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Posts By : IOM Partners

WP-Types for Houston Web Design and Houston SEO with WordPress
Create POWERFUL WordPress websites using WP-Types (Custom Post Types) without having to know any (much) programming!

WP-Types, a GREAT plugin for designing powerful WordPress websites without having to be a programmer!

Are you a web designer or maybe even a great programmer and need to create something more than just the standard WordPress website but don’t have the experience or maybe just the time (hell, maybe you just don’t feel like it) to do a bunch of custom code)? I am HAPPY to blog about this GREAT plugin for WordPress that allows you to build web applications, portals, social networks, and pretty much anything else you can imagine using WordPress and some intelligent form builders straight from WordPress. Did I mention that you need nothing more than WordPress and, obviously, the Web browser in which you are administering your site.

WP-TYPES is now my most favorite of new tools, aside from possibly Gravity Forms, Yoast SEO, and Visual Composer.

Basically, you first create a “Custom Post Type” using “Types”. Today, I worked on a project that a friend, my cousin and business partner, and myself are working on together. It’s a portal for the Houston hip-hop scene that will allow artists to network and market their music. I’ll wait until it’s done to share the website with you. It’s pretty great and is getting built VERY quickly!

SO, you would create a Post Type for “Albums” which would be where users submit their music in a couple of SEO-optimized ways.  Include the data you’re collecting on the album and artist as well as the actual MP3 files and videos related to that artist and album and this is the database core of the operation.  This is done with “Custom Fields” within the “Types”.

Next, you know that you will need a form to get the information in from both your users that are submitting their work and other information as well as the WordPress admin that moderates and likely does some back-end work through the WordPress website admin area.  You do this through the “CRED” form creator.  This is VERY easy to do and uses some smart-tags as well as even a relatively intuitive and intelligent “Form Creator Wizard”.  I ended up not using it for this particular website because I’m an experienced Software Engineer and I wanted to have more control over how I presented the data on the front-end of the website.  This is accomplished using some simple HTML as well as your newly created Custom Fields and WordPress short-codes.

Next, I tested what I had built by adding some dummy web data that a standard user would submit and created some very simple “Views”.  The wizard was helpful here to establish the loops I was going to have to do through some of the information pieces and it did generate a pretty nice tabular layout for the way I had already intended on presenting my information.

Finally, I did some things with the WP-Types “Content Templates” to create the single-posts that are the results of the framework I’d put together so far and set some access restrictions on certain pieces of the site to entice users to sign up more in order to get access to the digital downloads we’re doing.  The documentation is AMAZING.  Wow.  They give GREAT documentation on the usage but also go into GREAT detail as far as even code samples and things to get you started.  I didn’t really do any reading and their step-by-step guide was really enough to walk-through using my own requirements to learn what the website was telling me to do.

I still have yet to use the entire suite and I am far from done with the web design as I see some really cool ways that I intend on using the API for to do some more detailed things with lower-level PHP custom code but I’m really very close to being able to do what I’ve wanted to do without really touching any code at all!  At under $200.00, this has been WELL worth the investment!

IOM Partners of Houston, TX specializes in Houston Web Design & Houston SEO but has clients nationwide that count on us to stay on the cutting-edge of things like this and it’s nice to be able to cut down on development costs when necessary.

I’m excited to see what happens when I get deeper into this with BuddyPress, as well!

Visit us online at http://iomhouston.com/ and learn more about our Houston Web Design and Houston SEO services for any projects you might, yourself, have in mind!

Colin Valencia
1121 Delano Street
Houston, TX 77003

[email protected]
(713) 858-7365
http://iompartners.com/

Google Penguin 3.0 Houston Web Design Houston SEO
Website losing traffic or disappear from the web? Did Google Penguin get you?

Here’s a quick-start guide to getting yourself out of trouble with Google.

IOM Partners of Houston, TX specializes and lives off of Houston Web Design and Houston SEO.  If you do a lot of business online like we do, you might have recently felt what I can only relate possibly to the feeling of loss of life.  It was Google’s New Penguin 3.0 Algorithm release.  It’s actually still rolling out so a lot of people are experiencing off-the-wall catastrophic losses, even losing entire businesses in very bad ways.  The SEO game is a very fickle game to begin with.  As I, myself, make a full-time living for myself doing this, it’s inexplicably crazy.

Who was affected by Penguin 3.0?

Penguin 3.0 was released October 17, 2014.  This was the first Google Penguin update in over a year and, with this release, webmasters everywhere were looking both at the benefits to their site that they would see as they had cleaned up their act online as well as the detriment their behavior could have caused over the last year or so.

  • Link profiles were cleaned up.
  • People got VERY familiar with the Google Disavow tool.
  • People stopped building spammy links and started paying more attention to overall quality.
  • People waited and watched.

It’s estimated that about 3.7% of English-speaking websites were hit and it is known that this Penguin algorithm is still rolling out across the world and will continue to do so for the next few weeks.

What makes it even harder for webmasters to measure the impact of this algorithm update is that Google actually released two other algorithm updates including another Panda release as well as one called “Pirate”, focused on Software & Media Piracy.

How do I know if I was hit with a penalty?

  • Do you generally track keywords you compete for or are you just a light web-business person?  If you noticed huge losses in traffic in the form of new leads or you track your targeted keywords avidly, you likely noticed a huge loss in traffic.  This is a light/algorithmic penalty.
  • If you login to your Google Webmaster Tools account, there could be a notice from Google, themselves, telling you “Hey, we’re taking you off the web until you stop screwing around”.

What did I do wrong to where I got hit with this algorithmic update?

SEO has been a goldmine and a tombstone for many people, that’s for certain.  Blackhat SEO is running rampant as is the mainstream-version of what we used to call “hacking”.  I’ve seen sites take a year to rank for minimal terms.  I’ve seen impossible results achieved in less than a month.  Different books.  Different tricks.  Therein lies the core of where you went wrong, doing these tricks.

  • Did you buy a lot of links from someone?
  • Did you do countless likes and Social Network shares?
  • Did you write cheap content or just do none at all and rely on “Fiverr Gigs” to get SEO results?
  • There are many other things you could have done wrong that worked REALLY well before.
  • The core of the SEO hellhole, now, is that too many people “tried to do SEO”.  Trying to alter the impression as to the value of your website in ANY form or fashion is considered bad-juju by Google.
  • Google WANTS you to not do well and get wise to SEO.  Otherwise, why would anyone pay for their ads?

How do I fix my website after being penalized by Google?

So you got caught.  No big deal.  Your biggest enemy will be the time that it takes for you to come back to the world of being visible on the Web.  That’s because you first need to clean up your act and then wait until Google feels like dealing with you again.

  • Don’t buy bulk links and try to bully the internet.  The Engineers behind the internet are the smart ones that got mad when the idiot jocks cheated off of them in high-school and college and got by without any sort of real effort.  They’re not paying bullies back by making the Web better for people that actually try to contribute to it.  CREATE CONTENT THAT PEOPLE REALLY WANT TO KNOW ABOUT.
  • The web is more and more getting to be about authoritative publishing, meaning that true authorities that contribute to a field or art and really educate others on it are the ones that are quickly gaining in their niches.
  • Write good, long, and educational content.  Starting an online pharmacy site?  That’s great!  You are not the first.  That doesn’t mean that you can’t still be the best.  Are you trying to get people to your penis-enlarger pill directly or are you offering them some authoritative information on aspects of erectile dysfunction, leading them to other authoritative and useful sources of information for the subject and creating a stronger “Web” of interconnected resources?  There’s a HUGE difference.  YES, YOUR CONTENT HAS TO BE UNIQUE AND IT NEEDS TO BE IMPORTANT AND UNIQUELY USEFUL.  I equate this to people lying on their employment applications and resumes when they’re asked about their professional experience.  The web knows when you’re BS’ing and it doesn’t like it.
  • If you’re really going to play the game, connect with other authors.  You don’t need 1,000 crappy links.  You need 4-5 per month that are really strong.  Of course, there are ethical and effective ways of meeting new people that have this type of credibility.  Nothing wrong with that.  You just really do need to get people to “Like” you.
  • Look into removing bad links from irrelevant sites.  To do so, you will need to get a list of the bad links using a service like Ahrefs.com or MajesticSEO.com, contacting the webmasters to see if they will remove the bad link, and then using Google’s “Disavow Tool” to get them to consider removing these links for you.  This should be your last result as you have to prove you did some leg-work, first, to get Google to take this manual action.
  • Really the key is JUST START DOING THINGS THE RIGHT WAY FROM NOW ON.
  • Good things take time.  Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.  Diversify the way you market yourself.
  • Build your brand.  From hereon, the Web is putting importance on branding, for sure.

I’m not saying don’t do any of your old tricks but if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  Automated SEO software is garbage.  You need good writing and interest or at least the implication of interest and expertise on the subject.

If you don’t have the time or interest to do your own writing (completely understandable), hire professional writers to help you.  There is such a thing as ethical link-building and ethical SEO.

IOM Partners of Houston, TX specializes in Organic White-Hat SEO and Web Design.  If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us so that we can look and see how we can help you!

Houston Website Design
PhoneGap for Multi-Platform Native Mobile App Development

PhoneGap for Multi-Platform Native Mobile App Development – Android, iOS (iPhone & iPad)

PhoneGap has been around for a while as a development platform but it’s been recently that larger native mobile app requirements and mobile web development is being using PhoneGap.  We’re definitely a strong advocate and an early adopter of it, ourselves!  Traditionally, native mobile application development for Android and iOS (iPhones & iPads) has been done with separate code-bases requiring much larger teams and higher costs as it was necessary to be an expert in the separate languages that each was based on.

PhoneGap came along and changed all of that and has enabled Web developers to be able to jump into native mobile app development without having to completely learn all-new programming languages in a competitive enough industry where true domain-expertise is absolutely a requirement.

Existing technologies, especially WordPress, are building some amazing core connectors to even take the web-services development requirement out of the equation to a great extent.

Basically, using the same JQuery, CSS, and HTML that web designers and developers have been accustomed to using on a day-to-day basis, they can now build highly-powerful native mobile apps that fully utilize on-device features such as the device’s camera, GPS, accelerometer, and many others!

We’re experts in PhoneGap as well as both Android Mobile App Development as well as iOS App Development (iPad & iPhone) and have a really great portfolio of samples of our other mobile apps we’ve developed, large and small!

IOM Partners is located in Houston, TX and specializes in Houston Web Design and Houston SEO but also works with clients from around the rest of the country!  Visit us online at http://iomhouston.com/, call us at (832) 215-9253, or visit us at 1121 Delano, Houston, TX 77063.  Thank you so much for the support!

 

Houston Website Design
Comparing PPC (Pay Per Click) Advertising and Organic SEO

PPC (Pay Per Click) Advertising and Organic SEO

If you’re trying to increase your business online, you might be thinking of spending a little more time and money on your online marketing, especially either with Google Ads or doing traditional SEO.  From experience, this is a very tricky game and you have to be precise because the wrong thing can cause you a lot of pain in the form of loss of money and time as well as the possibility of trying the wrong “tricks” and being penalized by Google.

PPC (Pay Per Click Advertising)

I love Google so I hope Google doesn’t get mad at us for saying this but Pay Per Click advertising just cost us about $1,000.00 in a recent test-run and yielded no results.  I think we got a total of about 10 clicks and half of those very poor results, including people soliciting us.  Basically we paid for people to try to sell us things and a guy from Nigeria that had about $200.00 to spend on a website and wanted to keep us on the phone for about 15 minutes.

Organic SEO

If you’re reading this, you either knew about us and are just keeping up with us so you came back to our site, found us on Google (hopefully), or possibly ran across us or one of our Social Network posts or Press Releases somewhere.  I preach Organic white-hat SEO.  Tricks don’t work and people (and Search Engines) get offended when you try “SEO tricks”.

The premise is simple – build quality and unique content and then run a good business online.  That means if you are a real authority on a subject, do a little writing, do some blogs, make sure your website has solid copywriting, and put yourself out there in places that are relevant and credible.  It’s not a hard formula.  PPC ads launch almost immediately so most of us see that as a positive, versus waiting months to get ranked by doing things the right way.

I have a bit of advice for you, either way:

THE INTERNET WAS BUILT BY NERDS LIKE US THAT WORK HARD AND HATE PEOPLE THAT DON’T REALLY WANT TO PUT IN THE WORK TO HAVE SOMETHING GOOD SO IF YOU ARE NOT GOOD AT IT, THE REAL INTERNET IS GETTING SMART ENOUGH TO WEED YOU OUT AND YOU WILL BE WEEDED OUT.

Spend a little bit of time.  Do it right.  Then you won’t be held hostage for Ad Money every month that is extremely costly and yields you no business.  It’s amazing the level of credibility you will get, leading to conversions (money) when you do things the right way and you get some respect online.

Thank you for supporting us!  This is just a quick note on my personal perspective between PPC and Organic SEO and isn’t meant to be a formal book.  Critique away!  IOM Partners is located in Houston, TX and specializes in Houston Web Design and Houston SEO but also works with clients from around the rest of the country!  Visit us online at http://iomhouston.com/, call us at (832) 215-9253, or visit us at 1121 Delano, Houston, TX 77063.  Thank you so much for the support!

Houston Website Design
Redesign of Hammers & Shields

Recently, we redesigned Hammers & Shields, the only Social & Professional network FOR and BY Veterans that spans both the web and native mobile universe, including a native Android Mobile App as well as native iOS Mobile Apps for both iPhone & iPads!  This new website will connect Veterans, Veteran Businesses, and those that advocate them by bringing them all together in one secure and private place dedicated to Veterans.  We created everything ourselves including the web design and mobile app development.  IOM Partners is located in Houston, TX and specializes in Houston Web Design and Houston SEO but also works with clients from around the rest of the country!  Visit us online at http://iomhouston.com/, call us at (832) 215-9253, or visit us at 1121 Delano, Houston, TX 77063.  Thank you so much for the support!

Houston Website Design
Doing business in Mexico? Make it official with GiroLegal!

 

GiroLegal (http://girolegal.com/) was a dream just months ago!  Our client came to us with the challenge of creating a “prototype” of a portal where Mexican business owners can carry out their business registrations, legal documentations, and access an on-demand legal library!  We said NO PROBLEM and built GiroLegal.com!  GiroLegal was built on WordPress and takes the Mexican business owner from A-Z, expediting and officially processing their company formations, documents, etc. all the way through the Federal Government, throughout Mexico!  The website was done in Spanish which is no problem because IOM Partners is a multilingual and multinational agency!  Thank you for the great project, GiroLegal!

IOM Partners of Houston, TX - Houston Web Design and Houston SEO Experts
4 Reasons Why Your Website Should Go Mobile

IOM Partners, Houston Texas, specializes in mobile application and mobile web design and development. Most business owners now understand the importance of online marketing, but as the majority of traffic shifts to  mobile websites, businesses of all sizes need to understand the significance and benefits of mobile websites.  Let’s examine why your WEBSITE needs to be responsive for viewing on mobile devices. Simply, why should your website “Go Mobile?”

Reason 1: Google has an index for mobile content.

Google has a separate index for mobile content, and for now, it is less competitive than the traditional web. Also, when users head strait to Google on a smartphone or tablet, the mobile index results are given page rank priority. Moral of the story: Your website is more visible for searches on mobile devices.

Reason 2: User Experience

Your regular website is not going to make the cut on mobile devices. There is a limit to the amount of display space (resolution) on smartphones and tablets. Ever get frustrated zooming in on tiny URL links only to tap an adjacent text link with your finger? Even turn the phone lengthwise and everything is still small? Creating clear navigation and a mobile compatible user experience generates more site activity, on mobile devices.

Reason 3: 1.7 Billion of Mobile Commerce in 2009

E-commerce, mobile application purchases and upgrades accounted for 1.7+ Billion dollars in 2009. People are shopping from smartphones and tablets more than ever, and mobile applications present the oppurtunity for additional and premium services, most purchased with a finger tap, without needing a credit card. This ease of spending is unprecedented in the electronic marketing world.

Reason 4: Users now spend an average of 13 hours online a week, compared to 7 in 2002.

Users have doubled their internet usage and exposure since the manifestation of mobile devices. Where a desktop or laptop used to be the main internet access device, users are accessing internet content longer and more regularly than ever before. This means that online marketing is more EFFECTIVE than ever, as you can reach users 24 hours a day, directly to their phones and tablets in their pockets, purses or nightstands.

-IOM Partners is a Houston Web and Mobile Development firm.

5 Ways a Mobile App Can Benefit Your Houston Business

Houston businesses have come into understanding the importance of an online presence and marketing efforts. Now, as more e-commerce, browsing, and searching than ever occurs on mobile devices, mobile design and marketing is on the radar for most small-medium businesses. However, with the endless possibilities of mobile apps, its hard to visualize how an app can benefit a business. Here are 5 ways any business can reap the rewards of their own mobile application.

1. Ease communication between your business, and your customers.

Great apps allow customers to contact your business directly. Sure, they could head to a search engine or yellow pages and find your phone number, or they could open your app and click the “Call Us” button. If they want to share your posts, menu, items etc, they can head strait for the share button on your app.

2. Increase customer interaction and loyalty through specials, coupons, and loyalty programs.

Houston Businesses can send coupons, or notifications of temporary specials instantly, eliminating the need for mailers or email blasts. Even better, businesses could use a QR scan or punch card system to give users a reason to return to your business as long as they have the app installed on their phone. Here’s an example of the punch card system being used on mobile:

 

3. Send information directly to your customers.

Before, new information could only be shared with customers while they were in the store/location or through expensive and inefficient mailers. Now, Houston restaurants can update their menus, stores can add additional locations, or inventory can be updated, and the changes can be loaded directly into the user’s app on their mobile devices.

4. Push notifications

Many of the current standards of marketing are passive, meaning the user has to be specifically looking for it to see it. With push notifications, your administrators could make your user’s phones alert when you want to share new information. Imagine making a users phone beep when you have new inventory, a new special, or when an event is coming up.

 

5. E-Commerce

Obviously, monetizing an application would be high on the list of priorities for any business. Ordering and payment processing through mobile applications are as commonplace as on the traditional web, and can utilize existing technologies, like PayPal, Square and Authorize.net

IOM Partners are experts at mobile application development and design. We specialize in all platforms and types of applications, specifically Android App Development and iOS (iPhone and iPad) Development. Contact IOM Partners for more information about Houston Mobile App development, today!

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Why IOM Partners?
IOM Partners of Houston, TX has been together for over 7 years and was founded and is currently based in Houston, TX. We specialize in all aspects of Online Marketing but have a strong focus on Houston Web Design, Houston SEO, and Houston Mobile App Development.
Contact Information
IOM Partners of Houston, TX
1121 Delano St. Houston, TX 77003
Phone: (713) 858-7365