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Spruce Up Your Logo, Set Up Expectations

Website design should reinforce brand by portraying culture, atmosphere and adhering to general design guidelines. And while it may sound like I’m stating the obvious… your logo is the pillar of your brand, with prominent website placement and from which all styles are derived.

A logo is your brand identity. And I bet you can count on one hand the number of times you’ve seen a website with the logo placed somewhere other than in the top left or center of the header. Right? This is because you want to use your logo to set up and meet expectations, both visually and functionally.

design and web icon

Setting Up Expectations

Your logo sets up expectations for customers with color, design and general “vibe”. If you’re not happy with your logo or don’t think your logo accurately portrays your business… STOP and redesign the logo. Don’t design a website around a brand you’re not 100% happy with. It’s an expensive mistake.

Recently, I was working with someone to spruce up a pre-built WordPress template, and she began to question her DIY logo. So, we put the website mockups on hold and focused our efforts on sprucing up her logo. It would have cost her more money in the long-run to design a website around a brand she didn’t love.

Spruce up my logo

A few recent examples in our portfolio include a logo recharge. Not a redesign, but rather an update to more accurately enhance a new website design and increase brand recall.

Sarpy County Cooperative Head Start didn’t even really have a logo on its website. So before our Omaha web design team tackled a redesign, we tackled that logo head-on. Here’s the website header on the current website:

Sarpy county head start old website header

And here’s the new logo we’ll be working with for the new website:

Sarpy County Head Start Logo

Another recent example is an Omaha pillar, I-Go Van & Storage. A simple logo spruce-up from our logo designer went a long way before we redesigned (new website to launch soon):

Old I-Go Logo
new I-Go logo

Meeting User Expectations

A website visitor has an expectation that your logo will be placed in the “usual spot” (upper left) – and expectations play a large role in user experience.

Case studies have shown that placing the logo in any location other than the top left-hand corner can hurt your site. NN Group found that centering your logos will make it roughly six times harder to return to the homepage of a site than left-aligned logos and that right-aligned logos hurt brand recall.

When designing the flow of a site, our web designers must account for the need to return to the homepage. Rather than providing a “home” button in the navigation bar, the logo has been the traditional and expected method for providing users with a way to return home. It’s beneficial to meet the user’s expectations and link the logo home. And for the visitor spending any time on your site at all, this continuous logo home-base can help reinforce your brand.

So, Don’t Use a Terrible Logo

Your take away: use a logo that reflects your culture, services and products. Don’t settle because it’s what you’ve always had, or because your DIY method saved you a couple thousand dollars. The gain from using the RIGHT logo in the right ways on your website is increased brand recall, increased conversions and long-term use of your current website design.

Spruce up my logo

Google+ Cutting Dead Weight

google+ logo

Google has considered Google+ a failed experiment for a few years now and eventually led to the creation of Google My Business (GMB) in late 2014. The G+ social media network has been plagued by low participation and engagement since the start, and due to those same issues Google has decided to cut the dead weight. In late June, Google began sending notifications to business owners that unused G+ Business pages are scheduled for deletion.

How will the deletions affect local business owners and their online presence in search results?

Does Google+ Still Have Any SEO Ranking Value?

It is important to first note that the deletion of Google+ pages will not have any affect on Google My Business pages. Your GMB reviews, information and Maps data will remain untouched. As G+ Business pages evolved into the current GMB pages, reviews and data were periodically stripped out leaving empty pages with virtually zero value. Google+ pages have been nearly wiped off Google search results as well, minus the extremely occasional appearance of posts from major national brands, which tells us that Google’s own ranking algorithms have zeroed out the value of Google+ Business pages.

Our Omaha SEO and Web Marketing team find that G+ Business pages only have true value if they have built up a community of engagement with a large volume of consistent +1s, Shares, Comments or Follows. A common misconception is that posting to your Google+ business page means you’ve given it immediate value. True value comes from how other users engage and interact with the content you have posted by sharing, discussing with others outside the core group.

Should I Keep Using Google+?

google+ icon on phone

Our SEO and Web Marketing team has created several G+ Business pages over the years through our website builds and marketing efforts. However, in our experience those same accounts have fallen by the wayside and joined the masses of other small business accounts that have gone nearly unused since creation or been completely abandoned all-together. Unless your G+ Business page has been carefully curated over the years and has garnered a high amount of engagement, we suggest taking a deep breath and letting it go. Focus your SEO efforts elsewhere.

I Want to Keep My Google+ Business Page. What Should I Do?

If you have been notified your G+ Business page is on the chopping block and want to keep the page, the process to do so is simple. Log into your Google+ account, navigate to your G+ Business page and create a post. You can also avoid deletion by commenting on another user’s post. Don’t stop there, dig deep and keep up your posts and comments to build your page presence and influence.

Contact Us With Questions

Increase SEO with Traditional Marketing

While web marketing is our jam, we still believe in the power of traditional marketing to reinforce your online brand. Even at JM, we use traditional marketing efforts in the Omaha metro and we believe the branding power it gives directly effects our SEO.

For years, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has been thought to be a keyword game. Yes, using strategic keywords and regularly contributing rich content is still a factor in organic ranking. But search engines use many factors to determine a site’s rank and most do not rely on keywords.

What factors do search engines use for SEO rank?

semrush ranking factors

In 2017 SEMrush conducted a ranking factors study, analyzing the importance of 17 different factors for organic rankings. The top five factors are:

  1. Direct website visits
  2. Time on the site
  3. Pages per session
  4. Bounce rate
  5. Referring domains
  6. Backlinks

The factors that I’d argue can be strongly correlated to traditional marketing efforts are:

Direct Website Visits: Users arrive at your website directly, typing in your domain. This indicates to Google that the domain has high authority and value.

Backlinks: A backlink is any link from another website to your website. This indicates to Google that other people believe in the value of your website.

So what…?

dart board bulls-eye

Your marketing strategy “in-real-life” reinforces your company’s online presence. When people discover your offline brand, they are more likely to visit your website than to drive to your storefront and walk in.

Search engines know this and they recognize these direct visits as a mark of a strong, real life business. Since direct website visits are one of the greatest factors of high search rank, branding your business offline is a crucial part in strengthening your business online.

Also, develop relationships and partnerships in your community. Think speaking engagements, guest blogging, newspaper articles, supporting public charities. All of that community involvement and the publicity connected with it can bring even more potential customers to your site. It’s good for the place you love and it’s good for your SEO.

The point is…

If people see a bus ad, hear a radio ad, see your logo on a sponsorship banner, hear you speak at a seminar… they are more likely to look up your company directly, giving your business domain a powerful boost.

Being involved in your community by doing good and providing education can give you brand power AND SEO power through direct visits and backlinks.

So look at your current marketing efforts. Are they working together? Do they elevate your brand offline AND increase the value of your SEO efforts online?

Google Analytics can tell you a lot about the results your efforts are producing. And if you don’t know how to analyze that data, we do. Let our Omaha-based SEO team help you put together a comprehensive SEO strategy that can help you build power!

Help me with SEO strategy