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Is Your Brand Behaving?
With so many different ways to get our message across, keeping a consistent image is tricky… especially when there are several people involved. Add the instant edge of digital marketing into the mix and there is a potential recipe for disaster.
 
Back in the days of writing letters, we’d always start with ‘Dear…’. With emails came informality: ‘Hi…’. Moving to social media and forums, your brand now has instant communication. The language and style of your content can boost or destroy your brand… in seconds.

 

Branding for Business



Social media for business seems to be the biggest culprit. When did text speak become the norm? I appreciate that there are character limits, especially in Twitter, but please refrain from using ‘text speak’. U’ll undo yr good mktg work by tmrw.
 
With some markets, it’s truly ok to be informal. Overstep the mark and you’ll lose favour, so tread carefully. Your brand is an ambassador for your business. It needs to be right… it’s the first impression of your business, especially online.
 
Consistency is vital. For example, is everyone within your organisation using the same email signature? The same font and layout for proposals? 
 
Images are important too… a definite boost for engagement with all marketing tools. Relevant, good quality images are a must. Funny team photos, holiday snaps for profile photos and a lack of photo at all are to be avoided. Eggs are generally not trusted as credible accounts within social media!
 
As discussed in an earlier blog, shockvertising can work but can backfire too. These principles apply to a lesser degree in any marketing communication, so it’s important to review your brand’s presence.
 
Here are some tips to make your brand well behaved:
 
  • Write your social media content as if you were talking to your client direct. Would you sign off with a kiss? x
  • If in doubt, be formal… you can relax later if you want to.
  • Avoid abbreviations; be ‘pleased’ rather than ‘plzd’, send your ‘regards’ instead of ‘rgds’
  • Use relevant images; not because they’re simply cute or funny (these are for your personal accounts, not the work ones).
  • Go back to basics. Who are you targeting? What style will they respond to? Write accordingly.
  • Talk to colleagues. If your marketing is not a solo effort, make sure that everyone understands the tone and image that’s important for your market… for your business. 

Need a hand? If you would like a review of your brand’s behaviour, let us know. We’re here to help.

 
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What Google Does NOT Care About (and the ONE thing it loves)
With over half the world’s population now online and internet search the first step for new enquiries, your search engine position has never been so vital.
 
There are lots of myths about how Google assesses your site. The most popular misconceptions are below…
 
1. Your Website’s Age – Google cares how much your content helps people. If you have credible content and good reciprocal links, Google will look at you favourably. It doesn't matter whether you have achieved this over 10 years or just two years. In fact, if you’ve achieved good credibility quickly, this may work in your favour in Google’s eyes. 

2. Using Google’s Services – whether you’re using Gmail or Google+ will not have a direct impact upon your search engine positioning. 

3. Social Media Engagement – the number of page shares on social media and the size of your social media accounts (followers, likes) are not picked up by Google.

4. Bounce Rate & Visit Times – whether people leave your site quickly after just one page view (bounce) or stay longer does not affect Google’s view of your site. It’s easy to get fixated on bounce rates. If people find what they need very quickly and on their first landing page, they don't need to stay longer. The most common example is looking for your phone number. This pushes your bounce rate up – however you’ve done a good job! 

5. Your Programming Technology – your coding simply doesn't matter to Google.

6. Value Hosting – you may have heard snobby comments about websites that are hosted with the bargain providers. As long as this doesn’t affect how quickly your site loads, Google doesn’t care who your hosting provider is – or how much you pay. 

7. Headlines – you will see that your headlines can be formatted as H1, H2 H3 etc. Does H1 have more prominence in Google’s eyes? No. 

8. Page Titles – you’ll see a variety of separators in page titles displayed in internet search results. Some people use the pipe, other prefer a hyphen. Does Google have a preference? No.

9. Guarantees - remember that no-one can ethically guarantee you a position on page one of Google. Watch out for the scams. 

Now we’ve debunking some of the search engine myths, what does Google truly care about? Content, content… content. Think about what your current and potential customers want to know. Investigate what they search for online and plan your web pages, blogs and guest articles accordingly.

Help Google to help your target market. Get it right and everyone wins.

Would you like to know more? Ask us about our half day course about ‘Getting More Traffic From Google’ or contact us to have a no-obligation chat.
 
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Is Your Website Working?
You update your business website religiously. You include web links wherever you can. Is it working? How do you know?
  
Google Analytics is the minimum website analysis tool you should be using. 56% of businesses rely on this tool alone, (Econsultancy). It's good and it's free!
 
You’ll have to dance around the changes – which fuel arguments about the validity of keywords – but this remains an insightful tool. 
 
As a minimum, you see straight away:
  • How many visitors you attracted (new and returning)
  • How long people stayed on your site (average)
  • How many pages they viewed (did you successfully encourage them to browse beyond the first page?)
  • Bounce rate (what percentage of people clicked away from your site after viewing just one page, typically within 30 seconds) 


Is your website really making a difference to your business?

 


It’s difficult to say from the top level information. However drill a little deeper and you’ll find the quality details you need. You can do this without any further registration or Analytics tools. We believe in keeping life simple.
 
Time is tight. Read our top three Analytics nuggets – quick, easy, valuable:

 

1. Where is your traffic coming from?


'Acquisition’ is a major menu option. Select ‘All Traffic’. You’ll see the top places which are successfully referring visitors to your website. There should be a mix of ‘organic’ (natural search results), ‘direct’ (your full address – url – was entered) and referral channels.
 
Do your social media channels, networking groups and directories show here? This is your chance to streamline your efforts and maximise impact. You’ll also see whether people are using mobile or desktop versions of social media… whilst your website should cope with both (responsive), it’s a useful insight as to how people will view your information.
 


2. Which search terms are relevant to you?



Google no longer provides the details of the top performing key word within Analytics… but there are ways around this. For now, select ‘Acquisition’ and ‘Keywords – Organic’.  You’ll see the search terms that people have used in finding your website online. It’s interesting to note what’s there – and what isn't.
 
How does this affect you? Target people to a specific landing page (website entry page) – it doesn’t have to be your Home page. Use just two or three very different keywords to integrate into this page’s search engine optimisation. You’ll see from the pages accessed – and when – if these keywords are attracting visitors, even though the ‘keywords report’ may not show them.

 

3. How are people moving around your website? 


Getting people to your site is clearly vital. But – it’s what they do when they’re there that counts.
 
This is fascinating! Choose ‘Behaviour’ and then ‘Behaviour Flow’. You’ll see which pages people accessed first when they reached your site. You could argue that the top keywords would tell you that. But – what happened next?
 
This section of Google Analytics shows what people did next after entering your site. How did they flow through your information. This will tell you if your internal web links and directional wording are working. Have they seen enough details to make them want to access your prices details, or your background. These are positive signs.
 
You’ll also see how people leave your site: from which page and after how many page views. Are people behaving as you want them to? How can you influence them? Are your special offers or headline events creating interest?
 
To summarise:
  • Google Analytics is a free tool and you don't need lots of time to benefit from it. 
  • Not using it yet? You can get the code you need to install it from Google.
  • Use the insight it gives to help shape your internet marketing
Make sure that your website works after you’ve done the hard work of driving people to it. 

If you’d like to know more about analysing your website, contact us. From a quick look at your Analytics to a website review, we’re here to help.
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The Psychology of Colour
There are four psychological primary colours - red, blue, yellow and green. They relate respectively to the body, the mind, the emotions and the essential balance between these three. There are eleven basic colours, however it is the range of primary colours that have the most impact. The psychological properties of these four are:

RED (physical)
Positive: Physical courage, strength, warmth, energy, basic survival, 'fight or flight', stimulation, masculinity, excitement.
Negative: Defiance, aggression, visual impact, strain.
Red is a powerful colour. Although not technically the most visible, it has the property of appearing to be nearer than it is and therefore it grabs our attention first. Hence its effectiveness in traffic lights the world over. Its effect is physical; it stimulates us and raises the pulse rate, giving the impression that time is passing faster than it is. It can activate the "fight or flight" instinct. Red is strong, and very basic. Pure red is the simplest colour, with no subtlety. It is stimulating and lively, very friendly. At the same time, it can be perceived as demanding and aggressive.
Examples: Virgin, Coke

BLUE (intellectual)
Positive: Intelligence, communication, trust, efficiency, serenity, duty, logic, coolness, reflection, calm.
Negative: Coldness, aloofness, lack of emotion, unfriendliness.
Blue is the colour of the mind and is essentially soothing; it affects us mentally, rather than the physical reaction we have to red. Strong blues will stimulate clear thought and lighter, soft blues will calm the mind and aid concentration. Consequently it is serene and mentally calming. It is the colour of clear communication. Blue objects do not appear to be as close to us as red ones. Time and again in research, blue is the world's favourite colour. However, it can be perceived as cold, unemotional and unfriendly.
Examples: O2, Barclays

YELLOW (emotional)
Warning - how well do you see this color? Think carefully before choosing this as a primary colour. It needs a strong background. 
Positive: Optimism, confidence, self-esteem, extraversion, emotional strength, friendliness, creativity.
Negative: Irrationality, fear, emotional fragility, depression, anxiety, suicide.
In this case the stimulus is emotional, therefore yellow is the strongest colour, psychologically. The right yellow will lift our spirits and our self-esteem; it is the colour of confidence and optimism. Too much of it, or the wrong tone in relation to the other tones in a colour scheme, can cause self-esteem to plummet, giving rise to fear and anxiety.
Examples: McDonalds, Yell.com


GREEN (balance)
Positive: Harmony, balance, refreshment, universal love, rest, restoration, reassurance, environmental awareness, equilibrium, peace.
Negative: Boredom, stagnation, blandness, enervation.
Green strikes the eye in such a way as to require no adjustment whatever and is, therefore, restful. Being in the centre of the spectrum, it is the colour of balance. When the world about us contains plenty of green, this indicates the presence of water, and little danger of famine, so we are reassured by green, on a primitive level. Negatively, it can indicate stagnation and, incorrectly used, will be perceived as being too bland.
Examples: Starbucks, Body Shop

Clearly, your choice of colours will impact upon how your visual marketing communications are received. Remember to think through the eyes of your target audiences rather than simply choosing your favourite!

If this fascinating topic interests you and you would details of the other seven basic colours, please do contact us for full details.
 
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