We launched a new website over the weekend, for Portland client MPower Oregon. The site is a WordPress customization, which we’ve been doing a lot of these days. You can view the live site at www.mpoweroregon.com.
The project kicked off with a trip to Portland for a Web Design & Branding Workshop so we could get on the same page as this start-up client in terms of the needs of the site and the brand. After doing a quick redesign of the logo, we launched into the web architecture and design, built the site and launched it on June 8.
The site appears very simple, but there’s actually some great functionality.
Team members, partners, and funders are very easy to add.
We used the WordPress blogging feature for the “Success Stories” section so the team could easily keep the site feeling fresh and updated.
Overall, a really quick and successful project, and a great client to work with it! View the live site at www.mpoweroregon.com.
Clients keep asking what’s all the fuss about social media, and do they really have to be on Twitter? The hard truth is that having a social media presence is becoming as essential as having a website. Just because you do not enjoy watching the tweets fly by doesn’t mean your potential customers have the same attitude. If you have to do it, be smart about it. This fab infographic by Linchpin SEO does a great job at visually calling out the essentials to keep in mind, based on analysis of some of the biggest brands working social media. You don’t need to spend the entire day on Twitter, but here’s how you can make the most of your time there.
Here’s the takeaway:
- Engagement is 17% higher on the weekends. Perhaps throw a tweet or two out there over your Saturday or Sunday morning coffee.
- Shorter tweets receive more engagement, so keep it under 100 characters (I know! I thought 160 was pretty tight already too).
- There’s more interaction during the workday. Makes sense, everyone needs a distraction.
- Use a hashtag (#), you’ll get twice as much engagement. I guess people like context. But keep it to one or two or you’ll start losing them.
- 92% of engagement occurs with link clicks, and people are twice as likely to click an image link. So linking to an image = good. Also, people are more likely to retweet a link (very good). Oh, and if you ask them specifically to “retweet”, the retweet rate will be 23 times higher. Add a hashtag or two and you’ll be sailing! So long as your content is relevant and interesting, of course.
Here’s the cheat sheet:
I know I can be picky. But the tag cloud in my sidebar is getting really long and I’m wondering if I should axe it. Tags presumably help a reader find the content they’re interested in by offering keywords to tag posts. Here’s what it looks like at the time of this post:
Would you mind taking this quick poll to determine if it’s useful or not? It’s all about helping you find information, so maybe it stays! Please share your opinion…thank you in advance!
5 Ways Blogs Can Build Biz
- SEO. Search engines index the words on your site. The more relevant words you use, the more you’ll show up in search results. They also like continually updated content. A blog gives you the opportunity for both.
- Expertise. You are the real dea. Generate a followship by showing potential customers/ clients/ constituents how you are a leader in your field.
- Brand. Build your brand by making a connection. Sharing relevant info builds trust with your strategic targets.
- Marketing. Make it easier to market yourself online. Content-driven marketing has been hot for a number of years now. Take advantage of the trend to maintain contact with your constituency online.
- Longevity. Over time, you’re going to develop a wicked set of posts. To establish youself, start blogging today and don’t stop.
Also, there are 10 secret benefits of blogging, which can’t hurt.
Blogging, hmph. Hasn’t the Facebook/Tumblr/Twitter revolution demolished this long-winded format already? You’d think! But 2012 was the biggest year for blogging to date — 42,000,000 blogs are out there. They have evolved beyond the musings and rants of individual opinionators to provide a specific delivery stream for businesses to tap their markets and keep in touch with their customers. This trend should capture your attention.
42,000,000 blogs. And you’re reading this one! How flattering to be 1-in-more-than-a-million. How did I attract you? Beyond the fabulous prose and superb visual style, you are reading this because the content is relevant to you. This blog is written for you. I want you to keep coming back so that it strengthens our working relationship.
This blog is also the keystone of my online marketing strategy. On the blog, I can articulate thoughts about design+business in the longer format, then post links to my Facebook and Twitter accounts…to drive traffic back here to my blog…on my website…where potential clients can see my portfolio and capabilities…all strategically cross–linked. I can reach new clients and strengthen existing relationships. It takes some time, yes, but not a lot of dollars. And the return on relationships is priceless.
So that is why you shouldblog. The next question to ask yourself is: Why not blog? The primary reason is the time commitment. If you start doing it, you gotta keep doing it! 65% of businesses that have blogs haven’t updated their blog in a year or more. It happens all the time. Potential clients or customers then visit the blog, and the last post was from two years ago. What happened? That reflects on your brand. Poorly.
So, the short of it is: a blog can be great if you plan an online strategy, are smart about what you want to say, and spend the time to execute it. Results may not be immediate, so patience is crucial. If your commitment isn’t there or you are doing it because marketing books told you to, table it. Think about it again next year. The Internet will probably have a whole new way to sell yourself by then.
PS: Here’s a fun infographical overview of the blogosphere by blogging.org, based on interviews with 1,000 bloggers:
Infographic source: http://blogging.org/blog/blogging-stats-2012-infographic/