Thursday, February 17, 2011

Build Brand Awareness Online

If you want to be successful with your business, it’s vital that people know who you are and have a positive view of your brand. There are many simple ways you can create a buzz for yourself online; the trick is to get creative and think outside of the box to do so. With all of the tools and resources that are now readily available, if you put forth a bit of time and effort, you will be able to easily garner attention to your business and brand. Read on for a few ideas.

1. Match Your Blog and Social Media Profiles to Your Website

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s worth mentioning. It’s essential that the design of all your online content looks the same. Find blogging software that allows you to customize your design and lets you match the URL to your own domain. For social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, to name a few, you will need to create a custom social media avatar that you can use across these sites. But, since the image dimensions vary between these sites, you will need to tweak your logo for each account. If you don’t take the time to do this, you run the risk of your logo being cut off or stretched, which will look extremely unprofessional and tarnish your brand’s image. Although you cannot completely customize your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, Twitter allows you to do so, so make sure your profile matches the look and feel of your official website.

2. Cross-Reference All Your Profiles

Once you have all of your social media profiles looking their best, you will now want to link all of them together. Make sure your website and your blog have social media icons on them so users can go to them with a simple click of their mouse button. Similarly, you will want to make sure that all of your social media accounts link to your blog and website. By doing so, not only will you make it extremely easy for people to find your information, you will also be signaling to the search engines that all of your social profiles are related to your site, thus building relevance. If you correctly link all your accounts together, your social media sites will show up when someone enters your name into a search engine and will push any negative press or reviews off the first page of the SERPs.

3. Engage Your Existing Audience and Actively Woo New Fans

Being involved in the social media sphere presents you with endless opportunities to interact with your customers and reach out to potential ones. For instance, you can create contests, quizzes and surveys and provide fun rewards and promotions for the participants. Online gaming is huge, so if it fits in well with your niche, you may want to consider creating a game. Creating videos and interactive content such as infographics that aren’t directly related to your brand but are related to your niche will also go far in promoting your brand. You may also want to consider reaching out to your fans and brand loyalists to see if they would be interested in sharing a particular piece of content with their friends and followers. This move has multiple benefits—not only will you be increasing the chance of your content going viral, you will also be engaging in an open dialogue with your customers, which is another good way to boost your brand.

The above guidelines are but a few ways you can bolster your brand’s presence and gain credibility. You are only limited by your imagination and if you dedicate yourself to finding new and innovative ways to spread the word, you are certain to be amazed by the results!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Landing Page Optimization

Landing pages play an important part in converting visitors to customers, so great care needs to be taken when creating these pages. A landing page is a specialized page where someone is directed when they click on your link from an email or social media sharing sites. Since the landing page is the first thing visitors new to your site will see, it’s of the utmost important to make sure this page is optimized for optimum conversion. Following are a few suggestions for making the most of your landing page.

Keep it Simple

The primary purpose of a landing page is to tell your visitors what you want from them, whether that be purchasing a product or signing up for a service. Thus, you want to have as few distractions as possible to divert visitors from the main call to action. Avoid superfluous images and text that can overwhelm and divert a visitor from the reason why they’re on the page to begin with. Your landing page isn’t the place to experiment with different fonts and design elements. The best plan of action is to keep the fonts simple and easy to read and to use white space and headers to organize your information.

Put the Important Information Above the Fold

People want to be able to find the information they seek and do so fast, so it’s extremely important to place your call to action towards the top of your landing page. You definitely don’t want to make visitors have to scroll over halfway down the page to find the sign up button. Make it as easy as possible for them to find the appropriate information by putting it at the top of the page and list the less important data below it.

Hone Your Content

Since your landing page’s function is to achieve a conversion as quickly as possible, you’ll want to use text sparingly, yet effectively. You don’t want to throw up just any old content; rather, it needs to be carefully crafted so it has the most impact. After all, it is the wording that will be doing the selling, so you need to pay attention to every word, from the first line in the headline to the last one in your call to action. Just remember to keep your message clear and to the point to avoid any confusion or uncertainty.

Keep in mind that there’s no exact science to landing page optimization and that constant testing and experimenting is necessary to find what will work best for your particular company. If you aren’t getting the results you are after, try tweaking your headlines and the wording of your copy. Don’t get discouraged if at first you aren’t able to succeed—just keep trying!