QR Mobile Scan Codes – iphones, ipads, & Android phones

QR code signageConnect your Print Ads with your Web Presence

QR Codes are a great way for any business or organization to connect the physical world with the online and mobile worlds. So what are these QR codes? Here is how wikipedia defines them.

A QR code (short for Quick Response) is a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by dedicated QR barcode readers and camera phones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded can be text, URL or other data.

In simple terms it is a 2D bar code that can be scanned by a mobile device to obtain the data that the code contains. Here is how the office QR code website puts it:

QR Code (2D Code) contains information in both the vertical and horizontal directions, whereas a bar code contains data in one direction only. QR Code holds a considerably greater volume of information than a bar code.

Here are some links to obtain free apps for your iphone, ipad, or android devices:

Let me know if you want to learn more how your organization or business can use these QR scan codes to make the connection between your print ads or posters and your websites or social media through mobile devices. Talk to me!

Why do we call our smartphone a “phone”?

I can pretty much run my small business from my smartphone and tablet. Well, you know what I mean. There are still many tasks I do from my laptop but more and more many of my daily tasks have moved to my mobile devices.

Smart Apps, Smart Business

Here is a list of some of my business apps and services that help me work from my smartphone.

FEEDLY is a magazine in your pocket.

EVERNOTE is a media rich notebook in your pocket.

GOOGLE has something for everything business.

GOOGLE VOICE: one # for all your phones

Smart Apps, Smart Business TODOIST
TODOIST is your ‘to do list’ and task manager

DROPBOX places all your files in your pocket

GOOGLE CLOUD PRINT: Printing anywhere, from any device

TEAMWORKPM: managing teams & projects

PAYPAL HERE is the get paid anywhere app

FACEBOOK PAGE MANAGER: social media marketing on the go

Smart Apps, Smart Business signeasy
SIGNEASY: sign & fill documents on the go

SHOEBOXED: receipt and mileage tracker

ZOHO INVOICE: time tracking and invoicing

POCKETCLOUD: Use your desktop PC on the go

QR CODE READER: easily scan codes

Here’s the slideshow I presented at the Penn Suburban Chamber of Commerce event.

Why should a Small Business care about the Latest Search Engine Update?

SEO for Small Businesses: Conversational Searches

Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird…sounds like I was visiting a zoo over the weekend. Nope, those are some of the names Google gives to their search algorithm updates. So why is the latest update, named Hummingbird important to a business owner?

What is a Search Algorithm?

Before I give you an answer you may be asking what is a search algorithm? Fair question. I like the way it was described at Search Engine Land.

“…a technical term for what you can think of as a recipe that Google uses to sort through the billions of web pages and other information it has, in order to return what it believes are the best answers.”

Google Hummingbird Update

SEO for Small Business: Conversational Searches
Google voice search for handmade artisan jewelry around Skippack, PA (I added the hummingbird).

The Hummingbird update shifts emphasis away from general one or two word keywords to longer detailed phrases & what is referred to as conversational searches like, Where can I find artisan jewelry near Skippack, PA? Conversational Searches have taken off in the mobile world with the ease of asking your smartphone a question using the voice capable search engines on iPhone and Android smartphones. Google has also added voice searching on the desktop version of  their Chrome browser.

So why does all this matter to me and my small business and what should I do? Publish pages or posts on your website answering questions your customers or clients are thinking about related to your business, products, and services.  Overtime your small business will place higher in searches on Google for real and detailed questions from real people who are serious potential customers or clients for your products or services.

It’s pretty simply to do just think about questions you get all the time from customers and write about them providing some useful information online based on your personal experience.

Solid Long term SEO Strategy for Small Business

This is one aspect of a simple, solid, and long term SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy for your small business. Don’t focus on technical tricks but instead focus on a strategy of simply helping people find information they need related to your products and services.

You can read more detail about the Google Hummingbird update in this article: FAQ: All About The New Google “Hummingbird” Algorithm

Go Beyond Static: Three Dynamic Techniques

Hotel in Skippack

The heart of a successful online marketing strategy is a dynamic website reinforced by consistent posting on social sites. Make it come alive. Here are three techniques for creating a representation of your business, organization, or professional practice on the web that has vibrancy, motion, and excitement.

Overcome Content Block

Consistent writing supplies the content needed to feed the dynamic web and social media beast. Writing may be a daunting task for many people. Stalled in your efforts to get that content machine going? Here’s a technique to overcome content block:

[box type=”download”]Ask people familiar with your work to talk about your abilities, interpersonal skills, and qualities they like about your business, organization, or practice. These may be family members, friends, loyal customers, or colleagues: select people you can trust to be positive. Download a voice recorder app for your smartphone. Record what they say. When you sit down to write your content, playback the recordings for inspiration and wording.[/box]

Use Photographs to Show Activity, Motion, and Change

You can use still photographs to create a dynamic effect. For example, if you are a small business owner with a storefront:

  • Photograph your storefront at different times of the day, different seasons of the year, and in rain and in sunshine.
  • Each time you change your window display, take a photo. Get photos of holiday-themed displays, items, and signs.
  • Try photographing your shop from different angles; for example from outside looking in the window and from inside the window looking out.
  • Ask someone to photograph you as you work in the store. Ask a trusted co-worker or customer with whom you feel comfortable to model for some shots.
  • Photograph your inventory as you unpack boxes.
Hotel in Skippack
Photo of Hotel Fiesole taken by Michael Shaw, the Skippack Blogger for the I love Skippack website

Post your best photos as single shots. You can also group photos into albums on Facebook to tell a story or add contrast. Use Facebook posts to tell a story in photos about your business as you move through time.

Bad Videos are Great

Video is ideal for reinforcing a dynamic atmosphere online. Here is great news about using video on the web and in social media: Your videos don’t have to be good to achieve their purpose. You don’t need to be  Steven Spielberg to make effective video. In fact, in the world of new media, you may be better off if your videos are a bit clumsy: it shows humanity and authenticity, two qualities which are rewarded in new media.

Most smartphones and digital cameras today come with video functionality. Just point at the subject. Try to avoid talking head videos and include some action, even if it is just some gestures and hand motions.  Keep your videos short: one or two minutes is best. Bad is good when bad is short. A shout out is stimulating; a long speech is mind numbing.

Location is Everything in the new Mobile World

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION …is not just for Real Estate, its for Mobile Marketing too. If you’re a small business owner don’t ignore mobile. It’s changing everything. New mobile products like Google “now” are making LOCATION everything.

Here are 2 things you can do for free right now to make sure your business is on your customers’ Smartphone and is using their current LOCATION:

  1. Create or claim your location or “place” pages in Google, Bing, & Yahoo. Especially “Google Places” since that is the database something like Google “now” uses.
  2. Create or claim a Facebook Page for your business. Make sure you enter your complete address so you show up on the map and are a Facebook Place page.