Do you need a mobile application for your business to stay competitive?

Number of mobile applications in each stores Google Play, App store, Windows and Blackberry continues to rise with the front-runners being Google Play and App Store. Having a share in the market place, Blackberry and Windows have a lot of catching up to do and that is going to be very interesting the coming years.

Looking at the statistics Google Play Store has around 13,50,000 apps and Apples App Store has around 13,00,000 apps. As a business owner when you glance through the above statistics it can seem that each and everyone (even your competitors) has a mobile application except you.

That’s when you feel that you are left behind while your competitors are eating up major junk of the market share. As a business owner your main concerns would be

  1. Do I need a mobile application for my business?
  2. Building a mobile application is expensive.
  3. Building a mobile application is time consuming.

Users are now moving away from laptops and desktops and are relying more on their smart phone or tablets. From ticket booking, paying bills and buying grocery is just a click away, it is fast and very convenient. As more and more apps are downloaded from the stores, business enterprises are moving towards having their own mobile applications.

Ok! Now you are ready to join the apps bandwagon but then being an entrepreneur you would look into all possibilities and think…

“Cant users access the current website through their smartphone?”

A tricky question and it is important to know if the website is mobile friendly and has been built keeping in mind the compatibility factor with smartphones. If not be ready to face some challenges when the website is displayed in the smart phone.

Keeping these in mind you can build

  1. Mobile Optimized Website
  2. Stand alone App
  1. Mobile Optimized Website

This can be done with minimum fuzz if the current site has been developed using the mobile responsive design. One of the main advantages of mobile optimized website, it will work universally in all mobiles as the Internet browser opens a web page reliably in all the smartphones.

  1. Stand alone app

From a business perspective the stand alone app is much better than a mobile optimized website. The app is always there in the users smart phone and just a click away, no need to launch the web url in the browser which can be felt time consuming now a days. A study suggests that 82 percent of time spent with Mobile media happens with apps. If you are looking to engage customers with your product or service it is better to build a mobile app. You can be constant touch with them through notifications, be it a new product launch or a new service that you offer.

Choice is yours to decide :-)

Post Penguin SEO – Don’t hunt for links, instead plant and grow them naturally!

It has been a while since we are dealing with the Google panda and penguin update and the minor refresh after that. The Internet is abuzz with news that this is probably the end of SEO marketing. To all those doomsday predictors… this one’s for you!

I agree that Google hates unnatural link building to the same degree as it hates spammy links. But if you were to implement strategies that get natural links, I think you’re in safe zone. I know what you are thinking right now “everyone says natural links, but how to obtain them?” Here’s how to:

The days when you hunted for links are over! Now you have to plant them, water them and grow them “Naturally!”

Before the Google penguin update was made on 24th April,  SEO mainly focused on getting the maximum number oflinks as quick as possible to gain the love of the search engines. It didn’t matter where you get the links or how you get them. All it mattered was if the links were from anchor text keywords. After the penguin update, all these still matter but with on rule: The number of links should be increasing naturally and the nature of the links should not be overly anchor texts. Here are few tips to do that:

Planting the links in the right spots

In order to grow the links naturally, you have to plant them in the right spots. This is where diversification of content comes into play. Diversification of content helps in expanding the spots where you can obtain links. For example, if you are just producing quality articles and including links in them, your reach is limited to a bunch of article directories. On the other hand, produce well written articles, blogs, press releases, great infographics, video content etc and you have an opportunity to spread your links across various platforms. The main advantage of spreading links across various platforms is that your link profile would be organic. Your website would never get penalized for over optimization of anchor text links.

Just publishing different types of content in various spots doesn’t grow the number of links by itself. You need to provide a little support to these published contents to grow naturally. For example, social bookmarking is one popular SEO strategy that can be used to gain extra exposure to any type of published content. You could also share them in the social media sites such as facebook, twitter and Google plus to grab the attention of the social media crowd. Here is a short clip from a video QnA session by Matt Cutts (The distinguished Google Engineer) on this extra promotion Once the extra SEO done to these published content takes its effect, all you have to do is to sit back and watch the links grow naturally.

Natural growth of the links

Now you have great content which is presented to a huge audience. Depending on the quality and catchiness, the content would spread virally into the social media and gets syndicated naturally by other surfers. Each and every share or syndication of your content is equal to a natural link that is generated to your website.

So here is the key to grow links naturally:

Seed = Great, diversified content

Plantation spots = SEO spots where you publish different types of content

Watering the plants = SEO and social media marketing for the published content

Natural growth = Viral social shares and natural syndication

“Facebook Like” brought to life

When Xminds participated in Demo Asia 2012, we wanted to show-case the company in the start-up world in a creative manner. Our idea was to create something simple letting the world know our area of expertise which prompted the team to think SOCIAL and what better than FB in that space.

Our idea was to create something which should standout from other participants at the same time giving the startup world clear idea as to what we do.

This prompted the team to think ‘SOCIAL” and what better than FB in that space. But how could we bring FB to the physical word?

A facebook wall was built and ‘Like’ cards were made which carried the number of people ‘Liked’ us during demoasia and behind the card had a brief of what we do and our contact address.

Please watch the video below which would give you better idea.

And yes we received plenty Likes

Startup success: Forget the recipe, focus on the ingredients.

Build it and they will come. Ever wondered the truth of that statement? Read on.

You’re sat in a swanky coffeehouse with your mates on Sunday afternoon. Three espressos later and all present reach the conclusion that the idea is going to work. You’ve even worked out the reasons why it will work, just in case the question comes up at the next family gathering on why you quit your corner office corporate job to work in a startup.

The stark reality is that the rate of failure is high. Here’s why: startups can’t exist by themselves. The ecosystem for their success requires other ingredients. It involves mixing that initial idea with mentors who’ve had the experience to ease that painful but necessary learning curve, a healthy financial reserve to weather that incubation period of any idea coming to life as well as the all important ability to test that idea as a product with the target audience.

The importance of testing and getting feedback with a minimum viable product (MVP) has proven vital in successful start-ups. Remember the early days of Dropbox? They moved quickly to launch the minimum viable product with the key features for testing with their target audience. Dropbox certainly built it and people came but they allowed their customers to build it with them and success came knocking. For more information on Dropbox’s minimum viable product days read TechCrunch’s post.

To build your own minimum viable product and success story contact us @ Xminds.

Why to outsource your SEO requirements ?

Outsourcing is an invaluable tool & can offer a lot of benefits for small as well as large businesses.
If you have been involved in any type of business, you know what it is all about.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving your visibility in Search Engines. SEO is part of your Marketing campaign and without a doubt those who implement proper SEO techniques, will outrank those that do not.

Doing SEO in-house may require knowledge of special skills & lot of effort on your part. Search engines algorithms changes constantly and while there may be some factors that remain important and unchanged, there is always the matter of what works today may simply cease to work tomorrow.

If your business already, has a systematic work process, you can take it to higher levels by outsourcing SEO. Outsourcing SEO relieves you from all sorts of worries. You save time & energy and use resources optimally for better results.

However, you cannot do SEO outsourcing without knowing what you are doing. Patience is required with SEO outsourcing because you will not see instant results.

Why SEO should be outsourced ?

• SEO outsourcing is cost effective, easy and risk-free. Outsourcing SEO means that you get a team for less cost.

• SEO outsourcing enables you to outsource the services to experts.

• Your marketing focus should be on your core business area instead of SEO. Outsourcing SEO can save your valuable time.

• SEO firms will not be affected by the pressures of day-to -day running of an Enterprise and thus can focus only on the SEO of your web site.

• An SEO firm has the varied experience of working on a number of SEO projects and this knowledge and experience can only help your site’s SEO. With SEO Outsourcing, you know that every aspect of your campaign is being managed with Guidelines of Search Engines in mind.

• You do not have the time to worry about optimizing your website. You have tried doing SEO yourself, and yet nothing seems to work.

• You are not in touch with the latest news & happenings in the Search Engine world that may affect your Search rankings. SEO tactics are changing at an exceedingly high speed.

• SEO is a continuous process, which requires professional handling and a lot of time. Implementing SEO strategies requires continuous and rigorous research.

• Outsourcing SEO services will help in promotion of your website through various media. Outsourcing SEO services provide you with regular updates on the performance of your Competitors.

• SEO requires a number of tools like Web Analytics Software etc., If you plan to do SEO In-house, then you need to acquire these tools. This can be expensive.

• SEO firms operate with a large number of customers. Hence, they have the expertise of operating on distinct varieties of businesses.

• If you do in-house SEO, resource allocation can be limited due to the company’s limitations. By outsourcing SEO, one can obtain the maximum resources for your SEO process.

Thus, it is better to outsource SEO, rather than doing it yourself.

Crossing over your thoughts.

There exists a very thin line between smart and over-smart. Smart one gives the result while over-smart gives the vision of the result. A smart employee completes the given work within time with fine quality but an over-smart employee portrays completeness of the work within time.

Similarly there is a very thin line between decision making and rational decision making. Decisions in life are rarely black and white but usually involve shades of gray.

What to wear to office does not involve a decision between to wear a dress or a party wear but includes a decision between what colors of shirt to be worn. During the medieval period, sovereigns used to have a thorough plan and used knowledge management to have an effective strategy for winning. Rational thinking was the key to achieve this. Rational thinking results in a desired output achieved within limits.

As these examples show, individuals and firms can make better decisions by thinking at the margin. A rational decision maker takes an action if and only if the marginal benefit of the action exceeds the marginal cost. It guides throughout the process for the excellence and attainable targets.

Margin means edge. Changes at the edge are required to have an effective project and have the desired output in a smart way. Marginal changes are small incremental adjustments to the plan of action. For the management to think rational and make decisions favorable to the company, managers are asked to think at the margin; not much practical and not much ideal.

The case study approach helps to decide what the margin for the decision to be taken is. Once the margin is known it becomes a cake walk to make the company decisions.

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Get only what you want through Minimum Viable Product

The are plenty of software, applications available in the internet. Some are designed as a template with add-ons so that it can be modified according to the user’s required specifications. These add-ons not only guzzle the user’s space but can result with plenty of bugs in the software/application. The solution to this subject is to develop only what is essential.The process of designing such software can prove very efficient and expand in popularity pretty fast.

All the above can be effortlessly made accessible when we think of Minimum Viable Product. Making anything compact does not mean chopping off the parameters or reducing the functionality. Making compact is very similar to compilation of several courses and formation of an MVP.

It aims at building just what’s needed to validate the concept. Xminds, a pioneering software group aims to prepare such MVP. It has not only created the user specified software but also has made this a trend of designing such products.

It involves many parallel processes to finalize and publish the MVP. The most important facet for designing involves several iterations. The iterations help to arrive at the best possible and highly responsive product which can help in the customer satisfaction to the fullest.

The MVP provides an ideal platform to gather feedback from the users. Depending on the feedback from the one can make necessary changes to the MVP regularly with new features and updates.

MVP also helps the client to save a lot of money and time .

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