1. It can drive more traffic to your Web sites
If consumers identify certain descriptive words or slogans that represent your brand, it makes your company much more visible within the online marketplace. The more ways that people can describe and identify your brand, the more search results will be found in sites like Google and Bing. A great example of this is McDonalds. The following keywords/phrases would easily find the company on search engines:
• I’m Lovin’ It
• Golden Arches
• Big Mac
• Ronald McDonald
• Put a Smile On
• Happy Meal
2. It gives your company more credibility
Plain and simple, people go with what they know. If faced with a decision between two different products with similar price points, people will most probably always go with the better-known brand. Consumers have a very strong influence on one another and if a company has built their brand around a specific product or service, people will talk (good or bad). The more positive chatter, the greater chance your company has at becoming a credible organization and one within which consumers will become loyal to. There is a phenomenon called brand religion that explains this behavior. This means that the value of a company’s brand becomes so high that consumers will remain loyal to it even if it costs much more or its stock has depleted.
3. Helps your company to develop a recognizable identity
One piece of effective branding is that you have created an identity that can be recognized by the masses. Do you recognize all of the logos on the rest stop sign when driving on the highway? If yes, it means that that brand has done a good job in developing a recognizable brand identity. If you have made the products or services of your brand to represent something specific, your consumers will expect that consistency for all of your products/services. For example, Coach is a highly recognizable brand, and their products are identified as a high-end and good-quality alternative.
4. Makes your consumers view you in a certain way, and affects their behaviors
Being a recognized brand also comes with a lot of responsibility. People start to expect certain things from your brand, and they can turn on you just as easily if you disappoint them. An example of this would be finding out that a company that positioned themselves as a very environmentally responsible organization that prided themselves in using all green and natural products, was using artificial growth hormones on their animals, and emitting chemicals into the atmosphere. If your consumers viewed you as the way you marketed yourself (green and all natural), and you indulge in behaviors that prove otherwise, your consumers will most probably switch to a different brand no matter how loyal they had been to you previously. A strong brand also allows the transfer of the brand to new products, meaning your consumer will assume that because your brand has created the product, it will be as good as their other products that they love so much.
5. Distinguishes your company from competitors
This simply means that your entire brand make-up including products, designs, logo, and overall mission is unique to other companies in your field. Making sure to stand-out is important, especially in such a saturated market. A great example of a company that has made their brand distinguishable from their competitors is Apple. Not only do they develop high-tech and highly functional unique products, but they are the people that other brands mimic. Their products are so unique from their “competitors” that it almost seems as though they aren’t competing. Apple and HP are both computer companies, but Apple products are so different from other computer products that they almost can’t be lumped in the same category.
1. Your Site Looks Unprofessional
Your Website visitors are going to decide whether or not your brand is reputable and trustworthy within seconds of viewing your home page. Web designers have the experience and the understanding of what your customers will be looking for upon arrival. Aesthetics and creating a user-friendly interface are issues that they are experts in, so if your site isn’t getting the traffic that you’d hoped, consider rethinking the look and feel of your site and consulting with a professional for their opinion.
2. Your Site Isn’t Interactive and Engaging
It is important to spell out everything for your viewers. Web designers will work to simplify information so that your clients can find the “about us” section or the “contact us” section as quickly and easily as possible. Is there an appropriate ratio of visuals to words? People want to know the quick background and major concepts of your work—if they want to read a book, they will go to the bookstore.
3. Your Navigation Links are Long and Complicated
Navigation links should be short, descriptive, and specific. Where the link directs you when you click on it should be completely in sync with the navigation link verbage. Web designers will be able to show you the standard practices of building a functional website, with effective inbound/outbound navigation links.
4. The Information on Your Site is Dated
If your website is still promoting events that happened last month, how are your viewers supposed to trust the rest of the information displayed on your site? Web designers can create a website that can be easily updated by you or themselves. Creating a fairly uncomplicated interface for their client is something that designers are very good at—a lot of people don’t want to spend the extra money to have their site maintained by an outside source (which is fine), so it is important to get an experienced designer to walk you through the steps to maintain the backside of your site.
5. The Pictures on Your Site Aren’t Optimized
If your website is full of large pictures that take forever to download looking pixelated and/or warped once they do, don’t expect your viewers to stick around. Web designers know exactly how to optimize images on your website, helping it to operate smoother and faster.
6. Your Text is Hard to Read
Computer screen reading is hard enough on the eyes; don’t make it any harder by writing large amounts of text. You should always keep your writing short and sweet for maximum readability and blocks of text should never be more than 12-15 words long, and 3 to 5 lines long. Web designers will help you to get the most out of your text, finding the most effective balance between content and design.
7. If Your Site is Hosted on a Free Site
Free hosting puts other businesses’ ad banners on top of your site…do you really want to be advertising for another company on your own site? Hosting on a free site also dramatically slows the loading time on your site, frustrating your readers and discouraging them from staying.
8. If Your Site Can’t be Found Through Search Engines
No site, no business. Web designers will work with the web coder to make sure your site is search engine optimized and has the appropriate keywords to ensure that you will be as close to the top of a Google, or other search engine search, as possible.
9. If You Don’t Have Navigation Links at the Top and Bottom of Your Site
People don’t like to be bothered to scroll down to the bottom of your home page to find the “about us” or the “contact us” links. It is the web designer’s job to make it easier for your viewers to get to the desired area of your site.
10. Your Text Goes On…and On…and On…
The body text on your site should be easy for your users to read. A web designer can create balance between space, text and images, so that your viewer will see and read only the most important information to give them a basis for conversation when they call in for your product or services.
As Pinterest becomes one of social media’s top dog, it is important for your business to learn how to capitalize on Pinterest’s ability to increase Web traffic to your sites and translate these visits into dollars.
Right now, Pinterest is the number one referral source to Websites for all of the social media platforms. Not only is it number one, but if you took the referral rates of Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ and added them up, Pinterest’s rate would STILL be higher. Pinterest has linked itself to other social media giants like Twitter and Facebook thus marketing themselves to a greater audience. There are presently 9 million Facebook users linked to Pinterest whose pins and boards can be seen by their friends on their wall.
Okay let’s get down to the meat and bones of this blog. Below you’ll find the top 5 ways to grow your business using Pinterest as noted by entrepreneuress Melanie Duncan in a recent Webinar.
1. Embed Links to your Website or blog in the caption section of your pin. This will allow your potential client to obtain more information, or see the product that they were interested in when they clicked. Adding the link within your caption is almost like a call to action. I can’t tell you how many times I have found an item on Pinterest that I loved, only to realize that I had no way of finding where to purchase it because of the lack of a connecting link. The easier you make it for your audience to find and purchase a product or service, the better your chance of converting that user into a paying customer.
2. Add the “Pin-it” button to your website or blog. With one click, a user can add an image or video from your Website or blog onto their own personal board. Remember that over 80% of pins are repinned, making Pinterest an easy way for any of your products or services to go viral.
3. As you know, Youtube is one of the leading Websites for content to go viral. Not only can you pin images to Pinterest, but you can also pin videos. One of the most popular video genres that are uploaded to Pinterest is “do-it-yourself” tutorials that many pinners often post to their “DIY” or “craft” boards, which are one of the most popular Pinterest boards.
4.Use strategic wording in your photo captions. A lot of people use hash tags as a way to classify their pin and make it searchable within the Pinterest platform, and on search sites like Google and Yahoo. It is also a great idea to include keywords and SEO backlinks to increase the traffic to your Website/blog. Remember that when people are searching specific topics in the Pinterest “search” bar, the only way that Pinterest will be able to find their requested search term is through captions, as they obviously can’t read an image. Be specific as to what your image is within the caption. If you have a bouquet of peonies, use “peony,” “peonies,” “flower” and/or “bouquet.”
5. Make sure to strategically arrange your photos/images to be visually pleasing. Pinterest is all about visual aesthetics so if you have the money, hire a photographer or a designer to make your image pop. Tall/long images have also proven to receive more “likes” and “repins” so when possible, stack related images onto one another to create a bigger buzz for your pin. Infographics and step-by-step do it yourself instructions are very popular. As Melanie said in her Webinar, “take your information, and make it visual.”
Happy pinning everyone : )
Social Media is beneficial in a variety of ways, not the least of which being its ability to increase your site’s search engine rankings. You might wonder how something like a Facebook profile or a Twitter account can have an effect on your site. The answer lies in the fact that search engines such as Google and Yahoo! take into consideration the amount of traffic your site already gets in addition to how many other sites link to yours.
We’ll discuss the benefits of a good linking strategy in the next SEO blog (it’s second in importance only to keywords and copy), but for the purposes of a Social Media discussion, it’s vital to understand the core concept that Google, Yahoo! and all the rest of the search engines look for; links FROM reputable sites TO your site. While these search engines do most of the heavy lifting themselves, they leave a certain amount of it to the community at large. What this means to your Web site is that if you have several links coming into your site from reputable sources – as which Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn certainly count – then Google sees those links as “votes of confidence” in the content and relevancy of your site, and will raise your ranking accordingly. This can be reinforced by reciprocating those links.
Another factor that the search engines will take into account is how much traffic you’re already getting, via word-of-mouth or other means. In other words, while having a properly-optimized site is of paramount importance, if you somehow manage to drive hundreds of hits to your site daily, Google will raise your ranking. This is instance number 2 where having social media profiles are invaluable – if you’ve got a Facebook account, Twitter handle, LinkedIn profile and all the others which are consistently pumping out interesting, relevant information, people are going to follow the links contained therein to your site, thus boosting you rankings even further.
When making your site SEO-friendly, it’s important to understand the hierarchy of importance in terms of the steps you need to take. There are a multitude of granular tweaks that should be made, but best practices dictate that you should take care of the broader issues first before drilling down into the fine-tuning. In other words, you should always start at the top and work your way down; with site optimization, “the top” means “keywords.”
Along with one other step that we’ll discuss in a later blog, the most important factor that search engines such as Google and Yahoo! take into account when ranking your site is the site’s content – what does it say, how often does it say it, and is what it says relevant to the site’s purpose? The search engines answer these questions by scanning your site and “reading” every word on the site that can be read and instantly analyzing how often each word is used. As a very simple example, let’s assume that we have a single-page Web site about Golden Retrievers with only one paragraph of text. If that paragraph read:
The Golden Retriever is a medium-sized breed of dog. They were historically developed as gundogs to retrieve shot waterfowl such as ducks and upland game birds during hunting and shooting parties. As such, they were bred to have a soft mouth to retrieve game undamaged and have an instinctive love of water. The golden retriever has a dense inner coat that provides it with adequate warmth. The outer coat is sleek and water repellent, and lies flat against the body. The official colour of the breed is the varying shades of gold that are most often seen. These dogs are well suited to suburban or country environments. They need lots of outdoor exercise but should be kept fenced in because of their instincts as hunting dogs.**
…Google would then return the following TOP-TEN results (word, # of times used on page, percentage of usage):
DOGS – 2 – 2.2%
GAME – 2 – 2.2%
RETRIEVE – 2 – 2.2%
WATER – 2 – 2.2%
HUNTING – 2 – 2.2%
GOLDEN – 2 – 2.2%
COAT – 2 – 2.2%
RETRIEVER – 2 – 2.2%
BREED – 2 – 2.2%
AN – 2 – 2.2%
From these results, we can see that our page is going to be recognized for the words “dogs,” “game” and “retrieve” more than anything else. Not a bad start, but we want our page to show up on searches for “golden retrievers” specifically. Best practices tell us that the ideal percentage of use for a word is between 3 and 9%, so let’s adjust our paragraph a little bit:
Golden Retrievers are a medium-sized breed of dog. Golden Retrievers were historically developed as gundogs to retrieve shot waterfowl such as ducks and upland game birds during hunting and shooting parties. As such, Retrievers were bred to have a soft mouth to retrieve game undamaged and have an instinctive love of water. Golden Retrievers have dense inner coats that provides them with adequate warmth. The outer coat is sleek and water repellent, and lies flat against the body. The official colour of the Golden Retriever breed is the varying shades of gold that are most often seen. These dogs are well suited to suburban or country environments. Golden Retrievers need lots of outdoor exercise but should be kept fenced in because of their instincts as hunting dogs.
As you can see, we have altered the wording slightly to use the words “golden” and “retrievers” more frequently. If we re-analyze this paragraph, we now get the following results:
GOLDEN – 5 – 4.42%
RETRIEVERS – 5 – 4.42%
DOGS – 2 – 2.1%
GAME – 2 – 2.1%
RETRIEVE – 2 – 2.1%
WATER – 2 – 2.1%
HUNTING – 2 – 2.1%
BREED – 2 – 2.1%
AN – 1 – 1.32%
BRED – 1 – 1.32%
We have now moved the words “golden” and “retrievers” into first and second place, respectively – the ideal setup for optimizing a site about Golden Retrievers. This means that Google is now going to identify our page as a site that is 100% relevant to any searches for “golden retrievers.” Additionally, those words are followed closely by other relevant terms such as “dogs,” “retrieve,” “hunting” and “breed,” and we have removed some weight from the useless word “an.” Further tweaking of the text could improve these results even more, although you always want to be careful to ensure that your copy sounds natural and is not overly padded with keywords; search engines will penalize a site’s rankings for keyword “stuffing.”
Of course, we know that ours is certainly not the only Web site out there on the subject of Golden Retrievers so we’ll need to do a considerable amount of further optimization in other areas if we want to be top of the search engine rankings, but this first, fundamental step is the foundation upon which all of our other efforts will be built.
**”Golden Retrievers.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 20 Mar. 2012. Web. 26 Mar. 2012.
Hello everyone! Viral Technologies is proud to announce the launch of our new and improved Web site! With a new look and a few new additions to our company, we are looking forward to the growth of our business and the onset of summer! Check out the new site here where you’ll notice our clean, sleek new color palette and interface.
Hope you all enjoy it! Give us a call 1-855-718-4725 or drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to ask us about our innovative and advanced intelligence/social media/SEO/graphic/Web design services!
So we recently came across a great video made by Salesforce.com describing what it takes for a video to go viral. Because our very name implies our interest in this phenomenon, we thought it pertinent to share. Jamie Grenney, VP of Social Media for Salesforce.com put together a video describing how to make your videos/online content go viral.
Grenney said that following these seven steps will “dramatically increase your [content’s] odds of going viral.”
1. Your video/content should answer a question, or elicit an emotional response.
2. Your video/content should address a popular topic that people are searching/chirping about.
3. Include a catchy title, description, and thumbnail if possible, as they have been shown to generate more clicks.
4. Keep your video/content short and sweet.
5. Get your video/content off to a strong start, so as to catch the attention of your audience right off the bat.
6. Are people going to feel compelled to share your video/content?
7. Eliminate the things that would make people apprehensive to share your video/content
You can learn more about this process through Grenney’s blog here!
Remember, Viral isn’t our middle name it’s our first—which makes us that much better. So if your brand wants the best shot at achieving a viral campaign, contact Viral Technologies today for a FREE consultation with one of our expert social media gurus! 1-207-899-0346 or email us email@example.com