Mobile devices are cool and Apple’s iPad is coming up in the ranks as the fastest growing technology used in the small to medium sized business (SMB) market. Is the iPad on your business’ wish list? Apple’s iPad is winning over small to medium sized businesses at a rate 4 times greater than last year, according to a national study. Jumping from 9% in 2010 to 34% in 2011, iPad use is quickly becoming the fastest growing technology in the small to medium business market (SMB).
Vice president of research at The Business Journals, Godfrey Phillips, said the growth of the iPad is part of a trend. “Our research has shown that for small business owners, productivity and efficiency, which used to be the central benefits of technology, are now declining in importance compared to accessibility….The iPad, as well as smartphones and cloud computing, are all part of this new trend and are experiencing significant growth as a result of that need.”
Social media giant Facebook has lost a fair share of its ad engagement in the U.S. over the last quarter of 2011 and the first quarter of 2012, having dropped 8%. As engagement has dropped however, the average price for a thousand impressions has gone up by a whopping 41% world wide over the last year as have the cost-per-click rates.
This is partly due to the fact that Facebook has expanded the number of ads per page from 4 to 7 on average, giving your ad a slight disadvantage based on the increased number of choices a visitor can click on. The more cluttered look to the ads column of Facebook’s pages is likely to lead most visitors to the site to ignore the ads column altogether.
Google Social Business Senior VP Vivek “Vic” Gundotra aptly observes, “Social [interaction] is much more than just status updates.” Indeed.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-google-video-chat-20120410,0,4379437.story Google seeks to drive social engagement by opening its Google+ “Hangouts” video chat features to independent app developers.
Competition among Google, Skype and Facebook for market share of video-enhanced shared social engagement is already creating opportunities for developers such as Scoot & Doodle (scootdoodle.com) who use video chat to create “collaborative play space” connecting families and loved ones.
Vic Gundotra points out that this is just the beginning. “No one has ever done a multi-user video service for the whole world for free, let alone open it up to developers…It takes a company like Google, at Google’s scale, to do something like this, and let’s see what happens.”
Over the past 12 months, I have spoken to many executives who want to explore the effectiveness of their website: “How well is it performing? And, what can I do to improve it?”
My response often surprises them. With a rather simple roadmap, you can oftentimes make dramatic changes with just a small bit of effort.
With just a little attention to a core set of SEO fundamentals, you can pull a website up from the depths of obscurity to a strong position of prominence.
So, here’s where to start.
1. Before delving into your site’s technology, get better acquainted with your audience. Explore these questions and make sure you have a clear understanding of your site’s intended audience.
- Who is your target audience?
- What competitive websites do they use?
- Why would they want to visit your site?
- What benefits do your website visitors experience?
- What actions do you want your site visitors to take?
2. Now, you can step into the process of tuning up your site for the search engines. Ask your webmaster these questions:
- What keywords should we target? Insist on identifying at least 10 keyword phrases.
- What keywords would your intended audience likely use?
- How well does your site perform today on Google for each keyword phrase?
- What competitors show up in those searches, and how do they compare to your results?
- Does each URL contain strategic keywords?
- Does your webmaster know how to use customized URLs, Titles, and Descriptions for each page? If not, consider hiring someone with such skills that can help train others on your team.
- Is each page title unique? Does the title contain strategic keywords?
- Does the contents on the page match up with the Title and Description tags?
3. Before you make any changes, establish your baseline metrics.
- Ask your webmaster, if you have a Google Analytics Account. If not, do it now.
- Don’t make any changes until your analytics are activated. You’ll want to see what happens to your web activities as you start your optimization efforts.
- Choose a few statistics to monitor. Statistics like Total Page Views and Unique Visitors are a great place to start.
Spend a few weeks mastering these topics. Work closely with your Webmaster. There’s plenty of detailed resources to tap into.
But don’t abdicate your role of defining the audience and assessing results. No one can provide the necessary strategic insights better than you. Let the webmaster work out the details, while you chart the course.
With the ability to have access to your business’ information anytime and anywhere, more small to medium sized business owners are opting for the ease and portability Apple’s iPad has to offer. However, dry old facts and figures are only a small part of what the iPad can do for your business.
Many businesses are using the iPad for much more than business data and email these days. In today’s fast paced, tech savvy world, the iPad’s sleek look and functionality allow it to serve as kiosk, marketing hub, reservation and seating management tool, cash register…it’s only limit seems to be your imagination!
The Smart Mobile Device marketplace remains Apple’s domain—particularly with the advent of the iPad. Heavyweights like Microsoft, Samsung, Nokia and Motorola pale in comparison with no truly competitive offerings. iPad sales continue to increase dramatically—4.19 million units sold represented a 28 percent increase over the previous quarter.
Your business needs to prepare for this monumental shift in how people compute and communicate. The iPad is driving this transformation. If you haven’t noticed, your business is about to change because of it.
Big Choices: Are you going to become opportunistic and capitalize on this shift? Or try a “wait and see” approach?
Despite a stagnate economy good things continue to unfold—for instance, Apple products and sales in 2010?
Working hard certainly plays a role, but don’t overlook “working smart,” too.
That’s where innovation occurs. And innovation comes from smart strategies matched up with quality execution. Good ideas come-and-go, but getting-things-done is where the magic is. And realistically, can you do it all alone? In most cases, you need a team.
So—in the spirit of success and building up a successful team—here are 9 lessons to apply to your innovative efforts:
- Share Examples that Illustrate Desired Outcomes
Get out of the abstract conceptual descriptions. Define concrete examples of the desired outcomes.
- Understand and Clearly Articulate the “Why”
Without finding your compelling “why,” others will not discover their own enduring motivation to push forward.
- Be Real about Your Limitations and Ignorance
Identify those gaps. Read and learn. Share and learn. Test and learn. And always keep a sharp eye to find others with talents, skills and experience beyond your own.
- Attract Other Leaders to your Team
You will need sounding boards to pick apart your strategies. Ask hard questions. Probe your assumptions. Ultimately, your biggest challenge will be execution. So who better to help work through those issue than other smart leaders. Find a way to get them slotted into your network, somehow, someway.
- Set Measurable Goals and Assign Responsibilities
Make sure one person accepts responsibility for a specific task. Don’t confuse team efforts and accountability. Team members need to know individual roles, responsibilities, and ownership of quality. Don’t leave tracking progress and coping with dilemmas and choosing tradeoffs to a faceless team. Every important task should have a tangible or measurable result. That result needs an owner.
- Use Feedback to Assess Progress
You can’t know everything in advance. Exceptions will occur. Project delays and derailments can occur silently. Stay close to the action. Ask questions. Don’t become disconnected from the execution.
- Sustain enthusiasm
Recognizing accomplishments and achievements remind everyone of the progress. Sharing in success deepens the interpersonal aspects of the team. Pausing to celebrate rejuvenates the mojo that makes the team work.
- Share the Credit for Success
Keep a long list of those deserving credit—everyone who contributed.
- Stay Flexible
When confronted with obstacles and surprises that require a pivot, refer back to your “Intended Outcomes” and “The Why” it’s all important. Ask yourself questions like, “Are these assumptions still valid? Am I aiming in the right direction?