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5 Strategies to Help Build the Perfect App

POSTED BY Iurii Zhmurskyi

Feb112016

Google Play market and Apple’s App Store are full of Apps. Their developers do their best to cover all your possible needs. If you are one of them or planning to join their league, five simple strategies below will help you to prevent potential issues and make your App perfect.

Target particular niche.

Before starting any development choose a niche for your app. Targeting a particular niche will help to build a development plan, and understanding what functionality your future application must have. It is great if your app can check the weather forecast, buy goods from eBay and open your garage, but most likely not every user will require this set of functions at a time. Narrow its functionality. Remember that Jack of all trades is a master of none.

Research the market (review mining).

Generating unique ideas is hard. Most likely the market already has applications with similar functionality. To make your app stand out it is suggested to find out what are strong and weak sides of your competitors. Negative feedback will give you a good understanding of possible problems so you can avoid them; positive comments will point out how high you should raise your bar. One and five stars reviews can often contain unrelated feedback such as someone’s anger or joy, meanwhile two and four stars reviews can give you unemotional, reasonable comments. Both are equally important and advised to pay attention to.

Polish your idea.

As it was just said most likely, your app might not be entirely unique, and the best you can do is to polish your idea. A design is vital too. If you are not a designer, it might be a good idea to hire someone who is. Meanwhile, you can focus on perfecting your app functionality. Good design, as well as wise app logic, will attract users to your app.

Share your app with beta testers.

While developing a high-quality app is important it is also important to have a strategy of how you are going to introduce it to the world. Sharing your app with better testers will not only spread the news about your app but will also give you some first feedback. This will help both to prepare the market for your app and adjust your app to the market.

Build ads free and premium versions of your app.

Monetization of your hard work is important. App developers’ experience shows that one of the best ways to monetize your work is to develop several versions of your application. To be more precise you do not need to develop a new version, just slightly change the main one. For example, you can include ads in the free version of it - and that will generate some income. For users, that like your app you can issue another version without those ads, for a certain fee of course. Wisely choose a price. Consider time and efforts that you invested as well as how much your target user can afford to pay. You can also create a premium version of your app and add some extra features there. The tweaked version will cost you less than developing something from scratch, but will target its unique market segment and generate you extra income.

These five strategies will help you to attract users to your application. But don’t start celebration thinking that if users downloaded your product they will use it forever. It’s essential to keep users using your app and spreading its popularity around the world. Make your app viral. This will help to keep demand on your app at a high level and keep you busy doing your favourite job. Happy App development!

Feb092016

Over the past decade, Facebook has turned itself into the largest online social networking service. Facebook has replaced the way we communicate and share information with one another.  With just a click of a button, we can connect with friends, family, celebrities, brands, and businesses. It’s become quite common for a company to create a Facebook page for their establishment. Having a Facebook page makes it easy for consumers to be informed and to be able to interact with you.  

A Facebook business page should help expand your marketing and increase sales.  It can also harm your business if you aren’t using it effectively.

Many times I’ve performed an online search and it’s lead me to a Facebook business page.  If a Facebook business page lacks communication or they don’t have favourable reviews; users tend to steer away from finding out more about their services and will look at the other available alternatives.  The amount of likes a page has doesn’t matter as much as customer engagement does.  If a Facebook business page is up-to-date, includes fresh content, and they are engaging with their clients, then they’re likely seeing more sales coming from their Facebook page than the business who has a stale account and doesn’t post much.

Another major detractor can be if a company uses canned responses to reply to customers.  The one thing worse than being neglected as a customer is having a robot respond to you.  A canned response can seem insensitive and quite often, it may not even be the right answer.  Appropriate communication is essential for sustaining relationships with customers.

Your Facebook page should be helping your business not hurting it.  Create a weekly posting schedule that includes any promotions, tips, and information.  How you reply to any inquiry reflects your business.  It’s important to respond in a way that’s suggestive of your business model.

Whether it’s driving online sales, promoting your business, or raising brand awareness; there are many benefits to having a Facebook business page.  If it’s something you don’t have or have thought about doing, our online marketing team can get you started and ensure your page is optimized for success.

2 SEO Keyword Mistakes and How to Fix Them

POSTED BY Emma Sadonick-Carriere

Feb082016

Choosing keywords for the search engine optimization of your website is a big decision, with several moving parts.  Not only does SEO influence your website, but it also influences your business.  Choosing the proper terms to target in search based on their relevance to your business and their expected search volume is essential.  Here are two common misunderstandings people often have when choosing SEO keywords.

Targeting Insider Terms

There are some "keywords" you hear and use every day in your work life.   Because these terms are frequently used in your day-to-day, you might expect them to be the best keywords to focus on for optimization of your website.  However, consumers, or people outside of your business, may not be familiar with them and would not think to search for them.  In our industry for example, if you were looking for someone to develop a web-based form for your company, as an industry insider you might search "web application developer", whereas someone outside the industry might search "online form builder".  Both terms may eventually get you to a similar place, but the search volume for one compared to the other will be significantly different.  

The Solution

When choosing keywords, put yourself in your buyer personas shoes.  What terms would they search for?  How do they refer to your product/service when you speak to them?  How else could your solution be described?  Research the search volume on these terms.    

Using Overly Specific Keywords

To clarify this point, using specific keywords for optimization is good - general terms are more likely to return informational pages or definitions than actual business results.  Optimizing your entire website with the goal of ranking for a very particular term will be challenging.  Search engines base rankings on many factors, one of which is content relevant to the keyword.  If you have sparse content on your site that relates to this keyword, the chances of ranking well in search results are slim to none.   

The Solution

Rather than trying to rank across your website for a very specific term, your energy is better used crafting a single piece of evergreen content to rank for that term.  Users who are searching for your highly targeted keyword will still have a chance to see your website in search results, but your chances of ranking for other broader terms will not be limited.  

Spreading your optimization thin across your website will not yield the desired results.  In trying to rank highly for a large number of general search terms, you end up ranking poorly for all of them.  Focusing on creating content that is relevant to your business and the needs of your clients will provide much more long term value.  

Feb042016

Code comes in all different shapes and sizes.  However, there are common issues that arise, no matter which programming language you are using.  Here are some examples of common code problems and how to solve them:

Spaghetti Code

Spaghetti Code is a term programmers use when the code bounces all over the place when trying to solve something logical.  You follow a piece of code, and it leads you to an entirely different area than what you were expecting.  Sometimes it leads you right back to where you started!

Solution: When creating functions or modules, make sure that the function does only one thing, and it does it well.  Do not try to over-program your function so that it solves all your problems.  Also, keep your logic as clean, positive, and as easy to follow as possible

 

No Documentation

Documenting your code is a challenge because you have to stop and explain your code, which interrupts your groove.  The problem is, if it isn’t there and you need to come back to it in a month’s time, you will spend more time trying to figure out why something works the way it is.

Solution: Force yourself to stop and smell the roses.  Put comments in, even if it is just high level, before an “if” statement.  Oh, and put a comment after your close “if” statement! You’ll be glad you did.

 

Infinite Loops

There are times when you are building your code and you start getting into an infinite loop, repeating the same logic over and over again indefinitely.  It potentially causes memory leaks and the like.

Solution: Make sure your code has a condition where it goes one entry point in, one entry point out, and put in aborts when you’re testing to make sure you can handle the loop situation.  If you need to do recursion, test it locally before putting it on the server!

 

Case-Sensitivity

Some languages treat uppercase letters and lowercase letters as two different variables.  This can cause a lot of headaches when you know you typed the correct variable name, only to realize the case-sensitivity got in the way.

Solution: Come up with a set of standards that your entire company follows, and stick to them.  That way, you will know how to properly name your variables and you won’t run into this issue.

 

Complex process is not working

There are times when a complex process stops working, and you are tasked to debug it.  You are unsure of where to start!

Solution: Break down the large piece into tiny individual sections, and step through the process slowly and monitor the changes.  That way you don’t have to tackle the entire beast all at once.

 

Your developers should already be aware of these common tips, but I know personally I learn new things every day.  I welcome the change if it can help me increase my productivity and efficiency!

Feb022016

From small businesses to large enterprises, account managers are the driving force for generating sales and managing relationships with clients.  Account managers work in almost any industry; ranging from marketing, info tech, banking, and everything in between.  Simply put, an account manager is a liaison between a company and its clients.  The one thing that every account manager needs to ensure they're always doing is communicating effectively.  Communication amongst your co-workers and with your clientele will help you do your job to the best of your ability.

Most account managers will communicate with their clients through the phone or email.  In many instances; I've never even meet the client, so how I communicate with them is key.  In a way, I’m almost over-communicating with them to make up for the lack of face-to-face communication.  I continually provide critical project updates and notifying my client of any changes or recommendations.  They feel confident knowing that we have everything under control, and they're more inclined to working with us again.

If we're keeping our clientele up-to-date with any updates or changes, then we'd need to be in constant communication with our coworkers.  We try to ensure our team is in sync and that anything vital that's relayed to us is passed on to the client.  That will help us in the long run, especially if we're anticipating missing a due date.  Keeping both parties in the loop will help establish expectations for everyone and will also minimize the risk of any setbacks.

Whether it's oral or written; it's crucial that all communication between myself, team members, and our client are clear, crisp, and convincing.  Communication isn't just talking.  Knowing what to say and how to say it will make sure everyone has a good understanding of what's happening. Concise and clear communication with our clients and team only get us further and will help you excel as an account manager.