The Importance of High-Quality Graphic Design

The Importance of High-Quality Graphic Design

It’s easy to find fly-by-night companies that offer “customized” website-design services. This usually involves standard templates and uninspired designs. At best, these options will produce a generic result that’s anything but original. At worst, you’ll have a lackluster site that doesn’t reflect who you are as a brand or highlight your offerings. That’s because these cookie-cutter templates try to fit brands into their limited molds. It should be the other way around — the brand’s unique voice should inspire an original website.

The internet is a crowded place. Professional websites need to stand out, be visually pleasing, and serve their existing and prospective customers well. That’s exactly why high-quality graphic design has never been so important.

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You Only Get One Chance to Make a First Impression

“Generic” is never the word you want used to describe your digital marketing materials. Your website is probably the first thing people will see when researching your business, and making a good first impression is vital. Otherwise, they’ll simply leave your site and find a competitor who meets their needs.

Aesthetically speaking, you want a clean design that also provides visitors with a taste of your brand. It should clearly communicate important information and be easy to navigate. You want visitors to get what they need and feel satisfied with the experience.

Your Website Should Feel Warm and Inviting

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If you’re a business owner, you need a website that doesn’t look like anyone else’s. That means avoiding cheesy stock photos and other design aspects that feel unauthentic. These kinds of things can turn people off because it’s obvious that they’re not genuine. At BrandMinded, we’ll custom create your entire layout from scratch with photos that tell a story about who you are as a company. That includes original images of your location, along with staff photos and other personalized imagery.

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When all is said and done, we deliver unique websites and designs that exist nowhere else in the world. This helps you rise above the competition because you don’t have a website that looks like all the others.

Graphic Design Extends to Social Media Marketing

When scrolling through social media, you’ve probably noticed businesses posting specialty images like infographics and announcements. At BrandMinded, these kinds of social media assets are all created in house by talented, top-notch graphic design artists. No templates — and no room for anything generic.

In other words, it’s not the same thing you’re seeing everywhere else on social media. Instead of downloading a template and inserting your information, we take the time to build these visuals specifically for your brand. Why? Because high-quality, original content makes a world of difference.


You Need a Professional Team in Your Corner

Anyone can follow a template and throw some basic information online, but that’s very different from effective website design. It takes a skilled team, an artistic eye, and a deep understanding of website development. Your business also needs a site that’s created with SEO (search engine optimization) in mind. This is important as it directly impacts your Google ranking. Another critical detail is building a secure website that has all the proper safeguards in place.

Website design isn’t something most people know how to do. It’s a skill like any other. Our BrandMinded team is made up of experienced, professional graphic design artists who’ve been at this a long time. We know how to create unique websites that shine. Whether you need a completely new website, or just want to give your current site a facelift, we’re here to deliver what you need. Contact us today to get moving in the right direction.

Why All Successful Marketers Value Blogging

Why All Successful Marketers Value Blogging

There’s a reason blogging is a tried-and-true digital marketing strategy. According to inbound marketing experts HubSpot, most consumers read blogs multiple times a week — and have purchased something from a brand after reading the company’s blog. If your business already has a blog, you’re on the right track. If not, you’re likely missing out on a real opportunity to increase web traffic (and ultimately sales). Let’s unpack why all successful marketers value blogging.

1. It Can Increase Your Google Ranking

Blogging is a powerful content marketing tool. When done right, it can significantly improve a business’s Google ranking. The idea is to blog about topics that your target demographic cares about. To be clear, that doesn’t mean creating generic content in an attempt to get clicks. Google actually deprioritizes that type of content. Instead, it’s about generating authentic blog posts that communicate your brand’s voice while helping readers.

The internet is a crowded place, which is why discoverability is extremely important. Businesses that are intentional with their blogging strategy are more likely to attract new readers — and hopefully convert them into loyal customers.

2. It Establishes Trust with Consumers

Google’s recent helpful content update changed the way search results rank and appear to internet users. As the name implies, the initiative prioritizes content that is authentic and helpful to readers. It also devalues clickbait and unhelpful content. This is a good thing because it rewards websites that create reader-centered content. This, in turn, can establish a sense of trust.

If a reader is consistently getting helpful, relevant information from your blog, that positions your brand as a voice of authority that can be trusted. That trust will ideally lead to conversions and lasting customer relationships. Effective blogging keeps the reader engaged, offers solutions, and makes life easier for the reader.

3. Blogging Allows You to Serve Your Existing Customers

When it comes to digital marketing, blogging isn’t just designed to snag new customers. It’s also meant to support your customer retention efforts. Once you begin a client relationship, you want them to continue finding value in your brand.

For example, let’s say you’re a medical provider that specializes in orthopedic services. You create a helpful blog post with simple tips for supporting bone health and keeping your joints strong. Existing patients may read that and find it valuable — perhaps even sharing it with their social media network. That blog post is now being seen by new potential patients. It’s also serving existing ones and demonstrating your brand’s values around patient well-being.

4. It Integrates Naturally with Social Media

Blogging goes hand in hand with social media marketing. These platforms can engage users and provide a little teaser of your content. They can also direct users to blog posts with the click of a button. Short-form video is particularly popular right now, thanks to TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts. Brands can translate their blog posts into short videos and post them on social. Meanwhile, longer videos can accompany blog posts directly on your site.

5. It Puts Muscle Behind Your SEO and SEM Marketing

SEO and SEM marketing have picked up a lot of steam in recent years. These digital marketing strategies leverage search engines to generate traffic. SEM marketing involves paid advertisements that put your website at the top of search results. (These are labeled as ads.) SEO, or search engine optimization, focuses on capturing organic search.

When an internet user types a search query into Google, the top results contain content that Google’s algorithm has determined is helpful. Blogging is an opportunity to optimize your content so that it ranks highly in Google and attracts visitors in an organic way.

If you’re wondering how to blog, you aren’t alone. At BrandMinded, we help businesses create a comprehensive strategy that supports their overall digital marketing plan. Reach out to us today to get started!

10 Keys to a Secure Website

10 Keys to a Secure Website

When developing a website, business owners tend to think about design, content, and how the site will serve their client base. Those things are certainly important, but it’s easy to overlook one other critical factor: security.

Specializing in website design and development in Tampa, BrandMinded understands how to build sites that are safe. Here are 10 keys to consider when it comes to website development — and how to know whether or not your site is secure.

1. Firm Up Your Passwords

According to Matthew Hall, Senior SEO/SEM Specialist at BrandMinded, strong password management is key.

“I can’t overstate how important it is to have long, unique passwords for each point of login,” he says. “All of those should also have two-factor authentication. This stops someone from hijacking your website or server when you have an easy-to-guess password, or your password information from another site was revealed in a data leak.”

At BrandMinded, we use one of the most secure and user-friendly password managers available.

2. Lean on Extra Security Tools

The more secure your website is, the better. Hall recommends a Cloudflare Pro plan for extra safety.

“This allows for not only super-fast and easy-to-change DNS settings, but it also provides us with DDoS mitigation, a WAF (Web Application Firewall), bot management, rate limiting, and additional end-to-end security certificates if we need them.”

Adding security plugins through your website builder can help too. They can help keep malware and other security threats at bay.

3. Use an SSL Certificate

An SSL encrypts sensitive information and prevents unauthorized people from accessing it.

“Having an SSL certificate on your website is of absolute importance these days,” says Hall. “That would definitely be the first line of defense. Also, modern browsers now warn you if a site is not secure — so already you would be losing a lot of potential visitors because they are notified that your website is not secure.”

4. Implement a Regular Backup Policy

This can come to the rescue if important information is compromised.

“If the server goes down, or even if your website is hacked, having a backup will allow you to get back up and running quickly without having to start from scratch,” says Hall. “BrandMinded backs up all clients’ sites every single day and stores them on a separate server so that we always have access to these files and can restore them at any point.”

5. Never Save Credit Card Information on Your Own Server

This seems obvious but you’ll want to be very careful with how you handle credit card information.

“Most days, this is automatically captured with the payment processor, but we have still seen some sites that collect this information and save it on their own server,” warns Hall. “Honestly, for most businesses, it is never worth the hassle of protecting this information. This also makes you a target for hackers and malicious users.”

6. Update Your Software

No matter what kind of content management system (CMS) you’re using, be sure to update it as recommended. It’s a simple step that can prevent serious security issues. Otherwise, you could set the stage for a security breach.

7. Safeguard Your Content Management System

Think carefully about which employees will have access to your CMS — then train them so that they understand your security expectations. This can help prevent seemingly minor errors that could lead to a security breach. It’s also wise to have a system that keeps track of who’s accessing the site.

8. Safeguard Your Devices

Devices like company computers and mobile phones could post a security threat if you aren’t careful. To keep your website safe, be sure that all devices that are connected to your network are malware- and virus-free. You might also consider requiring that all usernames and passwords be changed every few months.

9. Be Cautious Uploading Files

File uploads can give hackers easy access to your system. That includes your website, data, files, and server. An easy preventative measure is using an extension or plugin that can scan files before they’re uploaded. That can help you weed out potentially harmful files — and the scammers behind them. As a leading Tampa website development firm, we take extra measures to ensure your security.

10. Go with a Reputable Platform to Build Your Website

If taking a do-it-yourself approach to website development, you’ll want to use a platform that has built-in security measures. That means vetting different website builders and understanding their safety protocols. If you don’t have the time and energy to spare, partnering with a digital marketing agency is probably your best bet. We can do the heavy lifting for you so you can focus on running your business.

At BrandMinded, you can rest easy knowing that your website is always in safe hands. Contact us today to learn more!

Why SEO and SEM are Essential to Your Digital Marketing Success

Why SEO and SEM are Essential to Your Digital Marketing Success

Digital marketing has many layers. Combining multiple strategies can help small businesses put more muscle behind their marketing efforts — and ultimately drive revenue. A robust plan typically includes digital ads, web content, video content, social media, email and more. That’s where SEO and SEM come into play. When done right, they can help round out your overall digital marketing plan in a big way.

Search engines can be a powerful way to connect with your target demographic. You just have to know how to work with them. BrandMinded is an SEO and SEM firm Tampa can trust. We’ve been at this a long time and rely on data-driven solutions in all we do. Let’s unpack why SEO and SEM are essential to your digital marketing success.

What is SEO?

“Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the practice of improving your content and your website to boost your ranking, specifically on Google,” says Matthew Hall, Senior SEO/SEM Specialist at BrandMinded.

To get to the top of Google search results, businesses need to create content that helps searchers find what they’re looking for and have a positive search experience. This is the heart of Google’s recent helpful content update. It’s designed to prioritize people-first content — and devalue clickbait and unhelpful content.

“When we’re talking about SEO, we’re talking about making sure that the content and the website are up to par with Google standards so that it will rank higher,” says Hall. “By default, that usually helps the ranking on other platforms as well because other platforms, like Yahoo and Bing, largely model their algorithms off of the Google algorithm.”

What does SEO look like in practice? Instead of trying to manipulate your content and your Google ranking, SEO involves optimizing your website and blog posts so that they’re:

  • Authentic and reflect the voice of the brand
  • Original (not published elsewhere online)
  • Helpful to your audience and tailored to their needs

What is SEM?

Advertising is a huge revenue source for Google. In 2021, the search giant brought in over $209 billion dollars in ad revenue. After typing in a search query, you’ve probably noticed advertised search results that pop up at the top of the results page.

“Depending on which search query you’re looking at now, someone could have the organic rank as number one, but you don’t even see them at the top of the page,” says Hall. “You actually have to scroll down to even get to them because there are ads on top of it.”

SEM, which stands for search engine marketing, leverages search result ads to your advantage. Google ads can also appear within the shopping tab, on Google Maps, or on Google search partner websites.

How SEO and SEM Work Together in Digital Marketing

While SEO is extremely important to improving your search ranking and getting organic traffic, SEM is equally valuable. The two work hand in hand. Hall says the goal is to strengthen SEO to the point where you can eventually decrease your advertising spend.

“The truth is that if anyone wants to get business immediately, they have to spend money on ads if they want any sort of rank or visibility on Google,” he says. “A lot of people want to be first organically, but that’s a lot longer of a strategy, especially to do it properly.”

The Google Ads platform can get you moving in the right direction in terms of generating leads. Consider it part of your overarching digital marketing plan. One side of the coin is growing your organic ranking — the other is SEM. With SEM, we can turn on the faucet tomorrow and get that traffic flowing while you build out your SEO strategy.

“As an agency, we have employees who are dedicated to analyzing the data we receive on a regular basis,” says Hall. “We are always checking campaigns. Without the right guidance, you could easily spend $1,000 in a day and get nothing for it if there’s even a small error in your configuration. There are lots of nuances, and BrandMinded understands them.”

Ready to take your digital marketing plan to the next level? Contact us today to get started.

Digital Marketing Tips that Can Double Results

Digital Marketing Tips that Can Double Results

With a fresh year ahead of us, small business owners are looking for ways to elevate their marketing game. Hitting your revenue goals is all about increasing brand awareness and generating new leads — and, of course, serving your customers well. Digital marketing is a powerful way to reach both potential and existing clients, but there are many ways to go about it (some more effective than others). We’re kicking off the year by rounding up the best marketing strategies for 2023.

Video Marketing

​​“Video is just becoming so much more important, especially with the rising use of reels,” says Matthew Hall, Senior SEO/SEM Specialist at BrandMinded. “We’re going to be focusing on producing more video content for social media for our clients this year.”

Considering that 20% of all Instagram activity takes place on reels, it is critical to drive exposure so we can maximize our client’s reach potential. It’s no secret that short-form video is taking over social media, so in order to get in on the action we need to stay knowledgeable about the ever so changing algorithms of platforms such as Instagram.

“We’re seeing a lot of video content for sure, especially short-form video,” says Alyssa Drum, Digital Account Coordinator at BrandMinded. “With the rise of Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts, a lot of platforms are trying to get in on that. We have such a small window to capture our viewers’ attention right now.”

She suggests creating two versions of a video when working on any campaign; a 15- to 45-second one for social media, and a longer version for the brand’s YouTube channel or website.
Hall adds that Hulu is another platform worth exploring. “In the past, you’d need to have a media buying agency handle that, but now Hulu has opened it up to marketing agencies like us,” he says. “That’s something we’re exploring a lot as well because we think there’s a lot of value there.”


Digital marketing is continuing to evolve and change. What worked a couple of years ago isn’t necessarily resonating with audiences anymore, especially on social media.

“Authenticity is big,” says Drum. “In the photos we post, people want to see things that are organic-looking and natural, as opposed to a graphic style.”

In other words, social media users will likely scroll past a generic, static image. Instead, the focus right now is on storytelling, connection, and a sense of realness. In 2023, Drum plans to leverage social media takeovers to capture user attention. This is often an employee or someone relevant to the brand “taking over” the company’s social media channels. The result is a more face-to-face feel. It’s similar to doing a “Team Tuesday” on social media. This allows users to get to know a company, which helps humanize the brand.

“We usually get more engagement with those kinds of posts,” says Drum.

Partnering with Nano-Influencers

You might think that teaming up with a big social media star would be a great marketing strategy, but it can be hard to persuade these folks to work with small businesses. Drum says there’s another approach that’s proving to be very effective.

“Nano-influencers are becoming a big thing,” she says. “We’re moving away from big, A-list celebrities partnering with brands and going more toward social media users who have only a couple thousand followers.”

These influencers still have substantial reach, and they may be more likely to believe in your brand’s values. Drum says it’s a great way to promote a genuine feel and earn the trust of social media users.

Strategic Content Marketing

Google rewards helpful content. This is content that puts people first, instead of trending keywords. Brands that are focused on gaming search engine results could be penalized by Google and actually worsen their ranking. Strong content:

  •  Is well written and authentic (not generic)
  •  Is relevant to your target demographic
  • Helps web visitors get information or solve a problem
  • Establishes a sense of trust with the reader
  • Demonstrates your brand’s values

When it comes to the best marketing strategies for 2023, BrandMinded understands that every small business is different. The strongest approach for your brand will depend on your goals, target demographic, and brand identity. We’re here to help you figure out what it all means — and create a game plan that works for you. Contact us today to get started.



As a digital marketing agency, our mission is to help businesses strengthen their brand identity, increase brand awareness and help them reach their target audience through custom content strategies and campaigns. While this mission applies to each and every one of our clients, our work with nonprofits is designed to create a more significant impact – helping to raise awareness of their mission.

Nonprofit organizations, just like any other business, are a brand. Therefore, just like any other business, raising awareness is crucial. Over the years, BrandMinded® has been fortunate to work alongside various nonprofit organizations, including, Christine’s Hope for Kids, ForHearts Worldwide, and Merrell Noden Track Club, each on a mission to serve those in need, in various ways. We have helped them connect with prospective donors, spread awareness of their mission and increase donations, leading to truly exceptional results.

Christine’s Hope for Kids:

Christine’s Hope for Kids was founded in 2010 in honor of Christine Gianacaci, a 22-year-old passionate about helping children in need. During a mission trip to Haiti, Christine lost her life when a catastrophic earthquake hit, but her pursuit of spreading hope to children lived on. Christine’s Hope for Kids continues to serve local community agencies to benefit children in need, believing that even the smallest acts can greatly impact a child’s life.

ForHearts Worldwide:

ForHearts Worldwide is a nonprofit organization on a mission to save lives by providing implantable cardiovascular devices for people in need around the world. Since its founding in 1984, the organization has saved over 17,000 lives in over 20 countries. They are constantly working toward expansion to save thousands more.

Merrell Noden Track Club:

Merrell Noden Track Club was founded in 2018 to provide high-level coaching and competition opportunities for NYC runners whose high schools do not offer winter track. Named after Merrell Noden, a legendary high school track star who passed away from cancer in 2015, this organization is on a mission to share, nurture, teach and coach young athletes the love of running and commitment to sportsmanship.

Let us help you share your nonprofit’s mission with the world – contact us today to learn more.