Google has been progressively rolling out some major changes and updates over the past two or so years. Last year Google debuted The Knowledge Graph, which is an extensive database of the most searched for people, places, and things. This year came Hummingbird, which was designed to provide users with better results based upon how you search, rather than from keywords used. These changes all result from a new search approach for Google.
URLs are used to specify the addresses of webpages. When a URL is properly formatted a user should be able to identify the subject matter immediately upon seeing it. They tell the web server what the page user wants. URLs are basically directions for humans and crawlers. Often times your CMS will generate the URLs of your website pages. However, you can help your search engine results by optimizing your URLs manually.
Initially, many were concerned with losing valuable keyword data with Googles recent algorithm change. The idea of the change is to help better understand the context of search queries and content; how people are using language, the meanings of words and phrases, and how they are used. The difference now is that we need to change our focus from getting traffic from keywords to getting traffic to pages. This may sound like a lot, but take a breath, because classic SEO and content strategy rules still largely apply. This means you can still have an actionable SEO strategy without the specific keyword data that was once provided.
Previously, the basis of online and content marketing was largely based upon keyword research. Marketers analyzed keywords to understand exactly how customers searched and arrived to their site. They used their findings to improve search engine results and create campaigns around keywords that were proven to work.
The core concept of content marketing is simple - engage, build trust, and create a loyal following. Sometimes brands lose their way and convolute their message because of poor marketing tactics. Here are some common problems brands face with easy solutions.
Before deciding to delve into a responsive site design, it is important to know where the majority of your website traffic comes from. If you notice an upward trend in mobile searches the time for a responsive site may be near. A responsive site ensures that no matter how visitors arrive to your site, they will see all the same contents as they would on their desktops. These sites guarantee your visitors will find what they want without any restrictions due to the device they are on.
Social media calls to action really work. Direct calls to action on social media profiles have a high click rate and are a great way to drive people to take certain actions. There are different calls to action to use for all the different social media sites. It is important to integrate the right calls to action into your social media campaign.
Landing pages are a fundamental and crucial part of a successful inbound marketing strategy. They are the center of your lead generation efforts and every campaign that you implement should be tied to a landing page offer. The sole purpose is to get visitors to perform a specific action such as downloading a whitepaper or signing up for a 30 day trial for a software that a company offers. Landing pages need to look good in order to perform well and sometimes important copy and design factors are overlooked.
Lead generation is an important way to getting people naturally interested in your business. It is how you warm up potential customers and lead them to the path of eventually buying or investing in your product or brand. Lead generation techniques are vital to your inbound marketing efforts and will increase sales.
Social media is one of the main ways companies create and maintain their online presence. It helps to shape brand recognition and strengthen its position in the industry. Social media content must be refined beyond just putting messages out at random and crossing your fingers. It is a part of peoples every day lives and companies must make the most out of everything they publish.
The homepage of your website must pack a punch as it is often the first page visitors land on. This means it must be perfectly designed to make a good first impression. The purpose of a homepage is to engage visitors and make it easy for them to find exactly what it is they are looking for. Use it to tell your story, elaborate brand objectives, and to build a strong brand image.
A website redesign can be an exciting and terrifying experience all at the same time. Most likely you're redesigning your site perhaps because your business has grown and the site has become outdated and has functions and features that are no longer used. It may be the right time for a website redesign because the current site is not responsive and is not functional on all the different devices people use to access sites. Either way, it is an exciting time but can also be scary if you're worried about losing all the SEO steam your site has gathered.
From a users perspective, filling out a website registration form can seem both intimidating and bothersome. These forms however are an important part of doing business online and are extremely valuable. That being said, as marketers and website designers, we must always keep the intent of these forms in mind.
When designing mobile friendly email for your email marketing campaign, there are two extremely important roles that come into play: content and usability. To comply with these roles there are several design elements that need attention when creating a functional mobile email. Just as mobile friendly websites have become a necessity to many businesses, mobile friendly emails cannot afford to be forgotten.
If you're just starting up your own business and have never managed a web presence before, you may not be aware of the do's and don'ts of certain marketing practices. Sometimes, without even knowing, you may be practicing some bad or "black hat" seo tactics. You may think that what you're doing will benefit your sites search rank, however you can almost guarantee that it will kill your credibility as a trustworthy business.
Marketers who share the right content at the right time to their target audience will have no trouble driving traffic to their website. By creating a content marketing campaign that drives likes, shares, tweets etc., you will encourage users to click through to your website onto various landing pages, with the end goal of converting them to customers.
There are many challenges that content marketers face. One of biggest challenges that applies to not only marketers but also to business owners, is the ability to constantly produce the kind of content people will find engaging.
High quality content is as equally important to your website as is the design. Truly valuable marketing content addresses your target audiences needs and questions. You will have an easier time laying out your marketing content once you fully understand their needs and what they look to gain from reading your content. Performing regular quality checks and updates may also help improve your search ranking. It's a win win!
Here at Brunello Creative we've been talking a lot about responsive design lately. It is a hot topic among website designers and agencies. Responsive design is popular now because of the large numbers of tablets and smart phones on the market.
Landing pages are one page elements meant to capture leads. They are often sales pages, opt-in email sign ups, or a blog subscription page. They may seem simple enough, but rest assured mistakes can be made. Without proper landing page design your visitors will bounce and the hope of any conversions will be killed. One thing to remember is that your landing page shouldn't be just about what you like, but it's about what your target audience will like.
E-commerce websites make the lives of consumers very easy, as they allow us to browse and make purchases from the comfort of our home. However, more and more people are ditching their laptops in preference of tablets and smartphones; whether they are in their homes or elsewhere.
Often times you probably find yourself constantly switching between your smartphone, laptop or tablet. Throughout your day you're using whatever device that works best for where you are and what you're doing. Because of this, it is important for marketers to focus on reaching the right audience in the right context, rather than just targeting a specific device.
The Mobile Market continues to expand rapidly and as a result businesses are looking to capitalize and provide seamless user experience across all devices. It is increasingly important that websites can be accessed easily on any kind of device as the market continues to shift away from desktop computing.
Social media's biggest player made a pretty big announcement yesterday. Facebook released news that had people waiting in anticipation for weeks. Yesterday, Zuckerberg and his team announced a new product, a kind of search engine they are calling "Graph Search". According to Facebook, this new search engine, which is still in beta, "allows people to use the graph to make new connections".
Redesigning your website shouldn't be about just changing its look and feel. As technology continuously changes, redesigning and refreshing a website goes much deeper than the way it looks. Things such as improved functionality, presentation, increased load speed, and how easily they are updated are things that should prompt a website redesign.
Finding the most valuable social media content on the internet may to some seem like finding a needle in a haystack. However, there are some really good sources that help you sort out the good, bad, and the ugly. Keeping up with what's going on in your industry will help you make better business decisions, keep you on top of your game and help you provide an outline for your content marketing plan.
The holiday season is the perfect time to amp up your brand's social media marketing strategy. Customers are consumed with the holiday spirit and are taking to social networks to talk all about the season. Stories from gift giving and receiving to family traditions can be found on each network. Use these naturally occurring stories and conversations as ammo and inspiration for your holiday campaigns.
Pinterest, the popular social media image and video sharing site, has recently rolled out pages intended exclusively for businesses. If your business is new to Pinterest, you can sign up for a business account immediately. If you already have an existing account you can convert it. These new business pages presently still look the same as personal pages but now display a verification badge, allow you to add widgets and buttons to your website and has an updated terms of service for businesses.
In order to understand how your online marketing strategies are performing and what you can do to improve them, you need to regularly track and analyze metrics from those campaigns. These metrics point out areas of your website such as the blog or a specific landing page that are either performing well or that may need some tweaking.
While some people may start their holiday shopping as early as September, many of us don't start until after Thanksgiving. Known as the busiest shopping day of the year, Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving where retailers offer their best deals of the season. In recent years e-commerce sales have stolen some of the spotlight from this day.
Testing your website speed is important for a number of reasons. Website speed can impact search rank and conversion rates. Studies show that people expect a website to load within two seconds and if it takes any longer to load, people close the window.
A content marketing plan will not come without some challenges. Whether you're just beginning to implement a content marketing strategy or you have been going at it for a while, you may face a road block or two along the way.
When designing E commerce websites, the perspective of the customer should be at the front of every design decision made. A poorly designed and hard to navigate site could end up costing you some serious sales and future business.
Digital marketing is the process of engaging customers through the devices they use to connect to the internet. It is anytime when customers are engaged with online advertising through devices such as smart phones, web browsers, and gaming consoles. Digital marketing will benefit your brand and being aware of trends will keep you ahead of your competitors.
We are pleased to announce that Brunello Creative has been honored with a Communicator Award of Excellence in the 18th Annual Communicator Awards! The Communicator Awards judging committee awards those whose work excels in the categories of marketing and communications.
As much as outbound marketing techniques have been thoroughly woven into society by way of billboards and commericals, inbound marketing/online marketing is also becoming seemingly complicated.
Here at Brunello, as a full service digital agency, we develop website solutions based on the unique message and goal of each of our clients. This is crucial in the beginning stages of development. From very early on a clear vision, goal, and message needs to be determined by the the client and agency team. The message and goal of the site will work cohesively under the areas of content, usability and user features.
As part of your web development and seo strategy, every once in a while it is beneficial to evaluate your company's current website to see if any improvements can be made. You may think it's perfect, but perhaps you may have overlooked some things in its initial design and planning.
A/B testing is a kind of website optimization test and is a simple concept. You have two designs of the website: A and B. Usually A is the existing site and B is the new design with a changed variable. Between these sites you'll split your traffic between them and measure their performance using certain metrics (bounce rate, sales, conversion rate etc.). Ultimately you'll select the version that performs best.
Many of you may be unfamiliar with the power of social bookmarking sites. Through these sites you not only have the ability to save, favor and share what you find across the web, but you also have the ability to share your own content.
Foursquare's major platform makeover (the 5.0 revamp) turns out to be just the beginning of a whole new location sharing revolution. Foursquare announced last Thursday a new twist that will engage visitors to extend their time on Foursquare beyond the initial check-in. It's called Connected Apps and it is a way for other apps connect though check ins.
Content marketing encompasses blog articles, guides, case studies and social media tactics. You will use these elements in combination to build an audience. Offer valuable content for your audience. Help them solve a problem, share tips, and offer insider information. In this post we will discuss some simple ways on how to build an engaged audience by enhancing three specific content marketing techniques.
Have you ever thought to design your company's website in Drupal? If so, you know that it's difficult because there are many add ons and modules and that can be confusing to someone who isn't a professional. So what do you do? Consider hiring an agency that specializes in Drupal CMS development. As with any project, there are a few things you should know before you select an agency to ensure the job is done right.
Here at Brunello we are no stranger to designing landing pages. A landing page is a page that asks the visitor to perform a specific task such as completing a purchase or subscribing to a blog. A poorly designed landing page will result in high bounce rates. Before you can begin designs, it is important to understand the anatomy of a landing page.
Your SEO strategies and your content marketing strategies need to work seamlessly together in order to achieve the optimum results. If you're looking for the key to expanding your reach online, you need to implement the right keywords (part of your SEO strategy) into meaningful, useful content (part of your content marketing strategy) for success. In order to help you gain visibility through your content marking, we have outlined the most important steps to take!
Content marketing is a technique of creating and distributing valuable and relevant content to attract and engage a target audience. It is the creating and sharing of useful and informative content that connects people to your business' website with the goal of driving a profitable customer action.
Keywords are an essential part of a proper and successful SEO and marketing strategy. For website optimization purposes, you should focus mainly on targeted keywords and phrases. Simply by knowing how to choose the correct terms, you will boost traffic to your site.
A landing page should engage a visitor and lure them into navigating deeper into your site. An ineffective landing page can put a damper on your leads and conversions and is often indicated by a high bounce rate which is the percentage of people who leave your site after viewing that page.
Brunello recently launched a new site for Oldways Preservation Trust, a Boston-based non-profit. You're probably familiar with some of Oldways programs including the Mediterranean Diet food Pyramid, Whole Grains labeling, and the Oldways Nutrition Exchange. Their influence on food and diet is worldwide and their mission is to help everyone live longer and healthier lives.
Marketing, and even social media marketing, is a science. Using too much of one platform, combining the wrong elements, or abusing formulas could cause your campaign to combust! That being said, there are some definite ways in which you could be using social media incorrectly.
Website optimization is the process of implementing tactics that will improve the visibility of a site for search engines. In order to "get found" certain strategies are practiced for better SEO, however not all of these practices are honest techniques. With that being said, the tactics used for optimization can be classified into two large categories: white hat and black hat tactics.
Inbound and outbound marketing are exact opposites. Inbound marketing is the process of attracting customers in through the content on your website, social media accounts, and various SEO tactics. Outbound marketing is the more traditional marketing approach, it combines commercials, print ads, cold calling, and even sometimes, email blasts.
It was suggested to us that we further explore/update tactics based upon our blog post titled "You've Just Launched your Website...Now What?" We welcomed this suggestion and now we bring to you; Part 2! In this post we'll discuss how to make your website better after its launch through some new ways of monitoring, analytics and the utilization of web tools!
There is a divide in the consumer/marketer relationship. What is the divide? Simply put, what marketers are doing for consumers is pretty different than what the consumers are expecting from these marketers or brands.
The folks here at Brunello Creative, a Boston design agency, specialize in marketing, website design and development. And whether it's a marketing and branding campaign or an entire website redesign, the usage of color plays a huge roll in developing a brands identity.
Studies show that as of October 2011 there were 95.8 million smartphone users in the US alone. Studies also show that more and more people are spending time online on their smart phones rather than their computers. The trend shows that more people are preferring to use their smart phones for what they once used their computers for. What does this mean?
On page SEO is the process in which you optimize the content on your site through various steps. Proper on page SEO includes the usage of text, images and links. Here we provide you with 5 simple but effective ways in which you can optimize your on page SEO!
It can be safe to say that a great deal of time went into the creation and implementation of your business social media accounts. Even more time has probably been spent monitoring your efforts, outreaching new and potential clients and creating new content each day. You may be thinking that you've done all you can for your accounts and you may think they have gotten a little stale. Here we'll provide you with a few ways in which you can tune up your social media accounts and give them a breath of fresh air.
A call to action is a term used in web design to entice a visitor on your site to perform something specific. The most common calls to action on webpages are in the form of clickable buttons. When the visitor clicks these buttons a predefined action takes place. CTA buttons should be added to every website design checklist.
You're doing a little SEO for web research and you search for your own website on Google. On this day, your site is sitting happily at the #1 spot. You check a few weeks later, preforming the same exact search and yet, your site rank has dropped a few spots! Your head starts spinning and you don't understand why this has happened. You haven't made any changes to your site from when you last searched, and yet your pagerank has dropped.
We've talked about some best practices for beginner bloggers and hopefully you found some good takeaways from that post. In that post, we offered some SEO tips regarding Google and blogs - how they're prefered by Google in many cases. With that being said, it's probably beneficial to know WHY blogs stand out with Google.
Thinking of starting a blog? Feeling anxious or overwhelmed with the blog you have already started? While that's certainly understandable for any first time venture, you just need to take a deep breath and clear any misconceptions you may have about blogging. While it certainly can be time consuming you should have fun while you do it.
Why is going mobile important? Let's start with this statistic: 85% of mobile devices will be web enabled by next year. This means as more people, customers specifically, become mobile, you and your interactive agency should be too.
In our last post we credited the internet for popularizing an easier way of shopping on Black Friday. With that being said, Black Friday itself can be credited for spinning off another retail holiday known as Cyber Monday.
It can be agreed that many of us have much to be thankful for this upcoming Holiday season. Thanksgiving, in particular, is the holiday where we call upon the aspects of our lives that deserve a little extra appreciation.
We recently had a client that needed a Hubspot form embedded on each of their websites landing pages. Easy enough. Or is it?
In our first post in the series, we'll be talking about Facebook Fanpages. Several brands come to mind when thinking of super successful fan pages. These include: Starbucks, Victoria's Secret PINK, and Coca Cola to name a few. How did these fan pages become so popular? The fact that these brands are already widely known and extremely popular is just one of the reasons, but there are many tips and tricks that can be applied to a fanpage to set it apart from the rest.
Web marketing has seen a steady incline and strong presence in 2010. It is proving to be an important and popular segment of a marketing campaign. Web marketing and more specifically, Social Media Marketing have now become a rather orthodox approach promotion and branding. Now, every marketing agency has begun to regularly integrate social media marketing in their various campaigns.
As designers and developers, we need to make the most of our time to ensure great results for client projects. Luckily, there are many essential time-saving and quality control tools at our finger-tips.
As you may have heard, the Bing algorithm is now powering Yahoo! organic search results in North America. To see for yourself, go to Yahoo.com and perform a basic web search. Once you are redirected to the search results page, scroll to the bottom and voila! - Powered by Bing™.
Recently I was working on developing a site from a great design making use of a lot of CSS3 for one of our clients here at Brunello and hit a bit of a cross browser bug that had me stumped.
Twitter has become a front-runner in the social media scene within the past couple years. It's popularity has soared to over 100 million users as of June 2010, and is not only one of the most influential networking tools on the web, but used widely for everything from staying in-touch with friends and family — to getting the latest news on any content you desire.
The trends in social media have changed significantly since the conception and initial usage of the major social media sites. The heavy hitters include YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. There are many tips and tricks that users of these websites overlook.
Many of the sites we develop at Brunello receive massive amounts of sustained traffic and huge spikes when content is picked up by syndication. We've stared using Drupal as a CMS for many of our client's sites and have found that, while we love the power, flexibility and scalability of Drupal, it does have some performance weaknesses that could be improved. Enter Pressflow.
Brunello Creative has been selected as an "Official Honoree" in the 14th Annual Webby Awards for its entry http://www.childrenshealthmag.com/ in the Magazine category.
Many people gauge the success of their website on whether someone submits an online form. Thus, it's really important to think about how the form is structured. The most important part of designing and implementing a form happens prior to any layout or coding. You need to prioritize what you NEED to achieve your goals vs what you WANT to have.
Brunello Creative is excited to be entering its fifth year in business (which means we just turned 4!!). Our portfolio and team continue to steadily grow.
Brunello has been working closely with Men's Health on the redesign of their website. The new homepage launched today.
If you own or run a website you should be utilizing the power of web analytics. Web analytics programs help you collect information on how users are finding and navigating your website. This data can then be used to drive the improvement success of your website.
Coding email newsletters can be a trip down memory lane: nested tables, font tags and plenty of inline styling. This is all fun and games until you run into varying levels of CSS support from different email clients. Luckily Campaign Monitor has an extensive chart detailing CSS support in almost every email client known to man.
Brunello Creative designed and implemented the new website for author Elizabeth Hawes.
Brunello Creative designed and implemented the new website for Children's Health Magazine - a brand new publication from Rodale.
Brunello just received its Typekit invite yesterday and I thought I would share with you how easy it was to get Typekit up and running on a demo page.
We've been working on a lot of HTML E-Newsletters lately and thought we would share some of the helpful resources we have found over the past few weeks.
You've done all the hard work of creating your website and launching it. But now what? Here are 5 tips to help you monitor, optimize, test and promote your new website.
Mat Marquis and Niki Brown have both recently received Google certification in Google Analytics.
Here at Brunello Creative, we spend a lot time making sure our brand, images, messaging, sales presentations are done well, look beautiful and motivate our customers.
During Dan Cederholm's talk at An Event Apart he brought up the topic of progressive enhancement. I'm pretty excited about all the things that CSS3 will allow us to do but I also have some reservations. Do we go crazy and start embracing all these new-fangled CSS selectors or do we look at our content and design and see if they add meaning and clarity to our message?
Brunello Creative, has been selected as an "Official Honoree" in the 13th Annual Webby Awards for its entryhttp://www.MensHealthLiving.com in the Magazine category.
A recent article in the New York Times talks about "the new breed of corporate logos".
Inviting, friendly, conversational, playful, reassuring. These are the terms used to describe the latest trend in corporate logo design.
Brunello Creative recently designed and implemented an online community-based, photo and video voting site as a co-branded initiative for Men's Health and Women's Health magazines.
So you've got your logo. Now what? If you don't know how to use it, it may as well not even be there. Your designer created your logo in a specific way for a reason. Don't mess with it!
Brunello Creative is excited to be entering its fourth year in business (which means we just turned 3!!).
7 Signs You (Really) Need Help With Your Marketing
Web analytics programs are an important part of managing a website. They are a powerful tool that can aid in marketing, design and usability.
Here at Brunello we are unashamed at the fact that we are Apple fanboys (and girls).
I'm sure by now you have encountered a Captcha - a little form that verifies you are a human and not one of those annoying spam bots. Unfortunately they have become a necessary part of comment and registration forms. Brunello has used CAPTCHAs on several projects in the past to prevent spam and increase security. Theses days Captchas are being used to help translate and digitize books!
As I'm sure any web designer has experienced, we're sometimes forced to make compromises between what can be done in a mock-up and what can be smoothly implemented in code. One of the most glaring examples of this is dealing with the way a site is rendered in Internet Explorer 6 – a browser released in 2001, and mysteriously still embraced by nearly twenty-five percent of the browsing audience.
Static websites are a convention of the past. With the wide variety of content management systems available to web designers today, website owners have no excuse but to jump on the bandwagon.
Did you know that you have other options? Internet explorer is not the only browser in the market. Learn more about the differences between 3 popular alternatives and see the internet in a whole new way.
Developing a great logo is a mix of art, science, and psychology.
It's important to know what kind of server your website is running on - especially when it comes to installing software like a content management system.