Screencast Google Places Phone Support Verification

Had a great conversation at the Arizona Biltmore where Clio put on an event for lawyers. Talked with their co-founder and COO Rian as well as Cindy Castillo of Castillo Law.

Paul mentioned his frustration with Google Places for Business Verification and how the postcards never seem to show up. I explained how Google has phone verification and today had discovered that the process has been greatly simplified as explained in this video.

Out with the old iOS. In with the new iOS7.

Surveillance-nationExcellent article from Marco Arment about how iOS7, the new operating system for iPhones and iPads coming to consumers this Fall, is going to cause a major shift for App developers. His argument is that just as a forest fire erases old debris Apple’s update to its mobile operating system is going to cause a similar disruption to all existing apps. Leading to a fundamental shift in the established App environment:

iOS 7 is different. It isn’t just a new skin: it introduces entirely new navigational and structural standards far beyond the extent of any previous UI changes. Existing apps can support iOS 7 fairly easily without looking broken, but they’ll look and feel ancient.

Hard to believe?

iOS is only 6 years old. Before then there were no Apps at all and now we have a multi billion dollar industry all based on one operating system. Apple has changed things so fundamentally, Marco argues, that all established Apps will be stuck at a crossroads of maintaining for old versions and building for the new version. This is bad news for established Apps but great news for new ones. For consumers its going to be a non issue. We will update to iOS7 in massive numbers just as we always do and when we see our existing Apps look like crap we will just go find an alternative and download it.

If I were developing a new App I would be focused completely on iOS7 and be ready to hit the ground running on day one, especially if its a crowded category. Some low hanging fruit from a quick brainstorm:

  • Photography/Camera App
  • Twitter/Multi Network Social Media App
  • Quick Note/Writing App
  • Calendar App

I would charge at least $4 for this app as the users that will be demanding this will have money to spend and will be less focused on price than functionality. They will want an app that looks good and works with all the new iOS7 bells and whistles.

Michael Barber has a great writeup on the Cohn Marketing blog about some of the significant updates to iOS7 check it out.

Google lays the smack down on Mobile SEO

Google has been saying that website owners need to get their mobile game plan together. My suspicion is that they are tired of seeing all the bounces from non mobile websites when people search on their phone. Personally I have stopped using Google as much on my mobile phone especially for local searches. Yelp for better or worse is my goto resource for getting local information on my phone because I know I will be able to read Yelps pages easily. On google it is a crap shoot.

But just having a mobile website is not entirely enough. You also need to deliver a relevant experience to your users. Yesterday Google came out with specific details where it will be penalizing websites that don’t deliver what users expect when searching in google. For example if the Google result is for a specific page on your site but when a mobile user clicks on the link they get delivered to the home page of your mobile website. I have first hand experience of this and it is frustrating and always causes me to hit the back button.

The simple answer to a lot of mobile seo it to convert your website to a responsive layout. This allows you to keep your existing URL structure and deliver the same website to all devices but it will adopt the layout to the screen size you are currently using. There are a number of things you can do in addition to this but making this change will have the most dramatic effect while minimizing your effort.

Asking for Testimonials and Getting Useful Testimonials

Word of mouth is priceless for marketing your company’s product or service. One form of word of mouth marketing is a testimonial. A testimonial a curated review from a happy customer. I say curated because rather than a review which can be good or bad a testimonial is focused on the good part of your company and the experience it gave your customer.

When you ask for a testimonial you want to get specific details of why they are happy with your company. Rather than just asking them to write a review you should consider giving them a list of questions to answer like these:

  • What is the one thing you liked best about Widget Company?
  • Before you bought our service/product, what did you think of the company or the product?
  • How did your perception of the service/product change after you became a happy customer?
  • What benefits did you or your company see after becoming a customer?
  • Would you recommend a friend or colleague?
  • Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I really like these questions because it gets them to talk about your company from the perspective of a before and after customer. This is useful to people who have not yet become your customer because those are the questions going through their heads too.

So make sure you are getting happy customers to write Testimonials for you and help them out by giving them some specific questions to answer.