Google’s Mobile Search Shake Up

Posted by: Marilyn Trent @ 9:54 pm | Date: April 25, 2015 | Comments Off on Google’s Mobile Search Shake Up
Filed under: All things business,Latest News,Websites

Google recently updated its mobile search algorithm to give mobile friendly sites precedence over the mobile ‘unfriendly’ ones. What does this mean for you?

The reason, according to the research firm comScore Inc., is that the number of mobile searches in the U.S. is rising by about 5 percent while inquiries on PCs are dropping Mobile_Phone_SEOslightly. In the final three months of last year, 29 percent of all U.S. search requests – about 18.5 billion — were made on mobile devices. Google processes the bulk of all internet searches — two-thirds in the U.S. and even more in many other countries.

While many older, non-responsive websites could get hit hard by this update it’s far from the death knell for every website that doesn’t meet Google’s mobile friendly criteria. After doing some research, I’ve started to compile information that will help you understand how it effects your website. Google keeps a tight lid on the specifics of how it’s algorithm weighs different factors to produce the best search results so I will provide further updates as the long-term impact of the new algorithm become more evident.

Google’s new formula will not directly affect searches on desktop and laptop computers, only queries on mobile devices. You can see how many people are accessing your website on a mobile device through your Google Analytics account. Reviewing your analytics will let you know how much traffic you potentially stand to lose if your site isn’t mobile friendly. A review of my clients’ websites showed  that restaurants, spas and other retailers usually get a significant percentage of their traffic from mobile devices while B2B companies are still mostly found through desktop searches. So if you’re a manufacturer or a business to business with a traditional website the immediate effects of Google’s latest update probably won’t be catastrophic. This isn’t the case for restaurants, boutiques and entertainment venues; for those businesses having a mobile-friendly website is no longer just a good idea, it’s likely critical to remaining competitive on the web.

Below is an excerpt from “Google Mobile Friendly Algorithm Gives Small Businesses The Advantage” an article that explains it well with a few tips.

A good dose of reality is also needed with any Google announcement, according to Matt Beswick of Milton Keynes based web agency Aira, where smaller brand and website owners need not fear Google as much as they might do.

Google is great at PR. They manage to strike fear into the hearts of business owners and CEOs alike who should know better. The key thing is to remember that they don’t always do what they say and, at the end of the day, all they want to achieve is a better search experience for their users, who are ultimately your customers.

5 mobile-friendly action points

Here are some ‘first steps’ to make sure your website is compliant with Google’s new mobile friendly algorithm. These are things that should be done whether your business employs an in-house SEO team or outsources to an agency:

  1. Check if your site is already considered mobile friendly by Google – you should see the mobile friendly label in the mobile search results or use Google’s mobile friendly test to check – There may be a delay in Google identifying mobile friendly web pages on your site though.
  2. The algorithm roll out affects only search rankings on mobile devices and applies to individual pages, not entire websites, so make sure your most important pages are indexed as mobile friendly as soon as possible.
  3. Get your SEO team to cross check Google’s ‘top seven mistakes webmasters make when going mobile friendly’ blog post to see if they are guilty!
  4. Check the status of your entire site through the Mobile Usability report in Webmaster Tools that identifies those pages on your site suffering from severe usability problems for mobile visitors.
  5. Having made the changes, instruct Google’s spiders to crawl your site sooner than they might have otherwise done by using Google’s Fetch as Google function.

John Ramption, Contributor
Entrepreneur helping startups figure out what’s happening with Google

In Addition:

Don’t forget to review how much traffic is coming from a desktop version versus mobile. If you are getting 75%-90% from your desktop, you don’t need to panic yet.

Ask your web developer if there is anything they can do with your current website to make it more mobile friendly and not get downgraded on mobile devices. There may be things like increasing the type size when a mobile device has been detected or having 2 photos across the page instead of 4 to keep the size of the images reasonably large when it scaled down to a mobile screen. These are just some of the programming fixes that can help you avoid getting penalized for a mobile unfriendly website.

Feel free to call me at 248-652-8307 or email me at I would be more than happy to review your current website.



Why B2B Companies Should Care About Online Content Marketing

Posted by: Marilyn Trent @ 9:20 pm | Date: April 6, 2014 | Comments Off on Why B2B Companies Should Care About Online Content Marketing
Filed under: All things business,Websites | Tags: , ,

Businesses buying from other businesses online increases daily.

B2B-SoMedia5According to, “In the United States, B2B e-commerce revenue more than doubles that of B2C – with $559bn annually in sales—and B2B players that fail to embrace online and mobile as leading channels risk losing market share in the short and medium term, and sustainable competitive advantage in the long-term.”

That’s just one of the many impressive facts that underline the importance of online marketing and brand management when it comes to helping B2B websites sell more and sell better. Say someone is looking for something you sell and comes to your website with just one thing in mind: to make a decision whether or not to buy from you. 90% of those people will look at your products and services and then, if they still want to know more, will move on to the ‘about us’ page to learn more about who you are and what your company is like.

Studies conducted by KoMarketing have found that online buyers look for:

  • Pricing information – 43%
  • Technical information – 38%
  • Case studies / white papers / blog posts – 38%
  • Shipping information – 37%
  • They don’t fully rely on blog posts but if they are there, they add credibility

This process doesn’t end with the initial search. A business looking at your business as a potential new vendor will explore your site while focused on one thing:

Is a relationship with you worth pursuing?

You, the vendor, must make the decision process as easy and seamless as possible. Recent research by KoMarketing Associates shows that the “Must Have” content for buyers is:

  • First and foremost, buyers want to know what products and services you have and how you can meet their needs and challenges.
  • It’s crucial to remove barriers between these buyers and the content that they are looking for.
  • Carefully considered content combined with a well-mapped user interface (UI) is the first step to success. Overlaid on that must be a carefully thought out user experience (UX) strategy – defining where on the page content is displayed and how the prospect will interact with it. A website with planned content, UI and UX will be easy to navigate and quickly communicate the information that the prospect is looking for.

Oh, and just a small tip:
Your prospects, like most of us, don’t want to be interrupted in the research process with pesky videos, pop-ups or audio that plays automatically. Don’t get me wrong, video can be one of the most compelling ways to engage a prospect. In fact more and more industrial marketers are using videos as a strategic tactic and  its one that all manufactures should embrace. Your prospective customer wants to control that interaction though, not have you force it on them.

Now all of this is a lot to think about and we haven’t even touched on the role that Social Media plays in content delivery. Manufacturers and other B2B’s are just now beginning to understand how engaging in two way conversations through LinkedIn or Facebook can grow brand awareness and customer engagement. But, lets save that for another day.

To sum it up, your content must be…

  • relevant and searchable; there are an average of 115 Billion global monthly searches on Google alone.
  • easy to grasp; once a prospect is on the website you only have about 8 seconds to get their attention.

Want help with your Content Marketing Strategy? Trent Design has been helping its manufacturing clients and B2B grow their businesses through the development of award-winning websites and Content Management Systems for over 10 years….

6 Reasons Why You Need A Responsive Website

Posted by: Brian Harwell @ 9:24 am | Date: December 13, 2013 | Comments Off on 6 Reasons Why You Need A Responsive Website
Filed under: All things business,Design,Websites
Responsive Website - Detroit Riverfront Conservancy

Views of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy website on different devices. Original PSD display mock by Lassi Vehviläinen

You may have seen or heard the term Responsive Website or Responsive Web Design (originally coined by Ethan Marcotte) floating around the internet lately. But what exactly is Responsive Web Design, and why do you need it? We’ll start by explaining some of the basic concepts behind Responsive Web Design, then delve into the 6 reasons why you need to consider it for your own website.

Responsive Design

Responsive Web Design (or RWD for short) came about in 2010 out of a need to address the number of mobile browsers accessing websites at a steadily increasing rate.

You’ve probably seen your fair share of mobile sites, usually a separate website you get redirected to when trying to visit a familiar website on your smartphone. They are typically subdomains, such as or they have their own extension:

The main issue with mobile sites is that they were optimized strictly for smartphones – namely the iPhone. As you probably guessed, mobile browsers are no longer just for smartphones – tablets, MP3 players and other devices have their own browsers and ways to access the internet. Pulling up a mobile site optimized for smartphones on your tablet looks awkward (especially in landscape mode), likewise pulling up a website optimized for desktops on your smartphone is equally awkward to view, and pinching and zooming isn’t user friendly and frankly, annoying.

These issues are exactly what RWD is intended to address. RWD responds to the width of your device and formats the layout and content to provide the best viewing and user friendly experience possible.

Why You Need It

Future Proofing & Accessibility

The main purpose of RWD is future proofing your website and making it accessible and readable across all devices.

Mobile browsing is expected to outpace desktop-based access within three to five years. Two of the three dominant video game consoles have web browsers (and one of them is quite excellent). We’re designing for mice and keyboards, for T9 keypads, for handheld game controllers, for touch interfaces. In short, we’re faced with a greater number of devices, input modes, and browsers than ever before. – Ethan Marcotte, May 25, 2010

Say, for instance, you just finished a brand new responsive website and within a year, a new device comes into the market which becomes insanely popular overnight, and you have a high number of visitors to your website from that device. Luckily, your new responsive website has been built for situations just like this and it displays perfectly fine – no need to rebuild or add a separate website just to handle this new device.

If for some reason you do need to have an optimized layout for the new device, all you’d have to do is contact your web developer and they can write a new media query to add to the stylesheet, and tada! your site now has an optimized layout for that device.

The best thing about RWD is that it’s scalable, so that no matter what comes out on the market, you can always add a new media query to optimize your site for it. That way, visitors to your website from any device can have an enjoyable and frustration-free experience.

Content Delivery & Easier Maintenance

Another benefit to having a responsive website is the same content is being delivered to visitors across all devices. Mobile sites typically have different content than the main website – focusing on only a couple of topics and requiring you to “view the full site” if you want access to the rest of the content.

Not only is this inconvenient for visitors, but it’s also inconvenient for you (the site owner/editor) since you have to edit two separate websites to keep content up-to-date. With RWD, you edit one website and your visitors access one website with the same content formatted for the optimal experience on their device.

A Single URL

As mentioned above, RWD allows you to have a single URL – which means no redirects (faster loading times if the site is optimized for mobile) and only one URL to remember. Any way you can make it easier for visitors to access your site and get to content quickly, the better – and you’ll see a higher visitor return rate because of it.

Larger Audience

Finally, by having a responsive website, you open the doors to a larger number of potential visitors – increased traffic could mean more sales, followers, and marketing opportunities.

To recap, here are the 6 main reasons why you need a responsive website:

  1. RWD is scalable so your website will be future-proof
  2. Your website will be accessible, readable and user friendly across all devices
  3. Visitors will have access to the same content across all devices
  4. A single website you have to maintain/update
  5. A single website URL to remember with no redirects
  6. Your website will be available to a larger number of potential visitors

If you need a responsive website, the talented designers and web developers at Trent now specialize in RWD, and would be more than happy to talk to you. You can also read about our latest RWD venture with the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy’s new website.

If you have any questions, concerns or comments about RWD and/or what we can do for you, please feel free to leave a comment below.

Embracing Your Failures Can Lead To Success (Part 1)

Posted by: Marilyn Trent @ 2:07 pm | Date: June 19, 2013 | Comments Off on Embracing Your Failures Can Lead To Success (Part 1)
Filed under: All things business

Failure-FortuneEntrepreneurs are a rugged bunch but fear of failure still keeps many of us up at night. After 23 years of my own trials and triumphs as an entrepreneur I have come to the conclusion that failing, and learning to fail well, is a crucial part of succeeding in the long term.

I arrive at the same lesson for myself and my employees—the power of failure lies in that old adage “We learn from our mistakes.”  Not only do we need to learn from our mistakes, we need to embrace them. We need to add them up and say, “there are x amount of mistakes that were made last year, what did we learn from them and how did we capitalize on them?” That is success in my new way of thinking. Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed 999 times. I have successfully discovered 999 ways how to NOT make a light bulb.”

And that, my friend, is the attitude I look for in my employees and those that I choose to work with. Does this mean that the people I hire or work with are not highly competent? No, it means that they understand that in the creative business we need to take risks, think big and think different. All of that is only possible if you’re willing to take a few hits. Does this mean that our clients suffer? No, it means that our internal creative process at Trent Design has a lot of flexibility and openness during the ideation phase. Being able to experiment and push boundaries allows the design team to arrive at the best possible communication solution for each project.


REVOLVE Detroit: A Quick Turnaround for Local Retail

Posted by: Scott McCabe @ 10:23 am | Date: October 23, 2012 | Comments Off on REVOLVE Detroit: A Quick Turnaround for Local Retail
Filed under: All things business,Detroit
As part of the pilot run of its new REVOLVE retail stimulus program, the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation has been working with community organizations and building owners in Detroit’s West Village. It’s only been a few months since the program began but there are already new things popping up in West Village.
A few weeks ago I posted about how Trent Design had toured some vacant retail over in the West Village. The whole thing was an open house for potential REVOLVE applicants and we were there as part of our current contract with the DEGC. The event proved to be an interesting one and the spaces we saw were filled with potential. Now, less than a month and half later, they’re filled with customers.
Coffee and Donuts and PRAMU have taken up temporary residence on the ground floor of the Park Shelton building and are already offering their distinctive wares to delighted shoppers. PRAMU (The Pataphysical Research and Metachanic Union Local 313) sells Detroit themed apparel, antique furniture and pretty much anything that happens to strike their fancy. Coffee and Donuts is bit more straightforward but no less unique. They’ve taken a relatively simple concept (offering coffee and donuts) and turned it into a celebration of the city. The menu features several things produced in the city, including coffee roasted right here in Detroit. The store’s artisan donuts are baked by the owner, classically trained pastry chef and proud Detroiter Angela Foster. Four more additions to the Agnes St. retail scene will be announced this weekend.
Check out some before and after pictures of the old Harlequin Café below.

A few weeks ago I posted that Trent Design had toured some vacant retail spaces over in the West Village. It was during an open house being held by the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation for potential applicants to its new REVOLVE program. Trent Design was hired to create the name, logo, branding strategy and website for this dynamic new program. The tour event proved to be an interesting one and we all agreed that the spaces we saw were filled with potential. Now, less than a month and half later, they’re filled with customers.

REVOLVE and its partnerships are the biggest reason behind these new developments. It’s the DEGC’s new retail stimulus program and was launched recently in Detroit’s West Village. REVOLVE focuses on working with community organizations and building owners in the target area in order to help them find the right retail fit for their neighborhood. REVOLVE also assists in streamlining the application process for interested entrepreneurs so that once their application is approved they can move into as quickly as possible. REVOLVE and its partners showed off its potential by getting things rolling in the West Village and we are seeing the results in just a few short months.

Coffee and Donuts and PRAMU have taken up temporary residence on the ground floor of the Park Shelton building and are already offering their distinctive wares to delighted shoppers in the West Village. PRAMU (The Pataphysical Research and Metachanic Union Local 313) sells Detroit themed apparel, antique furniture and pretty much anything that happens to strike their fancy. Coffee and Donuts is bit more straightforward but no less unique. They’ve taken a relatively simple concept (offering coffee and donuts) and turned it into a celebration of the city. The menu features several things produced in the city, including coffee roasted right here in Detroit. The store’s artisan donuts are baked by the owner, classically trained pastry chef and proud Detroiter Angela Foster.

REVOLVE and its partners are far from done in the West Village: Four new full-time tenants have been secured for the remaining retail spots in the area and will be announced in grand fashion this weekend at the annual The Villages Fall Festival.

Before and After photos of the old Harlequin Café