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If you think you don’t need to focus on your website because you have a small business, then you’re making a mistake

Today, technology is king when it comes to business marketing. People across the globe spend over 6 hours a day online, and businesses have taken notice. In order to be successful, effective marketing strategies need to include a big web presence. This means that even a small business needs to have a website, a social media following and a person that knows how to make both of these things effective.

Building a Website that Works

Nowadays, it’s pretty much impossible to build a business without a website, but even those businesses with websites don’t automatically succeed. Your website needs to be designed to not only look good but to reach your target audience and do so in a way that matches your brand.

Keep it simple and view your website from a user’s perspective. Your website’s main goals should be to tell people what you do, what products or services you offer and why they should choose you over your competitors. Your website should make people trust you and want to learn more.

Here are the things you should focus on when it comes to your website: 

  • SEO is Key — First thing’s first, everything about your website needs to be designed based on SEO (search engine optimization). Through analytics, determine what keywords people are plugging into their search engines and then design your website in a way that makes it pop up near the top of the results. You can see more about how to make sure your website is designed for SEO by checking out our blog.
  • Keep It Simple — Step into your client’s shoes and see what they see when they look at your website. If it is a muddled mess, then it can quickly become overwhelming and confusing, which just makes people click the close button. Stay focused on the basics: who, what and why. Who are you, what do you do and why should your clients pick you? Don’t cram your webpage full of copy. Leave some white space, use graphics and make it pleasant to look at and easy to read and navigate.
  • Content is Crucial — Using original and consistent content allows people to learn more about your business and industry, while also providing useful information and a reason for them to keep coming back to your site. One way to do this is to incorporate a blog into your site. Your blog can consist of articles that involve your business directly, affiliate businesses and other partnerships, how-to’s that relate to your industry, and other connected topics.
  • Update Before It’s Too Late — Have you ever walked into a business and wanted to walk out right away because the decor took you back in time — and not in a good way? Well, your website can have the same effect if you let it stay in the past. It is important to regularly review your site and update any information that has changed. It is also a good idea to routinely give your site a facelift and keep the design fresh. When people click onto your site and see a clean, updated webpage they are more likely to stay and explore.
  • Connect to Social Media — If your goal is to have a big web presence, then you need to make sure your various online components are connected. Make sure to provide links on your site that lead people to your social media and vice versa. This can be done through a variety of ways, such as a call to action for clients to check out your different social media pages, or through icons that directly lead people to those pages.

Selling Socially

Successful companies don’t get that way by guessing when it comes to their social media. On the contrary, they most likely have someone to carefully plan out a strategy that serves a multi-purpose function of finding leads, generating sales and keeping a business visible.  This practice is known as social selling, and 78% of salespeople that use social media, perform better than their peers.

Why is social media such a big deal, though? What are the things that make it such a powerful tool, when it is wielded by the right person?

Here are the highlights of what makes social media such a must if you want your small business to have a big web presence:

  • Social Media Lets You Grow Your Business Through Current Contacts — You probably already have a network of contacts online, but perhaps you have not taken the time to really look at who is a part of that network. There are probably quite a few people that have businesses of their own that can provide a mutually beneficial relationship with you and your organization.
  • Social listening is when you monitor certain keywords on social media in order to find people that might have a potential interest in your business.

  • Social listening allows you to filter potential clients down to those that would be most interested in your product or service. Then it is up to you to reach out and establish a relationship. Remember to take the time to build a strong connection because this is what will truly win your clients’ loyalty. Even in this digital age, the human component of a business is still essential to its success.

The digital world is a vast place with an almost endless reach. If you aren’t careful with your marketing plan, then it can mean major setbacks for your business. You have a lot of things on your plate when it comes to running your company, so sometimes, the best thing to do is delegate certain tasks to the pros. If you don’t have the time to dedicate to building a powerful website and creating a strong social media following, then your best bet is to hire a team that can make these crucial elements their main focus.

Are you ready to create a big web presence for your business? Then contact us today to see how we can help make your company more visible and effective online. Make sure to check out our other blogs for ideas on how to market your business and build your digital presence.

Four Need-to-Know Ways to Avoid a Cluttered Website

When it comes to getting your business organized, virtual clutter should be at the top of your list, starting with your website

Is your business suffering from a cluttered website? You probably have already heard the term “virtual clutter” at some point since a good portion of our lives these days is kept on a computer or other device in the form of emails, text messages, documents, PDF files, images, videos and so much more. Once upon a time, for a business to run smoothly, you just needed a way to keep files organized and your desk cleared of any unnecessary papers. Nowadays, an organized physical space is not enough because the majority of companies operate a good portion of their businesses online.

Today, an organized physical workspace is not enough for a business to operate smoothly. If your website is cluttered you might as well be trying to run a company from under a mountain of paper and junk.

Virtual clutter mainly focuses on ways to keep your devices organized and your online presence clutter-free. For example, organizing emails into folders that are easier to find versus collecting virtual dust in your inbox. You can organize your desktop as well by using folders to sort like items together, and of course, it’s always helpful to regularly delete any emails or documents that are no longer relevant. Platforms like Google Photos and Dropbox make it easy to store photos, videos, and documents in a safe place that doesn’t take up precious space on your hard drive.

These may seem like pretty simple ideas, but you would be surprised how many people don’t think about organizing their virtual lives. If and when they finally do, there’s so much data it can be overwhelming, to say the least. One thing that any savvy business owner should not overlook is a cluttered website because it’s the equivalent of having a sign for your business that is covered in graffiti. It makes it hard to read and turns people away. You have less than one second before a visitor forms an opinion about your website. If you can’t hold their attention, then odds are that they will leave your site and move on to the competition. 

So, take some time right now to focus on the following four ways to make sure your website doesn’t cause people to scramble for the “X” button: 

  • Make It User-Friendly – One of the main things that make dealing with clutter so frustrating is how finding even the most basic item can become an extreme exercise in perseverance. If you are looking for a rubber band, you want to open a drawer, reach in and pull out a rubber band in a matter of seconds. You don’t want to waste time or energy, and you definitely don’t want to stress out over such a small thing.
  • When people visit your website, it is crucial that they are able to find out exactly what they need to know in a matter of seconds and without any stress. The last thing you want your website to do is frustrate potential customers. So when you are designing your website, make sure that amid all of the choices for layouts, elements, and fancy images, you don’t neglect the basics.
  • Your website should make it obvious from the very beginning WHAT your company does, WHY consumers need your product and/or service and HOW they can get more information. If your site is so cluttered that these basics are hard to find, then it’s like having a closet crammed full of blankets when you really just want a pillow. It’s frustrating, unhelpful and a big waste of time. No-one is going to dig through the blankets, instead, the door is going to get slammed right away.
  • Keep Text to a Minimum – If your home page and other landing pages are covered in lines and lines of text, then you will most likely lose any traffic that comes your way. An overwhelming amount of text is like having an unruly pile of laundry scattered across your floor – it’s not pleasant to look at and makes you want to leave the room. Since you don’t want people to leave your site as soon as they arrive, think minimalistically when it comes to text and opt for effective images instead.
  • Position text in a way that it isn’t punching your potential clients in the face as soon as they click on your page. This can be done by utilizing drop-down menus, having an appropriate amount of white space surrounding the text and simply keeping the amount of text low. Of course, you want your site to have content, but don’t put it all on one page, instead, for example, your site can feature a blog that can serve as an excellent place for your content to live. You can have a separate FAQ page that can provide a lot of information about your company, how it works and products/services without having it all jammed on the first page that people see.
  • Limit Choices and Information – Your website does not have to contain every single bit of information about your company, nor does it need to all be in one place. Remember, you want to feature the basics and provide information on how your customers can engage with you if they want to know more. In fact, you might be thinking that providing a large amount of information is helpful and what your customers want. However, a recent study shows that the opposite is true and “too many options create anxiety and leave us less satisfied.”
  • Think about it like this – imagine that you decide you want to cook a meal and open up your pantry to see what you have available to prepare. The shelves are filled with dozens of cans of all different kinds of spices, soups, sauces, vegetables, canned meats, and some things you aren’t even sure what they are. You immediately shut down and order take-out. This is like a customer coming to your website and being confronted with so many options that they become overwhelmed, sign-off and decide to binge-watch their favorite TV shows instead.
  • Update It Before It’s Outdated – In organizing, systems are put in place to keep clutter at bay and make things work efficiently. These systems need to be regularly assessed to make sure they are still working as well as they were at the outset. Often, they need to be adapted and tweaked as times change in order for them to continue to work effectively.
  • This same concept needs to be applied to your website. What works one week may not work the next, and if it stays the same, then customers are likely going to look for a more updated site because they will assume that company is more “in-the-know.” Make it a priority to regularly check your website for any areas where it might be outdated and fix it as needed. This way potential customers will associate your website with a driven company that keeps up with the latest trends.

Your website should make it obvious from the very beginning in a clear and understandable way, WHAT your company does, WHY consumers need your product and/or service and HOW they can get more information.

Basically, a successful business has many components that make it operate at an optimum level. One of the main factors to determine how smoothly a company runs is how well it is organized. When you declutter your workspace, including your files, schedule and other physical aspects of your business, don’t forget to carry it over to the virtual side of the coin. If you take the time to keep your website clean and well-organized, you will attract more web traffic and retain more of the customers that find their way to your site. If you need a fresh set of eyes to get your website in tip-top shape and would like some feedback on how you can gain more customers, contact us today to see how we can help!

Your logo is a visual representation of your business. It not only conveys the name of your business but connects people to your brand, ideally in a powerful way. Your logo should garner attention, separate you from your competition, and communicate to your audience what your brand and message are. Some logos are so iconic, they need no text at all and are almost universally recognized. The Nike swoosh is instantly recognizable, and the logo is immediately associated with elevated athletic footwear. So what does your logo say about your business?

About 65% of the population is most responsive to visual memory. The most successful brands have logos that evoke an emotion through visualization. Your logo should combine several key elements to connect your business to your customers.  Message, audience, color, and graphics all meld together in your logo to communicate your brand to the world.

Your message is the foundation for your logo and what it says about your business. Is your company traditional or cutting edge? Whimsical or somber? Font, graphics, and your color palette will help convey the message and tone. A funeral home and a toy store have very different messages that should be reflected in all the elements of the logo. Your logo should tell the story of your brand. A good logo will be clear, memorable and give an indication of what your company or product is about.

Logos for High-End Brands Often Use Monograms

Your next consideration should be your target audience. A logo for a motorcycle company should look quite different from that of a lipstick company. Your logo should reflect the aesthetics of your intended audience and help to create an emotional response from them as well. Consumers can so strongly identify with a brand and logo, it becomes a part of their personal brand. The iconic monogrammed initials CC of Chanel or LV of Louis Vuitton have been adopted by celebrities to convey a sense of prestige and exclusivity.

 

Logo Colors Evoke Certain Feelings

Color choice should embody both your message and your audience. In Joe Hallock’s work “Colour Assignment” his data shows preferences to certain colors based on gender. Different colors are associated with different attributes, and some of the world’s largest companies have capitalized on those associations. Nearly one-third of companies use red in their logos; which is a color of high energy and passion. Both social media companies and credit cards like American Express and Visa use blue in their logos, which indicates trust and stability.  Psychologically, yellow is considered the happiest color in the spectrum and McDonald’s and Ikea use the color as a memory stimulant.

 

Confusing Logos Detract From Your Message

The graphics part of your logo can be one of the most difficult pieces of the puzzle. Clean, simple designs are best and they should be distinct, timeless, and easy to reproduce in various sizes. Your graphic should connect to your brand message with imagery, shape or style. The graphics in your logo are the visual representation of your brand message. Logos convey a sense of security, trust, and build rapport with your customers. Confusing or unclear graphics detract from your message, and they can leave consumers guessing about your company.

The human brain processes shapes and colors more easily than words, so the right combination of graphics and colors will make your brand more memorable. The visual library in our minds associate emotions with fonts, shapes, and colors. A logo can create an immediate impression of the brand based on those emotional associations. By creating a logo that conveys your message to your target audience through a combination of meaningful colors and graphics; you can elevate your brand, improve memorability, and establish trust between your customers and your business. Is your logo saying what you want about your business?

To learn more about color impacts, you may also want to read our blog on “The Importance of Colors to Your Brand“.

If you care enough about your business to be here reading this blog, you likely have a logo, and maybe even a brand color palette. It’s often a temptation as a business owner to choose colors that go with your personality, or that match your personal preference, but colors can convey so much and it’s really important that you choose the right ones to deliver your brand message.

Here are some things you may not have realized about the importance of colors to your brand:

Color really and truly makes a difference. In a study titled “The Impact of Color on Marketing,” researchers found that consumers often made quick judgments about products based on color alone, depending on the product. Up to 90% of consumers had done this at some point in their lives. That’s an unbelievable number.

Additionally, consumers have preconceived notions of what certain colors “mean”.  Here are some of the current brand colors, their meanings, and what brands use them:

Tiffany Blue

This one’s so specific and was used so well, that the shade is now named after the brand, Tiffany & Co. Shades of aqua generally indicate luxury and are geared more often to female customers.

 

Green

Green generally indicates environmentally friendly companies or products that are good for health or wealth. Companies that use green include John Deere, Subway (whose slogan is “Eat Fresh”), and Animal Planet.

 

Yellow

Yellow generally indicates value.  McDonald’s, Best Buy, and DHL are companies that have predominately yellow branding. It could also indicate youth or fun, like Ferrari and Snapchat.

 

Red

This one’s tricky.  It has a variety of meanings, but generally, companies that use red want to be seen as classic staples such as Coca-Cola, Target, and Netflix. It can also be used to portray power and emotions, like Tesla and Red Bull.

 

Pink

In the past, pink was used to convey products that would attract a female demographic, like the logos of Barbie and Victoria’s Secret.   In recent years though, the color has experienced a lot of revitalization with millennial crowds and now is used for a lot of tech-friendly companies, such as Lyft, LG, and T-Mobile.

 

Blue

Blue has long been the favorite of technology companies and the wellness industry. Depending on the shade of blue, it can convey knowledge, stability, health, and trust. If you take one look at the apps on your phone, you’ll probably have instant confirmation of this.  PayPal, AT&T, Waze, and Blue Cross all use blue.

 

Black

Black often conveys an edgier vibe.  This may be used by companies that want to break free from the norm, or by rock bands.  It’s also popularly used by a lot of fitness brands as well as by upscale restaurants. Some popular black logos are for Louis Vuitton, Apple, Adidas, and Daniel’s Broiler.

 

Orange

Orange may be the most versatile of all the colors.  Originally used to target men, it can also be used by brands that want to portray creativity and fun.  Brands that use orange are Home Depot, Harley Davidson, Fanta, Nickelodeon, and Blogger.

 

Certain color palettes have science that backs them up:

There are scientific studies that indicate that certain color combinations elicit physiological responses in the body.  Other color patterns are also extremely easy to see.  There’s a reason that most caution signs are black words on a dark yellow background.  Initially, this was done because it’s the easiest color combination for us to read, but as people began to expect that color combination for street signs and caution messages, it took on a different meaning.  You definitely don’t want to use this color combination unless it’s an urgent message or a matter of extreme importance.

Take some time to think about your brand colors and consider what image and purpose you want to portray for your business.

Concept Create Captivate Infographic

We believe in organic growth! It is the best way of enriching the user experience. It might be the only way user experience can be enriched. Most million dollar ideas are created out of how something can be made or experienced better. We learn, adjust, and grow each step of the way. Many call it agile. Agile is in real terms organic. Not only when one is building something for the first time, but also after it has already been delivered. The process of organic growth repeats in nature, in human perception, and so it should in every aspect of our own creations.

There are three stages in this organic growth – and the first of them is ‘Concept’.

Concept – is an idea, a need, an epiphany, or something extraordinary. This is where the seed is born. It is this moment when a search for the right ecosystem is needed. A search for an environment, a right time, a right framework, and the most important – a right team. A team that knows how to bring this seed to life. A team that believes in — not only that the idea itself is precious, but that it was born from the very nature of the DNA it carries. This is where the next stage surfaces – ‘Create’.

Create – is the nesting, the nurture, and the very nature of growth. The seed is given a great foundation and right know-hows. In technical terms, it will be incubated under the right software architecture, operating environment, as well as the right conditions for expansion, while keeping in mind its future potential. Every step of its growth is deeply studied, always understanding its final outcome – to ‘Captivate’ the target audience and so the final stage emerges.

When the software is built on the foundation of concept, create, and captivate, it is bound to succeed the same way nature has shown us since the inception of ‘Life’

Captivate – is to mesmerize! Mesmerized by the very idea you dreamt of, the seed you brought into being. It is now the time to engage in what and with whom it was meant for. It is the right moment for a perfect delivery. With the right tools and the right people, the right audience will be attracted to what you created.

Many times people ask about the cookie-cutter approach – that so many ideas have become successful with delivering what has already been perfected, and they are right. What needs to be understood is that each ingredient that was put into that cookie, each mold that was formed, was once brought into being under the right environment. And even then, the ingredients that go into the cookie can be unique and varied. When the software is built on the foundation of concept, create, and captivate, it is bound to succeed the same way nature has shown us since the inception of ‘Life’