The Importance of Mobile Optimization

Mobile OptimizationMuch of our world today exists on our phones. It is where you receive news updates, manage your bank account, shop for new biking gear, and even look up your strange ailments of that day. Many companies have already made their websites mobile-friendly, easy to use and accessible on-the-go. If your company hasn’t, you are missing out…

The benefits of mobile optimization are uncanny and include increased sales, improved user experience, increased number of clientele, and more. It also gives you a leg up over your competitors, who may have not taken advantage of mobile optimization yet. Converting your website to be responsive on mobile devices provides your clients the possibility of browsing, buying, and sharing your mobile website while at the dentist, on the bus, at the dog park, or in any other location.

How many times have you come across a site where your finger is moving in a figure eight in order to view the entire web page? You have to move the screen up, down, sideways, and diagonally just to find the company’s contact information. A perfectly functioning website on your desktop does not automatically function correctly on a mobile device. If your website has not been converted to being mobile-friendly and your call-to-action is nowhere to be seen, no further effort will be taken to search the site and a potential customer has been lost.

Do not let this happen to your business.

As a digital marketing firm, Spot Color Marketing specializes in mobile optimization, allowing your company to be digitally flexible and adaptable. One of the most important aspects in marketing your company is to be aware of the ever-changing digital world. Consumers want quick, easy, and efficient service, and mobile optimization provides that for them.

In the next year or so, most, if not all website browsing will be done via smartphones and tablets. If your company’s site is not mobile-friendly, then it is time to act.

Spot Color’s Part

Through SEO (search engine optimization) strategies, Spot Color will work closely with your company to create a highly optimized and well converted website that search engines favor. Thus taking your company to new heights by increasing website visits, customers, sales, etc., and spreading your company’s name through the mobilized internet.

Join the movement, mobilize your company now and be accessible anywhere, anytime.

Contact us at spot@spotcolormarketing.com, or call (503) 477-4355.

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Successful SEO Strategy and Implementation

SEO Strategy

Want your business to be found online? Spot Color Marketing can help!

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the technique used to get your business noticed on search engine websites such as Google. Increased website traffic and company growth are only a few of the profitable benefits SEO can provide for your business. Various techniques and strategies can be used in order to improve a website’s rankings.

Spot Color Marketing provides a choice of three different packages for their clients

– Silver

– Gold

– Platinum

These multidimensional packages include Meta Optimization, Title Tag Optimization, Content Optimization and much more. You may be wondering how these three key elements contribute to SEO…

Meta Optimization relies on keywords to keep your business relevant and present on search engine sites.

Title Tag Optimization helps to summarize your websites purpose in a short, effective manner. This is what people see, and should be inclined to click on, when they perform a Google search.

Content Optimization is important for search engine favorability. The content on your website should be concise, straight forward, and geared toward the desired audience.

An effective SEO implementation is not a one-time renovation process, many tweaks and updates are continuously needed to ensure full, profitable search engine optimization.

Sound daunting? Not to us…

Though this process may take some time and patience, the benefits are immense. When we have partnered with you,we take full responsibility for reporting and will continue to optimize your web pages as needed. This refining process is what increases your businesses growth and helps you to stay noticed and relevant through any changes that might occur.

Our clients have already begun to reap the benefits and the results of our work were immediately noticeable…

Cook and Love Shoes had a 50% increase in web traffic and a 300% increase in online sales.

Join the Movement!

We provide general pricing as well as specialized packages for competitive markets. Give us a call for a free consultation today (503) 477-4355, or e-mail us at spot@spotcolormarketing.com.
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Spot Color Marketing, 2014 Top 25 Digital Marketing Firms According to the Portland Business Journal

Can you spot the difference? Here at Spot Color Marketing we can. Our attention to detail and personalized communication with our clients is what helped our once small firm with big ideas grow to make those dreams tangible. Now our dream is to turn your company’s dreams into reality. Spot Color Marketing works intimately with their clients to create an effective message to attract current and future customers in order to expand your business and spread your name.

Various companies have already benefited from Spot Color Marketing’s campaigns…

  •  Ride Connection looked to Spot Color to create effective campaigns to better serve their customers and online community.
  • Cook and Love Shoes sought out Spot Color in order to redesign and liven their website, increasing visits by 50% and sales by 300%.

Spot Color Marketing’s growth extends outside the walls of the innovative office into the broader Portland Community. Their strong commitment to community involvement has given local non-profits a chance to grow as well, such organizations include Rotary Club International, Schoolhouse Supplies, and Oregon Entrepreneurs Network. Spot Color’s recently inherited, highly technical skill set from TitanCoding, Inc has allowed the digital marketing firm to tackle larger comprehensive back-end databases, as well as provide advanced technological services to its clients. Spot Color Marketing is based in Downtown Portland and works with nonprofits, start up companies, high tech industries, arts and design, and e-commerce.

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Social Media Dead Zones: Is Your Message Being Heard?

Even though it seems like everyone is on social media ALL OF THE TIME, research shows there are, in fact, times where not very many people will be around to catch your latest post. If you’re spending any amount of time curating content for your social media channels, you want to be sure your target audience is getting that information. Below is a list of the social media dead zones, by channel.

Facebook

Avoid posting carefully curated content over the weekend and from 8:00pm – 8:00am. During these times people are more likely out doing whatever they’re going to later post on Facebook, rather than looking at it.

Twitter

Save your special tweets for the next day if it’s after 8:00pm on all days or 3:00pm on Fridays. You’ll get their attention tomorrow!

LinkedIn

In keeping with LinkedIn’s professional persona, most users are not reading on LinkedIn during normal work hours, so avoid posting anything between 9:00am and 5:00pm. Also, LinkedInners drop off after 10:00pm. So post that content in the sweet spot, between 5:00 and 9:00pm.

Google+

Google demands to be heard most of the time, so the only times you should avoid posting here are in the early AM and early evening.

Pinterest

Pinners are not active during normal working hours. Save those precious pins for late afternoon and evening.

Tumblr

Apparently reading blogs usually happens after work, so release those posts at or after 4:00pm.

Hopefully you know your audience well and have figured out when is the best time to engage with them. If not and you’d like to learn how, give the Spot social media team a call today!

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Are You Really Engaging with your Audience on Social Media?

Business owners today know that social media can be a valuable tool for building brand awareness, increasing consumer traffic and engaging in conversations with their clients and customers.

What many businesses don’t know, though, are the best ways to communicate over these channels. Most companies don’t have a formalized social media strategy. They start posting, commenting, and liking on a whim. Maybe they’ve seen some results, maybe not, but most likely, they’re just not sure. We find that when our clients plan and utilize social media like any other aspect of your marketing plan, they are able to connect with their target audience with dramatically higher success rates.

There are plenty of things to think about when creating a social media strategy, and the following questions can help get you started in the process.

  1. What business objectives are you trying to achieve through social media marketing?
  2. How effectively are you currently achieving those objectives?
  3. Who is your social media target audience? Is it the same as your walk-in or website audience?
  4. How effectively are you targeting this audience? Do you know what they want to talk about on social media?
  5. What social media tools are you using? Did you know there are tools to automate the content curation?
  6. What is the current content published on those social media channels?
  7. Is your target audience engaging with this content?

The Spot Color Marketing team members are experts at creating and implementing social media strategies that get results. We tailor plans for each business that include a posting calendar, topic generation, and can even curate and manage your social media content for you. Give us a call and let us get you in shape for the social world.

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Is Your Web Content Bringing in Leads? Do a Web Audit to Find Out

Let’s face it. Any task that includes the word “audit” sounds a little terrifying, but auditing your web content is completely painless compared to any interaction you might have with the IRS.

The goal of a web audit is to make sure that your site’s design, structure and content are driving traffic, speaking clearly to your customers, and improving conversions.

When it comes down to it, there are a few simple steps that will get you going in the right direction.

1. Decide on the goals of your audit.

Determining a set of goals for your audit is the most essential step as it will guide every step of the process.

What are the big changes you’re hoping will result from your audit? Increased traffic?

More links to your site?

Establishing thought leadership?

Take some time to think about exactly what you hope to accomplish. This clearly defined set of goals will help you determine exactly what information you need to collect from your site and which information you can ignore at this time. Compartmentalizing your content in this way will prevent you from feeling like you’ve taken on an overwhelming task and help you determine what decisions you need to make during the audit.

2. Create a spreadsheet outlining all of your content.

Gathering your list of web pages and collecting information about them is the most time consuming part of the audit. It’s easy to get lost in the enormity of the task, but there are plenty of ways to divide it up into more manageable chunks.

  • Assign segments of your site to different members of your team. Collecting this information is something that anyone can do. Distribute these less-strategic tasks among your colleagues to make the work go faster.
  • Generate a list of pages from your content management system. Whether you use WordPress, Drupal or another CMS, the system can export a site map and provide you with extra information about each page, including metadata, keywords and dates created.
  • Get a directory listing from your web server. Sifting through the list of files will take some time, but a list from your server will give you a good starting place.

So you know to collect the URL, page title and date created, but what other information do you need to know about each page? Here’s a basic list of information you might need, with an example.

  • Page ID
  • Category
  • URL
  • Page title
  • Topic
  • Type of page (landing, contact, content, etc.)
  • Audience (Who is the customer this page is meant to appeal to?)
  • Author
  • Usage statistics, including traffic and links (You can use information from Google Analytics for this.)

 3. Use your business strategy to determine how to create, edit or delete content.

 With all of this information collected, now is the time to take a good, honest look at your content. Ask yourself some questions to determine how to proceed.

  • Which pages are getting a lot of attention? Can you create more like them?
  • Which pages aren’t working for you and why? Do they need to be revised?
  • Which business messages are and are not being communicated? Do you have a lot of pages about one segment of your business and not enough about another?
  • Do you have a lot of similar pages that are competing with each other? Should you combine them?
  • Is it easy to navigate between pages, or does it seem like you can never get back to where you started?

Answers to questions like these will give you a solid plan for moving forward and will make sure the entire procedure has been worthwhile.

Most importantly, take the time to look at your website while putting yourself in your customers’ shoes. While you may know exactly why you chose your content, you need to look at it from the perspective of someone who may not be intimately familiar with your business.

Does the whole process feel overwhelming? We’re here to help! Spot Color Marketing conducts audits for clients all the time. We can facilitate your next web audit so that it is painless, productive and profitable.

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5 Fresh, Free Icon Sets to Use on Your Site

We are always urging our clients to update the content on their websites because it gives their customers a reason to keep coming back, is great for SEO, and increases relevancy. Updating text is easy, but updating graphics can sometimes be daunting and costly. Today we are doing the heavy lifting for you – we’ve scoured the internet for 5 new sets of icons you can use on your website, totally free!

Ballicons 2

These icons are fun, simple, and whimsical. If you have Adobe Creative Suite you can customize them to match your web colors, mix and match elements between icons, and apply special effects or animation. Click here to download the set, as well as read about customization options.

free icons
Ballicons 2

Font Awesome

This set is aptly named and is changing the way we think about vector art and purchasing. Instead of downloading specific icons or sets, this site allows you to download a CSS file that behaves like a font. The big draw for these guys is that you can use them in Word or any other text editing program – no need to have Adobe products. Simply open a text editor, select the Font Awesome font, then insert icons as symbols. Easy and free, and they’re always adding new icons. Click here to download the Font Awesome icon set.

280 Vector Line Icons Pack

This pack is a steal! 280 icons presented in 8 EPS files. You will need to have Adobe Creative Suite to use these, but deals such as this are rare, so yes, we do expect to see some sailboats on some of your home pages soon! Get the bundle here.

digital marketing

Open Phone Pack

This set looks exactly like your app icons on an iPhone. Since most people in the western world worship all things Apple, these icons tend to be popular. We recommend this set not only because it is free, but also because the download includes PNGs of each of the 16 icons, so no expensive vector software is required. Get the trendy set here.

Vintage Social Media Stamp Set

We love this vintage take on social media buttons. If you’re looking to link to your social media profiles and are looking for a retro feel, this set is for you. Grab it before it starts popping up on all of your competitors’ sites!

Digital Marketing Agency

 

Ready for a web refresh but don’t have the time or know-how? We’d be happy to help you give your site a facelift. Call us today!

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Top 5 Reasons to Blog to Drive Business Growth

Lots of businesses do it.

Southwest Airlines, Stonyfield Farms and Disney Parks are just a few big businesses that maintain blogs to keep their customers happy, interested and informed. What works so well for these giant, blockbuster businesses can actually work for your business, too. In fact, there are plenty of statistics to support your blogging decision.

  • 81% of U.S. consumers trust information and advice from blogs. (Source: BlogHer)
  • Companies that blog have 97% more inbound links. (Source: Hubspot)
  • 61% of U.S. online consumers have made a purchase based on recommendations from a blog. (Source: BlogHer)

Okay. So, the statistics support blogging. What exactly does your business stand to gain?

1. Get more visitors to your site.

Blogging increases traffic to your website in so many ways!

First, writing a blog post adds another indexed page to your website. Every indexed page is another opportunity for your site to appear in your audience’s search engine results pages.

Second, readers share blog content on social media. It’s highly unlikely that one of your readers is going to share a link to your home page, portfolio or contact page on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Google+. But if you’re publishing valuable content, those readers are doing their friends a favor by connecting them with your site.

2. Convert traffic into leads.

A blog post on its own can be a pretty good thing.

But add a call-to-action to the bottom of every post and you’ve got a highly effective lead-generating tool. Make the call to action specific to the content of the post and your audience will be thanking you for serving them up with even more valuable information!

Very often the call-to-action is a button or form at the bottom of the post, encouraging your reader to follow the link for more information or fill in their email address to get on the mailing list. Calls-to-action are even more effective when they reward your reader with relevant bonus content. An emailed coupon, an informative guide (in the form of an emailed pdf) or a free trial membership are all effective ways to use a call-to-action to market to your audience. Ensure that this content is relevant to the content of the blog post and you’re sure to convert!

3. Establish authority.

Really great businesses find the best ways to help their customers. Answering their questions, giving them information and finding other ways to provide them with value is often the best way to do this.

A blog can help your customers come to see you as an authority in the field. Let them know you’ve got great ideas! Help them to see that you’ve got all the answers! Your reward will be that they’ll keep coming back to you for information and they’ll let their friends and family know about you, too.

4. Benefit from long-term results.

A well-written, valuable blog post can be one of your hardest working assets. In fact, years from now, your site will still be getting visits, leads and customers from that post your wrote so long ago.

Write a couple posts a week and the benefit doubles!

Most bloggers will tell you that most of the traffic to their site is generated by posts that were written a long time ago. Those posts have had time to age, gain attention and build authority. So think about the one hour of effort that is required to write a blog post as an investment in your future. While you’re on vacation or doing the hard work of maintaining your business, your blog posts are generating leads and ensuring your business continues to grow!

Still feeling stuck? Spot Color can help you get unstuck and on the road to blogging.  Contact us today.

 

Sources

Hubspot: http://www.stateofinboundmarketing.com/

BlogHer: http://www.blogher.com/women-and-social-media-2012

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Can Clean Web Design Increase Conversions?

Paired with content, we think so.

The hottest trend in web design these days is clean, flat design. Crisp interfaces and smooth modern lines are catching readers’ eyes and expanding businesses’ audiences.

Who knew that simplicity could be so compelling? We’re convinced that this pleasant, minimalistic style is here to stay, and here’s why.

Content is King.

We’ve all heard this phrase before, but it has never held more meaning than right now. A simple web design means that your readers can focus solely on your message, without being distracted by cluttered images, gradient backgrounds or fancy JavaScript effects. A simple design means that content can be the king of your marketing budget, too. Simple designs are easier to create, which means more of your resources can go towards creating fantastic content for your audience.

Content is Everywhere.

Your readers encounter information everywhere they turn. There is so much information out there that it can be a little overwhelming at times! Thankfully, there are plenty of tools out there to help us sift through all that content. Whether your readers are encountering your messages on Twitter, Facebook, Feedly or even iTunes, odds are they’re not reading it on your website. Using a clean web design helps you make sure your message is the most powerful thing you communicate. You can’t fall back on a fancy design or cool effects to pretty up your words. Your message stands on its own.

Content Makes a Difference

Nothing propels people into action like an inspiring message, and while it may be true that a picture is worth a thousand words, an inspiring photo is nothing without a call to action. Your words are going to be what make the difference between a passing viewer and a converted customer. Those potential customers want to know what you have to say. Don’t make it harder for them by obscuring your message with a complex design.
Today’s marketing world is ruled by content and it’s more important than ever that your site allows your meaningful messages to come through. Making use of a clean web design is one important way savvy businesses build and keep loyal customers.

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5 Rules of Grammar Never to Ignore on Your Website

At one of our Friday evening happy hours in Spot Color’s living room, a few Spot friends got to talking about my recent post of 5 Rules of Grammar You Can Ignore on Your Website and it sparked a conversation about some grammatical errors that drive us absolutely mad. With that in mind, I bring you 5 Rules of Grammar Never to Ignore on Your Website. Sometimes you just have to shake your head and say, “No.”

1) The correct use of Your and You’re.

Don’t you just want to slap your forehead when you hear this? It’s a simple mistake to make if you’re writing quickly and multitasking, but nothing tells your readers I did not bother to proofread this text quite like this mix up. Say it with me, you’re skilled in your writing. And remember to think about this when using there, their, and they’re.

2) Make sure the words you are using are, well, actual words.

Adding extra syllables: I’m not sure where this comes from, but I’m sure you’ve all cringed at least once if you’ve ever heard someone say “conversate” or “irregardless.” Bottom line, if you’re unsure about a word you want to use, look it up. Better yet, always edit any text that will appear on your website in a program that uses spell check. Just for fun, here are some other examples of words commonly used that shouldn’t be. Some of these won’t even trip your spell check because they’ve become inundated in common speech, so use your best judgment when it comes to diction:

CORRECTINCORRECT
UndoubtedlyUndoubtably
ExploitativeExploitive
FirstFirstly
AdministerAdministrate
CommentCommentate
ThawUnthaw
EstimateGuesstimate

 

3) The correct past tense and past participles.

Ah, I know these sound like the parts of an English textbook to collect drool, but they are actually important, especially when misused. We’ve all heard and (gasp!) read some of these horrors: brung or boughten. I know you’re all too smart to do this, but even the best of us forget the rule about using past tense and past perfect tense sometimes. So remember, I swam across the ocean just as I have swum across the lake. I drank this juice just as I have drunk other juices.

4) Don’t use unnecessary hyperbole.

I don’t want to exaggerate, but it kills me when people say “over exaggerate.” It’s already exaggerated; you don’t need the “over.” This also goes for adding the unnecessary “super” everywhere.

grammar

5) The proper use of affect vs. effect.

I see this more commonly in the past tense, but it’s easy to mix these two up. Just remember, affect is the verb and the effect is the result of that verb.


The most important thing to remember is that spell check is your friend. It’s also helpful if you can have someone else read and edit your writing before it goes up on your website. What are some of your grammar pet peeves? Let us know in the comments section.

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