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New Google Maps Update is a Game Changer

Google Maps Integrates with Uber and Open TableMost of us use Google Maps here and there, and some of us use it on a daily basis for directions, restaurant info and more.  It has been a useful tool for quite some time; but, with the release of the new update last week, the application has been rejuvenated with highly useful integrations from Uber and Open Table.

In the past, Google maps could tell you how long it would take to drive from A to B by car, bus, by bike, or on foot.  Now, if you're on foot, Google Maps will also tell you how long it will take for an Uber driver to come get you, how long the ride will take, and how much it will cost.  You now have all of the resources you need to make a transit decision without leaving the app. 

Need a reservation at a cool downtown restaurant too?  The Open Table integration has your back.  Find open tables at the best restaurants in town, and book your table directly from the Google Maps app.  This feature has previously been available; but, up until now, you had to follow a link to OpenTable.com and book the reservation there.  Now, you never have to leave the comfort of Google Maps.

The new integrations come in addition to a brand new user interface that has both bold colors and bold textures to stay current with design trends.  The ability to quickly get pictures or reviews at a glance makes the application more user-friendly than ever.  Our recommendation is in: Download the new Google Maps app, and let it go to work for you.

Posted in <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/advertising-marketing/">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/google/">Google</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/news/">news</a> | Post Comment

3 Tips to Help You Get to Know Your Customers Like Friends

Get to Know Your Customers Like Your Friends USing AnalyticsYou know what makes your friends happy, and you know what makes them tick.  Would it help you to know what makes your customers happy, and to know what makes them tick?  Sure it would. What if there is something about your homepage design that is a pet-peeve to the majority of your audience?  Wouldn't you want to know?  Avoiding pain points and making your customers happy can be the difference between a good and a great business, so getting to know your audience might be the first step in elevating your business from good to great.

  1. Who is Your Audience?  Understanding your demographic is the first step towards engaging with your demographic.  Just like understanding your friends is a vital first step in developing a relationship with them.  Are they married or single?  Are the retired or just out of college?  Do they live in New England, or the southwest desert?  Once you understand the demographic, you understand more about the person (i.e. someone in Park City, UT is more likely to buy a snow blower than someone in  Miami, FL).
  2. How Does Your Audience Find You?  Opening up your analytics software is like looking into a crystal ball.  If your number one referer of website traffic is Facebook, then you should consider allocating additional budget dollars to social media marketing.  Then, figure out which pages are getting hit, and create more of those pages.  Research which links your audience has clicked on in the past, and know that they will likely be clicked on again.  Answer this question: "How do my website visitors interact with my website?" With that answer, you can adjust accordingly.
  3. Don't Assume Anything!  You must be willing to let go of your preconceived notion of who your audience should be, and use statistics to identify who is really paying your bills.  Get to know those people because they may be very different from the people you know.  They may prefer to engage with you by email instead of by social media.  They may like to watch your videos, but they hate reading the copy you write.  The only thing you should assume is that there are people who want your product/service. 

Understanding your audience isn't done in a matter of hours or even days; however, by properly setting up your tracking software, all you have to do is wait and see.  Look at who is buying your product,  figure out where they are, and how they'd like you to address them.  Lastly, don't assume that you know them because you probably don't know them.  Unless, you are a barber with a clientele dating back to the 80's, then you'd better let your analytics tell you who they are.  Make them happy, avoid what makes them tick, and you're business will thank you.

Posted in <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/advertising-marketing/">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/ecommerce/">ecommerce</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/email/">email</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/facebook-2/">Facebook</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/opinion/">opinion</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/productivity/">Productivity</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/social-networking/">Social Networking</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/video/">video</a> | Post Comment

Retail Robots Are Real and Being Hired by Lowes

Lowes Robots Coming SoonThese days, several classic sci-fi movies are being proved right or wrong, as artificial intelligence becomes more common to society.  Some have hypothesized the future emulating the Terminator films with a super computer taking on the human race, while others envision a scenario from Minority Report with civilians being arrested for crimes that they have yet to commit.  Nonetheless, home improvement gitant, Lowes, is preparing to alter the social norm by adding robots to their staff in order to improve customer service and sales.

The robots, called OSHbots, have been programmed to patrol the aisles of a hardware store, armed with an up-to-date list of inventory, and the intelligence to connect customers with the products that they need.  The intelligence is said to be particularly impressive.  You should be able to walk into the store with a random screw or bolt; and, upon showing it to the robot, the robot should be able to identify the part and direct you to where you can buy the part in the store.  If the part is not in the inventory, it will also know that right away as well.

Among the criticism is the fact that the robots will replace people, and that means they are taking away jobs.  It's difficult to say which is more valuable at the moment.  The robot costs about 50k, while an average worker earns about 25k plus benefits; however, the robot never takes a sick day, and it's personal life never gets in the way of doing a good job.  How we define a good job will determine a lot of the robots' future.  Will people respond well to being assisted by a robot?  We don't know how efficient the robot is in terms of communicating with a customer. 

Would you buy from a robot?  Do you think robots will eventually replaces sales associates across a variety of industries?  Let us know in the comment below.

Posted in <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/advertising-marketing/">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/inventions/">Inventions</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/news/">news</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/opinion/">opinion</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/technology/">technology</a> | Post Comment

Tablet Purchasing Tips

New Tablet PicI, like millions of consumers around the globe, plan on purchasing a tablet computer in the next few months. This will actually be my second attempt at purchasing a tablet. About a year ago, I purchased a 7" generic tablet from Amazon. I figured that all tablets were pretty much the same and that I didn't need to spend more than a hundred dollars in order to get a decent functioning tablet. How wrong I was!

I soon learned that a tablet is not one of those items that you should skimp on. The device that I had was not terrible, but it failed in 2 key areas. First, the display was very bland. It had a screen resolution of 800 X 480, which does not look very good on a 7" tablet. I remember being able to see the actual pixels on some games and pictures. I mainly used the tablet to read PDF files, so seeing the text pixelated at times was quite distracting.

Second, the particular tablet that I purchased did not run and was not able to run Google Play, the official Android app store. This did not seem like such a big deal at first, as I figured downloading and using another popular app store would suffice. This proved to be unsatisfying as well, since competing app stores generally have a limited selection of apps and their versions of the most popular apps tend to be outdated.

All things said, I learned a valuable lesson in tech purchasing: don't focus your eye on the cheapest product. A new rule of thumb I use is to calculate a nice middle ground and shop within that price point. For example, a cheap generic tablet may cost about $100 and a premium tablet may cost about $500, so right now I'm comparing what kind of tablet I can get for about $300. Have you ever been disappointed by a tech purchase? We'd love to hear your thoughts and what you learned in a comment below.  

Posted in <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/android/">android</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/apps/">apps</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/internet/">internet</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/mobile/">mobile</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/technology/">technology</a> | Post Comment

Social Media No Longer Organic: Requires A Marketing Budget

Paid Social Media Marketing BudgetHave you ever wondered why Facebook is worth billions of dollars?  They don't charge you to create an account, and there are no monthly fee for usage or maintenance; so, how does the company pay for their thousands of employees and for their Frank Gehry-designed campus?  Simple: by showing you ads every time you log in.

Social Networks, like medical clinics, restaurants, and clothing stores, need to pay their bills; and, for social networks, advertisements comprise the majority of their revenue.  With the number of social media users growing by the day, those advertisements are reaching broader audiences, driving the cost of advertisements up by the day. 

Facebook, which was once an organic platform where businesses could engage with their audiences, is now littered with sponsored stories and display advertisements. As a business owner, you can still use Facebook to engage and grow your business organically; however, if your competitors are paying to remain in your audience's news feed all day long, then you are missing out on business.

Slowly, each and every social platform will include paid features that are meant to help businesses engage.  And, as social media becomes an increasingly useful marketing tool, your social media strategy could become vital to your growth.  Developing a social media following is very different from a paid standpoint, as opposed to the traditional organic approach.

We've come to a time where you now need to allocate part of your marketing budget to social media.  Hiring a kid out of school won't get the job done, and neither will doing it yourself.  It's time that you prepare to take another step into the future of client acquisitions.  Facebook is paying the bills with advertisements, and everyone else is following the trend.  Get ahead before you fall behind.

Posted in <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/advertising-marketing/">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/facebook/">Facebook</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/facebook-2/">Facebook</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/online-marketing/">Online Marketing</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/opinion/">opinion</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/social-media/">social media</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/social-networking/">Social Networking</a> | Post Comment

Update Your Business Listing on Apple Maps Connect

Apple Maps Connect for BusinessLast night, search engine land reported that you, as a small business owner, have one more thing to add to your tasks list.  Apple Maps is now editable by business owners, or by their authorized representatives.  Unfortunately, as of now, agencies and webmasters will have a lot of difficulty using the service because each listing claimed requires a separate Apple ID. 

Similarly to the way one would claim a Google Maps listing, obtaining access to an Apple Maps listing requires an automated call verification to confirm ownership.  The service is free, so, from the standpoint of a small business, there is no reason not to claim your listing.  Even if you think you're Apple Maps listing already looks perfect, we still recommend getting it done now, so you can add additional categories to your listing to drive additional traffic to your site.

New listings, or updates to existing listings, are said to go live within a week, possibly sooner, unless a listing is flagged for fraud, which could require users to proceed through a few additional verification steps.  The Apple Maps platform receives over a million visitors every year, and it's accessible to the general public.  So, take care of it now and capitalize on free web traffic.

To claim your listing, proceed to https://mapsconnect.apple.com/

Posted in <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/advertising-marketing/">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/iphone/">iphone</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/news/">news</a> | Post Comment

Google Announces Revolutionary Email Platform Called "Inbox"

New gmail called Inbox by GoogleToday, Google announced the launch of a new email platform called "Inbox."  The project has been in the making for two years, and was built by the same people who launched gmail.   This isn't going to replace gmail, but it will compete.  Inbox was built to revolutionize the email industry, and that's just what it's going to do.  

Of all the new features entailed, we believe Inbox's most impressive feature to be what Google calls the "Highlights" feature.  This gives Inbox the ability to read through your emails, identify the key information, and highlight that part of the message, so that you don't have to spend countless time browsing.  More impressively, Inbox will access your flight itinerary, for example, and display it with the real-time flight status, which Inbox is able to retrieve from the web.

New Google Email Gmail called InboxIn addition to Highlights, Inbox will feature more comprehensive bundles to sort your email.  In the current gmail interface, the system automatically tags emails as either: Primary, Social, or Promotions.  The idea was to let you quickly move through certain types of emails, like Twitter updates or Upcoming Events.  The new system will do just that, but it will take bundling to a new level.  You will now be able to look through your bank statements at once, and you can even teach the system to read your mind by telling it what type of emails you'd like to be grouped together.

Inbox has also made strides in developing the way you are reminded of upcoming events, tasks, and follow ups.  The product itself is not yet available to the public, but Google has announced that you can get an invitation to use it when it becomes available by emailing Google at inbox@google.com

Posted in <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/apps/">apps</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/calendar/">Calendar</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/email/">email</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/google/">Google</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/news/">news</a> | Post Comment

3 Ways to Get More Production Out of a Sales Team

More Production Out of a sales teamAre you feeling like you're wasting money by paying your sales team to work your leads?  After all, you did start the company yourself and you've been the full time salesperson before, even while completing all of the operations for your business.  You know you have an amazing product/service, and you know a well trained sales team should be able develop your business; but, why can't you get more production out of your sales team?

1) Training: Like you said, a well trained sales team should be able to develop your business.  On the contrary, a poorly trained sales team will bring your development to a screeching halt.  They must know the product/service better than they know their left hand, and they have to know the pain points that they will be solving by doing business.  Good training includes ongoing training, and regular performance reviews.  Help your sales staff develop on a personal level, and they will deliver for you professionally.

2) Tools: This implies software tools, but also includes a particular skill set that has become vital for successful sales people in 2014.  I'm talking about the teaching the sales team how to do their homework, or research their leads.  A good online marketing specialist has the tools to make a great private detective because of their ability to research information quickly using the internet.  These days, a sales person needs to be able to do the same.  Use Facebook to find their hobbies, use LinkedIn to find their credentials, and use their website to learn more about their history.  Any one bit of information found could be that one common ground that initiates the sale.  In addition to detective tools, a sales person needs a high quality CRM; and, preferably, a marketing automation suite to work with the CRM.  This way they are able to handle more leads, and handle them more efficiently.  Warning: software tools require great training, or they will prove to be a burden as well.

3) Polish: They say that in sales, you have to sell yourself.  They're right, of course.  The majority of decision makers will figure out who has the right solution; and, of those companies, they will select the company whose sales person made the strongest impression.  There are many deals a sales person will lose because their personality doesn't gel with that of the buyer; so, don't miss out on the deals that were in your control.  For many buyers, an annoying tone of voice, a stained suit, or non-groomed facial hair could be a deal breaker.  A bad pitch, a lack of confidence, or forgetting your belt could also lose you a deal.  The same goes for bad breath, crooked glasses, or a shirt that is just too tight.  Get the point here?  It's not that a polished sales person will earn more business, but that a salesperson lacking the polish will lose deals that they'd already earned.

In conclusion, take some time to assess your force.  Do you need to get more production out of your sales team?  Make some changes, and watch the results.  Just remember, they are on your team, and they want to sell.  Help them sell and everyone wins. 

Posted in <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/advertising-marketing/">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/professional-web-design/">Professional Web Design</a> | Post Comment

American Tech Companies Looking Small: What is Alibaba's Ace in the Hole?

NYSE Alibaba Tech CompaniesWhen Alibaba had their IPO about a month ago, we already knew they were going to be the next tech giant.  With an initial offering of $68 dollars, it was obvious.  So, what has happened since the IPO?  The baba stock has had ups and downs, hovering around the $85-$90 price point, while the majority of the stocks listed on the NYSE have begun to deplete in value. 

Yesterday, a CNBC report speculated about the coincidence between the Alibaba IPO, and the S&P 500's all time record high, which occurred just 8 minutes after the IPO.  Since then, we have seen sharp declines from the S&P, as well as the other major indexes here in the states.  While it does seem to be an interesting coincidence, many people have speculated that the stock market has been on the verge of a downward turn for several months.  Alibaba could have been the last major IPO to cash in for quite some time.

Alibaba Stock Price IPOEither way, it's fun to speculate about what caused what, and why this stemmed from that.  So, let's question the future of Alibaba.  With that stock value of just under $90 dollars per share, the company is the 4th largest tech company on the American market, only behind Microsoft, Google, and, of course, Apple.  Additionally, they still have a very serious ace in the hole.  That being, they have already dominated the Chinese market, and they are still expanding throughout the world.  The other three companies on that list have all taken on the global market, yet none of them have been able to penetrate and dominate the Chinese market.

At the moment, with China's Firewall still looming, and with their government well in control, it seems most likely that Alibaba will be able to dominate the world before anyone else is able to dominate China.  Alibaba's future is still uncertain, but not in comparison to the state of American stock prices.  The next few months will tell an interesting story, but who will come out on top?  Will anyone come out on top?  Let us know your thoughts below!

Posted in <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/advertising-marketing/">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/ecommerce/">ecommerce</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/google/">Google</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/government/">Government</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/internet/">internet</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/inventions/">Inventions</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/news/">news</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/opinion/">opinion</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/technology/">technology</a> | Post Comment

New Google Adwords Display Ad Formats and How They Can Help Your Business

Lunasoft Google EventYesterday, the Luna team hosted an Online Marketing event, sponsored by Google, during which two Google experts delivered a presentation on how new Google tools can help SMBs better compete in the digital space.  The Google team members discussed everything from video marketing and using maps to new AdWords features, mobile and more.  Of everything mentioned, a lot of our guests were curious about the new ways they could capitalize on the new AdWords features and the new mobile capabilities, so we wanted to publish a quick review of some of the more useful formats and tools.  Let's take a look:

LunaSoft Google PartnershipEngagement Ads "Lightbox Ads": These ads utilize the technology of HTML5 to create high-end dynamic advertisements that are intended to engage the user.  To be more specific, when a user hovers their mouse over a lightbox ad for a duration of two seconds, the advertisement is programmed to expand into a full screen experience.  If the two second duration is not met, the advertisement stays in it's place and the advertiser is not charged for the experience.  Typical media for said advertisements include videos, shopping experiences, games, catalogs and more.  Engagement Ads are used to lower your cost-per-engagement (CPE) by preventing accidental clicks (due to the two second rule); and, if a user shows interest, the ad then takes over the screen while the remainder of the users' content is dimmed to highlight the ad.

Pay Per Click Advertising by LunastudiosAnchor and Magazine Style Ad Format: Also designed to increase mobile conversions, anchor and magazine style ads give advertisers the capability of disrupting a mobile user.  The anchor ads will stay put at the bottom of a user’s screen as he or she surfs through their loaded web page. As they continue to scroll through the page, the ad stays anchored to the bottom of the screen.  This gives the user more opportunities to click on the ad; however, we have to believe that this format could lead to several instances of an accidental click, which still costs the advertiser a pretty penny.  Magazine style ads, on the other hand, have been around for many months, but they have now been extended to display ads within mobile applications, in addition to mobile websites.  The purpose of these ads is to provide the glitz and glam of a printed magazine to the interface of a mobile device.  Both of these ad formats give the user the ability to dismiss the ad at any time.

All of these ad styles can be customized by industry or tailored to a brand like never before.  Google's strategy is to make their advertising platform more lucrative for clicks, so that they create a better user experience for their users (and they make more money off of more clicks).  At the moment, there are almost 30 different ad formats that can be utilized by advertisers and that number is sure to grow as Google continues their reign of dominance over the digital advertising industry.  Want to learn more about the advertisements, and how you can use them to increase your AdWords ROI?  Set up a free consultation with one of Luna's online marketing specialists.  We're happy to help.

Posted in <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/advertising-marketing/">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/iphone/">iphone</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/mobile/">mobile</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/online-marketing/">Online Marketing</a> | Post Comment

The King of Android File Managers

OI File ManagerIf you're a consumer, the odds are high that at some point in your life you have experienced the excitement of opening a box containing a brand new smartphone and marveling over its beauty, speed, and capabilities. For most people, half of the apps that come with the phone are unusable, so they go straight to their app store of choice to download some alternatives.

Of all of the apps on an Android device, the file manager is considered by many to be the most sensitive. People expect their file manager to work right out of the box, and they can become quickly frustrated when it can't fix the problem it was supposed to solve.  When they don't work as planned, the more popular and recognizable apps will send across a message like this: "This is the way our app is designed and this is the way it works. Good luck finding an alternative that is as good." But, because of plentiful competition and because the file manager performs such a seemingly simple task, it's unable to make such claims.

If you visit the Apps section of the Google Play Store and search for "file manager", you will be pleased to find that there are hundreds of different options. What is not pleasing is trying to guess which ones are usable, avoiding the ones that are horrible, and finding the one that is great and provides a consistent experience. I'll save you a little bit of time: somewhere around the 10th result you'll see an app by the name of "OI File Manager". Go ahead and install that one.

OI File Manager MenuThe OI stands for "Open Intents", which reveals that the app is very much open source. (It is so open source that you can quickly download the app in just 2 clicks from the website using any browser on any device.) The fact that the app is open source plays a huge part in why it is the best. With all of the apps that you use that contain ads, why add another one to the list? Also, why would you need to give any company access to the private files on your device?

Another reason why OI File Manager is awesome is because it allows you to extract files from a zip file. This sounds so simple, but you would be surprised to know how many different apps I had to go through before finding one that was able to do so in such a straightforward way. Straightforward is the keyword to remember. If you're frustrated with how confusing, incapable, and slow your local file manager is, check out OI File Manager.

Posted in <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/android/">android</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/apps/">apps</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/mobile/">mobile</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/productivity/">Productivity</a> | Post Comment

LunaStudios to Host Google Partners Event at LunaSoft Showroom

Lunasoft Google

Salt Lake City, UT - LunaStudios, the creative arm of software agency, Lunasoft, is pleased to announce an exclusive Google sponsored event at our retail showroom, located at 12 W Broadway in Salt Lake City, UT.  The event will take place on Wednesday, October 15th from noon-1:00pm MST.  Attendees will be treated to refreshments, and a live webinar streaming from Google's corporates offices. As an official Google partner, Luna will have multiple specialists present, all of whom have been previously certified in both Google Adwords and Google Analytics.  After the Google presentation, attendees will have an opportunity to chat with our specialists who can assist with any unanswered questions.

"We are thrilled to develop our relationship with Google, and to have the opportunity to inform our clients and partners about new and exciting ways they can use Google's tools increase revenue to their respective businesses' and organizations," states Michael Kanner, Director of Online Marketing at Luna.  "Google is innovating faster than anyone in the tech world; and, as of late, they have been increasing their focus toward helping SMBs compete in the digital space.  They've created so many opportunities, and we're happy to help our clients capitalize on them."

Google Reps

The live-broadcasted presentation will include a panel of Google executives, including Allan Thygesen, VP of Global Small Business Sales, and Fred Vallaeys, AdWords Evangelist.  Small Business owners, entrepreneurs, and marketing professionals are welcome to reserve a spot by following the link the following link:

Sign Up

About Luna

Located in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City, Utah - we service clients world-wide. Half of our customer base resides in Utah while the other half are located in states as far East as Massachusetts & Florida, and West to California.

Luna builds more than websites. We create sales tools that cater to your audience.  For more information, head to LunaStudios.com.

 

Posted in <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/advertising-marketing/">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/google/">Google</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/online-marketing/">Online Marketing</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/pr-public-relations/">PR Public Relations</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/seo/">SEO</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/tutorials/">tutorials</a> | Post Comment

The Future of Pay-Per-Click Advertising: Highly Targeted Ads

Ads PPCOld school pay-per-click analysts remember a time when you could simply pay off Google to rank for keywords that you couldn’t attain in the organic search results.  It was such a simple concept: Pay Google for every Click they produce to your website.  It was easy to get the placement you wanted; and, best of all, most of Google’s users didn’t know when they were clicking on an ad, as all results appeared to be the same.  Slowly, Google started adding visuals to tip off users to the fact that their ad slots were in fact advertisements.  As of this year, Google has implemented a small yellow square that indicates “Ad.” 

As pay-per-click ads become more visible, more expensive, and more ignored by the users, many businesses are showing smaller profit margins from generic AdWords, and they're starting to taking aim at their customers in different ways.  That’s not to say that pay-per-click is disappearing.  It’s just that in order to get your money’s worth out of PPC ads, you have to have a highly targeted audience of qualified leads.  Fortunately, this data is available and ready to be used.  Additionally, technology has allowed us to get closer to our audiences than ever before.  The new tools allow you to literally find your future consumers, and personalize a direct message. 

Seven years ago in the PPC world, we had to qualify a consumer based on the keyword that they were searching.  For instance, we’re a web development agency so we would’ve wanted to target the keyword: “Custom Website Development.”  Five years ago, that term brought us all kinds of leads (good and bad); but, for the price we paid per lead, it was a very efficient form of advertising.  In today’s market, the same number of leads for the same search phrase costs a significantly larger amount of money.  This is because there are more agencies and SMBs using AdWords and more competition means higher prices; that’s economics 101.  So, instead of continuing what worked 5 years ago, we’ve changed up our marketing system.  Now, in addition to AdWords, we also do contextual advertising, video advertising, display advertising, product advertising and more.  That’s because we can now target users based on age, geography, clothing brands and even relationship status. 

A married user in their fifties, living in Park City, Utah, who wears clothes made by Ralph Lauren, is a great target for a high-end couples spa advertisement.  On the contrary, a single user in their twenties, living in St. George, Utah, who wears clothes from Old Navy, is not a good target for the same ad, even though they both may search for "Relaxing Activity Utah."  So, we look at our demographic, we hit those consumers with what they want to see (maybe a specific product or service), and we show it to them where they want to see it (maybe social media) and how they want to see it (maybe video).  When we do use AdWords, we load our campaigns with extensions.  If we are targeting people in our general area, our ads will have a location extension so they can see where we are.  If we want the phone to ring, we will increase spend on mobile ads and enhance them with call extensions.  The goal here is to make the most out of a budget.  Spend your money on qualified leads that will convert by finding out who they are and how they would like to be spoken to.  With so much data at our fingertips, we certainly don’t want to waste time with old school PPC.  Find your team of experts and get started today!

INSERTED 10/01/14:

Luna Will Be Hosting a Google Sponsored Event! Stay Tuned for more information!

Posted in <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/advertising-marketing/">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/google/">Google</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/mobile/">mobile</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/online-marketing/">Online Marketing</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/opinion/">opinion</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/professional-web-design/">Professional Web Design</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/seo/">SEO</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/video/">video</a> | Post Comment

Android Apps Coming To A Computer Near You

Android on ComputerEvery once in a while, a programmer makes the news for creating something extraordinary. He or she creates something that pushes the boundaries of what code was believed to be capable of. Today, that award goes to a developer by the alias of "Vladikoff". In order to understand what he built, you first need to think about the way Android apps currently work. If you want to run an Android app, what would you use to run the app?

For most people the answer is obvious: any device that runs the Android operating system. Most people believe that only Android smartphones and tablets are capable of running such apps. Those who are tech savvy know that, in addition to such devices, one can run apps on their computer using developer tools, virtual machines, emulators, etc. 

Although running Android apps in the Chrome browser is in its early stages and still prone to errors, Vladikoff created a "hack" that allows you to simply drag an app into the Chrome window and begin running it. Since Chrome is a web browser available on all major computer operating systems (Windows, Mac, and Linux), this progress is a game changer. It means that even Mac users, whom Apple has been trying to protect from the Android ecosystem, will now be able to run Android apps. Android is not far from being a part of everyone's computing experience.    

Posted in <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/android/">android</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/apps/">apps</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/internet/">internet</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/inventions/">Inventions</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/java/">Java</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/linux/">linux</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/mobile/">mobile</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/news/">news</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/technology/">technology</a> | Post Comment

Accessing Developer Options on New Android Devices

android developer optionsOne year ago, I purchased a Nexus 5 and I've loved the device dearly since then. The phone runs smoothly and the battery life is stellar. Yesterday, I wanted to transfer some files from my phone to my laptop, running Linux, but I had a little difficulty doing it. As I did research online, I discovered that I needed to activate "USB debugging" in order for my files to successfully transfer. I remembered from my previous Android phone that this setting was located within "Developer Options", so I looked for such options on my Nexus 5.

I was left scratching my head, as they were nowhere to be found within Settings. 

Now I had to research where my precious Developer Options had gone. I soon discovered that these options needed to be "activated", but thankfully the process was quite simple. All I had to do was navigate from Settings to About Phone and then click "Build Number" 7 times. (See Image). Developer Options were then visible when I navigated to the top level Settings.

This experience begs the question: Why did Google decide to "hide" Developer Options in its latest version of Android? I have done a little bit of investigation, but I can't find any official documentation from Google explaining why they made such a move. I have only been able to find speculation across various tech forums, and the general consensus is that Google did this for "safety reasons". If this is true, it does make sense to hide these settings from the general population because most people will never need them, and accidentally messing with these settings can potentially be harmful to the device. What do you think? Did Google make a smart move hiding something the vast majority of people will never use?  Or, do you think all options should be out in the open? Leave a comment below!

Posted in <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/android/">android</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/google/">Google</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/mobile/">mobile</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/productivity/">Productivity</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/security/">security</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/technology/">technology</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/tutorials/">tutorials</a> | Post Comment

Who Will Have Access To Your Phone?

Phone Disabled PicIt's a scenario that fiction novels have touched on for decades: organizations tapping into our personal devices and using them to harvest information about us. We have all gotten so used to the idea of large organizations having our data that most people don't resist it anymore. Purchasing a smartphone and loading it with personal information is now commonplace. What is more, people will download social network apps with the sole purpose of sharing their personal information. Whether the devices have this information or not, they are still valuable to thieves.

In the US, smartphone theft has been hailed as an "epidemic", with about 120 devices being stolen every minute. That is a staggering number. In the time it took you to read this sentence, about 4 people had their cell phone stolen. As a result, state governments have been pondering over what laws to create or measures to take to curb this relatively new problem.

California has recently announced a bold measure: creating a law that requires all smartphones sold in the state to have a "kill switch" built in that forces the device off if it has been reported as lost or stolen. What this means is that stolen devices would no longer be of any value, being in a sense paperweights until reactivated. What are your thoughts on this proposal? Would you be okay with the state having access to this "kill switch" on your phone? Share a comment below!

Posted in <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/apps/">apps</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/complaint/">Complaint</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/facebook-2/">Facebook</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/government/">Government</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/internet/">internet</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/iphone/">iphone</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/mobile/">mobile</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/opinion/">opinion</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/security/">security</a> | Post Comment

A New Angle

 

The other night a notification popped up on my phone screen, it was from the Snapchat Team. Which typically I wouldn’t have opened, but I just clicked on it and to my surprise I was drawn into what they were informing me of. It contained an entire tutorial on this new story option they had created just for EDC stories on Snapchat. At that moment, I knew what EDC was but had no understanding of the concepts or dynamics behind it. Then I had a realization of the popularity of this event for one application as well-known as Snapchat to recognize one event so big that they decided to create a whole category for it. My curiosity at this point initiated my research behind what all of this was about.

 I have been to music concerts before but EDC would blow any of those out of the water I am sure. EDC standing for Electric Daisy Carnival is put on by Insomniac and a carnival it is. They don’t only play music but they have live performers, light shows, interactive art, and circus acts, but the audience participation is their number one focus. They create this experience for their guest’s that allows every sensation of their bodies to be enticed in this moment. From the lights to the creatures they bring to life all around the audience, they create a world unlike any other place on this earth.

While reading about the journey he has had to overcome, Pasquale Rotella is finally living his childhood dreams. He is the true mastermind behind EDM (Electric Dance Music). He held the vision of these extremely detailed events and technological advances now have helped him put all of this together to create EDC. He has not just created an entirely new category of music and concerts, but an experience for his guests that can never be taken away. The intricate detail that is behind the designs, with the coupling of technology is a powerful and almost unrealistic thought. The way these two extremes come together is pure beauty.

Now, I understand why Snapchat took such an interest to this event. They have always had stories where “snaps” can be shared with your friends for 24 hours, but now they turned it up a notch. With simply one location of an event, Snapchat can now bring all of these stories together. EDC was chosen to be the test run for this new category at their annual event in Las Vegas, Nevada this last weekend. Don’t worry though, your pictures weren’t shared automatically. The EDClive account would have to be added and your location turned on your phone.

The real reasoning behind this new feature is to be able to see every different angle and side of an event. This, in my opinion, is extremely creative. Now it won’t be just a curiosity of what the stage looks like from a different area, everyone added to this stream will get a slide show of everyone’s position and angle of EDC. How brilliant it is to merge this popular event and application, and it will, without a doubt, be a pivotal occurrence.

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Review: Android 4.4.3 Software Update

2 days ago, I received a unique notification on my phone: one that I do not get very often. This notification is one that puts a grin on the face of just about every Android enthusiast. I'm talking about an OTA update, or "over the air" update. This time, it was for the latest 4.4.3 update for my Nexus 5. My Nexus 5 is actually the first Nexus device that I have ever owned, and I must say I love the phone! It is very fast and the battery life is exceptional. I actually use an app called "Data Enabler" which I use to turn off my LTE connection when I am not using it, and this causes my battery to usually last me 2 or 3 days per charge. This is phenomenal, considering that most smartphone users have to charge their phone every day.

Nexus 5 - Android 4.4.3

As I finished downloading the 4.4.3 software update, I was not surprised to see that not much had changed in terms of visuals. Just about everything looked the same with the exception of the default phone dialer app. This app had actually been overhauled. In terms of usability, it was definitely a step in the right direction, but in terms of visuals I still do not understand why just about every contact in my phone has to be a different color. Nevertheless, I am very happy with the resulting software, and am very glad that I have a Nexus device and am able to get the latest updates as they are released by Google.

As I was browsing the internet for more information regarding this update, I discovered that Google's policy is that it only updates its Nexus devices 18 months with the latest software. I was a little dismayed to learn this, but once again not surprised. A business won't survive if it updates/fixes its products forever. For now, I am happy with the phone, and when that sad day comes when my Nexus 5 is considered "too old" by Google for more updates, I plan on looking for alternative software.

Posted in <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/apps/">apps</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/google/">Google</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/mobile/">mobile</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/technology/">technology</a> | Post Comment

7 Smart Celebrity Branding Tricks Your Business Should Be Using

Be honest: do you judge celebrities? Of course you do.

You had an opinion on Miley's scandalous VMA performance (what the?!) and Kim and Kanye's Vogue cover (ugh). Or if you're like many of us, perhaps you simply wonder how in the world the Kardashians became (and remain) famous at all.

Welcome to Hollywood.

Hollywood Sign

Bottom line? It's all about branding.For better (or worse…) celebrities (and their publicists, manager, assistants, stylists and that guy they tweet about who works at the gas station) have the ability to draw people in by being just 'regular' enough to make those not on the A-List believe that they know them. It's easy to write off one (or all) of the Kardashians as mindless. It's also easy to turn to Taylor Swift only during awkward relationship moments.

Not so fast —the tabloid fodder that Kate (Bosworth or Beckinsale… or Hudson or Middleton… Winslet or that other one…) channels in to photo ops, you can channel in to your business. Let's get started. Here are a few tips to building your brand (& fans) with sound nuggets of wisdom from your new celebrity friends (and their assistants.)

1. Make yourself unique.Jackie Kennedy Onassis

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis may have been reluctant when it came to publicity, but there is no denying that the former First Lady's name remains synonymous with elegance. The same goes for Coco Chanel and the classic flap handbag.

As a company/brand, not only do you need a clear vision of what you stand for, you need to stay true to that and those values. By being clear and carving out your niche, your customers and fans become more likely to feel as sense of ownership toward your brand.

2. 24 hours a day. 7 days a week.

Branding is a 24/7 job. When you go out, you may be photographed (especially if you have your publicist tip off the paps.) Okay, while that's not the exact scenario for the average business owner, the message is this: you never know who's watching.

All press is good press? Not true. Lindsey Lohan may be in the tabloids, but notice she's not making movies and she's not in the position to be the face of much beyond a luxury rehab facility. Roger Federer on the other hand, has lived a scandal-free life (so far?) that's boosted his worth beyond pro-Tennis star —he's also the face of Rolex.

3. Be Transparent.

Public awareness has increased over the last few decades and customers genuinely want to know where their product comes from. Likewise, they want to know the people behind the service.

Know what you stand for and own it.

4. Be public.

While most small businesses will not be taking part in global campaigns, being a part of your community is key. Whether it's taking advantage of a public speaking gig or taking part in a local project, increasing your visibility helps you reach markets you may never have been able to crack otherwise.

5. Be social.

We've all been baffled by certain celebutants and their mass, cult-like following on social media. Although the majority of SMBs will not see millions (or hundreds of thousands…) of followers, social media is an important branding component.

Social media is about interaction and creating a fan base for the products and services you offer. It humanizes your brand in ways that were not possible 10 years ago.

Love them or hate them, celebs are masters of creating personal moments on social media. Creating a moment that has an authentic feel is why it's successful.

6. It takes a village.

Celebrities have handlers, publicists, stylists, agents and a handful of assistants to ensure their day-to-day runs smoothly. While most SMBs don't have the funds or resources to copy this exact model, the idea can be achieved in unconventional ways.

Such as? Make your customers a part of your team if possible. Invite them to use Instagram, Twitter or FaceBook to send you photos of themselves using your products. Engage with them on these networks. Like their photos, even if it may be unrelated to you or your industry.

Although your claim to fame is unlikely to come from a reality show or inviting your fans to join you on a private jet tour, business owners would be smart to take a few short pages from celebrity 101… Remember, you and your employees are your best brand/business advocates.

Posted in <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/advertising-marketing/">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/blogs/">blogs</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/online-marketing/">Online Marketing</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/pr-public-relations/">PR Public Relations</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/social-media/">social media</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/social-networking/">Social Networking</a> | Post Comment

Hey Girl (or Guy), What's Your Name?

Steve JobsSteve Jobs wasn’t a fan of overt, ‘branding’ and ‘marketing’. ‘Dirty’ is how he described the two words, preferring instead to focus on educating his audience, providing them with value. Some will argue it’s semantics at best —and it is, at least on some level. Regardless, it’s a rather ironic twist of fate that in the end, Jobs and the icon company he lead and co-founded have come to be known, respectively, as being some of the great marketing geniuses of our time. 

There’s no doubt that there is much inspiration, plenty of knowledge to gain surrounding both the man (and the myth) that was Steve Jobs. Yet with every new Jobs article, when I glimpse at the photographs showing current Apple CEO, Tim Cook, outfitted in Steve’s trademark black shirt and jeans, it’s this bit of copy my mind recalls without fail:

Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

—Apple, Inc.

It’s brilliant copy; its message strong. There’s no question it’s made a lasting impact. Yet the question must be asked: Why are ‘we’ as individuals and brands obsessed with being ‘the next Steve Jobs’ or ‘the next Apple’?

Again, perhaps we’re arguing semantics. We claim to crave innovation, to value creativity and to want to change the world. Is it genuine or do we merely value the idea? Is our driving force really innovation and individuality as opposed to ego?

What I really want to say is simply this:  

Stop trying to be Steve Jobs.

You’re were not, are not and will never be, the man who spawned a generation of Apple fan boys and the tablet computer whose release garnered lines of perspective owners that spanned 3+ city blocks in downtown San Francisco.

And that’s okay.

The unknown symbolizes beauty. Creativity. A new generation of innovators who aren’t satisfied with the status quo.

Let us never forget history and its crazy geniuses who ‘pushed the human race forward,’ but that doesn’t translate to ‘hey, let’s strive to become them.’

When we recognize that fame isn’t, or sadly shouldn’t, be the name of the game, perhaps it will also be the moment that the world, however unintentionally, is to learn your name.

Posted in <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/advertising-marketing/">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/branding/">branding</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/copy-writing/">Copy Writing</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/design/">Design</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/inventions/">Inventions</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/iphone/">iphone</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/online-marketing/">Online Marketing</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/opinion/">opinion</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/technology/">technology</a> | Post Comment

Are You A Likable Person?

As a society we tend to place high value on people with extroverted personalities. Nowhere does this become more apparent than in business. While we can agree that it's an edge, extroversion should not be confused with superb people skills.

Most people will agree that they want to work with people they like, or at the very least, people they don't mind being around. Clients will evaluate you in much the same way —while you may be competent at what you do, if people don't like you, they surely won't want to work with you.

You're Fired.

3 Key Traits to Cultivate to Increase Sales & Better Your Business Relationships

Studies have shown that there are 3 characteristics shared by likable people: empathy, reliability and integrity. While cultivating them may take effort, the ability to attract and retain long-term business (and personal!) relationships is worth it.

#1. EmpathyEmpathy

By definition empathy is being able to be sensitive, relate to and understand the situation and/or perspective of another person. The majority of strong, lasting relationships have a foundation of mutual empathy, yet it's not only a skill that many lack, it's also hard to fake.

Empathy requires self-awareness as opposed to self-absorption. The ups and downs of your personal and professional life often influence how you empathize, with whom or whether you do at all.

Don't mistake empathy as a way of suggesting you need to be a people pleaser. It means that you need to cultivate the willingness to listen, react less and put yourself in the other person's position.

#2. Integrityhandshake

Take a peek at politics, entertainment, sports or business and it's easy to see how we've become a culture permeated with an unfortunate lack of integrity. If no one's watching, will you do the right thing? Will you speak up about wrong doing, even if it's not a popular opinion?

Smart and capable people are a dime a dozen, but integrity is more difficult to come by, especially in business. If you have it, you're likely leaps and bounds above much of your competition.

#3. Reliabilityreliable connection

Starbucks is a great example of reliability. With as much as I travel, I've been to a Starbucks in so many airports and cities, I've lost track. Rant about corporate coffee as much as you want, but here's why I continue to patronize Starbucks: whether I'm in Los Angeles or running through Minneapolis — St. Paul Int'l Airport, I can count on Starbucks to deliver my drink exactly as I want it without variation.

By cultivating a reputation for security, customers become attracted. If service is consistently reliable, people will continue to pay because they know what they'll get. The second service becomes manic, customers get nervous. Mistakes happen and most people will be understanding so long as it's rare. Deception on the other hand, tends to cause people to run for the hills and not look back.

Try and try again.

At the end of the day, we're all human. While it's impossible to be perfect all the time, try. If you're genuinely likable and consistently work to build strong relationships with your co-workers, current and perspective clients, as well as friends and family, it will be time well spent.

Posted in <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/advertising-marketing/">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/miscellaneous/">Miscellaneous</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/social-networking/">Social Networking</a> | Post Comment

Inability To Move Messages From iOS to Android Causing Lawsuits

For decades, Apple has prided itself on providing its users with a tightly-controlled, high quality ecosystem. Once you join the family of Apple devices, you enjoy a seamless user experience across thems, whether they be computers, iPads, or iPhones. Apparently all is well until you decide you want to leave and take your messages with you.

imessage-holding-messages.jpg

At the center of a lawsuit filed May 15th is iMessage, the messaging app Apple released as the default messaging app for iOS devices. The lawsuit points to the fact that the iMessage app shows preferential treatment and sends text messages to other iOS devices faster than other devices. While this is not surprising, as soon as that fact was discovered, it led investigators to another startling fact: the iMessage app would hold messages for long periods of time before sending them to Android users, if ever sending them at all.

How slow of delivery are we talking here? Well, imagine your friend texts you with his iPhone to invite you to the movies, and then your Android phone gets the message the next morning. Such a scenario is all too possible, as many users report getting messages days after they were reportedly sent.

Iphone Messages Pic

What's more, further investigation found that a bug exists in iMessage that actually "ruins" your phone number in such a way that if you attempt to later receive messages to that number using an Android device, you won't get them. Also, it is impossible to seamlessly transfer text messages from iMessage to Android.

What do you think about Apple's strategy? Do you think "strongly encouraging" your customers to stay is a good idea, or a recipe for disaster? Leave a comment below?

Posted in <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/apps/">apps</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/google/">Google</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/internet/">internet</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/iphone/">iphone</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/mobile/">mobile</a> | Post Comment

You're Invited to the Grand Opening of LunaSoft

LunaSoft is opening the first website and online software retail store ever.  Please come. You're all invited and we'd love to see you.  Check out the days activities at http://www.lunasoft.com/grand-opening.php.

invitation-banner.jpg

grand-opening-action.jpg

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New Websites: A Valuable Investment

New-Websites--Expensive,-Intangible,-but-Totally-Worth-It..jpg

The biggest problem with building a new website is usually trusting that, after you spend a few thousand dollars of your hard earned cash, you will receive a product that will inevitably earn that money back.

A website is not tangible.  You can’t pick it up with your hands.  And, unlike a new big screen TV, you can’t simply turn it on for the best results when you get home.   This makes buying a website a scary investment, and for good reason. We hear stories from many people who readily admit previous experience(s) with web development companies who've built their previous websites has caused long and lasting scars from the whole process. As one put it, "Thousands of dollars and countless hours have been spent, and yet at the end, we feel there's nothing to show for it."

Best product vs. best value.

Like any consumer, you are looking for the best product at the best price. Yet when it comes to building websites, there are no standards that "must" be met. If you hire a contractor to work on your house, then he must meet per-defined standards or his work will be declared unsatisfactory and the work is no longer valid.  In web development, the developer does not have to meet any standards, which makes the consumer very vulnerable to being scammed.

Because building a website seems like a straightforward process, many first time website buyers will end up choosing to work with a freelance developer (usually fresh out of college with a B.A in Computer Science and the mouth to talk a big game) because they are cheap.  This developer will create a basic website with a mediocre design and very spotty code.  The website is usually installed to a free CMS like WordPress, and this website is bound to break countless times over the subsequent year.  This is because spotty code won’t cater to all of the popular internet browsers (especially Internet Explorer), and WordPress, and all of its free plug-ins, make the website an easy target for hackers.

Very few consumers know what it takes to build websites that meet requirements and standards.  The short answer is that it takes a lot more time, effort, and skill.  The reason established web development companies charge so much for websites is because they pay big money for skilled developers, who will spend the time and effort to produce a website that is built to last for years to come. 

If you hire a freelancer to build a website for $1500, you may end up spending an additional $1500 for the same developer fix all of his/her own mistakes.  Then the website may break so badly that you will have to hire a new developer to rebuild the website.  The countless spending of your hard earned money trying to get a bargain on a website is an endless cycle that we have seen countless times.

Spending big money the first time means not having to spend any money the second, third, or fourth time.  Here at Luna, we know we are not the cheapest firm, but we will build your website the right way so that you don’t have to pay again for the same product.  Instead of spending all your money on a website that will never work, spend your money the right way and let your website start putting your money back in your pocket where it belongs.

Posted in <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/advertising-marketing/">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/cms/">CMS</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/design/">Design</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/pr-public-relations/">PR Public Relations</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/professional-web-design/">Professional Web Design</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/web-projects/">web projects</a> | Post Comment

We're Having Gmail Problems, Trading In and Up, But We Will Always Support Justin Beiber

Google caused First World Problems to reach epic proportions when users determined their service was interrupted. Before there was a full on meltdown, users took to Twitter to confirm the problem.

It went like this... 

OMG Gmail Is Down

But there's always a plan!

No Google Outage Contingency Plan

Well... in this case, there wasn't one. Oops.

Things deteriorated even further when one user provided insight in to Google's involvement: they'd been master mining an apocalypse. Naturally, locasts and Justin Beiber received starring roles.

Apocalyptic proof:

Apocalypse on Twitter Starring Google and Justin BeiberAnd then there was #TradingInAndUp.

(It didn't actually do anything wrong... It was just an innocent promoted #hashtag caught in the crossfire.)

Trending Twitter Hashtags

After a harrowing 50-ish minutes...

Google restored service and all was well, right? Well, not really. Post-apocalyptic fear quickly became anger.

Google, blah, blah, blah

Jabs at GooglePlus were free of charge.

GooglePlus Is Not Popular Tweet 1

GooglePlus Is Not Popular Tweet 2

Just when all hope was lost, common sense prevailed and saved the day.

Common Sense Following Google Outage

The moral of the story?

Although Gmail, Trading In and Up, and supporting Justin Beiber really shouldn't go together under any (okay, most...) circumstances, social media will often surprise you.

If you're trying to establish your business or brand as part of an online social community, you need to be a part of the community. 24-7 shameless self-promotion is boring. By keeping an eye on trending topics, getting involved in the conversations, and providing helpful information goes a long way. The last rule of social? Always, always, always, consider the consequences of your actions... especially if you're serious about (always) supporting Justin Beiber.

Posted in <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/advertising-marketing/">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/google/">Google</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/news/">news</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/online-marketing/">Online Marketing</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/seo/">SEO</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/social-media/">social media</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/social-networking/">Social Networking</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/viral/">viral</a> | Post Comment

Does your business need a mobile website or a mobile app?

The mobile age has come upon us, whether we are ready for it or not. The popularity of smartphones and tablets has made it more than necessary for businesses to have some sort of mobile presence. Within this very year, internet usage on mobile devices is expected to surpass internet usage on desktop computers. As Bob Dylan would testify, the times sure are changing.

Perhaps you or your business currently own and maintain a website, but you want to get started on your mobile presence. To make the most effective use of your funds, you will want to choose between optimizing your website for mobile or building a mobile app because its possible you don't need both right away.  I will share several questions that will help guide your decision.

Do your customers need to have an internet connection in order to take advantage of your service?

  • If your services/products require an internet connection (shopping cart, logins, etc.) you may want to consider a mobile site.

Will you be consistently updating your mobile content and services?

  • When you release a version of an app, even the smallest change will require you to go through the process of releasing a new version of the app.  Mobile sites are just like desktop sites in that you can make and release changes fast.

Are you targeting all internet users, or a specific population?

  •  A mobile site can be accessed by any device with a web browser and internet connection. Mobile apps are specific to their platforms, which means you will need to develop separate apps for iPhone users and Android users.

Mobile apps truly are more versatile and the better option for small businesses.  Contact us today and we can help get your site mobile optimized.  We can also help you if you need a custom app solution.

Posted in <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/apps/">apps</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/domains/">domains</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/ecommerce/">ecommerce</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/internet/">internet</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/iphone/">iphone</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/mobile/">mobile</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/technology/">technology</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/web-projects/">web projects</a> | Post Comment

Free Websites for Small Business: You Get What You Pay For

Free Websites for Small Business: You Get What You Pay For

These days, every business knows that they need a website.  At the very least, it serves as a digital business card to advertise on your actual business card, or to use as a tool in your advertising campaigns.

Most small to medium sized businesses, agencies, organizations, and committees will need to decide whether to use a free website builder, learn to build it themselves, or to hire a professional development company, in order to get a new website.  This can be a very difficult decision, as you want your website to look professional, but a smaller organization’s cash assets are very precious.

We have worked with thousands of small to medium sized businesses over the years, and price is always the biggest factor when getting started.

The thought of spending $8,700 on your company’s new e-commerce website can be very intimidating for a small business.  It is money that could purchase new equipment, pay the rent bill; or, it can even pay for all of the company’s employees for a month.

With that thought process, the idea of building a website for free is incredibly tempting.  There is nothing more appealing than the word “free,” and there are many tools these days that will allow you to build a website for that price.

So, why not just build a free website?

It’s a good question, and worth consideration.  But, a factor to consider is that unless you fill out a cheap template with your company information, websites take time to build, regardless of who builds them.  Additionally, if you fill out a cheap-looking template, it will produce a cheap-looking website, which will then cause potential customers to develop a cheap feeling about your business. 

When was the last time that you purchased anything by entering your credit card information into a cheap-looking website? These types of websites typically cause people to stop and wonder if entering personal information, such as a credit card, will cause them to be at risk for potential compromises. Before a customer completes the checkout process, they will most likely have exited the page and possible gone in search of one of your competitors.  Building a website from a free template is never the solution for a company or organization with a commitment to quality customer service.

So, that leaves you with two alternative options:

1)      Hire a company to build your website.

2)      Build it yourself or assign it internally.

Let’s say you decide to take on the project yourself or assign it internally. This will require you to learn very difficult programming languages.  Our experience tells us that, on average, it will take about 6 weeks for an individual to learn how to code and build a website. 

 “Do you want to specialize in HTML, CSS, Javascript, etc. or do you want to be running, growing, and profiting at your business?”

As a small business owner, six weeks is way to much time.  You are everything to your business and taking time away from operations is not an option.  The second option is to have a middle management employee take it on.  By the time he/she has spent six weeks of time learning, designing, and launching the site, you will have paid them for approximately 240 hours at let’s say $25/hour.  That’s $6000!  And, the website looks average, has no functionality, could break at a moment’s notice, and your payment gateway could be vulnerable to compromises.

As a web development company, we get a lot of our clients after they’ve tried it themselves or hired a cheap freelancer with limited experience and had a bad experience.  If you spend all of your time and effort creating a project that goes wrong, you will end up back at square one and likely out of about $6000.

Having a website built professionally is an investment.  The site makes your money back.  In most cases, spending the money to get it right the first time means not having to spend the money a second time to get what you should have gotten the first time.  Doing it yourself is always an option, but you are always going to get what you pay for.

Posted in <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/advertising-marketing/">Advertising/Marketing</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/cms/">CMS</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/design/">Design</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/ecommerce/">ecommerce</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/graphic-design/">Graphic Design</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/outsourcing/">outsourcing</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/professional-web-design/">Professional Web Design</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/web-design/">web design</a>, <a href="https://www.lunawebs.com/sample/category/web-projects/">web projects</a> | Post Comment


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