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.

Midtown Makeover

Posted by: Scott McCabe @ 2:29 pm | Date: August 14, 2012 | Comments Off on Midtown Makeover
Filed under: All things business,Design,Detroit,Websites

Have you been to Midtown Detroit recently? If not then you’re in for a surprise. Ongoing efforts to reinvigorate the neighborhood have brought in a steady stream of new businesses and residents. It has become a hotspot for new small business ventures and enjoys a building occupancy rate of over 95%. Add some of Detroit’s greatest cultural institutions and the result is a vibrant urban ecosystem, one that hosts an enjoyably eclectic mix of retail, restaurants and entertainment venues.

One of the key players in Midtown’s current economic revival is the aptly named Midtown Detroit, Inc. MDI is the result of a merger between the University Cultural Center Association (UCCA) and New Center Council. Like its predecessors it is a 501(c)(3) non-profit community development organization. Given its new identity and larger pool of resources MDI needed a new, more contemporary website and wanted Trent Design to create it for them. Given its positive role in the community we were more than happy to help.

Original UCCA Midtown site: Somebody over there clearly likes russet

Original UCCA Midtown site: Somebody over there clearly likes russet

The new MDI website was redesigned from the ground up; we restructured the existing information architecture, transferred the site to a more powerful CMS, added new features and gave the front end an updated aesthetic that more accurately reflects the open yet urban feel of the Midtown area.

The new site is designed to be a convenient online resource for anyone interested in Midtown Detroit, especially tourists and young professionals. The homepage layout is clean and inviting. It sports a large image slider that showcases compelling visuals of what Midtown has to offer. It also has a news feed that lets visitors see at a glance how the area is moving forward. The website’s calendar of events, property listings, news and interactive local area directory are all searchable and easily accessed from the homepage. Other sections of the site provide information on available development resources, ongoing community programs and several of the more prominent institutions and annual events in Midtown.

The new MDI site: Less russet, more usability

The new MDI site: Less russet, more usability

Being able to put our skills to work for an organization that does so much good for the community was definitely a feel good experience for us at Trent Design. Have to admit though, all the positive feedback they’ve gotten about their new, fully featured website feels pretty nice too.

Check out MDI’s new site here.

Raising the (Steel) Bar: A Business to Business Website Re-imagined

Posted by: Scott McCabe @ 11:16 am | Date: April 3, 2012 | Comments Off on Raising the (Steel) Bar: A Business to Business Website Re-imagined
Filed under: All things business,Detroit,Websites

Eaton Steel Bar Company New Home Page Design

Eaton Steel Bar Company’s New Home Page Design

Nowadays every business needs an online presence, even if it’s just your basic brochureware site. Eaton Steel came to us because they wanted more. They wanted a website that captured the essence of their company and worked just as hard as they do to make their customers’ lives easier.

With these criteria in mind we envisioned a fairly straightforward site for the client. Its content would focus on Eaton Steel’s products and services. Short, sweet and to the point. Of course, this was before we had a thorough understanding of everything Eaton Steel does for its clients: luckily that’s what discovery meetings are for.

Discovery meetings are part of the immersion phase that we go through for all our projects. It’s an opportunity to research, interview and fact find everything we can about a company and their culture. We’ll also bring the key players to the table during this period in order to discover how they envision the project helping their business. The insight we gain into the less obvious aspects of our client’s business during this stage lets us build a more robust product for them that enhances their sales and customer service process.

What we discovered about Eaton Steel is that they have always gone that extra mile for their customers. The company started off in 1953 as a steel brokerage that excelled at getting their customers what they needed when they needed it.  Their growth since then has been designed around expanding and improving what they can do for their clients. It’s been the key to their success and informs everything they do.

Providing superior customer service has always been a cornerstone of Eaton Steel’s business model and was exactly the sort of thing that their new website would need to emphasize. To do this we added a ‘Solutions’ section that goes over all the things that Eaton Steel does to optimize their clients’ steel supply chains. We also produced a short video that talks about the additional business lines that Eaton Steel has added over the years in order to better accommodate their customers in their steel supply chain process. A second video that we shot for the ‘About Us’ section talks about their history and highlights the company’s “what else can we be doing for our customers?” mentality.

The client trusted us to use our design and communication skills to their advantage and the result is an innovative and dynamic website that represents their company in an authentic and genuine way. It has been a great partnership for everyone involved.

“Everyone at ESBC is extremely pleased with the new website. We have received great feedback from our customers and internally.” – Craig Cipa, Eaton Steel, Inside Sales Manager

Visit the site and let us know what you think.