Website trends are not really trends, but rather what you need to have to be successful in the fast moving world of digital marketing. There are so many factors that play into your website, but I have chosen 3 that will have a lot to do with your success in 2014. I am including a bit of design, functionality and of course search. While there are many more and we could go on and on, for the sake of time, let’s just stick with 3.
1. A design trend I see right now is large, beautiful, stunning imagery in web design. With sites like Instagram and Pinterest we have become a very image focused society. We love beautiful images. They transport us to another world and give us a feeling WOW. Having beautiful images on your home page is one thing, but make sure that carries out through your entire site. Hire a pro or be willing to pay the money for the rights to an image.
2. A functionality trend actually has to do with the design trend as well. Google Hummingbird is placing a lot of weight on the page speed of your website. As a certified Google Webmaster we check and optimize the page speed of all our websites. With the large, high quality images you are using on your website, those can often slow down the page speed making it slow and cumbersome for users, especially mobile users. Be sure to compress your images and take the time to check the page speed with a professional.
3. A trend for search that we are seeing is of course Google Hummingbird. The use of long-tail keywords is making content marketing so important for your success. Think of how your customer will find you or questions they ask when they call. Incorporate that into your content and blogs and see the traffic increase!
As with all trends, things change. We will keep up with the latest trends in web design and of course post them here. Sign up for email alerts or subscribe via RSS. If web design is making you stress and lose sleep, call us (but not in the middle of the night).
While there was a very clear winner and loser from the Super Bowl on the field, in the world of marketing it isn’t always that clear. We are here to break it down for you and explain who and why we think the winners and losers in the biggest show of advertising dollars there is. I am a little bummed that the Broncos didn’t perform better, but hey, you come to the big show you better be prepared. The advertisers put their best foot forward and there was a definite winner. Just like on the field.
First of all I want to point out that there are a ton of car and technology commercials in this game. Why? because that is who spends the most money on advertising and they see the value of the impression they can make. Almost every brand had a presence in the game, by sponsoring something or having a commercial, every brand was represented. The question is, if you are a Ford guy, did the Chevy commercial about World Cancer day really make you want to switch? Probably not, that isn’t the purpose of the campaign. The purpose was to create a positive brand interaction with them. Did you get a good feeling when you watched it? If you did, then it worked. Every brand discussed wants to create a feeling of either joy, laughter, sorrow, peace or something else. The purpose of advertising is to create emotion so think about each ad and the emotion it created as you recap the commercials.
The brands that didn’t stand out to me as far as car commercials was the Bruce Willis Honda “Hugs” campaign. That was just odd. What feeling are you trying to create Honda? You want me to stop and hug someone because you care about their safety? You hug them if you are so worried about their safety, or better yet, have your salespeople hug people after the sale because they are going to be safe, not because you just put another set of wheels on the road. Another total fail for me was the Kia commercial….. really? Morpheus singing opera? Yes that pretty much is an alternate universe that anyone would ever put Kia in the same brand as luxury….ever. The other ones that people either love or hate was the Butterfinger, not very family friendly and I’m pretty sure that kids eat Butterfingers, and the Coke “America is Beautiful” ad. Some people loved it and others hated it. There was a Twitter firestorm over it. Some people believed that our national anthem shouldn’t be sung in other languages, while others say America is a melting pot and it was very true to our current state of cultural acceptance. Whether it was a win or lose considering the social media storm it created remains to be seen.
The usual Budweiser, Bud Light and the unexpected Maserati and Audi ads really stood out to me personally. Budweiser had a touching and cute ad and of course a patriotic ad, both of which pulled at the heartstrings of Americans. The Maserati ad was bold and powerful although when talking to the masses, your car is not really what they would consider “affordable”. However, it did have me glued to the screen wondering what in the world is this, its so cool and mysterious. The Audi ad was just a hilarious reason why you don’t ever compromise, with dogs that is. The Doberhuahua ad was funny, although I’m not to sure on their wanting to use a compromise message in their advertising.
There was one brand that stood out to me as the best ad and believe it or not it didn’t include any puppies, soldiers or cars at all. Some of the Bronco fans probably missed it because they shut off the game in disgust, but if you missed it the best placement, message and purpose of an ad was the Esurance Save 30. Absolutely brilliant placement being the first commercial after the big game and saving MILLIONS. The message was clear, they saved money and you can save money with them, the call to action was clear and it was fun. Just tweet #esurancesave30 and you could win the 1.5 million they saved on their commercial. Twitter lit up after that commercial. They were trending on twitter and still are almost 12 hours after the game. They understand their audience and they understand how to reach them and interact with them. They didn’t ask people to buy anything, they asked them to tweet something, they asked millions of people to create a brand awareness that is user generated.
So these are our winners and losers from the #brandbowl2014 Comment below with your thoughts or who you think really stood out and who just wasted money. Keep your eyes peeled for our next blog about the pitiful “local” ads that ran here in the Grand Junction Colorado Market. It is sure to offend someone so it should be good.
If you are in sales then you have heard the term “Build Value” But what does that mean exactly? Not only that, but what is the OTHER side of building value? I think you need to start with what does the target person value? Do they value their time, money, reputation, their people or employees? What do they value? Why do they value it, and what will it do for their business if they fix the problem? I will give you an example of something we recently encountered. A potential client did a consultation with us and we discovered some interesting things about their business and the way it was running. This person started a great business to a very targeting audience and really had a great product at a great price. Through the consultation we also discovered that they wanted a better functioning and better looking website to reach people on a regional level and have sales really explode in the next quarter. Great! We had a comprehensive plan to redo the website to make it much easier for people to connect, learn and ultimately purchase product. We went over the pricing in a proposal and it was a solution to the problem of needing a better looking website.
A few days later we got an email that they are going to stay with their current service provider (GoDaddy & Website Tonight) and just hope that sales pick up. What??!! Hope? That is never a good strategy. At first we were a little blown away, how on earth could a GoDaddy Website tonight website be better than a fully custom website? Then we got to talking in the office, we didn’t build enough value in NOT doing business with us. We talked a lot about what it would be like to DO business with us, but we didn’t talk about the consequences of NOT doing business with us. We built value in our product, our service and the results, but we didn’t talk about what would happen to the clients business if they didn’t do this.
Now trust me I am not talking about fear-based selling, I personally despise that! Don’t tell me to do something because my competitor is or might, that never works. I am talking about specifically talking about her goals and how they will not be reached any other way than with a website overhaul. I don’t care if they didn’t go with us, but to stay with the poorly built, hard to navigate and very poorly done SEO website they have now is just senseless! After thinking about our conversation though, I am not surprised; we didn’t address the pain which I believe is the other side of value.
You see, we as humans always want to do 2 things, feel good and reduce pain. You feel good when you think you got a great value on a purchase, you feel pain when you miss out or something becomes difficult. That part of the conversation is very rarely talked about with sales people. Since we have changed our consultations to talk about what the client is missing or what pain they might feel by not fixing these certain things in their business, sales have increased. We have even had some people go with another service, but still fixing their business woes that we discussed so in the end, we did our job in the consultation. Of course we always want to build value in what we provide, but we also need to talk candidly about what will happen if their business heads down the same path it is on. After all, if what we offer was something that didn’t keep them up at night we would be doing a consultation. So sales people, do not sell based on fear, but rather address the other side of building value and address the pain in a very real way.
When looking at the infographic below, you can’t help but wonder….are we as a society that plugged in? Yes, yes we are. Ok quit thinking the worst and think how can I take advantage of that?
If you know that people are checking their phones at 7 am in bed and checking email, isn’t that a good time to schedule your mobile optimized email blast to hit inbox’s? Probably, and what do you say? Tell them to come have lunch on your or make sure to stay tuned over the next few days for a contest, or even better tell them to forward the email to a friend. If you are posting on social media at 7 am, make sure your content is mobile optimized and ready for mobile viewing AND sharing! Post a great motivational or funny picture to start someones day great!
Following the rest of the day let’s move to the 12:30-2 “social media golden hour”. With that time being the highest traffic on social media and mobile internet usage, you better have a great looking mobile website with information your target audience is looking for. This time is priceless for restaurants! Posting a check-in special is sure to raise your reach and engagement.
Closing out the day strong is the ever popular reading the days news and checking email on your mobile phone while laying in bed trying to find something on Netflix. Be the resource for all things local at that time and re-share local news stories or funny news articles. In a world of not-so-great-news a funny article is sure to get shared. You could also close out the day with a link to your most recent blog post. Keeping in mind that it should be on a mobile compatible platform.
The 4th and final tip is really a simple one, write this down. Be Consistent! Get a strategy and stick to it, no you aren’t going to see a million leads come through your website or front door in 1 week, but you are going to notice the increase in customer engagement and sharing and that leads to leads.
Tell us your thoughts on the infographic below and how you think it will affect your mobile social media strategy! If you are feeling over whelmed and need a little pep talk, call us! We are pretty good at that too!
Mobile Search seems to be on everyone’s lips right now. We talk about it all the time in the office and we often get asked about it from clients on what they can do to have a successful mobile campaign. While doing research we stumbled across this awesome infographic from SlickText.com
A good mobile search strategy isn’t just an option for small business, it is a must. With 95% of mobile users using their phone for local search, the need for a hyper-local presence is greater than ever. In a recent class we discussed how a business can be successful with a mobile search campaign and take advantage of the millions of search queries done on a mobile device done every day.
Establish a strong local presence! Claim your Google places, yelp and other review sites accounts. Don’t wait for someone else to tell the search engines about your business, You may not like what they have to say.
Optimize your email campaigns for mobile content! Don’t forget about those outgoing links either. With 88% of consumers checking their email on a mobile device you want to make sure you can capture them when you have the chance.
Make you social mobile! The number of people using their mobile device to access social media is just plain astonishing! 91% of consumers use their mobile device. Think about that when you are posting links to outgoing pages…. is it mobile compatible? We have gotten pretty picky about what we share due to a poor mobile experience for our fans and followers. Great for our audience, but not so great for the people who have great content, it just doesn’t ever get seen because of a poor mobile experience.
Invest in Mobile Advertising! Understand that people will click on mobile ads, if it is relevant to what they are searching for or looking at on a website. Be cautious…. remember that where they go from your mobile ad should be mobile optimized. I recently saw an advertiser on our local news media mobile site, when I clicked on the ad, I went to a non-mobile webpage. Very, very, very frustrating… for me and the advertiser because they are wasting money.
Mobile Content Strategy! Yes you need a content strategy, but you also need a mobile content strategy. How does your consumer utilize you or search for you on a mobile device? Is it different that on a desktop? Probably, so your content should match what they are searching for via a mobile device. For example a plumber doesn’t need every single tip, trick and information about why they are so great on their mobile device. Think about it, when I get a call while I am in an airport traveling that my pipes have busted, I am going to Google “Plumber in Grand Junction” I need a site that is fast and has the phone number very prominent. In the search description it should tell me that the plumber is open 24 hours a day and handles any size emergency.
In conclusion, check out this infographic and let us know your thoughts. If you need a mobile strategy and feel overwhelmed, call us, we can help! Fill out the Free Consultation form and we will get in touch with you within 24 hours.
We love infographics! We love beautiful infographics that have social media statistics on them! Coming across this one we found some things to stand out to us. The fact that websites using the +1 button increase page traffic by 350%, that is amazing! Do you have you +1 Button on every page? Or what about 23% of users on Facebook check their accounts % TIMES or more everyday! Are you there talking to your customers when they check? More importantly, are you saying something of value? The one that really stood out to us was the 80% of users prefer to connect with brands on Facebook. That raises 2 points. 1. Do you consider yourself a brand and if so do you understand and value your brand equity with a customer? 2. Are you connecting with your customer the way they want to be connected with? If they prefer to connect with you via Facebook and not email, why are you trying to force them onto your email list?
Tell us your thoughts by commenting below. If you have questions about your marketing and what Synergy Marketing can do to help you stress less contact us using our nifty contact form!
“Drones are everywhere in the media today. Amazon is testing drones to deliver packages. Real estate agents are using drones to take aerial video. The military has been using drones for the past decade. Like it or not, the drone revolution is coming. With the potential to become an estimated $82 billion industry by 2025, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the topic is not something to take lightly.
Considering the potential economic impact of the drone industry in the coming years, I find it hard to believe to government and FAA will ban the use of commercial drones. To note, paying someone to fly a drone is illegal right now, according to the FAA rules on commercial drone use. However, that does not seem to be stopping people from becoming an aerial photographer. Pretty soon there will be thousands of “new” aerial photographers across the country.
The benefits drones provide in real estate are clear. Drones are essentially a camera tripod in the sky allowing real estate agents to capture virtually any shot they want from any angle and elevation. Combine that with a drone flying through the inside of the house, creating a whole new viewing experience for potential buyers and sellers. With this new technology there are several important things to know before you hire your next drone pilot.
1. Drone pilots are not created equal
Just because you are able to find someone who has a drone with a GoPro mounted to it does not mean that he or she is particularly good at flying the drone. The last thing you need is a drone crashing into the neighbor’s house. Make sure you ask for a testimonial, see previous examples of their work, and ask if they carry general liability insurance. The risk is too high to hire a pilot without these qualifications.
2. Video editing is everything
Even if the person you hire is a professional drone pilot, it does not mean that person is particularly good at editing video. To create a drone experience that wows, it is vital to ensure a professional edits the video. Video editing is an art, and it will be clear if the pilot chopped up the video and threw clips together. With the proliferation of real estate drone videos popping up, the bar for professionally edited video will only be set higher.
3. Fly indoors
Flying a drone around the outside of a listing is cool. Fly the same drone through the middle of the house — WOW! This is the most innovative virtual tour you can provide. A drone floating through different rooms of the house and straight out the door over the neighborhood is an experience worth talking about. This will make even the most mundane house look extraordinary.”
Will Caldwell is the CEO and co-founder at Rivolix, a mobile real estate tech company that helps Realtors generate more word-of-mouth leads. He is a passionate entrepreneur and recent college graduate living in San Diego.
Our Production Manager, Joe Jones contributes the following:
I agree with Mr. Caldwell on most everything in his article. I really like the fact that he feels that drones are so important in real estate. The sample video, he uses, shows the drone flying through a large house (mansion). That would certainly make an impact and make video house tours even more unique and appealing to the viewer. Displaying a home in a more dynamic way is a very positive thing for the agent and seller. Smaller homes (3000 sq. ft. and less) would not benefit as much from the effort of flying the drone inside, unless the house had a large high-ceiling main living area. A large house, like the one in the sample video, would be a great choice for inside drone shots. I like the fact that the drone flies into the house, showing the main living area, and then flies out through an exit to the outside. I think what’s missing, though, was a more extensive look at the inside with a standard camera and motion equipment. Motion technology equipment like a slider, jib crane, and camera stabilization device would have completed the house tour. The drone, along with the motion technology devices, can provide a smooth flow of visuals that are appealing, professional, and engaging to the viewer.
Three important things are prevalent in this article:
1. Employing a good dependable and experienced pilot is extremely important for both safety and quality.
2. Involving a good editor is very important. Note: A good editor would have avoided showing the copter blades and should have provided some additional motion stabilization and color correction.
3. And the fact that drones are used more and more in our society and are definitely here to stay.
This article is very positive toward what can be done for the real estate industry and what’s revolutionizing how homes can be advertised.
For more information on how Synergy Marketing can provide your real estate business with innovative home tours, call 970-639-9225.
Creating a mobile website can be a challenge within itself. Creating a mobile website that Google will love is even harder. First you have to understand and harness the power of mobile. With 53% of American consumers using their smartphones to access search engines at least once a day and 95% of those searches are for local business the power of mobile is HUGE!
Statistics like that should help you harness the power of mobile. Understand that your customers are on the go, non-stop, all the time. Is your brand on-the-go? You might think you are in the clear with a mobile responsive site. Mobile responsive meaning that your desktop site will adjust to the screen size that the end user is viewing your website on. Hold up…. not so fast. Having a responsive site is ok, but it is not the optimal result that you want. Responsive has become very popular with many wordpress sites and is very common. But how people search on mobile is different than how they search on a desktop. The other problem with responsive is you are slamming ALL the information from a large desktop site into a small bandwidth and small screen so the load time will be slow, and even sometimes not load at all.
Mobile compatible is having a separate mobile site for your business with mobile friendly everything. Pictures, forms, videos and even text should all be made with mobile in mind. Having a mobile redirect is important too. Google wants the end user to have a good experience so it crawls for sites that have mobile meta tags, mobile keywords, and a FAST mobile site. The search giant will also show you sites according to proximity so having your map on your mobile site is huge. Having your business listed correctly on Google is another one, but that is for another blog. So here are the 3 things you can do right now to create a mobile website that Google will love!
1. Create a sub-domian right now of m.yourcompany.com This is your mobile redirect and will allow people to see you specific mobile site.
2. Research how people are searching for your industry on-the-go. Keep in mind when people search for you, is it while they are doing research for a large purchase or they just need some quick information about a price or location or hours? What if they are just looking for a coupon or special? Should you use those keywords? More than likely, you know how your customers search for you and what they are looking for when they come to you. You solve some kind of problem for them? What is it? Use that in your keywords and meta information.
3. Find a reputable company if you aren’t comfortable yourself and get a mobile site built ASAP! The revolution isn’t coming, it is already here! There are a lot of mobile website builders out there and very few have the capability of doing everything you need. Most are a watered down version of your existing site, you need something with full HTML5 and social integration, click to call, and tap to map. That is what your customers want, why deny them?
Of course we have a solution for you. (insert shameless plug here) Our firm saw a need and we created a solution. You can build a mobile website just like the one I talk about above and create the traffic you want, don’t wait for it to happen. Log onto www.synergymobilesites.com right now and see how easy it is to build a mobile website. Don’t feel comfortable? Call us! We can help, we would rather help someone understand than continue to see the horrible “mobile sites” being passed off by local business right now.
Joining the mobile party isn’t scary, it is exciting! What is scary is not joining because of fear, time, or my favorite money. Can you afford not to? Those numbers are astonishing, if you are a local business just put your head on your pillow every night with the numbers 53% and 95%. No those numbers are not your yearly increases, that is the percentage of the market you are missing. That should help you sleep.
For more information about how Synergy Marketing or Synergy Mobile can help your business and help you sleep at night contact us for a free consultation.
I have had this question from about 70% of my clients lately and it makes me wonder…. What is the #1 thing I say in all my education and meetings ~ if you build it you HAVE to tell someone about it. Am I not getting that message out there clear enough? We can’t just build something great, no matter what it is; blog, website, mobile application, new service you are going to offer, new product. It really doesn’t matter what it is, if you haven’t told anyone about it you will get zero traffic to anything anywhere.
Is there a myth or a perception out there that once you have something on the internet that it will just miraculously get traffic and Google knows about it and loves it? That couldn’t be more untrue. In fact, if you are new, Google could care less about you.
This image is my favorite! One does not simply get to the top of Google.
It takes time, work, effort, time, content, SEO strategy, time, consistency, did I say time yet? You get the picture. Traffic to your website or blog is great, we would all agree, but the right traffic is even better. If you just want traffic then use some link farms and spend days and nights commenting on other blogs with your links to get the traffic. If you want quality traffic to your website then promoting it and advertising it in places where your target market spends their time is the way to go. That takes time and content.
Our website and blog for example took almost 6 months to show up for the top search terms we focused on. That took , constant measuring of our keywords, consistent blogging and oh yeah ~ We told people about it! It got traffic, lots of traffic just from us telling people that is the best way to learn about us and contact us. We put everything on our website so everyone had to go there to learn about us. When we did presentations and offered them to attendees guess where they had to go to download them? Our website which has our blog!
The wrap-up: Here are 3 things you can do right now to get traffic to your website or blog:
Get quality content on there. Something that is quick and easy to read, easy to print and download and something that your target audience cares about.
Be patient, success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out. A mentor that I greatly respect once said to me, why are you concerned about what shoes you are wearing to a marathon when you haven’t even gotten dressed or stretched? Thanks Robert Caruso! I love that, you can’t expect to win a marathon when you have never ran a day in your life! Get your stuff together and make it around the block before we worry about what place you are in.
Bury the “Field of Dreams” theory. No one is coming unless you tell them to. (at least for a while) Talk about it to people, post about it on your social networks, have your blog information on your business card, share your blog with people via email, ask for feedback. All of this will help in getting traffic, you never know. all it takes is the one person, one time to share your blog to the right group of people and boom, you have a steady group of followers, fans and advocates that actually care what you have to say.
Do these 3 things right now and 2 things will happen, 1. You won’t stress out so much, it isn’t good for you and 2. You might actually enjoy writing the content and talking to people about it. For more information about Synergy Marketing Consultants and how we can help you with your SEO strategy, blogging or social media call us at 970-639-9225 or visit our website at www.gosynergymc.com
Mobile Revolution is here, is your business ready?
We keep hearing about the mobile revolution, what exactly does that mean, and more importantly what does it mean to your business? The mobile revolution is simply that; a revolution in the way we are interacting, shopping, searching, living and growing. This is not something that may or may not happen, it is happening and it is happening fast! We are a fast moving, ever changing society and our mobile devices have helped us get there and continue to propel us into the future. With 56% of US Adults* owning a smart phone spending an average of 127 minutes* using social applications, searching and browsing websites, the question is why? Well, think about it, we cram so much into our days, work, kids, social life, being a weekend warrior, throwing “Pinterest Worthy” parties, church, work events; the list goes on and on. We are on the go constantly and we need the world to keep up with us!
How How Mobile Affected Certain Industries?
Just think about the revolution in the restaurant industry, people got tired of waiting in line to be seated, The time spent waiting was wasted and we didn’t want to waste time. Call ahead seating was invented; this allowed you to call ahead and put your name in line and then do something else and arrive just in time to be seated. Then they came out with text ahead seating where you can text and ask the wait and put your name in. The next revolution was online reservations, which allowed you to go online and make a reservation or put your name down for seating. Now, we are never at home just sitting in front of our computers, we are on the go so we needed to be able to do everything we can do from our desktop without being tied to a desk. Here is where they have dropped the ball. The way your website looks on a mobile device is not mobile friendly. Making a reservation on a mobile device is not easy. Restaurants are making it hard for me to do business with them.
Now Look at Your Business
Is your website and non-mobile compatible website making it hard to do business with you? Quit making me move my fingers on the screen like an ice skater doing the splits. Quit making me have to scroll all the way to the side just to get your address or phone number. Quit making me have to write your phone number down, then close my browser and then call you, a tap to call would be great! By having a mobile compatible website you are not just allowing your customers to do business with you the way they want, you are getting additional leads from very qualified buyers. Need some proof?
Check out these statistics:
·4 out of 5 consumers use smartphones to shop and make decisions based on the research.
·57% of consumers will not recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site.
·Similarly, 40% of consumers will go to a competitor’s site after a bad mobile experience.
·Mobile search accounts for 46% of search, so people are searching for you.Can you be found?
You might be thinking, well I had my site build and it is mobile responsive so it changes to a smaller screen. Many WordPress sites offer this; here is why Google says that isn’t a good thing. It doesn’t always create a good end-user experience and we all know that if your bounce rate is high and if you don’t create a good end user experience that can affect your rankings with the search mogul. There are a few problems with a responsive site, the first being that sometime the call to action isn’t where you need it to be because of where the responsive site placed it. You should also consider how and what people look for on mobile vs. your desktop site. They want the information, but not your whole 107 page website! (By the way 107 pages is a lot and you probably have great content, keep it up) A mobile redirected website, not responsive design, offers more customization and will have its own search keywords and meta tags. Again, the search giant LOVES this.
The Take Away
You have the facts and the reasons why a mobile optimized site is a must for your business in the mobile revolution, now the question lies with you ~ will you do something to talk to your customers or let your competitor work some mobile magic and steal them away? For more information or a free consultation to see if your website is mobile compatible call us and join the revolution.