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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.
what you need to know before investing in professional web design - web design raleigh - 90 degree

Investing In Professional Web Design: What You Need To Know

By | Services, Web Design

Once you’ve decided to launch a new business venture, there are various tasks to undertake. Everything from business type to structure to start-up capital is a task to be completed on the to-do list. However, one of the most important initial steps is the creation of a website. In the modern professional climate, a website is not only the best way for potential customers to find you but also the easiest way to tell people who you are and what you offer.

While there are numerous do-it-yourself options for website creation, nothing comes close to the quality you get from professional web design. While hiring a professional designer is an investment of time and capital, it is well worth the effort. The final product is not only one that will represent your business well, but also one that will get you results. Here is what you need to know about investing in professional web design:

  • You get what you pay for: Small businesses have small budgets; this is a fact of life for a new venture. However, there are some aspects of the start-up process that necessitate a bit more investment. Professional website design is such an area. It’s one thing to find a budget-friendly company with which to work; quite another to pay a high school buddy $50 to do your website. The latter is probably going to be characterized by lots of broken links, poorly-written content and a design straight out of the days of dial-up. The mantra “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” applies here. Any company or individual charging significantly less than the average is probably doing so for a reason. Don’t compromise on quality for one of the most significant pieces of your marketing plan.
  • It’s okay to have a voice: While the designer is the professional, you should still have a say in the outcome of your website. You might not be the expert, but no one can tell your story better than you. Communicate what you want your site to say and how you want to represent your brand in your initial consultation. It’s fine to ask for some ideas or examples, but also give honest input on the direction. Working together ensures the best outcome.
  • Don’t forget about maintenance: One of the biggest mistakes that small business owners make is forgetting about site maintenance once the initial project is up and running. Your website will require updates as you grow and evolve. There are also some operational aspects of your site that will require maintenance on schedule. Work with your designer to determine appropriate intervals for these updates to ensure that your website runs smoothly.
  • Speed is still a factor: A professional website design should be aesthetically pleasing, but it should also run as efficiently as possible. Website visitors are fickle and a site that takes too long to load is more likely to be bypassed.
  • You only get one chance at a first impression: If your home page is not appealing or engaging, visitors won’t dive into the rest of the site. Expend the most effort on the home page to ensure that it not only grabs the visitor’s attention but also quickly and effectively explains what your business is all about and why your products or services outshine that of the competition.
  • Give your designer time: If you’ve put off website design until the day before your business is set to open, it’s not realistic to create a quality website without careful planning and execution.  Give your designer plenty of time to put together a website that is reflective of your company’s mission, but also creatively designed and well-written.
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.

how to trademark your new logo - logo design - raleigh - 90 Degree

How To Trademark Your New Logo

By | logo design, Services

So, you’ve finally decided on a logo that best fits your business. It’s perfect for marketing purposes and versatile enough to be used across a wide variety of platforms, including digital and print. You may be excited to kick off some of your advertising plans to generate buzz, but this is an ill-timed first step. Protecting your business from every angle should always be your first consideration and your logo is no exception. Given all the time and effort you’ve likely expended getting your venture off the ground, the last thing you want is for someone else to steal your entire concept – including your logo – and siphon off your hard work.

Trademarking your new logo is the best way to protect your creative property and ensure that the visual representation of your brand is truly your own. The trademark designation offers legal protection surrounding the use of your logo. According to trademark law, infringement happens when another company attempts to use your logo or one extremely similar to it in an effort to make consumers think that your brand and theirs are conflated or the same. Here are the steps to trademark your logo:

Step 1: Create a contract with your logo designer that determines the parameters of its use. Make sure that you stipulate your ownership of the logo in the contract; include language that makes it clear the designer has no further claim on it upon completion of payment and resolution of the contract. Also, stipulate that the logo for which you are paying is intended to be used for commercial purposes for your business. Many logo designers will respect the parameters of such a contract, but some are unscrupulous and will sell your logo to you – and anyone else that likes what they see. An official contract – signed and dated – will offer some measure of protection against re-selling your creative property.

Step 2: Start using your logo on business materials. You should still go through the process of officially filing the patent for your logo’s trademark. However, the law dictates that trademark goes into effect the first time a logo is used on business labeling, packaging, marketing materials or any product associated with the company. Go ahead and start using your logo while you navigate the official filing process to establish a precedent.

Step 3: Make sure that your logo is not misleading, or offensive in any way. This will result in an automatic denial by the U.S. Patent Office. Also, any logo that looks too much like an existing company will be denied as well.

Step 4: Submit an intent-to-use application. You can do this before you even open your doors for business. While the official registration takes longer, the intent-to-use application shows that you’ve begun the process if you must deal with any kind of infringement.

Step 5: Visit the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website and fill out the appropriate paperwork. The website not only provides an opportunity to search for like images and logos but also other phrasing associated with your company. This assures unique branding for your business. The cost varies – between $275 and $325. Be prepared to provide some basic information about your business, including category, the date associated with the first time you used the logo on any business materials and other simple information. It can take up to six months to get a response to the application, which is why it is important to use the logo during this time to establish precedence for use of the logo.

Maintaining Your WordPress Website – 90 Degree – Web Design Raleigh

Maintaining Your WordPress Website

By | Services, Web Design

WordPress is most commonly known as a platform for blogging and content management. However, for small businesses without an existing website presence, it is one of the easiest ways to get something up quickly while you embark on a more in-depth website design. It is also an option for businesses that don’t really benefit from an expensive website investment but would like at least some semblance of an online presence for informational purposes. Maintaining your WordPress website is easy; however, it can be time consuming if you don’t have a streamlined process in place. It’s important to learn the various functions of WordPress, so that you can easily maneuver around the platform when you need to make updates to your website.

WordPress has thousands of possible themes, which means that you can – and may be tempted to – change the design of your site at will. Try to avoid changing it too frequently as consistency is key to brand recognition. Take the time to peruse the various design elements prior to getting started, so that once you’ve decided on a theme, you can stick with it.

It is also imperative to take the time to learn the various plug-ins when you set up your website. Because WordPress is all about usability, the plug-ins are easy to install and can significantly increase functionality. Plug-ins are meant for everything from photo inclusion to search engine optimization (SEO) to social media sharing. Use them not only to ensure that your site is easy to access, but also to enhance searchability. It’s important to note that search engines do look at WordPress sites favorably because the content is generally updated more frequently. So, if you optimize your site effectively and continuously upload fresh content, you should see results from increased visibility.

Take the time to ensure that plug-ins that you opt for add efficiency. Too many plug-ins will ultimately slow down your website and could even compromise the security of it.

Back up your WordPress website as part of a larger maintenance routine. If something goes wrong during maintenance, you will at least have a recent version to which to restore your site until you figure out what happened. WordPress makes it easy with a plug-in that does this automatically, based on the frequency in which you want backups to occur (monthly is ideal).

Comb through your WordPress website every time you maintain it to find dead links or outdated content. Even if your website is not the primary source of information for your business, it is another source of information. Take care to ensure that the content makes any conversions you do garner easy for visitors.

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.

what do your colors say about your brand

What Do Colors Say About Your Brand?

By | Design, logo design, Services

When you are starting a new business, you have to go over many hurdles. Of course, everyone goes about this process slightly differently. It all starts with that first big idea. Then, typically you create a business plan, think about your business name, who your clients or customers will be, how you will charge for your services, etc. Does all of that sound familiar? If so, you are already off to a good start. But…

Have you selected your brand colors yet?

Often when new businesses are preparing to launch their brand, they first think of whatever their logo will be. In fact, that is something that we help new clients with all of the time. But, have you thought about what kind of colors will be included in your logo? How will those colors carry through the rest of your branding material, like stationery, business cards, or even your website design?

If you have not considered your brand colors as part of your overall brand development, it is time to pump the brakes and give your brand color some consideration. Why? Because the psychology behind the way that people interpret colors is a genuine thing and people will be your clients and customers.

In an article on Psychology Today, they note that a study titled Impact of Color on Marketing, “researchers found that up to 90% of snap judgments made about products can be based on color alone (depending on the product).
 ”

MacHouse_branding-pkg

Most marketers will tell you that color has an impact on your brand but there tends to be some smoke and mirrors when it comes to how choosing any one particular brand color will make people feel about your brand. There is not any concrete research there. Most people also associate colors with certain memories or experiences. Since this is the case, it would be pretty hard for us to make a case that clients looking to evoke happiness in a brand should all choose yellow as their brand color because yellow makes people happy. The reality is that there are lots of people that do not like the color yellow for one reason or another. Clowns are also known to make people happy, but I think we can all agree that we know plenty of people who will run in the other direction if they see a clown walking down the street.

Color is still incredibly important when choosing your branding though. The same article in Psychology Today notes that “when it comes to picking the “right” color, research has found that predicting consumer reaction to color appropriateness in relation to the product is far more important than the individual color itself.
”

Martas_businesscards

Perhaps one of the most important things to consider when selecting your brand colors is how do those colors make YOU feel? When you think about your brand, what colors come to mind? Avoid picking brand colors based strictly on personal preference (i.e. my favorite color is orange, so orange should dominate my brand colors). Instead, choose colors that make sense for the products and services your brand is offering and what colors come to mind when you think about you are bringing to the marketplace.

Need help? Our designers and brand specialists happen to be pretty darn good at this kind of thing. Give us a call or request a proposal today.

 

3 Tips To Help You Get The Web Design You Want

3 Tips To Help You Get The Web Design You Want

By | Design, Design Blog, Services, Web Design

Are you ready for a new web design? Before you begin work with your chosen web design agency, there are a few things to keep in mind that will set you up for success during the design process. Getting a new website should be fun and signal an exciting fresh start for your business, but if you fall into some all-to-common pitfalls, the design process can begin to drag on and become confusing. Avoid a frustrating design experience with the following useful tips.

Three Tips For Achieving Web Design Success

1. Be clear about what you are looking for in a design.

Web designers are typically quite good at interpreting design concepts, but don’t assume that they can read your mind. Just like any relationship, communication is key. When entering into a new relationship with your web design agency, be sure to offer them plenty of information about your business. Some examples could include: what you are hoping to achieve with your new website (i.e., customer conversion, newsletter signups, brand awareness, etc.), what kind of timeline you are looking for and any other little details that you feel might be important for the agency to know about your brand.

The right agency will try to pair you with a designer who is most likely to be a good fit for your project from the beginning, but it is still important to remember that everyone has different tastes. Don’t give your designer “free reign” unless you clearly understand their aesthetic. Design is conceptual, and you may be displeased with what they dream up for you. Bottom line…don’t be shy about telling them what you are looking for in a website!

2. Present your designer with examples of what you like.

Have you seen another website or graphic design that inspires you? Don’t be afraid to come to the table with links to other sites that you think are well done. You should never copy another website, but showing some examples of what you find inspiring will help your designer come up with new ideas based on your interests. Different terminology and descriptives can be misunderstood, so having visual examples will help guide the process in the right direction from the start.

3. Be patient.

Rome was not built overnight, and your website design will not be either. The design process can often take multiple rounds before you reach perfection. If the first round of design mock-ups you receive is not exactly what you were hoping for, do not get discouraged. Simply talk through what exactly is not working for you with the designer. Again, use clear communication and present examples when necessary. They will listen to your feedback, and you will likely be more pleased with the next round.

Are you looking for a new web design agency? 90 Degree offers best in class design and we work with a variety of platforms including WordPress websites, eCommerce solutions such as custom Shopify, and fully custom-coded website development solutions.

Request a website development proposal today!

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.

 

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.