This week Google is kicking off a new algorithm (the way their search engine ranks websites). This algorithm will negatively affect those websites that are not mobile-friendly. Fortunately, we have our website clients covered with mobile-friendly websites so no worries there. But what if someone else developed your website, how do you know if you will be affected by this change? Google has a tool available at https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/that will show you if your website is compliant with their new changes. If it is not, Google lists the things you need to change to fit their “mobile-friendly” requirements.
Why does my website have to be mobile-friendly? Well, if it is not your rankings will suffer. Effective Tuesday, April 21, 2015 websites that do not meet Google’s mobile-friendly policy will begin to see a drop in website visitors. Of course this does not mean that if your site is not compliant that it will forever be doomed to suffer. Your site will bounce back but only after it has had the necessary changes made.
Why the sudden change? According to Google’s research, 60% of traffic now comes from mobile devices. So, this is Google’s plan to make sure that mobile web surfers are getting a better experience and better content.What do I do? If your website passes Google’s mobile-friendly test, relax, you don’t have to change a thing. If it does not, then you will need to contact your website developer asap. If the person or company who created your website is unable to help Dotson Design Studio would be glad to aid you in getting your website up to speed.
Branding is when you create an identity for your business and consistently use that same look to represent your company and everything you put your name on. To put it simply, it is the way you are perceived by others. Branding should start with a good versatile logo that can be used across all marketing mediums. But, your branding efforts should not stop there. A tagline or message, fonts,color scheme, and the style of graphics that you use along with your logo are all also part of your brand and should be established in a brand standards or guidelines document.
Portray the Correct Image
Your brand should sum up your business in a nutshell. If your business is a fancy restaurant make sure the fonts you use are elegant and the colors are not bright and poppy, but classy and tasteful. Your logo should be ornate and simple. If your business is a daycare you might consider kid friendly thick fonts, bright colors and a cartoony fun logo. You get the point.
Whatever your image, your brand should be professionally designed. It is worth the investment and some companies (I happen to know one) are more affordable than you might think. It is a big step and a very important one at that so make sure it is done right.
Take pride in your brand
Once you have branded your business be sure to show it off everywhere. Since most businesses are on a budget you will most likely have to work on this over time. Start with the most important stuff like your website, social media,e-newsletters, business cards, brochures or rack cards and exterior and interior signage for your location. Depending on your business there may be other essentials like letterheads, menus or apparel.
Make sure you integrate your brand in everything you do. Make sure the look and feel you created is in how you dress, how you and your employees communicate, how you have decorated your business space, and even in your e-mail signature.
Don’t Go Too Crazy
There are limitless ways to market your brand. Just be mindful in using solutions where you will see a return on your investment or it is something you will use often. Plus, only put your logo where it makes the most sense for your company. As an example: If you are a dog groomer and you want something fun to hand out to potential customers you might consider a Frisbee with your logo on it that can be tossed to a dog. But, if you are beauty salon you might want to pass on Frisbees and go with a neat little travel mirror instead. You should be proud of your brand and you may have the urge to stamp it everywhere but there is a time and a place for everything. Right?
You’re in Control
Here is another tip when spreading your brand to the masses. Don’t be afraid to give your branding guidelines to the newspaper staff,billboard companies, web designers, and other marketing “gurus” you encounter.Often times these advertising outlets when left to their own devices will not pay attention to your brand on their own and you will end up with something that does not look like it matches your business at all.
Lastly,remember the biggest key to an effective brand… stay consistent.
Through the years I have also served the community by helping with
several organizations including aiding in the planning of the Coshocton First
Friday Celebrations, serving as an Our Town Coshocton board member, and also as
an advisory committee member for the Career Skills Investigation program at the
Coshocton County Career Center and most recently I joined the Dresden Community Association.