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If you’re a business owner or manager who wants to succeed, you have probably familiarized yourself on SEO and what it means.  Search Engine Optimization is the art of making your site (or sites) pop up when people use various search terms on their search engine of choice (typically Google).   The higher the ranking, the more people that see you.  It’s the modern-day equivalent of having a business named “AAAA Aardvark Company” in the Yellow Pages, it is desirable as a business owner to have your company listed first in a certain category.

SEO Has Changed. Here are a few of our best tips:

What many people don’t know, however, is how exactly SEO works for them, and the logistics that go into it.  An analogy might be the kitchen faucet in your home — we know that it has an on/off mechanism, there’s a spout, perhaps a sprayer, and the water flows out — but we really couldn’t explain to someone else the exact passage of water or what to do if something breaks.  Similarly, we understand that computers help us and we know how to use user-friendly apps, but very few of us know how to take one apart and fix a faulty motherboard, for example.

What makes all of this even more complicated is that SEO, like all things technology, is constantly changing.  What you may have learned in a class or seminar two years ago may not hold true anymore.   Additionally, because more people know what SEO is (and there are more user-friendly apps available for people to master it), the competition is growing fiercer. At Komaya, we are always here to help you master SEO and make your business as successful as possible, so here are a few of our best tips to make your SEO stand out:

  1. Try a plug-in, like Yoast:
    If you use WordPress, there’s a free plugin called Yoast that basically functions like a “spell-checker”, except that it checks for readability and SEO. You can enter in your article, blog, or web content, and let it know what the target keywords are. Yoast will analyze the piece and provide scores on a few specific categories, as well as what you can do to improve the piece. It’s an SEO game changer.
  2. Use apps that analyze your competitors, suggest keywords for you, and give you an action plan:
    Apps like Keyword Finder (https://KWFinder.com) will analyze keywords and find words for you that you can easily rank for, as well as keywords that your competitors are missing.
    That’s just one example. There are a lot of sites out there that will analyze keywords for you, recommend them on a weekly basis, and even remember which keywords worked well for you at certain times of the year so you can go back to them for repeat business. They will even identify where there is a hole in the market based on the keywords your competitors are using, versus what consumers are actually searching for.
  3. Make your website as optimized as possible:
    For starters, if your website hasn’t been updated since 2012, there is little chance that it will rank over a site that was updated yesterday.  Keeping your content fresh and constantly changing is the number one thing that is necessary for website optimization.  You also need keywords that people would actually type into a search bar. There’s a difference between describing your item and optimizing your item’s description for search engines.
    If you sell hand-knitted sweaters that come in three colors and are made in Maine out of organic materials, your keywords should be “red organic sweater”, or “blue handmade sweater”, or “organic hand-made sweaters” and not “hand-knitted sweater Maine three colors”  because no one is searching for that, they just want a sweater.   You’ll also have a great deal of luck by making several pages with different titles and meta descriptions, as opposed to trying to put as many words as possible on one page.

We haven’t even begun to cover the ways your keywords, titles and meta titles, descriptions, SERP, and the way your page is searched and crawled, but that will be information in a forthcoming blog.

With all of that said, this can definitely be a confusing or overwhelming topic, but at Komaya we are here to help. Contact us today to get a consultation on your brand and what we can do for you.

“A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words” – So Make Sure It’s a Good One

How the graphics in your web design can make or break your business

When you look around society today, you can’t help but see images, colors, logos, badges and other similar advertisements all over the place. There is a very good reason for this. It’s because visual appeal is what first catches customers’ eyes, and businesses of all types are catching on to this fact. Graphic design is undoubtedly a huge component of a company’s brand and marketing strategy. Designhill.com  describes graphic design as a “crucial tool that makes sure that you communicate with your people in an efficient manner. It serves to deliver your message to the target audience in an aesthetic way.”

The use of graphics not only adds visual interest but when it is done well, it helps communicate your message without needing to overuse words and muddy up your page. Plus, successful graphic design will deliver a message quickly. This way people who are clicking through pages can better understand what your company does at a glance, instead of first having to take the time to read a bunch of words.  Your graphic design is your “hook.” If successful, it should catch people’s attention and reel them in to learn more.

Graphics also help create a cohesive appearance, which can make the navigation of your site a lot easier for users. When your website is pleasant to look at, easy to navigate and information is a breeze to find, you’ll get customers who stick around longer. The graphics are like your front door, and your goal is to make people want to knock and enter.  Forbes.com points to a study that showed 94% of comments regarding why users mistrusted websites were related to the design elements of the site and only 6% to the actual content. This definitely shows that the visual components of a website’s design hold a lot of weight when it comes to making an impression.

So, when it comes to the graphic design of your website, you may want to keep these quick tips in mind to ensure you are using it to your biggest advantage:

  1. Don’t Be a Show Off — As tempting as it is to show off how much you know about graphic design and the neat trick you just learned, if it doesn’t fit or serve a purpose, then it doesn’t belong on your website. Remember, the idea is to help communicate your message to customers in an “efficient” way. If you learn some new techniques, that’s great, but save them for a time when they will make sense and be functional. Otherwise, they’ll just be confusing.
  2. Don’t Supersize It — Nowadays everyone seems to be in a hurry. Doesn’t it feel that way? When people go online they expect quick answers and often want to check out things in a matter of seconds. So, a web page that loads slowly and/or incompletely is going to just cause people to abort their mission and click elsewhere. Overly large images will cause a sluggish pace that people just don’t have the patience for, so pay attention to the size of the images you choose.
  3. Don’t Steal Focus —  When you go to a restaurant, you’ll often find that certain menu items have a box around them.  This is leading you to the products that provide the highest profit margin to the restaurant.  Similarly, you can use your graphic design as a way to help direct people’s focus to where you want them to look. A good design will help lead people to the content you want them to see and point them in the right direction. On the flip side, don’t make elements of your design so over the top that they have the opposite effect and draw focus away from the real content.
  4. Don’t Be Obnoxious — You can definitely go too far when it comes to graphic design. Images and other elements that are overly artistic, cutesy or bright might be fun or eye-catching at first, but if splashed all over your site they can become very overbearing and make people cringe. Keep your choices purposeful, attractive and balanced to make a good impression, and make sure they will appeal to your target audience.  For example, comic book characters probably won’t be the best idea if you’re catering to 65-year-old women.
  5. Keep Colors in Check — In addition to not getting overly obnoxious with your images, make sure to follow the same rule when it comes to color. Glaring colors can be a huge turn off to viewers. Color also has a very big psychological impact. The choice of color alone can make all the difference in a customer’s decision to purchase a product. According to smallbiz.com, 93% of customers say they focus on visual appearance. Use this to your advantage when choosing colors and select the colors that help evoke the feelings you want your customers to have when they are viewing your site. For a list of which emotions different colors are associated with, look here.
  6. Use the Right Tools — If you are tackling your own graphic design, then don’t make things hard on yourself. There are a multitude of options out there to assist you in making strong design elements for your website, including sites like Canva, and online talent pools like Fiverr and Upwork. Take the time to get familiar with what is available to you and to learn how they work. If you are able to use a tool effectively, it makes the job easier. Check out these reviews of some graphic design programs to find one that will be a good fit for you.

The visual appeal of your website is a major, if not the biggest, factor when it comes to the effectiveness of your site to drive people towards your business. Be sure to give your site a review with a critical eye geared towards the graphic design and see if it’s meeting the above tips. If you find it falls short in some areas, make sure to do a revamp. Have others give your site a test run as well to get their honest opinions about their reactions to your site.

Not sure if your website is maximizing its potential? Let us help you evaluate the effectiveness of your web design and make sure that it is working for your business at maximum capacity. Be sure to check out our other blogs for ideas on how to brand and market your company and build your web presence. We’re here to help you attract customers and grow your business!

5 Ways to Run Your Business Better & More Effectively in the New Year

It’s the beginning of January, and what that means for most people is that some work was put off to enjoy time with family and friends during the holidays.   While this is a wonderful (and necessary) idea, sometimes the quiet time alone with our closest friends and family (and with our thoughts) allows us to start contemplating what we’ve done right and wrong.  Have we spent enough time with our loved ones?  Did we eat too many calories over Christmas dinner?  How are we going to get through the mountain of work on our desk that’s waiting for us?

This period of reflection is wonderful and without it, things wouldn’t ever change for the better.  And while some New Year’s resolutions may get forgotten on the gym floor around March, planning for our business is a must — and something that we have to make sure to keep doing all the way through next December.  Our planners and calendars should help us make sure of that.  But as business owners and managers, our problem isn’t usually that we don’t get things done.  Consistency and accountability typically aren’t our biggest problems — if we don’t work, we don’t get paid.  Our problems are usually more conceptual.  And sometimes, the problem is not knowing what the problem is in the first place.

How do we know what we should focus on in 2019?   What are our biggest shortcomings and ways that we can target them?  And once we figure all of that out, how should we begin to tackle the problems?

Well have no fear, we are here to help. Here are some of the most recurring issues facing small to mid-level businesses, and what you can do to run a better business in 2019:

  1. Problem: Revenue that’s Lower than Expected

Solution:   Focus on the products that are doing well, and make your SEO game extremely strong.

You likely have some sort of good or service, and if you have lower than expected revenue it’s generally because your overhead is too high, or because your products or services aren’t doing as well as you wanted them to.

The first step to take is to review the products that have sold and eliminate the ones that aren’t performing.  Start with the ones with the lowest profit and highest overhead, and work in a reverse direction to trim the fat. Once you know the items or services that are performing the best– you can really focus on making them the shining stars of your operation.  Your website should feature those products, they should be visible on the main page, and have hyperlinks to them within all of your branded emails and most of your social media posts.  You should have extremely good meta links, descriptions, and SEO strategy for these products as well.

  1. Problem: Customers are Not Engaging the Way They Used To

Solution:  Revisit the way you log and track contacts, and set up a new targeted campaign.

If your customers aren’t engaging the way they used to, it could be for a variety of reasons.  Perhaps your brand is failing to meet their needs.  Maybe you have a competitor who is doing things better or cheaper.  Regardless of the reason why you lost them, you definitely need to re-engage your core audience.

Take a look at your customers that are currently engaging.  You should be able to pull up your interactions on all of your social media accounts as well as through your email management program.  If you don’t have one of these, that’s definitely a huge mistake.  Look at Buffer for social media management, and Mailchimp for email management.  Other options are SocialReport, Sprout, and HootSuite for social media and MyEmma, and Constant Contact for email management, but we enjoy Buffer and Mailchimp the best, for a variety of reasons.

Once you’ve determined your core group of customers, you should make sure that your website is clear and targeted to them, and to their needs.  You should also make sure that your social media campaign, your website, and all of your other marketing materials are clear, connected, and carry the same branding and message. This includes fonts, slogans, logos, and colors.

  1. Problem: Customers are calling and spending a lot of time with you on the phone, and you’re not able to get a lot of the work completed.

Solution:  Your website, social media pages, and contracts and documents can all be made more clear and easier to navigate so that there is a clear understanding among all parties.

It isn’t uncommon for customers to be calling you, especially when you offer a service or are some type of consultant. But if you have a very straightforward product that can be automatically ordered and shipped, and customers continue to call you–  this is a clear sign that your website is failing you.

Make sure that your website is easy to navigate, easy to follow and understand, and works across a variety of browsers and skill levels.  Not all of your customers are technology savvy, but most will have a basic understanding — so you need to figure out who your target group is and cater to those people.

At Komaya, we offer a free website review — so we’ll be able to look at your current website, determine how navigable and user-friendly it is, and offer some concrete solutions to make it work better for you.

  1. Problem: You’re Unable to Get The Things on Your List Accomplished

Solution:   Start a Time Blocked Schedule, and Stick To It

We all have really long to-do lists, but the difference between those who accomplish all of the items on their lists and those who don’t are the ways we go about completing them.  Time blocking, or the act of actually scheduling the time in your day and blocking certain half-hours or hours out for specific purposes, seems elementary, and often not even necessary– but it’s absolutely quite the contrary.

By time-blocking, you’re ensuring that you’re giving the appropriate amount of devoted time to each task.   The benefits of this are that, when you’re within a specific time block, you can limit the distractions by turning off your phone or putting it in another room, for example, or not checking social media during this time window.   Additionally, you’ll know right away if you don’t have the appropriate amount of time to finish all of your daily tasks– so it will become immediately clear that you need to delegate, and not at the eleventh hour when you’re desperate to find a staff member who can help you.

For a good example of time-blocking, you can check out this WikiHow.

  1. Problem: You aren’t Getting the Types of Customers that You Want

Solution:  Re-Evaluate your Business Plan and look at the type of customer who is your target.  Is your website effectively speaking to that person?

Let’s say that the product that you’re currently promoting retails for $97, but your average customer is spending $12 on your site per visit.  Clearly, something isn’t working.  Likely, you’re not getting the type of customer who is your ideal customer.  If you’re making sales, sometimes it seems like you have an audience and everything is going well, but if you aren’t making the amount of expected sales, you could have the wrong products  — but you could also have the wrong group of people that you’re targeting.

For example, let’s say your business sells luxury high-end office products.  The majority of your products are things that a top business person would love, like desk accessories made of gold and silver,  leather briefcases, and portfolios.  Your target customer should be spending, in your opinion, about $165 on average for their order.  If your top-selling item is a $7 pen and your average customer spends $20 on their entire order– you’re probably getting college students who are buying sticky notes and school supplies.  Perhaps your millennial pink website needs to be changed to a more mature color, like navy blue.  Additionally, it’s likely that your targeted Instagram ad needs to be featured on LinkedIn instead.

By asking the right questions about your business plan, and how you’ve been implementing it — you’ll make sure to have a better and more productive 2019.

For any questions about your website, or other things that you can do to enhance your business in 2019, contact us at Komaya.  You can also check out our blog for more ideas for bringing your business to the next level.

Custom content marketing through blogging is the most popular and cost-effective way for a business to build their customer base. Taking the time to create new content for your blog enhances your brand’s visibility and product ROI (Return on Investment). Blogging makes a business more accessible and attracts more inbound traffic to a website. This can result in a return as high as triple the average rate for acquiring new leads, aka customers who are loyal to your brand. In short, blogging is the marketing wave of the present and future!

There’s always room to improve your marketing strategies as a blogger. It doesn’t matter if you’re totally new to the blogging world or if you’re a seasoned content writer. Technology is constantly evolving, so with that being said, you’ve come to the right place! Our team here at Komaya is ready to guide you in your journey to being the best blogger you can be. Here are 4 blogging mistakes that you might be making and how to correct them:

No Marketing Strategy


According to Neil Patel, only 9 percent of B2B marketers rate their organization as “very effective” at content marketing and that most people fail because they have no content marketing strategy. Take the time to learn more about the fundamentals and value of online marketing! DemandMetric.com provides a very thorough breakdown of the building blocks for content strategy and its potential consumer impact. Educate yourself, do the research, and seek opportunities to learn about online business in your community. By investing the time to learn now, you’ll be able to discover what methods work best for your brand with confidence in the future.

3 Key Statistics from DemandMetric.com:

  • Internet users are browsing brand-related content an average of 20% of the time.
  • Within that time frame, a staggering 68% of users are reading exclusively about brands that interest them!
  • Once exposed to a new brand, internet users are 60% more likely to research products they’ve learned about—you guessed it—from reading a blog!

Inconsistent Content

group sitting around table looking at notebooks depicting inconsistent content
This issue remains prevalent among businesses across the board and negatively impacts bloggers regardless of a business’ marketing budget or years of experience. Even the most streamlined website isn’t working optimally if the blog section is outdated or altogether inactive. It’s not about a business’ money or credentials, it’s about consistency: take charge of your blog! Review past posts and assess what more successful posts (ones with interactions like comments, likes, or shares) might have in common. Try to emulate those tactics in future content. If you do post regularly, do you have a routine? If not, create a publishing schedule suited to your brand. Example: if you own a business in fashion, post a quick DIY every Monday at noon and a 3-point Q&A to spotlight a fashion entrepreneur of your choice every Friday at noon. At the end of each post, invite followers to suggest future DIY ideas, Q&A artists to spotlight, and what questions they’d like answered. For a step-by-step tutorial on how to create great content, we suggest Jeff Haden’s excellent article on Inc.com.

Bubble Blogging

candy hearts on a computer desk depicting bubble blogging
It’s easy to fall into a rhythm of casualness when blogging, even for more experienced content writers. Of course, original and thoughtful content with eye-catching headlines and pins (the featured image for a blog post) always beats writing content for content’s sake. People who enjoy following blogs can always tell the difference, so burst that comfort bubble! It’s important to remember that a great blog is the online equivalent of a billboard for your brand.

The most definitive blogs out there create signature and engaging content that earns the loyalty and trust of their followers by appealing to them directly. Be authentic, be consistent, be patient, and know your audience! The blog is for them. For a comprehensive guide on copyright dos and don’ts, or if you just want a crash course on plagiarism and how to avoid it, visit HostingFacts.com and scroll to “Tools to Check Plagiarism…” We also highly recommend reading our blog post covering social media for further reading.

You’ve Got Mail?

smiling professional lady working on laptop depicting you got mail
Unfortunately, it’s a common misstep of new businesses to avoid creating a blog email subscription list while likewise trying to build their online presence through social media. Conversely, an active blog e-list is what the most successful businesses all have in common! A blog email subscription list is, bar none, the best way to enhance your brand’s visibility and draw more inbound traffic to your website, period. If your business is well established with a more advanced email subscription list, be sure to offer subscription preferences. It’s that added attention to detail that will keep your followers happy, guaranteed. When is the last time you reviewed your contacts to remove bounce-backs or double-checked contact information? Taking the time to stay up-to-date now will save you from having to backtrack in the future. If you’re brand new to blog email subscription lists, keep it simple. Stick to one weekly email blast or send an email blast per upcoming event. ShareThis provides some great tips for building a blog email subscription list right here if you’re looking for inspiration!

There may be countless resources at our fingertips, but it can be tricky determining which ones are the most reliable. At Komaya, our priority is to support and empower businesses in achieving their online marketing goals with knowledge and confidence! Never hesitate to reach out with thoughts or questions—just send us a message! We’re here to help.

For many successful businesses, blogging is a key aspect of their marketing strategy. It is important to your business for a variety of reasons:  It establishes you as an authority in your field, it lets your customers know about your products and services, it shows everyone who you (and your employees) are personally, and it also sets the tone for your business.  Blogging can make or break you.

With that being said, here are some blogging mistakes you might be making:

  1. Being scared to establish yourself as an authority — Blogging establishes you as an authority, and what that means is that it sets you up as an expert in your field.  A lot of folks are scared to do this because they are waiting for someone to crown or bestow a title of expert on them but, most likely, that’s not going to happen.  What makes you an authority is that you know more than at least one other person.  A real estate agent, for example, might not be the best agent in the nation, but they probably know more about what happens at a closing table than the average person. If what you write could help one person learn more about your field, then you absolutely should write it!
  2. Being overconfident and not backing up facts — The converse side to establishing yourself as an authority is proclaiming false facts. It’s totally fine to give examples of how you’ve done x, y, or z within your business or community, but remember—- what you write is accessible to everyone, forever, so make sure there’s truth in your claims.  You can’t go wrong if you write from the heart on a topic you know about.
  3. Having an inappropriate tone for your business — Blogging should be extremely casual, but the tone should fluctuate depending on what you’re talking about, your audience, and what you’re trying to do. If you’re talking about your political campaign, the rules for your employees to follow, or the legalities of filing a lawsuit, perhaps you should have a more formal tone.  However, if you’re trying to target millennials and you’d like to sell clothing— you don’t necessarily need to do a research article on cotton and rayon fibers with references.  Similarly, if your spelling and grammar are poor and you’re using slang within “ur” writing— that won’t really go far for a professional piece on the benefits of your business.
  4. Not giving enough information — Blogging is casual, but there is an extremely fine line that needs to be walked. Readers respond better to pieces that are written on a lower reading level in a casual tone. They also want to feel as if they’re in your shoes or experiencing what you’re talking about first hand. So, while you shouldn’t over-explain everything, you should also remember that most of your readers are strangers who don’t know anything about your business, and they don’t get nicknames, inside jokes, or industry terms.
  5. Not posting enough — Above all, the worst blogging mistake that you can make is not to blog! Jot down a bunch of ideas that you’d like to talk about and start writing one a week until you get on some kind of blogging routine.  Many can get intimidated by not being professional writers, but that’s not what it’s about— it’s about sharing your ideas and your business with the world.  Even if it’s 100 words here or there, it’s something, and that’s way better than having a page that hasn’t been updated since 1999.  Worst case scenario, talk to us, and we can arrange for you to hire someone to blog for you.