2018 Was a year of transition. Mobile devices have flooded the market and driven websites to be fast, scale-able and listing priority has switched to how you rank on the mobile search.

So in august of 2018 google was managing 2 databases to drive search results. the original listing and a mobile listing. in august google started to transition rankings to the mobile listings. This took how the website ranked in this new mobile listings as the priority and then re organized the rankings of the websites. Many of our sites did not move. some did.

With our partner websites we have seen a continued rise in mobile device traffic from 50% in early 2018 to almost 65% at the end of 2018.

We have followed these changes through out the year and have made adjustments to some of the website.

We have followed googles lead and seen the AMP project "accelerated mobile pages" flop. We test our pages on googles speed test application and ensure that we are above average for website speed and website development strategies.

One of the biggest issues in order to compete is to scale down the mobile version of the website a lot. We have developed a mobile website platform that is extremely fast but this forfeits a lot of the fancy website design elements that we bring to full screen devices.

in 2019 We will be rolling out a new device detection and mobile website that is screaming fast.

In order to do this the mobile website is void of fancy graphics and animation. Scaled down images and less java script and calls to outside objects.  With mobile We now focus on delivery of content and message for mobile users. to do this the website must load quickly and deliver on your competitive advantages on the first page.  The applications that we build are also going through this transition to ensure that they work even better on mobile devices.

SSL, (https://) Why do we need SSL? SSL is an encryption layer that secures the transaction of the website content over the internet. Primarily designed for eCommerce. Google is now enforcing this for all websites. The main reason I see is that a lot of hacking has been going on in 2018. This hacking has been to add links to websites on the internet and link traffic to website selling specific products as well as mal-wa-re and other ill intended products. This can be as simple as posting a link to your blog to breaking into your websites database or rewriting your websites files. by adding SSL - (by design) your website is then not able to serve links or content that is not behind SSL.  This helps to combat serving links that your website is not intending to serve to the audience.

Many of our websites and our partner websites have this in place for 2018 and we are rolling this out to partner websites in 2019.

NEW 2019
Our Virtual Kitchen designer is getting a face lift as well as a couple new mobile formatting features to make it more user friendly.

NEW 2019
Same goes for the Instant countertop Estimator which with the new version has drag and drop kitchen layout and passes all the details of the design in the email notification.

NEW 2019
Spark Lead manager
now excepts mobile call to action as a lead type with long code call tracking and we have released a new actionable items section to help your teams monitor actions they should be taking to move your customers through the buying process.

NEW 2019
Color Selection Application
is live with lazy load for fast mobile device loading and each color links now to kitchen bathroom slab and other views of the material. Visitors then select the color of interest and define project parameters to then immediately submit these details for review to you.

All these changes are in effort to increase the websites ability to capture the local customer and continue to drive the ROI. Looking forward to a great 2019.

Custom Countertops is projected to be a 14.5 Billion dollar industry by 2024. We are all position for some solid growth in both residential and commercial custom countertops for the foreseeable future.

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About the author:

FireUps Countertop Marketing

Countertop Marketing and advertising services for custom countertop fabricators throughout the US and Canada. FireUps provide turn-key solutions for driving more customer's in your local market. Leverage our expertise and infrastructure we have built since 2008. Countertop Application, Lead Management, Order Management, Countertop SEO, SEM PPC and more. Partner with us and grow your custom stone shop. Our founder Paul Gallagher built this service from the ground up. Prior to 2008 the market for direct to consumer specialty countertops was small. Most customers would go to a kitchen design store for such a need. Combine the housing bubble bursting with new construction slowing and this created demand for direct to consumer custom countertop market. Fast forward to 2021 and demand skyrockets again due to so much money in the market and no where to go. That brings us to today; Inflated home values and high interest rates is putting pressure on the consumer to upgrade existing rather than "moving up". Throughout these years we have been marketing all over the US and tracking the trends from market to market. We work with our customers to track demand and sales volume to position the countertop fabrication shop for success.