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Does Graphic Design Affect Social Media?

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Gratifying Graphic Design


With the decrease in attention span and the increase in instant gratification, graphic design has become more important than ever.


The world has gone from having the option of only a huge desktop monitor, to being able to carry the entire world wide web in their back pocket. Why does this matter? Because the aesthetics of an ad or website have to provide the same gratification, whether viewed on a device that fits in the palm of your hand or in its original form. Grabbing the attention and providing instant gratification within mere seconds, takes scroll-stopping, eye-catching graphic design on social media.



First Impression


We’ve gotten used to short and sweet. Tweets are limited to 280 characters and friends expect texts messages to be shorter. Having to make an impression so quickly can be difficult, especially leaving a lasting impression with your brand. This is why using an aesthetically pleasing graphic is so imperative. And, by using an eye-catching graphic consistently over social media networks, it is more likely that your brand will be recognized (creating brand recognition). Most people tend to be visual learners, so a well designed graphic being pushed across social media platforms can lead to a better chance of people remembering your brand and business.



Bigger Than It Is


A well designed graphic or logo play a large role in how social media users view and distinguish your brand. That’s why having an attractive graphic or logo is so important. Making sure your graphics are on point can help build your brand, consumer trust and even make your business seem bigger than it truly is. Furthermore, social media users are more inclined to share a unique and attractive graphic, resulting in even more impressions and shares.



Blurred… Graphics


Though, it is said that bigger is better, there are exceptions. One of those exceptions is making sure your graphic or logo on your social media page is the correct size so it doesn’t look blurry or distorted. This also pertains to your website. Having your logo, graphic or image large enough to get noticed and make an impression is the point and important. However, you don’t want any of the aforementioned files to be so big that it slows down the load time of your website. If this becomes the case, you will have frustrated potential customers who disengage before they even see your logo or graphic. A slow loading website also hurts your site’s SEO - but that’s a whole other beast we will tackle in a different article.


Design With SEO In Mind

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Design With SEO In Mind


Think the design of your website doesn’t affect your SEO? Think again.


Thinking ‘technical’ when your mind is set on thinking purely creative design can be tricky. Don’t get us wrong, there is some creative thinking that goes into designing a website with SEO in mind—it’s just not the typical fun ‘creative’ a designer would be used to.


Unfortunately, when a business is having their website designed or redesigned, they are not aware that SEO plays a part in the design. There are even some designers who are not aware of this (not our designers, of course). So, what is a business to do? Well, as much as one may not want to hear this, some homework will have to be done in order to know what to ask for and reference when getting a website designed or redesigned. Trust us when we say that putting in the homework at the beginning is easier and a heck of a lot less expensive in the long run.


Though, there are many aspects to designing with SEO in mind, today we are going to visit only two, yet very important elements of design with SEO in mind.



Help Them Find Their Way


Think about visiting a new place or driving to a new city—you need and want directions. Well, so does every visitor that comes to your website! Giving your visitors good navigation to browse through your site goes beyond the menu bar (a.k.a navigation bar). A good design allows a visitor to easily navigate throughout the site, taking them to pages of the website that are relevant to your visitor.


For example, if you are visiting a wine website and you are reading specifically about Pinot Noir, it would be nice—and smart of the website owner—if there was a link leading you to a page that talks about what foods to pair with Pinot Noir. Not only does this keep the visitor on your site longer, they are more likely to return and more likely to make a purchase.


Easy To Use


Usability is different than navigation and comprised of several elements. However, since we are specifically speaking about how design affects SEO, we're going to mention only the key elements that pertain to design.

  • The Layout: A page's layout should showcase the important elements of the page, making them more prominent and stand out.
  • Imperative Visuals: Make important components larger. For example, calls to action (CTA), titles, buttons - you get the point.
  • Great Design: A website, of course, needs to be visually appealing, but please, do not forget the important SEO elements that go into designing a website.


What Do You Like?


Lastly, before meeting with a designer, do some research. Peruse websites that are within your industry, then research websites outside of your industry. Write down aspects and elements of what you like and dislike; make note of key features and flow of the website(s). Think about your customers and clients - are you providing them with easy navigation and usability?



If designing with SEO sounds daunting, never fear. Never Boring is one of the few full-service advertising agencies that covers all the bases, including the production of award-winning copy and design. We’ve made telling your business’ story our first priority.


Never Boring can help you decide how to efficiently market your business to bring in the most customers. Call 209-526-9136 today to schedule a free consultation with our marketing specialists.

The PB&J of Marketing

Monday, January 01, 2018
For an advertisement to grab your attention, it has to be the perfect marriage of design and copy.
A well-designed piece with punchy or poignant writing is the key to effective advertising. But how
do you synchronize these two separate processes?

In a way, copy and design are like marketing’s peanut butter and jelly—they go together perfectly,
but on their own they might not win a lot of hearts and minds. Great copy isn’t worth much if the
design is hard to look at, and a stellar design might not stand on its own without a strong concept.
Here are three steps in the process of coordinating your copy and design:

1.) Brainstorm
Design should happen in concert with copy, which means that strong communication skills are a
must. Brainstorm ideas with the designer and get a good idea of how much or little copy they need.
Although lorem ipsum is helpful, it doesn’t have the heart that fully-realized content does. It’s far
easier for a designer to construct a design based on the words you’ve given them. The words
themselves might warrant more emphasis in a design—but if the designer doesn’t have the copy,
how are they supposed to know that?

2.) Content Development
The process should be fully collaborative. We recommend applications like Slack and Google Drive
to maximize your efficiency. Google Drive even has a feature where you can assign tasks to those
shared on the document, making pending projects as simple as ever!

3.) Client Feedback
Make sure to keep in constant contact with your designer, and vice versa. Every edit should be
communicated so that if changes need to be made, they can be made with the full creative team
that they deserve. A collaborative project should be collaborative until the end!

If the task sounds daunting, never fear. Never Boring is one of the few full-service advertising
agencies that covers all the bases, including the production of award-winning copy and design.
We’ve made telling your business’ story our first priority.

Never Boring can help you decide how to efficiently market your business to bring in the most
customers. Call 209-526-9136 today to schedule a free consultation with our marketing
specialists.

We Got 5 + 5 On It

Monday, November 27, 2017

Not only did we have 5 on it last month, we got 5 more on it this month! Do you know all 10 facts for your social media? Read on to discover even more about tips and tricks that are essential for developing your digital media presence.

INFLUENCERS

I’m sure all of you are familiar with the term ‘influencers’ (a person who can aid in building relationships for you on social media). These people can be very helpful. Finding out who the influencers are in your market can be of tremendous help. Provide quality and engaging content that could catch the attention of those influencers so that they will engage with your content and, better yet, share your content.

VALUE THEIR TIME

All of you know time is the only thing we can never get back. Therefore, where and how time is spent is valuable—and those online influencers you need to reach know this. So show that you value them and their time by offering them something of value in exchange for their time: quality content, engagement, and a quality relationship. Trust us, you want to make this relationship work. Their word-of-mouth plug is worth the hard work.

DON’T IGNORE THEM

Just as you wouldn’t ignore a customer in your store, don’t ignore a customer online. For one, it’s rude. Two, it could be a new customer interested in your product that just has a quick question before hitting the “Submit Payment” button. Ignore them and you ignore the potential of a long lasting relationship.

BE ACCESSIBLE

Be accessible! Another thing we tell our clients from the very beginning—once you pop, you can’t stop! Actually, we tell them once they start they can’t stop. Talk about finicky: the online audience wants it and they want it now, and they want it on their terms. So, if you start publishing that awesome quality content we keep telling you about, you better keep it going. Because if your audience goes to look for it and it’s not there, they have no problem replacing you with someone who will be at their beck and call.

GIVE AND TAKE

Don’t ask for something you are not willing to give in return. If you want other businesses and audiences to engage and share your content, reciprocate the efforts. Don’t just take their likes, comments and shares, do the same with their content.

We do recommend that you read last month’s, even if it’s after reading this article. It will make all 10 items flow better and make more sense. For even more social media help, Never Boring is one of the few full-service advertising agencies that covers all the bases. From award-winning brand and marketing strategy to creating your video advertisements, we’ve made telling your business’ story our first priority.

Never Boring can help you decide how to efficiently market your business to bring in the most customers. Call 209-526-9136 today to schedule a free consultation with our marketing specialists.


We Got 5 On It

Friday, November 10, 2017

This week ‘we got 5’ key items you need to know if you are new to social media. And, if you’re not new, then this is just a little reminder. Truthfully, there are a plethora of key things you need to know, but we don’t want to scare you off just yet.


LISTEN

Before asking your target audience to join your world and spend time on your page, go to them. Read what interests them, what matters to them—what are they saying? Get to know your audience and you will get their attention. But ONLY if you are providing them with content that adds value to their lives.


STAY FOCUSED

Give them a clear, hardcore brand. Through focused content marketing and social media strategy, you have a better chance at getting an engaged audience. Being focused on the content your intended audience will want to engage with, rather than focusing on any and all content for a broad audience, has a much better and longer-lasting outcome.


IT’S QUALITY

As Slater from Dazed and Confused said, “hey man, it’s quality, not quantity.” The two key items above help you obtain the type of quality connections you want engaging with your social media. If you have 1k quality fans, followers, etc. that interact with your content, this is much better than having 5k connections that only paid attention to you via the first interaction.


PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE

The first thing we tell our clients when engaging in social media for the first time is that social media is a labor of love. Social media is far from “being discovered.” Blood, sweat and tears go into quality content and audience engagement. There is no such thing as, “Cool, so I just have to like, post, like, post, like, post….” Reaching an audience of quality takes time and patience—a lot of patience. However, it’s worth the wait.


COMPOUNDING

What happens when implementing the aforementioned? Compounding. When your audience is truly authentic and goes to you for that quality content you give them on a weekly or daily basis, they share it with their 100+ quality friends. And it’s not only on one social media platform—it spreads across other social platforms. Which means your content is spreading across the internet, which means a better chance of your content populating when Google comes across it during keyword searches.


These are just 5 out of 10 key items we wanted to share with you. Read it, bookmark it, print it out, whatever helps you marinate on it the best. Next week, we are going to give you 5 more to ponder on.


Now, we hope we didn’t scare you too badly, but if we did, just know you can pick up the phone, give us a ring and we’ll take care of your company’s social media for you. In fact, Never Boring is one of the few full-service advertising agencies that covers all the bases. From award-winning brand and marketing strategy to creating your video advertisements, we’ve made telling your business’ story our first priority.

Never Boring can help you decide how to efficiently market your business to bring in the most customers. Call 209-526-9136 today to schedule a free consultation with our marketing specialists.

Be Heard with SEO

Wednesday, November 01, 2017
We all use it. We’ve been talking about it for the past year or two, and us SEOs have definitely felt the affects of the rise in use. We’re talking about (drum roll, please), “voice search.” 

SEO is constantly changing, you’ve heard us say this over and over again. However, instead of this change primarily coming from Google’s change in algorithm, the changes are stemming from the rise in voice search. In fact, Google predicts that by 2020, over half of queries will be voice search.

Snip Snip…  
So, why are we talking about this with you today? Because voice search is changing the SEO game and expectations of users, but most of all, changes how you need to write and implement your snippets—also known as meta descriptions (we covered this topic about a month ago—check it out if you missed it).  

Stone Temple Consulting reported that close to 30 percent of 1.4 million Google queries tested show Featured Snippets. These snippets are what lead users and potential clients and customers to your website. The more informative and concise you can be with your available 160 characters, the more likely someone will click on your link/snippet to read the full article... However, what you need to remember with voice search, is that the results are said aloud and only one is chosen by your voice search friend. 

Tails of Keywords  
Keywords are no longer just keywords. Keywords are still imperative and much-needed. However, they’re needed in more of a long-tail form. 

Because voice search is on the rise and becoming more popular to use, the way we form our keywords are needed in a more natural tone. What we’re getting at essentially is to narrow in on the information of your product or service. Listen to your customers and clients—what are they asking you? What are the queries that are being searched? Strategically answer those questions with long-tail keywords. 

Blog Optimization  
Another way to prepare and optimize for voice search is answer popular search queries through your blog. Now, this is figuratively—don’t literally answer the question flat out. For example, you don’t want to answer a question with a simple, yes or no, and that’s it. Answer the question, but expand and explain why, how, or whatever else you need to lengthen the answer and blog. You still have to remember that Google expects good, relevant content and high word count. That said, a cool and easy way to get started is with Q&As. List the question and give an insightful and robust answer. This is the one time you don’t have to be worried about being long-winded… unless, of course, you end up on a completely different subject. 

Other Helpful Tips 
When more than a third of snippets contain an image, it would behoove you to add an image, video, infographics, bullet points, etc. And, if the article/blog is long, Google actually provides a “Read More” button leading to the remainder of the content—your website. Which, is the point anyway.

Are You Ready for Your Closeup? Video Marketing

Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Ever since the introduction of film, videos have stood out—in theatres, on websites, and on social media. The best part about video marketing is that you can take a lot of information and deliver it to the customer in a short amount of time, which is much more palatable than a page full of copy. But how do you get your company ready for the video marketing sphere? 

The Big Picture 
Tweets and Facebook posts are scheduled, and videos should be too. Much like you would with advertisements, think of your video marketing plan in terms of a campaign. What stories can you divide into segments? Once you’ve decided, map out a schedule, and consider releasing them in preparation for a big launch or announcement.
  
Short and Sweet 
Another good idea is to keep your message short. Even in video form, less can be more—take Boomerang for example. Watching that latte slowly fill to the top, the foam gently bumping the rim, makes it even more tantalizing to make time for a coffee run than a still image would. And when users are scrolling through their social media, a short, autoplaying video is perfect to catch their attention.  

Testimonials 
Better yet, hand the mic to your current customers and let them tell your potential customers how great you are. Testimonials are proven to be incredibly effective. You might even hold a competition and let your customers submit videos to showcase your product. 

 So—are you ready for your closeup? Get your company in front of the customer without all the text.

Cracking the Whip on Your Website

Friday, September 08, 2017
Websites are a little bit like roommates. There are a lot of them that are really handy and helpful—but a deceptive amount that don’t like to pull their own weight. So, how do you get your website off the couch to wash a dish for once? Or, rather, how do you get your website to work for you?

These four simple rules can help turn visitors to your site into customers. 

1. Contact Info
Make yourself easy to get ahold of. Your phone number should be big, easy to read, and with click-to-call coding enabled, if possible. Your contact form, too, should be easy to find—especially since many look for help and services after normal business hours. Then, to make it clear you’re a local company, include your address so that it’s easy to find. 

 2. Be Unique
Content is great for SEO—the more, the better. But the kicker is that when you copy and paste content, it’s known as “duplicate content,” which is a surefire way to get penalized by search engines. The best advice here is to write what you know: write about your services, your history, and more! 

 3. Call to Actions
When there’s a big red button, it’s hard not to press it. A strong call to action, like “Read More,” “Improve Your Website,” or “Sign Up Now” is a big, shiny beacon that calls to your site visitors. It also makes it easy for them to find out where to click to do what they came to your site to do. 

4. Usability
Last but not least, your site should be easy to use. This means presenting information and choices in a clear and concise way, avoiding ambiguity, and placing important items in appropriate areas. Think of all your best experiences with websites: they usually have all the information you’re looking for right where you need it. That should always be the goal.  

If you’re hesitant to update your website because it’s not easy to work with, then maybe it’s time to think about a website redesign. Never fear: Never Boring is one of the few full-service advertising agencies that covers all the bases. From award-winning website design and coding to the highest quality SEO practices, we’ve made telling your business’ story our first priority. 


Time is Ticking: Urgency in Copy

Tuesday, September 05, 2017
As the old adage goes: time is money. Knowing how to write targeted emails to your customers can not only save you time, but also net you more business in the long run. The answer to why is simple: because time is always ticking. There are deadlines, lunch meetings, and important pitches that rely on an overbooked calendar. What’s making your service stand out?  

At the end of the day, your readers want something out of you. They want a call-to-action, either to better themselves or to improve their business. This call-to-action makes your words worth their time investment. And two words can help influence their decision to give you a call: 

Act Now. 

There’s nothing like a deadline to get people moving. If your offer has an expiration date, the likelihood of your email or social media post being read and responded to increases exponentially. For example, the words “ending today” or “expires next Friday” enforces a deadline that gives your offer the added perk of the scarcity principle. 

Surely you’re familiar with it. If there’s only one shirt left in your size—even if it’s a shirt you’re only lukewarm on—you’re more likely to buy it just so you don’t miss out on the opportunity if you change your mind later. This is the thought process behind deadlines: this window of opportunity will not be open forever, and what if you need it after it’s closed? 

Sometimes it’s hard to find the right words to not only successfully include a timeline, but also phrase it with a diplomatic and unforgettable hook. If you get stuck, never fear: Never Boring is here.

Be an SEO Master

Wednesday, August 23, 2017
What is SEO? 

Search Engine Optimization, or better known as SEO, is the work and practice of increasing and obtaining quantity and quality traffic to your website through organic searches. 

As you are aware, there are a ton of ads that pop up on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). These are NOT organic. Organic traffic comes from websites that are implementing good SEO tactics and procedures and making sure their SEO is in line with the algorithm of the moment.  

That said, you want to pay attention to the quality of traffic coming to your website, as well. Quality traffic is when a user/visitor is visiting your site because they were told by Google (or whichever SERP they were using) that your website will have what they are looking for. If someone is researching Orange Theory (gyms) but ends up on a site that talks about orange the fruit, this would NOT be quality traffic for the site specific to oranges because the visitor would immediately leave the site or, better known as, bounce (more on that in the following lesson).  

The quantity of your traffic starts to increase once Google trusts that your website is outfitted with proper SEO and has the information users are looking for. (There’s a lot that goes into this but we’ll get into this, yup... in the following lesson).  

How Does It Work…? 

Well, think of it as the cool kid telling everyone that the new kid, Johnny, is cool… The cool kid tells everyone at school that Johnny is cool. So, of course, everyone is going to want to hang out with Johnny because he’s been approved and deemed cool by the cool kid… The cool kid ‘organically’ got to know (searched) Johnny, assessed (reviewed or “crawled”) his coolness and deemed (ranked) him cool (1/3 [first page/third position]).  

Google is doing the same thing… 
When you conduct a search, Google sends out what they call spiders to crawl a plethora of websites that have information (content, meta, tags, keywords, phrase, etc.) that may match the search you typed (or said) into your search engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc). The spiders then bring back the information they found from the websites they crawled and start to build an index. 

At this point, the index is put through an algorithm (set of rules) to assess if the website holds enough information to answer your query and is following the algorithm that has been put into place. (Essentially, the search engine is assessing which website has the most and accurate information to answer your query while following the algorithm). 

Once this has been assessed, it ranks the websites in order of quality (coolness) and they then show up/rank in order of quality on your SERP.  

Now, all of that is the work of the search engine (SE…). What comes next, is the work of THE OPTIMIZER. 

seOptimization 

The optimization of SEO is where the digital world is in need of a human’s touch – and a lot of it.  

Optimization is where we humans have the opportunity to do great things for our website(s). This is where we make sure we outfit and optimize our website so the cool kid is going to deem us cool. (Very important when being the NKOTB/new website). 

Optimizing a website entails many, many, many elements, and takes many, many, many forms. From title tags, alt tags and internal links to meta descriptions, filters, external links and even domain name authority, optimizing a website takes detail, work, and patience.  

Here is a list of just some of the main elements an optimizer is in charge of and will need to implement when doing proper SEO:
  1. Meta Description 
  2. Tags (alt, title) 
  3. Links (internal, external, broken, relevant, authoritative, meta, tags) 
  4. Domain Name(s) 
  5. Content (quality, quantity) 
  6. Images (quality, links, tags) 
  7. Videos (tags, quality, links, meta) 
  8. Site Map 
  9. Pages 
  10. Flow (navigation) 

Dictionary 

Meta Description: A ~160 character snippet, a tag in HTML, that summarizes a page's content. Search engines show the meta description in search results mostly when the searched for phrase is contained in the description. Optimizing the meta description is a very important aspect of on-page SEO. (More of on-page SEO later).  

Tags: 
Alt: Alt text (alternative text) is a word or phrase that can be inserted as an attribute in an HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) document to tell website viewers the nature or contents of an image. The alt text appears in a blank box that would normally contain the image.  
Title: A title tag is an HTML element that specifies the title of a web page, image and link(s). Title tags are displayed on search engine results pages (SERPs) as the clickable headline for a given result, and are important for usability, SEO, and social sharing. 

Links: 
Link Building: Link building is the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own. 
HyperLink: A hyperlink (usually just called a link) is a way for users to navigate between pages on the internet. 
Anchorlink: An anchor link is a link on a page that brings you to a specific place on that page. 

Domain Name: The part of a network address (url) that identifies it as belonging to a particular domain (url). 

Site Map: An XML (eXtensible Markup Language) file that is full of your individual web page’s urls. A sitemap’s purpose is to provide easy access to all the pages of the website so the crawlers do not miss a page. (Think of it as a Page of Content). 

The Obvious but Imperative: 
Images and Video: Must be of high quality, proper and working links, meta descriptions and tags. 

Content:  Must be informative, be of quality writing and quantity (standard is about 1200/pg.). 

Page(s): The number of pages on a website.

Flow: How the user navigates throughout the website.