May 20, 2010

See how easily video can "punch up" a website

1300 Web Pro recently had the opportunity to work with Toowoomba Financial Centre to redesign their site.

At our initial consultation, we suggested integrating video into their site to help make the website a bit more interactive. Chris and Dennis from TFC agreed, and we got the opportunity to work with our friends at Evolution Studios to produced a really great website.

This week I thought I would do a quick "video blog" to share our experience with Toowoomba Financial Centre with you.


Please click here to have a look at Toowoomba Financial Centre's new website and leave a comment below with your thoughts!

James Deck
1300 Web Pro
Web: www.1300webpro.com.au
Twitter: @1300WebPro

May 12, 2010

How to be told when your business is mentioned on the Web

Once per week, Google sends me two e-mails. The first lets me know what people are saying about "1300 Web Pro" and the other tells me what "toowoomba web design" websites have popped up lately.

Google sends these two e-mails free of charge. This service is called "Google Alerts."

From the horse's mouth, "Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic." In other words, they are e-mails that contain the new search results for a given phrase you would type into Google.

When I get the Google Alert for "1300 Web Pro" each week, it does not send me the roughly 70,000 results you get when searching for "1300 Web Pro." I usually get two or three listings, perhaps our updated blog or Facebook page, or where a customer has mentioned us.

Google.com.au Search Results for "1300 Web Pro":

Example of Google Alert for "1300 Web Pro":

One single relevant result for the week!

Several uses for Google Alerts include:
  1. Making sure no one is using a trademark you own
  2. Keeping an eye out for new competition
  3. Identifying when people have said nice things about your business, so you can respond and say "thank you"
  4. Identifying when people have complained about your business, so you can hopefully resolve the issue and get rid of the bad word of mouth
  5. Spotting when your business, industry, or competition are mentioned in the media.
  6. Finding relevant news and blog articles to forward to your customers and prospects.
Needless to say, #3 and #4 can really make your business look like customer-service superstars!

On a personal front, you may find Google Alerts handy to keep an eye on your favorite sports team, celebrity, or musicians.

Setting up Google Alerts takes literally less than five minutes. Simple go to:

http://www.google.com.au/alerts

And fill out the form:


You can elect to receive updates daily, weekly, or "as-it-happens." If you enclose your search term in quotation marks (""), Google will look for an exact match of the multiple words which is handy when you are looking for your own business name.

If you have any outside-the-box uses for Google Alerts, please consider sharing them in the comments section of this blog post. Likewise, if you try and set them up and run into problems, leave a comment and one of us at 1300 Web Pro will try and give you a quick hand.

James Deck
1300 Web Pro
Web: www.1300webpro.com.au
Facebook: facebook.com/1300WebPro

May 04, 2010

Nothing sells like a Slogan.

Logo design and branding are lesser-known parts of what we do at 1300 Web Pro. We regularly design logos, and help form brands for both startups and established businesses. One part of the process that clients often treat as an afterthought, much to my chagrin, is the slogan.

This is potentially a great loss, because the slogan (or tagline, or memory hook, or motto, or catchphrase, or whatever) is generally a brand’s time to shine.

A business’ name and logo are often simply ways for clients and prospects to identify the business. This is certainly important to the business, in the same way that the word “James” is important to differentiate me from most other humans.

However, the word “James” doesn’t tell you anything about who I am or what makes me unique. Likewise, a logo or business name often doesn’t tell a consumer much about what makes the business special and unique.

Even in the best case scenario, a name will generally still only give a trivial piece of information, like “James is a boy” or “Great Wall Motor’s sells Chinese cars.”

A slogan, on the other hand, is a business’ opportunity to sum up their all-important "Unique Selling Proposition" or "Point of Difference" right off the bat.

The starting point to a creating a great slogan can simply be the answer to the question… “Why should I deal with you?”


A few examples… 
Dick Smith Electronics – Okay so you’re like Harvey Norman or The Good Guys?
Talk to the Techxperts – Ohhh! Your staff are experts in technology, not just regular old electronics salespeople.

Qantas – Um, isn’t there supposed to be a “u” after the “q”?
Spirit of Australia – Ohhh! If I fly on you I’ll be with a bunch of fellow Aussie’s, the pilot will speak English, you’ll serve Bundy, and I won’t have a 3AM stop over in Tai Pei.

Chartered Accountants – A band of accountants.
Number 1 in Numbers. – Ohhh! So a chartered accountant is better with numbers than a regular accountant. That sounds beneficial…

Federal Express – I think they move stuff around the country.
When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight. – Ohhh! You mean they do overnight deliveries that actually get there the next day?

US Army – Why would I want to get shot at?
Be all you can be. – Ohhh! I’m not really reaching my full potential until I’ve risked life and limb to defend my country.

1300 Web Pro – You’re phone number is 1300 932 776, and you do websites.
Websites that mean business. – Ohhh! A website from you guys will sell more widgets, make my phone ring, find me staff, and show up at the top of Google.

Last but not least, I give top honors to this bus advertisement I recently saw in Auckland:
Monthly Meter Reads – You read monthly, my electricity company averages… it’ll all come out in the wash.
We charge you for what you actually use. Precisely. – Shock! Horror! I am paying for more electricity that I actually use? All because my electricity company is lazy? The mongrels!


Summary

Every business should have a slogan. That slogan must drive home the business’ unique point of difference. The slogan must define that single most important benefit a customer will get from picking you.

Does your business have a slogan? If not, slot in half an hour with the team and start batting ideas around. As long as you stay focused on that all-important unique point of difference you can’t go wrong.


Want more? Check out this article, "Slogans That Are the Real Thing," at BusinessWeek.

What are some of your favorite slogans? What slogans leave you wondering: “Huh?” Join me in the comments section and share your slogan thoughts.

James Deck
1300 Web Pro
Web: www.1300webpro.com.au
Facebook: www.facebook.com/1300WebPro
Twitter: @1300WebPro