With people spending so much time online, this is a great opportunity to focus on building brand equity by engaging with customers and providing them with great content, service, and products.
KrissArt Marketing Design caters to all small businesses. Until the end on March, we are offering $100 off (33% discount) the set-up of a website (click here for a quote). And 10% off our design and online presence services (contact us).
As small business owners, let’s continue to support each other.
10 Benefits of Using Google My Business to Attract More Local Customers and Clients
Google recently revealed that every 1 in 3 Google searches has local intent. This means that millions of people look online for a pizza joint, a dry cleaner, or a salon in their own vicinity. If your company relies on local consumer traffic, this clearly shows the importance of making your business visible in the search results.
Today, attracting local customers is easier than ever thanks to technology that allows you to market in your town or service area. Marketing within a defined geographic area is much more effective than blanket-style marketing if your ultimate goal is to target local consumers in your area. Basically, you need to fish where the fish are!
One of the best ways for you to connect with local customers is to get listed on online directories such as Google My Business. As you can imagine, this is the top local business listing platform simply because it’s owned by Google – the worlds top search engine.
According to Google, 50% of all the mobile consumers who search for a local business in a day visit it as well. Furthermore, 18% of them end up making a purchase.
The importance of being ranked on the Google search engine is something we all know about. Today, the total global search engine market share of Google is between 70% and 90%, and this isn’t going to decline anytime soon.
However, getting noticed in the search engine results pages (SERPS) includes far more than just aiming for a top spot in regular results and working on your search engine optimization.
A complete, verified, and optimized Google My Business listing allows you to connect with your target audience and be found in more ways than ever before.
Customers are the lifeline of every business. Without customers, businesses cannot flourish or even operate. Today, most of the successful businesses consider customers more than just a means for money. For them, customers are their friends, advocates, and regulars. The internet has made it easy for businesses to connect with their target audience every day.
However, finding new customers is still a complex and time-consuming process for them. Most businesses would love to see a display pop up that gives their location, phone number, hours of operation, address, customer reviews and link to their website when someone Googles their business.
Fortunately, this isn’t a pipe dream for you anymore.
Google My Business offers small businesses an amazing marketing opportunity as it attracts over a billion unique users every month. So ignoring this platform is a mistake that no local business should make..
Top 10 Reasons
1. It’s Free
A free marketing tool, Google My Business can drastically increase your chances of being found online and generating more revenue. Of course, simply having a listing is not enough – it needs to be 100% complete and optimized in order to land near the top of the local listing results.
Since it doesn’t cost anything to use it, you’re definitely missing out on a huge opportunity to gain more online exposure.
2. Helps Customers Find Your Physical Location
Using Google My Business, you can list the exact address and location of your business on a map. This ensures that searchers no longer need to rely on a paper map or scribbled instructions to find you; instead they can reach you through the precise directions.
3. Better Search Visibility
When you search on Google, you may have noticed a high-visibility panel near the top of the page (below paid ads and above organic results); it usually contains 3 local business listings and their information. These are populated with Google My Business listings. A complete and optimized listing can help your business land in this section. Furthermore, a simple click will direct your searchers to the rest of your content, such as your website – or even a direct phone call to your establishment.
4. Displays Useful Information
Google My Business gives you a place to make important business updates that can be immediately seen by searchers. Useful, up-to-date information about your business will readily be displayed on your Google My Business listing; searchers can see your:
* Hours of operation
* Busy Periods
* The call now button displayed for mobile users
* Description of your business
Your listings will be as easy to access on tablets and smart phones as they are on desktops and laptops simply because Google is fully committed to the mobile revolution.
5. Another Communication Channel
You’ll be opening up another new interactive channel of communication with your potential and existing clients and customers by creating a Google My Business profile. Furthermore, it offers you another place to promote your promotions and special offers.
6. Hangout with Customers
Whether you are having a typical chatting session with your customers or are answering their most pressing questions, Google Hangouts is another great platform to connect with your customers.
Google Hangouts allows you to communicate with ten to fifteen customers at a time. This makes it a great way to engage customers and promote relationship with them. You can also use Google Hangouts to create instant-content that you can share on multiple channels.
Today, hosting a Hangout is easier than ever because you simply need to navigate to the bottom of your Google My Business dashboard and click on Join a Hangout for it.
7. Gain Customer Insight
The Insights tab in Google My Business offers you access to a wealth of analytics. The information you see is something you can customize. Also, you can simply pick the stats to compare and they will show up on a chart. You can then compare stats with Insights.
Visibility, engagement and audience are the three main sections. The visibility section shows the number of views that your profile, posts and photos are getting. Furthermore, you can change the data to show the last 7, 30 or 90 days report and have access to graphs.
The engagement section shows how your audience is interacting with your posts. +1 clicks, shares and comments is where youíll see the stats. You can also view the results of the last 7, 30 or 90 days, as well as you can plot the graphs.
Finally, the audience section shows the breakdown of the people following you. Age groups, gender, and countries is what this breakdown shows.
You can improve your engagement and sales by using these statistics.
8. Track Website Traffic and Audience
You can use the Google analytic tool in Google My Business to get statistics on your website traffic and audience. Google Analytics is the master key to all the things related to analytics. While Insights looks at the traffic garnered on your Google My Business account, Analytics provides a more in-depth look at your website traffic.
9. Encourage and Actively Respond to Reviews
Your customers are going to leave reviews whether you love them or hate them; and most potential customers will decide whether to buy from you or not based on what people are saying about your business.
Therefore, making it as easy as possible for the customers to leave reviews is something you need to ensure. Fortunately, Google My Business allows you to easily do that. Customers can add their rating just by googling your name once you register yourself with Google My Business. You can also use your dashboard to monitor and respond to reviews.
A word of advice: It is important for you to encourage customers to leave reviews. You can do this by sending a feedback request email with a link to your Google My Business page. It is important that you don’t panic and respond in a professional manner in case you get a bad review. On the other hand, thank your customers for taking time to share their comments if you get positive reviews.
10. It Ties Everything Together
By simply logging into the centralized dashboard of Google My Business, you’ll find all the best Google tools ready for you to use. Google looks to harness the power of its tools suite to attract more to your business. This means that My Business closely ties in AdWords, Insights, Google+, Maps and Search. This makes managing your online presence much easier.
You can connect with your prospects on the other end of those searches by setting up and optimizing your Google My Business Listing. It is a totally free way to attract customers with this small investment of time. By using this tool, you can connect with your audience, increase your chances of being found, and generate more targeted traffic to your website or other places.
Krissart Marketing Design specializes in helping small businesses succeed and stand out from the competition. Click here to create you're listing or if you need help setting it up, send us an email with your website address so we have all the information we need. If you don't have a website, click here to fill out our form to receive a quote. We have packages starting at $85/mth which includes hosting, domain, design, development and ongoing updates.
Why A Logo Is Important
When you’re considering all of the factors that go into building a business, creating a logo might not seem like a top priority. But, it should be!
“Maybe I don’t even need a logo at all,” a little voice is whispering in the back of your mind.
Don’t listen to that voice; she couldn’t be more wrong. Your logo is an integral part of making your brand a successful one – right up there with having high-quality products and positive referrals.
So, if you don’t know just why a logo is so important – then read on to find out why.
#1. Grabs Attention
Attention spans are short these days – especially consumers’.
As things stand, companies have about 2 seconds to convince potential customers that their products are worth any consideration.
Enter: Your logo.
A logo can quickly grab viewers’ attention and communicate a company’s core values in an interesting way. That short attention span – you know, the one that causes consumers to judge your business by its appearance – can work to your advantage, if you have a solid logo to speak for your company.
“Most viewers take less than three seconds to scan
a full web-page and form their first impressions.
The next thing they look for? A company’s logo.”
#2. Makes a Strong First Impression
You have one chance to get this right.
A logo is a company’s first introduction to consumers. If designed well, it can pique the interest of the public and invite them to learn more about the company; if not, you’ve just alienated a potential customer base and basically tanked your business.
(We’re kidding – sort of.)
This first impression is your way to immediately communicate ownership over the product(s) you sell or niche you dominate.
Do you offer women’s basketballs with an enhanced grip? Is your financial advice particularly helpful for solopreneurs? Your logo introduces your company as an authority in your professional space from the get-go.
#3. It’s The Foundation of Your Brand Identity
Successful branding is about telling a story that will influence customers’ emotions – plain and simple.
And, while it’s true that logo design is only a part of a company’s brand, it serves as the foundation for the entire narrative on which the brand is built.
Colors, tones, fonts – all of this is determined by the story you’re trying to tell, and your logo sets the stage for this story.
These elements will later translate from your logo onto all of your branding materials – letterheads, business cards, landing pages, you name it – creating a concrete, marketable brand identity.
#4. Visual = Memorable
Your logo leads the horse (your audience) to water (your company).
Logos are a point of identification; they’re the symbol that customers use to recognize your brand. Ideally, you’ll want people to instantly connect the sight of your logo with the memory of what your company does – and, more importantly, how it makes them feel.
Because a good logo is a visual, aesthetically pleasing element, it triggers positive recall about your brand that the name of your company alone might not.
And, if we’re all being honest, some of your audience will likely forget the name of your business (don’t take it personally – it’s human nature), but they’ll immediately associate your logo with their memories of your brand.
#5. Separates You From Competition
Dare to be different with your logo, because your company logo tells consumers why your business is unique. Sure, maybe there are 50 other coffee shops in your city, but yours is the only one that’s committed to sustainability, and your green, earthy logo drives that message home.
A well-designed company logo can communicate everything from the company’s background (professional, relaxed, fun) to their mission (entertainment, efficiency, and innovation) through the right icon or proper font.
In other words, your logo is the forum to both convey your values and show consumers why you’re not like your competitors – you’re better.
#6. Fosters Brand Loyalty
Say it with me: Consumers crave consistency.
As your brand grows, your logo is going to become more familiar to a wide range of consumers, and this familiarity creates the perception that you’re trustworthy and accessible.
Think about it: When you’re out shopping for workout gear and suddenly spot track pants with the Nike swoosh, you’re instantly ready to buy. Why? Because with Nike apparel, you know you’re in safe hands; Nike is a brand you trust. Trust is built on a well-designed logo, and brand loyalty is quick to follow.
Once they like you, your customers are going to seek you out again and again – and your logo is the thing they’ll look for first.
#7. Your Audience Expects It
And, last but not least.
Your logo is the first thing that your audience will look for when they see any communications from your brand. It should be front and center of all your marketing materials such as business cards, flyers, advertisements, etc.
If you don’t have a logo (and one that stands out), then you are missing an opportunity to make your business stick in the minds of your audience.
Now it’s Your Turn
So there you go! As you can see, you need a logo – it’s a vital part of building a successful business and brand.
Click here to fill out our logo form to receive your quote.
From our latest Email Blast
Having a good website is a must these days.
A recent study by Lightspeed GMI found that more than 93 percent of consumers now conduct online research before making a purchasing decision.
So having a good-looking website and online storefront is no longer optional for a small business owner. You need an up-to-date website or you will lose customers and potential sales.
But is your website is up to speed?
Ask yourself these five questions and it should give you a good idea of whether or not your site could do with a makeover.
1. Does your site have a template or theme that is compatible with mobile viewing?
Most modern website themes are responsive, meaning they automatically adjust to fit whatever screen they’re being viewed on. Comscore.com reports that mobile shopping now accounts for over 60 percent of the time consumers spend online, meaning that a website that responds well to mobile devices is no longer optional.
The easiest way to assess this is simply to check out how the site looks on your phone. If text looks squeezed together, objects are in the wrong place, or the site is generally hard to use, it might be time to make some changes. Email us, and we’ll make that update for you!
2. Have you done any site reorganization or maintenance in the last year or two?
Website design and style is constantly changing. Have you updated your site’s organization in the past couple years? If the answer is no, it probably needs work. Here are a few things to keep in mind when reorganizing and revamping your site.
The last thing you want is potential customers getting the wrong idea about who you are, what you do, or how much it costs to buy your product or service. As I look at small business websites, I am amazed by how often the little details do not add up form page to page.
If your pricing is $20 for your basic package on one page, that price should be consistent wherever you mention it. Have you opened new branches without adding them on your site? If so, you are probably missing out on potential business.
Take several hours to click through your site and see how up-to-date your information is. If it needs quite a bit of work, it is probably a sign that your site as a whole could use some general upgrades.
4. Are your colors, graphics, or animations cliché or gaudy?
American flags waving in the wind and bright neon colors may get your site attention, but not the kind of attention that you want. You are much more likely to be featured on some bad website design list then you are to gain positive press for your business. Animations and gaudy colors should go, immediately. Here are three more things to keep in mind:
The last thing to check out is how your formatting, text, and images look on your site. Everything should look like it is has a place — and is in that place. Here are some things to watch out for:
If all of the above sounds overwhelmingly intimidating to you, don’t worry, contact KrissArt Marketing Design, we will help.
Author: Marc Prosser, Contributing Writer
It’s easy to spot a poorly branded business, but it’s tough to remember one off the top of your head. That’s because a company without a powerful brand message is one we tend to forget without even realizing why. But once you learn the steadfast components a great brand message, it’s easy to see where other companies have gone awry and where your own brand could use some work. Whether you’re starting from scratch or looking to do a brand image overhaul, keep these key branding components in mind.
Identify Your Identity
A powerful brand doesn’t have to be a mogul like Coke or Nike. It doesn’t have to be designed by marketing executives in a room filled with hand-selected test subjects and carefully written questionnaires. A good brand message is simple: It is an artful combination of mechanics and personal passion that not only inspires customers and employees alike, but also can be written down and described succinctly.
It’s your elevator pitch. Imagine you’ve just gotten into an elevator with Mark Cuban. He asks you what you do for a living. Before the bell dings and you both have to get off of the elevator, how would you describe your business to him?
Write It Down
You need to be able to communicate your message efficiently through copy. Simplicity is key here, especially as the attention spans of consumers continues to shrink.
Forbes has a great list of 10 questions to help you develop a brand identity that is rich and complex and still accessible to your customers. Don’t be surprised if you learn a lot about your business and your passion for it while completing these questions. Pay special attention to the "why" questions on this list.
Also, watch the amazing Ted Talk from leadership legend Simon Sinek. He uses the Wright Brothers and Apple to demonstrate why the question of “why” is so important, as well as how to use it to truly inspire others.
Learn from the Best
One of the best ways to better understand your brand is to study other successful brands. From Microsoft to McDonald's, they all have one thing in common: consistency. We are creatures of habit, and developing a relationship requires trust.
To build the best relationship with your customers, they need to see consistency in everything that your brand does, from social media to clearance sales. Cabela’s isn’t having a regular old Black Friday sale like everyone else on the planet; they're having a “hunt for bucks” holiday cash giveaway. McDonald’s doesn’t have prizes or gifts with purchase; they have a Monopoly game with collectible game pieces and ongoing opportunities to win everything from french fries to a million bucks.
Look for brands that take classic marketing techniques and make them their own. Even if these companies aren’t the most powerful brands on the planet, they are invaluable resources to learn from.
Does your logo need an updated look?
There's quite a few rules to stick to when designing a logo. A few examples here is to not mix real images with the design, try to limit the amount of fonts used, if you use more than one, make sure they compliment each other (and try to limit the amounts of fonts to two), and don't outline one word and not the other!
Here is the logo when received by the client, and the result from after we fixed it up:
All the elements in the logo clash and don't work well together. As requested by the client, I kept the overall look of the logo the same, but fixed all the mishaps to make it a successful design for the store to proudly display.
Think your logo needs an update or could be better? Contact us for a quote, be sure to send us your logo so we could take a look at it.
Besides designing logos, we also offer other services. For example, do you have a logo on file but it's not large enough to print clearly? We could recreate your logo into a high resolution/vector format so you'll have no issues when going to print.
Let us know, we're here to help!
Applying K.I.S.S. to your Web Design
Website design often becomes an exercise in redundancy and unnecessary complication as you try to build something that stands out from the crowd. After all, people have an overwhelming number of choices available to them when they surf the web. As of last year, there are more than 861 million registered host names and over 180 million active websites, according to Tech Made Easy. Despite that, the best way to build a site that brings visitors back for more is to keep it simple and usable. With that in mind, here are some tips for applying the “keep it simple, stupid” or “KISS” principle of design to your site:
Back to Basics
When designing a website, it is important to determine what the goal of each page is, and then design each element within the page to reach that goal. If you have a page element or widget that doesn't support the page's objective, it should be removed. On the same note, if a page is unnecessary to your website's overall objective, it too should be removed or changed.
To see what changes are necessary, approach your site form the perspective of a visitor and ask yourself what you would stand to gain from visiting each page. If you already have a website and are just updating or redesigning it, take a look at your analytics and see which pages have the lowest traffic, and ask yourself why. Finally, if any product or article on your site takes more than three or four clicks to reach from the homepage, your site has too much depth and its hierarchy must be simplified.
More Before the Break
When a visitor lands on your site, you only have a few seconds to make an impression and keep the consumer on your page. In fact, a recent Microsoft study found that the average attention span has dipped from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds in 2013. To grab people's attention and keep it, you need bold headlines and content that immediately addresses your purposes.
Additionally, put your most important content where it can be seen right away, so a visitor doesn’t need to scroll down to it or visit another page. A website that does this well is T-Mobile because the company's shop, information, shopping cart, customer service number and product are all displayed prominently above the fold on the landing page. If a visitor has to scroll to see your best content, bring it up to the top and eliminate what comes before it.
Fast Loading Times
It can be tempting to add huge streaming videos, complex HTML 5 and other design elements to your site, but if a visitor leaves before they get to your actual content, your site has failed. Website fads comes and go, and your site shouldn't buckle to trends that increase load times and irritate customers.
For example, many sites today integrate a slider that covers the home page, but this actively drives away visitors. Instead, design your landing page to be simple, clear of elements that clutter the screen and rid of features that create long load times.
Do you need help with your website? Contact KrissArt Marketing Design for a free consultation!
Barbara Corcoran’s credentials include straight D’s in high school and college and 20 jobs by the time she turned 23. It was her next job that would make her one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country when she took a $1,000 loan to start The Corcoran Group. She parlayed the loan into a $5 billion real estate business and sold it in 2001 for $66 million.
By definition, every company needs customers. It would be great if they just showed up on your doorstep, but in today's competitive business world you usually need to fight, tooth and nail, for every client you receive.
Finding new leads and locking down new business can be a difficult task, but following these tips can help you attract a wider customer base.
Define Who You Are Targeting
Whether you are in design or any industry, the key is to define. Who exactly are you looking for? What profile traits do your current and previous clients have in common? Are you attracting a certain type of customer, or have you just been getting by through word of mouth and chance project acquisitions?
Many businesses -- especially small businesses -- make the mistake of trying to attract everyone. That's a great strategy if you are McDonald's, but for your business, it may be better to figure out who you appeal to most and why those types of people keep coming back. Only then can you branch out and attempt to capture even more of that segment.
Research, Research, Research
If you don't know your industry inside and out, you don't have much business being there. There was once a time when a small conclave of experts could run a whole sector for decades without concern that outsiders could enter the space and steal their position.
Not anymore. Now, anyone who knows how to use Google can teach themselves most of what there is to know in a few months. That will never replace real-world experience, of course, but it also means that you need to be that much smarter and work that much harder. Read everything you can find. It can be hard to make the time to continue learning when you want to stay busy churning out projects. But if you don't do it, someone else will. And if you can't convince potential customers that you're the best expert in the room, it will be hard to attract the clients you covet.
You cannot simply bury your nose in books, however. You also have to get out in the real world. Pound some pavement and meet with potential customers to find out their wants and needs. Go to industry conferences, events, lectures and casual meetings. Discover where your people are — and go there.
Whether you are actually swapping business cards and gathering leads or just soaking in the concerns and needs of those that may someday desire your services, these face-to-face meetings have so much value. Even just listening in on a conversation can provide more value than combing through the most thorough, overarching industry report.
Leverage Social Media
It is 2015, so you also must be aware of social media options. Networks like Twitter are now legitimate acquisition channels, and companies like LifeLock are showing how you can leverage the platform. Not only is a great place to monitor the services that potential clients are looking for and find new customers, but the identity-protection firm also uses social media to engage with the community, provide customer service, and keep clients informed about industry news. These things matter.
It isn't just Twitter. There are certainly Facebook groups in your industry as well. Search around in different locations to find collectives of people who are already engaging with one another to find new solutions to problems. If you can offer advice or a service that will help them overcome their challenges, then you can make a lot of headway in a short time. Groups like Design Modo and Smashing Magazine have hundreds of thousands of likes. These ready made lists of people are ripe for any design firm to mine.
Owner, Krissy Carstens, providing the latest news regarding KrissArt's completed projects,