What Is A Brand Style Guide and Why Does My Business Need One?

What Is A Brand Style Guide and Why Does My Business Need One?

Time and Money Well-Spent Do you have multiple versions of your logo in all sorts of file formats and variations? Not enough businesses take the time to create a company brand style guide. If you aren’t sure of what your brand looks like, then your customers are confused and are having a disjointed experience as well. A clear visual identity is essential in establishing brand engagement, especially in the market of auto repair where your customers have many choices. At it’s core, a brand is meant to represent much more than just style; it’s consistency relays a reputation of reliability, positive tone, attention to detail, and presents your company’s unique identity. Where exactly will I use a branding guide? EVERYWHERE! A custom-created style guide defines what your company’s brand elements are and the details of how they should be applied across all visual media. This guide ensures that you’re consistently putting forth the same representation of your brand across the wide breadth of Internet, print, and broadcast. Communicating with too many different styles or voices can compromise a brand’s image — retracting these inconsistencies and their repercussions becomes increasingly difficult over time. Whether it be your shop sign visible from the road, a business card at next week’s local Rotary Club meeting, or especially your website, there are opportunities for motorists to form their first impression of you. How can different fonts and treatment affect brand recognition for your potential customers? Both of these logos are a golden ‘M’ but when you look at these symbols, only ONE of them is immediately associated with food. Depending on your relationship...
5 Reasons Why You Should Add Mobile AdWords To Your Marketing Strategy

5 Reasons Why You Should Add Mobile AdWords To Your Marketing Strategy

When a prospective customer is on the go and looking for car service, they’re likely going to search for it on their phone’s browser. To the left is an example of an optimized mobile ad — it appears at the very top of the page, is large and eye-catching, and fills up your entire phone screen. When you need something fast, why wouldn’t you click the first thing you see? No matter how well a shop is ranking organically, you’ll always have to scroll past to find your mobile listing. Utilizing ad space is something to consider, especially to outrank the competitor who’d purchase that coveted first spot. How much you choose to spend on marketing all depends on your shop’s individual goals — maybe you just need a handful of new phone calls during a slow week or maybe you need a few months of help to bolster a brand new franchise location. No matter what the case is, Mobile Google AdWords will get your name found. In today’s mobile-first world where people are searching for where they want to be next while they’re already on the road, Mobile AdWords is the next step any small business should take to give their shop an extra boost. 1. Google AdWords allows you to reliably reach your target audience AdWords functions as a bidding system, as in you only pay Google when someone interacts with your ad. While you can pick and choose the exact keywords to be promoted for, competitors can select the same keyword profile. It’s then up to you to decide how high you’re willing to bid...
Keeping Up with the Local Search Ecosystem

Keeping Up with the Local Search Ecosystem

When we began promoting local businesses in 2009, getting a site to the front page of a Google search was as simple as adding the shop to a handful of business directories. Nowadays, the local landscape is incredibly more complex and competitive. Data aggregators feed information to business directories, business directories share information with one another, listings create themselves, and to successfully compete, it’s necessary to add a shop to niche and industry-specific directories, as opposed to just the big names, like Yelp and YellowPages. In today’s local SEO world, keeping an accurate and consistent local directory listing for your business is a must. Search engines like Google and Bing scan through listings from many different sources and use it to form a conclusion about your shop’s information. It’s important to understand that search engines and data aggregators don’t necessarily have a permanent database for Name, Address, and Phone (NAP) information. In this sense, local search is a sensitive ecosystem, where the relationships between different search engines, data aggregators, and business directories is constantly in flux. These types of sites collect data regularly, so just one or two incorrect or new listings can influence your overall search appearance. As a data aggregator, like Infogroup, pushes data to a business directory, like Citysearch, the information will eventually end up in your search engine results. Good SEO is all dependent on data consistency and trying to catch the mistakes as soon as possible. Actively finding or creating your business directory listings and claiming them is an important step because it verifies that a) you are the owner of a valid business...
The Power of Invisible Information: What You Need to Know About Rich Snippet

The Power of Invisible Information: What You Need to Know About Rich Snippet

The Power of Invisible Information What You Need to Know About Rich Snippet Today’s consumer necessitates that a shop owner recognize the importance of online marketing. Websites need to take advantage of every available opportunity to entice searchers to click on their page instead of a competitor’s. Rich snippet provides the perfect outlet to embellish their search results with add-ons like ratings and thumbnails to draw the searcher’s eye as well as offer additional information. So what are rich snippets? At their very simplest, rich snippets are a small line of text which accompanies a search result link. They describe the site’s relevance to the user’s search query, with the exact keywords highlighted in bold. Google added rich snippets back in 2008 to give users a better search experience and allow them to make quick, informed decisions about a website’s relevance to their search needs. Rich snippet functions differently for their designated business types, whether it be for restaurants, recipes, movies, music, videos, etc. It can easily be inserted into site templates so that the code appears on every relevant page and for every search keyword. For example, correct rich snippet usage for a recipe has it’s own template that includes information like cook time and ingredient list, lending a search result like so. Ultimately, the appearance of rich snippet in a search result is dependent on the markup code used by the developer and Google’s trust in the website that is it being implemented in. Although we’ve utilized rich snippet correctly from the start, Google began showing AutoVitals’ rich snippet results only after an 18 month vetting process.   For our shops, the rich...
What to Expect with the New Google Plus

What to Expect with the New Google Plus

In the last week Google has implemented a full redesign of their social media platform, Google Plus. The new site is more mobile friendly, simplified, and streamlined — a more “focused”, interest based user experience that comes at the cost of some of it’s other features. It’s readily apparent that Google has decided to emphasize communities, aspiring to be the ideal place for like-minded individuals to interact. They have put two of their features, Communities and Collections, at the front and center. According to Google, these changes are in response to the input of their most active users. Google reports have shown that their Communities feature attracts nearly 1.2 million new users every day, while Collections, implemented just earlier this year, has been growing just as quickly. Collections creates a group of dashboard content based on just one tagged topic, while a Community allows people with the same interest to start a conversation about that connection and more. The goal of both of these forefront features is to allow the user to follow other users’ posts on specific topics, without having to constantly wade through unrelated posts. The new Google Plus also lays a heavy emphasis on being mobile-friendly. Rebuilt for both Android and iOS, the app is clean and eye appealing, takes hardly any time to load, and it’s easy to navigate and operate. Google has also removed some of the clutter located at the bottom of every post, making it straightforward to +1, comment, and share. Although the change is fitting to their new, simplified aesthetic, it appears that this update has been detrimental to My Business...
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