sarumbear https://sarumbear.com digital solutions for the world’s smaller brands Fri, 23 Jun 2017 23:34:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://sarumbear.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/cropped-Web-Logo-32x32.png sarumbear https://sarumbear.com 32 32 What is a logo? https://sarumbear.com/2017/what-is-a-logo Fri, 21 Apr 2017 10:40:04 +0000 https://sarumbear.com/?p=3457 The post What is a logo? appeared first on sarumbear.

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A logo is a graphic design, an image that symbolizes an organization, a company. It is used for letterhead, advertising material, and signs as an emblem by which the company can easily be recognized. Whereas a Logotype is a graphic representation or symbol of a company name, trademark, abbreviation, etc., uniquely designed for ready recognition. In other words, a Logo or Logotype as a simple visual mark to identify your company product or service.

There are different types of signs and emblems easily recognized and associated with purposes. For example, crests are used to identify a country or family. There was a time when only big enough organizations could afford to make their own crest. They were in some cases very detailed drawing with many objects to enrich the crest. Cost was not an issue and more was considered better. Then flags were used due to their larger format. They were visible from the craft fields from long distances. Road signs were designed for informational purposes. They use such techniques as contrasting colours, simplified and yet stylish formats to identify and attract more attention and convey information. Our crest is a bear. We use it along with our logotype, as in the header of this post or by itself.

Nowadays, the most popular and successful companies agree that “simpler is better”, especially today when everything is moving so fast you have less and less time to impress your customers. So it has to be done in a very stylish manner yet remaining conservative so that it`s easier for the eye to catch and the brain to memorize your logo design.

You have to consider the reproduction cost as well. More detailed and colourful logo designs are harder to reproduce and they of course cost more. You also have to consider the size that your logo is going to be used at. The perfect logo design will look great on a sign board as well as on a business card or on a pen for example.

We have talked about the general use of a logo. Now we are going to get into a more detail look at the logo.

Logomark

A logomark is an identifying mark or symbol that doesn’t contain the business name. Think of the Nike ‘tick’, Shell, WWF, Mercedes or Adidas for examples. The classic variation is to make the symbol fit any of the basic geometrical shapes. There is no obligation in what kind of shape to use, you can use any free form shape you want, but you have to be very careful with the placement, so the logo doesn’t look like it is falling apart.

Logotype

A logotype refers to words or the name of a business that is designed in a special way. Examples include Pinterest, eBay, Yahoo, Coca-Cola or Google. When people talk about logo design, they are usually thinking about logotypes.

You can display the company name in a pre-existing font or else it can be customised to suit the specific needs of a company. Logotype often use a special typeface and letter styling, which becomes associated with a brand. Logotypes can also be made from geometric shapes with abstract letterforms to have a certain effect. There may also be corporate identity elements such as certain colours. However, you don’t need to use a symbol or icon to be effective, and that is the idea behind logotype design. When done correctly, using only typography to create a logo design can be an effective branding weapon.

Our logotype is a meticulously reformed version of a standard typeface. We wanted to have the simplicity of a known typeface but also make it our own.

Creating a Logotype Design

Whether you intend to design your own logo or get Sarumbear involved, there are a few simple rules to follow:

  • Logos must be designed in a vector application such as Adobe Illustrator, not on a image editor like Photoshop! The reason for this is that the logo needs to be scalable without losing its quality. It should be crisp regardless of whether it is printed on a tiny business card or a giant billboard.
  • It is important that the logo can be reproduced in a single colour such as black or white while still being recognisable. Imagine how the logo will look on a newspaper advert or reversed out of a dark background.
  • Your logo will be reproduced in various sizes and you may need it to be as small as a postage stamp to fit on stationery. Make sure that text and fine lines are still legible when the logo design is scaled down.
  • While it is good to experiment with colours, it is best to keep a limited colour palette if possible. Specify corporate colours with CMYK or Pantone references to ensure correct colour reproduction once the logo is printed.

Refreshing established logos or logotypes

Like all areas of design, there are trends and fashions, including the design of logos. Looking back in time to the logotypes of long established companies, you can see slight changes every decade or so to the style and typeface of their logo. Unless you are consciously trying to look aged or retro then it is a good idea to re-brand your corporate identity when necessary. A good logo designer should consider this when choosing typefaces, colours and styles, unless the company wants to look young and trendy.

Companies have, over the years, renew their logos to fit in with contemporary design and to present more powerful images. Company logos can be emotive and can inspire loyalty by influencing the subconscious. Some logos incorporate an idea of the product; the steering wheel in the Mercedes logo, for example.

Your company may be infinitely smaller compared to Mercedes, but trust us, your logo or logotype will have the same relative affect to you as it does to them.

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exactly what do SEO firms do? https://sarumbear.com/2015/exactly-what-seo-firms-do Mon, 10 Aug 2015 16:06:19 +0000 https://sarumbear.com/?p=2110 We are asked this often and our short answer is “They help companies get business from Google.” Often there is a follow up question “How do they do that?”

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We are asked this often and our short answer is “They help companies get business from Google.” Often there is a follow up question “How do they do that?” At this point to it is our turn to ask the question: “How long do you have?”

SEO consists primarily of three activities:

  1. Creating content
  2. Building high quality links
  3. Analyzing results and adjusting accordingly

Telling someone that SEO is made up mostly of these three activities will usually satisfy their curiosity if it’s a casual conversation, but not a potential client shopping for SEO services. If you’re looking to hire an SEO firm you will want to know the real details before you shell out several thousand Pounds per month, but it’s not easy to get those details from an SEO firm. Nevertheless, we will try to explain in this post what an SEO firm does.

Initial Research, Audit and Analysis

SEO always starts with research, audit and analysis.

Every client is different, every website is different and every industry is different. This is why the best SEO firms are hesitant to make predictions or give guarantees–there are so many variables, and what worked very well for one client may not work nearly as well for the next. Good SEO firms don’t have a set formula for producing results, but rather are expert at solving problems and overcoming challenges. Like early explorers, they may not know exactly where they are going, but they know they’ll be able to figure it out. In much the same way that an explorer prepares well for his successful expedition to remote parts of the world, a good SEO firm also prepares well so as to avoid doing a lot of work with out ever reaching the intended destination. Standard activities centred on initial SEO research, audit and analysis include:

Keyword research

Identifying and researching keywords to discover those which will produce the best results for the client once good rankings are achieved. The ideal keyword is searched for a lot, is relevant to the client’s business and is not being heavily targeted by competition.

Google Analytics analysis

Reviewing past performance through Google Analytics will reveal positive or negative trends and opportunities for improvement.

Google Webmaster Tools analysis

Likewise, the ability to review a client’s history and current status in Google Webmaster Tools will bring opportunities to light, as well as potential technical issues with a website, such as a penalty that could be negatively affecting rankings.

Link profile analysis

Many companies over the past several years hired SEO firms that promised to build hundreds, even thousands, of inbound links at low prices. This practice is now penalized by Google and for many companies the path to SEO success starts with cleaning up the spammy links pointing to their websites. Whether this link clean-up is necessary or not should be identified early on, because fighting against these negatives effects reduces the value of all other SEO services until the link profile is refined.

Site audit

Sometimes after the above research and analysis is complete, but often in parallel, an SEO firm will perform a thorough audit of a client’s website. This audit will include various SEO factors:

  1. Website and webpage load speed
  2. URL structure
  3. Internal linking
  4. Title tags
  5. Meta description tags
  6. Content

Many SEO firms will also extend this audit to include factors that influence not just rankings but the metrics that ultimately matter like conversions and profits. These factors include usability, design and messaging.

Initial Optimization

The results of all the above research, audit and analysis work will lead to both one-time and ongoing SEO activities. Some of the one-time, initial optimization activities may include:

Website redesign

In many cases a complete website redesign is needed before beginning SEO services. A redesign is in order when the website is outdated, converts visitors poorly, has poor code and the cost of fixing everything is greater than starting over from scratch.

Code overhaul

Even if a complete redesign isn’t needed, it may be necessary to overhaul the code of a website to make it more SEO friendly. The extent of this overhaul depends on the details, but it can range from light cleanup of the existing code to a complete replacement of the code while maintaining the existing design.

Link removal and disavowal

If the link profile analysis reveals a large number of low quality, harmful inbound links, or worse yet, a manual penalty, it will be necessary to remove as many links as possible by contacting webmasters or to disavow backlinks that cannot be removed.

Link Building

While some aspects of SEO are one-time services that rarely or never need to be repeated, the bulk of SEO activities are ongoing in nature. Like your lawn, without maintenance, it will get out of control. Link building is one of those activities that never ends because Google likes to be fed a constant stream of new, fresh links to know that your website is still relevant and should continue to be featured prominently in its search results. There are many ways to build links and many activities related to link building, some of which include:

Link monitoring

Although rare, it’s important to keep an eye on links to ensure one doesn’t become the victim of a negative SEO attack. More to the point, it’s important to monitor links in case inbound links are created that could provide more value if the text of the link or the specific part of the website where the link is pointing were modified.

Competitor research

By monitoring competitors your SEO firm can see what links they have built and replicate their activities or get inspiration for other links that could be built.

Brand monitoring

Any mention of your company should include a link to your website, but when that’s not the case your SEO firm should find these instances, track down the person who has control of that mention of your company and seek to get an appropriate link.

Outreach

There may be hundreds of websites that are relevant to what you do. Your SEO firm will reach out to these targets in order to promote content and generate links. Part of this service may include guest blog posting.

Online PR

The worlds of public relations and SEO have merged. SEO firms should seek to build links on top tier news and information websites that will never be mistaken by Google as the kind of low quality link the search engine should ignore or penalize. SEO firms perform this kind of online PR by reaching out to journalists, seeding infographics, video and other content and managing social media campaigns designed to attract attention and links.

Content Creation

There can be substantial overlap between link building and content creation as in many instances the way one builds links is by creating content that attracts links. Your website will receive many SEO benefits by creating content even without the inbound links that may follow and creating content, even if you don’t receive direct SEO benefits, can bring traffic to your site that will generate leads or sales just as well as the traffic that comes from SEO.

Blogging

All content creation could be called content marketing, but blogging deserves to be highlighted in it’s own right. If you don’t have a blog for your website your SEO firm should help you create one and then either create content for you, or coach you on how to create content for it yourself.

Content expansion

Your SEO firm will help you to expand or refine the existing content on your website. This becomes a critical function for ecommerce websites, but is important even on smaller corporate sites. New content can be added to a site such as a FAQ section, or pages can be extended to include more long form content. There are many ways in which the content on your website can be built upon to provide more value and your SEO firm should be walking you through this process or managing it entirely.

Ongoing Analysis

As your SEO firm provides the above services they will also be analyzing the results to make sure they are working. SEO firms use various tools to measure their activities and gain insights into where they can improve efforts for their clients.

Other analysis may come from A/B testing or split testing, in which your SEO firm creates two versions of a certain page on your website and drives 50% of traffic to one and 50% to another and then measures the results to see which performs better.

Reporting

Although many SEO firms produce good results, the hallmark of a great SEO firm is their process for communicating with clients. Most firms provide a full set of reports once each month, although special circumstances may require more frequent communication, especially at the beginning of a client engagement when lots of different tasks are being worked on. At a bare minimum these reports should include details on:

  • How many visits, when, from where and why?
  • The good, the bad and the ugly, along with explanations about why some have gone up and others have gone down.
  • Inbound links. What’s new and if you’re in the process of link removal, what’s gone?

A good set of reports is not generated solely through an automated tool, but includes analysis and commentary from the SEO firm. You should not only be able to see that plenty of work is going on, but you should be able to understand the work that is performed. If that is not the case, let your SEO firm know that you need reports that offer more clarity. Your SEO firm may be staffed by geniuses who are pros at SEO, but lacking when it comes to interpersonal communication. If you help them understand what you need you’ll be able to improve results together and develop a great working relationship.

This is not a detailed list of everything an SEO firm can or will do. Different situations require different strategies, tactics and services. Your SEO firm should modify its approach depending on what is best for your specific situation.

Now that you have a better idea of what goes on behind the scenes, you can work with your SEO firm to get the results that will help both of you to grow your businesses.

 

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when you need a website stop for a moment and think… https://sarumbear.com/2014/when-you-need-a-website-stop-for-a-moment-and-think Tue, 15 Apr 2014 12:53:38 +0000 https://sarumbear.com/?p=1196 Do you understand the aim of your company? Do you know what you want to be recognised for? What is the most important product or service you want to sell?

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  1. Do you understand the aim of your company?
  2. Do you know what you want to be recognised for?
  3. What is the most important product or service you want to sell?

Hierarchy of Ideas

In order to do the above you must have a hierarchy of ideas like shown on this chart.

enterprise

This admittedly simplistic diagram breaks down an enterprise into four layers and can help diagnose thinking malfunctions.

Identity or Culture

The top layer deals with the Identity or Culture — I use the two terms interchangeably as one determines the other.

Goals

One level down, we have Goals; where the group is going.

Strategies

Then come the Strategies or the paths to those goals.

Plan

Finally, we have the Plan, the deployment of troops, time, and money.

The arrow on the left is a diagnostic tool. It reminds us that as we traverse the diagram from Identity to Plan, the number of words that we need to describe each layer increases. It should only take a few words to define a company’s identity (Schlumberger, oil services; Disney, family entertainment), describing the company’s goals will be just a tad more verbose (“in 5 years’ time we’ll achieve $X EPS, Y% revenue growth and Z% market share”), and so on.

The arrow also tells us that the “rate of change” — the frequency at which a description changes — follows the same trajectory. Identity should change only very slowly, if ever. At the other end, the plan will need constant adjustment as the company responds to rapidly shifting circumstances, the economy, the competition.

Using the old Microsoft as an example:

  • Identity: The emperor of PC software
  • Goals: A PC on every desk and home – running our software
  • Strategy: Couple the Windows + Office licenses to help OEMs see the light; Embrace and Extend Office competitors.
  • Plan: Changes every week.

No matter how big or small your enterprise is you should always be able to answer these four layers. If you cannot, it means you do not fully understand your enterprise and I”m afraid no website will help you to be as successful as you would otherwise.

Stop and think, then let”s talk how we can make your plans step forward, your stratedy is followed and your goals are reached, while your identity stays intact.

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a starter guide to building & managing your twitter presence https://sarumbear.com/2014/a-starter-guide-to-building-managing-your-twitter-presence Mon, 24 Mar 2014 13:18:05 +0000 https://sarumbear.com/?p=1167 As you begin to devote time, resources and energy into Twitter, it is imperative that you understand your social customer.

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Twitter has almost 250 million active users per month and generates more than half a billion Tweets per day.

Users are constantly connected to Twitter, worldwide and take to the network daily to discuss everything from entertainment and news, to brands and businesses—in over 35 languages. Twitter is a real-time, information network that connects people to the latest stories, ideas, opinions and news. Three quarters of Twitter users access it on their mobile device.

This rapid shift and growth in social participation offers significant opportunities for businesses to build and manage customer relationships via social networks. As you embrace Twitter for your business, think not only about the social network as a channel for marketing, but also as an ever-present communication layer than spans the entirety of your business and secures your business’s future.

What Twitter Means To Your Business

As a growing business, your Twitter followers have a great impact on sales and recommendations, especially as your audience increases interaction with your business.

Engagement opportunities go beyond just marketing and promotions, extending into sales, customer service and more. In this age of ultimate connectivity, customers are now using social networks to reach businesses in the moment and on their terms—at home, at work and on the go via mobile devices. Gone are the days of restricted opening hours for support.

Consider these statistics about what Twitter means for your business:

  1. 34% of followers interacted with an SMB after seeing an ad with the business’ Twitter handle.
  2. 72% of followers are more likely to make a purchase from an SMB they follow moving forward.
  3. 175% increase in customers using Twitter to interact with brands in 2013.
  4. 4 out of 5 social messages to business still go unanswered!

Know The Social Customer

As you begin to devote time, resources and energy into Twitter, it is imperative that you understand your social customer. How they think, how they act and what they need from your company’s social media presence.

As you identify ways to utilize Twitter, research and analyse how your current customers, brand advocates and even your competitors engage on the platform and with their audiences. The role of social media continues to shift for everyone, so not every customer will utilize it in the same fashion or have the same set of expectations.

Think about these types of social customers as you map your Twitter engagement strategy:

  1. SOCIAL MAVENS: Social is their primary channel for brand customer service & engagement.
  2. 24/7 COMMUNICATORS: They know no service hours and reach out when thoughts are fresh on their minds.
  3. TREND SETTERS: They influence an expansive audience and frequently engage with brands on social.

Setting Social Goals & Increasing Your Presence On Twitter

As you set goals and increase your presence, take the opportunity to define and teach your engagement strategy across your business. Think about what your customers want on social media—what type of communication are they looking for when they engage with you via Twitter? What content is helpful?

In the context of setting goals, it is also important to create a social media policy. As a team, strategically decide who handles different types of incoming questions, develop an escalation process, and set desired metrics around response rates and times.

Take these tips into account when setting your company’s specific growth goals for Twitter:

  1. Identify near term goals like sales, customer care or brand presence, and make a plan.
  2. Create promotions and Tweets specific to Twitter.
  3. Integrate Twitter into traditional campaigns like product launches and holiday sales.
  4. Identify metrics to measure success like retweets, site traffic or message response time.

What makes a good Tweet?

Our primary recommendation is to be authentic when engaging with your followers on Twitter. While it is important to always stay on message and accurately represent your brand, avoid ‘marketing speak’ and connect with audiences using language, content and a voice that show you understand their needs without being overly formal.

Your Tweets should reflect the individuality of your business so; think about these best practices when engaging on Twitter:

  1. RESPOND: Don’t keep customers waiting. It’s a real-time network so respond quickly.
  2. SHOW YOUR PERSONALITY: Convey your brand’s personality throughout all your interactions with conversational Tweets.
  3. INTERACT: Reply, retweet, favourite and thank your customers for their loyalty, but do not use humour (or sarcasm) when they are complaining about you.
  4. STAND OUT: Tweet unique info about your business in addition to interesting content.
  5. COMPELLING CONTENT: Diversify the types of content you share and have fun with your Tweets, but do not tweet news links for the sake of it. You are not a news service!
  6. STAY CONSISTENT: Your brand voice should remain consistent but your tone can change based on the situation.

Build & Manage Your Twitter Community – The Checklist

As you increase your presence, reference this checklist of best practices and tactical tips to get started on Twitter:

  1. SECURE TWITTER HANDLES: Create appropriate company Twitter profiles. Not only for your main business but any sub-groups or specific uses like customer service.
  2. POPULATE PROFILES: Give followers the information they need to interact with your business. Include info such as your website, a brand description, store hours and contact information.
  3. STAFF FOR RESPONSIVENESS: Decide which team members will be active on Twitter and clearly define roles, responsibilities and escalation procedures for timely engagement.
  4. SELECT A MANAGEMENT TOOL: The right social tool enables you to engage, publish and analyse top performing content—on a web browser or mobile apps for easy on-the-go management.
  5. SET YOUR SUCCESS METRICS: Before you begin, set goals for Twitter engagement based on larger business goals, available bandwidth and desired actions from your followers.
  6. CREATE A CONTENT CALENDAR: Keep your social team organized and on message with structured content, drafted Tweets and regularly scheduled posts.
  7. INCORPORATE MULTIMEDIA: Photos and visuals make for much more compelling content, so be sure to include related multimedia to enhance a Tweet and encourage sharing.
  8. FORGET YOUR FOLLOWER NUMBER: Bigger communities aren’t necessarily better, so do not get caught up in total followers. Be authentic and your audience will grow naturally.
  9. SCALE TO SEARCH: Identify keywords related to your industry and search Twitter around those terms. You’ll find new connections and opportunities to increase your follower base.
  10. TEST & LEARN: Monitor engagement levels, assess which messages are working, which are not. Correct your course to ensure you hit your goals.

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managing your brand must become a part of your daily routine https://sarumbear.com/2013/managing-your-brand-must-become-a-part-of-your-daily-routine Wed, 03 Apr 2013 14:51:43 +0000 https://sarumbear.com/?p=982 I expect that doctors in the delivery room will soon hold up newborns and shout, “Congratulations! It’s a brand!“ That’s the world we live in. We’re no longer just people — we’re warm-blooded versions of Nike or Burberry’s.

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I expect that doctors in the delivery room will soon hold up newborns and shout, “Congratulations! It’s a brand!

That’s the world we live in. We’re no longer just people — we’re warm-blooded versions of Nike or Burberry’s.

Dehumanizing though it may sound, being a brand isn’t such a bad thing. Particularly not for people building careers or new businesses, establishing themselves in the market. It gives you control over how the world views you. Careers and the next-big-thing are really made online and you’re going to see it more and more in the future.

Think of the online world as a global talent pool. If you don’t exist in that pool — having your own website, being on the top social networking sites — then you can’t compete in that pool. Once you’re in the pool, you have to constantly manage that presence. It should be part of your daily routine, part of your career.

There was a time not long ago when turning an individual into a brand required a team of publicists and marketing experts. You had to be a Madonna to justify that. Thanks to social media powerhouses YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, now all you need is a good Internet connection and a willingness to work hard. Social media has become a channel by which everyone can develop a following and a platform, like celebrities but at a micro level. We’re all micro-celebrities now. We’re famous to a certain number of people. It’s free, for just the cost of your time and it’s beneficial, regardless of where you are in your career or at what stage your company is.

Our ability to create and control our brands is a great power, but harnessing that power requires far more than creating a Twitter account and occasionally letting the world know that you’re “eating a pastie” or simply say “buy our stuff.” You need to bring something to the table.

The importance of interacting online with people in your industry cannot be stressed enough: sharing links to articles; commenting on others’ posts; composing your own posts on professional topics; going out of your way to help people in your networks who have questions and above all, making your peers and customers happy. In short be a giver. ‘Give to gain’ must be your life motto.

These activities not only help you build a web of professional connections, they also give voice to your brand. You can define your self far more through online activity than through the standard CV or brochure.

Whether you like the idea of personal branding or not, you need to embrace it. So give it a shot — just remember that we are here to guide you.

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three easy steps to a winning website https://sarumbear.com/2012/three-easy-steps-to-a-winning-website Tue, 10 Jul 2012 18:42:06 +0000 https://sarumbear.com/?p=711 Sarumbear can help you create a beautiful looking and functional website. How well it will work for your business depends largely on the preparation you make beforehand.

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Sarumbear can help you create a beautiful looking and functional website. How well it will work for your business depends largely on the preparation you make beforehand. Your website is part of your business’s overall marketing strategy and needs to be treated with the same consideration as any other type of marketing.

If you want it to be successful, you are going to need a plan. (Note: Our definition of a plan is something in writing. If it isn’t in writing, it’s an idea, not a plan.) When making your plan, ask yourself these three simple questions:

  • Why?
  • For who?
  • How?

1. Why?

Why are you building a website for your business?

Every website serves a purpose, whether to create awareness of your company or sell your business’s products. Knowing what you expect of yours will help you determine which features and functions the site should have.

A site intended to generate leads for your sales force may need landing pages with forms that collect visitor information, whereas if you plan to sell products through the site, you will need a site that can display your inventory and handle sales, taxes and shipping. An e-commerce site based on the WordPress platform may be a more suitable choice than a standard HTML site.

You may want a site that does more than one thing. Prioritizing the aims of the site will help you decide on what format to use and how to structure the site so that it meets the needs of different audiences, which leads us to…

2. Who?

Who do you want to visit your site?

Who are your customers? Do they come from other businesses or are they members of the public? Are they technically savvy? Are they comfortable shopping on the Web? How old are they? What percentages are male or female? Are they educated?

Knowing your off-line (real world) customers can help you cater for the online visitors. It can be hard to be objective, so if you aren’t sure, ask your customers how they identify themselves. You may need to ask more than one person to get the best picture.

If you don’t know whom you are talking to, it is difficult to know how to talk to them. Your site needs to speak to your visitor in ways they understand and want to be spoken to. From the tone of voice to the size of the fonts, knowing your audience is important to making sure your site is working for you and not against you. You certainly don’t want to drive potential customers away!

3. How?

What do you want people to do once they get to the site?

The answer to this question ties in directly with the first question. What’s the site’s purpose? If you want to drive online sales, you should make it easy for visitors to see your most popular products and services and make their purchases.

If your site is more promotional, decide which information is the most important to feature on the home page and allow visitors to click through to other pages for more detailed information.

Sarumbear can help with all your marketing needs. We have many years of experience in marketing through television and online campaigns through close collaboration with our sister production company, Ethem Media. We turn your ideas into reality, but there are obviously costs involved with us spending time with you, analysing your business to develop a marketing plan that meets your needs.

Taking a little time to ask yourself these three simple questions can help you plan a great website, saving you both time and money. With the information you’ve collected (and written down), you should be able to sketch out your basic site structure for the pages you want and how they are navigated. You should also have the basic outline for writing the bulk of the site’s content. Armed with this information, Sarumbear will be happy to transform your plan into action, building you the successful website you deserve.

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collaborative design https://sarumbear.com/2012/collaborative-design Fri, 16 Mar 2012 00:30:52 +0000 https://sarumbear.com/?p=211 At Sarumbear web design services, we do everything we can to design you a great website that suits your needs without the hassle.

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You may worry that updating your website or building a new one from scratch means you will have to enter the dark and mysterious world of the Internet. If learning new languages consisting of glottal clicks, fending off Trojans, viruses and phishing attacks whilst employing Jedi mind tricks to drive visitors to your website is how you see the process, the reality is in fact so much simpler.

Here at Sarumbear web design services, we do everything we can to design you a great website that suits your needs without the hassle. We take care of all the backstage stuff so that you remain the only star of the show. Of course, we may be a dab-hand with a light-sabre, but we still need a little help and input from you during the design process. Even Jedi Masters rely on the Force.

Consider your website to be your virtual shop window, just as on the high street. To appeal to customers it is important for the look and feel of your website to reflect the personality and ethos of your business. As part of the design process, we like to get to know you… how your business works, who your customers are and how we can best serve both them and you. A unique selling point that sets you apart from the competition or even your eco-credentials could turn a ‘window shopper’ into a loyal customer.

By getting to know you and your business we will agree with you the number of pages for your website and how they piece together. Imagine how a shop would be divided into various departments to display different products and the physical layout to allow customers easy access between each of the departments.

Content for the site is important, so we will ask you to provide the majority of text to be used on the website. You have probably heard of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and perhaps had many offers from companies offering to put you at the top of Search Engine result lists. It’s not quite that simple, but nor is it rocket science. Search Engine robots are very clever these days and search the text within your pages to make sure the page content is in context with the headings and titles, so well written content is now more important than ever.

Research has proven that website visitors tend not to read large amounts of written text, so text should be as succinct and to the point. The way text is written and presented can make a big difference, so we are available to help when copywriting.

Pictures can say a thousand words, so where possible we use photographs or video content that is eye catching and relevant. If you are unable to provide good photographs, or a professional photographer is outside your budget, stock images from libraries could be suitable, or we may be able to help by taking photos for you or retouching ones you have. We don’t profess to be able to take photos as well as a professional photographer, but we have an eye for a decent image and how to use it in our designs.

Achieving the website you deserve is not a difficult process. We just ask you to provide some pictures and tell us what you would tell any of your customers about your business. Then sit back and let our experience do the talking. You remain involved throughout the process. No mysterious dark arts or Jedi mind tricks are needed…

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know your customers https://sarumbear.com/2012/know-your-customers Thu, 15 Mar 2012 16:49:01 +0000 https://sarumbear.com/?p=566 If you are in business it can be assumed that you know your products inside out, but how well do you know your customers?

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If you are in business it can be assumed that you know your products inside out, but how well do you know your customers?

When you have real-world, physical business premises, you can get to know your customers by meeting them face-to-face. Assuming that you have time to interact with the customers, you will eventually learn what makes them tick and more importantly, why they choose to come to you. The same cannot be said of your online presence, so it is important to put yourself in the place of the customer and look at your online business from their point of view.

who are your customers?

  • Business-to-business?
  • Members of the general public?
  • Male or Female?
  • A specific section of society?

Once you have determined who your customers are, you can begin to get to know them and really understand what makes them tick. If you appreciate the things that are important to them and the goals they aspire to, you can begin to understand what problems they may have and where they may look to find solutions to those problems. You can ascertain whether your business provides solutions to your customers’ problems or enhances their lives with desirable products. The more knowledge you have, the more you are able to tailor your online presence and reach out to your customers. When customers believe you understand their needs, you will be the first company they turn to with their requirements.

whatever the needs of your customers, your website should be:

  • Welcoming
  • Attractive
  • Functional
  • Easy to navigate
  • Informative

try to look at your website through the eyes of a customer.

Rather than thinking, “it’s all about the product”, consider these questions:

  • Is the product or information easy to find?
  • How do you get it? (online/physical location/contact)
  • How easy is the whole experience?
  • Would you recommend it to a friend?

The last one is really quite important. It is apparent that sharing is the new “black” and everyone wants to tell their friends about it. Facebook was founded upon that premise and social media should form an integral part of your Internet presence. Sharing online is a very powerful tool, as the recommendations from our trusted friends always seem more credible than marketing messages from companies or brands.

Don’t be afraid to test your online content on your friends and family. They may think that that they are not qualified to comment, but everyone uses the Internet, not just experts. Often the opinion of a “non-expert” will be more akin to that of a new customer and give you valuable insight into how people interact with your site and its content. If the reaction you get is: “This is a nice place to shop” or “This is just what I need”, then you are on the right track.

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nothing to say… anatomy of a blog https://sarumbear.com/2012/nothing-to-say-anatomy-of-a-blog Tue, 14 Feb 2012 12:46:05 +0000 https://sarumbear.com/?p=241 Often when discussing a new or revised website we find clients are mortified at the thought of having a blog on their website and will come out with any number of excuses not to. Obviously we don’t insist that anyone maintains a blog page, but there are a few good reasons why it should be considered.

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Often when discussing a new or revised website we find clients are mortified at the thought of having a blog on their website and will come out with any number of excuses not to. Obviously we don’t insist that anyone maintains a blog page, but there are a few good reasons why it should be considered. Let’s take a look at some of the protestations we hear:

“I hate blogs!”

      – just because you detest them, doesn’t mean that other people will not take the time to read yours.

“I don’t want to blog”

      – you don’t have to call it a “blog” and then it doesn’t sound quite so scary. It can be your latest news or special offers or, as in our case… musings.

“I have nothing to say”

      – actually, you’ll probably surprise yourself how much you have to say once you put your mind to it and be even more surprised about how many people may care about what you do say.

“I don’t have time for that”

    – it needn’t take a huge amount of your time. Nobody expects you to write a synopsis of “War and Peace” on your blog, so even a few paragraphs will suffice and may only take you five minutes.

So now we have the excuses out of the way, I can explain some of the advantages of having a blog.

a blog is a direct marketing opportunity

You can email previous customers to inform them of special offers by providing a direct link to the relevant page. Blogging gives you an opportunity to connect to your customers, keeping your website at the forefront of their awareness.

your blog helps bring new visitors to your website

Using social media such as Twitter or Facebook to let people know that you have added new content encourages visits to your site, so customers old and new are reminded of the relevance of your website and kept up to date with your latest products or special offers.

blogging is the easiest way to regularly update your website

Adding new pages and links between them encourages the search engine robots to revisit and index your site, promoting your page up the search engine rankings as they match relevant content to search queries.

So are you really sure you have nothing to say? I would hope that if you have a shiny new website you’d want to shout about it.

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what’s in a name? https://sarumbear.com/2012/whats-in-a-name Tue, 14 Feb 2012 02:10:51 +0000 https://sarumbear.com/?p=334 We are amazed that many established companies continue using free email accounts supplied by their Internet Service Provider (ISP) such as smith123@btinternet.com or a free email account from MSN or Yahoo such as maverick.curtains10@gmail.com. Why trust your essential communication to a free account that is by default unsupported?

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We are amazed that many established companies continue using free email accounts supplied by their Internet Service Provider (ISP) such as smith123@btinternet.com or a free email account from MSN or Yahoo such as maverick.curtains10@gmail.com.

why trust your essential communication to a free account that is by default unsupported?

Should you decide to change your ISP, or worse… they cease to exist, you lose that vital method of communication with your customers. Not only that, but once you have found a new service provider, you are left with the inconvenience and expense of reprinting stationery, vehicle graphics, changing your website and informing everyone in your address book of the changes.

Sarumbear is here to help and can inexpensively provide and host your own domain name for your website and email.  Not only does it look far more professional on your business card and office stationery but it makes good business sense too, as continuity is important to your customers. Should you experience any problems with your account, a dedicated team of problem solvers will be moving heaven and earth to make sure you are up and running again with the minimum of disruption. You can also change your ISP as often as you like and none of your customers will so much as blink an eye.

First impressions count and your website and email address say more about you and your business than you may think.

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