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Digital Marketing

5 Easy Hacks To Boost Organic Search Traffic - SEO - 90 Degree

5 Easy Hacks To Boost Organic Search Traffic

By | Digital Marketing, Local SEO, Services

A website is the best way for potential customers to find your business online. It is both the digital face of your company and an opportunity to generate new customers. However, in an increasingly cluttered online environment, the way that people find your business is constantly evolving. This underscores the importance of search engine optimization (SEO), which is the process by which your website content is written to make it more likely customers will find you.

However, SEO has undergone numerous changes, as some websites were stuffing their content with keywords instead of producing quality writing that was useful to potential customers. This is an inauthentic way to generate search traffic and does your company no good. Instead, your goal should be to boost your organic search traffic, so that anyone that finds you is really looking for what you offer. Generating this type of web traffic is more challenging because it means that you must create and maintain a well-written and aesthetically-pleasing website. Consider five easy hacks to boost your organic search traffic and get your business the results it deserves:

  1. Start a blog: If you haven’t already, start blogging on your website. Blogging increases website traffic by up to 55%. Moreover, it establishes credibility in your industry. Create a schedule of blog topics and post regularly. Submit your blog to industry organizations and associations or set up a partnership with another blogger complementary to your business and share content. This will pique interest in your endeavor and drive traffic to your site.
  1. Engage your social media audience: Social media is a great integrative marketing tool when it comes to increasing organic website traffic. Share website updates and content through social media channels. Build a presence on the most appropriate platforms. For example, if yours is a product-heavy business with opportunity for fantastic photos, then Instagram is the best venue through which to peddle your products. Increase traffic by teasing your social media audience with photos on Instagram, directing them back to your website to find out more or make a purchase.
  1. Audit your website content: Adding a blog will boost your website’s organic search traffic; poor quality content anywhere on the site will drag it right back down. Quantity is never better than quality when it comes to getting your web traffic numbers up. Delete any pages that add little to no value to your site. Rewrite content that is pertinent and necessary, but not properly comprised. Pages with no links or opportunities for conversion should be removed.
  1. Create a mobile-friendly site: The truth is that more people than ever view websites on their mobile devices. Therefore, your website should transition well to a mobile-friendly version to make it easier for visitors to find you no matter what their device type.
  1. Comment Away: This might seem like a strange way to boost organic search traffic, but it is highly effective. When you post thoughtful, engaging comments on industry blogs, websites and any other relevant pieces of information, you pique the interest of anyone reading what you’ve written. They are more likely to search your business as a result, increasing your organic search traffic.
the importance of content marketing for your business - 90 degree

The Importance Of Content Marketing

By | Digital Marketing, Services

When it comes to business marketing, content really is king. Content marketing is the BEST way to advertise a business launch, characterize your company’s offerings and distinguish your venture from others in your industry. Content marketing takes various forms and each one is vital to the success of your endeavor. Part of the reason this form of marketing is so important is because it establishes and maintains a level of trust with your audience. Whether your audience consists of industry partners or customers, the people that read your content trust what you are saying. They attribute your credibility to the experience that allows you to grow a business in your chosen industry.

Content marketing allows you to start and engage in a conversation with a wide audience – including those who may not have even known your business existed prior to reading a piece of content you wrote or promoted. This speaks to the versatility of content marketing. You may write a blog that gets picked up on another blog, resulting in links that ultimately send people back to your website. You may comment on an industry piece to reflect your knowledge and professional experience. Sharing your blog on social media could cause a viral effect that encourages people to share what you’ve written to others that care about the subject matter. Content marketing gives you an opportunity to steer your marketing efforts in a direction that is most beneficial for your business.

Content marketing is cost-effective. Creating and sharing good content is more a matter of sweat equity than a significant expense. For a fledgling business venture, this is important as you likely have more of the former to expend than the latter. The expense you incur for this kind of marketing is centered on finding and working with a quality content writer. Distribution relies on your persistence in getting your content noticed – a matter of time and research.

Implementation is simple. Post content directly on your website, share links to your social media platforms and ask industry partners to link to it as well. This helps to spread the word about your business. Put your content efforts on a schedule and you’ve got a marketing machine working in the background as you continue to promote your business in other ways.

Content is also an ideal way to gain conversions on your website. Conversions are characterized as the desirable actions visitors take when they visit your website (i.e. offering contact information, signing up for your newsletter or making a purchase). Outright requests for this engagement may be spurned, but the trust gained through content may compel this type of action from site visitors. In other words, content can equate to dollars, so the importance of it is significant for business growth.

blogging for business - marketing advice - web design raleigh - 90 Degree

Blogging For Business

By | Digital Marketing

A blog is a great way to regularly connect with website visitors, while also imparting essential information about your business and/or industry. However, blogging for business is much different than personal blogging. Personal blogs are often filled with anecdotes and opinions that give a glimpse into the life of an individual. Business blogging, however, introduces visitors to your company while also establishing trustworthiness and knowledge in your industry of choice. Choosing appropriate topics and connecting with your audience are key to the success of your business blog.

Topic choices depend on posting frequency. If you plan to post once a week, then your topics need to be relevant enough to carry readers from one week to the next. If you plan to post two to three times weekly, then you have some flexibility. You might post a blog on a specific product or service, another on an industry topic and then a third on a trending topic. Each different post will appeal to different segments of your larger audience and incentivize readers to return on the days you post to read more.

Connecting with your audience requires writing in a way that is appropriate for your industry. For example, readers of a legal blog may expect an informative, even formal voice. Conversely, visitors reading a pet grooming company’s blog would expect a more conversational tone filled with pet-related colloquialism. Your blog writing style should also match the tone of your website content, since this is how visitors now identify you from an online perspective.

One of the best ways to connect with your audience when blogging for business is to engage in every possible way. Ask questions throughout your post. Request comments. Share posts on social media and ask for feedback. Ask for reader submissions, perhaps a photo relating to a topic on which you’ve written recently and offer to post it. Run special promotions and contests through your blog and highlight visitors who’ve entered. The more you can engage visitors on your blog, the more faithful they will be in terms of readership. This makes it more likely that they will not only return, but also that they will share your blogs with other people. The result of this consistent readership and sharing is an increase in the number of unique visitors to your website, which increases conversion rates for sales and contact information.

Accuracy is also important when blogging for business, since part of the purpose of posting is to establish trust. Research even the most general facts and insist on accuracy for anyone else who may post on your site or under your business name.

Blogging for business allows you to have an ongoing conversation with customers – existing and potential. Make the most of the opportunity by taking the correct approach from the outset to ensure that you get maximum benefit from your efforts.

The Importance Of Business Photography - 90 degree- raleigh

The Importance Of Business Photography

By | Digital Marketing, Start-Ups, Web Design

There are numerous visual representations of your business – from website design to logos and beyond. However, nothing is more visually beneficial than actual photographs of your products/services, your physical space and you/your staff. Photographs give customers a clear visual characterization of your business. They add a personal touch missing from graphic elements and offer another method of connection. However, marketing and branding – even through photography – should be professional and polished. Therefore, the importance of quality business photography cannot be overstated.

In other words, selfies just won’t do.

Good business photography conveys an image that not only engenders trust from customers and partners, but also it speaks to your credibility. As a business owner, you command a certain level of reverence and respect. Using vacation selfies or overly casual photos for advertising does not communicate that message.

Professional business photography is a must. Dress the part, depending on your industry. This means suit-and-tie for a formal business (legal, finance, administrative, etc.) or industry-appropriate attire for a niche endeavor. For example, a chef’s jacket is appropriate attire for a catering business photo shoot, while stylish, trendy garb is ideal for a retail shop owner. Choose something that is professional, but also representative of your industry.

Work with a professional on your business photography. While this is an added expense that you may feel as though you can ill afford, the pictures will pay for themselves in professional integrity and polish for your marketing materials. People are more likely to take you seriously with professional business photos and you can use them extensively across platforms of all types.

Take a variety of different shots to highlight all the different aspects of your business. Approach product shots from varying angles and update them often in advertising. Get some great headshots of yourself for business social media pages and any bio needs. Seek environmental shots for print and digital marketing purposes. Get shots of your staff because they are working just as hard as you are to get your business off the ground and deserve to be involved in promotions. The more variety you have in your business photography, the more options you have for any type of advertising endeavor you opt to use in promoting your company.

While some staged shots are appropriate, candid shots are important as well. People like to see you engaged as a business owner. If you own a storefront, then get the photographer to capture you in action with some of your customers. If you provide a service, ask the photographer to capture you performing said service. The more that people can relate to your photographs, the visibility your photographs will bring your company.

marketing versus advertising – 90 degree – digital marketing

Marketing vs. Advertising

By | Digital Marketing, Services

When you are starting a new business, there is so much to learn. From branding to organizational structure to operational tasks, it can seem overwhelming. Another aspect of business to master for ultimate success is the difference between marketing and advertising. At the outset, these concepts may seem to be the same thing. However, marketing and advertising are different in terms of platforms, approaches and best practices; the only thing that is the same about the two concepts is the outcome. Read on to better understand the difference between the two so that you can implement methods properly to assure business success.

Marketing is the process of preparing a product for an industry or marketing. Advertising involves letting specific audience know your product or service exists from a consumer perspective. Marketing requires research and data analysis of the audience in question. For instance, marketing research looks at market behaviors, patterns, influencing factors and more. It is broader in scope than advertising, which tends to target specific platforms to disseminate the message of a business. In fact, while many business owners are comfortable creating advertising plans, they often bring in experts in marketing to help them amass the much-needed data and research to go in the right direction with other promotional efforts. Marketing is a science; it requires knowledge of how to get the right information so that any decisions made in promoting your business don’t constitute guesswork.

Advertising is the presentation of your product or service to your desired audience. Advertising platforms may range from digital to print and beyond. Advertising your product or service may be characterized by a display ad in a magazine or a radio jingle. It may be a television spot or a billboard image. Conversely, marketing your product or service may be characterized by participation in an industry tradeshow, where the sole purpose is to let people know that your business exists and why your credibility and experience is above others in your same industry. The former is geared towards a more controlled target audience while the latter is broader and meant to introduce your business to the industry.

Understanding this difference can help you to better plan your efforts as you launch your business. You need to know as much as possible about the market in which your business will operate as well as the audience to which you plan to cater. This will ensure that any expenditure of capital will be well spent and get your business results.

clever ways to generate leads for startups

Clever Ways to Generate Quality Leads for your Startup

By | Digital Marketing, Start-Ups

According to the 2018 State of Inbound report, 69% of businesses claim that generating quality leads is their priority. Moreover, 53% of them claim that more than half of their budget is allocated to generating leads. That’s not surprising at all, given the fact that collecting your target audience’s contact information is the basis of building strong relationships with them and converting them into paying customers.

However, not all lead generation techniques work the same, regardless of how popular or expensive they are. To back me up, stats show that just 16% of businesses say that their outbound practices result in high-quality leads.

Precisely because of this, you should choose highly effective techniques that will help you generate relevant leads without breaking the bank.

Offer Free Lead Magnets

If a stranger asks you to give them your address or phone number, would you really do so? Of course not. We don’t give our personally identifiable information to anyone. And, the same goes for collecting your target audience’s email addresses. People won’t leave them to you unless you give them a good reason to do so. This is where a lead magnet comes to shine.

A lead magnet is an incentive your prospects get in return for providing their email. It could be anything, as long as it’s relevant and valuable to your target audience. Here are a few common types of lead magnets you may love:

  • Useful rewards that help your subscribers save time on performing a particular action. They include checklists, cheat sheets, templates, planners, examples, calendars, resource lists, web apps.
  • Educational content that teaches your readers about a certain topic relevant to them. These could be tutorials, eBooks, guides, infographics, reports, educational videos, email courses, event tickets.
  • Entertaining lead magnets that engage, such as quizzes, surveys, giveaways, quotes, mobile apps.
  • The bottom of funnel incentives that motivate customers to complete the desired action, such as offering universal gift cards and coupons, free trials, free shipping, free quotes, early bird discounts.1

Of course, your choice of a perfect lead magnet depends on your goals, niche, and target audience. No matter what you choose, always make sure it is relevant, specific, instantly accessible, as well as that it solves your customers’ problems.

Blog Consistently

Content creation and promotion is the backbone of your lead generation strategy.

First, it’s relatively budget-friendly. According to some recent stats, content marketing generates 3 times as many leads as other outbound marketing techniques and costs 62% less.

Second, publishing industry-specific and engaging content on your website helps you position yourself as an authoritative source of information, helping you earn high-quality links and generate 67% more leads than your rivals that don’t blog.

To create the content your target audience wants, you need to be familiar with their age, gender, location, education, expectations, and problems. Remember, blogging today doesn’t revolve around online promotion. It’s all about bringing value to your readers.

Most importantly, mind your consistency. The HubSpot’s report mentioned above emphasizes that those marketers that published over 16 posts on a monthly basis generate more leads.

Publish Quality Guest Posts

In the past, guest blogging was the primary means of building links, irrespective of their quality. Today, we create highly targeted and valuable guest posts to build a solid online reputation and credibility. As such, this is one of the most powerful lead generation techniques. By publishing on the blogs your potential customers follow, you will boost both your traffic and brand awareness.

Always make sure how relevant and trusted your guest blogging prospects are. Publishing on a mediocre blog in your niche and on a reputable site with an impeccable DA is not the same. Just imagine many qualified leads publishing a post on a site like HuffPost or Entrepreneur would bring to you.

Just like with internal blogging, always make sure that your guest posts are relevant to your target audience, as well as that they answer their questions and solve their problems. The emphasis is put on bringing value and links will come as a reward for it.

lead-generation-ideasSend a Welcome Email to New Subscribers

Making good first impressions is incredibly important in the world of digital marketing. It’s what sets you apart from your competition and helps you start your customer relationships off effectively. This is why sending the welcome email to your all your subscribers is essential. These emails are supposed to set the tone for future conversations, acquaint your target audience with your company, and show them why and how you are valuable to them.

Above all, welcome emails are highly engaging. Statistics show that they are 4 times more likely to get opened than other promotional emails. This is a great opportunity for you to keep your subscribers interested in what you’re doing and turn them into your fans.

Given all these facts, here is what a perfect welcome email should look like:

  • Write a catchy and specific subject line.
  • Include a personal opening.
  • Come up with a clear and straightforward value proposition. It helps you point out why they made a good decision subscribing to your mailing list. This is also where you should familiarize your subscribers with your business and point out what they will get in exchange for providing their email.
  • Highlight what they should do to become your active users (set preferences, upgrade the desired profile information, complete an order, etc.)
  • Offer them additional helpful resources. It could be tutorial videos, guides, an FAQ page- anything that can really help them get the information needed.
  • Provide customer support information, such as your phone number, email address, chat support, and social buttons.

Over to You

Lead generation is the fundamental part of your digital marketing strategy and that’s why it needs to be planned wisely. Keep in mind that overly expensive techniques don’t necessarily need to bring the best results. You should always choose those lead generation methods that work for your startup and target audience. Don’t forget to try and test your efforts regularly and optimize them on the fly.

Now, it’s your turn! What lead generation techniques do you use to generate quality leads for your startup?

Branding vs. Brand 90 Degree Design Digital Marketing + Creative Agency

Brand vs. Branding – What’s The Difference?

By | branding, Digital Marketing, Services

Brand, branding, brand identity, personal brand… all marketing buzzwords that you hear commonly knocked around, sometimes interchangeably. But, they are not all one in the same, so just what exactly is the difference? Here are the facts:

Brand

A brand is quite literally the product or service that your company is offering. A company’s brand is critically important to its stability. This is how your company will stand out in the marketplace. Perhaps it is a particular image or logo, or maybe it is the service itself, but over time your brand is what will make your business identifiable.

Before going to market, a company should take plenty of time to explore their brand identity carefully. What makes your service offering stand out? What can your product do that others cannot? Sometimes the products or services are the same or very similar to others already available in the marketplace, which just makes brand identity all the more important. This is why consumers will choose you over the competition.

When someone is referencing their personal brand, this is essentially how they are trying to make themselves stand out in the crowd. Perhaps they are trying to advance a career in a particular field, or perhaps their personal brand is, in fact, the product or service they are offering. This would make sense for authors or those seeking to trademark intellectual content.

Brands should be coveted, which is why companies often trademark their name or the symbol associated with their brand. Businesses also fail because the due diligence of exploring, identifying and protecting their brand has not been done.

New business logo design for Paintbase; a high-end nail salon franchise. Check out our our branding case study.

Branding

Once all of the legwork is complete, and a brand has been identified, the creative process of making that brand stand out begins. Branding is what lets companies establish a presence and differentiate themselves in the marketplace. A company’s branding can take several different physical forms, including but not limited to logos, fonts, business cards, signage, or advertising campaigns all launched with a consistent theme.

Branding Consistency = Brand Success

Not making the time and investment in branding is a critical misstep. Companies often believe that they can save money by doing this themselves or using inexpensive online services that know nothing about their brands. While there may be short-term gains for the budget, this will surely be a long-term loss. It is worth the investment to have a branding package created that will make your company stand out.

Are you starting a new company? Is your brand already established, but having a bit of an identity crisis? 90 Degree Design helps brands stand out. Request a proposal today.

 

web design trends that work – 90 degree – web design

Web Design Trends That Work

By | Digital Marketing, Web Design

Much like the rest of the “interwebs,” web design is continuously evolving. Staying on trend is particularly important for business owners. It is less about being trendy, however, and more about ensuring that your website design remains highly functional, offers a good user experience and most importantly, effectively drives new business.

Why Your Web Design Matters

When users visit your website, there should be no mystery as to why they are there. You have more than likely been found by search or referral, and therefore, it should be apparent what the user was searching for when they found you.

Can you solve their problem?

Does your product or service fulfill their need?

Is your content of value?

The team at 90 Degree Design put our heads together to come up with some of the most important things to consider when building or refining a website.

User Experience

Consider the entire user experience from the perspective of an actual user. It is easy to get caught up in a particular vision or design, but what is really important is to understand why a user is visiting the website in the first place. Make sure what they are looking for is quickly accessible. In general, users will only stay on your site for 30 seconds or less to try and find what they are looking for. Make sure that your value prop and call-to-action are front and center.

Homepage Design

When designing a homepage or landing page, keep in mind that this will be your first (and likely only) chance to grab someone’s attention. Consider what needs to be featured and make sure that your design highlights that feature. Perhaps people need to see a “make a reservation” widget, or callout of your services menu; whatever the case may be, your design should be built around the most important feature so that it cannot be missed.

Content

According to 90 Degree Design CEO Julie Jensen, one of the biggest things that people don’t realize is how important copy is. ” You almost can’t even think about designing a truly custom site unless you already have the majority of the content in hand.”

Website content should be built out to both tell the story of your brand as well as optimized for SEO (search engine optimization). Your content needs to make sense and help viewers identify your brand, but it also needs to be functional and lend itself to searchability.

Photography

Don’t forget about the imagery. Good photography is so important for a website, especially if your website is photo-heavy. Lousy photography can make a beautiful design look terrible. It can also make your brand be interpreted as “sloppy,” “new,” or “unprofessional.” It pays to invest in good photography while you are investing time and money into new web design.

Need help with your website? We would love to create a customized project estimate for your business. Request a proposal today.

 

keywords and seo _ search engine optimization

Understanding Keywords and SEO

By | Digital Marketing, Local SEO, Services, Web Design

Congratulations, you have a new website. After hours of design iterations, you have a look and feel that is perfect for your brand. Now what? Will your site show up in search?

How will people find your brand? Of course, the idea here is that you have such compelling brand power that people are just seeking your brand out by name. Brand recognition is a process that takes time, and although big brands that have been around for decades may garner this kind of search power, the reality for most brands, particularly those just starting out, few people are searching for you by name.

Content

Search engines don’t care what your website looks like, but they do care about what you put on it. Your website needs to be more than just a pretty face. What is on the inside is what really counts.
Content matters. Content is still king, queen and everything in between. Now, to be clear, we are not advocating for skimping on design. Consumers will care what your website looks like, and it should be representative of your brand. But, if you want to appear in search results, you better have a content strategy in place.

Keyword Research

Don’t tell your high school English teacher we mentioned this, but outside of generally good on-page website optimization, keywords are likely the most important thing that you should focus on when creating content. Again, let us not underestimate the importance of proper grammar. If you want your business to be taken seriously by consumers, spelling counts.

But, we are talking about searchability here. If you’re going to be found in a search, then you need to have the right keywords baked into your content. People use search engines like Google to look for solutions. Your business offers a product or service that can be their solution. In order to rank in search results, your content must contain the popular keywords found in the search term people are using.

Title Tags and Alternate Text

Your most important keywords should be appropriately highlighted using title or header tags. These tags are what search engines use to identify content that you have deemed as “important” on this page. The <h1> tag, for example, is the largest, boldest font on a website page. Use of these tags should be reserved for the content that you want to bring both to the reader’s attention as well as let search engines know that you offer a solution to the search.

*Pro Tip: Do not turn all of the content on your page into header font. This action won’t make your content anymore significant to Google, and your audience will think you are yelling at them.

Alternate text is another commonly overlooked function of searchability. Pay attention to image search. Featuring stunning images or infographics on your website will undoubtedly make you stand out to visitors, but only if they find you. Be sure to take time to label all of your images and associate relevant titles and descriptions with them. Left untouched, they are irrelevant in search.

Confused about content and search or wondering if your website stands up? Request a proposal from 90 Degree Design today. We build brands that get discovered.

11 Characteristics of Highly Effective Landing Pages

11 Characteristics of Highly Effective Landing Pages

By | Digital Marketing, Uncategorized, Web Design

Landing pages are designed to push a website visitor down the conversion funnel so that they can become a lead or even a sale. If you are a business owner, you must put a great deal of time and energy into creating highly effective landing pages that generate new customers and grow your business. Here is a list of the top 10 characteristics of highly effective landing pages:

Fast Page Load Time – The average website visitor does not have the patience to wait for a page to load. Therefore, you should make sure that your landing pages load in 3 seconds or less. If your landing pages take more than 3 seconds to load, website visitors will likely abandon them.

H1 Tag with a Relevant Keyword – The HTML tag that indicates a heading on a website is known as the H1 tag. Your H1 tag must include a keyword that is relevant to your business. For example, if you are selling kitchen appliances in Charlotte, your H1 tag should say “Kitchen Appliances in Charlotte.”

Short Copy – When it comes to copy on your landing pages, less is more. Website visitors skim content rather than read it so keeping your landing page copy short, sweet, and to the point is the way to go. Instead of filling your landing pages with paragraphs, ensure they contain bullet points and short statements that do not overwhelm website visitors.

High-Quality Images – Your landing pages should include high-quality images that are relevant to your product or service. Images can spark visitor attention, engage emotions, and build trust. If possible, use original images rather than ones you purchase online.

No-Index, No-Follow – To stop search engines from crawling your landing pages and penalizing them for duplicate content and improper optimization, you should place no-index, no-follow tags on them.

Great CTA – The call to action or CTA can make or break your landing pages, making it imperative that you have a great CTA. A great CTA is placed in the path of a website visitor, features compelling copy, is in a button format, uses a contrasting color, and does not compete with the other elements of the pages.

It should direct your website visitor to buy a product, fill out a form, call a phone number, subscribe to a newsletter, or perform any other action that will help your business thrive.

Trust Signals – Trust signals are displayed on landing pages to help potential customers feel secure in their decision to buy a specific product or surface. Some examples of trust signals are customer testimonials, social plugins, and third-party badges and certifications.

Effortless Forms – When it comes to landing page forms, you should make sure you only ask for the information you need, use radio buttons to reduce typing, use directional visual cues, and spend time writing the CTA. Forms should also be mobile-friendly.

Contact Information – Visitors shouldn’t have to dig for contact information on your landing pages. It should be placed in an area that is easily seen.

Conversion Tracking – In order to determine the success of your landing pages, you should track conversions. You can do so through Google Analytics and/or Google AdWords.

Minimal Links – It may surprise you that while it’s good to include links to other resources on your site pages that you want the search engines to love, it is NOT best practice for landing pages. Minimize opportunities for the user to go anywhere else on your site before completing a conversion goal.

By keeping these characteristics of highly effective landing pages in mind, you can capture new customers, keep existing ones, and meet your business goals.