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Why Images Make Or Break Your Marketing

Posted Mon, October 17, 2016 by Julie Short

For many years, marketing has been moving farther and farther into the digital space. As that has happened, business owners and design teams have begun paying lots of attention to text, copy, and keywords. You need words to generate search engine traffic, not to mention conversions, so other elements of creative campaigns were pushed to the back seat.

With the rise of social media and the reemergence of print marketing, however, companies are discovering something they should’ve remembered all along – that images can make or break a campaign. That’s true online or off, and that applies to virtually every business and industry.

Let’s look at why pictures are such an important part of what you do to connect with buyers…

Your Brain On Pictures

Psychologists and medical researchers estimate that the human brain can process images up to 60,000 times faster than text. That’s a pretty amazing statistic, and reason enough to use sharper images within your marketing content. People notice them faster, to the point that they literally jump off the page and catch our eyes.

At the same time, numerous studies have shown that images tend to be more memorable, and to activate emotional parts of our minds. In case you forgot your lessons from marketing 101, buying decisions are almost always emotional. It’s only after the fact that we justify them with facts and  reasons.

Choosing The Right Images For The Job

Of course, simply having more images in your marketing isn’t going to do much for you. You have to choose the right pictures for the job.

While any pictures are going to be processed by the mind faster than text, human faces, vivid colors, and shots of animals tend to be the most compelling. You probably noticed that these are also the kinds of images you tend to see being liked, shared, and commented on throughout social media sites. That’s because they’re the easiest for us to notice, and they make the strongest impression.

Giving Yourself A Picture Perfect Advantage

The best way to use the power of images to your advantage is to generate your own. Hire a photographer to take some custom shots of your team and products, or set the right lighting and snap a few with your iPhone.

If that’s not possible, then make a concerted effort to choose stock photos that represent the idea or mood you’re trying to convey with each post or idea you put forward. Modify them if necessary and add your own branding. Just because you didn’t take a picture doesn’t mean you can’t make it unique and tie it back to your messaging in a way that feels compelling to fans and customers.

Are you looking closely enough at the images you are using in your marketing campaigns? If you’ve been throwing stock photos online without giving much thought to their power or relevance, now is the perfect time to look a bit closer at the possibilities in front of you. Once you see what you can do with the right pictures, you’ll never view the visuals in your marketing the same way again!

For the best in web design, print media, and creative services, contact WebRevelation and let us get to work for you!

Posted in : Online Marketing , Tips and Tricks | 
Tags : N/A

What Google’s SSL Preference Means For You

Posted Thu, October 6, 2016 by Julie Short

A few weeks ago, a spokesperson for Google made waves by confirming an idea web designers and SEO experts had begun to suspect: that the world’s most popular search engine will be using SSL connections as a search signal. In other words, websites with SSL will now be more visible to searchers than sites without them.

This mirrors Google’s recent decision to incorporate mobile compatibility into search results, a move that put small businesses and their marketing teams into a minor sort of meltdown. If you’re at a company that’s still recovering from “Mobilegeddon,” not to mention Penguin and Panda, what should you make of this revelation?

To get to the bottom of the issue, there are a few questions that need to be answered…

What Is SSL?

SSL stands for “Secure Socket Layers,” which specifies a certain type of connection between your hosting server and the visitor’s computer. SSL connections are encrypted, making them virtually impossible for hackers to view from the outside.

You’ve probably used SSL connections a dozen times already today. You often find them attached to banks, online merchants, and other websites that have the ability to conduct transactions. Often, SSL connections are indicated through an “https” designation, a different color on your Internet browser, or a small icon indicating that the connection is secure.

Why Does Google Want Your Site To Have SSL?

It’s important to remember that Google engineers don’t necessarily want anything in particular, except for searchers and users to be happy. In this case, it’s easier for searchers to be happy when they know they are getting safer connections to trusted websites, and that there is little chance for online thieves to snoop in on their transactions.

Additionally, SSL is a feature that’s usually offered with premium web hosting. So, a site with SSL capability is also likely to have a faster connection speed, more uptime, and a smaller chance of being infected with spam or viruses.

Should You Upgrade?

At first glance, upgrading to SSL capability might seem like a big burden for a small business that doesn’t conduct transactions online. However, when you look a little bit closer, you’ll find that improving your hosting package to allow for SSL isn’t likely to cost you more than a couple of dollars per day.

For that fee, you could get a search engine positioning advantage over your closest rivals and competitors. And, you’ll get all the benefits associated with premium hosting (like faster page loading times, a more reliable website, and better backup and features benefits) that are ultimately good for your business anyway.

When you look closely, Google’s preference for SSL-enabled websites isn’t all that big of a deal for most smaller companies. In fact, it’s probably just the encouragement they need to take a commonsense step in the right direction and upgrade their hosting plans to keep up with the times.

To find out more about this trend – or see what your business can do to improve its search engine rankings overall – get in touch with the WebRevelation team today and see how we can help!

Posted in : SEO/SMO/SMM | 
Tags : google , ssl

5 Steps to Search-Optimized Blog Posts

Posted Mon, September 5, 2016 by Julie Short

Web designers and Internet marketing experts like to remind you (as we often do) that having fresh content on your website – usually in the form of search-optimized blog posts – is the best way to attract attention from Google and its millions of users.

But what often goes unexplained is exactly how you make your posts visible to search engines. Today, we want to give you the basics of SEO for blog posts, in five steps:

#1: Know Which Keywords You’re Targeting – just as every blog post should have a single topic, it should also have one or two search phrases that it’s built and constructed around. Ideally, these will be used once in the title, once in a subheading (if it feels natural) and once or twice throughout the main content.

#2: Begin With the Right Title – your blog title should contain the search phrase you’re targeting, of course, but also something that’s catchy, descriptive, and inviting. In other words, make sure your title has a search visibility element, but do your best to appeal to actual readers and grab their attention. Make them feel like they just have to take a look before clicking somewhere else.

#3: Use Search-Friendly Subheadings – subheadings on a page give you two important benefits. First, they break up long blocks of text that would otherwise seem boring and/or overwhelming. Plus, they give you another chance to highlight important search phrases in a way that’s meaningful to Google’s spiders.

#4: Include 1-3 Internal Links – the same kind of thinking applies to internal links (hyperlinks from within your blog content to other pages on your website). These have important SEO value, especially if you use linking terms that apply to the content on the destination page. At the same time, they stop your blog post from being a “dead-end,” and give readers a chance to learn more while staying on your website.

#5: Mind the Details – lots of marketers choose to focus on search engine optimization details. These won’t necessarily make or break your campaigns, but adding alt image tags, descriptive and search-friendly descriptions, and search-optimized filenames can all give you that “extra push” needed to help climb up Google’s search rankings.

One quick word of caution: as effective as each of these five steps is in making your blog post more visible to search engines, you definitely don’t want to go overboard with any of these tactics. Google and the other engines want quality content that’s easy to crawl, not pages with so many keywords that they are hard for actual readers to understand.

In other words, go too far and your content is likely to disappear from Google altogether, so follow these tips but don’t try to force the issue.

Posted in : Website Content , SEO/SMO/SMM , Online Marketing , Business Strategy , Blogging | 
Tags : SEO for blogs , blogging , SEO

4 Ways to Brand Yourself Online

Posted Fri, August 5, 2016 by Julie Short

The Business Dictionary defines branding as “the process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme.” 

Your company’s online presence has got to be an effective extension of the branding you’ve already created.

Here are 4 tips to improve your branding online. 

Decide on a handle and stick with it. 
People shouldn’t have to go on a scavenger hunt to find your Facebook page because you named it differently than your website. For example, if your business is called Okie-Built New Homes and your website references this exact name, all of your profiles won’t be able to match this phrasing. The name is too long for it to be your handle on some social media platforms. Your brand name is usually set in stone, so you’ll have to choose the next closest thing and make sure your brand’s full name is still located on the page. Your Twitter name might have to be @okiehomes, if that’s not already taken, then your name and about us section should contain your company’s full name so your profile easily appears when searched for. 

Be active as much as possible online. 
The more daily content you produce, the more visible your company will be digitally. This could be blogs, quick blurbs about things going on internally or directing people pertinent news going on in your field. This will help you spread your brand further and establish it as an authority in your field. One of the biggest components of branding is getting inside people’s minds. The more exposure you give your brand in front of web users, it increases the likelihood your brand will stick with them. 

Match the design and marketing strategy with the content.
The overall look and feel of your design should match the content you’re putting out there. If you’re a home builder, it would be strange to feature pictures of puppies on in your marketing material. Choose a color palette and stick to it. Colors, moods and images are easily remembered. 

Be deliberate and consistent with your phrasing. 
Make sure your content is designed around your core audience’s perceptions of your field. If you’re blogging for older professionals, newspaper-style blogs might fit for that audience. If you’re writing for people under middle age, try writing more informal, concise messages. Taglines aren’t mandatory for every business, but if you decide to introduce a tagline, don’t change it every other month. Your tagline should reinforce the message you want others to know about your company. 

Posted in : Online Profile Management | 
Tags : branding , marketing strategy

8 Great Ways to Increase Visits to Your Website

Posted Mon, July 4, 2016 by Julie Short

Increasing visits to your website isn’t the only way to improve Internet marketing results, but it’s almost always a good start. Without sufficient traffic to your website, you can’t generate leads or sales.

Unfortunately, a lot of business owners and marketers struggle to attract new searchers and visitors on a regular basis. If that has been a challenge for you, you’ll love these eight proven ways to increase visits to your website:

#1: Post to Your Blog More Often – adding new articles to your blog gives you more content for Google to index, especially when it comes to long-tell search terms. It also gives visitors a reason to come back to your site and check out future articles.

#2: Promote Your Posts More Effectively – make sure you’re getting the most from every blog post by using interesting, search-optimized titles, including feature images that attract attention, and announcing new articles with tweets and social updates.

#3: Update Your On-Site SEO – new clients are often amazed to find out what some fresh keyword research, new meta descriptions, and internal links can do for their search visibility. That translates into fresh web visits pretty quickly.

#4: Participate in Social Media Groups – joining and posting on social media forums creates links back to your website and exposes you to a new audience of potential website visitors and (eventually) customers.

#5: Look for Linking Opportunities – if you have friends or colleagues in related industries, see if you can have them link from their website to yours. You get fresh visits to your pages, and they get another helpful resource to share with their own customers and contacts.

#6: Create Video Clips for YouTube – often called the world’s “second-largest search engine,” YouTube gets hundreds of millions of hits per day. Posting a video online could be a great way to get people coming to your website.

#7: Try Guest Posting – if you don’t already have lots of web traffic, why not post your content to a website that does? If people like your guest posts, they may follow a link to your website or look you up on Google.

#8: Give Away a Free eBook or Guide – searchers love free information, and offering a free e-book or special report on your website is a great way to bring fresh visitors to your virtual doorstep.

When you increase traffic to your website, new people are finding out about your company and lots of great things can happen. Give these eight strategies a try and see how well they can work for you!

Looking for great web design in Dallas or Oklahoma City? Get in touch with WebRevelation today and see how we can help.

Posted in : Websites , Website Content , SEO/SMO/SMM , Business Strategy | 
Tags : website traffic , increase traffic , website visits

7 Things That Are Easier With a Custom Content Management System

Posted Mon, June 6, 2016 by Julie Short

Lately, we’ve been sharing some of the benefits of custom content management systems. First, we looked at three specific functionalities that are easier to achieve with the CMS than they are with WordPress and similar platforms; then, we looked at advanced programming, marketing, and design features that are easier to achieve with custom programming.

Today, we want to take a look at some specifics. Here are seven things that are easier to accomplish on your website when you’re using a custom content management system:

#1 Online Registration

Want to bring attendees to an event and have their registration information automatically added to an off-line database? A custom content management system that integrates with existing software might be the perfect answer.

#2 Event Management

Even beyond registration, other parts of event management – like equipment inventory, scheduling, and session capacity – can all be effectively overseen with the right content management system in place.

#3 Recruiting

Sometimes, bringing the right people into your organization is every bit as important as gaining new customers is. But, the recruiting process can be time and paperwork-intensive. With a custom content management system, you can automate many hiring tasks, saving yourself time and money.

#4 Polls and Surveys

When you’re looking to get beyond simple polls and surveys and trying to glean real information from customers and visitors, a custom content management system could be the answer. That’s because the coding is easier to work into your website and update, and the results can be automatically downloaded and real-time.

#5 Document Management

If you have thousands of online and off-line documents to keep track of – along with ongoing updates and revisions – using a CMS that’s “off-the-shelf” might not be your best choice. A custom CMS can help you keep track of these files and allow you to share access with visitors when needed.

#6 Staff and Membership Tools

Because a custom CMS can take advantage of integrated encryption and membership areas, it can be a great way to control the flow of access from one part of your website to another. That can be perfect for offering special features to staff and membership.

#7 Blogging

Although WordPress was practically built for blogging, the interface it uses for adding new content isn’t always easy or intuitive for its users. With a custom CMS, you can make it easier to publish text and images in a way that’s easy for readers to see and search engines to find.

Most of these functions can be achieved with a WordPress-based website, or one built with another common CMS. If you’re looking for lots of power with a minimum of coding and alterations, though, working with a custom platform might be your best choice.

Talk to the WebRevelation team today to see how we can help with custom content management systems and other advanced design and marketing features.

Posted in : Websites , Website Content , Business Strategy | 
Tags : CMS , Custom CMS , easier content management

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