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USM Academy @en

The needing of websites optimized for mobile devices

By | Marketing @en, USM Academy @en

From next April 21, 2015, changes the ranking of search results of Google from mobile devices. This policy reflects the idea that when it comes to mobile search, the user should get more relevant results, showing websites preferably adapted for display on the mobile device from which the search is done.

Responsive Design - Source of the Image: Google

In view of the growing number of mobile users, Google has decided to change its algorithm to adapt to this new usage pattern. This change will affect mobile searches worldwide in all languages and will have a significant impact on search results.

Therefore, logically, websites adapted to mobile devices are, today, a necessity.

Want to know if your company website is adapted to mobile?

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How to create an online store?

By | Marketing @en, USM Academy @en

E-commerce is growing every year. Therefore, it is logical to put our products and services for sale online. This is done through an online store, which is basically a website where users can buy products. We explain how to create an online store.

Image of Sabas Jamones

To create an online store we must consider some aspects.

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  • Choose a quality platform, easy to use, that manages the online store efficiently and with total control over the operations (product management, stock control, control prices and discounts, etc.). Some of the most popular platforms are Prestashop, Magento, OpenCart, Ecwid or WooCommerce for WordPress.
  • Responsive design, adapted to mobile devices during the entire process of purchasing. Today we buy also by using our mobile devices.
  • Payment methods. An online store must accept card payments and other modalities, such as bank transfer, PayPal or COD. Generally for each payment method, we have to install an specific module.
  • Product shipment. It usually works with a courier company that can provide the  specific module for your online store. Once the module is installed, the system adds the transportation cost to the product price, taking in account the weight, volume and destination. All these parameters can be pre-configured so that the process is automatic.
  • Security certificate. In an online store there are sensitive data, such as personal information or credit cards. Therefore it is important to get a security certificate or SSL, which is installed on the server hosting, under the dominion of the store (eg www.mysuperstoreonline.com). This makes the information you send to the online store go encoded and therefore safe.
  • Quality Hosting. An online store must be hosted on a fast and safe server, with a hosting plan that ensures sufficient space and performance to develop the business in all its fullness.
  • Customer service. Like a physical store, we must always be attentive to customer needs, quickly solving any problem you have in payment, shipment the product or refund. You know, a satisfied customer is the best advertising.

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These are the main aspects that we consider to create an online store. From here we can include dozens of features that make our store more attractive and encourage the purchase.

[box type=”tick” size=”large” style=”rounded” border=”full”]Most important: Put your web project in the hands of professionals.[/box]

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Seguimiento de obras e instalaciones

By | Technology, USM Academy @en

Top Obras Website

Gracias a la combinación de distintas tecnologías es posible hacer un seguimiento de obras e instalaciones de cualquier tipo y, si queremos, en tiempo real. Un ejemplo de ello es nuestro cliente Top Obras, una compañía especializada en Obra Civil, cuyos proyectos “se basan en el principio básico de la excelencia”, como puede leerse en la imagen..

Top Obras quería que sus clientes pudieran seguir el desarrollo de su proyecto sin tener que estar obligados a visitar la obra. Nos planteó el caso y propusimos una solución con las siguientes características.

Herramientas tecnológicas

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  • Página web basada en WordPress. Ya utilizaba este sistema. Pusimos en marcha la gestión de usuarios y la funcionlidad de blog, para lo cual tuvimos que hacer una programación específica.
  • Aplicación de WordPress para móviles. Esta App gratuita te permite gestionar tu página web desde el dispositivo móvil.
  • Dispositivo móvil (teléfono o tableta). Lo utilizas para crear contenido (texto, foto y vídeo) y publicarlo.
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Lógica del proceso

El proceso es sencillo y se pone en marcha de manera ordenada.

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  1. Descargamos la App gratuita de WordPress y la instalamos en nuestro smartphone y/o tableta. Ya podemos editar nuestro sitio web desde cualquier lugar.
  2. En la zona de administración de nuestro sitio web (ahora no utilizamos la App) creamos un nuevo botón de menú que puede denominarse “Acceso Clientes”.
  3. También desde la administración de la web creamos un nuevo usuario que corresponda al proyecto de obra o instalación.
  4. Creamos una página que corresponde al proyecto. Cuando el usuario se registra el sistema lo enviará directamente a la página de su proyecto.
  5. Creamos una categoría de blog para el proyecto. Aquí se publicará el contenido que se genere sobre ese proyecto.
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Aplicación móvil para WordPress

¿Cómo generamos y publicamos la información para que el cliente haga el seguimiento?

Visitamos la obra, tomamos fotos o vídeos o las dos cosas con nuestro dispositivo móvil. Abrimos la App, creamos un artículo nuevo, donde insertamos las fotos junto con los comentarios oportunos. Asignamos el artículo a la categoría del proyecto… y pulsamos el “Publicar”.

¿Cómo hace el seguimiento nuestro cliente?

Visita la web y se registra (desde el ordenador o dispositivo móvil; la web se adapta a teléfonos y tabletas); el cliente no tiene por qué utilizar la App. Se registra como usuario, tras lo cual el sistema lo redirecciona a la página del proyecto, donde puede ver los artículos enviados desde la obra, ordenados cronológicamente.

En la página del proyecto podemos tener además documentación, relativa a la obra o instalación, que el cliente podrá descargar.

Como puede comprobarse, se puede crear una web corporativa con muchas funcionalidades que ayuden a mejorar el flujo de trabajo, la productividad y la experiencia de nuestro cliente.

Website or web presence?

By | Marketing @en, USM Academy @en

Web presence scheme

A few years ago, and in relation to the Internet, the goal of any company was to have its own website. Today, the sector has developed exponentially, so there are many other ways of being in the Internet. That’s the reason because today we talk about “web presence” more than “website“. The difference between the two concepts is that the website is one of the elements or spaces that make up our web presence.

I recommend creating your web presence following these steps:

 

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  1. Analysis of the types of web sites that I can have.
  2. Analysis of the profiles of the company, the products, the services and the customers.
  3. Analysis of the use that can make each web space to present my company, its products or services, provide customer service, etc..
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1. Types of web sites

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  • Website . It is our corporate site par excellence, where we provide the most comprehensive information about who we are, our philosophy, what products or services we have available, etc..
  • Online store. Is where the user acquires our products or services.
  • Blog . We use it to provide knowledge to the industry in which we operate.
  • Social Networking. In Spain , about 80 % of users are on social networks . Each social network has a specific profile. Some are used by all types of users, other by middle-aged working women…
  • Tools- mobile applications. All spaces and actions we take must be ready for mobile devices.
  • Email (direct marketing). Use your web sites to collect information from people interested in our products or services. Then send them information by email that may supplement by visiting our web site or online store.
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2. Analysis of the profiles of the company, the products, the services and the customers

We must to sit down for a while and make ourself the following questions: What type of business do I have? What field within Internet is good for my business? What types of products or services do I offer? What field within Internet is good for it? How is my current client and potential? Where are my clients within Internet?

 

3. Use that can make each web space

In the online store we sell, obviously. In the corporate website we tell all about us; showing to the customer the confidence he need. In social networks we can show our projects, or even give customer support… We can make a specific use of each space.

 

Once we have analyzed the above factors, we can design a strategy and communication plan to create or enhance our web presence, which means to be as visible as we can. Only if people see us, hear us or recommend us, they can be interested in us.

How to design a website (2/2). Graphic design

By | Marketing @en, USM Academy @en

Regarding how to design a website, as explained in the previous article, it is important to provide accurate and clear information of who we are and what we do. Users will appreciate that we do not waste time. In addition, a clear, direct and brief message will generate confidence in users. Other factors such as the successful combination of colors or good pictures, generate sense of security in users.

 

Example of a website with attractive design.

Here you are some tips to make your website a enjoyable place and generate user confidence:

 

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  • KISS rule. Keep It Stupidly Simple. Don’t complicate the design with structures that disallow understand the message. A good habit is to put the elements (text, pictures …) one on top of other. This will allow also view properly the content on mobile devices.
  • Responsive. This a kind of structure in which styles, templates or themes can suit different devices from which the website is displayed: computer, mobile phone or tablet.
  • Choose a theme or template and follow the developer’s instructions. If we choose a CMS (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal…) for the development of our website, we will apply a design template, that we have to acquire in the CMS market, either paid or free. It is worth spending the time necessary at this stage of development of the site and to choose the template or theme that best suits our company, product / service and client. Usually developers provide complete documentation on installing and configuring the template, along with tutorials to profit all the potential of the design.
  • The power of image. Choose high quality photo images and large original size, because that will allow us to use more options. A good image is capable by itself to convey powerful messages.
  • Attention to details. Be curious in choosing images, menu, typefaces, colors, buttons, horizontal lines and other content separators, etc.
  • Always improving. Always improving. Once the design is complete and website is published, we are going to let it work for a while and then let’s do it evolve. The usage will say us how to improve it.
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In short, do a fine job, take the time to make an attractive website that invites to be visited. And don’t forget that is the showcase of your business.

How to design a website (1/2). Content

By | Marketing @en, USM Academy @en

wfff-website

Great! We already have our domain name and hired a hosting plan. So we can begin to design a website. On this occasion we will refer to a corporate website, that is, a website where we will show who we are and what we do.

For me, the most important is to send a message simple, clear and direct, and if it is short, much better, because we surf the Internet very quickly, without lose time. In my opinion, a website should contain the following information:

 

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  • Who we are. Here we reflect our business philosophy, our character, our understanding of business and customer relationships.
  • Our products or services. It will detail what we offer to the market, always in a clear way, especially if the product or service is complicated to understand.
  • Contact information. We have to facilitate the work to those who are interested in us, so we’ll have very visible our contact details: phone number, e-mail, Skype, WhatsUp …
  • Why us. Here we will show our value added, the reasons why a potential customer could buy or hire our services. This may be on a separate page or as an idea broadly reflected throughout the website.
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The important thing is that the user can know about us in a few clicks and in no time. This is basic. From here, we can have many advanced functionalities: online appointment management, documentation and downloads files, calendar, technical support center, online ordering system for the sales team …

 

Imagen servidor

The convenience of a good web hosting

By | Marketing @en, USM Academy @en

Servidor

In general terms, each server has an (or various) ID, which is known as IP. When you register a domain name, you have to configure it to redirect that domain to the IP of our server, which is where you find the folder that stores the website.
There are many types of web hosting, from small spaces for a simple website, to special plans designed for large content portals.
The hosting plans are becoming more advanced and offer more services: plenty of space, email accounts, databases, backups … If you need to hire a hosting plan, my recommendation is to contact one or more companies providing this service. Tell them what kind of website you need to host and what other services you’ll need (e.mail accounts, databases, etc..). Generally, the hosting company also provide domain registration.
Another option is look for advise from a good web designer. He’ll know much better about the web hosting industry. He will recomend a good hosting company and, within it, the plan that best suits your needs.

How to make a website? Different types of websites for my business

By | Marketing @en, USM Academy @en

Of the three operations we have to perform to be on intenet, we’ve seen the first: choosing the domain name. Now, in this article we will talk about the second requirement: how to make a website or, more specifically, choosing the type of website.

I’ll only explain what I think is essential that a business person should know when facing hiring a web design service: the common types of web sites.

 

Website made ​​in Flash

The main feature of these sites is that they have a lot of movement. They are sophisticated and very attractive. It is a resource used in the fields of art and entertainment, which seeks to impress the user. Flash is also used for gaming.
An example: http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/new-fantasyland/

 

blog-usm-web2

CMS (Content Management System)

CMS’s are one of the best and most popular solutions for corporate websites, blogs, even online shops. These are tools that allow us to build complex websites with many pages, multiple languages ​​and endless features. Many of these content management systems are free. In my opinion, a CMS is the best price-performance solution for SME. Some of the most popular are WordPress, Joomla! and Drupal.
Un ejemplo: http://iberges.es/

 

iberges

 

Tienda On-line

It is the ideal solution when we intend to sell online. The products or services are classified by categories or sections. When you choose a product, is added to a “shopping cart”. The payment is usually done on the same page by credit card. Of course, the company has access to a complete control panel, where you manage every aspect of the store. Among the most popular solutions are Opencart, Magento and Prestashop.

Un ejemlo: http://urbanous.com/

 

urbanous

 

The choice of the website depends on the type of business, product and customer. In any case, if we sell online the best option would be an online store. Por el contrario, If we seek a strong presence on internet with the possibility to scale that presence and the website itself, I would recommend a CMS. If instead we want to promote a very specific event, such as a circus, then a good choice would be the Flash system.

How to register a domain name?

By | Marketing @en, USM Academy @en

We know what we need, as a minimum, to have a presence on the Internet: a domain name (www.agenciausm.com, for example), the website itself (static website, dynamic and customer upgradeable, online store …) and finally , the hosting (we booked space on a server to store there our website and have it always available.

In this article we will focus on how to register a domain name, explaining what aspects we need to consider to choose it correctly. But first, lets know the structure of a domain name:

 

  • agenciausm – Domain that corresponds to our name.
  • .com – Suffix or TLD.

 

1. Tips for choosing a good domain name

It is a good idea if the domain name is descriptive on what it represents. If we are carpenter, and our carpentry is called “The Tree”, better to choose “thetreeparpentry”. It could include a more descriptive element, corresponding to the geographic location of the business. If we are in Boston, we may use “thetreeparpentryboston”. In any case, we try to keep something simple and not too long.

 

[box type=”tick”]The key is to be descriptive.[/box]

 

2. Tips for choosing the suffix or TLD

Also useful that the suffix provide information on the type of business or organization that represents, as well as its geographical location. There are different types of suffixes. Some indicate Nationality (US, CA, ES…); some others indicate the type of business or entity (COM, NET, ORG, MOBI…), etc.. The most popular suffix is COM.

Sometimes we prefer to highlight the international profile of the company, so we would use the “COM”. Others, we prefer that the online business image is strongly linked to their nationality. In that case, if our business is canadian, we use the “CA” TLD.

 

[box type=”tick”]The key is the combination of the factors “typology” and “territoriality” of the business.[/box]

Which are the minimum requirements for doing online business?

By | Marketing @en, USM Academy @en

Most entrepreneurs know that today you have to be on the Internet, but not know the minimum requirements for doing online business. An excellent way to start is through a corporate website. In her show who we are, what we do, how we work and where we are: the essentials for anyone to know our company.

 

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As you can imagine, there are different levels of web presence, but the basics are three things:

 

1. Domain name

It is the name by which to know our company or brand online, what we write in the browser bar when we want to visit a website. The usual structure is:

 

www.agenciausm.com

The last part of the name (.com) refers to the type of business or the geographical area. “.Com” for commerce companies, even international; “Net” for Internet-related companies; “US” for northamerican entities; “Org” for NGOs, etc..

 

2. Design of the website

Is the design and construction of the website. There are many tools available to develop a website. The important thing is that the website meets our needs and those of the client.

 

3. Web hosting

A website is composed of a set of pages. All web pages and images that appear in them are contained and organized in a folder with their subfolders. This folder must be stored in a kind of computer, called a server, so that when we write the address in the browser (www.agenciausm.com) can be found and show the content to the visitor.