Scroll sites or single page sites have become increasingly popular in the past few years due to the current layout of the most popular social media sites.
Shopping cart optimization (SCO) is an analysis and potential re-visioning done to your website in order to make sure your shopping cart checkout process is timely and stress-free. Making changes or updating your online shopping cart process helps avoids bounce rate and improves search engine optimization (SEO). The fewer barriers and distractions you have during your purchase, the better. Small mistakes such as not having a 'guest checkout' option or a checkout process bar, allows for your customers to often leave the site before completing the transaction. On the Google Analytics side, we see this as a 'bounce' or 'bounce rate' where a customer left your website and went to another website or back to a search engine. Another thing to keep in mind when optimizing this process is that some customers may also be turned away due to privacy and security purposes. This is important, especially with e-commerce, to allow customers to feel completely secure during online transactions.
Digital marketing or Internet marketing companies, such as Brandmint, can access and track your bounce rate through Google Analytics. We can find out exactly where, during the checkout process, you lost your customers and in-return, use this information as a guide on how to get them to the destination.
We have all of your answers
Q & A
Q. Why do customers worry about giving their credit card information during checkout?
A. Credit card theft can be stolen during these three transactions:
1. Stolen from the user’s computer
2. Stolen in transit
3. Stolen at the merchant’s site
Q. There are many privacy seals available but which is the best option?
A. Your website can have multiple privacy seals but it’s important on e-commerce websites to have at least one privacy and one security seal. The best ways to protect information in transit in through security seals.
1. Encryption algorithms – Process of converting a plaintext message into ciphertext, which can be decoded, back into the original message.
2. Protect transaction information
3. SSL (Secure Socket Layering) Certificates also known as TLS (Transport Layer Security) Functions of SSL – Encrypts data and authenticates the site
You can compare which type of SSL is best for your website based on which type of products you sell and the overall goal you want to accomplish
Larger companies have a flawless shopping cart checkout process including all privacy and security seals. Take a look www.amazon.com and their website, for example...
As soon as you visit their webpage, you’ll notice that this secure website by the URL at the top of the page. This secure site will include an “s” in the URL for secure after the typical http:// Another way you’ll easily recognize security is by the URL turning green.
This is important to avoid this immediate barrier, especially when selling expensive items to customers that may be apprehensive to give credit card information for.
- When you're ready to go through the shopping cart process, you’ll notice that based off of my location services; it’s already generated shipping location and cost. Since my location services are on, and I'm located in Rochester, NY, when viewing the total cost, the applicable shipping cost to my location will be generated. This is another was to avoid any barriers due to an upfront cost that wouldn’t alarm customers before putting in credit card information.
- Once you click on “Add to Cart” the next step would be to either sign in or create an account. Although this is routine, there should also be a “Checkout as Guest” option. This allows customers who are in a rush or even those who have an account and don’t remember their password a suitable option. Don’t worry; you’ll get all of their information regardless so this shouldn’t be a problem.
- Include a process checkout bar - This helps the customer get through each step, knowing exactly how many more steps need to be taken in-order to get to complete the transaction. We naturally love getting to the end of the finish line so this reduces bounce rate and reduces the likelihood of completing all of the steps except credit card information.
- Offer incentives for the customer – giving a gift such as free shipping or overnight shipping is a great way for your customers to feel better about making the purchase and offer them a reason to come back or purchase another item.
The examples listed are just a few of the countless ways Brandmint can help optimize and improve your online shopping cart process, along with overall user friendliness. Putting ourselves in your customers shoes is what Brandmint focuses on. Making improvements to ensure your customers have an effortless and timeless checkout process turns spectators into buyers.
Interested in learning more?
Movin' on up...literally. The Brandmint team has moved to the 10th floor of the newly renovated Metropolitan (formerly known as the Chase Building) in downtown Rochester! Our new office is equipped with the necessities: Ping pong, a 2-player basketball game, and, most importantly, Kenny. Who is Kenny you ask? He is our kegerator filled with Genesee Beer. Support local! Our corner office allows everyone an amazing view of the City of Rochester. Come by and visit us anytime! You won't want to miss Thursday's after 4pm, better known as Thursday Throw-Down. At 4PM sharp we turn up the tunes from the early 90's and kick back and reflect on the killer week we all had.
WOW! What a year 2016 has been for Brandmint. In addition to our internal growth, we also hit 100 clients in November of this year!
The Prince Elite Beach Hockey Classic was held July 9, 2016 at Charlotte Beach in Rochester, NY. This event was founded by Shane Prince and his father, Danny Prince, both of Prince Elite Hockey, in honor of Patrick Carr, A.K.A. “Lil’ Fighter,” who battled cancer for most of his life. This year the event raised just under $18,000 and was donated to Golisano Children’s Hospital. Louie Maier is on the Board of Directors for the Beach Hockey Classic, while Brandmint does all of the social media and helps with event management for the annual event. Take a look at the official after-movie!
The 2nd Annual Kringle Krawl was held December 3, 2016 in Rochester, NY. Every year, the board members of the Kringle Krawl choose which charity the proceeds will go to. This year it was decided that money would be raised for Camp Good Days and Special Times, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for children, adults, and families whose lives have been touched by cancer and other life challenges. Thanks to our generous community, we exceeded our goal and raised over $3,000 for this organization. Brandmint’s team was lucky enough to be able to play a role in this amazing event. Louie Maier is a member of the team that organizes this event yearly, while Bethany Patton, the Creative Director, was the brains behind the logo.
We can’t thank our clients enough for your business and, without you, Brandmint wouldn’t be where we are today!
Happy Holidays & Happy New Year!
-The Brandmint Team
2017 is around the corner so it’s time to give you guys a heads up on what the SEO world is looking like!
Shift from wordy to dense content
People don’t want to read paragraphs about a specific topic anymore. Rather, lists or short descriptions are preferred. Content density helps a websites SEO by containing the correct keywords and straightforward information. If you are a content writer or blogger this is good news for you! Writing less will give your audience more value. CONTENT IS KING!
Use featured snippets
Have you ever searched “How to cook spaghetti squash” in Google? Well, I have, and I didn’t have to look very far to get my answer.
Featured snippets are shown in some search engine results pages (SERPs) and allows your users to quickly get the answer they are looking for. Instead of the user having to go to the actual page, it will show content from one of the sites that ranks on the first page. So doesn’t this negatively impact your click-through rate? No. In fact, featured snippets significantly increase your click-through rate!
Having a mobile-friendly site is crucial
Mobile internet usage has surpassed desktop internet usage and the gab will only continue to grow. According to Zenith’s Media’s head of forecasting, Jonathan Barnard, “70% of internet use is now on a mobile, and the use of desktop for internet will fall by almost 16% this year (2016).” So what will this chart look like at the end of 2017?
Don’t have a user-friendly mobile site? You’re just asking for your rankings to drop!
If you aren’t prepared for what’s coming in 2017 and aren’t sure how to do it yourself, call us! We are your SEO experts in Rochester, NY!
It's too expensive - People seem to think that digital marketing is more expensive than any other form of advertising because it is the latest and greatest form of technology. A recent study showed that in order for businesses to reach 1,000 people using direct mail, TV, and magazines, they had to spend $57, $28, and $16, respectively. To reach 1,000 people using digital marketing, businesses only spend $2.50. You do the math!
It doesn't generate revenue - Our clients have spoken:
“Working with Brandmint we learned the true value of proper social media management and the value that can be added directly to your bottom line through; target marketing, custom campaigns, and attention to detail that is unmatched.” — Jason Guck, 5Linx
“This past Spring Brandmint helped us with a campaign that resulted in an extraordinary increase in business here at Northern Hemisphere Gymnastics. After our work with Brandmint, we have been overwhelmed by the continuous amount of phone calls, walk-ins, and inquiries about our gym’s programs.” — Jill Grundman, Northern Hemisphere Gymnastics
It only works on millennials - 72% of Facebook users in the U.S. are women, ages 30 to 49. Not to mention, we are able to target a specific demographic that will view your ad.
Anyone can do it - These days most everyone has a social media account however, simply having an account does not make you an expert. A successful digital marketing campaign must be strategically tailored to your target market which takes the expertise of people who understand your business as well as user experience. Just because you own a bicycle doesn't mean you should enter the Tour De France.
Results can’t be measured - Because digital marketing is not tangible it is easy to believe that the results are unmeasurable. With every Brandmint SEO/Social package you will have a dedicated Account Manager who will keep you up-to-date on exactly how your campaign is preforming and analyzing those results so future campaigns can preform at the optimal level.
We know our stuff! That is why we are one of the top Digital Marketing agencies in Rochester, NY.
As we approach the season of giving, Brandmint will be hosting a contest to give businesses in Rochester the chance to win a package on us! All you have to do is enter to win here and like our Facebook page.
So what is included in this package?
- Custom Facebook/Instagram Post Campaign
- Custom Facebook Creative Ad Campaign
- Dedicated Account Manager
- Month End Analytic Report
- Roughly 3,000 people Reached
The lucky winner will be drawn on January 1st and will be announced on our Facebook page.
This week I want to talk about the benefits of using social media marketing rather than traditional marketing. Social media marketing is all done online, while traditional marketing uses print ads, radio and television ads, and magazine ads.
Targeting - Traditional marketing is forced on us. Who actually enjoys being interrupted by commercials during their favorite show? Unless it is Super Bowl Sunday, of course. I don’t care to see what deals the local flooring company is offering while I’m trying to watch the Season Premiere of “The Walking Dead” (SPOILER ALERT: Who else is so upset that Glenn died?!). Traditional marketing has a very low response rate being that the majority of the people that see an ad are not necessarily looking for it and, in many cases, are annoyed that they are seeing it! With traditional marketing, you are only able to do location based targeting. Social media marketing is much less invasive. You are able to choose a specific demographic that you want to target. In addition to being able to focus on a specific location, you can also focus on behaviors and context.
Cost - Social media marketing is much more cost effective than any form of traditional marketing. The graph below shows how much money you have to spend to reach 1,000 people. Need I say more?
Word-Of-Mouth - Again, word-of-mouth is so powerful! It is easy to “share” a post on Facebook or hashtag a phrase to make it easily accessible. It’s rare that you see a flyer being passed around about a local band playing somewhere and if you do see it there is a high likelihood people will lose it or throw it out. The internet is always there!
Measurability - Sure, you are able to see how many people were tuned into a show, but you can’t get an accurate measurement of how many people you reached by showing your commercial. I don’t watch live television anymore and part of it is because of the commercials, so I can only imagine how many people change the channel while the commercials are on to watch something else for a few minutes. You cannot measure how many people are reached by a mailer that is tucked into your newspaper or how many people actually see your billboard on the expressway. With social media marketing you can get real results and accurate numbers on your reach and can spend as much money as you want while knowing how many people are seeing it.
If this isn't enough to get you to shift from traditional to social media marketing...call us. Or better yet, stop in and say hi and we will be happy to show you the successful work we have done for our clients. Brandmint is your go-to social media marketing agency in Rochester, NY!
Social media is changing the way you reach your customers. Our experts here at Brandmint know the ins and outs of social media and want you know, as well! Here are the top 3 reasons your company needs to be on social media:
Increases Brand Awareness - This is the familiarity consumers have with images or qualities of a specific brand. This is one of your business’s greatest assets! A strong online presence is extremely important to your company because this is where most of your consumers are! There are so many different options a consumer has so you must differentiate yourself from your competition. Building brand awareness in the early stages of a company are pertinent because once people are aware of what you do and what you can offer them, they are less likely to research another company to acquire that same service. Businesses with high brand awareness are socially accepted by the market. There it is again - SOCIAL ACCEPTANCE! Social media gives your customers a way to connect with your business online, all while you're able to target a specific demographic instead of wasting your time and money reaching people who's wants and needs don’t pertain to your company.
Improves Brand Loyalty - a consumers tendency to continuously buy from the same company rather than a competitor. Developing a loyal consumer base is one of the main goals of most businesses. Regularly engage with your customers so you can develop a bond with them. From personal experience, if I don't find your company on Facebook I am most likely not going to research you further to find out more. Instead, I would find someone who is on Facebook. Being on social media makes companies seem more real, in my opinion.
Increases Opportunities for Conversion - The more your brand is exposed, the more opportunities you have for conversion. Everything that is posted on social media may lead viewers to your website which increases traffic. When your company is interactive on social media (sharing content, commenting, liking, etc.) it gives your brand a personality and makes it more appealing to consumers. Consumers like doing business with people rather than companies.
Are you starting a new business or own a business but have no social media presence and don't know where to begin? We are here for you. Contact Brandmint, a leading Social Media Marketing agency in Rochester, NY.
Social acceptance is a persons willingness to recognize and promote the brand. Having a brand that is socially accepted is imperative to the growth of your business. So how do you become socially accepted and what happens when you are?
Social acceptance goes hand-in-hand with delighting customers. Delighted customers promote your brand because you have exceeded their expectations and they want to share their experience. These delighted customers have now accepted your brand. Using my example in last weeks blog, Midtown Athletic Club, I want to talk about how I became a delighted customer which led me to socially accept them. I had gone a few times as a guest but was never able to get the full experience because I would be there for an hour or two and then go home. One day I went to Midtown and the person I went with was raving about a class they took there the day before, so I decided to try it out. I continued to try some other classes and before I knew it I was a member there. Within just a few days I became a delighted customer and have now socially accepted them which is obvious because here I am talking about it for the second week in a row! The main goal is to focus on how to keep your customers happy and how to exceed their expectations. How do you get your customers to accept your brand?
So what happens when your brand is socially accepted? One obvious outcome is that your business grows…but how? These customers who have accepted your brand are your biggest assets. They will use positive word-of-mouth to promote your business and share their experiences. Word-of-mouth is the most powerful form of advertising for your brand because they are coming from people who experienced your services first hand. Aside from them talking about it to other consumers, they will be repeat customers themselves.
Is your brand socially accepted?
Satisfied customers are good. But do you know what's even better? A delighted customer!
When a customer is satisfied it means their expectations are met. Satisfied customers are not exactly loyal customers. They will leave for a competitor if the opportunity presents itself and they won't think twice about it. This is how I feel about my Jeep. I love it right now, but down the road when I am looking for a new car I will look at other makes. If I like the other make better I will buy it without feeling bad even if I never had a bad experience with the Jeep.
When a customer is delighted it means you have exceeded their expectations and are very unlikely to leave for another competitor. Delighted customers are loyal customers. I repeat: DELIGHTED CUSTOMERS ARE LOYAL CUSTOMERS! When people are loyal to your brand they will share their experience. Make every customer feel like they are your only customer. Make them feel special! I am very delighted with the athletic club I attend. So much so that I recently completed a survey for them which took about 10 minutes, but I didn't mind at all. I have recommended this club to numerous people and a few have even joined. I love everything about it and won't ever leave unless I had to. So if you live in the Rochester area and love staying in shape, Midtown Athletic Club is where you need to be! What? I had to do a shout out, I'm delighted!
Don't get me wrong, we like satisfied customers, but we LOVE delighted customers. The difference is that if a customer is satisfied with a company's services five times and is delighted once, their perception of that company is heavily influenced by their delighted experience.
While writing this I had flashbacks of sitting in Dr. Barnes', A.K.A. "DB", Consumer Behavior night class staring at the clock, counting down the seconds until the clock struck 9 P.M. and I could finally go to Sunny's for ten cent drafts. Who would have thought seven years later I would be blogging about this and actually enjoy it? Thanks DB!
A delighted customer means that they have socially accepted your brand. Here at Brandmint, we go above and beyond for our clients. Contact us today, your #1 Marketing agency in Rochester, NY.
Next week, I will talk about why social acceptance is excellent for your brand!
START DELIGHTING YOUR CUSTOMERS TODAY!
Today, I want to talk about the types of Digital Marketing we offer. We focus on Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, and Online Database Listings Management. How will these services help grow your brand? Keep reading!
SMM - Social Media Marketing
This means gaining traffic through social media sites (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.). Most of our packages offer one Creative Ad Campaign that will run for a full year and a Post Campaign that runs for one month. Every month we will work with you to create a new Post Campaign. Click here to learn more about these two campaigns and how they can benefit you.
SEO - Search Engine Optimization
This is the use of different strategies to maximize the number of visitors to a website by ranking high in placement in the search results page of Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. We will work with you to find the target keywords that will optimize the search results for your business. Websites that are full of content will also help with your rankings. (Web Design is another service that we offer). For a free SEO report, visit http://brandmint.co/free-seo-report/. If you don’t understand what your results mean for your business feel free to contact me and I will go through the report with you!
Online Database Listings Management
We will make sure that your company’s information (business name, address, phone number, etc.) is uniform throughout all search engines.
Be where your customers are: on the internet! We have multiple packages starting at $399/month and will work with you to find the package that will best fit your business’ needs.
Give us a call today and we will show you why we are the #1 Marketing agency in Rochester, NY!
Last month we talked about vector images vs. raster images and mentioned PPI (pixels per inch) and DPI (dots per inch). Both explain the resolution, or quality, of an image but they are not the same thing! Today, I want to expand on these two terms.
PPI - One specific image has so many pixels. I spoke about pixel before, but the short version of it is that a pixel is the smallest element of information that makes up an image. An image has metadata that contains different output sizes. Pay close attention to this: The width in pixels divided by the output width in the metadata gives you the "per inch." The more pixels per inch, the sharper the image will be.
DPI - Any screen has a certain number of number of dots per inch. This concept goes for paper, as well. If you have a 1200 dpi printer, 1200 dots per linear inch will be laid down on that paper. The higher the DPI of an image is, the smoother the image will look. This also comes into play when a printed image is converted to a digital image.
Next week we will get into the nitty gritty of SEO, SMM, and Online Database Management and how Brandmint can offer you these services in different packages! You won't want to miss this so make sure to tune in!!
A while back I created “Thank You” cards to send to the guests that came to our wedding. The last step in sending it to the printer was to place the document between, what simply looked to me like, three different dotted lines. At the time I didn’t know what a “bleed” was and on the website I was printing it from had a dotted red bleed line so I quickly assumed I should NOT extend it to this line. WRONG! I ended up getting them in the mail and there were uneven white lines around all four sides. If you don’t know what a “bleed” is, take the time to read this blog!
Bleed is a term used to describe a document that has images or elements which extend beyond the trim edge leaving no white margin. Bleeds are required in all pieces of art to:
- Avoid from cutting something off that is intended to be there
- Prevent any white lines around the edges
- Avoid issues with mechanical limitations and operator errors
Based on the above picture, the safety line is where text and other important elements that are not meant to be trimmed should be kept within. The actual cut can happen anywhere between the bleeds and the safety line so it is important that you keep anything that needs to be printed within this line. The trim line is where it will be cut so it ends u being the actual, finished size of the product. Always be aware of your trim edges while keeping in mind that there could still be an error while trimming. The bleed is the outermost edge of a finished product. When you extend your image to the bleed area, it guarantees that the finished product will be cut so that there are no white edges (this is the mistake I made). The bleed line is more of a security area, just in case it does not get cut exactly on the trim line. Common bleed lines range from 1/16’’ to 1/4’’ depending on the printer and the method used.
If you are new to this, don’t make the same mistake I made. Take the time to place your product carefully so you won’t end up with lost items or white edges!
For the next few weeks, we are going to focus on some common print terms. Today, I will explain the difference between CMYK and RGB. As you know, CMYK stands for cyan, magenta, yellow, and key (black), while RGB stands for red, green, and blue. CMYK and RGB colors deliver differently based on what means they are being used for.
CMYK is mainly used in color printing. This works when there is a lighter or, in most cases, a white background. When printing in CMYK there is no white colored ink because it will be printed on a white background, so the white from the paper can be seen where the ink is excluded, which makes the lighter colors appear. CMYK is subtractive which means it reflects light so the ink reduces or subtracts brightness from white.
RGB is used in light-based displays such as televisions, computer monitors, and digital cameras. RGB is additive, so it projects light. It begins with black and the more color that is added the lighter it will be, all the way to white. Red, green, and blue light is added in different ways to produce a wide range of colors.
These colors deliver differently based on how much mixing of colors needs to be done and how much white space is already available. Just because an image appears normal on your computer screen, it may not look the same after it is printed, so don’t forget to convert these if necessary!
Branding is one of the most important factors in building a successful business. If you are looking to create a logo for your new company or are looking to rebrand your existing company, here are some tips on what makes a good logo:
Your logo must be functional
To aid in functionality, your logo must be simple! Whether it is shown small on a business card or large on a billboard, it should read the same. Most logos start out very complicated and end up with a simpler version of it. The most simple logos are the most recognizable. One great example of this is the Nike logo. Swoosh!
Your logo must follow basic design rules
Simply put, it needs to look good, be well designed, and appeal to everyone. Basic design fundamentals include:
Color - Limit the number of colors used and when pairing colors, look for contrast. Colors that are too similar will look muddied when enviably printed in grayscale. Color will help bring personality to your logo but it should not carry the design.
Font - Use no more than two fonts when designing a logo and keep the text legible. More than two fonts will appear too busy. Like colors, the fonts used should show contrast, this helps improve legibility.
Space - Less is more. Need I say more?
Consistency - Use the same logo EVERYWHERE! Use the same shape, colors, and font so people can recognize it anywhere. People trust things that they know so if people can identify and remember your brand, they are more likely to use or buy from that brand.
Clarity - Everyone who is in the process of creating the logo needs to understand the look and feel that needs to be portrayed. If they aren't all on the same page, your consumer will be lost as well.
Your logo must portray your company
It must be easily identifiable and give a clear picture of what is being introduced while including all aspects of the company.
Your logo must be unique
Stand out from your competition and make your logo unique. Copying someone else logo means you are destined for failure! Unique logos are innovative and stand out from the crowd.
We are exposed to over 3,000 brands everyday. Which ones do you remember?
Have we mentioned these terms to you and you are thinking in your head, "What language are you speaking?" If you are one of those people, we are here to help! Today, I will discuss the two types of digital graphics files: Vector and Raster.
Vector graphics are based on mathematical formulas that create lines and curves. This includes, but is not limited to, creative images, logos, and fonts. The most commonly used extensions for vector graphics are eps, ai (Illustrator), and pdf. A vector image will always appear to have smooth edges no matter how large or small you make it.
Raster graphics are images made of pixels which are countless tiny squares of color information. They are measured in DPI (dots per inch) and PPI (pixels per inch) where the higher both are, the better the resolution. The most widely used type of raster graphic is a photograph. The most commonly used extensions for raster graphics are jpg/jpeg, psd (Photoshop), png, and gif. You will lose image quality if you stretch a raster image. This is because you are working with the same amount of pixels on a larger scale, which is called pixelated.
By: Nicole Antonini
Let's Go Green May 1st!
May 1, 2015 was the beginning of what is now known as Lil’ Fighter Day! It all started when four hockey mothers wanted to bring a little boy’s friends together to show him the love and support he needed during his fight against cancer. The day turned out to be something magical and thousands of people joined in to honor our Lil’ Fighter, Patrick Carr. Those who couldn’t be at the event wore green to show their support. Social Media was flooded with pictures of people nationwide wearing green, in honor of Patrick and the fight against Childhood Cancer – the turnout was breathtaking.
This year we are looking to do it all over again - bigger than ever!
Although Patrick is no longer with us, his spirit lives on. So help us Go Green on Sunday, May 1st! Simply post a photo of you and your friends wearing green and post it on social media using the hashtag #LilFighter & #carrscrew ...it’s that simple! Help us spread awareness about childhood cancer and honor our Lil’Fighter, Patrick Carr.
After you read it please share it to pass the good word!