Posts Tagged ‘tips’

The Psychology of Colour for Business

There are many factors that influence how and what consumers buy.  A large part of every decision is based on visual cues and the strongest and most persuasive is colour.  An understanding of color meanings in business gives us an invaluable tool to get the best response to our marketing and promotional efforts and ultimately to create a successful business. ~  85% of shoppers will place colour as a primary reason for why they buy a particular product. ~  Colour increases brand recognition by 80% (we all know who we are talking about when we mention yellow arches!) and brand recognition directly links to consumer confidence.

The meanings of colour

Colour is not entirely universal and differs between male and females, young and old, between cultures and religions.  In Western countries the way colours effect us are outlined below.   Yellow – optimistic and youthful.  Used to grab attention of window shoppers.  An illuminating and uplifting color which stimulates our analytical processes and assists with mental clarity.   Red – Energy, increases heart rate, creates urgency and generally used in sales.  A color which calls for action to be taken.  Its high energy and strength draws attention to itself and demands to be noticed.     Blue – Creates the sensation of trust and security, often seen with banks and businesses.  Blue is the safest color to use in most applications, implying honesty, trust and dependability.     Green – associated with wealth, the easiest colour for the eye to process.  Used in stores to relax customers.  Green is associated with nature, health and healing. It balances the emotions and inspires compassion.     Orange – Aggressive, creates a call to action: subscribe, buy or sell.  Orange is a color of adventure which inspires and creates enthusiasm. It is optimistic and sociable and suggests affordability. Pink – Romantic and feminine, used to market products to young girls and women.  Pink inspires compassion and nurturing. It is a non-threatening color used most often in feminine businesses.     Black –  Powerful and sleek, used to market luxury items.  Black is the color of power and authority but in excess it can be intimidating and unfriendly.     Purple –  used to sooth and calm, often seen in beauty and anti-aging products.  Purple implies wealth, quality, fantasy and creativity. It world well with many other colors.

Interesting colour facts

  • Yellow is psychologically the happiest colour on the colour spectrum
  • The comic book character Green Lantern was afraid of the colour yellow
  • Germany’s racing color is silver because in 1934, one of their cars was barely overweight, so they just scrapped the paint off leaving the silver body. The car won and the color stuck.
  • In 2001, scientists studied nearly 200,000 galaxies.  The average colour was called  “cosmic latte”.  According to research by astronomers of our universe is beige and white in color.
  • Feel the aggression and anxiety? Surround yourself with pink things. Pink has the property to calm the nerves.
  • Pencils have been painted yellow ever since the 1890s. The world’s best pencil graphite came from China. In China, the color yellow is associated with royalty, so American pencil manufacturers started painting their pencils yellow to indicate they contained high-quality Chinese graphite.
  • The matador’s red cape does not need to be red to provoke the bull. The bull is color blind. The red color hides splatters of blood from the audience during the finale stabbing.
Sources. Colour meaning in business.  KISSmetrics, How do colours effect purchases.

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Ensure your website is mobile friendly so it can be seen on all sized devices

Is mobile friendliness all hype?

Not at all!  The biggest impact to online ‘search’ in 2015 was mobile.  On April 21, 2015 Google implemented mobile friendliness as a ranking factor in mobile search results. If your site is mobile friendly you can expect to rank above your competitors who don’t have a mobile friendly site.  Conversely pages designed only for large screens may see a significant decrease in rankings in mobile search results.

Why has Mobile friendliness become a ranking signal.

Google is about providing the most relevant and timely results to its users.  As more and more people use mobile devices Google’s algorithms have had to adapt to these new usage patterns.  Google wants to provide a better mobile experience for its mobile users.  (Desktop and tables haven’t been effected.) In early 2014 internet usage on mobile devices exceeded desktop usage for the very first time, and this trend has only continued to grow.  In Australia during 2015 ~  45% of Australians used a smart phone as often or more often than a computer for accessing the internet ~  9/10 consumers under 44 are smart phone users ~  today’s shopper is an online shopper ~ 30% of shoppers use smart phones for researching products and services ~  6/10 people are using search engines on smart phones at least weekly ~  53% of users experience issues when accessing websites on mobile, 28% of users will find another website that works better

… making it crucial for businesses to think mobile!

What is mobile friendliness?

Mobile friendliness is about providing the user with optimal viewing and an interactive experience and easy reading without the need for pinching and squeezing, panning and scrolling.

Mobile sites v responsive sites

Mobile (m.) sites are a second version of your website, designed specifically for display on smart phones and are generally an abridged version of your main website.  In turn, a responsive site is your website designed to adapt to the screen size of the device being used. The layout changes and adapts; pieces move and shift in order to maintain a usable design Mobile sites and responsive sites are assessed in the same way for mobile friendliness.

How do I know if my mobile site is friendly?

Generally, if your site was built before 2013, and unless you asked your developer specifically, your website will not be responsive.  However most, if not all, new sites should be mobile friendly. Google has a great tool that will tell you if your site is mobile friendly and, if it’s not, it will tell you what to do. Check out Google’s mobile friendliness tool to determine if your site meets Google’s requirements.  https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/  Make sure to check each URL of your site. Note:  you may have a great mobile site, however the Google Friendly tool is saying it doesn’t pass the test.  The most common reason is that the google bot for smart phones is blocked from crawling resources, like CSS etc, that are critical for determining whether the page is legible and usable on a mobile device.  Talk to your web developer to resolve any issue.

So where to from here?

We recommend you run your website through Google’s tool above. If it tells you your site is mobile friendly, that’s great – you’ve got nothing to worry about. But if it tells you your site isn’t mobile friendly, then we recommend you consider getting a mobile friendly website as soon as possible, especially if you want to maintain your Google rankings.

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3 steps to help your clients to leave G+ local reviews easily

 Why Google+ local is important

  • customer reviews matter to your local rankings! (#1 rank has 33% MORE customer reviews that the average #7)
  • Having Google reviews can generate more clicks from potential customers – those golden stars catch your eye!
  • The reviews your customers’ write are automatically shared with their friends (the people in their Google + circles) – which leads to extra visibility for you in “social media” and potential customers
The thought of joining Google+ is what puts most people off from leaving a review.  However there is a way around this.

Step 1  (lets find your local listing on google maps)

  • head over to google maps (https://maps.google.com.au/)
  • type in your business name and address – when your G+ listing shows, copy the URL  (you will notice that it is very long and at first glance quite meaningless)
example-google-plus-listing-on-google-maps Example only https://www.google.com.au/maps/place/The+Canine+Classroom/@-27.4027106,153.0028507,9z/data=!4m5!1m2!2m1!1sdog+trainers+:0x5a7659aecfe270

Step 2  (we are going to make the long url into something more aesthetically pleasing and more meaningful)

  • head over to http://tinyurl.com/
  • paste the long url
  • complete the custom alias (where you can make the url more meaningful eg. PTreview)
tiny URL creates shortened url's from long url's Finished URL = http://www.tinyurl.com.MyRevies
MUCH NICER
TIP:  you can also use http://tiny.cc/ to do the same thing + you can also create a QR code here (great for printing out and putting on your front desk, or your website for iphone users to scan and leave reviews)

Step 3 How to put this into action and start getting reviews!

1.) Ask your customers if they enjoyed their service, follow that up with: “Would you mind leaving us a review on Google?” and giving them your new link. 2.) Put up a small card at your reception area, on a noticeboard or on the tables of your centre. Direct iPhone users to the QR code you created above. 3.) Have a contest between your employees to see who can get the most Google+ Local reviews. Give the winner a nice gift card and repeat every month. 4.) Send a thank you and follow-up email to clients with a closing asking for a review on our Google My Business page, including the new link. P.S. This technique works flawlessly as long as the person is signed in to any type of Google account. Whether it’s just a regular Google account (using your own email address), a YouTube account for person to access their subscriptions, or Google Play, etc.  If the person literally has no Google Account, they will be ask to create one within Maps, and then they will be asked to sign-up for Google+. BUT if they have any type of login, they will just be asked to “continue as you” without any mention of Google+. Lets get started today on building your online marketing strategy. Working exclusively on the Sunshine Coast we’ve had some great feedback from clients!

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Woman connected globally on LinkedIn

6 Steps to get your LinkedIn Profile found by Google

With more than 380 million business and individual users now on LinkedIn there is an increasing trend that a LinkedIn Profile is not only created professionally but that it can also be discovered by search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. Whether for business or pleasure there are a few steps you can take to ensure your LinkedIn profile can be found:

1. Claim your vanity url

Search engines love vanity URL’s as long as you include your full name. A search engine won’t find you under au.linkedin.com/in/io34098j48 (this doesn’t mean anything unless someone is specifically searching for this string of characters), but they will find you with au.linkedin.com/in/yourname Get your Vanity URL TIP: If your name is already taken you can add your initial or your location to the end.

2. Ensure your profile is available to the public

It’s no good having a great profile if no one can view it. Ensure your LinkedIn Profile is available to the Public

3. Get your headline right

When people are looking for new connections they will see your name and your Professional Headline. Don’t be overlooked because you haven’t told viewers what you do and who you do it for. Saying you’re a Director doesn’t tell people what you do. A better example would be “Management Accountant for XY Company”. TIP: There are 140 characters available so ensure you are including relevant keywords.

4. Get your links right

You can add up to three websites links to your profile. This allows you to show users web pages that are associated with you and your brand. Give users an insight into what you do and what you are about. You also are adding more keywords to your profile.

5. Include a headshot

Use a professional business photo. Remember that profile images are searchable on search engines especially Google Image.
Increase in likelihood that your LinkedIn profile will get viewed if you include a photo: 11x (22/4/14)
TIP: Name your image properly, for example Felicity-Jane-Cluff.jpg

6. Complete the descriptions

The descriptions in your profile headline, personal interests, summary and job title and experience, etc. Use keyword rich and industry specific content but don’t keyword stuff.
Increase in profile views for LinkedIn members who list skills on their profiles: 13x (16/10/14)
TIP : People looking for you will be more likely to search for industry specific keywords.

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Easy steps to get your images (and video) working!

You have the perfect website and some incredible images but are those images working for you in the same way as your content is in getting rankings?    They can and they should be! Google can’t see or interpret an image – it is like it is seeing a plain envelope that is sealed (Google can see the pixels but doesn’t know what they mean) so you need to tell Google what they are about. Lets first of all see what images Google recognises from your website. Head over to the google search bar and type in site:yourdomain.com (so for me I would type in site:felicityjane.com.au) press enter (this will then show you all of your website pages that Google has indexed).  To check for your images click on the images word underneath the search bar and press enter. If there is nothing displayed – you either don’t have any images on your site OR Google isn’t yet aware of them.  Before we head over and tell Google they exist and are ready to show the world, lets make sure they ARE ready to be shown.  Google will greatly appreciate you if you take the trouble to follow these guidelines. Give your file a meaningful and relevant name   A filename like 1239847.jpg doesn’t mean anything to you or Google.  If your image is of a horse your filename may be white-horse-in-field.jpg.  Use hyphens to split words and lower case eg: white-horse-galloping.jpg.  By using hyphens Google is able to recognize the individual words and match them to search queries. Try not to make your file name too long, around 31 chars including file extension and one to three hyphens is good.  Remember too, the page the image is on will also provide information to Google about the subject of your image The ‘Alt (alternate) Text’ attribute – provides alternative text to non-textual content.  If the image doesn’t display due to slow connect or can’t be seen, maybe the user is visually or cognitively impaired, the alt text provides contextual information about the image.  Ensure that your alt text is as informative and descriptive as possible – check out Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0). Alt Text has a different purpose to the filename and title of the image.  Google may use this information to determine if the image is appropriate for return to a search query. Site Speed Site speed is a ranking factor so remember file size will impact speed: the larger the file the slower the load time. There are two types of size you need to consider: 1. the physical storage size eg: 49KB verses 2. the actual image size eg 1000 pixels wide by 300 pixels high. There are plenty of free programs to compress and resize image files for use on the web.  Check out PicMonkey.com – edit; chose photo; resize to your new size eg 300 pixels by 45 pixels, apply; then save – it will then ask what quality (this is the physical storage size) you would like – I go for Roger which for the image I optimised was 37KB. Tip It’s NOT good practice to upload large files and then place in your page/post at a reduced size – it is still using the larger size for storage and will possibly slow your site down even more. Protecting your images You don’t want people using your images for their benefit without some recognition to you.  You can add copywrite text, watermarks or other information to your images (and you can do this with PicMonkey too). You can also make your images available under a Creative Commons licence that requires anyone who uses your images to identify that you are the original owner and kudos is yours.   Just Google “Creative commons licencing” to get more information – its free BUT … if you make a donation you will receive a CC t-shirt!). Okay .. so now you have your images in perfect shape!  Lets tell Google they are ready for the world. Image Site Map If you are using a WordPress site there are plenty of plugins that will do this for you, including submitting your new sitemap to Google.  Search for ‘XML image sitemap’ and follow the steps – or if you are using an XML plugin already it may have an option to tag images. If you’re not using a site-map, Google will eventually come across your images – but its much better to say to Google “hey they’re here!”

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