We're old school SEO round here, but let's face facts - there is so much awesome content out there that sometimes you have to adopt a different approach and get a little new school to jump ahead of the competition.  After using Yslow on some clients websites who had excessively slow load times there was one glaring problem, no CDN .  

For those of you who are asking what a CDN is , it's a Content Delivery Network.  Basically it scoops up all your site content, distributes it across multiple servers across the globe and when someone goes to access your content they are delivered it from their closest server, majorly speeding up the load time.  People love fast websites and Google loves fast websites . According to MaxCDN "users could be anywhere in the world yet your hosting is only hosted in one place, let’s say New York. Now if a visitor from England comes to your website they must load your website from New York. The distance the information must travel is very far and will make the website slow for this user. If you had a CDN, it would load your website from a local server, say one in England, so your website for this user would be very fast."  In fact most websites see at least a 10 percent improvement in the SERPS after speeding up their site.  

For those of you with Word Press sites a CDN Called MaxCDN integrates into many plugins you simply add into your WordPress site and hit the afterburners.  MazCDN claims it can be implemented into any site in just 5 minutes.  If you have a hard time just contact 'em they're open 24/7 !  Best of all you can try them risk free for 30 days and use this coupon code;
"MaxCDNcoupon" Use it to save an extra 25%

Do you need a full SEO evaluation of your website ? We are happy to run a complete diagnostic on your website and see if a plugin , content, CSS or any page element is slowing your site down or causing you not to place well in the search engines.  

 
 
Mobile AnalyticsMobile User Tracking with Bloom Loyalty's Heat Mapping
Even the authority on everything Web , Google, is a little Bipolar when it comes to recommending Mobile Responsive Vs Mobile Optimized websites.   If you'll allow some paraphrasing for brevity; Google recommends Mobile Responsive website first and if that doesn't meet your needs A Mobile Optimized site is just fine too, their bots can handle it .  So the question remains , why would you want an annoying , shrunken head of a website vs a sleek , meet the needs of your mobile viewers when Google says either is fine with them ?

We almost never recommend an exclusively Responsive website to our clients .  We , and most mobile users are not looking for the same things on our cell phone as we are from a desktop or tablet.  People don't like to pinch and scroll and they really, really, really want to navigate with their thumbs, so they can keep both hands on the wheel so to speak. .  If your web designer knew customer behavior he would also not recommend an exclusively Responsive design because he would know what your mobile viewer looks at is drastically different than what your desktop viewer looks at , website interactivity is crucial .  We recommend heat mapping before custom designing your site so we can deliver to your mobile viewers the content from your site they are most interested in. 

For those that make money directly from their website with advertising, Responsive design also provides no additional opportunity for revenue .  A Mobile Optimized site can be separately monetized , sometimes doubling the revenue for the site owner . From Mobile coupons, to Mapping,  to banner ads  there are increasing revenue generating opportunities with a Mobile Optimized site vs a Responsive site .

SEO , that's the biggest question and debate among web designers and Search Engine Optimizers  - will that separate URL help or hurt overall SEO ?  If your reader dislikes the view when they land on your site and bounce off , that will hurt your SEO .  If your reader can easily access your content and share it, that will help your SEO.  It's really that simple.  The content will not be different on Mobile Optimized vs Responsive but customer interactivity will be.  So keep creating your content ( which Google claims is still King but we have our doubts) and selectively place it in accordance with the needs and wants of your readers.   An interesting case study from Breastcancer.org's  mobile conversion demonstrates  that when the end users needs are the focus of your design , in many cases, Mobile Optimization is the better option.

Whatever you choose take the following into consideration before making your decision 

  • How is my site being accessed ?  Look at the historical data , is your site increasingly being accessed via mobile? Is there a need for anything more than a Responsive Site.
  • What are my Mobile visitors looking for - Needs are different in most cases between Mobile and Desktop visitors.  Use analytics to track user activity like our heatmapping 
  • Does my content translate well to a small screen ? If the answer is not all of it ,then figure out what does and focus on that.  No need to reinvent the wheel. 



Can't decide ?  Let us create a free heatmap for your website and determine your specific needs for a mobile optimized or responsive design.


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Mobile Responsive
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Mobile Optimized
 
 
You've built a mobile website and bought a domain name , now you have to shuttle visitors from your desktop to mobile website when appropriate.  there are many ways to accomplish this but one of the simplest desktop to mobile redirect codes is  :

<script > <!-- if (screen.width <= 800) { window.location = "http://m.exampledomain.com"; } //--> </script>

Basically this code detects the screen size of the device being used and forwards devices with screen sizes smaller than 800 to your mobile site.  You can change the criteria to 799 if you want your full site to be displayed to tablets . Change the BOLD area to the domain where your mobile site is located.

Copy and paste the code into the header of your home page to easily redirect mobile users to your mobile website. 

 
 
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Free Mobile Websites for non-profits
Just as any small business  non profits will benefit from a mobile website.  Whether the mobile benefit is better search engine placement or to offer services and information to those who don't have access to a computer mobile for non-profits is important.  Bloom Loyalty is offering our basic mobile hosting package free for all non-profits and requires just a copy of your exemption forms.  We invite all 501(c)(3) , 501(c)(4) ,501(c)(5) registerd non profits to apply for their free mobile website from Bloom Loyalty .  
Simply start building your site and when you are prompted at checkout enter the code 
dul1sgks

Our Basic Site Comes with 
  • 4-Page Maximum
  • QR Code Manager
  • Site Analytics
  • Form Manager

And every Bloom Loyalty Mobile website package includes One-touch Calling, SMS & Email, Social Media Connections, YouTube Video, Custom Domain, Mobile Optimized Themes + HTML 5, CSS Access, and Desktop to Mobile Redirect.
Non Profits who need more pages or other options may apply for a discount on other packages with a biannual payment plan.


Call (702) 795-7707 or Email Sales@BloomLoyalty.com with any questions or you can get started on your website right away.
 
 
If you are designing a mobile site or trying to make your desktop site mobile friendly you'll need to become very familiar with the concept of Mobile best practices.  Just like anything else there is a right and a wrong way to mobilize a desktop website .  The consequences of poor mobile conversion , or worse NO conversion at all , could result in many lost customers ( current estimates are that 20% of internet browsers are mobile only) , poor search engine placement and lost revenues for your business. 


 Don't give the competitive edge to your competition when mobilization is so easy and affordable to accomplish.  Many businesses chose a DIY mobile website builder to create a mobile friendly website .  If you aren't familiar with website design and search engine optimization you may NOT be doing your business much good by throwing together a website that doesn't look good on ANY phone and worse yet is harming your Search Engine Results Placement.  Before starting out designing a mobile website take a few minutes to review the Mobile Best Practices checklist from Google below.  When you are ready to DIY your mobile website visit Bloom Loyalty's DIY Mobile Web Builder and insert code SEO4ME to get a free SEO evaluation of your landing page and submission to directories *  Bloom Loyalty also offers affordable, professional mobile web design for those business owners who want to leave web design to the experts .



Best practices for designing a mobile site 

When creating a mobile website, you'll want to keep in mind a few strategies that best take advantage of the small size of mobile screens and the behavior of mobile users. These strategies can help make sure your mobile site is a great experience for customers and direct them to take the desired actions on your site.

Keep it quick

  1. Reduce large blocks of text and use bullet points.
  2. Compress images to keep them small for faster site loading.
Make it easy to buy something or contact you

  1. Reduce the number of steps needed to complete a transaction.
  2. Keep forms short, with the fewest number of fields possible.
  3. Use check boxes, lists, and scroll menus to make data entry easier.
  4. Use click-to-call functionality for all phone numbers.
Simplify navigation

  1. Minimize scrolling and keep it vertical only.
  2. Use a clear hierarchy in menus and avoid rollovers.
  3. Help customers navigate between levels with clear back and home buttons.
  4. Use seven links or fewer per page of navigation.
Help people find and get to your local sites

  1. Have your address or store locator on the landing page.
  2. Include maps and directions. Use GPS to personalise when possible.
  3. Allow customers to check stock at nearby stores.
  4. Make sure your mobile website is being indexed for web search.



Designing sites for WAP mobile phones
While desktop websites typically are written with HTML, a landing page for a WAP device will need to be written in a different coding language. WAP-friendly mobile websites can be written in a few different markup languages, including XHTML, CHTML, and WML. Each language is compatible with different mobile devices.

By considering which devices you'd most like your ad to appear on, you can best plan which language or languages you should use to create your mobile website.



 From :http://support.google.com/adwords/certification/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=2549057&topic=2795910&ctx=topic&path=2795844-2795275-2792638

* not available on our base plan , SEO Optimization review after 1st month of paid service 

 
 
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It's interesting to look around LinkedIn at group members trying to learn how to market their restaurants successfully from the free advice of professionals in the Marketing industry.  I liken it to getting your cancer diagnosis and treatment plan from WedMd , not the best strategy if you want to survive .   If you want your restaurant business to thrive and survive a tepid ( at best) economy , then leave the marketing to the experts and focus on the most crucial aspect of your restaurant business;  the food and service. 

Everyone has their area of expertise and while I can personally cook a mean meatloaf I certainly wouldn't try to sell it and make a living off of it.  What we here at Bloom Loyalty DO know is people , consumers , and that fickle diva, mobile marketing.  So if you want a few morsels of  free advice , we'll give it to you but the best advice of all is to hire a professional, even if it's not us.

Morsel 1 : get your act together 

You NEED ( not simply nice to have but NEED) a Website that is mobile friendly.  That website MUST  have a click to call , RSVP system ( if you have that kind of restaurant) and a menu that is functional on Mobile and desktop.  You need to link to your Foursquare,Yelp, Urban Spoon and any local review sites and you MUST Link to your Social Media.  Also you MUST HAVE social media to link to .  YouTube ( or Vimeo) Twitter and Facebook ( maybe Google+) not optional.

Morsel 2 : you must understand what Marketing and Advertising are

These are NOT interchangeable terms .  Advertising is a one trick pony ...paying money to get eyes on your business ( not butts in your seat) .  Be that PPC, Print, radio, or TV doesn't matter.  Marketing is the subtle relationship building aspect that might involve community events, relationship building, loyalty programs ...the finesse .  If you are only focusing on advertising you are missing 90% of the puzzle.

Morsel 3 : Make it all work together
Every aspect of your experience as a customer should mesh ...from the website ,to the decor, to the food , it all needs to paint a beautiful and coherent picture.  The beating heart of your marketing effort is your restaurant and all your marketing and advertising should reflect that.  A restaurant with 3 Michelin stars is going to market to a different group of people than say the 5 star rated Ice Cream shop on Yelp , but the strategy is, at its core, the same.  All Marketing programs should adapt to the needs and "feel" of the restaurant.  Anyone that offers a cookie cutter plan wont work for you .  A good marketer will embrace your concept across all media.  

Morsel 4 : don't get behind the 8 ball
Mobile is where its at. In 2 years those businesses that didn't go mobile will be kicking themselves for it.  Restaurants will be especially hard hit because they are hyper local businesses .  Google is already starting to penalize business websites that aren't mobile friendly , and by penalize we meal dropping them all together from mobile search results.  If you don't care about local customers , then ignore this tip.  If you don't care about the 30% of smartphone users who in the past 30 days have looked and patronized a restaurant they researched on their phone , ignore this too.  If you DO want to reach mobile customers , then make sure your website is mobile .  Regularly read industry publications also,  so you can be abreast of all the major technological advances to keep you current with the competition; not just with mobile but across the board.


 
 
Let's get one thing clear from the get go , we LOVE Facebook , love, love, love, love LOVE 'em .  If your primary  business "website" is your Facebook page though , you love them a little too much .   Too much because at any time for any reason , (especially those business page operators who are unintentionally and unknowingly violating the Facebook TOS)  your webpage can disappear like David Copperfield.  That's right , GONE , along with all that content and FAN base you've been building.  Aside from the obvious ability of Facebook to scrub your page , because it's really THEIR page you're simply a renter there, Facebook could eventually become unpopular *gasp* .

Does anyone remember MySpace ? If it weren't for to Catch a Predator MySpace would have completely dropped off the radar years ago .  What do you think happened to the marketing plan of business owners who put all their eggs in the MySpace basket ?  Yeah that could happen again. You could learn from other business owners' mistakes or doom yourself to repeating them .  If you choose to liberate yourself from Facebook serfdom and build your fan base and KEEP your fan base in the event that Facebook tanks or becomes unpopular *gasp*,  follow some simple advice.

Build a website , and build a mobile website  : Saving money on your web presence is about as smart as building a restaurant on a side street, no one is EVER going to see you.  Sure internet marketing isn't the be all and end all of a successful business but a GREAT website really never , ever hurt any business.  A really great website and a mobile website actually INCREASES business since more people are searching the net on smartphones than desktop computers and if your desktop website isn't mobile friendly you lose that exposure.

Create a Funnel :  Facebook , Twitter , Google+ , Tumbler, Instagram ...we could go on .  Whatever social media you decide to use should always create a funnel effect straight to your website.  Customer data is invaluable , don't leave it to the social media gods to decide if you get to keep all those fans , make sure you get their digits ....so to speak.

Know the rules :  All social media sites have different TOS , get familiar with them .  For example most people don't realize it violates the Facebook terms of service to run contests on your business page with likes or comments as entries .  Other people place ads as their cover image ...yeah that could get you booted as well. Twitter can boot you for likes to follower ratios they find unacceptable , the lists go on.  If you are going to spend time building your fan base the TOP piece of advice is to get really familiar with the rules so all your hard work isn't in vain.

Remember that annoying old adage your parents used to tell you when you were so laser focused on one thing and forgot everything else because you just KNEW it was the best thing ...EVER !  Just in case you need a reminder or a heads up that it applies to your business life as well, Don't put all your Eggs in one Basket , especially when you don't own the Basket to begin with.


 
 
 
 
A long time ago , circa 1980, people used to carry around a device known as the "Boom Box" to listen to music and to make sure everyone else had to listen to it too.  It was heavy , cumbersome and plain annoying but it was the best product for portable music around .  Later the Boom Box shrunk to a more portable device called "The Walkman" but it had this pesky tape cartridge that would kink and twist requiring the user to splice  their music with surgical precision so that only a slight pause , skip or drag could be detected.  Later the CD was developed and more recently the Ipod and most recently the Smartphone ,where digital media fits into the smallest pocket of your skinny jeans and performs multiple functions well , including playing all that music .  It's amazing how far we have come.

If only your potential customer was still carrying around their desktop computer, like that circa 1980 Boom Box,  your website might not have completely  fallen off the Mobile SERPs  . .... Oh, you didn't know your desktop site didn't show up on smartphones ? ....... You also didn't know Google differentiated between mobile and non mobile websites. ..... You've been blaming the economy for the drop in business this year ....too bad.  You could have saved ( or made) your business a lot of money by keeping up with the trends .  By 2013 ( yes the next year that's 2 months away) more people will be accessing the internet from mobile phones than their desktop computer.  Shame that you missed the memo because your competition didn't and they are enjoying top billing on Google local results with their less expensive Mobile website .  

Fortunately it's not too late to repair the damage .  Getting a mobile website is easy and affordable .  Bloom Loyalty can convert your desktop website to a 5 page mobile website and submit it to Google and other top mobile Search engines and directories in less than a week .  We include  QR codes and social integration for free with all our website and industry marketing packages .  Get a free Mobile Evaluation at http://bloomloyalty.com before January 1 , 2013 and we will waive all set up fees .
 
 
Marketing a property can be an expensive proposition and many agents spend a lot of money in printing and advertisements .  How many times has a potential buyer driven past a property and was unable to access information on the property , images of the interior or had a way to have any questions answered by the agent?  Bloom Loyalty Marketing has a way to promote  your properties and save money .  

We generate a Text keyword and QR for the agent that can be associated with a property , and when the property is sold can be assigned to another.  When a client drives by a property they simply text the code to a number and get instant access to information about that property.
A one page website is generated for that property and can contain up to 10 images and property information.  A click to Call button links directly to the Real Estate Agent's phone number and an opt in option allows the potential buyer to be added to the Realtor's marketing list.  100 outgoing text relays are included with our Real Estate Mobile Marketing Package 

Bloom Loyalty keeps costs low and most Real Estate agents find Bloom Loyalty's mobile marketing plans save them money .  Try Bloom Loyalty Marketing Plans for Real Estate Agents .  There are never any contracts and every purchase backed by a 30 day satisfaction guarantee.