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Show your “true” colours to your customers

Pyschology of ColourIt has long been recognised that certain colours can invoke certain emotions in people. Some colours automatically convey an instant importance such as the colour red which grabs attention or can warn you to stop performing a particular action (traffic signs, no smoking, and danger). Other colours can be associated with an emotion: orange conveys a feeling of warmth whilst blue can exude a feeling of tranquillity. These feelings and emotions have been ingrained into human psyche and we can feel them without even acknowledging that we do.

What most people may not be aware of is that colour can be and is used in brand marketing and design to incite the same type of reactions. Can you imagine an all-action brand like Red Bull using any other colours than red and yellow? Would you feel the same emotion if they used a combination of blue and grey? Not a chance.

Last week I stumbled upon the excellent infographic below created by the folks at The Logo Company. Brands that you and I see every day have been grouped into their primary colour bands and the effect is striking. This one diagram illustrates exactly how important the choice of colour is to the success and growth of a band.

colour_emotion_guideThe possibilities of how colour pyschology can be used in everyday marketing are endless. A couple of suggestions could be:

  • Paint your office
  • Using images in your materials that include plenty of the colour you are trying convey.
  • Vary your text to include colours.
  • Weave your colour throughout all your branding materials.

What about in your website design and content layout? Colour can be used to great effect to drive customers into making decisions whilst visiting and interacting with your site. Your Call to Action must be in colours that incite some form of reaction from the site visitor. Your branding needs to be created to envoke the same feelings as done so successfully by the brands in the infographic above. Your content presentation needs the same level of attention too – too often a site is “let down” by poorly implemented content layout.  

To avoid mismatching of colours and the wrong colours being used, make sure your designers have been fully and clearly briefed on:

  • your business’ mission statement.
  • why you do what do.
  • what your business wants to be known for.
  • who is your  target audience.

While you are in discussions with your designer, ensure that they are acutely aware of the appropriate colour choices for your brand and business.

To help break down the psychology of colours even further, here’s a quick guide to colours and the generally accepted feelings that they invoke.

colour_pyschology

As always, if you have any questions about this topic or you are desperately in need of a “colour stylist” for your brand and website, get in touch with us at Rusty Mango Design.

A little piece of colour trivia to round-out this week’s blog:

“Tim Berners-Lee, the main inventor of the web, is believed to be the man who first made hyperlinks blue. Mosaic, a very early web browser, displayed webpages with a (ugly) gray background and black text. The darkest color available at the time that was not the same as the black text was that blue color. Therefore, to make links stand apart from plain text, but still be readable, the color blue was selected.”

Why is your business site so lonely?

Why is my business site so lonely?Many people believe that they just have to build a business website and then sit back and watch the rush of business coming their way. When the expected rush doesn’t happen, the obligatory question pops up – “Why isn’t anyone visiting my site?” At this point (earlier would be better), it’s time to take a closer look at the site and find out why the inflow of traffic to the site is low and determine what can be done about it.

There are literally dozens of reasons why people would avoid a particular site. In this post, I will focus on five (5) areas that must be paid some serious attention in order to left the fortunes of a business website. In each, I will also suggest a simple remedy that should be implemented to counter that particular problem. Please note that with some of these tips, you will need to be patient and allow a couple of weeks for the changes to have any effect (unsurprisingly, this is also one of the topics below!)

 Your Current Site Looks Cheap (and it was!)

When a new business builds its first website, there is a general temptation to save money and use cheap or free web design. If this is you, try to resist this temptation as much as you can. Spend a little extra time and a little extra money to get exactly what your business needs. This might mean hiring a designer that understands your field of work and the direction you want take with the site. Maybe you need to use a copywriter to write  content aimed at your specific target audience. You may even need a Virtual Assistant to manage your Social Media presence if you just don’t have the time. Remember, in the eyes of a consumer, a low quality online presence can be result in your business being perceived as a high risk proposition – “Their site is cheap and nasty, maybe their work is too?”

Nobody knows that your brand-new site exists

If no-one can find your site on Google and you don’t have a social media presence, how on earth can  anyone be expected to find you? Stop hiding under that rock and get out there. Shout it out to the world! Exclaim your site’s existence to all that will listen on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and all the other Social Medias. Blast out an email to your entire mailing list and let them in on the secret. Chances are if nobody knows about your site, it’s probably because you haven’t told them about it!

Be Patient

Harping back to my comment in the intro of this blog, sometimes it pays to be a little patient. It can take Google anywhere from 2 days to 2 months to find your new website, check it all out with their bots and then display it on search results. It won’t be there overnight, nor will it appear at #1, unless you are very lucky. Optimising your site for the search engines should be slow, gradual process – so take your time and get it right!

Your content is rubbish

Now this might sound a little harsh however if your site reads like an essay from your local primary school, than it is highly unlikely to grab a prospect’s attention and pull them in through the virtual doors. It may even have the opposite effect. If you struggle to write sales copy (the text that sells on a website), get in a professional to do it for you. It’s cheaper than you think and often involves no more than a few bulleted points on your behalf and your copywriter will do the rest.

Your website is ssssllllllooooowwwwww

With high-speed broadband becoming the norm across the developed world, a site that is slow to load will be a site that gets skipped. In the days of dial-up internet, a site had ten seconds to load or the visitor went somewhere else. These days, that time span has dropped to three seconds.

Here’s a test: Get on your computer, clear your computer’s cache (you’ll find it in your browser’s options) and open up your website. Conduct a stopwatch test and see how long it takes for your site to load.

If your site is slow, and you are running a WordPress site, help is easy to find. Simply install the W3 Total Cache plug-in and your page speed will instantly improve. Play with the settings that are recommended by the plug-ins creators and watch that load time drop away. Fast Loading Site = happy site visitor!

 

Have you worked with a non-performing site to turn it around? If so, please leave a comment below and let others know about what you tried and if you succeeded in the long run. Your advice may be just what another business is looking for!

If you would like more information on how to improve the traffic to your business website, get in touch with Rusty Mango Design and have a chat with me about what can be done to boost your site’s popularity.

Week 16 of 52 – Five signs that your site needs a MAKEOVER!

Does your site need a makeover?The internet has evolved in leaps and bounds over the past five years and there is no sign of slowing down any time soon. Social Media, online technology, broadband speeds and ecommerce shopping among other advances have changed the way people live day-to-day.  A commercial website that doesn’t keep up with these changes is in danger of driving away potential customers by conveying the image of an out-of-date business brand that fails to innovate.

So the question needs to be asked – when was the last time you gave your website a full makeover?

There are some blatantly obvious signs that your site needs some form of makeover and others that are a little more subtle. Here are five of the most important signs that your site needs some serious makeover love:

1.       Your site looks and feels like a vintage website from the late 90’s

Maybe it’s not that old. However if your site is over five years old, it is definitely time for an update. You may be still using your original website or one created with integrated Flash content (which is soooo last year…) or even worse, a site designed by an employee using Microsoft Word – yes, that Microsoft Word! (I have actually seen this)

Regardless of how old your site is, what’s on it or how it was created, if it doesn’t feel like it belongs alongside the current crop of sites from your competitors, get an upgrade.

2.       The site is not mobile responsive

Everyone knows that mobile internet access has dramatically increased over the past couple of years but how’s this for a statistic: According to online magazine Fast Company, 25% of smartphone owners ages 18–44 say they “can’t recall the last time their smartphone wasn’t right next to them.”

Wow.

Let’s put it simply – if your site doesn’t respond or convert for mobile usage, you are missing out on a huge chunk of action. Get a mobile responsive site today!

http://www.business2community.com/mobile-apps/21-vital-mobile-marketing-facts-statistics-2014-0850425#b8OxdTHcMI12frWx.99

3.       Your Social Media feeds are not integrated

Having a Social Media presence is no longer optional for small business. If you want to engage and interact with your clients, you must be on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+. On top of this, any post, update or tweet that you make should be automatically displayed through onto your site.

This will serve two purposes:- one, you will create new content for your site every time you update your Social Media and two, you can gather more followers through the use of on-page links. If your site can’t do this, once again, you are missing out!

4.       Your content is past its used-by date

One of my pet peeves (and one that I was guilty of until I started my Blog challenge) is visiting a website with blog posts that have a really old date on them. Of course, you can cheat and not use a date at all however you are kidding yourself if you think that a potential client with a keen eye won’t notice. The same applies with your page to page content. Make sure your information is always up-to-date and if you can’t commit to a Blog post at least every month (more is better), then maybe you should give that task to someone else on your team.

5.       You are receiving very little new business referral from your site

How do your customers first get in touch? Do they find you in a phone directory, a newspaper or radio advertisement or via your website? Conduct a quick survey with customers as they make a purchase – we’ve all seen the instant competition ploy at small business counters. Fill in a survey form (a couple of questions at most) and pop it in the box to win a prize.

Look at and compile the results. If your website is not delivering the customers in a manner that you would expect, then maybe it’s time for the big makeover. Something is not connecting with site visitors and must be fixed to ensure a healthy inflow of prospects to your business.

If any of the points above apply to your site, get in contact with the team at Rusty Mango Design today and we’ll take an in-depth look at your old site to determine what needs to be done and provide you with a detailed report – for free!

 

Week 15 of 52 – Be smart and don’t miss out on Golden Opportunities!

Golden OpportunitiesDespite the constant messages and obvious benefits of being online, it is unbelievable that some businesses still don’t get it. It doesn’t matter who you are or what line of business you are in, you need to have an online presence. To be competitive, your business must be easily found and the best way to do that is by getting it online. Stop fluffing about with the Yellow Pages directory and other costly alternatives. Get active with a Facebook page, a Youtube Channel or even a fully fledged website. Put the hard yards into developing an online footprint and it will reap you the benefits.

So why don’t some SMB’s get this message? Because some small business owners don’t fully understand the possibilities of what can be done with an online presence.

Let’s take a look at some theoretical case studies that I have observed in my own home town:

The Local Stationery Store

It’s not as hard as it sounds to take on the big boys here when it comes to online commerce. Of course, some consumers are always going to take the path of Officeworks or the other big retailers simply because of the price (which, by the way, isn’t that much cheaper than our local guy here). To make sales online, our local store should market purely on convenience and speed. They can:

  • Make all stationery goods available online allowing the consumer to log into an account and place an order quickly.
  • Ensure that staff fulfil and collate that order within the hour.
  • Then deliver the customer’s order to their door within a couple of hours – ensuring they have no disruption to their day.

Order by 10am – delivered by lunch. Beat that Officeworks!

The Pizza Shop

Our local pizza store already has a great online presence (www.roscoes.com.au). They also use their Facebook page to promote their business through spur of the moment competitions – “How many pizza boxes are currently stacked over the ovens at Roscoes Innisfail?” – Win a free pizza!

But borrowing from Andrew Griffiths (Australia’s leading small business author) – the store could also take advantage of slow nights in the same way. If the pizzas aren’t flying out the door on any given night, they could make an announcement via their Twitter feed or Facebook page by announcing discounted or two-for-one pizzas. There is a backpackers hostel mere metres from their restaurant and there’s nothing more a backpacker likes than a cheap feed! Just get them to follow….

The local Accountant

What about in a crowded marketplace? How can you stand out when every man and his dog has a website and social media presence too? You do it by being helpful. If you are an accountant, get that site loaded with helpful content.

Everyone hates tax-time. It is easily the most stressful time of the year for businesses (and everyone else too).  An accountant can help to ease the pain during tax time with useful online tools such as:

  • How-To videos showing the completion of a BAS statement .
  • On-site calculators for determining taxable income.
  • Downloadable templates for all manner of money management.

Do a great job with helpful content and the snowball effect will kick in. Soon everyone will be heading to the site checking out the tricks, tips and tools on offer. The more site visitors that come in and see how helpful you are, the more likely that some will convert into customers.

As you can see, the potential of online marketing is clearly apparent for some businesses. For others, it may take a little creative thinking to draw out the possibilities of getting online and generating a profit.  But in this day and age, any business would be foolhardy not take advantage of the online world and the opportunities that are available to them.

If you aren’t sure of the online advantages for your business or organisation, give Rusty Mango Design a call and have a chat about your online presence and what it can do for the marketing of your business.

 

 

Rusty Mango Design

Rusty Mango Design