Category Archives: Oracast News

Your Holiday Marketing Campaign Guide

holiday marketing guideThe holiday season is quickly approaching, and if you haven’t already created your marketing plan for the season, it’s not too late to get your campaign up and running.

From Black Friday to Christmas Eve and into the New Year, spending ramps up, which is why it’s important to get in front of your customers and map out your marketing plans to tap into that holiday buzz.

Here’s your quick guide to creating your own successful holiday marketing campaign:

1. Establish Your Goals

First, decide on the time frame your campaign will run. Some businesses start early and others continue into the New Year depending on your goals and target audience.

Now is a great time to fill in your SMART Goals worksheet to help you define what you want to accomplish and how you will achieve that in a measurable manner. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant and Time-based.

2. Create Your Message

What offer would you like to put in front of your target audience? Your message should be consistent and focused. Your offer can take many forms and needs to fit the best with your specific business and audience. Keep in mind making your customers feel special. Your offer may be an exclusive discount, a bonus present, gift cards a special event or even a free download or ebook.

3. Landing Page

You will want to drive traffic to a special landing page designed around your message and offer. This page will have the benefits of your offer, a captivating image, an interesting headline and a clear call to action. The call to action could be anything from “View Today’s Offer”, to “Buy Now” or even an email submit form. Your online marketing efforts and emails will drive traffic back to this page.

4. Blog

Write about your offer and post it to your blog. Keep it personable and think about your target audience as you write. The blog could include a call to action and link to your new landing page.

5. Social Media

Start promoting your offer on your social media platforms. Hootsuite is a great website to use to plan and distribute your posts from one simple spot. You can add a Christmas flair to your social media branding to increase awareness of your promotion. Include links to your blog post and landing page in a few of your posts, but switch it up to keep things interesting and don’t repost the exact same thing too many times. Don’t have a social media plan already in place? Check out our Social Media Marketing services which will help your business build authority and better online visibility.

6. Email

Using the main message and offer you’ve created, build an email based on who your recipients are. It’s best to keep emails short and sweet, and to include interesting visuals or captivating headlines. Add a compelling subject line and share buttons to your email so recipients can pass the message on. Keep the visuals and main message of your holiday campaign congruent so visitors to your website, social media pages and blog recognize the offer and don’t feel confused. It’s best to be consistent.

7. Pay Per Click Advertising

You may want to look into paid advertising to boost your campaign on search engines or on Facebook to drive more traffic to your offer. Put a budget in place and run a few numbers to see if it would be a profitable move for your holiday campaign. Need a hand getting this set-up? Oracast can help. Check out our PPC advertising services to generate holiday leads quickly.

8. Track the Results

Now that everything is in place, track the results! Use Google Analytics and your email marketing software to view hits to your landing page and track your sales. Review social media interaction and hits to your blog. Make notes of your results and file them away to revisit next year as you plan your next holiday campaign.

Mobile App Design Trends

Thinking of developing an app? Here’s a few great design tips that will give your app the latest edge of 2015 and beyond.

Call To Action (CTA)

As trends shift to mobile, an increasing amount of thought is going into utilizing small screen size for maximum visual appeal and conversions. As with websites, the call to action buttons have an impact on generating leads and converting visitors into buyers or customers. The 2015 trend for mobile is blurry background images and contrasting CTA’s so they stand out as much as possible. As you will see in the Vimeo app example below, the design is clean and simple, and the call to action buttons contrast against the dark background.

Screen shot of vimeo app

CTA’s standout against the dark background in the Vimeo app.

Hidden Menus

You may have noticed that hidden menus are a hugely popular design feature. Menu’s and responsive drawers that become visible when swiped and retract when not needed are featured on most new apps. As users become accustomed to smartphone functionality and comfortable with swiping and what to expect, apps are becoming more sophisticated. The purpose is to de-clutter the screen so your smartphone can turn into one of the thousands of handy devices such as a GPS, keyboard or the video camera that you‘d like it to be with clean and clear functionality.

responsive drawer image from the whole foods app.

Example of a responsive drawer from an app

Animated Elements

Interactive and attention grabbing, animation is a cool visual component. It can be used to save screen space, to motivate the user, to create an awesome interactive experience, to entertain and to enhance functionality. Animation is gaining popularity as app developers compete for customer attention… and user experience is at the top of the list.

Screen shot of the KFC app, in which animation is used.

KFC uses animation in app – a popular trend

Story Telling

Facts tell, stories sell, and there is no exception when it comes to mobile app design. As mobile apps become more interactive, story telling is taking on new and engaging forms. Captivating video, bold imagery and personalized experiences are all elements you can expect in the latest app development.

Story telling is age old, and there's no exeption when it comes to app design. This is a screen shot of the redbull story from their app.

Facts tell, stories sell.

There is no question mobile design will become increasingly interactive as the user experience tops the agenda of developers. Need an app? Our professional app developers are at your service!

This entry was posted in Oracast News on .

7 Mobile App Trends of 2015

Google’s algorithm update in April this year was all about mobile friendly responsiveness. We know that if your business is not mobile friendly, it will soon be dominated by businesses that are. It takes little more than looking around to see how popular smartphones are these days, so just what are the mobile app trends of 2015? And what can your business do to stay relevant?


 1. Rapid Development

Businesses are hard pressed to keep up with the high demand for mobile apps from consumers. With pressure for mobile apps steadily on the rise, a trend this year has been quick-to-market app development tools and frameworks, reducing the timeframe of conception to completion. Oracast is continually working on internal development processes to ensure a quality product is delivered to client and consumer expectations.

2. Mobile Commerce (M-commerce)

An increasing number of mobile users are comfortable using their mobile gadgets to shop online – and anywhere. The inventions of Apple Pay and Google Wallet allows purchases to be made without credit or debit cards.

Mobile ecommerce is now shifting its focus to engagement rather than focusing just on the market share. Instead of spending millions of dollars in paid distribution so that they could secure market share in the mobile segment, there is a large trend in 2015 in this segment to move towards engagement campaigns with the help of strategies such as deep linking.” –

3. Internet of Things

The internet of things is used to describe technology that is connected and controlled over the internet such as fire alarms, remote controls and activity trackers. Apps will become more advanced as they get integrated with multiple devices.

“The Internet of Things allows objects to be sensed and controlled remotely across existing network infrastructure,[2] creating opportunities for more direct integration between the physical world and computer-based systems, and resulting in improved efficiency, accuracy and economic benefit.[3][4][5][6][7] Each thing is uniquely identifiable through its embedded computing system but is able to interoperate within the existing Internet infrastructure. Experts estimate that the IoT will consist of almost 50 billion objects by 2020 according to Global Internet of Things Market Study.[8]” – Wikipedia

4. Wearable Technology

From the Apple watch to fitness and health apps, wearable technology is advancing in leaps and bounds. It is adapting to other industries as well. Businesses wanting to improve productivity are adopting wearable technology, and so is the fashion industry.

apps5. Cloud Technology

With cloud technology, it is possible for developers to create apps that can be accessed from multiple devices. With the variety of devices from ipads to wearable technology, cloud technology plays a key role in mobile app development.

6. App Security

Security is a major challenge, and 2015 has been no exception when it comes to security breeches online. With the Ashley Madison hack and many other infamous hacks that happened this year – security will continue to be a major issue developers need to seriously consider. According to Gartner’s prediction, 75% of mobile applications fail basic security tests. The question of security will be a trend for the remaining of 2015 and beyond.


 7. User Experience

The focus on user experience is trending in 2015. The sheer number of apps available has made the user experience more important than ever. User experience is also becoming more challenging for developers because of the growing in-app advertising trends.

As app and responsive website developers, we are happy to help your business stay relevant and help you keep up with the trends of 2015 and beyond!

This entry was posted in Oracast News on .

Google Analytics: 3 Tips to Understanding your Metrics at a Glance

Google Analytics and Web Master Tools are important and useful tools in tracking website statistics. Unless requested otherwise, Oracast set’s up every website we launch with access to these free tools. We’d like to help our clients get the most out of these readily available statistics.

So, once your website is launched and your analytics tools are in place, how do you use these tools to your advantage?


Google analytics reflects three main metrics: acquisition, engagement and outcome. Today I would like to focus on engagement. How do you know your website is reaching the right audience and engaging your visitors?

Here are a few metrics we like to look at:

  • Bounce rate   (Ideally below 60%)
  • Time on site (Above 60 seconds indicates an engaged visitor)
  • Page views   (The more, the better. Take note of which pages are trending)
  • Pages per visit   (The more, the better. Note blog pages)

#1 Landing Page:

One of the first statistics to check out is your homepage is your bounce rate. This will give you a good indication of how many of your visitors are sticking.

You have less than 5 seconds to capture your visitor with a clear message about why they are looking at your website, or they’re gone.

One of the main reasons people ‘bounce’ off websites is because of a lack of clarity. If your homepage bounce rate is above 60% it’s time to take a second look with fresh eyes. Show your website homepage to a few people who have never seen it before and ask them what your company does after 5 seconds. Do they know the answer?


Here is a good example of a clear landing page. Within 5 seconds it’s easy to tell Hootsuite is a social media management tool.



The top of the page is where visitors eyes land first. I usually recommend a clear headline supported by an image that quickly and clearly communicates what your company does.

#2 Popular Content

Take a look at what pages visitors are spending the most time on. This will help you to determine what content they really want from your website.

If visitors are staying on a page for more than 60 seconds, it’s a good indication that they are engaged.

Make note of the pages with the highest time spent and which pages have the most visits. This can be found under Behavior > Site Content >

analyticsAlso look into your blog article statistics and determine which topics are the most popular and helpful to your visitors. Another way to find out which content is the most popular is by looking at the keywords people typed in to find your website in the first place. What are the most popular keywords on your site?

Increasing your engaging content will entice visitors to stay on your website longer and return again and again. Ultimately if you are providing content people are looking for, the number of visitors to your website will grow over time.


#3 Growth Patterns

Start with the default 30 days, and then change the date range to 3-6 months, and 1 -2 years (if available), and compare. Looking at the long term statistics will help you pick up on larger trends. Are there certain times of the year your traffic spikes or dips such as holidays?


It’s a good sign if there is a growing trend such as an increasing number of unique visitors, page views and time on site over the long term. If the patterns are decreasing, there may be some gaps in your content or SEO strategies.

Reach Your Online Goals

There are many important things you can discover about your website and audience by taking a look at your Google analytics. We recommend signing into your analytics tools at least once every three months and measuring up the stats to your goals.

We are here to help you reach the goals you’ve set-out to achieve. Let us know if you have any questions about your website’s analytics and we will be happy to help!

Is Your Website Mobile Friendly? Google Is Turning Up The Pressure.

smartphoneNews feeds are buzzing with the latest Google update slotted to take effect April 21st. With mobile searches tipping the scales, exceeding desktop searches, the new update will affect websites that do not meet mobile-friendly guidelines. To provide a better mobile experience Google will be “expanding [its] use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal.”


Google makes several hundred minor changes every year to the criteria on which websites are ranked. Major updates, like the one soon to take place however, is big news as search engine optimization methods must change to meet new guidelines, something that hasn’t happened on this scale in years. If your website isn’t prepared your search engine ranking on mobile devices may take a dive. Desktop rankings will not be immediately affected, though webmasters predict further changes in the near future may impact all searches.


With this latest algorithm update, Google has also made it clear that there will be no middle ground in terms of website mobile friendliness – your site is either friendly or it’s not. Responsive websites also help to future-proof your site against ever changing browsers and devices.


If you’ve clung to the same retro website for decades, Google will continue to create compelling reasons to move on. It is time. Google has officially given webmasters a reason to provide a better online experience for the large percentage of mobile search traffic. So, what should you do?


Here are a few practical steps:

  1. Check your website on Google’s Mobile Friendly Test Here. It only takes a second.
  2. See the Mobile usability report in Google Webmaster Tools, which highlights major mobile usability issues across your entire site, not just one page.
  3. For more information on the update, check out Google’s blog post.

If the results of your Mobile-Friendly Test was positive, awesome! You’re set. If it came out negative, don’t panic. Our team at Oracast has years of experience building responsive mobile-friendly websites and we’d love to hear from you. We’re here to keep your organization competitive on all fronts. If you have any questions give us a call at 888.210.9805 or email

Google Ranking by Mobile Friendly – Are you Ready?

Maybe recently you received an email from Google Webmaster Tools that goes something like this:

Fix mobile usability issues found on []

Google systems have tested 100 pages from your site and found that 100% of them have critical mobile usability errors. The errors on these 100 pages severely affect how mobile users are able to experience your website. These pages will not be seen as mobile-friendly by Google Search, and will therefore be displayed and ranked appropriately for smartphone users.

Over the last month, Google has been sending out emails like this to warn webmasters about the upcoming change in how Google ranks websites. On April 21, 2015, Google will use this “Mobile Friendly” factor when users search from mobile devices, and if you’re not ready, your site could get dropped out of the search results.


The problems that your website might have might seem pretty technical, with the most common being “Viewport not configured”. This means that your site doesn’t have the header telling it to change the display of the site according to the size of the display. At the very least your page headers should have this line:

<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">

For most websites, this means you need to change your current website or template to a Responsive web design. If you are a using a CMS like WordPress, this is intended to be a simple process. If you want to get into the technical details, you can learn more at Google’s Responsive Web Design Basics.


If you want to test if your site is Mobile Friendly, you can use Google’s Mobile Friendly Tool


Of course if you need help making your website mobile friendly, or just don’t have the time to get it done before April 21, contact us here, and we will be glad to help!

WordPress MainWP Child Plugin Security Issue

There is a serious privilege escalation vulnerability in the MainWP Child WordPress plugin. This plugin has over 90,000 active installs. The vulnerability allows an attacker to log into a vulnerable website bypassing the password authentication mechanism that WordPress provides.


What to do: Upgrade immediately to version which was released last Friday and fixes this specific issue. estimates 90,000 active installs are out there, so please help spread the word to the rest of the WordPress community about this issue.

Shaw experiencing routing issues across Canada

If you have been experiencing any issues accessing email or websites hosted by us please note that Shaw Communications is having routing issues across Canada. This means that if you’re using Shaw as your internet provider, your internet experience might be slow and websites/email may be inaccessible.


There is a great resource here that shows a heat map of the affected areas. If you scroll down you’ll see the most recent Shaw postings from their twitter account. As always if you require assistance please don’t hesitate to call our support line at 1-888-210-9805 extension 3.