25% of Mobile Apps are Abandoned after a Single Use

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Apple’s iTunes App Store is home to over 1.5 million apps and Google Play hosts over 2 million, but the number of apps that actually get installed and used on consumers’ devices is still quite small. We already knew that people only interacted with a small handful of third-party apps on a regular basis, and now, according to a new study on mobile app usage, we learn that about one in four mobile users only use an app once.

Based on data from analytics firm Localytics, and its user base of 37,000 applications, user retention has seen a slight increase year-over-year from 34 percent in 2015 to 38 percent in 2016.

However, just because this figure has recovered a bit, that doesn’t mean the numbers are good. Instead, what this indicates is that 62 percent of users will use an app less than 11 times.

Says the report, “this is not a sustainable business model.”

These days, 23 percent launch an app only once – an improvement over last year, but only slightly. For comparison’s sake, only 20 percent of users were abandoning apps in 2014.

On iOS, user retention saw some slight improvements. The percentage of those only opening apps once fell to 24 percent from 26 percent last year, and those who return to apps 11 times or more grew to 36 percent from 32 percent in 2015.

In particular, apps in the middle stage of their growth (between 15,000 and 50,000 monthly active users), saw the strongest lift with retention and abandonment, the report also noted. This is attributed to these apps’ use of push notifications, in-app messages, email, and remarking. While push notifications have always been cited as a way to retain users, in-app messages also have a notable impact – these messages improve users retention to 46 percent, the study found.

17 percent will only use app once if they see an in-app message, but those not using messages see 26 percent of users abandoning the app after one session.

Though some minor improvements were seen, the data overall is troubling as it what it means to be an app developer today. It also comes following a series of reports on the app economy’s pitfalls, from the saga detailing the downturn for one top app developer, Pixite, which saw revenues decline by a third last year, to a more detailed analysis of why the app economy is broken, citing issues like discovery, lack of disk space, the installation process, and more.

Even investors are shying away from app companies. As Union Square Ventures’ Fred Wilson wrote late last year, “it’s not an easy time to build consumer facing mobile companies. It is not an easy time to invest in them either.”

The good news – if there is any here – is that the problem with apps has led to new ideas about how apps should work.

Google, for example, is thinking of overhauling the whole installation process with its debut of “Instant Apps,” announced at its I/O event earlier this month. Instead of requiring users to seek out apps, download them and install them, Instant Apps will allow users to launch apps almost immediately, just by clicking a URL.

But given that Google is only one half of the smartphone ecosystem’s duopoly, Apple also needs to consider new approaches as well or risk losing developer interest in building for its platforms. (So far, it has been addressing the problem with the release of new guides and how-to’s for developers, and by launching app development centers in Europe and India, for example.)

There are some early suggestions that the app downturn may already be having some impact – another new report out now indicates developers haven’t been as interested in writing apps for Apple Watch or tvOS, noting that for every 1,000 iOS apps, there are 10 tvOS apps and 1 Watch app released.

Of course, those figures are also respective to the Watch and Apple TV’s platforms’ reach. But the App Store gold rush of earlier days just isn’t present, as it’s more difficult to make money from apps and the cost to acquire loyal users has grown from around $1.50 to $2.25 in 2014 to $2.50 and sometimes even as high as $4.00 in the past year.

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Top Ten Spring Cleaning Tips For Your Business

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We’re on the tail end of winter, and most of us are anxiously looking forward to the beautiful weather and warm sunshine that goes along with spring. However, there's one task that comes with the new season that most of us aren’t always that excited about. I’m talking about spring cleaning.

Regardless of your feelings on cleaning in general, your business can benefit from spring cleaning as well as your home. If you are a small to mid sized business, spring is the perfect time to implement some long awaited changes and improvements.


1. Update Your Company Website

If your business website is overdue for an overhaul, spring is a great time to bite the bullet and get it done. It doesn’t need to be an extensive teardown, and often just some cleanup and organization is all that’s required. This could be tweaking the information on your front page or streamlining the overall design for a cleaner look.

Most consumers are at least checking shopping and comparison websites before they make a purchase, so it’s crucial that your site be both friendly and straightforward to navigate. For starters, avoid posting every single detail about your company on the frontpage. Instead, link topics to a variety of internal pages. Save the front page for what a new visitor needs to see within 3 seconds to determine what your business is all about and for new products and services for returning clients. In addition, be on the lookout for outdated information, broken links and incorrect contact information. A website that hasn't been updated is a clear signal to potential clients and customers to go elsewhere.


2. Harness the Cloud

Today, some people might still be asking themselves, “What the heck is the Cloud?” Or maybe they haven’t had the time to research the various ways that it could transform their business. Either way you are already using the technology whenever you use your mobile phone to post a picture, access email and text with friends. For your business, cloud technology provides flexibility to how you and your customers interact with your business data.

One of the biggest promises of cloud technology is having the ability to access remote files and information from any device from anywhere at any time. We exist in a mobile world and we can't always be tethered to desktop machines. Gone are the dark ages when files only existed on one server and had to accessed onsite. Today, your business need to be able to handle remote worker needs and support offsite or informal work environments. Having the ability to access company files and materials is crucial for modern workers. Cloud computing makes it easy for staff to work efficiently outside of the workplace and for business owners to run their operation at any time of day, from anyplace.


3. Go Mobile

A static web site is no longer viable for a business website. Responsive sites are specifically designed for visitors to quickly access content from mobile devices. Older static or non-responsive sites are difficult or impossible to navigate on mobile devices and end with consumer frustration. Studies show that site visitors are more likely to go to a competitor site that is mobile optimized, rather than wait to get access to your site via a desktop device. Not sure if your site is responsive and mobile ready? Google offers a free Mobile-Friendly Test.

If your site isn't mobile-friendly, you're losing sales. In 2014 not being able to handle mobile traffic cost business owners an estimated $1.1 trillion in annual revenues. In 2015, mobile sales grew an astounding 630 percent, yet more than 75 percent of existing sites are not mobile-optimized.


4. Improve Technology

If your finances can handle it, spring can be a great time to invest in upgraded equipment that speeds up work processes and reduces labor. Capital purchases are often delayed during tighter budgets and the resulting outdated equipment will create bottlenecks in your business work flow.

To spring clean your business, replace slow and outdated computers, displays and other older technology.  Dodgy equipment can easily slow or halt production by malfunctioning at the worst times (think POS system crashes) and causing your business to lose sales and customers. In addition to hardware, make sure your software is upgraded to the latest version. Otherwise, your business may be vulnerable to viruses and scams, incompability with other vendors and slower work processes.


5. Take Inventory

During spring, homeowners take on the dreaded garage cleanout or closet organization project. Business owners also need to stop and take inventory. Spend some time seeing what equipment and supplies you need and what items need to be eliminated.

Spring is one of the best times to go through your existing product inventory and get rid of broken, outdated, or expired stock.  Use this time to make your company a more efficient business, as your products and services are your bread and butter. Often by clearing out old inventory, you can increase the number of product options for your customers. This can have a substantial positive effect on sales. Take this opportunity to investigate new vendor sources and products as well. Now is one the best times to expand your inventory lineup due to the consumer expectation of new products lines being launched in the spring.


6. Clear Your Email Inbox

When emails messages get ignored and begin to pile up, it can become a sticking point that saps your energy and encourages procastination. A lot of it may be just spam email that just needs to be trashed anyway, but you’re probably missing out on critical messages buried deep in that unread inbox.

If you feel that you are being buried by ever increasing mountains of spam, consider that an estimated 248 million emails are sent out each and every day and at least 60% can be considered junk email. It's a problem that's not going away anytime soon, so it's time to enlist technology to help you maintain your sanity.  If you're having trouble deciding what’s junk and what’s mission critical, perhaps it’s time for an inbox intervention. This doesn’t mean sacrificing an entire day just to trash all your junk email; take 10 to 15 minutes at the start of your workday to scan your emails and move them to folders based on clients and priority. Most email hosting services offer automatic spam blocking at the host level and and tools like email searches, labels and filters to help you stay in control of your inbox.


7. Strengthen your Security

Criminals and other black hats are always on lookout for their next online victims, so it's a good idea to periodically audit your security procedures, hardware and software. Often smaller businesses are targeted by hackers due to the fact smaller companies lack the resources and staff to properly implement strong security protocols.

What does your small business have that the bad guys want so bad?  Consider all the confidential information you take in, like customer contact information and credit card numbers or other critical data. True the payout is probably going to be bigger when larger businesses are targeted, but the sad truth is it is often simpler to break into your smaller business, since it's likely your online security is weaker. How can you protect your business? You can start by making sure your antivirus and firewall software is in place and working. Also, audit your various software systems to verify all security patches and program updates are installed; often an unpatched system allows attackers into your network beyond the initial point of entry.


8. Employee Evaluations

Traditionally spring has been a time for renewal in both body and spirit. Not only does the apply to you the business owner, but to your valued employees and staff. Spring is a good time for business owners to take stock of their employee base and their business performance, and to reward hard workers after what was probably a stressful year.

Conduct employee evaluations and recognize those who deserve attention for their efforts, and think of alternatives for those who aren't a good organization fit. Spring is the perfect time to review your budget for the purpose of allocating funds for employee bonuses if it is appropriate. An efficient way to handle employee reviews is to meet with your department heads and define what performance goals you expect from employees of each department. Next meet with each staff member and layout your plan for that employee to help the organization achieve those specific measurable results.


9. Enhance Social Media

We've already talked about having a modern website that is responsive and mobile ready, but you also need to make sure your social media presence is up to date and being maintained on a frequent basis. Social media is a cost effective way to engage with your existing clients and raise awareness of your brand.

Used correctly, social media can be a great way to attract new customers. Depending on your industry, you’ll want to identify the correct social media channel to connect with your customers. Social media can bolster your company’s search engine visibility while at the same time keeping your customers informed.


10. Get Cleaning

Did you think you would make it through the list without some actual cleaning? Yes, you need to take the time (or hire a professional service) to clean and organize the work areas. Stacks of stored equipment, files and other junk are something you and your staff need to navigate each day. Dirty equipment and work areas contribute to employee dissatisfaction and decreased production. A clean and organized office will restore and boost energy you may not notice that you lost.

Newsflash: your computer hardware and devices are likely much dirtier and gross than you imagine. Spend a few minutes to clean your keyboards, LCD screens and replace the batteries in your wireless and Bluetooth devices. Use compressed air for computer cases and specialty swipes make for safe LCD screen cleaning. Inspect your printers and verify they are printing cleanly and the mechanisms are free of stray paper and other debris. Also check your stock of printer cartridges and save money by ordering replacement online instead of the local mall office supply store.



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4 Simple Ways to Harden your Company Website Against Hack Attacks

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If you manage your company's web presence, one of your primary concerns should be site security. A hack can not only lead to data loss, but can also impact your search engine rankings when your site becomes a hacker controlled spam machine. Over the last 12 months Google has recorded a 190% spike in the number of websites being compromised by hackers in the San Francisco Bay Area alone. While there isn't a 100% effective solution to keep criminals from accessing your site, you can reduce the chance of a succesful attack on your company's website.

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Why Google Split Itself into a Brand New Company

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The undisputed titan of online search is transforming itself into a brand new company called Alphabet. On August 10th, 2015 Google CEO and cofounder Larry Page stated that Google will be spun off from its various other endeavors, such as the up and coming driverless car. These other projects, along with Google itself, will be under the new umbrella company simply called Alphabet.

Mr. Page will assume the role of CEO of Alphabet, Google co-founder Sergey Brin will be the President, and Google Executive Director Eric Schmidt will assume the role of Executive Chairman for Alphabet. Going forward, Google is now a subsidary of Alphabet and will appoint Sundar Pichai, current head of Android, Chrome and Apps to CEO.  Got all that?


Umm ... So Why Rock the Boat?


The reasons for the sudden shift haven't been made clear as of yet, but I imagine it's an effort to keep on innovating. While under the Google brand, Page and Brin were hoping to literally change the world with projects like the self-driving autos, Google Glass, glucose-detecting contact lenses and even the quest for the foundation of youth. 

Strictly from a business point of view, it's really hard to quantify the benefits for each of these experimental projects to shareholders and investors. Be that as it may, by breaking off the core business from new and unproven projects, Larry and Sergey can keep on being trailblazers while CEO Sundar Pichai can concentrate on maintaining and growing the core business.


“Sergey and I are seriously in the business of starting new things. Alphabet will also include our X lab, which incubates new efforts like Wing, our drone delivery effort. We are also stoked about growing our investment arms, Ventures and Capital, as part of this new structure.”
Larry Page


Generally, the new structure of the companies keeps the Google brand from being part of unproven ventures, but still remain the main income generator of the overall umbrella organization. This would allow greater risks to be taken without interfering with the companies bread and butter, the Google Search product.  Case in point, Google+ could have met a much quieter death and be retired with little fanfare or damage to the companies overall brand. 

Many Search Engine Optimization experts say Google+ failed because everyone wanted it to be a part of search rather than just a social network. If the new company Alphabet ever considers buying social network to replace it, you can bet your last dollar it will not make an appearance under the Google brand.


How this Affects You the Consumer


For the end user, barely anything changes.  The new company will even keep on trading under the name GOOG.

Google will make the change over to Alphabet in the not so distant future — it hasn't been revealed when this move will actually happen.  As a side note, you would assume that the new company would use the domain Alphabet.com.   Only problem is, Alphabet.com has already been registered by German automaker BMW, so the new Alphabet domain name is going to be abc.xyz.  Kind of crazy that the Internet's leading search company doesn't feel the need to use a .com domain anymore. To quote Bill Murray in the film Ghostbusters, "... Cats and dogs living together, end of the world type stuff."  Indeed.

Page and Brin may have won the Search Engine Wars, and it will be certainly interesting to see what direction they take next. As Page stated recently, "Google is not a traditional organization. We don't expect to turn into one."




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3 Web Design Concepts Every Business Owner Should Know

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Let's say you run a Small or Medium sized business and that you need a new company website.  You aren't big enough to justify an inhouse web designer, but you still want a website that projects a professional image and that will help grow your business.

One of the more frustrating issues you're going to face is that the terms used to describe common web technologies are basically Greek (or Geek) to outsiders. To exacerbate matters, there are some unscrupulous Web Designers and Developers out there who will think you are an easy mark just because you are unfamiliar with concepts such as Content Management Systems (CMS), Responsive Design or the HTML5 standard.

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Gmail Messages Can Now Self Destruct

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No, Tom Cruise of the Impossible Mission Force will not personally fly to your office and smash your router while hanging upside down from the ceiling.  Instead a Chrome Browser extension called Dmail will allow you to specify in minutes, hours and days how long a recipient can view your message.  Pretty Nifty if you ask me.

If you are in the habit of sending sensitive messages across unencrypted channels and crossing your fingers, this could be just your thing.  If you're like the rest of us and sometimes *ahem* regret the late night messages you might have sent, this could also be your thing.

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8 Social Media Blunders Most Companies Make

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Social Media Marketing is the key to your business competing with larger companies; it is one place in business where you can level the playing field for little cost and beat the big guys at their own game.

Social Media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin present new and novel ways to connect directly with your customers. Whether you're a brand new startup or a established business, Social Media should now be a big part of your Online Marketing Plan. Everytime a new customer interacts with your company they are forming a thumb nail impression of what you are all about; you have very little time to grab their attention and get them interested in your products and services.

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The Top 10 Mistakes in Small Business Web Design

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Perhaps I should have called this "One Hundred and One Ways to Kill your Website" because there are so many different ways to screw up web design. Anyway, to make things simple, lets just stick with the Top Ten just like the old David Letterman show. I promise if you keep these basic principles in mind, your site will be head and shoulders above a good number of your competition.

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How to Avoid Scams and Spam on Linkedin

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I view myself as a fairly productive writer of online content actually worth reading (IMHO). I write frequently on my site blog, and contribute a wide range of articles to industry publications and also to my varied private and public interests.

I have gained 6100+ connections on Linkedin and the company noticed and has invited me to participate in several pilot and beta programs. Good on them and I appreciate the opportunity to further my network influence.

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How to Choose a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Company

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In life, we all like to think we're getting our money's worth.  The same goes for your business, as constantly paying out fees and not receiving much in return could land you in a tight financial spot pretty fast. Be that as it may, in terms of hiring a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Company, things also can expensive and confusing fast.  Here's how to avoid getting taken for a ride.

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California Wines have Dangerous Levels of Poisonous Arsenic

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Some very well known brands of California wine have been found to contain high amounts of arsenic, as indicated by a suit filed Thursday in a Northern California court.

The class action suit alleges that many wineries are ignoring California state laws by intentionally creating, branding and distributing arsenic tainted table wines and neglecting to educate the public about any potential dangers. The suit also seeks relief for additional damages and a court order requiring wineries to revise their production methods to reduce arsenic levels.

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Your Facebook Page is Still Not a Replacement for a Business Website

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Recently a new client asked me if they should even bother with having a website for their San Francisco Bay Area business. I was kinda surprised to get pitched this question — to me, having a website for a business has been an absolute requirement for the last decade or so. When I asked how they thought their business could get along without some sort of a web presence, the answer essentially was, "We are getting all of our leads from our Facebook Business Page." At that point, I strongly encouraged management to investigate getting at least a basic site up immediately and not to depend soley on the whims of Mark Zuckerberg and company. For my money, EVERY business needs a well built website with effective SEO, and here's why:

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Are You Still Using "Doorway" Pages for SEO? Google would like a Word ...

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Google is reporting they are instituting yet another tweak to their algorithms to better identify and downgrade search engine rankings for sites still utilizing outdated "doorway page" SEO tactics.

Doorway pages are an old Search Engine Optimization trick designed to rank multiple pages within the search engines.  The idea being more traffic will be generated for a target site. Unfortunately, these supposedly unique pages ultimately lead to the same destination or website instead of unique web properties.

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Google Now Powers Yahoo Search. Wait, What?

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It's true.  Yahoo has owned up to "testing" an integration with Google search results.  Previous to sharp eyes uncovering this unholy alliance, no official announcements were made by Google or Yahoo regarding the inclusion of Google results in the Yahoo Search engine.

Previously Yahoo was drawing its search engine results exclusively from the Microsoft Bing platform.  When Yahoo re-inked their contract with Microsoft in April of this year, they added a clause allowing the inclusion of competitive results.  Enter the Google.

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Are you ready for the new Chinese Ecommerce Market?

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E-commerce is rapidly becoming a big deal in China, and there are now two titans battling it out for predominance in that market: The Yahoo-backed Alibaba, and the youthful upstart JD.com. Previously we have seen chinese ecommerce company Baidu.com rise to prominence. This venture was backed by Japan based Rakuten and seemed to be a slam dunk, but so far has failed to meet investor goals.  A new partnership with Tencent and Wanda may be the spark that this company needs for global success.

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Google Futzs with the Secret Sauce but not with Panda

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Recently, I have been hearing a lot of chatter on Search Engine Optimization sites and with Bay Area Web Developers regarding a proposed Google overhaul to its search algorithm. Google has gone ahead and said that an overhaul was due for the algorithm but this is NOT a change specifically to the Panda algorithm. What's more, Google has said to expect more changes to SEO practices as they keep tweaking the secret sauce and improving search quality.

Google had this to say:

"This isn't a change to the Panda algorithm.  We are constantly making improvements to the search engine algorithms and the web is also constantly changing. We’re going to continue to build on improvements across our brand to deliver the best user experience  ... "

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San Francisco Bay Area Website Design Company

San Francisco Bay Area Website Design

Motta Industries LLC is an Oakland San Francisco Bay Area Web Design Company. We specialize in Responsive Web Design (RWD), Content Management Systems (CMS), Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Ecommerce Solutions.

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