Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What is branding and is it important to your marketing strategy?

When you read about branding you often think it just means a distinct logo – or perhaps mark – but branding your business is much more than that. It is an attitude – a way of doing business – where people get what your company is really about.

A company or business should make sure that all pieces of visual marketing materials are – distinct and memorable – through the consistent use of company logos, corporate colors, typography and any other visual elements that have been decided on.

But - creating that visual consistency and identity is only the first step in attracting your perfect customer (branding your business) – as important as that is – there must be more than a visual image to keep a client – coming back for more.

Branding is much more than just ensuring that customers recognize a logo.

Branding means creating an emotional association (such as the feeling of success, happiness, or relief) with your business, product or service.

It is the quality, integrity and customer satisfaction that customer associates with your business.

If you have read many of my articles you know I am a strong believer that you must be true to your word – integrity in all things.

I am forever amazed at business spend lots of money to look great and have such a professional appearance only to fall short when it comes to people skills. Living up to your word and taking care of clients is what builds a strong customer base. That is a major part of branding your business -

How many times have you come across this type of business – they look good, they sound good, and they promise you the farm but when it comes to delivering, they fall short? On the other hand, maybe you loved the product and service but when you have a question or problem you couldn’t reach them – or they wouldn’t even call you back?

To be truly successful you must care about the client’s satisfaction – as well as the integrity of your word. This is a continuation of branding your business.

FYI: Did you know that when a customer is satisfied – they may tell a person or two – but when they are unhappy with a product or service they tell at least 10 people?

Need professional branding? - Mention this article and save 20% on websites development, business cards, logos and more!

Pamela Artista Design - 801-910-4825 pamela@artistadesign.com

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Search Engine Submission – Some Basic Rules

One of the most fundamental and effective things your can do to get targeted visitors to your website is listing with the search engines.

You may be thinking duh of course it is!

However, you would be surprised how many online business owners don’t understand the basics of search engine submission – or think they do but then find out it is not as easy as submitting and forgetting.

I am a firm believe in hiring professionals to do the things that you are not good at – it is cost effective when you get the right people for the job. It frees you up to make more money in the long run because you are not struggling to learn something you are not even interested in knowing.

With this being said – it is important to understand who you are hiring, and if they are truly the professionals they claim to be. I cannot tell you how many people I run across who have been ripped off by unscrupulous (so called) businesses.

This article is to help you have the checks and balances you need before submitting – and make you aware of some of the most basic (an important) things you need to know to get the most effective results.

Step number One – website development

Make sure your website is search engine optimized – has keywords and is really up to snuff. It isn’t all that difficult if you know what to do and how to do it.

Make sure your web developer/designer knows that you do want your website to be put together in the most effective way for the search engines. If they don’t know how to do it – you need to find someone else.

If you are building your website, there is so much information out about SEO, do some research so you know what you need to have on your website.

I have a free check list – for you to go through you can pick it up at http://artistadesign.com

Even if you are hiring your website designer – pick up my free SEO check list so you can make sure that your website is exactly how it needs to be.

Please make sure your website is designed to look professional as well as have all the right keywords and copy in place.

Step Number Two – Who?

You need to decide if you are going to be the one to submit your website to the search engine or hire someone to do it.

If you are going to personally do it – make sure you have gathered all the pertinent information together – submission places will ask for descriptions, keywords and more. Make sure to include the name and contact information for your business. Even if you are going to hire it out it is good to gather all this information to give to the person you are hiring.

Search engine submission is very time consuming – you have to fill out forms and information that are asked for and every search engine is different. You need to make sure you get it right the first time.

One thing that may be very advantageous for you is to find a student, who is good on the internet – who can submit your site to various search engines. Make sure they keep a log – you are going to be able to save money and help them in the process.

If you prefer to hire a professional service make sure to get referrals and do your research – you will find a lot of charlatans’ and unscrupulous people promising the world and delivering nothing.

Beware of companies that promise submissions to hundreds of search engines – which are more often than not a lot of false promises.

When you submit to the DMOZ and other big search engines you will be picked up by a lot of the little more niche sites – where do you think they get their lists from!

There are a few good, solid dependable companies that can help and networking with people and businesses that are willing to give 110% is always a good thing. I have made many friends for life by networking with people and businesses who know how to give good customer service and are willing to give as well as receive.

Step Number Three – Somethings to Remember

You will want to submit your website to search engines more than once, and if you are a busy business – your website will always be evolving and growing. Search engines love new fresh content that is why having a blog associated with your website is so important.

It is going to take time to see your website emerge to the top of search engines – it can take months. There are other alternatives as you strive to reach that goal – like pay per click – back links – JV partners – article marketing – press releases and social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, Plaxo, Linked-in, Hubpage, Squidoo, friendfeed etc.) that will help you market your business, they all work like a puzzle and each one enhances the other.

Few things are more satisfying than reaching a goal – and building a successful online business can really be a lot of fun and very financially rewarding.

So pull up your boot straps and get to work – enjoy the fruits of your labor – you deserve it!

Pamela Jacob - Artista Design