Graphic Matter, Inc BLOG

www.graphicmatter.com

Graphic Matter, Inc BLOG - www.graphicmatter.com

Nils brings expanded services to Graphic Matter

We’re pleased to welcome Nils Swedlund to the Graphic Matter team! Nils brings expertise in directing both video and live events, designing presentations and websites, and social media management.

With over 20 years experience as an executive producer, director and designer working with clients in the pharmaceutical, B2B, sports, entertainment and fashion industries, Nils has provided compelling creative solutions to a variety of product launches, online programs, and live events.

A key contributor in client work for Pfizer and KLJ Associates, Nils’ recent projects include computer-based presentations, web development, video and motion graphics, webcasting, traditional design services, social media management, event production, and consulting services.

Many of our clients have already seen the results of Nils’ creative energy and vision – if you’re not one of them, you’re missing out!

Auto-piloting your website

Once your website is up and running, it would be nice to think that it will happily function on autopilot, magically bringing new prospects to your door. It can do that… ALMOST. But just like an airplane’s autopilot function, you first need to set some “coordinates,” so to speak. These tips will help to guide your site to your target audiences.

Fresh content: Web crawlers love fresh content, so add it as often as you can. This can be in the form of company news, blogs posts, photos or video via mobile upload.
Keywords, metadata, SEO, SEM, search engine optimization

Relevant Design: Keep the design of your site current. Design trends, just like clothing trends, become outdated. No one wants to visit a dated site.

Online Community Participation: Is your business suited for a community forum– like a product rating by your customers [think Amazon, Target]? This fresh content will continue to work even when you’re not.

Directory Submissions: Once your site is up and running it’s important to submit it to the major search engine directories to jumpstart it’s online presence. Our team can help.

Email Signatures: Always include your web address in your business email signature. This is a quick & free way to get your web address out to your clients and make it easy for them to access your site. Suggest they bookmark it for future convenience!

Business Cards & Stationery: Your web address should be included on all of your company stationery and marketing collateral. If you don’t promote yourself, who will?

Press Releases: At Graphic Matter, we find that in the days following a press release Google Analytics shows a remarkable increase in traffic to our site. Press releases are a relatively inexpensive promotional tool that is often overlooked in the small-to-midsized business arena. Talk to our marketing professionals to get started!

SEO and PPC: You use words and images to speak to your customers; your website uses them to speak to the search engines – and it’s all going on behind the scenes. For more information about the powerful impact good SEO and can have on your web traffic look at our series of blog posts.

Blogs: Hosting a blog on your site is an easy way to generate fresh content and provides opportunities for new connections with your customer base. Your SEO advantage is super-charged if you host your blog on your custom domain rather than using free hosting by WordPress or blogger.

Newsletters: E-newsletters can carry your marketing message to your entire customer list with just a click. And while your customers are reading the words, the web crawlers are reading the strategically planted keywords and links. Be sure to create links back to your website.

Should you implement ALL of these items? ABSOLUTELY! Call our marketing experts to help you design the best Internet marketing strategy for your business’ needs and budget.

Graphic Matter’s 2010 Year in Review

2010 was a year filled with accomplishments and milestones for Graphic Matter Inc. As we review this list we have compiled, we are again grateful to you, our clients and partners, for your support and confidence.

January 2010 – Launch of Our 2¢, Graphic Matter’s blog, opening a new line of communication and resource for our clients. We covered the topics that our clients asked us about the most – everything from blogs, SEO, branding, and client projects.

February 2010 – Graphic Matter attends WPEO Done Deals and Matchmaker Event in NYC and has matchmaker meetings with various corporations.

March 2010Mitushi Banerjee joins the Graphic Matter team as web designer.

April 2010 – Graphic Matter attends the WPEO Done Deals Challenge Reception in NYC.

June 2010Graphic Matter is awarded 3rd place in the NJ AD Club 42nd Annual Awards for the exercise booklet we designed for the Pink Ribbon Program, Recovery for Breast Cancer Survivors.

June 2010Graphic Matter designs trade show graphics for NTSG, Inc., providing visual impact for their sponsorship booth at WBENC’s Women in Business 2010 Conference, This visually compelling marketing tool is both versatile and portable for use at future events.

June 2010 – Graphic Matter renews WBENC Certification.

July 2010 – Graphic Matter attends New Jersey’s largest industry networking event sponsored by the NJ Marcom Council.

August 2010 – Graphic Matter celebrates our 8th anniversary as a Hillsborough business.

September 2010 – Graphic Matter creates a new business plan for growth in 2011 with the Haufman FastTrac Growth Venture program

October 2010 Graphic Matter wins the WPEO/WBENC Done Deals Partnership Award for securing the most WBE-to-WBE contracts.

November 2010Graphic Matter designs advertisement and accompanying micro-site for Pink Ribbon Program’s Breast Cancer Rehab.org, marking our first ad placement in a national publication [USA Today].

December 2010 – Graphic Matter wraps us another exciting year and prepares for a productive 2011.

Thanks for reading our blog. Let us know what you would like us to discuss in 2011. We look forward to more rewarding project with our clients in 2011!

Does Your Website Need An Alignment?

More specifically, is the content of your site in alignment with your searcher’s keywords? Is there a clear path to your virtual doorstep? The sample below will demonstrate the typical process:

1. Keyword or Phrase Searched: A searcher types in keywords into the search engine [google, msn, aol]. In this example: “iPhone 4G reviews”.

2. Results Listed: The search engine results are listed, showing organic search results and sponsored links. Also know as paid advertising or pay-per-click [ppc], sponsored listings are usually called out by a colored background and the words “sponsored link”, and appear in the main list and in the side columns as well.

3. Keywords Matched: The words that were included in the initial search phrase “iPhone 4G reviews” will be highlighted or bolded in each of the resulting search listings.

Click on one of the top sites listed on the first page and notice the keywords that are organically placed on this page. You can reference the SEO terms we described in our post Finding Hidden Opportunities On Your Website, to help you look for the keywords in each area – page title, file name, metatags, alt tags, etc. Note how many times the keywords you entered appear in each of the components of this page.

When the keywords appear in all of the page components listed above, and the content on that page is relevant to the keyword phrase, then you have organically optimized this page by making all of the components align with this keyword phrase.

This aligned page is known as a “landing page” for that keyword phrase. See our post about landing pages to refresh your memory.

Does this landing page have a “call to action”? Does it ask you to submit your information, or call the office, or to buy now? If so, then it is also a Conversion Page.

We know what you are thinking: What is a Conversion Page? This answer is coming soon in our next post, and may be your “aha” moment that puts all the SEO pieces together for you.

How can you be in that #1 spot in your prospect’s search results? By methodically “aligning” the key messages on your website, from the inside out. Your own [keyword] alignment is just a phone call away!

Get Pushy With Your Marketing: The Difference Between SEO & SEM

We’ve established that SEO [Search Engine Optimization] can effectively pull traffic to your website through the use of strategically planted “seeds” within your site. Search engines continually send out “spiders” or web crawlers, looking for those keywords that you’ve carefully embedded within your site as metatags, alt tags, page titles, page names and links – each of which is seen and recognized differently by the spiders.

Search Engine Marketing [SEM] pushes traffic to your website. SEM refers to the practice of increasing traffic to your website through the use of paid placements [advertisements, pay-per-click listings] and external directories [trade and business membership listings – Chamber of Commerce and similar networks, for example]. Blogs and social media are essential tools in today’s marketing world.

Search engines like links – both incoming and outgoing. Links from your site to other sites, articles, and resources are easy to add to your site, but the search engines know that. Incoming links carry a little more weight with the crawlers, but finding those opportunities might present more of a challenge.

There’s good news here: you can create your own incoming link opportunity with a blog or e-newsletter for your business. The beauty of these media formats is that they work double time for your business. Done correctly, they will literally push traffic to your site: the reader reads and then clicks – beautiful! But they’re also virtually pushing traffic via the search engines. Not only is your link from your blog to your website [incoming link] attractive to the crawlers, but so is the content of your blog. Search engines love fresh, keyword-rich content, so keep feeding them with regular blog posts [like this one].

Lastly, don’t discount the importance any Internet mention of your business: Has your business been in the news recently? Has it been recognized by a trade organization or received an award? There may be a listing [incoming link] as a result, and if you make mention of it on your site you can create a reciprocating [outgoing] link.

Ready to get pushy with your marketing? Call us, we’d love to help!

Organic Marketing? Really?

In the Internet marketing world, there’s a lot you don’t have control over. However, Search Engine Optimization [SEO] and Search Engine Marketing [SEM] offer you a surprising bit of influence to draw the customers right to your virtual doorstep. To do this you need to identify these things:

Who are the customers you really want?

The ones who want you, of course! They’re the ones most likely to purchase your services or products.

How do they search for and find you?

Putting yourself in the role of your customer, generate a list of words and phrases you would use to search for your products or services. Layering these terms deep within your site will provide a path for the search engines and web crawlers to find you organically. Think of these keywords and keyword phrases as the “seeds” you will plant with the hope of a bountiful harvest [of purchasing customers, of course].

Are you ready to go organic? Graphic Matter can help you to find the hidden marketing opportunities in each and every page of your site. Give us a call – you may be surprised at the potential you have on your website right now!

SEO Unplugged

It seems like everyone is tossing the acronym SEO into marketing conversations.
And yet there are a lot of us hearing it that still don’t know what it means – and are afraid to ask.

Here’s what you really need to know:
Search Engine Optimization [SEO] is a multi-faceted process for improving a website’s ranking in the search engines.
Search Engine Optimization is THE essential tool for connecting you [via your website] with your target audience.

First Place in Google RankingsWhy should you care?
Higher rankings = more [quality] traffic to your website = more potential conversions [purchasing customers].
That’s why everyone wants to be Google’s #1 listing.

How can you be in that #1 spot – or at least closer to it?
By methodically “aligning” the key messages on your website, from the inside out.

For most industries, there’s a huge amount of competition for the #1 spot, and it’s dependent upon which keyword phrases you select. The good news is that placing on the first page in the search results is an attainable and notable accomplishment that will yield a marked increase in traffic to your website. Still confused about SEO? Call Graphic Matter to demystify SEO and begin your rise to the first page.

What Can Your Blog Do For You?

In recent posts we shared information on how best to start a business blog – including tips to help define it’s purpose and audience, and the importance of planning your blog.

This post will focus on the RESULTS your hope to achieve through your blog. Now that you’ve determined your blog’s purpose [see post #7], what result or results, do you hope to see? For example, if your blog’s purpose is to inform about upcoming events, the result you see might be an increase in attendance. But if the blog’s purpose is to promote a service or product, how will you know if it is effective?

By defining WHAT you’re looking for, you will also better understand how to measure it.

For example, while you might not consider a blog to be a typical direct sales tool, you can get a sense of the traffic and conversions that result from your blog simply by tracking the number of visitors to your web site or blog. There are analytic tools such as Google Analytics that provide this service, that are easy to install and use and they are free!

Do you have a newsletter or catalog that you send to your customers, via email or snail-mail? Include a sign up feature on your blog and track the results. Adding a Contact form to your blog, and making a point of asking new contacts how they learned about your business can also give you data about your blog.

So remember: plan, plan, plan before your write, write write!

Now leave a comment on this post to let us know how we’re doing. This will help us to track our results and practice what we preach!

What’s Your Purpose? ..the purpose of your BLOG!

A successful blog needs to have a PURPOSE. Why, you ask? Think about the blogs you follow. Chances are, you are benefitting in some way, correct? Perhaps you like a particular blog because it increases your general knowledge base. Or perhaps it provides entertainment. Or even specific information about a product or service, or upcoming events.

Ask yourself, “What purpose do I want my blog to serve?”

It is crucial to clearly identify WHY you want to start a business blog.

• Will it serve as a focal point for a network of contacts for your company?

• Will it help to position you as an expert in your field?

• Is it to promote a particular service or product – and perhaps in the process, create a group of evangelists for your product or service?

• Perhaps the focus will be internal communications, either for the company as a whole, or for a specific business unit?

While these are ALL great reasons to start a blog, it is important to identify and focus on ONE objective in order to maximize your blog’s potential. Keep in mind though, that you may need to adjust your blog’s focus down the road to adapt to evolving business and audience needs.

Come back next week to find out how to define your target audience. Can’t wait? Assistance from the Graphic Matter Team is always just a phone call away!

How Do I Start A Blog?

You’ve made the decision to begin a blog for your business. How do you get started? Not to worry. The Graphic Matter team is ready to provide guidance as you embark on your blogging endeavor.

Before diving right in and writing your first post – or any subsequent post, for that matter – you need to answer these 3 questions:

1. What purpose will your blog serve?

Identify the role your blog will have in your business. How will your audience benefit when they visit your blog. For example, will they receive information about upcoming events or new products? Will this serve as an information exchange with other participants?

2. Who is your blog’s audience?

To whom are you writing – your client base? Your potential client base? Both?

3. What results are you looking for?

Set some goals for what you want to achieve through your blog and how do you intend to measure your results. How will you know if you successfully met your goal?

With a little planning, you will ensure your business blog maintains its focus in terms of content and audience, and provides your readers with what they are looking for – and you will reap the rewards.

Look for more in-depth answers to these questions in upcoming posts. And, as always, assistance from the Graphic Matter team is just a phone call away.

To Blog or Not To Blog?

Now that you know how to follow a blog, you might be considering a blog for your business. Blog marketing continues to be a hot topic for both businesses and marketers alike.  Is a blog right for your business? Consider first defining the purpose of your blog – then set some goals for how you want to use this tool before you begin thinking about what to write. These are the top 5 reasons why your business should have a blog:

1. Blogs offer the author a user-friendly tool for publishing information.

2. Blogs are easy to navigate for your readers.

3. Readers can comment on your blog, encouraging 2-way communications between you, your clients and your prospects.

4. Search engines LOVE blogs.

5. Blogs can be an active prospecting source for your business.

If you are ready to begin blogging, or have questions about how to get started, ask Graphic Matter! We are here to help! Come back and visit us next week to find out how to start a blog.