Why Your Logo Design is Really Important

A logo is to a business as your face is to you.

It is how you are recognised. It reflects your personality, or in case of your business. It is also the most powerful marketing tool known around.

Logo design establishes your identity.

It’s hard to establish your business in the market place without a logo. A logo is like a mental shortcut to a product or company. Just how often do you recognise a car from its make, rather than the ever present logo on the bumper or in front?

The power of a logo lies in its visual stature. Studies have shown people recognise and relate to images faster then say text. In today’s world of multimedia, this rings more true then ever.

Having just any logo, however, is not enough to create a brand identity. A poorly thought logo can easily destroy the image of your business. On the other hand, a carefully designed logo can reach the public and communicate to them the worth of your business or product. So you can see, everything depends on the design of your logo.

Your logo creates your image
In the corporate world, “Image” is everything. A marketing company may like their logo to be bold, so as to reflect aggressiveness, which is often what a client wants in such companies. On the other hand, an Insurance company’s logo would in all probably reflect solidity and dependability, and use that to draw in customers.

However, the market is flooded with Logos, from the corners of newspapers to the moving scroll bar at the bottom of your television screen. It is absolutely necessary, therefore, for a logo to have a meaning, to present something specific and unique to the subconscious mind of the consumer, to set it apart from the rest of the competition.

Your logo solidifies consumer loyalty. 

The work of a Logo goes on even after your Identity and Image has been established. Part of a logo’s effectiveness comes from repetition. As it is known in the business community, familiarity is the key to growing your business. In corporate world, it’s called consumer loyalty or brand loyalty.

Once your logo has established consumer loyalty, your next step will be see it repeated as often as possible. Each time your company or any product or service of your company, is mentioned anywhere, your logo should accompany it. Soon, even a glimpse of a part of that logo will be sufficient for your client to relate to your company.

Your logo is your most powerful marketing tool

Your logo establishes ownership

So invest the time in developing a GREAT logo

This infographic shows what some of the world’s most famous logos say about the companies they represent, and why:

 

logo-infographic

 

Using Your Website to Generate Leads

The other day I was sitting in a meeting with a new client, discussing their objectives of their website. What is it that you want it to do for you? This was the question that I asked them. There are many answers that usually follow. I usually hear things like:

  • Provide information about my business
  • Give people a way to contact me
  • Prove to shareholders that we are actively marketing online
  • Be on the first page of Google

Now, while these are all fine goals, they really aren’t the primary thing that we should be looking at. Yes, your website will provide viewers with information about you and your business. This should absolutely include a contact page, but is that all? About 5 years ago, this was enough, but the world has changed.

Online research for products and businesses has sky-rocketed and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Websites that act as nothing more than an online brochure are quickly feeling dated and out of touch. The big question is, besides a glorified Yellow Pages ad, what value is an online brochure providing?

Giving Your Site Purpose

For all businesses, the goal of their website should really be to collect sales leads first, and provide information second. I know this is contrary to usual thought, but it all works together. I am not devaluing the information on their website. In part, that information is how you get readers to visit. The primary question that I have is, what are you doing once you get them there?

Lead Capturing

The math is simple. Leads bring meetings, meetings bring sales, and sales bring more work. It is a constant cycle that has to happen for any business to survive. You wouldn’t pay a salesman that didn’t constantly generate new leads and schedule more meetings, right? Well then, why pay a website that just sits there looking pretty?

I am talking about potential customers leaving contact information of some kind. In some cases, this could simply be an email address.

So, how can you build your website to capture leads? It actually isn’t that hard. Here, are some simple steps to help decide what type of leads to capture, how to get it done, and how to track your results.

Step 1 – What Type of Leads Do You Need?

Great marketing requires laser-like focus. The first thing you need to decide what you want visitors to do once they get to your site. Do you want them to sign up for your email newsletter, fill out a bid request, or ‘Like’ you on Facebook? Decide on one main goal, and make it obvious.

Before you decide, here are a few questions to ask:

  • Who is my primary audience?
  • What type of leads do I want to capture?
  • Of those leads, what is their primary function on my site?
  • What would best motivate them to leave their contact information behind?
  • What methods of communication will they prefer? Email? Phone?
  • What is my system for handling new leads once they come in?

There are definitely more things to consider, but this is a good list to get you going. There are two primary types of leads that you can gather.

  • Email Leads – Gathering email addresses for an email newsletter is one of the simplest and most effective ways to gather new leads. It is an excellent strategy because it provides a very low barrier to entry, and will be utilized by many visitors. These leads typically include an email address and nothing more and require an email marketing program like Todaymail.
  • Contact Leads – Leads generated through a contact form, or ‘request a bid’ form usually come with the advantage of including a lot more information than just an email address, but can be far more difficult to gather. These leads are highly valuable though and certainly worth striving for. Leads generated this way are FAR more likely to actually turn into dollars over a simple email address.

Email marketing is one of the best online marketing tools available to those who use it right. While it doesn’t usually lead to an immediate sale, it does allow you to develop a trust relationship with leads over time. It is the slow and steady approach, but very viable. Contact form leads are extremely valuable and more likely to turn into business, but they are harder to get. We generally recommend a tiered approach that focuses first on email leads and second on the contact form leads.

Step 2 – Make Your Website Ready for Lead Conversion


Some leads will come no matter what you do, but for most of us – you need to make it easy. Here are a few tips on making your website lead conversion friendly.

Generate Inbound Traffic

To gain leads, you need to bring people to your website, and that is what inbound is all about. Traffic can be generated in many ways. Some common tools include, targeted inbound content through a blog, Google Adwords, referral sites, good SEO practices, and submitting your site to online directories and aggregation sites. This step involves a lot of moving parts, but should take care of getting someone to your site.

Nav to Suite

Yes, your navigation should be well considered and easy to use, but that’s not all. You should build your navigation in a way that leads your customer to your primary goal. Put things in their expected place. Contact forms should be easy to find, and e-news sign ups should be easily accessible.

Make it Obvious

Make sure you are clear about what you want them to do once they get there. Don’t beat around the bush. Remember last weeks lesson about being obvious and being repetitive.

Make it Valuable

You will probably need to incentivise customers to complete your lead capture system. Spend some time considering what they will value. A free estimate? A free digital download with tips? What will strike a cord with them and help them cross the finish line?

Don’t Get Greedy Half the battle in marketing is to be focused like a laser beam. Choose a strategic lead capturing goal and stick with it. Focusing on too many will lead to failure.

Step 3 – Check your Conversations

It is an absolute must to use analytic and website tracking programs to monitor lead conversations. Ideally, you should be using two metrics systems to get the best cross sampling of results. This process can get technical, but will give you pointers on how you can improve your lead conversion.

Use Goals

Most analytic programs have a goals feature that will allow you to monitor how many people have completed your intended goal. They will also outine the navigation path that they used to get there. You should be monitoring and analyzing this dataset regularly and making modifications to improve results.

A/B Test

A/B testing, when combined with goal tracking can be hugely powerful for monitoring lead captures. The key to this is making small, limited, adjustments to see if they make a difference lead capturing. Copy or design adjustments can make a significant impact on goal conversation when leveraged properly.

Make Adjustments

Whatever you do, don’t just set it and forget it. Goal tracking and A/B testing only work if you are willing and able to make ongoing changes. Your website is not something that you should update every three years, it is something that you update every three days! Constant changes and improvements should be made to make it better, and meet site goals.

Step 4 – Rake It In

Now that your site is perfectly tuned to generate new leads, you will need to have a good system for handling them and closing the sale. For each business, this will be different, but it is not something that you want to forget. If you plan to actively capture leads, plan to actively utilise them with an email marketing program or a customer management system that allows you to track customers and leads. Being smart on both sides of the new data is key.

[This post is part of the ongoing Better Websites Series.]

New to Google Plus?

With so many user guides out there, we found this infographic to give you some of the main principles you’ll want to know to get started on Google Plus!

Beginners-Guide-to-Google+

Impressed by this infographic? Well, get in touch with the Mervik Haums here: www.mervikhaums.com

21 Simple Ways to Get More Followers for Your Google Plus Business Page

Google Plus Business has more than one billion registered (and 359 million active) users, as well as some of the most business-friendly features of any social network, this is the time to start building out your business page, if you haven’t done so already.

As additional incentive, Google Plus has been shown to dramaticallyimprove search engine rankings, which, in itself, is a sufficient reason to join the platform. By building your brand through this social media channel, you will be able to boost your SEO efforts and increase your business’s online exposure.

So, let’s jump in and take a look at some of the awesome ways to increase your exposure on Google Plus.

21 Simple Ways to Get More Followers for Your Google Plus Business Page

1. Create a Personal Profile In Addition to Your Business Page

Use your personal profile to build and reinforce your business brand.

Just because getting followers for your business page is the ultimate goal, that doesn’t mean you should stop using your personal profile altogether. In fact, your best bet is to use both your personal profile and business page in tandem, as this will allow you to improve your personal and business brands. With the potential influence of Google Authorship in SEO, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to ensure your personal profile is a strong one.

Two of the best examples of people who use their personal profiles for business are Mark Traphagen and Martin Shervington.

21 Simple Ways to Get More Followers for Your Google Plus Business Page

If you take a look at their profiles, you’ll see that, while the profiles are all about them personally, each post and conversation they get involved in helps to increase the brand awareness of their particular employer or business.

2. Treat Your Google Plus Page Like a Micro Blog, and Post Valuable Content

Don’t just comment and Plus One the content of others. Post your own engaging content.

Make sure you are updating your Google Plus page on a regular basis. The content needs to be exclusive, valuable, and compelling, both in terms of visuals and substance. Knowing that Google Plus posts are searchable, you should treat them like a micro blog (and a very powerful one at that). For your business page, you should keep the content strictly on topic, but you can use your personal profile to post content on other areas of interest.

21 Simple Ways to Get More Followers for Your Google Plus Business Page

3. Add Relevant People and Businesses to Your Circles

Follow people and businesses you are interested in, and many will follow you back.

Unlike Facebook or some other social networks, where you will find lots of fake profiles, Google Plus is not very crowded. Plus, the restrictions are not as limiting as they are at some other networks. If you have spent time buffing up your profile, description, and image, etc. simplyadding relevant people to your circles will result in a majority of the people adding you back.

Remember that you should be doing the networking and outreach mainly with your personal profile. That will benefit your business page indirectly, since the more you can manage to get into the circles of other people, the more exposure you will get for your business page, by sharing your business posts.

21 Simple Ways to Get More Followers for Your Google Plus Business Page

4. Engage with Other Users In a Meaningful Way

Be more than a page. Get active and engage with people in a one-to-one fashion.

Apart from posting regular updates, useful links, or images, you need toengage with users on a one-to-one basis. For your business profile, the engagement will be limited mostly to people posting queries, messages, and posts on your business page, with some occasional posts made on some community, etc.

But the real networking will be carried out via your personal profile, and it will take a lot more than liking (+1) others’ posts. You need to follow and interact with relatively active people in your niche, take some time to go through their posts and make thoughtful comments, and participate in relevant discussions, communities, and hangouts.

21 Simple Ways to Get More Followers for Your Google Plus Business Page

5. Watch for Trending Topics to Find Out What Your Users Are Talking About

Use the explore feature to check out what’s hot in your niche.

Keep tabs on trending topics, and it will give you an idea as to what kinds of posts, images, or GIFs are getting exposure among your target audience. In most cases, you will notice that a lot of content is not very creative, or entirely original. Again, your content needs to be on topic in case of a business page (though you can use polls, questions, or surveys to make it more engaging), and you always can use some off-topic posts, images, or GIFs on your personal profile to win new friends.

21 Simple Ways to Get More Followers for Your Google Plus Business Page

6. Search for Users You Want to Connect With

Use the search function in Google+ to find your target audience.

While trying to engage people, or simply adding people to your circles, you should be focusing on your target audience, especially the people with active and high authority profiles. To find these people, you can use the search function on Google Plus while using the Ripplesfeature to see who’s worth investing time with, and who’s not.

21 Simple Ways to Get More Followers for Your Google Plus Business Page

7. Figure the Optimal Time to Post for Your Audience

Rotate post time until you figure out when you get the best results.

Depending on the age group, time zone, or occupation of your target market, posts or updates made at different times can yield significantly different results. Not that the quality of your post doesn’t matter, butknowing the optimal time to post is important for getting maximum exposure and response from your target audience. And, the only way to figure that out is to test and compare. If it’s not feasible to post manually at a specific time on a regular basis, you can use a tool likeBufferapp for custom scheduling.

21 Simple Ways to Get More Followers for Your Google Plus Business Page

8. Get Familiar with Notification Triggers, and Use Them Wisely

Don’t annoy people with random notifications.

Know the notification triggers and use them wisely, but, remember, there’s a very fine line between taking advantage of these triggers and stepping into the forbidden territory of spam.

Depending on the preferences set by users, there are almost 20 actions that will result in a notification being sent to their emails or phones. To know these triggers, you can visit the Google Plus settingsat your profile, and look under the “Receive notifications” setting.

21 Simple Ways to Get More Followers for Your Google Plus Business Page

9. Use Hangouts On Air to Build Your Authority

Hangouts On Air are a great way to brand yourself or your business as an expert.

If you are an authority on your subject (or you can get an expert on board),Google hangouts-on-air can be a great platform to engage and impress you target users. While it will take quite some time to plan, prepare, and promote a hangout on air, it’s worth the effort. You can build a good following by organizing a successful hangout-on-air every once in a while, and it can be a nice step toward establishing yourself as an authority.

21 Simple Ways to Get More Followers for Your Google Plus Business Page

10. Create Events and Invite Your Followers

Be social and create events through Google+.

To promote your hangout, create a circle of Google Plus users that you are looking to target. Create an event for your hangout, and send the invitation to the people in that particular circle. Use a compelling title and banner to entice more people. Also encourage the invitees to share the news with their contacts. And make it a public event so that anybody can participate (unless you’d like some sort of restriction on attendees).

21 Simple Ways to Get More Followers for Your Google Plus Business Page

11. Mention Other Users In Your Posts

By mentioning other users, Google+ automatically will send them a notification.

Like Twitter, you can address specific users in your posts by using a plus sign (+) and choosing the contacts from the drop down menu.Mentioning other users in your posts is a good way to involve other people in the discussions, especially the influencers.

21 Simple Ways to Get More Followers for Your Google Plus Business Page

12. Use Hashtags to Link Your Posts to a Certain Topic

Hashtags help your content get seen by many users.

Hashtags are used to tag posts or updates related to a certain topic, news, or event at social networks like Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus. And now they are searchable at Google, so you need to make the most of hashtags. You can go through the trending topics and incorporate some of those hashtags in your posts for some quick exposure.

21 Simple Ways to Get More Followers for Your Google Plus Business Page

13. Ask People to +1 Your Posts for More Exposure

Don’t be afraid to ask people to +1 and share your post.

When someone +1 your posts, it will appear in the feed of people who are following them. And there’s nothing wrong with asking people to +1 your post if they like it (needless to say, you need to make it like-worthy first). For some, it might sound a little desperate, but, at times, a simple call to action can make the difference.

14. Post Updates and Content Regularly to Stay In the Streams of Your Followers

By posting regularly, you will stay at the tops of your users’ minds.

It goes without saying that it’s important to update your Google Plus page on a regular basis. It will take some time before your social media activity starts to gain traction, but many small businesses abandon their social profiles, simply because they don’t see any tangible return on investment. By updating your content and profile regularly, you will be staying fresh in the minds of your users; and when they get around to needing your services, you will be “top of mind.”

15. Invite Your Friends and Other Contacts to Like Your Business Page

Use your real world contacts to build up your numbers initially.

Don’t forget to invite your friends, colleagues, customers, and any other contacts to like or follow your business page. It’s good to have some followers (especially for small businesses) because, just like money begets money, page likes or followers beget more page likes or followers.

21 Simple Ways to Get More Followers for Your Google Plus Business Page

16. Train an Employee to Manage Your Google Plus Page for You

Upskilled employees let you focus on strategy and planning.

Encourage and train your employees to use social networks like Google Plus, LinkedIn, or Twitter. You can offer some kind of an incentive. And it can be beneficial for both your company and your employees.

17. Add Your Google Plus Page to Your Email Signature

Make sure your Google Plus profile is in your branding.

Promote your Google Plus page in your email signature, business cards, or any other advertising or promotional material you are using.

18. Place Your Google Plus Profile In the Bio of Any Content You Provide

Build your author rank and become an expert.

Place your Google Plus profile in the author bio whenever you get a chance to be featured as a guest author on other blogs. Not only will you get some followers (if the guest post and the blog are good enough), it also will contribute to your author rank.

19. Use Google Ripples to Find Influencers In Your Niche

Google Ripples is a great feature which helps you identify people to connect with.

Make use of Google Ripples to find authority people with good reach and influence in your target market. Google Ripples will let you see exactly who is making waves and who isn’t. Needless to say, you should try to target both people who are getting the most shares and people who are actively sharing their posts (and here’s how to make use of theRipple Effect).

21 Simple Ways to Get More Followers for Your Google Plus Business Page

20. Join Or Create Communities Relevant to Your Niche

Get active in relevant communities and interact with others in your field.

Google Plus communities are similar to online forums, message boards, or Facebook groups, where people with similar interests can come together and share information, ask questions, or initiate discussions. You can search and join relevant communities (while using your business or personal profile) to interact with your target audience. And if there’s no community which suits you perfectly, you can create one.

21 Simple Ways to Get More Followers for Your Google Plus Business Page

21. Use a Google Plus Badge on Your Website

Add a badge to your site to show people you have a social media presence.

It has been more than two years since the launch of Google Plus, but while we see many businesses promoting their Facebook or Twitter pages, very few businesses have posted a link to their Google Plus page on their website, mainly because it’s not in fashion as yet. You really shouldn’t be waiting for some SEO bigwigs to declare it an absolute-must, or for your competitors to take the initiative, before you decide to do so (because by then it will be too late).

Once you’ve created a Google Plus page, you shouldn’t waste any time placing a link, badge, or widget on your website. You can use the official Google Plus badgewidgets, or a simple icon linking to your Google Plus profile. Using a Google Plus badge also will make your brand eligible for the Direct Connect feature.

However…use these site badges with caution and don’t forget your end objective. If your real goal is to have your visitor purchase an item or make an inquiry, then think carefully before adding the badges to your site, as they may lead your visitor away from your site and away from the sale.

Google Plus Badges for your website

Summing It All Up

As you can see, there is a huge variety of ways to interact on Google Plus. Jump in now while the momentum is building, and watch your business ride the Google Plus wave.

This story originally appeared on KISSmetrics

Google+ for Business – just about everything you'll need to know!

Here is a presentation given to Toyota dealerships in Northern California, June 2014. All about using Google+ for Business
By +martin shervington of +Plus Your Business!

#googleplusforbusiness   #Toyota   #Google