As I surf around the web I find sites that are fine and informative and otherwise get the job done but there’s something that bothers me about them. It may be something small and hardly noticeable but it makes me wonder if it bothers others that they are trying to target. And do they drive away customers inadvertently? I know that when I encounter a site that takes to long to load I’m out of there. Or if music starts to play the moment I land on the site and I can’t find a mute button immediately I’m gone. Sites that have a Flash intro when I’m looking at them on my iPhone also bug me because a big gray box appears where there should be content. I was recently on a website that had the navigation in a different place on every page. That could definitely frustrate a would be client/customer. These are some of the examples that come to mind. Can you think of others?
A feature that may be off-putting to your audience is not worth keeping. Instead get a web designer to look over your site and make the tweaks needed to remove anything getting between you and your customers. But don’t delay, since it’s easy to fix and may be just the thing to get your business website helping instead of hurting you!
Blogging is easy if you take it on like any marketing project for your business. You know your business, you talk passionately about it and your industry whenever given the chance. Now just write all that down. For me, the best bet has been to come up with several topics I want to talk about then I flesh them out in a Word document. After I have a few I copy them into my WordPress Blog and schedule them to appear every week. I’ll also put in some extras in between if the mood strikes but at least I know my blogging SSM (Social Media Marketing) is taken care of.
The idea of course is to get more crowds to your website so first you need one of those. I’ve found that the two can be easily combined for most businesses by having a customized WordPress website and blog. Pages such as About, Services and Contact can be added and worked seamlessly together with the Blog page. WordPress even makes suggestions on what to blog about if you’re stuck. Some people find a trending topic and put a spin on it that ties into what they do. Others find that posting great testimonials on their blog keeps it fresh. Search engines love new content so get out your pen and paper or that blank Word page and start blogging! Then let Pat Creedon Design help you get in all up where your customers and potential customers can see the results.
A great way to get your business found on the web is to have a website and a Twitter page, Facebook Fan page and LinkedIn profile. Those are really the 3 basics to start with when you want to have a chance at rising in the search engines to the first page. In other words for good SEO. The branding that goes on all 4 should be consistent in colors, typefaces and logo design. That way your customers can tell immediately that they are in the right place. For example, I designed a website with a blog, a Facebook Fan page, a Twitter page and LinkedIn profile page for a client that was starting a Personal Training business. It had his logo, a color scheme that had his brand look and feel, consistent fonts and his photo. This was then carried through all his print materials as well to create a total brand look for his business. He updated his Facebook page and sent people to his website where they could find out more. Then the plan was to build up his blog and get some followers on Twitter and connections on LinkedIn. He changed careers before getting to that though but he still has it to do on the side or go back to anytime.
Here are some samples of branding across web, social media and print design
If you aren’t in the design business then hiring a design firm like Pat Creedon Design is your best bet for implementing this effective brand strategy. I don’t try to do personal training because though I know how to exercise I wouldn’t never presume I know how to show anyone else how to get fit. But I do know graphic design, web design and branding from decades of experience. To get a quote email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once there was a time when all you needed was a business card to hand out and you were in business! Most people who have a business have a card to go with it and give it out freely, especially if it’s any kind of service business. The card would give out the basic information that the prospect needed: business name, address, phone number, maybe an email address and sometimes the services or products available, and some branding like a logo and tagline. Interested parties would simply call, email or stop by and the business grew. Now there is an expectation that, before anyone commits to that call, email or walk-in, they will have access to your business on the world-wide web. It’s become a given that businesses can be researched first from anyone’s computer, or these days, their smart phone or tablet. Now if your business is not represented by it’s own website then people simply Google it.
That’s when it gets hairy. Everyone is likely to be searchable thanks to the diligence of companies like Google but not everyone will be that happy with what shows up about them. I recently talked with a business owner who felt he was busy enough that he didn’t need a website designed and uploaded for him at a personalized URL for his company. But he was having a problem recently of people calling to ask him for a service that his company doesn’t do. I said I’d look into it for him and I found out that his business listing on the web didn’t mention what he does do hence people were assuming that he offered what they wanted. If he had a website that told people exactly what services his company offered it would have cut down on nuisance phone calls that were not resulting in new business.
A website can be as simple as a “landing page” which is literally like a business card on the web. It gives the basic information on your company and it’s products or services. It has your logo, tagline and colors that brand your business and that’s it. As long as it’s not created in Flash then it will be searchable by the search engines and will show up when the company name is Googled. To get ahead of your competition though something more will be needed but that will be covered in another blog. Thanks for your time! Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.