Toronto Blue Jays 1978 Team Photo

ALT or Ault? Alt Attributes Are As Important As Doug Ault

If you follow @logicalmix on Twitter, you already know Logical Mix is a big fan of the Toronto Blue Jays. There was no way to avoid the SEO pun that is alt…Doug Ault.

Doug Ault hit the first home run in Toronto Blue Jays history way back in 1977, but I bet you couldn’t pick him out of this grainy 1978 team photo. Frustrating right? Think of an individual with low vision on a daily basis having to deal without being able to see the image being shown. You can hit the first SEO home run for your company and be seen (unlike Blue Jays in the team photo), by providing incredible accessibility for those with visual disadvantages at the same time.

ALT image text or ALT tags or more accurately: alt attributes allow those with a visual impairment to understand an image.

Joost de Valk is the founder and CEO of Yoast and says, “the alt tag is used by screen readers, the browsers used by blind and visually impaired people, to tell them what is on the image. The title attribute is shown as a tooltip when you hover over the element…”

Always remember, screen readers will be used for your website. Build your website to accommodate the blind. This is a win-win for all parties involved.

The beauty of helping create a more accessible website for people with blindness or low vision is getting the benefits of search engine optimization as well. As time goes on, it will become more common practice to properly label images (as it should be already).

Be a responsible web developer and design your websites with proper alt attributes. All you ever have to remember to say to yourself when publishing an image, “if I was blind, how would I want that image to read?”

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seo buttons

SOME TAGS NEEDED FOR SEO

On-Page search engine optimization (SEO) is certainly an important part of the website building process. If you want to show up on the first page of any search engine’s search results, on-page SEO is a must. Logical Mix outlines the 3 most crucial elements needed to improve your on-page search engine optimization.
1) Title Tags: Can also be called ‘title elements’. The title tag is the text used to define an online document or the website page. Other than the relevant content on a web page, the title tag is the most important component to on-page search engine optimization.
2) Meta Description Tags: This is where your description is shown when getting search engine results. Your website’s content will be described exactly how you want the reader to interpret it on the search engine results page of Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. This is created on the back-end of your website using the HTML tags properly. Ask your developer to code this accurately to your specifications.
3) Alt Image Tags:  Alt Image Tags allow search engines to understand the attributes of an image by describing them in text form. Search engine robots/spiders have a hard time crawling images for SEO purposes without text on them. Another advantage to Alt Image Tags is if the picture doesn’t load on a website, at least there will be a description of what image should be shown. Again, these tags should be applied by whoever is building your website (whether it is you or a developer).
Two extra things to mention are using ‘Header Tags’ (accurate descriptions to summarize the content on a web page) properly and applying proper ‘descriptions/ file names to the images’ you will be displaying on your website. For example, PICTURE-DESCRIPTION.jpeg or PICTURE-DESCRIPTION.gif.
We hope this helps with your internet marketing efforts now and in the future.
Please write us or post if you want to discuss more.
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Business road sign

WHY IS SIGNAGE SO IMPORTANT FOR BUSINESS

Let me share a personal story regarding business signage I encountered a few years back. When I was living in Vancouver, BC, there was a unique and delicious family owned pizza restaurant. It was a pizza place where they prepared the pizza for you, and you took it home and cooked it, making your entire kitchen smell like freshly baked pizza. The idea was brilliant, the pizza was amazing, and the customer service was out of this world. I visited the restaurant on a regular basis until a year after opening the owners moved north, and they ended up selling the business to a new set of owners. The new owners kept the same idea, used the same ingredients, and appeased the already existing customers, yet one simple poor marketing choice cost them their business as it ended any potential for attracting new customers – they changed the signage. The original owner had a simple but bright sign that could be seen from the nearest intersection, as well as handed out flyers and coupons door to door every Saturday morning. Their strategy was simple, but it worked. The new owners however did not upkeep these strategies and changed the sign to a black and white, non-visible, size 10, Arial font banner.  They then complained about not reaching people, but the reasons were evidently clear. Simply put, their signage cost them the entire success of their business.  Soon after their six month of opening, they shut the business down as it was costing them too much to operate and they were making little to zero revenue. The spot still remains empty and vacant to this day.
Now you may believe this case to be an extreme and rare, but the experience taught me at a young age the importance of signage, especially if you are taking over an already existing business. A sign can either attract someone in such a way they want to enter your business and learn more about what you offer, or in the case of the pizza store, your sign may cause them to laugh in embarrassment at the printed paper you have draping over your windows. The importance of advertising is vital to the overall success of a business, especially with small businesses. Signage is extremely important and can end up being the make or break in the overall success of your business. Here are some simple questions you should ask about your current signage on a monthly basis:
1.      Does this sign send the right message to my customer?
2.      Is the message relevant and eye-catching?
3.      Are the colors and design bright, vibrant, and noticeable?
4.      Is the sign visible in the early morning or late evening? Does it light up in the dark hours?
5.      Is the signage in tip top condition?
If your answer to any of these questions is no, then it is time to either invest in new signage or fix your current signage to accommodate the needs of your customers. If your signage does light up, but some of the bulbs are burnt out, the overall first impression from your customer is that your business does not have the time or care to replace the bulbs and update the sign.  More often than not, customers base a business purely off of their signage because it is the first thing they notice and it is their first impression. By ensuring that your signage is noticeable and in good condition, you will have a better chance at attracting the customers you desire to attract. Have good signage (logos/branding) online too. Get noticed.
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water on rocks

Blog About Needed Content

When blogging, you want to be the expert in your field. Own it!

Create content people are looking for or have a need for. If you are missing quality content to write about…avoid writing altogether and repost other peoples interesting articles.

Try searching your topics before writing. If they are already saturated with blogs, maybe rethink another strategy.

People want to be entertained and/or educated. Sometimes both. Get outside of the box if you have to.

Even though we should be taking our own advice. Blog on a schedule. Once per week, bi-weekly, per month, etc.

Write about relevant content.

Blogging can be done anywhere you want. This blog was written in the woods after working remotely around Ontario.

Remember…

Be the expert in your field!

Mouse for computer

Pay-Per-Click Advertising

So you want the most for your business, you want it to be seen, heard, and advertised to its best capability. While competition stands at the edge with the latest and greatest technologies, you want your business to draw the public in, and for the words on your site to be read. How does one improve their internet publicity in the best possible way? While there are various ways of doing so, managing your keywords is among the most important. Keywords are the crucial words that describe what you are offering and help determine where your ad will appear.

Choosing the most accurate keyword can help draw customers to your site as it targets exactly what they want. If you use specific keywords, and they search for a specific text, your advertisement or website has a better chance of appearing; by making it more specific, you are making it more viewable to the public and potential customers.  It is vital to think like your customers when you’re creating an initial list of terms or phrases that customers will use to describe your product or service. It is critical that the list of keywords you choose are the words that your customers will be searching when they want to find what you are offering. While it is important to make your words specific, it is helpful to bear in mind that sometimes making words too specific can be negatively impacting rather than positive. By making your keywords too specific you may find it harder to reach a vast amount of people. However, by combining general words along with specific phrases, you will be able to target the largest amount of people in an online community. Picking the accurate number of keywords is also crucial to achieving the highest amount of publicity. Google Support states that, “Most advertisers find it useful to have somewhere between five and twenty keywords per ad group, although you can have more than twenty keywords in an ad group”. In addition, grouping your keywords into themes can positively affect a customer’s search as it opens variety, which can therefore open your service or product up to potential customers.
While improving keywords is a vital part to having a successful online identity, creating better landing pages can also aid to improving search optimization. Your Google Adwords Quality Score is an estimate of how relative your ads and keywords are in helping Google users find what they are looking for and seeing your ad. Achieving a high quality score is the overall intention of any company as they want keywords that are helpful and useful to someone viewing their ad. Your landing page is the page your website visitors first view after clicking on a link that directs them to your landing page. In order to improve the performance of your search results, there are a few techniques that can be used to improve your page rank and quality score. By adding your top performing keywords and merging them together onto your landing page you can increase your search optimization and thus improve your Google quality score. In addition, by changing you landing page’s meta tags and title tags you can create a keyword density that works well with your landing page, as well as it acting as an aid in producing better search engine results.

Finally, a vital step is taking full advantage of what Google calls their Site-Related Keywords Tool. This tool is used to view how exactly Google ranks your landing page in regards to the relevance it has to the keywords you are trying to target. By using this tool, you can better understand how Google distinguishes between a website whose keywords work well for their landing pages, and a website that has poor keywords that do not directly target their associated landing page. By accurately using keywords that help to best optimize search engine results, you can get the most out of using online resources as a way to advertise for your company. Online sources are one of the most effective ways to advertise, and by using them accurately you can create an online profile for your company that aids in the development of your overall client base.

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Beer popping

NEW YEAR’S EVALUATION

Another new year is upon us. It’s the perfect time of year to reevaluate your company’s goals and marketing efforts. You should be looking introspectively at your company’s results through marketing and make changes accordingly.

Questions to ask yourself:
1) Are we meeting or have we met the sales goal we set at the beginning of the year?
2) Are we on the first page on major search engines (For keywords & key phrases relevant to our business)?
3) How can we improve our overall exposure to potential clients or prospects?

The Answers:
1) If you said “yes” to meeting your goals, keep doing what you’re doing. Don’t mess up a good thing. You may want to add to your current efforts, but certainly don’t let them interfere with what is working.
If your answer was “no”, you need to ramp up your activity to drive new business for your organization. Let’s assume you’re happy with your sales staff (if not, it’s time to increase training or let them go), here are some tips to help increase sales:
Do a PPC (Pay-Per-Click) campaign: Drive traffic to your website. Create landing pages to aid in improving search optimization and watch the leads role in for your sales team.
Create a New Website or edit old Website: Make sure it looks professional and has the right “call to action”.
Search Engine Optimize: More on this in the 2) section. Create an Email Campaign or Direct Mail campaign: These are older methods to drive leads for your business, but can sometimes work wonders.

2) With regards to getting your company’s website on the first page of Google, Bing and/or Yahoo, write down a list of 10 key words or key phrases you want your company to show up for. Think like your prospects would think for this list. Write down a list of 10 (or the relevant number) geographic locations you want to be found in, if applicable. Take those lists to an internet marketing expert who can get you to the top of those pages desired (wink, wink, Logical Mix). Items to make sure are accurate on your website are: Title Tags, Alt Image Tags, Relevant Text and the Meta Description to name a few.

3) In the case of not seeming redundant, do all of the the above and you will be well on your way to improving your overall exposure to potential clients or prospects. Take it seriously, your business depends on it.

Enjoy the holiday season, recharge the batteries and always be thinking of strategies to grow your company (because, we are).

Wishing your organization a prosperous 2015!

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Summer Trees

Warmer Weather For Marketing

While many Torontonians are basking in the heat, it can be the perfect time to exercise some outdoor marketing activities.

So what does all this temperature talk how to do with your business? Well, for one, there are a variety of new ways one can market their business in the warmer weather, which we will discuss in this month’s blog. Here are five perfect warm weather marketing tips that will boost people’s attention about your company:

1) Community Events
Children are running around playing in parks, the sun is up longer, and people are outside enjoying the weather. A prime way to take advantage of this is to get to know your community, the people who drive by your location every day and may not even know what you offer or why you exist. Hold a local community event in a nearby park on a warm weekend day, as it will attract new customers as well as bring your current customers together.

2) Group Promotions
“If you tell five friends, you have a chance to win…” This always manages to attract people, after all, how easy is it to forward something to a friend or family member and automatically have a chance to win a free product or service? An easy way to incorporate this is to run group specials offering promotions based on the amount of people one of your customers brings in, either by text message or email. If one of their five friends has been referred by a current customer, they can be entered to win a prize of your company’s choice. Not only does this encourage the spread of information about your company, but it also increases the size of your database, offering more potential customers knowledge about what you offer.
3) Door to Door
While the door to door method may seem rather old-school, its overall effectiveness may surprise some. When you go door to door offering your community a special deal that your company offers, you’re putting your foot out and getting to know your customers on a one-on-one basis. While going door to door may be a bit too personal for some, handing out fliers on the street, or any sort of outside promoting is key during the summer months. People are more likely to stop and talk when the weather is nice and their being introduced to a service they may know nothing about.

4) Cool Drinks Anyone?
Is your business on a prime intersection, perhaps where many people are walking their dog or going to the park with their children? Setting up a free lemonade or cool drink stand outside your business will be a friendly invite for people to stop by and for you to promote what you are selling. It gives people a great reason to cool off and come into your location, seeing everything else that you have to offer.
5) Text Messaging
The moment you have a customer’s phone number in your database, ask them if they don’t mind receiving promotions through text once in a while. It is in this way you can build a large client phone number base where you can use text messaging as a community builder. The options are endless and range from promoting a new service, to offering polls for customers to vote on what product they like best. Monthly prize winners or even larger one time prize winners are a prime way to communicate with customers through text messaging and get people through your doors.
While there are various ways a company can advertise during the summer months, it is important to remember that it is during the summer when people may not mind as much to be approached about your service if they receive a free drink on the house. So instead of being cooped up inside this summer, remember to get out and get to know your community. It is in this way that your company can grow into a community landmark, a place your customer will remember and tell their friends about.
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Smart phone in hand

Smart Phone Compatible Website

With the amount of smartphones being used these days, your business website better be compatible with smartphones or else you’re losing out. Google claims there are over 500,000 Android phones being activated on a daily basis.

The problem with websites that are not formatted for mobile phones are the usability factor and graphics. They are not what will keep a potential customer on your website. The graphics may be too large to fit on a smaller screen and will cause a person visiting your website to quickly become frustrated, and quickly leave your website. A website not properly formatted for smartphone use will be hard to navigate as well. The amount of traffic being generated via smartphones makes it worth the premium to have your website mobile compatible. Too many companies don’t value mobile compatible websites and it’s the perfect time to propel yourself above the competition, while they’re sleeping on a vastly growing technology. Because they will eventually understand the power of the smartphone.

According to Forbes, global mobile traffic now represents around 13% of internet traffic and in 2009 global traffic was only 1%. Those figures are most likely higher in North America too. If this doesn’t wake you up and let you know where the internet traffic is trending towards…nothing will. Be smart about your marketing your business and create a website that is both beautiful and user friendly on a smartphone.

Another statistic according to Forbes is that there are 1 billion  smartphone users in the world today. If only 0.1% of these users go to your smartphone compatible website, you will most likely be a very happy company. Thinking about catering to the smartphone market helps increase your positive internet exposure as well and you always want positive internet exposure.

If you think you can escape going mobile with your company, to quote Donald Byrd “you better think twice”.

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Open sign

The New Logical Mix Website Is Here

Launching our new website is one of the most gratifying experiences our company gets to have. The emotional lift and moral boost your team gets after a new website launch is second to none in the business world. We are witnessing first hand what we pass on to your organizations and it truly makes us proud.
New elements had to be added to the new Logical Mix website to give it that updated look. We know our websites should be updated every 3-5 years (3 years really), so the change was needed now, because our 3 year mark is celebrated this month. We added a fully graphic and animated home page (with no adobe Flash elements). We made all of our pages a little more active. The last website was almost too clean. At the time it was perfect and refreshing, but times change and technology changes. From an internet marketing standpoint, our new website is a superior one. Having live blog and Twitter feeds on every page was important to us as well. A favourite change of ours was the Header and Menu bar. The top bar is one and now slightly shrinks, yet stays at the top of every page while scrolling. Very innovative.  It is such a sleek design with many beautiful elements that make it work. Everything was incorporated into this website design and we truly hope you enjoy it.
We have a new blog format as well. Every month we will release a blog. Sometimes this blog will update you on technology or give you internet marketing tips or update you on what’s going on in the “Logical Mix” World or be written strictly for fun while teaching a lesson, but rest assured you will always be entertained.
Our way of doing business is to always be out there creating positive internet exposure for you and you organization and our organization. By creating our new website we are following suit with our promise. All testimonials on our website are done in an extremely classy manner.
Your next website can incorporate any elements you see on our new website. We are never opposed to sharing.
Enjoy the rest of your 2014!
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Treat Your Business Like a Garden

Spring is here and the flowers are blooming. This gave us a great idea to relate treating your business as a gardener would tend to their garden.

1) Study your landscape before you start gardening
In business, you should know your competition and you should know what can propel your business above the competition. At the very least, know what separates your company from the competition. Come up with a plan that you can follow through and know that your plan will grow your business. You wouldn’t plant a tree that needs a lot of sun in a shady area, so don’t sell a person a product or service that won’t grow your company and get you referrals.

2) Fertilize the soil
Related to checking in with your clients and making sure your service or product is up to their standards. You should be doing this on a regular basis.

3) Pull the weeds
This can translate to two things with your business. You can clean up any loose ends you need to fix to ensure your customer is happy or you can get rid of the customers you believe to be holding your business back. There is such a thing as a bad client (we don’t have any, but when you make those sales you shouldn’t have made, these customers have a way of hurting your business). Seriously, we love our clients!

4) Choose the right Plants
In business, you need to choose a plan that will benefit you and your customer. Offer a product or service that your company specializes in producing. Do not offer singing lessons to a customer, if your company only makes custom leather gloves. Similarly, to a garden, do not plant a tropical plant in a shady area in a northern climate. You will simply be wasting valuable time and money.

5) Water Properly
This goes without saying, but successful gardens need water (unless you have cacti and desert plants). Each climate is unique and each plant/flower depends on different watering schedules, but they all need water. Your clients are comparable in the sense that they need quenching (H2O). Each client depends on your care differently. Some may need lots of attention, whereas, others may be annoyed by you constantly soaking them with attention. Know who you’re dealing with.

6) Keep a keen eye on your garden during all seasons
This doesn’t mean, hovering over your customers at all times, but understand what makes them tick and what keeps them happy. If you produce clothing, make sure the quality is where it should be. If you run a daycare, keep your play areas sterilized. If you run a fruits & vegetables stand, ensure there is no mold or pests on your produce and keep your produce hydrated (that last analogy was used to link the garden to the business).

Your business like a garden is a beautiful thing. If you maintain your garden, every year it will look nicer and keep a smile on your face. Your business is no different. If you tend to your business properly, every year it will grow and everyone will take notice…just like you garden.

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