What About Bing?

Ask anyone to perform a web search on any topic and they’ll most likely fire up Google as the search engine of choice. Google’s popularity is so embedded in our digital lives that we actually refer to it as a verb: I Google, you Google, he Googles, she Googles, etc. But what about Microsoft’s contribution to the search engine world, Bing? Recently Microsoft has announced plans to revamp the distant-second search engine in both functionality and design. Should that make a difference to your website marketing strategies? It might.

At Rebel Trail, whenever we discuss marketing options with our clients, we often hear “I want to be in the top 5 with Google”. While we employ a number of methods to make that request a reality, we will caution our clients to not ignore Bing or Yahoo. Combined, Bing and Yahoo account for about 30% of search engine traffic, while Google claims about 66%. Obviously Google is the preferred marketing vehicle, but there are several reasons to not ignore Bing, and its market share is growing.

While Bing’s market share is about 16% it’s important to look at the landscape of that percentile. Most Fortune 500 and blue chip companies use a combination of Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office as their primary operating system and productivity software. These companies are far more likely to use Microsoft Internet Explorer (MSIE) as the default browser as it is already integrated in the operating system. It is also likely that these companies mandate that their employees use internet Explorer on any office hardware. What is the default search engine for Internet Explorer? You guessed it… Bing.

The logical conclusion is that if the target market of your website is other businesses, then Bing may be an overlooked source of marketing muscle. Bing’s 16% of the overall search engine market may be much higher in your target audience if your website is geared towards other businesses or companies. Google’s market share is primarily made up of individuals and personal consumers. While Google’s market share is growing as well, its rate of growth is slowing down while Bing is speeding up.

Bing has also announced plans to revamp its search engine in June. They plan to make their search results more relevant and also incorporate better social media tools. The Bing upgrade is designed to take more market share away from the Google behemoth, while making search results more accurate and friendly. Even if Bing is only partially successful with their redeveloped style and functionality, it will likely see an increased market share by the end of the year.

For more information on marketing strategies with all the search engines, contact Rebel Trail today.

Should You Build a Mobile Website

Many clients have asked us if they should build a secondary ‘mobile website’ to complement their primary website. Smartphones and other ultra-portable devices is the fastest growing market share of the website browsing world, and businesses are eager to cater to this audience.

There are many factors to consider when contemplating the development of a mobile website, but the most important of which would be screen size. The question to ask is: Will users be able to experience and navigate my website easily on a 3 – 6 inch screen as they would with a 7 – 27 inch monitor or tablet? In most cases, the answer is no.

When viewing websites with a mobile device, even the simplest of tasks can be made difficult. Consider the act of clicking on a text link; this is effortless on a larger monitor, but with a mobile device it may require scrolling, zooming, pinching, and often results in clicking on the wrong link on the miniature screen. This results in a frustrating experience for the user, and frustrated users are not likely to return to your website.

A mobile website should be ‘thumbs-compatible’, where buttons and links are larger and easily clicked on by the chubbiest of digits. Mobile websites should be stripped of all non-essential graphics and formats to allow for fast loading pages, and a simplified user experience. Mobile sites should be fully compatible with social media sites and make it simple for a user to share and spread your content or products.

Some clients are concerned that the additional of a mobile website to their standard website will result in double the maintenance. They do not want to spend extra time updating the content on two sites. At Rebel Trail, we develop smart Content Management Systems (CMS) where you input your new content or product once, and the system will publish it to your standard website, mobile website, as well as any associated social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google +. We call this single-input/multi-output and it is a true time-saver for our clients, while making it easy to organize content and products.

If you choose to not adopt a mobile website, then you should at least test that your existing website is mobile compliant. Many websites are using Adobe’s Flash on their introductory or landing pages which will not display on Apple mobile devices. There are a many other formatting features that look great on a larger monitor, but simply will not work on a mobile device. Make sure to test your website on as many mobile devices as possible and notify your web developer of any formatting or display issues.

If you would like to discuss your options for a mobile website please contact Rebel Trail today.

What is HTML5 and How Will It Benefit Your Website?

HTML5 is the next generation coding language for website development and has many enhancements to its predecessor, HTML4. HTML is an acronym for HyperText Markup Language and almost all websites are built using some version of HTML.

It’s actually been a relatively long time since the Internet has seen an update to HTML, as HTML4 was released way back in 1999. Back then, some of the new features included building websites in frames, the ability to use style sheets, and enhancements to tables. HTML5 was made official in 2011 and introduced many new features to the development language. While many of these features are designed to help search engine rankings, as well as content definitions, there are several tools that make it easier to publish and edit website content. A list of some of the main features of HTML5 includes:

  • Easily add captions to images
  • Streamlined coding environment
  • Make online content editable
  • Advanced validation of online form input
  • Better support for audio and video files
  • Ability to preload videos and display better video controls

Almost all websites will benefit from the new features HTML5, especially those with content that is frequently updated, or those that contain content management systems. At Rebel Trail, all websites developed by our studios since 2011 are fully HTML5 compliant and employ that latest coding techniques designed to achieve maximum online exposure for your business.

For more information on HTML5 website development please contact Rebel Trail.

Toronto Website Development – How Do We Compare?

Toronto is a mecca for many things; food, fashion, and music dominate our culture, but what about website design in Toronto? Toronto web development services are plentiful and highly competitive, but like all markets, there are general only a few who excel in website design in Toronto.

The Toronto web design culture is leading the industry along with other cities such as New York, San Francisco, Paris and London. Web design in Toronto is a growth industry and new web development companies are starting every month. At Rebel Trail, we service clients from right across the continent who are interested in web development in Toronto. If you would like more information on Toronto website design, please contact Rebel Trail for all your web development services.