FTx 360 is a full-service digital marketing agency that offers the most advanced digital marketing solutions for businesses of all industries, and that’s not all. Our digital marketing specialists are also committed to serving the greater marketing community by publishing informative articles every week.
Our July articles covered the importance of choosing the best social media platforms to market your brand, the how-tos of writing content that attracts Google bots, and the measures business owners must go to ensure their websites are both ADA compliant and mobile friendly.
In case you missed them, we’ve put together brief summaries of each article that you can reference as you market your business online. Just remember, nothing beats reading the originals, so we encourage you to check out the full-length articles if you want to get the most out of our digital marketing strategies, tips, and techniques.
Ensuring that social media marketing works for your business will depend on choosing the right platforms. Each social media platform offers users a different experience. Each platform provides brands with advantages and disadvantages. And each social platform must be carefully analyzed for its business marketing potential.
The first article we published this July compared the benefits of five major social media platforms—Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube—to help readers determine which ones will best serve their marketing goals.
A veteran social media platform that has been around longer than any other social platform, Facebook is by no means passé. Yes, there are newer, more trendy platforms out there, but in terms of ideal user demographics and the ability to connect businesses with new customers, Facebook remains an excellent choice for social media marketing. Bottom line, Facebook is an excellent platform for B2C companies that want to post micro-content to increase brand awareness, gain followers, stimulate social engagement, and convert followers into customers.
More so than any other social media platform, Instagram is all about the visual. As an ideal platform to post photos, images, graphics, and viral memes, Instagram has taken over and dominated the social media marketing space for businesses that are capable of portraying their products and services using images and little else. Instagram really isn’t a listening and learning platform. In terms of fostering conversations, it pales in comparison to Facebook, but that doesn’t mean this platform is any less valuable. Bottom line, Instagram is best for B2C retail companies, especially when those companies primarily sell on an eCommerce platform.
Twitter is an information-spreading platform that serves news outlets and organizations that either cover or contribute to current events. Twitter tends to be politically charged and entire debates can unfold within a single thread of Tweets. That being said, certain business owners can get a lot out of using Twitter for their social media marketing. Since Twitter is a real-time social media platform, every Tweet you post is equivalent to sending a group text message to the entire world. Thanks to hashtags and the immediacy of the platform itself, Twitter offers businesses a way to engage with their audiences in real time, having complete conversations. Bottom line, Twitter will serve B2B and B2C businesses that want to spread information, comment on current events, and elevate their professional authority within their industry.
LinkedIn has had a slow evolution in terms of joining the ranks of well-known social media sites. Considered the world’s largest professional network on the internet, only in recent years has LinkedIn been regarded as an authentic “social media” platform. It wasn’t until LinkedIn provided newsfeeds and the ability for users to post blogs and other content that it joined the ranks of social media. Initially, LinkedIn was used strictly as an employment-oriented online platform that connected professionals and aided job seekers in obtaining the best positions on the open job market. Bottom line, LinkedIn is best for B2B companies that can commit to regularly publishing informative blog articles. If one of your social media marketing goals is to elevate your brand’s expert standing within your industry, then using LinkedIn is for you.
YouTube exclusively offers video content, though some channels publish audio-only files with a static image that fills the video field. When an internet user wants to watch video content, YouTube is the social media platform they go to, hands down. In this sense, YouTube has virtually no competition, not even from Vimeo. If you’re prepared to create professional-looking video content, then using YouTube for your social media marketing could prove more effective than all other platforms combined. Bottom line, when it comes to which social media platform businesses should use to publish video content, no platform compares to YouTube. Whether you own a B2B or B2C business, if you want to reach a massive audience using video content, then you must publish on YouTube, period.
This article also went into great depth, helping readers ascertain their social media marketing goals, so be sure to read the full article if you want to learn more.
The next July article we published on our blog informed readers about how to write web content that will engage customers while pleasing Google’s algorithms. All digital content that’s published on your website has the potential to help elevate your website’s search engine ranking on Google. In our article, we defined the characteristics of “well written” content and described how to write content that will satisfy both consumers and Google bots.
Your business is unique, which means your customers are unique individuals with unique needs. This means that the content you write should speak to your audience, so bear the following in mind to get the most out of the content you write:
Write your content as though you are speaking to your ideal customer, one-on-one, in their language with their vocabulary, remaining mindful of their interests and pain points. Use the following checklist as you write:
In order to compose effective content that Google bots will love just as much as consumers, keep the following pointers in mind as you write:
Finally, we examined how robots.txt files can help Google crawl your web pages, and we also went over black hat SEO, cloaking, and how to avoid these major Google violations. We strongly encourage you to read the full article to stay informed.
In our third July article, we tackled the ins and outs of transforming your business website so that it meets the accessibility standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Currently, there are over 60 million Americans who are living with a disability. Physical disabilities that affect a person’s ability to use a website include:
You can take action today and work towards meeting the ADA’s compliance standards by making the following simple changes to your website:
For a comprehensive assessment of where your website stands in terms of ADA compliance, use the following tools to check the accessibility level of your website:
Put very simply, in order to meet ADA compliance standards, your website must be:
A perceivable website is a site that offers both visual and auditory options for every element that appears throughout the website. For example, a blog article will also offer an MP3 playbox so that blind visitors can listen to, instead of read, the article. Embedded videos that appear on a web page will include closed captioning that displays text, enabling deaf visitors to understand what the video is talking about. In short, a perceivable website is one that provides alternative ways to consume content.
An operable website is a site that enables visitors to easily navigate through web pages via any method they choose—keyboard, mouse, automatic or manual scrolling, or touchscreen. Operable websites do not place time limits or restrictions on web pages, which would otherwise cause web page sessions to “time out.” Another aspect to consider when it comes to operable websites, is that the web pages should avoid use of physical “triggers” such as automatically running a strobe light that could cause migraines or seizures.
The basic rule for ensuring your website is understandable is this: a visitor should spend almost no time trying to figure out how to use your website, but rather spend their time on your site gaining information. Using simplistic, logical web page layouts can greatly reduce the amount of time visitors spend familiarizing themselves with your site. For example, keeping the search bar, newsletter opt-in, and chatbox in the same spot on every web page of your site can aid in presenting an understandable website.
You’ve probably heard this term before—robust web design is critical for countless reasons. A robust website will work well on all browsers and perform properly on all devices, including mobile smartphones, tablets, and other handheld devices. But did you know that you can also design your website to perform robustly for disabled visitors? By including assistive technologies on your site, you can enhance website engagement with the vision and hearing impaired. The key is to continue making upgrades as technologies evolve.
Be sure to check out the full article if you want to learn the specifics of ADA compliance and website accessibility.
Our final article of the month discussed not only the importance of website mobile-friendliness, but also what you can do right now to ensure that your website is mobile friendly. Today, mobile friendliness is the one and only ranking factor that Google uses to either promote or demote websites in their search results. What this means is that if your website isn’t configured to display excellently on mobile devices, then Google is not going to rank it.
However, a mobile-friendly website will not only get crawled, indexed, and ranked by Google, but it will also ensure that consumers can visit your site from their mobile devices, encounter an excellent user interface, and have a wonderful experience while navigating from one web page to the next. When visitors have a positive experience on your website using their mobile devices, they will be far more likely to become repeat visitors, first-time customers, social media followers, and even lifelong loyal customers.
In the article, we introduced the following three configuration techniques you can use to ensure your website will be mobile friendly:
The term “responsive web design” refers to websites built with HTML code that are able to render the original HTML code differently depending on the screen size of the device. Meaning, the webmaster only needs to build one website, because the code itself will dictate how content is displayed from one device to the next. Responsive web design is the most cost-effective, time-effective configuration technique because it has the easiest design pattern to implement and maintain. For this reason, Google recommends responsive web design over the other available configuration techniques.
Dynamic serving is slightly different from responsive web design. Though dynamic serving uses the same URLs on the mobile version that appear on the original website, it generates a different version of HTML code depending on the device the site is being displayed on, as well as specific users’ browser data. Dynamic serving enables a website to be fully accessible. However, Google bots tend to crawl this configuration differently than how they crawl responsive web designs, which means you would have to invest in server-side rendering as a temporary workaround for these crawlers.
“Separate URLs” is a configuration technique that provides different code to each device category, each using separate URLs. First, the user’s device type is detected. Then, the configuration uses HTTP and Vary HTTP Headers to redirect users to the appropriate page. In the case of separate URLs, the mobile site will utilize a mobile-specific URL, such as an “m-dot,” “dot-mobi,” or even a separate folder altogether. A common myth is that this configuration method causes duplicate content that Google will penalize, but this rumor is completely untrue.
Here is a checklist you can use to evaluate the mobile-friendliness of your website:
For additional information about website mobile-friendliness, including links to Google’s Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool, Google’s Mobile Usability Tool, and Google’s Speed Test, be sure to read the full article.
The FTx 360 blog is our online newsroom where we discuss the latest digital marketing trends to help readers like you promote their businesses, websites, eCommerce sites, and social media profiles for the purposes of converting web visitors into customers.
Each week, one of our digital marketing experts publishes an informative article relevant to their specialty. Article topics range from website design & development, marketing strategies & SEO campaigns, social media marketing, eCommerce site inbound marketing, and so much more!
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