Content and SEO Strategy––It Matters

person using google search on laptop

Believe it or not, organic search visibility, rankings, and traffic take a lot of effort. What makes a big difference in your success? Creating stellar, optimized content. 

Content and SEO are in a relationship, and their union could launch your website to the top of the rankings. Are you utilizing their partnership to get noticed? Well, you should be. 

Content That Impacts Your Bottom Line

Content is everywhere, and we mean ev-ry-where! You want your brand to stand head and shoulders above the rest. That’s why having an SEO-driven strategy is critical. It separates you from the others and gets attention. How does it work? The team at ArachnidWorks is glad you asked! 

SEO + Content = Eyeballs on Your Brand

We promise this isn’t an algebra lesson, and the math isn’t hard to master. When you marry the science of SEO with beautifully-crafted words (ahem, content), that sweet little combo produces focused marketing. It’s not just throwing words on a page, or spaghetti at a wall, hoping something will stick. It’s a strategic approach that impacts your business and a ROI that makes your bottom line happy. 

SEO combined with purposely-created content is the perfect pairing. Here’s why:

  • SEO optimizes the on-the-page experience and increases the likelihood of launching you towards the top of the search engine results page (SERP).   
  • Content marketing is the vehicle for your message to the masses, offering information and advertising your ____________ (insert company, brand, product, nomination for an ADDY award, etc.) 
  • Adding them together equals traffic that contains more than just rubberneckers. They’re stopping by, staying, and engaging because they’re enticed to investigate further. The added bonus: potential conversions that become customers, sales, and the like. 

Each company’s measuring stick for success is unique. No matter how it’s calculated, everyone wants to reach their goal numbers for growth. 

It Starts With Killer Content

You want every visitor to have the VIP experience while engaging with your brand. That begins with quality content. SEO and SERP should intertwine with your message. These are not hindrances to crafting that magical tagline or a blog post that goes viral. Think of them more like The Three Muskateers rather than The Three Stooges. When you combine their superpowers, you’ll receive:

  • Better search visibility that translates into more eyes on your page. 
  • Information accumulate about your customers, their needs, and insight into solving them.

Wait. There Are Different Types of SEO?

Yes, yes, there are. Let’s break them down and provide a snapshot of what they do. 

On-page SEO – Content, keywords, internal links, and metadata: these work together to help your page gain ranking. 

Off-page SEO – Guest bloggers, building backlinks, and social media marketing: these items build brand awareness. Although they have nothing to do with your website, they help boost your ranking with every little share and click. 

Technical SEO – Mobile-friendly, page speed, sitemaps, and site structure: these enhance user experience and engagement while also helping search engines look through your site. 

Local SEO – Google Business profile listings, relevant keywords, up-to-date company information, respond to reviews: if you want searches to convert, start local. These valuable leads in your own backyard can quickly become conversions, and that’s golden, friends. 

Every good strategy begins with a plan. From finding your brand voice to strategically sourcing strong content to drive traffic, ArachnidWorks can help you take your business to the next level. Our multidisciplinary marketing and design collective in Frederick, Maryland, is dedicated to creating unique and successful marketing strategies for our clients. Ready to make content and SEO work for you? Reach out, and we’ll get busy making your brand shine.

Customer Relationships: How to Keep Them in Tip-Top Shape

marketing team meeting with client

Good customer relationships matter. Excellent relationships with clients are what we all should strive for. Unfortunately, agencies can become oblivious to signs that—well—they’re becoming off-putting without realizing it. 

Ouch, right? 

There you are, doing everything to collaborate, exceed expectations, and meet project goals. At least that’s what it seems like from your perspective. Yet, are your clients happy? Are they fed up: teetering on the edge of breaking up with you? 

Our team at ArachnidWorks has put together a few of our favorite ways not to annoy clients and how to build lasting relationships. 

Communicate, Communicate, and—Our Favorite—Communicate

How’s your response time? There isn’t a hard and fast rule when returning business phone calls or emails, yet not responding within 24–48 hours will put you on the client’s naughty list. The best way to avoid their frustration is to clarify communication processes during onboarding, block time during your day to respond to those who reach out, and verify you’ll get back with them in greater detail if you can’t promptly touch each point of concern. 

Wait, You Wanted to be Involved?

Sometimes we get so busy doing the work and making it awesome that we forget about the most essential input—the client’s. We know it’s not intentional, but creatives can become mini silos churning out content. That can leave our customers feeling iced from the process. The last thing you want to cause is friction and distrust, right? The best ways to avoid giving clients the cold shoulder is to keep them involved, specify roles and expectations on both ends during onboarding, use collaboration software when appropriate, and set routine check-in appointments. 

You’re Not the Boss of Me! 

Well, they are the client, so they kind of are friends. 

Customers come to you for your help, knowledge, and expertise. They do not come to you to make them feel small, uneducated, or like a nuisance. You know how to get their brand noticed and make their product sing. The thing is, no one likes a know-it-all. Be the person who invites the client to speak freely, listens to them intently, and never overpromises or overreaches to impress. Own up to it, apologize immediately, and make it right if something goes wrong on your watch. 

Smarty Pants

Have you heard the expression about how words are like toothpaste? Once they come out, you can’t squeeze them back in. Using buzzwords, jargon, or acronyms you understand doesn’t mean your client knows what you’re referring to. Also, phrases like “to be honest” or “I understand your concerns, but…” or the all-time fave “with all due respect” can give clients the wrong idea. Unless you’re speaking the same industry language, never use words and phrases that alienate, be careful of certain words and phrases that could offend, and fight the urge to have the last word. Sometimes restraint, even when responding is warranted, says more than words ever could. 

It’s a Date! 

Deadlines matter. Period. End of story. Not delivering on time or sticking to agreements frustrates clients. They’ve made launch plans internally and externally based on your deliverables. Hiccups do happen, yet only promise what you know you can hand over promptly. Communicate immediately when there’s a bump in the process. Help keep those deadlines intact by looking ahead for obstacles during the creation timeline. It’s better to turn over work early to an ecstatic customer than explain why it’s late. 

At ArachnidWorks, we’re in the business of giving our clients the best experience possible, from that first handshake to the celebratory launch of your project. Ready to put our experienced teams to work for you? Contact us now.

How to Find Your Brand’s Voice

man and woman collaborating in office

What do some of your favorite brands communicate to you? What personality do you associate with them? Did you even realize they have personalities? This is their voice, and finding yours is an important part of your strategy.

What is Brand Voice?

Your voice is the distinct personality of your brand. If it was a person, how would it dress? How would it speak, and what other quirks would it have?

This personality, once created, will carry across all forms of communications from blogs to newsletters, website copy, emails, and social media. 

Voice and tone are two sides of the same coin: Voice is what your brand itself says to your customers, and tone is how you communicate that message. 

Finding Your Voice

This means defining your buyers personas. Once you do that, it’s relatively easy to “talk” in a way that resonates with them. Is your product or service geared towards Gen Z, for instance, or is it focused on B2B? Is it a small business, or an enterprise? If you’re addressing a young audience, you may want to keep your voice relaxed and “hip.” B2B, on the other hand, may require content that is more authoritative or geared to C-suite audiences.

You may find that your tone changes across audiences. How you present your brand when you launch a new product or service will be different from how you address the media or communicate with someone regarding a customer complaint. Messaging should be consistent, yet with a flexible tone to suit different situations.

Take a look at some of your current content. How does your audience engage with your posts, communications, and website? Once you see what your target audience identifies and engages with, you can begin to build your brand’s personality.

Lastly, truly define your voice. What three words do you think best represent you now? This should be a team exercise; break out the whiteboard and have fun with it.

Staying True to Your Voice

Now that you’ve found your it, it’s important to stay consistent. If you have several people on your team touching each piece of content, this may be harder than you think. Documentation will help you maintain brand standards. This should include:

Your business’ mission and values statement: The tone of your mission statement should be reflected in your voice.

Consistent terminology: Every product or service should remain consistent with its name and description, regardless of what platform you’re using to promote it.

Personality: Fun, clever, and irreverent, or authoritative and strictly professional? Once you choose your brand’s personality, be sure to document it so everyone connected with content and website creation stays consistent.

Routine Audits

You’ll need to reevaluate your brand’s voice to make sure that your chosen strategy is working for you, and that your team is working to represent it consistently. You may find that you need to tweak your ideas before finding one that works for your business.

We take branding seriously. We know how important your voice is, and we’ll not only help you find it, but we’ll also help you maintain it. Ready to put our experienced teams to work for you? Contact us now.

5 Signs Your Website Needs a Refresh

Bouncing is good for rubber balls and inflatable castles, but when it comes to your website? Not so much. If you’re finding high bounce rates and low conversions on your site, it’s time for a change.

Here are five things that could be holding your website back:

 

1. Navigation Nightmares

User experience (UX) is a crucial factor in website design. If your potential customers can’t find what they want on your site, they’ll leave and most likely never return. An effective website is optimized for the user experience, whether it’s on desktop or mobile.

Part of this experience is page loading times. Customers expect a seamless website experience with a loading time of two seconds or less. A recent survey found that half of all visitors will leave a site taking more than six seconds to load. If potential customers can’t find what they need on your site or leave before it loads, you’ve already lost them.

 

2. Do You Need Pest Control?

Bugs aren’t popular, whether they’re crawling on the ground or invading your website. If you find you’re spending too much time fixing issues, or if visitors are complaining about crashes and other issues with the site’s functionality, it’s time to upgrade to a new site.

 

3. Google Doesn’t Like You

If your site isn’t showing up in the search rankings on Google, it isn’t optimized properly. The best-performing sites are on page one. If you don’t see yourself listed there, consider it a sign that you need to step up your game.

One of the most important parts of a professional website upgrade will involve technical SEO audits and optimization.

 

4. Old Site, New You?

Some businesses evolve over time, whether it’s through their audience, culture, or the goods and services they offer. If you fall into this category, make sure your website evolves with you.

Some signs that you’ve outgrown your site can include:

  • Inquiries about products you no longer carry
  • Inquiries that are not related to your current business model
  • Google lowered your rank
  • You’ve taken no actions to align your business and site since a major change
  • You’ve seen a drop in sales and conversions after rebranding

 

5. Your Website is Unappealing

Like it or not, browsers are judging you by your website. If your website screams “1990s,” it may be time for a new coat of paint (and probably a look under the hood). Updating graphics, changing fonts, improving the UX, and streamlining navigation are all ways to make a website more appealing to browsers.

 

Is it Time for a Website Redesign?

We’re marketing experts with a personal touch; we listen to your needs and align your website design solutions to your business. It’s not one-size-fits-all, it’s a personal and highly customizable journey for each of our clients. Ready to take your business to the next level? Contact us now and let’s get started.

How to Choose the Perfect Colors for Your Brand and Logo

person designing logo on laptop

The first thing your customers or clients will see on your website is your logo, and when it comes to creating it, every decision you make counts. After all, this is the face of your brand and it needs to represent your company’s services, style, and core values. How can a simple concept do all that? It all starts with choosing the right colors.

Establish Your Brand Identity

Understanding your brand’s personality, goals, and target audience is the first step to choosing your colors. Are you a fun-loving teen-focused company, or catering to a more serious crowd of CEOs? What’s the nature of your product and service? What are a few upfront things you want customers to understand about your business?

Color Science is a Real Thing

Certain colors bring certain companies to mind. Why is that? Creative design and careful color selection make these logos and brands memorable. There’s nothing accidental about color choices. 

Color science, or chromatics, is the study of the psychological effects colors have on viewers. It’s accepted that green, for instance, indicates healing and nature and reds invoke more passionate feelings such as love or anger. Blue triggers feelings of calmness and loyalty, while yellow feels happy and cheerful.

Think of some of your favorite logos; what’s the color science telling you about the brands?

Use the Color Wheel to Find Pleasing Combinations

If you’ve ever cringed at colors that clash, you already subconsciously understand the color wheel. There are several ways to use different colors for contrast and harmony, and ways to use variations of the same color palette to keep your logo simple and clean. 

Simplicity is Usually Better

Try to stick with a few key color concepts. Remember, your brand colors will be seen across all platforms, from web pages to social media and print. Will your choices look as good in a large-scale application, like a t-shirt or billboard, as they do on your business cards? WIll the logo lose effectiveness if it’s printed in black and white?

Black and White for Elegance and Simplicity

In a world full of splashy colors competing for center stage, maybe black and white is the answer for you. This minimalistic combination can mean many things to your customers, including authority, practicality, and sophistication. Where colors require specific settings to maintain consistency, choosing black and white for logos and brand colors make them easy to replicate for any platform.

Research the Competition

The intent behind choosing colors for your brands and logos is to stand out from the competition. You may find that many environmentally-conscious companies choose greens, for instance. You can opt for a different color direction, like a palette of blues, to stand out from the crowd in your industry.

Got questions? Let’s connect and talk about it!

Best Social Media Platform for Businesses 2022

social media icons

You know the basic social media platforms, those Old Reliables that we’ve been a part of for years. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and TikTok are the dominators in the social media world. So how do you know if you’re using the most appropriate platform to reach your target audiences?

The top social media platforms for businesses in 2022 are:

  1. Facebook
  2. Instagram
  3. LinkedIn
  4. Twitter
  5. Snapchat
  6. YouTube
  7. TikTok

Why Use Social Media at All?

A brief reminder. For marketing success in 2022, social media isn’t an option. It’s a necessity. It builds brand awareness, gives your business a human touch, increases traffic to your website, and increases engagement for your business. Not just random engagement, though; targeted engagement that converts your audience into leads and leads into conversions. Social media is a fantastic way to track customer data, keep an eye on your competition, and gauge how the public views your business.

Define Your Target Audience

Because different social media platforms attract different users, you need to understand who your target audience is. Some things to keep in mind:

Is your perfect customer male, female, or either? Yes, men do purchase beauty products, but your ideal focus for this market is women.

What’s the age of your ideal customer? If you’re selling hip-hop albums, chances are you’re not selling it to Grandma Joan who lives next door and loves Kenny G.

Other interests: Outdoor enthusiasts will be first to buy your hiking equipment, but your ideal customer may also like fishing and camping.

Income and education: Nothing is more frustrating to a middle-class worker than seeing ads, for yacht sales, million-dollar vacations, and limousine rentals. Make sure you consider income and education levels when defining your audience.

Define Your Goals for Posting on Social Media 

First, what’s the nature of your business? Are you looking to connect with potential clients to promote services, or e-commerce customers to purchase physical goods? What’s your company culture and how will it reflect in your posts? What platforms are your competitors using, and how can you leverage this knowledge? What kind of content (written or video, for instance) do you want to post most often?

Understanding what you hope to achieve from your social media presence is an important step when choosing the right platform.

And now it’s time to look at the best social media platforms for businesses, who uses them, and which are best for you.

Social Media Platforms for Businesses

Now that you’ve defined your target audience and goals, you can begin to choose the best social platform for your business.

Facebook

Facebook sees an edge in female interaction over males and remains popular for users between the ages of 18 and 65. It appeals to people with the widest ranges of income and education, and is a great place to build business relationships, show a human side of the business, and connect with potential customers. 

Instagram

Video has taken center stage on Instagram, as have stories involving social causes and concerns. Instagram is working to expand its purchase platform, Instagram Shops, and make it easier to connect buyers with the products they want. The platform is most popular for users between the ages of 18 and 29. The average users’ income is slightly higher than Facebook and has more women users than men.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn has a larger appeal for men, and definitely has users with a larger income than Instagram, with over half of users reporting incomes of over $75k. It’s a preferred platform for professionals and B2B communications and appeals to a wide range of age groups, primarily from 18-64. 

Twitter

Twitter, surprisingly, has a slightly larger male following than females and is preferred by a younger audience with its biggest age group 18 to 29. 

Snapchat

Snapchat has the highest audience of 18-29-year-olds, with income levels spread pretty evenly across the board. Women have a slight edge over men when it comes to using this platform.

YouTube

YouTube is becoming a significant contender in the social media world. Users are evenly split between men and women, it appeals to all ages from 18-64, and it boasts a wide range of income levels for its users. If you haven’t considered YouTube for your business, it may be time.

TikTok

Dominating the 18-29-year-old market in short, bite-sized pieces, TikTok is seeing a steady growth in popularity. It holds a slight edge for female users, but the income levels are very evenly split across the platform’s users.

ArachnidWorks Can Help You Decide

We confess we’re kind of obsessed with social media. We can help you choose the best platforms for your business. Got questions? Let’s connect and talk about it!

Top 7 Things to Avoid When Sending Email Newsletters

email newsletter on laptop

Sure, you may have worked for days on your newsletter content, and it looks great, doesn’t it? The truth is, a newsletter is only an effective marketing tool if it’s opened. How do you avoid “trash,” “unread,” or even worse, “reported as spam?”

Here are some of the top things to avoid:

 

1. Making Your Newsletters too Generic

Your newsletter is your chance to appeal to not just any audience, but your audience. A great way to do this is by list segmentation, the process of creating smaller, more targeted email lists for special news and events. Once you do this, you can create the content that each segment will want to read rather than generic content that doesn’t focus on any targets at all.

2. Accidentally Triggering Spam Alerts

On a personal level, you know the words that make you delete emails unopened, or report them as spam. These words include “free,” “promotional,” and “buy now.” To make things even more complicated, Gmail has a tab that specifically filters messages containing certain trigger words into a “Promotions” tab. It’s a pretty sure bet that your Gmail readers rarely, if ever, open this tab. You can bypass these disastrous results by avoiding the common spam trigger words and encouraging your readers to whitelist your email to keep it out of spam or promotional folders.

3. Ignoring The Wonders of Modern Technology

It’s estimated that over half of all users access email through their smartphones. If you haven’t designed your emails with these users in mind, they won’t engage with your content. Designing emails for mobile devices includes formatting to fit screens, compressing images, and using shorter, more pointed subject lines.

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Social Media Marketing Trends For 2022

hand holding phone in times square

It’s hard to believe it, but we’ve made it to 2022! As marketing pros, we’ve learned a few lessons throughout 2021, and spotted some emerging social media marketing trends. So what are they?

1. Short and Sweet

This is more of an extension of an existing trend than a new one altogether, but it’s worthy of a second look; short content for the win! Shorter is better when it comes to social media content. It’s thought to be more effective since the attention span of younger users is much shorter, accustomed as they have become to TikTok style short form content. 

Advertising on these emerging popular platforms, like TikTok, will continue to be an effective marketing strategy.

2. Permanent Posts Take the Lead

A “Story” is disappearing content that’s viewable for about a day before it’s gone for good. While this will still be a good choice in some cases, 2022 will see more businesses turning to those that can be viewed days, or even weeks, after the initial publishing. It’s estimated that permanent postings give the most return on your social media investment.

Disappearing content still has its place in some platforms where it will continue to thrive. The best recommendation is to consider the platform, your audience, and the intention of your post. Are you having a moment of light hearted fun, for instance, or are you advertising for an event with a ticker? A great approach is to use a mixture of disappearing and permanent postings.

3. Augmented and Virtual Reality Marketing Step Strongly into 2022

More and more consumers are diving into the virtual world, and many smart businesses will be taking advantage of this trend. Some ways to take advantage of this niche are offering virtual tours through a facility, or adding a scannable code on business cards that will allow a user to view your products, or recording events and allowing visitors to view the events as if they were part of them.

This may be a costly set-up, but the attention it brings to your brand may make a great return on your investment.

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Advertising on TikTok: Don’t Miss 2021’s Biggest Marketing Trend

hand holding phone with tiktok app

TikTok, the fastest-growing social media platform in 2021, is a video-sharing app that allows users to record and share 15-second videos on any topic. The platform is one of the biggest for generation Z and younger millennials, with the average age of the TikTok audience between 10 and 29 years. It’s starting to make its way to a slightly older demographic, however, and is becoming a popular app for 25 to 54-year old audiences.

Why TikTok Marketing Matters

The growing global reach of TikTok is currently estimated to be 1 billion people, with 700 million monthly users. While the app trails its more popular cousins, Facebook and Instagram, it’s definitely an advertising opportunity you don’t want to miss.

And with an estimated average income of $75k and over per user, TikTok is an advertising opportunity you can’t afford to miss.

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