Friday, January 25, 2013

The Power of Google Adwords

One of the most common questions I get from my clients is "How do I get to the top of the search engines?". To be honest, it's the toughest question I get. It's so hard to answer and accomplish, especially if you have a website that is brand new!! If your website is brand new that means you are going to have no page rank. Little or no page rank really means that google doesn't really know that you finding your website will not show up on the first page. Actually your website will show up several pages back which will do you no good!!

So what do you do? How do you get there? Why build the website if you can't get people to it? Well you build the website first to build your brand, get exposure from your offline marketing, and to show credibility. No matter what you MUST have a website for your business....that is the starting point. I always tell my clients a website project is a 2 part process. 

Step 1:  Build a visually attractive website that functions well, has good content, navigation is easy and relates to your business. 

Step 2: Now you must market the website to draw people to it!!

So back to the do you get to the top of the search engines. I must tell you, this is NOT an easy task at all. It all depends on what type of business, how big of an audience you want to reach and how much you are willing to spend. Let's face it, if you want to make money you have to spend money. But how do you know what the best option is?

First Option is SEO....Search Engine Optimization. I'm sure you all have heard about SEO. Basically what SEO does is gets your website to show up on the first page of the search engines in the Organic Listings. This option is always the best for long term results. There are so many SEO companies out there it will make your head spin!! The problem with SEO is most companies will help you promote certain keywords to get you to the top of the search engines. Here is the kicker: often these companies can get you to the top with keywords that might not be productive or relate to your business. So ask questions about what words are they going to use and how effective are they! Second problem with SEO is that it takes takes at least 3 months to start seeing even the smallest return on your investment. So if you are stressed for time, this is not your best option.

Second option is Google Adwords.....also known as Pay Per Click Advertising. PPC is those sponsored ads that show up at the top of the Google Search and along the side. Check out the image below:

Actual Screen Shot that Shows my ad in the top 3!!
I typed in the search term south jersey website design and my listing came up 2nd on the first page!! That is called an impression when my ad shows up. If the person clicks on my ad and goes to my website, I get charged for that click. 

Let's do the Math!!
The price of that click above all depends on how much I was willing to spend on that keyword. On average I pay $2.40 for that search term alone! I know what you are saying, "Are you nuts.....that sounds like alot!".  I know I know but think about just takes one click for me to land a job. Let's say it's a $1500.00 job that is contracted......that's a 62,400.0% that sounds like a no brainer to me!! But let's not forget about all the clicks you compile that do not lead to a job or you are paying for clicks that turn into nothing. Good point but let's average this out to be fair. 

Let's say you own a Limousine Company and you are promoting party buses. That party bus would net $3500 on a one day trip with an overall profit of $2000.00. Let's say on average you spend $500 a month on your Google PPC campaign. Let's shoot low and say you landed only 2 party bus signings from PPC that month that generated $4000 in profit after all initial expenses. That's a 700.0% ROI (Return on Investment). Now that I have mentioned the numbers aspect of PPC let me explain some basic pro's and con's of PPC. 


Faster results
The most powerful aspect of PPC is that the search results are pretty much instant. By instant I mean you can start a PPC campaign today, set your daily/monthly budget, set your keyword selection and write some ads.....your search listings can start showing up as quickly as 24-48 hours!! With SEO, that will NEVER happen!!
Controlled Budget
Another PRO adwords argument is that you can control your budget. Meaning you can start off with a $10 per day budget and increase it as time goes on or decrease it also! You have control of how you spend your money. 

Target Your Audience
With Google adwords, you can control the location of advertising by city, state, zipcode, or general region. Let's say you own a basement modeling company and you want to promote basements but only in certain towns that have an abundance of can do that!! Let's say you want to avoid certain towns due to travel can do that!!

Search Marketing
If someone does an exact search that triggers your PPC ad....that usually means they were looking for your type of business. They went seeking you as opposed to traditional mailed marketing (direct mail marketing, flyers) where you seaked out the end user!!

Tracking your Viewer
With PPC and the addition of Google Analytics, you can track where your clients are coming from, what search terms they used to find you, how long they were on your site, what pages they visited, landed on and exited. This is extremely valuable information because it gives you a better idea of what is working and what isn't!

Multiple Campaigns and Ad Groups
Let's say your business has multiple services that you feature. Some are more profitable and successful than others. You have the power to promote as many services or as little services as you want as opposed to traditional print advertising where you are limited to space restrictions. 


The Learning Curve
I'm going to be 100% honest with you, PPC advertising takes some time to really figure out! It can be tricky because in order for it to really be successful! takes some keyword experimenting, ad writing experimenting and budget experimenting to really get a grasp for it. I would recommend reading up as much as you can on Google Ad Words before actually staring a campaign. There is plenty of content via You Tube, online blogs like this, and printed material. You can even contact Google to get more information. Going into it blindly can be frustrating and is not cost effective. Do your homework first!!

It Can Sound Scary but monitor your campaign
I had a client that set a budget at $10,000 monthly trying to promote new home construction. He set the max bid for all his keywords high and didn't monitor what words were actually working and triggering the correct calls and emails. His didn't convert one sale on his new home construction. If he would of properly set his budget and monitored his keywords would of worked out better! You must keep an eye on what you are doing!!

The bottomline here is PPC advertising can work for your business, especially if you are promoting a local business. I recommend doing your homework first and then be patient with your campaign. If you do these things then PPC will become a powerful weapon!

Check out my website at for your Graphics and Website Needs!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Utilize The Technology Out There: Go Above and Beyond!!

The only way to really grow and improve is to utilize the technology that is out there....and believe me there is alot. I just finished a website for a client that has 4 Diners throughout New Jersey. I wanted to go above and beyond to really showcase his website as well as doing something a little different with his menu.

So I went with a Flipbook Menu Design. Basically I wanted the end user to really feel like they are actually reading the menu in their hand! I also did this because typically a diner menu is fairly large so a flipbook design works well in this situation. It's an interactive product!

Yes this cost me more to do but I feel like it will pay off for the client FIRST and it will look good in my portfolio. It should bring in more business. But most's pretty damn cool!!

Challenge yourself to think on a higher level. Go above and beyond the standard of what is expected and strive for the most extraordinary accomplishments. - Donald Trump


Thursday, March 29, 2012

What ever happened to people actually CARING about their profession?

It's not every often that I rant and rave like a little girl on the internet because I figured who is going to listen? I want you to sit back and think about how many times a day you witness people not really caring about their job and just going through the motions? It's shocking huh?

I mean everyone ideally wants greatness but doesn't want to start with themselves! The reason I'm crying here...Waaaaaaaaaa, is something I just experienced that made me question people's work ethics and moral!
So here is the story:

I had  medical paperwork faxed from a drug manufacturer directly to my doctor's office. I needed the doctor to simply sign it and fax it back. Without it, I can not get the proper medication I need! I had this done twice but to no avail. So I called the doctor and inquired about it....the secrataries response to me was, "We don't check our fax machine as we get alot of faxes daily!!".  My natural response was "Are you kidding me?".  Then she said, "We don't communicate via fax!". Meanwhile the secratary was the one who told me to have the drug manufacturer FAX over the information!!

So then I asked to speak with the doctor. The Doctor got on the phone and literally starting yelling saying "It's not our job to handle your paperwork!!" and then HUNG UP!! Actually I thought that was your exact job was to handle paperwork provided and medical files? I mean what happens if the fax was for something that was life threatening? I mean your a doctor, aren't you suppose to have a level of professionalism and care that goes above and beyond others? You have people's lives in your hands and shouldn't you act accordingly? In reality you are providing a service and you are getting paid accordingly!

Look I'm just an artist who builds websites for people....I'm not changing the world or saving lives here but I do strive for greatness! Every project and every client puts their trust in my hands to produce the very best product possible. I think I owe it to them to go above and beyond. If I can't give them something great...then it's time to do something else in life!!

So I say to you that your best because if it is, then I think it's time for you to do something else!!

"The price of greatness is responsibility." - Winston Churchill

Thursday, March 22, 2012

5 Ways to Simplify Your Logo Design: Less is more!!

I'll be the first to tell you that I often break this rule myself....which is I give my logo designs more detail. I like to use a lot of shadowing, textures, and shading to give my logos depth and pizzaz!! It's really just my style and most of the times it really works out well! 

But the hardest type of logo or even design is always less complicated and simplified! Some of the most brilliant logos I have seen are SOOOOO simple yet effective! Think about some major companies logo's...McDonalds, Apple, Target, FedEx, Microsoft...etc etc. They are so bloody boring and not very clever but they really work. The reason being is because they are simplified and get branded in your brain.

So often with logo design, less is definitely more! What makes these designs so simple are:

1) Limited Color Usage (1-2 Colors Max)
2) Limited Font Usage (1-2 Fonts Max)
3) Flat Design (Rarely do you see shading, shadowing, gradients, bevels or texture). UPS Logo really has all these aspects but that's rare!
4) Less Graphics Orientated: Most fortune 500 logos are text based with very little graphics if none at all. Sometimes maybe a swoop like Nike.
5) Proportioned:  This is the tough one. The logo itself usually is in either square or wide rectangle format. Why is this? The reason is so your logo can fit in different applications. A portrait shaped logo is takes up alot of vertical it can be hard to put in certain spots or even signage. It's not a coincidence that all the big companies have the same shape of design.

Simple but effective design:
2 Fonts, 2 Colors, No shading , No gradients and overall rectangle shape

(KISS.....Keep it simple stupid)....such an old saying but true!!

Check out my other logo designs at 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Importance of Font Choice in Advertising and Logos!!

When designing a logo I always ask the client about what font are you looking to work with? I usually know what I want to use anyway but I always want their input. 50% of the times they say "Doesn't really matter...I don't care!". Wow....huge mistake!!

Your logo is your brand and so if your font choice. Your font should have character, style, and portray your image or expression properly. So what does this mean?

Ok, say you are a architect working on getting your logo should avoid fonts that are whimsical, cute, old fashioned or even bold. You would want to use fonts that are sleek, modern, and professional.

Below is a do and don't:

First Font:  Wrong Font Choice
The first font is cooper black. It's bold and bubbly...not really for an architectural design company! It's more suited for kids entertainment or used as a headline. An example of poor font choice.  The second font choice is Panther and it's more sleek and modern looking! To me it's a more snobby and posh font...more geared towards professional business's rather than mom and pop operations. Don't get me wrong, I love mom and pop operations! I feel they are the foundation of this countries small business structure. The point of my rambling is just to really think about font choice while designing.

Font choice is also extremely important when thinking about exterior signage. When designing your companies lighted sign, that sign has to POP! It has to be legible from the street and from moving cars! I would avoid thinner and scripted fonts for signage. So fonts that are think like Panther above won't work....but the cooper font will work because it's bold! So in that case that Font works. See Below!

Second Font: Wrong Choice

Another example of correct font choice would be in the logo below! The client wanted a font that is friendly, bigger in size, and an american style. 

Font Choice: SF Collegiate....An All American Retro Style Font

This is a prime example of font choice along with choice of medium. You have to use your instinct but also go with the industry norm! When it comes to font choice, it's important to consider the fonts weight, x-height, italic, and tradition! A font is like clothing, it's used to portray stature, style, mood, your professionalism, your anti-professionalism and more!

Remember the small details are what can make or break your design and branding.

Check out my website at

Monday, March 19, 2012

Avoid COMMON photography mistakes in your photo gallery!

You don't have to be a professional photographer to showcase your portfolio on your website.....especially if your are a contractor that's looking to showing a prospective client your work. BUT there are some basic things you shouldn't do!
Mistake:  Oversaturated...Too Much Light
This shot there is too much light....can't see the detail. 
Mistake:  Undersaturated...Too Little Light
This shot there is too little light....can't see the detail.  

Mistake:  Too Cluttered (Less is More)
This shot its tough to tell what the focal point is. It's just way to busy.

Mistake:  Shot too far away. 
This shot I can't tell if you are trying to feature the gravel or the retaining wall

Some other big mistakes are:

1)  Out of Focus:  Image is completely blurred. It makes you look worse if you post that picture.

2)  BAD Lighting:  Taking a shot where the image is half in the shade or it is late afternoon....almost dark and you can't really see anything

3) Garbage or Junk is laying around in the shot. I see this alot on construction photos or in hair salons and restaurants. Make sure the scene is prepared with no junk laying around. 

My best advice is to be patient, take your time and post only the photos that really portray your work. You don't have to put every picture on your portfolio/gallery page. 

It is about quality not quantity.

Check out my photos at

Good Photo : Proper Lighting and Setup

Thursday, March 15, 2012

5 Reasons why your website needs to be modernized!!

Old Website Design
New Website Design 
You took the initiave SEVERAL years ago to build a website. At the time it looked fresh or at least you thought it did. But websites are like cars....after 5 years it just gets old and boring! So I guess the 64 thousand dollar question is.....why spend the money to update?

1) Social Media Icons:  5 years ago your social networking sites were not around! So you don't have links to your social networks! Gotta add those links

2) Flash Intro: Your old site might off had a bedazzling flash intro or flash page. But now flash really is a thing of the past due to all the browser issues and mobile issues!

3) 1990's Design:  Old Chunky looking graphics....animated clipart, slow moving pages...are signs of old times and could make you look behind times. Now is the time to update to modern designs!

4) Not Enough Action:  Your website is not getting enough action or doing anything for you. This could be due to improper keywords and no opt-in boxes. You need a call to action on your website to gather prospects information. 

5) Your business has changed or grown:  If your business has been altered in any way and your website looks exactly the same and doesn't reflect change....It can confuse the viewer! 

These are just some things to consider if you want to update your website.

Check out my website at