fairy tale.

What can you do now? What is the most valuable thing you can do to keep your business afloat? Improve your website now. It will be easier to update and add to a site created with modern standards than the site you have had for the last ten years. Some coding is already so old that the new gadgets can’t do much with it. Don’t be that website. It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to have a decent website. Contact Little Guy Creations today.

Assorted Technical News for Small Business Owners

One thing that small business owners tend to overlook is that the web doesn’t work like they expect. Business owners successfully deal with customers every day and they know what to do (and what results they want to see.) Unfortunately, the web is like the stock market – it makes you money indirectly, you have to do some extra work and appeal to people in order to maximize your returns. Further, things are always changing and you have to be smart about where you invest.

But how can you apply these lessons to your business and it’s web presence?

Unfortunately, you can’t always go directly to a sale on the web. People on the web expect some wining and dining before the hard sell. Some are just looking for something interesting. Some are just looking for specific information about the topic that your business deals with. How can use you use this tendency to your advantage?

That’s why small businesses with websites are encouraged to cover not only the topics that directly deal with their business but also ancillary topics. If you sell shoes but you have a blog post about the best brands of moccassins (which you don’t sell) – well guess what the customer is going to remember about you?

That’s right. They will recall that you are the one to go see when they want any shoes. Even if you don’t sell them, you are a valuable resource within your business. And if you understand that, surely you can see how related but indirect website content can bring people to your business and you’ll see your sales increase.

This is what Google and all the big internet companies do, as well. Google makes its big money off search ads but has lots of other ways (Google News, Google Docs, Google +, Google Images, etc.) to get you on their website. And that’s why Google and Facebook are always buying smaller companies to add to what they offer you – for free, to boot.

Things are in a state of change. Video game companies will eventually have to abandon the computer and console. It will all be on your phone and your home entertainment center – except it will be called something else. Your entertainment center will feed all your TV screens with cable or satellite stations, video games on demand and subscription, your music and your social media, email and all your other computer functions, automatically translated and driven by voice command instead of a keyboard. Naturally, you will be able to access all of this on your phone/PDA/tablet/iPad and whatever other gadget they invent in the meantime. The question is – how will this affect your particular business?

Things change really fast. Some ask if Google and Facebook will even be around in five years. Do you depend on Google to send you traffic? The only way not to be dependent on search engines is to make sure your website is a resource. Promote yourself and your business judiciously and expect to be in it all for the long haul.

They say you have to be a long term investor to make the best use of the stock market. You have to put the work into your website as well. Anyone who tells you different isn’t concerned about your long term results.