by BrandMinded | Mar 14, 2023 | digital marketing, graphic design, website 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.
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
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.
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.
by BrandMinded | Feb 21, 2023 | Content Strategy, digital marketing, website design
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!
by BrandMinded | Feb 13, 2023 | digital marketing, website design
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!
by BrandMinded | Sep 16, 2022 | digital news, News, website design, website redesign
Our client Working Spaces is a company committed to excellence. An innovative leader in commercial office furniture and design, they are known for the “world class customer experience” they provide for each of their clients every day.
So, when it came to designing and launching a dynamic new website, BrandMinded Digital Marketing did was it always does. It provided a “world class customer experience” in return.
Soon after launch, the new Working Spaces website was honored with the prestigious Hermes Creative Gold Award. The Hermes is an international award recognizing outstanding work in the industry of electronic media and website design. Judges for the award are industry professionals who look for companies whose website design and user experience exceed a high standard of excellence and serves as a benchmark for the industry.
“We are extremely proud of this award, “says Working Spaces COO Tim Carroll. “We are committed to always providing a world class customer experience, and that goal extends to our website and creating the best online experience possible for our customers.”
At BrandMinded we are also extremely proud of this award. Click the link and see why the judges were so impressed. www.WSpaces.com.
by BrandMinded | Aug 31, 2022 | custom website, digital news, News, website design, website redesign
Keeping websites fresh and modern is essential to maintaining a thriving brand. When years go by without attention to website design, features can get outdated while the look and feel gets stale. When the opportunity presented itself for our long-time client, Atlanta Medical Clinic, to rebuild their website, we developed a full, site-wide redesign.
By adding new features and stronger visual elements, we created a more modernized look to the website that was organized for easy navigation. With the addition of a helpful chatbot and a recent patient reviews pop-up, our team was able to make the site more user friendly and implemented a strong push on calls to action.
“From top to bottom the whole website was built with the user experience in mind,” says Seth Sullivan, our graphic designer for the site. “Creating a website where people can comfortably and conveniently find treatments for their pain was the driving force behind the design.”
Working with a long-time client is always so rewarding, but building a website from scratch is just as fun! Reach out to the BrandMinded® team today to get started building or redesigning your website.
by BrandMinded | Aug 22, 2022 | digital news, News, website design, website redesign
Building a quality company starts by building a quality culture. That means creating a culture that allows team members to be proud of the work they do and feel they are making a difference. So, when the opportunity presented itself to build a new website and help increase donations for an inspirational non-profit called the Merrell Noden Track Club, the BrandMinded Team jumped at the opportunity.
A talented and elite runner, Merrell was an even better person. So, when he passed away from cancer in the Spring of 2015, friends and family were inspired to do something to keep his memory and wonderful positive spirit alive. The result is the Merrell Noden Track Club, a non-profit that provides high level coaching for high school runners whose high schools do not provide winter track.
To date, the MNTC and taught hundreds of high school runners, male and female, to embrace the love of running and sportsmanship that Merrell embraced every day. It has also helped dozens of high school runners to attend top universities where they have continued their running careers.
Most importantly, as he did his entire life, the MNTC allows Merrell to keep bringing people together and forming lifelong friendship. We encourage to visit MNTC.run, learn more about Merrell and please donate whatever you can.