Search engines have changed over the years as more individuals are using them to find products and services companies offer. Whether you have already begun, or are just getting started in the SEO process, your site is ranking based on basic keywords in your site’s content. Achieving top search engine rankings has become top priority for marketers as competition has intensified.
If you’re a marketer then you probably already know that SEO plays a viable role in online marketing. Keywords are the foundation of this strategy. Just like you would create a traditional print ad, comprising of brand and messaging, your website should be optimized with keyword-rich content. Oh, and don’t forget your brand, you would be surprised how many companies fail to include their brand when developing a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
With iPads, Galaxies, and Xooms, what do I do to prepare my business for the next generation of hyper-mobile users?
It’s almost too cliche to say, but (ugh) I’ll do it: we’re more mobile than ever (although if you’ve used a tablet yet, you’ll know that you’re anything but “mobile”). We’re using our mobile devices for more, more often—and the usage is growing exponentially. Nielsen reports the #1 gift requested between ages 6 – 12 was an iPad. The Federal Reserve is projecting that electronic payments is a $40 trillion business. While your market may not be your average 12 year old, we all now how these things make their way into our hands. Millions of iPads have been sold around the world. Competitors are close behind, so what is your business to do to prepare itself for this next round of connectivity?
You know that mass-produced websites are no good for your brand, so how do you help yours stand apart from your competitors who use them?
If you understand the value of branding to your business, then you probably already know that template-based sites can dramatically diminish the value of your brand. Usually the promise of “get your website up and running tonight” is practically impossible to fulfill, software is complicated, the templates don’t give you the freedom to truly brand them, and a host of other issues. Templates are funny, since to truly take advantage of them, you should really know some HTML, cascading style sheets, website structure and more. Oddly enough, when you know about these things, you generally don’t need a template.
That being said, there are plenty of templated sites out there. For small businesses, they provide a jumping point for getting on the web. So how do you get your site to stand out from them?
With stories in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal exposing major corporate efforts to manipulate Google’s search engine rankings, you may be thinking that search engine optimization is something of a cat and mouse game where only the large and powerful can be victorious. The great news is that, in fact, it’s not. Yes, Google’s algorithm is forever changing, and SEO is usually left up to the experts, but there are a number of measures that every organization can take to make their website a lean, mean, search ranking machine.
WordPress is commonly known as a leading blogging tool. But what most people don’t know is that it is also a robust content management system (CMS) used by over 13% of the 1,000,000 biggest websites – W3Techs.
In 2009 – 2010, MESH created no fewer than 10 corporate websites using WordPress-and not only by choice. One industry leader in the online video market actually DEMANDED that we use WordPress-kicking off what would end up being a banner year for MESH, and the start of our WordPress customized
Here at MESH we’re constantly developing new, creative ways for our clients to differentiate themselves from their competition. Typically, the first step we take in this process is to define the uniqueness of their organization. Making distinctiveness core to the visual identity and outward personality of our clients makes it difficult for competitors to copy them and encourages members of the organization to take ownership of the brand. In today’s marketplace it is estimated that advertising impressions have reached a saturation point of 3000 hits per day. Assuming an average of 10 seconds a piece, that equals 8.33 hours a day and a whole lot of noise and clamor. Creating a unique personality that includes an easily identifiable and accessible brand voice and a distinct visual design will build emotional connections that cut through all of the daily commotion.
What is a Brand Voice?
Brand is more than a name, a logo and a tag line. It’s a promise to customers and a personality that identifies your company. Brand is about fulfilling an experience and creating aspiration. It’s the prism in which perceptions are created and associations become connected to a name and logo. Branding is everything, every touch point with a customer from the way you answer the phone to the furniture in your lobby. But it is not just advertising, marketing claims or sales promotions. Its deeper than that.
I had a professor who believed that in our culture you are what you own. He saw the objects, and more importantly, the brands that we chose to spend money on as an extension of who we are as people. If I asked you to describe a person who purchases brands like Rolex, Mercedes Benz, Ralph Lauren, Whole Foods and Starbucks the description you choose would not match with someone who identifies with brands like Tractor Supply Company, Carhartt, Wal-Mart, Cracker Barrel Restaurant and Dunkin Doughnuts. Professionals who manage brands understand that the psychology of consumer perception is fundamental in creating strong brands and that brands are concepts that must be nurtured. A consumer’s perception of a brand is influenced through design cues like symbols, color palette and naming. So, where do we start when we want to better manage our brand? It all starts with the brand positioning statement.
“Look at that logo, it’s so simple. I could do that.”
Have you ever thought this looking at some of the more iconic brand images out there? Nike, McDonald’s, Pepsi. They’re pretty simple, right? How hard could it be to create a mark like these? It’s the elegant simplicity of these brands that contributes to the common misconception that creating a strong brand is easy. But a brand goes far beyond just a logo. It is so much more than a symbol to use on business cards or on a sign outside of a company’s building. A logo is just a small part of the larger, more complex branding process. Your brand is more than a mark, a symbol, a caricature – your brand is what separates you from your competitors; it’s what makes your company, well, YOUR company; it’s what rockets some companies into the limelight while leaving others to languish in the shadows.
What makes you different? I’ve been asked that question a lot and with good reason. There are thousands of design firms – small shops; regional firms; vertically specialized boutiques; multi-national conglomerates; and let’s not forget the one man show. So how do you choose the right design firm, the right interactive agency, the right integrated marketing firm? Aren’t they all like? Shouldn’t I just put my project out to bid and go with the lowest price for the most work?
For those of you who regularly follow the world of online advertising, you may have noticed the speed at which Google has been making changes to its services and offerings. Not only has the company made substantial debuts and upgrades to its end-user services – e.g., Google Instant and Google Images – but it has also been steadily reinvigorating its Google Display Network (GDN), including new ad formats and updates to the tools used to position these ads.