iOS v Android (oh and Windows Mobile)

MAC iOS versus Google Android and Window Mobile
Years ago I ranted on the MAC vs. PC debate, and asked the questions, what's the big deal? The extremists on both sides get so upset. You could NEVER convince a PC guy (not always guys but usually) that the UI on a MAC is better (which it is). You could never convince a MAC guy that any Microsoft or PC product could ever be in any way better than an Apple product (and there absolutely are some).

Over the years it is funny and at times annoying to watch this debate, but it has changed. More and more it’s become about the mobile OS and not the desktop/laptop OS. The usual suspects are present; the MAC and PC zealots and the new entrant, Google.

I have configured, installed and used MAC, PC and Android devices. You MAC folks can say what you want about Android, but if you have used the latest versions (and heck even Windows Mobile 7 for that matter), the GUI is getting better. Is it as slick as iOS, no. But it is getting closer and in some cases 1/2 to 1/3 the price.

There is a reason that Google’s Android is dominating the global mobile OS market. It amuses me when that comes as such a shock to some. If you read the mainstream media, you would think that everyone across the world has an iPhone. In fact, Apples iOS doesn’t own marketshare in the US either. Don’t believe me? Google it.

I know, I know…iOS sends more traffic, or Apple has more app downloads…blah, blah, blah. I REALLY don’t care. My point in even bring that up is that there is a new player in the market. To me, that is a great thing.

I believe there is a great product to suit everyone’s needs. I don’t buy into the marketing or the zealots. If someone asks me what they should get (and being a technology geek, they often do), I usually respond with several questions. What do you need the device to do? What is your budget? If I know the person to be ummm…technologically challenged and not concerned about budget, I’m sending them to a more intuitive and easier to navigate Apple product. Because Apple controls the hardware, the operating system and controls all the applications/music/movies etc that you can install on your device, it is going to be more stable. If the person is a budget conscious, techie and can handle (or prefers) digging some and tweaking settings, I would send them to Android/PC product. Hell, if someone told me that all they wanted to do is get corporate email, I’d probably send to a Blackberry.

For someone like me, who has fully integrated Google into my digital life, my Android device is perfect. At home, I want to have the fastest system I can for the cheapest price. Apple products don’t fit those requirements. You should see my daily use laptop. I have rebuilt and overclocked it so many times. The shell is falling apart, BUT I would put that laptop up against most of the new MAC products as far as speed. It really does look like a POS though. Nothing on the inside is the same as when I originally purchased it. If I’m upgrading and tweaking so often, I can’t afford to be using a MAC. I get the argument that you can buy a MAC and it will last for the life cycle of three PCs. But that is not what I need.

For someone like my fiancée, who is super smart but somewhat technologically challenged, we have a MacBook. She doesn’t use Google products and absolutely doesn’t want to go in and tweak things. When she is due for her next phone, it will probably be an iPhone.

I wish someone with more resources then I would conduct an experiment. Take a few extremists on all sides (MAC, PC, Android and hell why not a Crackberry guy) and FORCE them to use a different device for a week. Give them specific tasks to complete and see what would happen. If they were honest, I bet they’d be OK with each other’s devices (well maybe not the guy who got the Blackberry). 😀

Announcing the launch of the redesigned BrandiJackson.com and brand new JoeWatsonLaw.com

Joe Watson Law, Greenville, SCGreenville, SC – We are pleased to announce the launch of a brand new web presence for Joe Watson Law. The new website features Joe’s extensive experience as a Chief Prosecutor and Circuit Court Judge. The Greenville, South Carolina attorney specializes in Criminal Defense and Serious Personal Injury.

Learn More 

Brandi Jackson Golf, Greenville, SCGreenville, SC – Brandi Jackson, professional golfer, and web|aggression are excited to announce the redesign of BrandiJackson.com. The new website refocuses on Brandi’s career helping junior golfers, assisting in their college recruiting, giving golf lessons and facilitating golf clinics. The site also features Brandi’s blog, a biography and testimonials.

Learn More 

Our Favorite Blogs – 2011


Here is a list of our favorite blogs to read to stay current on SEO, Design, Tech, social media, common sense and comedy. What are your favorite blogs?

For Advertising, Branding and Marketing
Adrants
AdFreak
The Brand Builder

For Search Engine Optimization
SEOmoz
The Search Engine Guide

Tech Stuff
TechMeMe
LifeHacker

Website Design
Six Revisions
eConsultancy

Any Blog by Google
Google’s Main Blog
Google Webmaster Central
Google’s Inside Search

Comedy
The Onion

News
Wall Street Journal

How the Facebook Experience Has Changed Over the Years.

Facebook, then and now.
In the beginning:

Friend, friend, comment, post, post, block, comment, block, comment, post, block, block, comment, post, comment, block, block, unfriend.

And now:

Friend, comment, post, like, like, like, comment, like, like, like, like, comment, post, block, like, like, comment, post.

I like “Like” better then “Block” and “Unfriend” but Facebook would be a nightmare without the latter two. Enough said.

News Flash: Great Web Traffic and Great SEO Rankings Do Not Get You Sales.

Great Web Traffic and Great SEO Rankings Doesn't Get You Sales

I work with businesses of all sizes. Some are very “web savvy” others not so much. I find a common thread through many of these businesses: they are under the illusion that if they are #1 on Google they’ll get all the traffic and therefore all the sales they can handle. WRONG! There are so many more factors.

Keywords
I’ve talked before about keyword selection, but for our purposes here I summarize with an example. Let’s say you sell widgets and your companies name is “ABC Manufacturing”. You might rank #1 in the search engines (SEs) for “ABC Manufacturing” but are no where to be found for “widgets”. Even if you were ranked well on the search engine results pages (SERPs) for “widgets”, it is such a broad term it is unlikely to convert very often. I say this to point out that you may have a #1 ranking but that ranking my not give you great traffic or sales if no one is searching it.

Before we continue, I will give you this: if you are #1 on the SEs for a great keyword that is relevant to your product, you should get great traffic.

Traffic
So, you have researched your market and have decided that “widgets” is the number one target. As I touched on above, a high ranking in the SERPs for “wigets” may indeed garner great traffic numbers but that can be deceiving. If you focus exclusively on “widgets”, in most case (and all that I have dealt with) you will not necessarily get sales. In a previous post I discussed Traffic vs Conversion, where I discussed how while short keywords can get traffic numbers long keyword strings get conversions. This is not rocket science. If someone is beginning there search for a widget they may not know much about those products. They might start with a basic search engine search by typing “widgets”, right? As they become more familiar with the type of widgets that are available they might search some thing more specific like “home widgets”. As they become even more familiar they might type “stainless steel kitchen widgets”, follow me? The more specific the keyword term used, the closer that consumer is to making a purchase (it is true, trust me). In an ideal scenario, when that customer does their first search for “widgets”, your website comes up. Then when they do the following searches, your website comes up as well. With that said, if I had to choose between a customer searching for “widgets” and a customer searching for “stainless steel kitchen widgets” (assuming that is the type of widgets I sell), I choose the long keyword term every day and twice on Sunday. So just because you get great traffic that doesn’t necessarily mean you will get conversions to sales.

Website Design
OK, now your getting great traffic to your website because you’ve targeted your long keyword terms and you are ranked highly in the SERPs. You’ve got all this traffic and when the customers get to you website, IT SUCKS! You can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars (through search engine optimization (SEO) or pay per click (PPC)) getting traffic to your website, but if it is poorly designed they still might not purchase. “Poorly designed”? What do I mean? Everything from the users interface (UI), how they navigate the site, how the product is displayed, the aestetics of the site, all of that plays a roll. I don’t even want to talk about the stability of a website. If the site crashes constantly or gives the users errors, see ya, they are leaving. When selling anything online you have to have the consumers trust. The aren’t going to give their credit card number to some shady looking site that doesn’t function properly. You can build that trust by having a well designed and functional site. I’ll briefly mention it here, but does your website properly “funnel” the customer to where you want them to go? I plan to delve into that in a future post, but funneling in website terms, in this case anyway, is the process of leading the customer to the purchase button.

Ecommerce
So, now you are doing awesome. You picked your keywords well, you optimized you website and have good rankings, your getting good relevant traffic for you product and you website is doing its job and getting the customer to click purchase. Well, there is still a lot to worry about. How is your purchase process? Does it require too much information? Does it have too many steps? Are you bogging them down with up sells (can you say godaddy.com)? An ecommerce experience should be as seamless as if they called a great customer services representative. I look at a lot of analytics for a lot of websites and I know when there is a problem. You can see it clear as day. Customers get so far along in the purchase process and then they just leave the site. Sometimes it is more obvious why then others. Either way, 99 times out of 100, there is someone else out there selling a product just like yours and if people get frustrated, they’ll bounce.

Conclusion
All of things build on one another. Don’t just focus on traffic or rankings, in the end the bottom line is sales. Great keyword selection and web site optimization can lead to great traffic. Great traffic and website design can lead to great conversions (purchase buttons clicked). A great ecommerce solutions (great customer services) will lead to happy customer who will give you sales.

Now if your product sucks, you are on your own.