Web Design vs. SEO vs. Social Media

If you only focus on the graphics design of your web site and nothing else, you may have a beautiful web site that is hard to be found.  If you only focus on search engine optimization and nothing else, your web site may be friendlier to the web robots at Google than it is to your web site visitors, which can hurt your conversion rate.  If you only focus on social media and nothing else, you may not get the return on investment you are looking for.

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Web design, SEO, and social media are 3 important components of a successful Internet marketing strategy.  If you want visitors to find you, you need outstanding SEO.  If you want them to contact you or purchase from your site, you need great web design.  If you want to create a lot of word-of-mouth recognition or implement a viral marketing campaign, social media can be an excellent tool for you.

As a business owner, you should know that there is no one-size-fit-all online marketing strategy.  There may be a lot of buzz on social media, but it may or may not be right for your business.  This is why we always start by reviewing your business goals.  When clients ask us: “How much should I spend on SEO?  Should I create a Facebook page for my business?  Do I need to redesign my web site?  Is pay per click right for me?  Should I start a blog?”  Our answer is it only makes sense if it relates to your business goals.

Here are some of the questions we will go over with you during our Marketing Strategy Consultation:

What are your business goals? What is currently working and not working for you?

  • How are you attracting new customers? How much are you spending on each of these avenues? What percentage of your new customers comes from each of these avenues?
  • How are you retaining your existing customers? What methods are you employing to encourage repeat purchases?
  • What is the primary goal of your web site?  To attract new customers?  To service existing customers?  To test a new market segment?
  • What are you currently doing with your online marketing?  How does this fit within your marketing strategy?  How does your marketing strategy fit with your overall business goal?  And how does your business goal fit with your lifestyle goal?

Only by taking a look at the big picture can we help you answer questions such as how much you should spend on SEO or whether you should do social media.  A marketing strategy that works wonders for someone else may or may not be right for your business or your lifestyle.  This is the reason we have 2 departments: the technical people who are experts at SEO, social media, and web design, and the business consultants who can help you review and design the marketing strategy that is right for you.  Many of our business consultants are business owners themselves and have tested various marketing strategies in their own businesses, so they speak from experience rather than a memorized sales pitch.

More importantly than knowing the relative importance of web design, SEO, and social media is having a coherent marketing strategy that fits your business objectives and lifestyle goals.  Only then can you confidently achieve the return on investment you are looking for.

[Via Visual Scope]

Your Home Improvement Company Is Much More Than Just Your Logo

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Logo design is a part of the brand design. But, a brand is not just a logo design. When does a logo become part of a brand?

To answer this question, let’s first define what a logo is and what a brand is:

What is a logo? A logo is a unique, meaningful design that’s paired with your company name in an interesting and cohesive way. The logo also has a color palette assigned to it. It must be scalable, able to be reproduced consistently in all of your marketing, and timeless — so that it doesn’t get stale or look old too soon.

What is a brand? A brand is “The collection of perceptions that your customer has about your business”. Note that the brand lives in your customer’s mind — and the ideas that they have about your business.

This doesn’t mean that the brand is out of your control. You can control your remodeling client’s idea of your home improvement brand by defining your brand and designing eye-catching, stand-out graphics to communicate that message. Then, use those graphics consistently throughout your home improvement company’s marketing materials. That’s all there is to help your remodeling clients get the right idea for your brand.

Aspects of your home improvement company’s brand that you have complete control over include:

  • The story that you’re telling about your home improvement business. The first step in creating your remodeling company’s branding is to figure out who you are, what you do, what makes you different and who your best remodeling clients are. And, to put that all together in a simple, easy-to-say and easy-to-understand brand story. Use that as the foundation for all of your visual communications, business and marketing writing, and your home improvement marketing design and strategy.
  • Your logo. Your logo should be designed to visually tell your brand story and to be attractive to your best remodeling clients.
  • Your Visual Vocabulary. Your logo is just one piece of your visual home improvement company’s communication tools. If your marketing materials just had your logo and text on white paper, that would be a big start, but you’d be missing some big opportunities to making your designs more eye-catching. Your visual vocabulary is all of your additional graphics — like background colors or patterns, header designs, stock photos, your headshot, borders, special treatments for buttons or special offers, images of your products (like a product shot of your ebook), and your font styles and color palette. This gives you more tools to create stunning designs for your brand.
  • Specific marketing material designs. The design of your remodeling company’s business card, letterhead, brochure, ebook cover, website, blog, and even your home improvement company’s Facebook page are all a crucial part of your brand. These materials should reinforce each other and match without blending together too much.

So, a brand is much more than a logo — it’s the consistent story that you tell through your unique graphics (and all the other ways that you talk and write about your remodeling business).

Once you create this memorable home improvement company look and feel, your clients will all be “on the same page” about your brand. This means that their comments and buzz about your remodeling company can reinforce their ideas about you — and the ideas that you want them to have about your remodeling business.