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Ximda: Web . Mobile . Social Media Agile Design and Development Consulting Company ›› Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas (TX) http://ximda.com Ximda Web, Mobile and Social Media Agile Consulting Company Fri, 06 Jun 2008 18:34:45 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.5 en Why Ruby on Rails is an Ideal Web Development Enviroment… http://ximda.com/why-ruby-on-rails-is-an-ideal-web-development-enviroment/dallas-texas/60 http://ximda.com/why-ruby-on-rails-is-an-ideal-web-development-enviroment/dallas-texas/60#comments Fri, 06 Jun 2008 18:34:45 +0000 Callie Miller http://ximda.com/?p=60 SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: "Why Ruby on Rails is an Ideal Web Development Enviroment…", url: "http://ximda.com/why-ruby-on-rails-is-an-ideal-web-development-enviroment/dallas-texas/60" });]]> Ruby on rails is largely gaining ground in the web development world, due to its flexible and dynamic nature allowing for instant web development. In absolute synergy with the times, the ROR developers have been consistently gaining extra edge over other developers. Rails gives optimal utilization of highly effective web development strategy. The embrace of this winning feature leads to a Win-Win situation for both the clients and the company.

Benefits of Using Ruby on Rails for Web Development

  • Seamless integration: With Ruby on Rails there is nice integration between Active Record (the Rails persistence engine) and the model-view-controller (MVC) framework. For example, you can write three lines of code, create a table, and then immediately generate a user interface for that model.
  • Convention over configuration: Unlike Java frameworks that maintain massive, pervasive configuration files. “Rails” simplifies this method by assuming a common project directory structure and simple, common naming conventions for methods, classes, tables, and columns. As a result, Rails applications need a fraction of the configuration code of Java counterparts.
  • Low repetition: Don’t Repeat Yourself, or DRY, is a common buzzword within the Rails community. DRY means that information is located in a single unambiguous place. Rails framework developers seek to abstract out repetitive tasks with methods that often look like extensions of the Ruby language.
  • Immediate feedback: By using Rails, you can get immediate feedback in the earliest stages of the development process. You write a line of code and save, and your change is active when you load your next web page. Migrations can instantly show you the changes. This immediate feedback of this test-driven development shortens the testing stage of development and increases the speed to quick an application can be deployed.

Ximda was one of the first adopters of Ruby on Rails (RoR) in the Dallas Area. Our TagMyCity.com and ThingsICanDo.com projects are live models of our deep experience and knowledge in RoR web development. By creating a unique web based software solution tailored to fit your requirements, our web developers can make the most of your web presence.

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Web 2.0: Becoming a Mainstream Business Practice http://ximda.com/web-20-becoming-a-mainstream-business-practice/dallas-texas/59 http://ximda.com/web-20-becoming-a-mainstream-business-practice/dallas-texas/59#comments Mon, 02 Jun 2008 17:13:15 +0000 Callie Miller http://ximda.com/?p=59 SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: "Web 2.0: Becoming a Mainstream Business Practice", url: "http://ximda.com/web-20-becoming-a-mainstream-business-practice/dallas-texas/59" });]]> A few weeks ago I posted about Web 2.0 and Social Media that explained that social media is changing the way company’s can interact with potential customers and employees. The post also examined useful social media tools. Now that we know that Web 2.0 and social media are NOT web trends that will quickly be a thing of the past, but are a force that will continue to change the way companies do business. Web 2.0 is finally emerging as a mainstream player in the corporate business world. Companies are finally using Web 2.0 applications and social networks to spread news, connect, create buzz, interact and socialize with others.

While this lack of control startles upper management, businesses are already becoming aware of these new trends as the next Generation, Gen Y or the “Millennials,” as they are sometimes called, enters the workforce. Many forward-thinking managers have already integrated 2.0 tools both to solve present business problems and also to prepare their workplaces to meet the expectations and, more importantly, best utilize the skills of next-generation employees.

As companies continue and sometimes struggle to adapt to this new trend in order to deal with both their employees and customers, the business of social media consulting has gotten a boost as consultants teach the old school executives how to navigate in the new tech savvy world. And adapt they must because the number of companies who are already integrating Web 2.0 technologies into their businesses processes and I.T. infrastructure is on the rise. A study by Forrester on this topic points to hard numbers that back this up.

In fact, the adoption rate of Web 2.0 technologies by I.T. is actually stronger in enterprises than it is in SMBs, with 42% of enterprise businesses now utilizing Web 2.0 technologies like AJAX, Flash, Flex, etc. to 32% of SMBs. Additionally, there is growth in the areas of Web 2.0 app investing, with a number of companies investing, piloting, or considering investment in Web 2.0 technologies like RSS, podcasting, wikis, and blogs.

Ultimately, companies ignoring this change will be left behind, unable to compete on the new business stage. The numbers don’t lie: your customers have adapted and your competition has adapted - pay no heed to the new changes and prepare to you’re your market share. Does your company need a Web 2.0 crash course or just a Web 2.0 update?? If your business wants to keep up and even win over the the competition, contact us today for a free consultation to see how Ximda can increase your market share and gain a competitive advantage.

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Mobile: Mobile Media Optimization http://ximda.com/mobile-mobile-media-optimization/dallas-texas/58 http://ximda.com/mobile-mobile-media-optimization/dallas-texas/58#comments Tue, 27 May 2008 04:28:27 +0000 Callie Miller http://ximda.com/?p=58 SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: "Mobile: Mobile Media Optimization", url: "http://ximda.com/mobile-mobile-media-optimization/dallas-texas/58" });]]> In recent years you may have heard of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). In recent months you may have head of Social Media Optimization (SMO). As wireless and mobile media grow in use and popularity you will start to hear more about Mobile Media Optimization (MMO).

The purpose of Mobile Media Optimization (MMO) is to modify digital content so it is more visible & higher ranking in mobile media and mobile media search results as well as easier to tag, share, link to and republish.

Here are some key Rules of Mobile Media Optimization (MMO):

  • Put your best content first - Include your most important concepts phrases and keywords within the first 20 words (including title)
  • Optimize for short keyword phrases - Since it takes longer to type on a mobile device, mobile users often search for shorter phrases — so optimize your mobile site for 1 to 2 word keyphrases
  • Make mobile content bite sized - A good rule of thumb for editing text from print for use on the web is to cut it in half. Similarly, when moving/editing content from web to mobile media, try cutting it down in length or duration by at least 50%
  • Make mobile content tagging and bookmarking easy - Encourage and enable your mobile content users to tag and bookmark your content with the most popular social mobile media sites and tools. Add mobile bookmarking and tagging links and widgets to every page of your mobile site
  • Make mobile content sharing easy - Ensure you have send to a friend and forwarding options enabled for all of your mobile content
  • Make mobile content repurposing easy - Encourage your users to use your mobile content (mocontent) for their own mobile websites (mosite) or mobile blogs (moblog) mobile applications (moapp) and in any combination of the above (mobile mashups: momash) Ximda's mobile media consulting services can help your business reach the mobile audience and optimize the mobile media experience, contact us today for a free consultation.

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    With an abundance of shopping cart software out there, the right decision may be a bit frustrating to make. There are key essential features to compare and look for when making your shopping cart platform decisions.

    If you don’t know what features you’re going to need for your site just yet, just think about the products or services you’re selling and think about the properties of them. Do they have variants (colors, sizes, etc.), or kits, are they drop shipped? These types of questions will help identify what kind of features your business will need. Here are a few other high priority items related to eCommerce sites.

    Key Shopping Cart Platform Features:

    • Integration: This means orders placed on the website come directly through to ERP, with customer information available for CRM functionality, and of course real-time inventory and product information coming directly from the warehouse, and accounting and sales information all running out of the same system.
    • Extensibility: What we mean by extensible is that the solution allows for the integration of add-ons and third party tools. This allows for the platform to be more scalable and flexible to meet your needs.
    • One-Page Checkout: Even today many of the shopping cart platforms still don’t have this feature. Just by having a simplified one-page checkout without requiring users to register, shopping cart abandonment rates are dramatically reduced.
    • Design Flexibility: Usability and accessibility should be important factors when it comes to the design of any website, including eCommerce sites. What exactly does this mean? CSS based website designs allow your site to be more compliant with both of these standards. Many shopping cart platforms today use hard-coded table based designs that are often difficult to modify or are even impossible to design around a complete CSS framework.
    • Custom URL Rewriting: Most shopping cart platforms today included this feature, URL rewriting. In fact, having a platform that allows URL rewrting is a must. URL rewriting allows you to have “pretty” URLs, that your potential customers or users can understand. And they are “SEO friendly”, which can generate more traffic.
    • Custom Meta Info: Having the ability to have customized titles, and description tags for each page on your site is another must. Having the same title on every page is not advisable from a SEO standpoint.

    Our E-Commerce Consulting services can assist the success of your business by building powerful customized e-commerce applications that will enhance your customers’ online shopping experience and assure your business goals. If your ready to help increase sales, improve profitability, and ultimately, ROI through Ximda’s E-Commerce Consulting Services, Contact us today for a free web consultation.

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    SEO - Keyword Selection Mistakes to Avoid http://ximda.com/seo-keyword-selection-mistakes-to-avoid/dallas-texas/56 http://ximda.com/seo-keyword-selection-mistakes-to-avoid/dallas-texas/56#comments Sat, 17 May 2008 01:04:09 +0000 Callie Miller http://ximda.com/?p=56 SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: "SEO - Keyword Selection Mistakes to Avoid", url: "http://ximda.com/seo-keyword-selection-mistakes-to-avoid/dallas-texas/56" });]]> The success of your online marketing campaign depends on selecting appropriate keywords that your potential customers will be using. Whether you engage in organic SEO methods, Pay-Per-Click campaigns or a combination of the two, both depend on the thought and effort put into selecting your keywords. Choosing the wrong keywords can seriously diminish the effectiveness of your online campaign, while costing you unnecessary losses of money. Avoids these common mistakes to ensure a successful search marketing campaign..

    Common mistakes companies make when selecting keywords:

    • Targeting keywords people never use. Far too often companies select keywords that are so common in their corporate lives that they forget that not everyone uses corporate or insider jargon.
    • Overlooking keyword appropriateness. Keyword popularity should not be confused with keyword appropriateness. Keyword popularity doesn’t always mean that it will be popular for your company. For extremely competitive keywords the PPC bid prices will be higher and achieving a top organic rank position will require more work because more competitors are targeting that phrase.
      An alternate approach, especially for a small business would be to pursue more focused, more relevant terms that are less popular, but be better choices because they return a higher conversion rate.
    • Targeting single word keywords. In most cases, single terms are highly competitive and expensive, giving you a lower return rate than more focused phrases. The broadness of keywords rarely targets the right customers.
    • Not examining competitors. Many companies select keywords and do not consider how competitors are ranking for those phrases on the web. Put potential keywords into google, yahoo, or what ever search engine and see how competitors’ sites are ranking for the keywords or phrases.
    • Failing to review keywords after implementing campaign. Reviewing keyword performance is key to knowing if your campaign is working or not. Keywords that are not performing well might need to be tweaked or dropped. It could indicate they are inappropriate to your campaign and your money would be better spent on different terms.

    Starting your online marketing campaign right by selecting appropriate keywords will save your company time and money. Whether you are starting your online marketing campaign or need to revise your existing campaign, Ximda’s SEO consulting services can help you in achieving a successful online marketing strategy, for your free web analysis contact us

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    Web 2.0 and Social Media http://ximda.com/web-20-and-social-media/dallas-texas/55 http://ximda.com/web-20-and-social-media/dallas-texas/55#comments Mon, 12 May 2008 19:18:07 +0000 Callie Miller http://ximda.com/?p=55 SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: "Web 2.0 and Social Media", url: "http://ximda.com/web-20-and-social-media/dallas-texas/55" });]]> Getting the most out of web 2.0 and social media marketing campaigns. SEO and PPC can have a lot to do with increasing traffic through search engines while other online marketing tools can get your website visible to a specifically targeted audience. Using Social media marketing tools and practices can provide your business with the key to doors that were once locked to outsiders. The phenomenon of social media has become a mainstay in the way people communicate. Ex. Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn, and numerous others

    What is Social Media?

    Social Media or social networking is the term that has been given to a breed of online websites that facilitate greater interaction with an online audience. Social Media sites allow two-way interaction between online content owners and their audience. It enables website visitors to engage, interact and contribute to content. It also enables site owners to syndicate content out to other sites and online channels, and gives them the ability to easily aggregate relevant, related content from other sources into their own sites.

    Web 2.0 approach to Social Media

    Web 2.0 in this case is the term given to the tools and techniques that form the core of many Social Media sites and channels. Blogs, Social Bookmarking, Syndication, RSS, and Aggregation are some of the popular web 2.0 social networking tools that are used in a successful social media marketing campaign.

    Here are a few techniques that you can use to start embracing social media:

    • Blogging. Not only do blogs improve your SEO (which is always a good thing), they enable you to build a relationship with your visitors. Blogs are a great way of communicating with your audience. Not sure what to blog about? Blogging about news and info specific to your industry is always a good start
    • Networking. Sites such as LinkedIn, Plaxo and Facebook are amazing resources for getting in touch with people, generating leads, raising brand awareness and much more. They’re also becoming powerful business to business (B2B) tools, enabling companies to effortlessly communicate with their stakeholders.
    • Digging. Add social bookmarking tools to all of your news and product pages which will allow your visitors to easily bookmark and share your content with their own networks. Sites such as Digg and Del.icio.us are a good starting point.
    • Twittering. Twitter is a great way of keeping tabs on your friends, colleagues and workforce. Many people don’t get it initially, but once you do, you’ll be hooked! You can also feed(RSS) your blog to Twitter

    Social media is changing the way company’s can interact with potential customers. The web is no longer a faceless medium. Social media marketing allows you to become an authority in your market sector by giving you the ability to build trust By empowering your audience with the ability to contribute and become involved, you will gradually build a strong relationship which develops brand loyalty.

    Ximda’s social media consulting can immerse your company in the social media landscape by fully utilizing tools and techniques that meet your business goals. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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    Mobile: 2008 Year of the Mobile Web http://ximda.com/mobile-2008-year-of-the-mobile-web/dallas-texas/54 http://ximda.com/mobile-2008-year-of-the-mobile-web/dallas-texas/54#comments Thu, 08 May 2008 20:44:58 +0000 Callie Miller http://ximda.com/?p=54 SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: "Mobile: 2008 Year of the Mobile Web", url: "http://ximda.com/mobile-2008-year-of-the-mobile-web/dallas-texas/54" });]]> Are you ready to take your business mobile? It’s very likely that your audience is already waiting. The evolution of mobile devices has changed the way we do business and everyday life. Driven by device evolution, speed, and developing business models, the mobile phone is moving from being just a portable phone to becoming a mobile communication and media management platform.

    Apple, with its iPhone, has boosted the attention of the mobile industry and is forcing them to innovate. This means that the mobile experience is going to continue to improve, providing a better user experience for everyone regardless of using an iPhone, or some other “smart phone”. Better mobile experiences will eventually lead to increased mobile behavior.

    Google Android
    Google’s Android platform for mobile devices is capable of handling any type of Web content that a desktop computer’s Web browser can handle. That design opens up a countless number of possible browser-based services already available to PC users, including contact management, document creation, GPS direction services, and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) services. The goal of the open source model is to create “consumer choice” by making it easier for customers to use any wireless application they want.

    With backing from major handset providers (Motorola, Samsung and LG) and service carriers (Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T), Google’s Android will make the mobile web apart of the fabric of everyday life. Potentially changing the way we shop, bank, and interact as more and more companies provide mobile web solutions.

    “The data demonstrate that the mobile Internet can not only increase the frequency of visits to a Web site, but also grow the overall size of the pie,” said Jeff Herrmann, VP of mobile media at Nielsen Mobile, in a press release. “Publishers can now monetize their total cross-platform audience, and advertisers will better understand the efficiency and incremental value of mobile Web traffic.”

    According to Nielsen, leading sites with a mobile property could increase the size of their audience via the mobile Internet. As the mobile web gains traction and more users, a big chunk of online revenue could migrate to wireless interactions. Without a mobile web presence your company could be giving up sales and losing valuable customers to those with web mobile capabilities. Ximda’s mobile consulting services can give your company the freedom to be everywhere. Contact us today to grow your business from PC to mobile web.

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    SEO - PPC vs. Organic Results http://ximda.com/seo-ppc-vs-organic-results/dallas-texas/53 http://ximda.com/seo-ppc-vs-organic-results/dallas-texas/53#comments Mon, 05 May 2008 21:36:59 +0000 Callie Miller http://ximda.com/?p=53 SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: "SEO - PPC vs. Organic Results", url: "http://ximda.com/seo-ppc-vs-organic-results/dallas-texas/53" });]]> Pay per click (PPC) is an advertising model used on search engines, advertising networks, and content websites/ blogs, where you only pay when a user actually clicks on an ad to visit the your website. PPC campaigns involve bidding on keywords that predict your target market will use as search terms when they are looking for your product or service.

    Organic SEO (search engine optimization), is the methods used to acquire unpaid, algorithm-driven results of any particular search engine, or “natural” search engine results.

    Both of these options can be used together to improve your online marketing campaign to attract new visitors to your website. Where SEO provides a great long-term solution to meet business objectives, PPC usually makes short-term gains.

    Variables to consider when choosing the right mix for your business:

    • Time
    • Cost
    • ROI

    The biggest benefit of pay per click is the fact that it will provide you with an instant boost of visitors or traffic to your website, which can be great for a short term campaign. But in the long run, organic search listings generate a higher ROI than PPC programs. Trends show that more sales result from organic search engine listings than paid site listings.

    Not only are organic listings longer lasting than paid listings, they’re more valuable. Research shows that 70 % of search engine users will click on organic listings, while the remaining 30 % click on paid listings. Another study found that 6 out of 7 sales resulting from search engines originated in the organic search listings. Also users are more likely to trust websites naturally occurring in
    top ranking positions, therefore natural SEO can be of great importance in generating a higher ROI.

    Fortunately we don’t have to pick one or the other…what’s really important is getting the right mix of both. PPC click may be a great option to use while you are boosting your SEO campaign in order to fill gaps where your site is not naturally visible yet. If your business can handle increasing sales and gaining a greater ROI then for your free web analysis contact us

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    Social Media - Facebook Redesigning Profile http://ximda.com/social-media-facebook-redesigning-profile/dallas-texas/52 http://ximda.com/social-media-facebook-redesigning-profile/dallas-texas/52#comments Sat, 03 May 2008 04:02:16 +0000 Callie Miller http://ximda.com/?p=52 SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: "Social Media - Facebook Redesigning Profile", url: "http://ximda.com/social-media-facebook-redesigning-profile/dallas-texas/52" });]]> Facebook is currently in the process of a major profile redesign. While the updated profile design will not be released to users for weeks to come, Facebook has made available a concept mock for the new profile page. The previously combo Feed/Wall tab has been redesigned into separate tabs.

    Facebook profile redesign preview

    According to Facebook’s Profile Preview team, the reasoning for the changes to tabs are as follows:

    • Feed: Previously called the ‘Wall’ tab, this tab has a combination of your Mini-Feed stories, as well as your wall posts.
    • Info: Previously called the ‘About’ tab, this tab has more static content, such as your ‘About Me’ section and personal info.
    • Wall: This tab is new, and is simply your Wall as you currently know it. Only wall posts show up here.
    • Photos: This hasn’t changed. This is just a tab that consists of your tagged photos as well as your photo albums.

    More importantly what will this change mean to developers? Will having more tabs = less room for apps, Ximda sure hopes not. Facebook apps are serving the highly-targeted, highly-relevant, and highly-personal world of micro networks which can be a powerful asset for social media marketing and branding….I guess only time will tell, the updated profile designs are still not fully finalized yet.

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    SEO - The Importance of Top Page Ranking http://ximda.com/seo-the-importance-of-top-page-ranking/dallas-texas/51 http://ximda.com/seo-the-importance-of-top-page-ranking/dallas-texas/51#comments Fri, 02 May 2008 09:21:43 +0000 Callie Miller http://ximda.com/?p=51 SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: "SEO - The Importance of Top Page Ranking", url: "http://ximda.com/seo-the-importance-of-top-page-ranking/dallas-texas/51" });]]> The higher your position in page ranking is becoming increasingly important in today’s competitive landscape. Having a top listing for a competitive keyword increases not only traffic and company visibility but more importantly profits.

    According to an iProspects 2008 study, 68% of search engine users click a search result within the first page of results, and a full 92% of search engine users click a result within the first three pages of search results. The importance of appearing high in the search results has steadily increased over time.

    Important Search Engine Results Page Statistics:

    • 50% of users click on the first organic link to appear
    • 250% more users click on the organic listings before the Pay Per Click Ads
    • About 80% of users looking to purchase something start with search engines

    As users move down the search engine results page, fewer clicks get distributed to each listing. Just like a newspaper where most user’s concentration is focused primarily above the fold. The “fold” is represented by the viewable area in your browser window without needing to scroll down the page.

    Enquiro Eye Tracking Studies proposes how web searchers visually scan the search results shown on Google pages and which areas on the Google web page tend to get the maximum attention. .

    google eyetracking

    General trends from map suggest:

    • Most attention focused on the upper left corner of the search results
    • Attention decreases the further down your eyes move on the page
    • Lack of attention on ads in the right column

    Today it is more imperative than ever for your organization’s website to be found within the top few search results, or the first page of search results, or at least within the first three pages of search results. Whether this is accomplished through optimization of organic searches, or through paid search advertisements, the need is undeniable. Ximda’s SEO consulting services can guide you every step of the way in gaining your page ranking position, for your free web analysis contact us

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