Brand Mentions Improve SEO
Link building used to rule SEO, but today Brand Mentions has taken control. Why? Google trusts Brand Mentions more because they are harder to manipulate and falsify.
The Dark Past with Link Building – Back in the day, Google and other search engines decided that the more links a website had leading to their site, the better SEO ranking the site should get. However link building was easy to fake, and many website and SEO managers began to utilize Link Pyramids and other artificial link building strategies to increase the number of inbound links to their sites.
Today, most search algorithms are OVER that. They, (especially Google) dislike being ‘tricked’ and your SEO will suffer if you try. So don’t do it! If you have existing artificial links from the “glory days past”…find them, and dump them, before they come back to haunt and hurt your website.
A Bright Future with Brand Mentions – Google has determined that quality links and brand mentions on other (reputable and legit), websites carry more weight than plain links to your site.
Their reasoning: If a website manager, content writer, or social media manager, (from an unrelated brand) trusts your brand enough to mention it and/or link to it, then Google approves, and will give your site a higher SEO ranking.
Brand Mentions can range from:
- Text mentions of your brands name
- Discussing your brand
- Having a live link with copy about your brand
- Sharing your content
Platforms where Brand Mentions count:
- Social Media (Google+, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
Ways to monitor your Brand Mentions:
- Use robotic applications such as, Fresh Web Explorer or Mention
- Pros: Fast and easy (what a combo)
- Cons: Not free and can be less accurate
- Manually use Google to identify Brand Mentions:
Identify Brand Name Mentions:
- Open a Google Search
- Use parenthesis around your “Brand Name” – to ensure you only get results with your exact Brand Name
- Click on Search Tools and select location and the time frame you want to search
Identify Brand Website Mentions:
- Open a Google Search
- type url:website (example, url:o2creative.com)
- Click on Search Tools and select location and the time frame you want to search
From here you can take the necessary steps to protect your brand’s identity and recognize those who are recognizing and mentioning your brand.
If you have questions or concerns about your website’s SEO, we are here to help. O2 Creative specializes in websites, SEO, graphic design, branding, marketing strategies, and printing. Our team of skilled and creative designers, web programmers, copywriters, and social media experts work with clients to ensure their businesses stand out. Give us a call, send us an email, or stop by our office today. · [email protected] · Phone: 970.726.8021
Goodbye to Facebook’s Free Market
Facebook’s changes and what they mean for your business’ or organization’s Facebook page.
Mark Zuckerberg is at it again! Changing Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm to satisfy users and make it more difficult for Facebook page managers to promote their messages to fans…
Why? At the core, Facebook is actually listening to users. And props to them. After all, that is what Facebook is all about right? Creating community, encouraging engagement, and having conversations.
With Facebook Pages becoming so popular for businesses and organizations, users are being bombarded with newsfeed posts encouraging them to, ‘purchase this, support that, like this, enter this sweepstake…’ It must be exhausting, (#FirstWorldProblem).
In all seriousness, Facebook has decided to begin regulating page posts in order to keep their users, (who ultimately determine Facebook’s long-term success), happy and engaged. With so many social media sites, competing for users’ ‘selfies’ and food pics, Facebook is smart to do whatever they can to improve user experience.
What it means for your business’ or organization’s Facebook page:
To put it simply, if you don’t play within Facebook’s new rules you can expect your posts to take a hit.
The “golden rule” for Facebook Pages:
- Remember what Facebook is all about. CONNECTING. Connecting people, creating communities, encouraging engagement and having conversations.
Doesn’t sound too bad right? It shouldn’t be. If you keep Facebook’s mission at the heart of all of your day-to-day page management your page should fair well.
- Post content that is of value to your fans
- Get conversations going
- Share the wealth. Share community articles, other organization’s successes, etc.
- Promote your business/organization when your fans will find it useful
- Throw Facebook a bone – Once in awhile pay to promote a post that is successful (Facebook ‘appreciates’ that)
- Most importantly, develop a relationship with your fans – listen to them, communicate with them, etc. The more engaged your fans are, the more likely Facebook will be to post your page’s content on their page.
Is this bad?
It’s not bad, just less convenient for you.
Before you get too frustrated with these changes, take a step back.
Facebook pages are free, they drive traffic to our websites, e-newsletters, blogs, and other social media sites, they’re mobile friendly, and allow our fans to advocate and promote our businesses/organizations. Not too shabby for a free platform.
O2 Creative is a locally owned and operated agency specializing in websites, graphic design, branding, marketing strategies, SEO, and printing. Our team of skilled and creative designers, web programmers, copywriters, and social media experts work with clients to ensure their businesses stand out. We’d love to discuss any opportunities to help your business grow. Give us a call, send us an email, or stop by our office today. · [email protected] · Phone: 970.726.8021
Google and Your Website
Google and Your Website
“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact on our search results.”
What does that mean for your website? If your website is not responsive or mobile friendly, your mobile search engine rankings will take a hit. (Say goodbye to your first page rankings)
Why is this happening? Google is putting mobile users first, because mobile traffic is outweighing desktop traffic on the old “inter-web” these days…
Not sure if your site is mobile-friendly or responsive? Test it here
If your website is responsive, pat yourself on the back and go watch videos of cute puppies…
If your site is mobile-only, take a deep breath knowing your site will be safe from Google’s “mobile-pocalypse,” but you might want to continue reading to learn the many benefits of a responsive website.
If your website FAILED you’ve got two options:
– Option 1: Create a mobile-only website that links to your website
– Option 2: Replace your website with a responsive website
Mobile-only design: This is a separate website specifically for mobile devices. (You will end up having two websites, one for desktop users and one for mobile users.)
- Lower upfront cost
- Customizable for mobile users
- Site needs to be maintained frequently for future browsers
- Higher long-term costs to maintain and update multiple websites
- SEO challenges – Google sees two websites vs. “piggy backing” on the sites
- Redirecting from desktop website slows the loading, hurting SEO
Responsive Website: This is an all-inclusive website that aesthetically fits whatever device (desktop, mobile, tablet…) users are browsing on.
- Lower lifetime cost (less day to day maintenance)
- One website covers everything
- Very flexible among different devices
- Provides users with a unified experience no matter the device ~ ideal for branding
- Google recommends responsive – (Google is the BOSS..surrender for your business’ sake)
- Higher upfront cost
The Trend: Google has specified that these changes are specific to mobile search results, however indicators suggest that Google will expand these rankings to desktop searches as well. With mobile devices outweighing desktop users, we recommend that businesses and organizations switch their websites to responsive or mobile-friendly now.
The Reality: So on April 21, 2015 Google’s mobile ranking algorithm will include their new mobile-friendly usability factors, either pushing your site’s mobile SEO rankings up, (if you’re mobile-friendly/responsive) or pulling your mobile rankings down if your website is not.
Contact us at O2 Creative for more information and to find out how this will impact your website. Don’t let your search ranking slip. Let us help you revamp your website and capitalize on Google’s new mobile ranking algorithm.
Winning at O2 Creative!
With over 4,000 entries from all over the world, we are excited to announce that we have been awarded not one, but TWO Silver Davey Awards by the International Academy of the Visual Arts (IAVA)!
What are the Davey Awards?
The annual International Davey Awards honors the achievements of the “Creative Davids” who derive their strength from big ideas, rather than big budgets.
We were awarded a Davey Award for the trail signage we produced for the Town of Winter Park and Headwaters Trails Alliance and another for the digital and print marketing we did for Winter Park Lodging Co.
Project: Trail Signs
- These projects combined took over a year to complete.
- 100+ signs were designed and printed.
- O2 Creative is now an expert in ‘wayfinding,’ (the organization and communication of our dynamic relationship to space and the environment).
- We took these very complex and detailed projects extremely seriously because what good is a system of signs if they don’t get travelers to the desired destination?
- We identified and used materials that would survive the test of time in this climate for years.
- Created designs that would be relatively simple to replace and add sections to cut down on future costs for Winter Park and Headwaters Trails Alliance.
- Used similar fonts and styles for the signs in Winter Park and the Headwaters Trails Alliance to create consistency and a unified feel throughout all trails in the area.
- We truly enjoyed collaborating with Headwaters Trails Alliance and the Town of Winter Park on this project.
- Seeing the trails in use by locals and guests alike has been the biggest payoff.
- It’s cool to know that the trails will be enjoyed by thousands of people for years to come!
Project: Digital and Print Marketing
Client: Winter Park Lodging Co.
- We’ve been working with Winter Park Lodging Co. for 5+ years.
- Winter Park Lodging Co. has a lot of different clients they work with.
- We helped create content that would effectively communicate with all of those clients.
- We spent a long-time developing and tweaking the brand.
- Focused on keeping all pieces developed consistent with brand.
- Updated their website to display the luxury accommodations.
- E-newsletter template that reflects the overall brand.
- Seeing how the collateral we created has had a positive return on investment for Winter Park Lodging Co.
- Visually seeing the collateral working together.
We at O2 Creative hold all our work to our highest standards, and it is nice to know that our work meets the standards of the International Academy of the Visual Arts too!
So What Makes us Successful?
- High standards – We strive to ensure that all of our work exceeds our client’s wildest dreams!
- Inspiration – Look around us! The natural beauty in the Rockies never ceases to inspire!
- Collaboration – FACT: Teamwork makes the dream-work!
- Good Karma – You get what you put out there…
- Green Walls – There is never a dull moment when you’re surrounded by neon green and art!
- Pug-sulations – Consults with the pugs! You’d be surprised how opinionated (and right) they can be!
- Knowing our clients and their consumers – This is key!
5 Benefits of Rebranding
Rebranding’s in the news again this week.
Pizza Hut unveiled a comprehensive new rebranding complete with new logo and new menu offerings – anyone else curious to try that honey Sriracha sauce? The news from Pizza Hut prompted us at O2 to hold numerous discussions this week about rebranding (we’re marketing nerds like that). With rebranding on our minds, we thought we’d use this week’s blog to discuss the ways a business can benefit from a rebranding. Here’s a quick list of 5 benefits of rebranding:
Rebranding keeps your business up-to-date. Perhaps your current brand is looking a little dated, or just doesn’t attract customers like it once did. Rebranding helps your business keep up with the times and helps you stay fresh in the minds of your customers.
Rebranding differentiates your business. Maybe your brand has been around for such a long time that you just don’t get noticed like you used to, or maybe your branding is just too similar to the branding of another business in your market. Rebranding creates individuality for your business. It helps you get noticed and stand out again, which leads to our next point…
Rebranding can revitalize your business. When your branding is new, it makes customers curious to see what’s new with you. Updating your brand both re-engages existing customers and catches the attention of new customers too. Consider a rebranding to breathe a breath of fresh air into your business, especially if a new strategy is involved. Speaking of which…
Changes in business strategy should be accompanied by changes in branding. If you’re making changes to the marketing strategy or to the product or service offerings of your business, consider a rebrand to go with it. Updating your brand acts as an illustration to your customers of the updates in your business’s offerings. This is especially true if your brand has or recently had a merger or acquisition in the works.
Technological innovations need branding innovations too. If advances in technology has changed the way your business operates – for instance, maybe you do a lot more business online these days – then a fresh rebranding is a good way to reflect your business’s operations.
These are just a few quick reasons why rebranding can be beneficial to your business. We could go on, but for now we’ll keep it at 5, for the sake of the blog. Of course, rebranding is frequently much more than just a new logo. It often involves a new marketing strategy and ad buys, new target audiences, new products and services, and more.
It can get overwhelming, and that’s where we at O2 come into play. We’ve branded and rebranded all sorts of businesses over the years, including even ourselves. We can help you through every step of the branding or rebranding process, and we’d be happy to do it for you. So if you’d like to discuss the benefits of rebranding your business, let’s have a chat. Please contact us soon!
To contact O2 Creative, call 970-726-8021 or email [email protected].
Click here for our last blog: O2’s local media survey.
O2’s Local Media Survey
O2 Creative has been conducting some local media research lately, including the creation of a local media survey. We’re trying to better understand our market; to better understand the different ways that different media can reach consumers in our area. This is all part of our efforts to better serve our clients as a professional marketing agency.
We’ve been contacting various media sources – anything from local newspapers and magazines to local TV and radio stations. With this information we hope to get an idea of how much distribution and exposure each type of media can create for our clients.
We will also be conducting a media survey among local residents and guests. With this survey we intend to better understand exactly what types of media are best for what types of businesses. Where do consumers go to get information about, say, a restaurant? Or a hotel room? Or an auto repair service?
The more responses we get, the more accurate our survey will be, so we obviously hope to get as many survey responses as possible. That’s why we’re offering an incentive: everyone who completes our survey will be entered into a drawing to win a $100 gift certificate to Tabernash Tavern! (Oh, and in case you aren’t familiar, Tabernash Tavern is totally delicious). It’s O2’s way of saying thank you to everyone who took the time to complete our survey. We appreciate your responses!
The survey will be about 17 or so questions long, and should only take a few minutes to complete. It’ll be an online survey that we’ll be sharing on social media and through emails…or if you’d prefer to fill out a survey on paper, feel free to stop by the O2 office and we’ll provide a print copy.
Please keep an eye out for the survey, which will launch some time next week (November 17-21), and please take a few minutes to give us your feedback. Thanks so much for helping us out. Oh, and we wish you good luck on your chances to win that gift certificate to Tabernash Tavern…nom nom nom!
We’ll update this post once we have a link to the live survey, so keep checking back here as well.
UPDATE: the survey is live! Please click here to take the survey.
Thanks again, everyone!
To contact O2 Creative, call 970-726-8021 or email [email protected]
Holiday Cards from O2
Halloween already came and went. That means we’re in the midst of holiday season! Thanksgiving is fast approaching, which makes Christmas and New Year’s Eve just around the corner.
That also means holiday card season is just around the corner as well. Holiday cards are a great way to keep in touch with family and friends. They’re also a fun way to spread some seasonal cheer, whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Years, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, or another holiday yet.
O2 can create the coolest holiday greeting cards for your business, or even just for you personally. We’ll design cards that truly reflect your holiday spirit, whether you’d like to include fun family photos, or even a custom-designed graphic.
The card creativity doesn’t have to end there either: we can design cards of all shapes and sizes, with all sorts of finishes, on all sorts of different materials. You can go big, small, matte, glossy, square, round, or just pick your own custom shape. We can even print cards on unique papers or other specialty materials. The choices are virtually endless!
In addition to providing professional graphic design services, we at O2 are what you call print brokers. We have close working relationships with several different wholesale printers, which affords several advantages. Since we don’t own our own printing presses in-house, it allows us to keep our overhead lower, which keeps the price lower for you. Since we work with several different wholesale printers that offer a variety of unique printing services, we can quickly and cost-effectively source a variety of print products.
In addition to holiday greeting cards, we can create lots of other stationery for you or your business as well: business cards, brochures, letterhead, posters, you name it. For the best print products, and the most eye-catchingly memorable holiday cards, contact us today.
Happy Holidays from O2!
To contact O2 Creative, call 970-726-8021 or email [email protected].
Hiring a marketing agency vs. marketing in-house
Hiring a marketing agency vs. marketing in-house – which is better for your business? We at O2 believe that hiring a professional marketing agency can benefit your business in a number of ways. Here are just a few:
Time: Ah, precious time. This can be a premium for many businesses. Marketing takes time too, from devising strategies to coordinating campaigns to creating ads and promotions to…you get the idea. Hiring an agency means the agency will worry about marketing for you, which saves your business precious time.
Expenses. Hiring an in-house marketer can expend a lot of money (salary, benefits) and expend time too (recruiting, interviewing, hiring, training). Hiring an agency can often be less expensive than marketing in-house, especially when you consider that O2 specializes in working with small businesses – we’re a small business too! We can create marketing packages that will fit your needs as well as your budget.
Experience. At O2, we have over 30 combined years of marketing experience, and we’re undertaking new marketing endeavors every day. We can provide you with expert direction if you aren’t sure how to market your business. Our experience also contributes to our next point…
Efficiency. Since we’re extensively experienced, we can quickly and efficiently identify the best marketing initiatives for you. We do this stuff every day! We’ll help you create the right message for the right business at the right time.
Perspective. Small business owners must often keep a narrow focus on their business. While this can be necessary for the sake of the business, it can also make it difficult to step back and think about your business in the big picture of marketing. Hiring an agency can provide a much broader perspective on marketing and other matters. Let us handle your marketing so you can focus on the operations of your business.
Resources. We’re a comprehensive professional agency with a large variety of services to offer. In addition to marketing and advertising services, we can also provide graphic design, web design, promotional products, printing services, and more.
Fun. Okay, why does this matter? Well, we really think you’ll enjoy working with us at O2. In addition to being experienced professionals, we’re actually friendly fun folks too. For instance, even though we’re in the office working hard on Halloween, we still took the time to have a little holiday fun. To prove it, here’s Brad dressed up like Joe Dirt, and Sophie dressed up like a ladybug:
To contact us at O2 Creative, call 970-726-8021 or email [email protected]
At O2, we work with all sorts of clients in a wide variety of markets, industries, and locations. One of the biggest factors in successfully working with such a variety of clients is successfully communicating with each client. We think professional communication is important for every business, so we thought we’d share some tips and tactics that have helped us become better communicators in our business:
Meet regularly. This is perhaps the best way to communicate. In-person, face-to-face meetings help us to get on the same page with the client and really get the creative ball rolling. You’re always welcome to stop by the O2 office, and we’re also happy to come meet you at your business. Or, if you’d like to get even more casual, we’ll gladly meet with you over a drink somewhere around town.
Communicate across multiple mediums. In addition to in-person meetings, we’ll regularly talk to our clients over the phone, via email, Skype, or even on social media. Each of these mediums can be convenient and effective ways to communicate, and can even offer their own unique advantages.
Address issues immediately. If there is ever any confusion or misunderstanding, we try to clarify the issue ASAP. Multiple mediums of communication come into play here too: for instance, if we’re not sure about something in an email, we’ll contact clients by phone to seek quick clarification.
Be timely. Communication should always be timely! This is especially important when keeping a campaign or other project on track. When we fall behind in communication, we fall behind in the campaign.
As a creative agency we genuinely care about the success of our clients. We want each of our clients to be as successful as possible in their respective market, and the success of a project is directly related to the quality of professional communication. This is why we put so much effort into communicating, and encourage our clients to effectively communicate with us as well. If you don’t communicate with us, we can’t work as hard for you.
So whether you’re a current client, or you’re just curious about working with us, please communicate! We’d be pleased to discuss all the opportunities we might have to create a more successful business together.
To communicate with O2 Creative, call 970-726-8021 or email [email protected]. Or contact us on Facebook or Twitter. If you’re in our area, just stop by our office at 345 Zerex Street in downtown Fraser, CO. You can also mail us at PO Box 1349, Winter Park, CO 80482. Or, feel free to Skype us too!