MEDIA PARADE is a web consulting company, that provides affordable internet marketing solutions such as SEO, Search Engine Marketing, Social Media Marketing and PPC. We also offer web design and development services, graphic design and branding.

The Twitter Outage? Ever told that # of followers on Twitter doesn’t really matter?;-)

The Twitter Outage? Ever told that # of followers on Twitter doesn’t really matter?;-)

Source: bradcolbow.com

10 Creative Website Designs Influenced by Visually Eye-Catching Illustrations

michelleann-e:

Aside from big typography and textured website background, illustrations and sketches have been one of the best trends in web design since ‘09 or earlier that year. I myself is a huge fan of illustrated characters on websites as well as hand-drawn images and font styles.

Illustrations give a…

Source: michelleann-e

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Building Your Brand

What is Branding?

Branding is one of the most important components of business. People tend to look for brands of a product before they decided to buy or use the service based on how they view its brand. Once a consumer likes your brand they will definitely come back for repeated services or products. Remember that brand gives consumer a reason to buy or have the confidence in your service and waste less time choosing over competitors. Following are the steps to building your brand from definition, to design to establishing it’s foundation.

1. Define Your Brand

 Your company profile description. The purpose of the business description is to give your reader an overview of your company. Choosing the right business description gives interested people some insight on your company and help them to feel more connected to your business.

When describing your business, it generally includes:

  • Ownership structure
  • Company info and history
  • Locations and facility
  • Customer profiles and market info
  • Objectives, Mission Statement and Tagline

2. Choose A Brand Name

Pick your brand name. Something original - Make your name stand out, get something that you can really call your own, and so it will be much harder to copy. Another tip is avoid names that are hard to spell or pronounce.

3. Design Your Logo

Create a great logo.

A great logo design Great Logo Designs

  • has a strong, balanced image with no little extras that clutter its look;
  • is distinctive and bold in design, making it easy to see at a glance;
  • has graphic imagery that looks appropriate for your business;
  • works well with your company name;
  • is done in an easy to read font;
  • communicates your business clearly

Choose the right color scheme & font style for your logo. Explore your imagination when creating perfect color schemes for your business to make it look appealing to consumers. A great logo design can create a great impression, emotion, style site based on color choices.

4. Do Market Research

Market research is ideally the focal point of creating a branding strategy and its planning process. Having an effective market research pushes and justifies your brand vision and builds the value of your brand as a financial asset. Like your consumers, you need to get to know them intimately through research and insight.

5. Set A Marketing Strategy

Set an insightful marketing strategy for your brand through print, web, social media and multimedia. Two of the major reasons in setting a brand marketing strategy is to see:

  • Your customers’ behavior in the marketplace.
  • How are they going to positively respond toward your offerings versus your competitors.

Be creative. List the features and benefits of your product / service and ask yourself this question: “How can I best highlight my brand to my audience? Is it through videos? Blogging? Literature? A website? Pricing Strategy? Or, you could do all if it will communicate your brand to your audience more effectively.

6. Develop A Strong Internal Brand Alignment

While doing the market research, make sure that everyone in your company are tuned in and understand your brand promise and how specific behaviors impact the brand. This is what we’re going to call as “internal brand alignment”.

Align Your Brand

Building a strong brand is greatly influenced by the decision makers around you. Engage everyone including your employees in all your branding efforts, in making your brand successful. Create a framework where specific roles and responsibilities are in position. This will ensure that the brand management function is successful and will eventually result to an even stronger brand experience for your customers.

7. Package your Brand

When we mean packaging, we’re not speaking about putting your products in a box with your company logo but it’s about packaging your brand messages.

Your brand messages can be represented through these common tools:

  • WebsiteWhen putting up a website, you need to make sure that you have the right tools - design concepts, images, photos, content and a good web design firm to work with. It’s an effective method of showcasing your products & services to your consumers.
  • Logos, Business Cards & StationeryA logo and how it looks on all your marketing materials can speak effectively of your brand. So make sure that it does. 

8. Build Your Brand Through Social Networks

The use of social networks is continuing to grow among businesses - small or large even the Fortune 500 companies. Research shows that “this year, 31% reported using Facebook for B2B communications with vendors, suppliers and business partners and 27% use Twitter for that purpose.” A case study from businessesgrow.com was also released pointing how fast growing businesses expand their social media exposure and how they accelerated social media usage.

Social Network Graph

Before jumping into the social media pool, there are just a few starting points that you need to consider like:

  • What type of audience are you trying to reach - existing or potential?
  • Where are you likely to find your audience?
  • What do you really want to accomplish on the social web? If it’s sales, you should determine where social media/social interaction can play a role in the process. You may also seek advice from an individual or a firm that has experience in or offer social media marketing services.
  • Commitment: you need to regularly interact with your audience & participate in their discussions where & when it is necessary.

Next to that is choosing major platforms as starting point. The top ones include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube and Blog.

9. A lesson that we need to understand.

Establishing your brand takes time. Unless you are a well-known brand, establishing a brand takes time. Some companies have been working for over a year and a half on their efforts are just now reaping the benefits. The key is to keep digging in and build an audience. When your competitors finally got to the path that you’re going, you already had a big lead.

Source: mediaparade.com

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What is page rank?

Page rank is what Google uses as a link analysis algorithm for a website that measures its overall value based on the quality of the site’s inbound link graph.

How to Calculate Google Page Rank

There is a much more detailed illustration of how a page rank is being calculated by Google, but it doesn’t really matter. What Google is getting at is how important and strong a site can be on the web. Google figures that when one page links to another page, it is casting a vote for the other page. Multiple votes to one link from the same page cost as much as a single vote. The more votes a page has, the more important the page must be. For example, if Site B has a lot of incoming links, Google perceives the site as important. If a higher ranking site, Site A, has those links to site B, it increases Site B’s relevance on the web even more.

So does page rank matter?

Well, it still does matter, but to some degree. People actually whether they take it as a misconception or a fact that page rank is a big deal would still look at it when they’re looking to exchanging web links because it indicates the site’s reliability, aside from looking at the site’s visitor rates and Alexa traffic rankings.

How much will it affect my site’s ranking in the search engines?

Page rank is an important factor Google uses to rank your site so it may help in your site’s ranking but it’s not really the number one or the only ranking factor. It’s not also 100% guaranteed that your site will rank well or will always be on top of search engine results because it has a high page rank. In fact there are sites that have a page rank of 3 or 2 but outranking their competitors that have a page rank of 6 or 7.  Or the ones with high page rank truly outrank the sites of low page rank value.

We ran some usual test to see how much page rank matters in search engine positioning.

Page Rank Positioning Test

Here are the results. The first 5 sites that topped the SE results for the keyword above:

Page Rank Positioning Test Results

If you notice, printable-cards.gotfreecards.com which has a page rank of 3 ranks 3rd and outranked americangreetings.com that has a page rank of 6. This test though doesn’t conclude that page rank doesn’t matter at all. It still does and counts towards your keyword rankings or helps in optimizing your site for search engines however, there are several more components beyond page rank of a site that can make your site land on the top pages in Google. This is just one occurrence (your site’s search engine positioning) when you don’t really need to worry about your page rank, even Google said this officially.

When does page rank matter?

Page rank is a website quality indicator. How reputable and well-perceived a site is. The measure is determined based on the links created to and from the site that comes from or goes to trusted and popular websites. Google does not only look at how many websites are pointing to your site but also validates its quality, relevance and its page rank as well. So if your site has a higher page rank, people would likely buy from you and link to you than a competitor whose page rank is 0 to 1 .

What’s with the green toolbar pagerank?

It’s also called the “pagerank meter” which shows a visited site page’s pagerank as a whole number between 0 and 10, being 10 as the highest (which means most popular). This is not 100% reflective though of the way Google judges the internal or overall value of a site which they use as part of its ranking algorithm.

Relevance and Irrelevance of Google Page Rank

Matt Cutts even said that “Google’s internal PageRank computations have many more degrees of resolution than the 0-10 values shown in the toolbar” in his blog mattcuts.com. Then again, from our own experience, the PageRank Toolbar still serves as good indicator of your site’s overall relevance within Google, otherwise it’ll just be a little harder to determine if this is discarded.

Where to get the pagerank status toolbar

If you’re using Chrome as your browser, you can install the extension from the Chrome Web Store.

If you would like to simply just check a site’s pagerank without the toolbar, there are online pagerank checker tools like PRChecker or SEOMoves’ Page Rank Checker.

Our Conclusion?

High page rank doesn’t mean high search ranking, but can help improve your SE ranking to some extent. That being said, we would rather focus more on building high quality backlinks and your site’s page rank will take care of itself. Or, rather than getting so obsessed about it, take it to your advantage to create well-structured sites with great quality unique content pages that are well optimized with better navigation, layout and formatting. These factors will help your site’s page rank go up eventually.

So, yes – it’s not quite a big deal but it still matters.

Source: mediaparade.com

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It is imperative to have an SEO-friendly website structure if you want to benefit in search engine ranking or in being visible in searches.

As a company seeking a new website, you have two options: (1) Build a new site with SEO before you launch, or (2) A website re-design to include SEO after your site has been live. Before you choose which option fits you best, here are some notable thoughts to consider …

Even though websites are changeable, the longer you wait to add SEO to your website, the more harm you are doing to your business. It’s much easier to build SEO into your website before you launch, and avoid any damage.

Here is why:

  • New domains usually experience a long period of low search engine rankings, or none at all. If you wait to add SEO, you are only encouraging this effect.
  • A website redesign is usually more costly and time-consuming than an initial website design. The longer your site is live the more complex and difficult your website redesign becomes.
  • A website redesign can cause disruption to URL structure, losing link equity that has been built over time.
  • Don’t forget, core SEO can be done in a few simple steps with keyword research, keyword grouping, and keyword mapping in your information architecture. You can always opt to do a simple version of SEO, and revisit it later to do a more complex and successful plan.

However, if you can’t afford the time or cash to opt for SEO services at the beginning, it can still be done with good website re-design. Therefore, if you are thinking about adding SEO at a later date, make sure you follow these rules:

  • Choose a web development firm to design your website that you will also use to do your SEO. This way, your website will be designed by someone who anticipates your plan to add Search Engine Optimization, making the process less complicated in the long run.
  • It is helpful to select a web development firm that also offers Social Media marketing. A good social media strategy will improve your search ability, and your website design company can set up your website to be social media friendly as well.
Source: mediaparade.com