In the most recent 12 months, Google has taken steps to reward websites that are brands, or at least give signals that they algorithmically look like brands. If you’re not national, regional, or local brand, here are some steps you can do to look more brand-like.
Get a Real Address
… if you’re going to put your eggs in one basket, it better be one you’re holding–not Facebook…
Website Boiler Plate Pages
Press Releases, Press and Media Kits
Hopefully your website is doing press worthy things on a regular basis. Hopefully you’re issuing press releases about those activities as well. Don’t worry about which press release services pass the most link juice, just be concerned about the citation and the secondary links that come from you actually doing something link worthy. Make sure you include that real world address and phone number too.
Do you have a press page and media kit? Wendy Piersall, aka eMom, recently tweeted about a really good press kit she came across. I agree that was a nice press kit. But, while it’s not something you need to launch a website, you should have one soon after launch. Chances are good that it will be a PDF, so make sure it has active links and that real world address and phone number matches your information.
Logo and Design
Having a professional logo and design go a long way toward instilling trust in your website visitors. I’m a big fan of thesis (see thesis theme review) and there are lots of thesis designers who can take an out of the box thesis framework and give it a unique, non-thesis look. Again these may not be day 1 expenses, but they are 6-12 month must haves.
Getting a professionally designed logo can run several hundred to thousands of dollars. If it’s in the budget, you might consider it. If your budget is a bit tighter, try a service like 99designs. You can run contests or choose from a wide variety of readily available logos that can be customized for a nominal fee. If you really love the design, you can pay more to get exclusive use of the logo. That’s your call. Personally I choose a design that has a square element that can be easily converted into a favicon. Make sure you make a transparent version of your logo available for people who want to use when they write about you. I’d also have a series of images optimized for your product, images, or location (see building links with creative commons images).
Social Media Profiles
If you still think social media is only a fad, you need to get your head out of the sand and step into reality. At the bare minimum, you should have an active presence on Twitter and Facebook and update them regularly. I’m not saying that you should let Facebook replace your company’s official website. If you’re going to put your eggs in one basket, it better be one you’re holding–not Facebook. Use them as satellite programs as part of your outbound marketing campaign. If you have the resources, and it’s a good match, use LinkedIn and YouTube as well. I also suggest using a service like KnowEm to protect your intellectual properties and trademarks across hundreds of platforms.
8th Grade Teacher Test
Hopefully you had your own Sister Miriam in your life who challenged you to be the best you that you could be…
So what are the takeaways from this post:
- Get yourself a real world address and phone number, then use it everywhere.
- Get yourself the boiler plate privacy, about us, and other associated pages.
- Make sure you are doing press worthy activities and issuing regular press releases.
- Get a media kit, make it look really professional and embed links to web content.
- Get a professional looking logo, then use it consistently in your favicon and social media profiles.
- Secure your social media profiles and support as many as you can. Do one thing well instead of four things half-heartedly.
- Make it easy for others to use and share your logo.
- Make sure your website passes the sniff test and instills a sense of confidence and trust, not just an I-showed-up-but-I’m-napping-in-the-back-of-class feeling.