Key Words

Today, most consumers looking to buy a product or service start the process by using a search engine to find vendors and product information. How can you make sure that your business is found when these people are looking for you or your competitors? You need to make sure you rank high in the search engine results, for as many search terms as possible.  Here are some tips to picking key words that will get you ranked higher during a Google, Yahoo or Bing search.

  1. Create a Key Word List – What are the three to five words that people think about when searching for your business.
  2. Use Key Word Tools– Then use keyword tools to understand how often people search on the terms related to your business.
  3. Try out your key words to find your business – Do your own search and find how quickly your site comes up.
  4. Analyze the results – Using the Key Word Tools and your own research find out what terms are used over and over again in your text to guide your key word search.

Some things to keep in mind when creating key words: You have to get on the first or second page of search results, shorter search phrases are searched for more often and finally it is usually more difficult to get ranked on the first or second page for popular searches. Use these guides to help you get ranked higher with Key Words!

Responsive Web Design

In this age where everyone has a desktop, laptop and hand-held device it is becoming impossible to keep up with the endless resolution and screen sizes of each one.  For many websites, creating a website version for each resolution and new device would be impossible, or at least impractical. So what is the solution to our growing need for web design?  Responsive Wen Design of course!

Smashing Magazine talks about Responsive Web design as: the approach that suggests that design and development should respond to the user’s behavior and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation. The practice consists of a mix of flexible grids and layouts, images and an intelligent use of CSS media queries. As the user switches from their laptop to iPad, the website should automatically switch to accommodate for resolution, image size and scripting abilities. In other words, the website should have the technology to automatically respond to the user’s preferences. This would eliminate the need for a different design and development phase for each new gadget on the market.  But responsive Web design is not only about adjustable screen resolutions and automatically resizable images, but rather about a whole new way of thinking about design.

Now with something called Flexible Design we can make things more flexible. Images can be automatically adjusted, and we have workarounds so that layouts never break. While it’s not a complete fix, the solution gives us far more options. It’s perfect for devices that switch from portrait orientation to landscape in an instant or for when users switch from a large computer screen to an iPad.

Consider Responsive Web Design to optimize viewing, ease of reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices.

Branding Consistency

When you own a small business it is critical to get your name out there and make your target audience aware of your brand whether it is your logo, colors, tagline or just who you are.  Robbie Vogel, Writer/Editor from Vistaprint outlined four key reasons why your brand identity must remain consistent in order to achieve the best results for your business.  Let’s look at why it is so important to be consistent when branding your small business.

  • Differentiation – It is important to pick colors and a log that set you apart from the competition in your field.  Places like Coke and Apple are even identified by certain colors or symbols.  It would be great if your consumer could identify a logo as specifically yours.
  • Legitimacy– A consistent brand identity makes your business seem more legitimate. Try to emulate multinational companies that put their logo on everything with your company. Make sure your logo, colors, font, and layout are consistent across all branded materials.
  • Overall Impression – Each time a customer comes into contact with your business they should see the same fonts, colors and symbols so they create a connection to your product and services.  Each connection will make him/her relate to your company.
  • Customer Clarity – Sending the same message over and over about your company helps the consumer understand what you are all about.  For example, if the logos and colors on your lawn signs are different from those on your flyers, you might be losing business without even knowing it.

To read more abut branding and why consistency is important please follow the link to ER Nation by Vistaprint

The Importance of Hashtags

Overwhelmed by the pace of technology changing and all the buzz words associated with all of it such as: social media, mobile ready, and the ever present Hashtags?  You are not alone.  Let’s take a look at one term – Hashtags, why people use them and why they are important.

A hashtag is the number symbol (#) used to mark keywords or topics in a tweet or post.  It was originally created on Twitter by users to categorize messages.  Now many people use the hashtag symbol  before a relevant keyword or phrase (no spaces) in their Tweet or post to categorize it and help them show more easily in Twitter Search.

Why do people do this?

  • A hashtag is simply a way for people to search for tweets that have a common topic.
  • To make it easy to click on that phrase to see all other Tweets marked with same term.
  • To follow a trending topic on social media.
  • To help clients, or potential clients find your relevant topic on social media.

Where do hashtags work?

Hashtags work on Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube and more. If you create a hashtag on Facebook and direct that post to Twitter, the hashtag will also work on Twitter.

How are they useful to business?
By creating keywords that are important to your business objectives, you can discover information you might not have found otherwise and others may find you. You can find Facebook pages, for example, that you want to connect with.