Connect with us

Marketing

Typography 101: How to select a brand font

Published

on

Get up to 30%* off! Get going with GoDaddy!

There was a “shower thought” meme circulating recently, pointing out that “accents are just mouth fonts.” All the design nerds at GoDaddy Studio had a good chuckle at that one. But the insight is kinda profound, from the perspective of your brand’s identity, and more specifically, your brand font.

You see, words aren’t just words in the context of design.

 

They serve a dual function — communicating information and telling a story. Like an accent, the way in which we receive and decode even basic information is affected by the idiosyncrasies of the voice telling it to us. And this unique tone of voice is a result of that individual’s origin story.

So now the question arises: What unique accent does your brand have, and what can this tell us about you? Your choice of brand font is really the key ingredient to shaping your brand’s voice out there in the world, in line with your story and your graphic style.

Look here, for example, at the same brand name written in three very different font styles. Each of them seems to come from a completely different world, and we know this instinctively, without any additional graphics, images, or words. We read them all slightly differently.

In this post, you’ll walk away with:

  • A working knowledge of the basic principles of typography.
  • Insights on how fonts can affect your brand identity and messaging.
  • The ability to find, navigate, and edit fonts in GoDaddy Studio.
  • Your own customized selection of typefaces to add to your brand board.
Real talk from GoDaddy Studio design curator, Storme Conradie

This information is going to make your creative decisions more tuned-in to your brand. Choosing your hero fonts upfront will also develop brand consistency, and save you loads of time in the design process down the line. We’re thinking long-term here, folks!

GoDaddy Studio makes the process of finding fonts and creatively editing text extremely simple and intuitive.

 

Once you know the basics, almost anything is possible.

The art of typography

For most of its existence, typography has been a highly specialized field for professional designers with a thing for microscopic detail.

But with the advent of personal computers and word processors, the average person has been presented with a universe of typographic possibilities for the first time. And these options just keep expanding as the field of typography keeps growing.

Today, most devices come pre-programmed with hundreds of font styles.

GoDaddy Studio has more than 500 unique fonts, all free with a Pro account

It’s an ever-evolving art form, and in as much as there are some unshakable rules we’ll look at in this chapter, typography — like all forms of art — is subject to the tide of trends.

We’ve been seeing a surge in the popularity of Delicate Serifs, Supersized Type, and Didones.

 

The point to take from this is that — whether we realize it or not — we’re all incredibly finely tuned to the subtleties of typography. In fact, we’re subconsciously snobbish to the extent that a poorly chosen font (Papyrus or Comic Sans anybody?) might rightfully raise a red flag and strongly affect our decision to engage with a brand at all.

You’d probably trust your life savings with one of these companies more than the other.

Let’s start with some basics and fine-tune as we go along.

Typography 101

It’s important to get some terminology straight at the outset because typography design has its own secret language to describe structure and spacing.

Once you start looking closer at the nuances, you’ll be able to express your choices better (“I like Sanchez Bold, but think it needs some tracking and an option with heavier serifs.”)

First off, the difference between a font and a typeface is confusing. You can use them interchangeably for the most part (we’ll do exactly that in this chapter), but to be absolutely correct and gain some cred with the type geek crowd:

  • A typeface is a family of fonts (Baskerville, for example).
  • A font refers to any variation of this typeface (Baskerville Regular, Baskerville Bold, Baskerville Italic, and so on).

This is important to know because while some typefaces in GoDaddy Studio have only one default appearance, many of them will have variations in weight and style — i.e multiple fonts within a given typeface.

The Baskerville typeface has several fonts.

Anatomy of a font

Typographers clearly personify their creations, judging by how many terms for the bits and pieces that make up letters, numbers and symbols are borrowed from the human body. You might never think of an ear, shoulder, leg, arm, or spine in quite the same way after today. The alternate definitions of beaks, bowls, tails, and spurs might also surprise you.

This diagram identifies the range of components that make up a typeface. The more you learn about typography design, the more you’ll start paying attention to how these little details differ from font to font.

Now let’s consider how we refer to the positioning of text on your canvas, and the spacing between letters, words, and paragraphs.

This diagram illustrates the relative high points and low points of a font from its baseline. The parts of a letter that rise above this are called ascenders, while the bits that dangle below the baseline are called descenders.

The length of ascenders and descenders in a word will influence the relative space between text above or below.

If the ascenders and descenders get too close to each other, the lines feel compressed, and the paragraph would require more effort to read.

In this case, we would need to adjust the leading: the space between lines of text.

This is an easy adjustment to make in GoDaddy Studio, by simply dragging the dial within the Style tab when editing fonts.

When we’re dealing with spaces between the letters themselves, we refer to tracking.

If letters are too close together, the word can be harder to read. Again, it’s a simple edit in GoDaddy Studio, switching to the tracking dial, and adjusting the spacing to add some breathing room, and legibility. You could play around with this as a creative flair for sure, too.

Kerning is similar, but refers more specifically to the spacing between two adjoining letters, and not the whole word.

Sometimes the word will be evenly spaced, but two particular individuals are standing a little too close for comfort. Restoring balance here requires optically adjusting the kerning — or just, you know, closing the gap a little.

Hierarchy

The final typographic lingo we’ll run through is hierarchy, and this one’s important because it’s how you’ll navigate the reader’s eye through your design.

In any design with text — an Instagram Story, a poster, a presentation — we can’t simply take it all in at a single glance.

To decode your message clearly, our eyes need to have a starting point, and then proceed in the right order — from point a to point b, c, d, and so on. Without this priority order for the information you’re relaying, your message will be confusing at best, and frustrating at worst.

The idea of hierarchy is most obviously expressed in editorial design, which has its roots in centuries-old newspaper layouts and remains the default today.

Scanning the pages of a publication, printed or digital, the first thing to grab your eye will always be the headline or title. If this piques your interest, the sub-heading might give you a little more context, and if you decide to read on, you’ll dig into the body copy.

These three levels are typically expressed in descending order of size:

This age-old idea still applies to almost all graphic design and branding.

Think about a concert poster, whether it’s on a street pole or your social feed. You’ll only glance at it for a moment.

In this example, there’s an order in which the designer wants us to read the information: a hierarchy from most to least essential. We’ll absorb this information sequentially, so each section ought to nudge us on to the next in a logical way:

The reader moves through text all over the page, but in a coherent order:

  1. The Desert Foals! I love them!
  2. Playing live in my town? The price isn’t too steep…
  3. When and where is the show?
  4. How do I buy tickets?

This instinctual, instantaneous process simply doesn’t work in reverse, and so the key is to make sure that the most essential information is absorbed first.

There are a few ways to do this as a way to engineer your hierarchy.

Scale

Size is the most obvious one: the more real estate the word takes up on the page, the more likely we are to read it first.

Weight

Bolder, heavier typefaces will typically get noticed before thin, slender fonts, simply because of the unignorable presence they demand.

Color

All things being equal, a word expressed in a strong, vivid color will always attract the eye more than something neutral, faded, or monochrome.

It’s no different from being transfixed by a single pink flower on a green and brown tree.

Position

Front and center is always a good spot to grab attention, but for more text-heavy design, remember that the (English-speaking) human brain is wired to scan from top to bottom, left to right — making the top left quadrant of the page our default starting position.

That’s enough theory for now. It’s time to use all this knowledge to make some informed decisions for your brand.

Let’s take a gander at the options.

Types of typefaces

All the thousands of font styles in the world can mostly be grouped into five main groups or families.

They’re classified by their structure, but this is very closely related to the context in which we use them.

These quick reference guides include some examples of the relevant typefaces we have waiting for you to try out in GoDaddy Studio:

Serifs

Serifs are those tiny little extensions that stick out from the tops and tails of some letters. Whether a font has these or doesn’t, will affect its classification.

Serif fonts, as you might have guessed, do have serifs. It’s kind of their thing.

For centuries, pretty much all typefaces were Serifs, and as such, they’re associated with classicism, and tradition — traits that suggest trustworthiness, and authority.

Stylistically, they exude sophistication and grandeur. Equally at home in a headline, logo, or full page of text, elegant Serif fonts are highly practical all-rounders in your brand identity kit.

Sans serifs

Sans is the French word for “without,” so sans serifs are fonts without those little doohickies at the ends of them.

Without this added ornamentation, they appear cleaner, more geometric, and minimalist. There’s straightforwardness and simplicity inherent in this, and brands that value these ideas would gravitate to modern sans serif fonts (take a look at many tech company fonts and you won’t find serifs).

Emerging much later in typography’s history, they conjure up associations of modernity and progressive thinking. Sans serifs are supremely legible, which is why you’re able to read this paragraph so easily. They team up beautifully with their serif cousins as a font pairing: an unbeatable combo is a serif headline, with sans serif body copy.

San serifs font example

Slab serifs

A slab is something we talk about when we refer to enormous, flat sections of stone or concrete. So, in the typography world we can imagine Slab Serifs as exactly that: fat, chunky serif fonts of significant weight.

You’d be more likely to use this for a headline rather than body copy. Their hefty presence makes them impossible to ignore. Counterbalancing a strong slab serif headline with a no-nonsense sans serif for body copy is a solid pairing.

The well-built jocks of the font family, slab serifs project strength, confidence, even athleticism — but not without a sense of playfulness. This might be why it’s the Varsity sports sweater standard.

Slab serifs font examples

Script

We’re clearly all in denial about the death of handwriting since there are hundreds of fonts that emulate the O.G typography: pen on paper.

There’s an inherent beauty to the unbroken, liquid dance of lines that sketch words like patterns on a page.

In GoDaddy Studio, it’s a heck of a lot easier than mastering fountain pen technique. Digitized though they may be, Script fonts call to mind the work of human hands. They’re expressive, free and casual, but equally capable of femininity and elegance.

Not always the easiest to read, they make better headlines and subheadings than body copy.

Script font examples

Display/decorative

The name says it all, right? Display typefaces, or decorative typefaces, are the big ones you’ll bring out when you really want to get noticed.

They’re for headlines and logos primarily — the main event. These typefaces are elaborate, ornate and playful, with an attention to detail that carries through to our associations with your brand.

Opting for decorative fonts in your brand kit is a considered move; they function as graphic elements, and as such ought to align with your brand’s graphic style.

display or decorative font examples

Font pairing

In the last section, we mentioned that certain typefaces work well with others. We also discussed hierarchy and the idea that copy usually appears at different sizes and lengths in any design.

While you could use a single typeface for all your branding and communication, it’s far more common (and sensible) to have two or three options in your kit of font styles, to use at different positions within your hierarchy.

Sadly, not all fonts can co-exist harmoniously. Some combinations just look wrong.

 

They can tug in different stylistic directions, compete for dominance on the page, or just seem to exist in different worlds. Font styles that are too similar trouble the eye too, as the reader wavers between reading, and noticing subtle differences between the necks, shoulders, feet, and ears of the two slightly different typefaces.

Font pairing refers to selecting two or three fonts for your brand kit that work in harmony, despite their differences.

Beyond our general advice of choosing a combination that is neither too different nor too similar, it’s difficult to prescribe any hard rules here. Contrast is important: pair chunkier fonts with more slender ones, an expressive typeface with a straightforward option.

The options within your brand kit could also include different font variations of the same typeface: bold, italic, textured, and so on.

uote from Storme Comradie

Some of the fonts we have in GoDaddy Studio are called duo fonts, which is basically a typeface with two very different expressions designed to work together.

Essentially, it’s a pre-selected font pairing — a two-for-one for the taking.

You’ll need to try out a few combinations to find the magic formula, which will of course hinge on your brand’s style.

As a starting point, here are some suggestions for font pairings we think work particularly well together — grouped according to our 10 graphic styles. Either use these or try subtle variations as you develop a customized combo to add to your brand board.

Bold font pairings

Example of bold font pairings

Minimal font pairings

Minimal font pairings example

Elegant font pairings

Elegant font pairings example

Modern font pairings

Modern font pairings example

Street font pairings

Street font pairings example

Classic font pairings

Classic font pairings example

Luxury font pairings

Luxury font pairings example

Playful font pairings

Playful font pairings example

Organic font pairings

Organic font pairings example

The right fonts for your brand

As we’ve emphasized before, the name of the game when it comes to creating your brand’s identity is consistency: pick them, and stick to them.

Just like your graphics, images, and colors, select font designs that complement your brand’s story and style. That said, trust your gut here. You need to be in love with your brand’s typeface more than anybody else, seeing as you’ll be using it on a daily basis.

Love at first sight is as good a reason as any to guide you.

 

Here’s some excellent parting advice from the king of the type geeks at GoDaddy Studio – our senior UX designer, Daniel, who also runs a dedicated font fanatic account @type.bot that we recommend you follow for ongoing inspiration.

quote from Dan Klopper

Daniel suggests seven key points to consider when choosing a typeface for your brand identity:

  1. Make sure it’s clearly readable and functional before choosing a typeface based on its looks. It needs to work across many mediums as your brand evolves over time.
  2. Typography styles are expressive and evoke emotions, so choose a font that is versatile and allows for different moods, depending on what content you need to create.
  3. Looks are important and cannot be ignored. It helps to distinguish your brand from others. It’s important to think about the unique letterforms and if they hold their own character, plus if they elevate your brand and don’t fall into the generic pool.
  4. Be consistent with the use of your primary typeface. Experiment with layout and forms and be consistent in delivery of type scale and composition, so that your audience can easily identify your brand.
  5. Start simple and if you need to grow and evolve your brand, start thinking of a complimentary typeface that accentuates your primary typeface and overall brand.
  6. There’s a limit. It’s best practice to keep your brand’s font family in the range of one to three fonts that work well together. A good starting point is a single font that’s versatile in its weighting and style.
  7. When you’re establishing a brand from scratch, a single well-chosen typeface can serve you and your brand well, before having to consider more typefaces (if at all). Start simple and build confidence through continuous creation.

quote from Storme Conradie

Create your brand new brand with GoDaddy Studio today, and find the perfect fonts to stand out in style. 

The post Typography 101: How to select a brand font appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.



Get Hosting for $1.00*/mo with GoDaddy!

This post was originally published on this site

Continue Reading

Marketing

5 ways to make your small business bigger

Published

on

Get up to 30%* off! Get going with GoDaddy!

Small business is proving to be big business amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Somewhat surprisingly, the entrepreneurial spirit is thriving, despite the economic recession. There’s no time like the present to consider ways to make your small business bigger.

Startups reached a record high during the 16-month period from March 2020 to June 2021. Data from NPR’s The Indicator from Planet Money reveals that people started more than 440,000 businesses in June 2021. The Wall Street Journal also reported more than 3.2 million applications for employer identification numbers (EINs) were filed in 2020.

Small businesses already in existence have managed to get creative with their business models and quickly pivoted their offerings to meet customer needs in 2020.

 

Startups just launching are equally cognizant of what it means to pivot, innovate on the fly, and retain the need to be nimble and resilient during uncertain times.

Ready to make your small business bigger?

As I write this in August 2021, it’s a bit difficult for me to predict how Q3 and Q4 of this year will pan out. However, what I do know is that small businesses can ensure their companies continue growing in 2021 and beyond if they take these five steps now — if they haven’t already:

  1. Build a website.
  2. Review your business plan.
  3. Build a business support system.
  4. Consider B Corporation Certification.
  5. Listen to your customers.

Let’s get started building your business!

1. Build a website

One of the most valuable tools in a small business’s toolkit is its website. Websites help create visibility for small businesses. Customers, both existing and new, are looking for your business online.

How can building a website benefit your business? Having a basic website acts as a home base, especially if you have a brick-and-mortar storefront. It allows customers to find you, learn about your offerings and services, and contact you for more information.

More advanced websites may be optimized using keywords and relevant copy for SEO purposes. This allows the website to rank higher in search engines and to reach customers in local and national markets.

A well-designed website also may help create a seamless customer experience. Customers can make purchases through the site and businesses can use a website to accept payments and process orders. How else can you make your small business bigger by leveraging your website?

Showcase your offerings through high-resolution photography, establish a blog, link to social media platforms where your business maintains an active presence, and encourage customers to sign up for newsletters where they may learn more about new and exciting news about your business.

Surprisingly, statistics show that only 50% of small business owners have a website.

The good news is that it’s quite easy to get started creating a small business website. You may work alongside website building and hosting companies or hire a website developer to help build an impressive and functional website for your business.

Editor’s note: Want a beautiful website in no time? Try GoDaddy’s Websites + Marketing Website Builder. It’s easy to use, visually appealing, and easily integrates with social media platforms.

2. Review your business plan

Many entrepreneurs draft a business plan when they start a business.

This document details what the business does, analyzes its target audience and competitors, examines cash flow and what makes the business profitable, and sets timelines to reach business goals.

As time progresses, small business owners are encouraged to return to their business plan to review it and refine its components.

Here are a few questions that may help you begin the review process.

  • What milestones was your business able to achieve after a year like 2020?
  • How long did it take to reach these goals? Will you need to adjust timelines to reach future goals?
  • Have there been changes to your company’s offerings, such as new products, services or pricing?
  • Is your target market growing or shrinking? For example, you may find that while your business originally intended to reach millennials, it has caught the interest (and sales) of Gen Z as well.
  • Do you have new members of management or staff? If so, you may decide to update the About Us section of your site with their biographies.
  • How has cash flow changed over the last year for the business? If it has improved dramatically from one quarter to the next, what factors contributed to these changes?

Remember that reviewing your business plan does not mean focusing on making a perfect business plan. This is an ever-changing document that is meant to better understand how each area of your business — from its financials to its marketing strategy — is being built for growth and success.

3. Build a business support system

As an entrepreneur, you shouldn’t have to go it alone trying to make your small business bigger. There will be moments when you have questions you’d like to get answered, need a shoulder to lean on when moving through the ouch spots or simply want good people to cheer you on when you succeed.

Build up a business support system. Aside from close family and friends, some of the people you may wish to add to this system include mentors and business coaches who can provide relevant insight.

You can find mentors for your business through platforms like SCORE and even take workshops that provide free business training to learn new skills and acquire the necessary knowledge it takes to run your business.

 

Another crucial part of your support system should include individuals with legal and accounting backgrounds. Legal professionals can help if you have questions about your business formation and accountants or CPAs can answer your tax and bookkeeping questions.

4. Consider B Corporation Certification

Amid a year of civil unrest and the ongoing impact of climate change on our planet, customers are expecting more from businesses. They want to spend their hard-earned dollars with companies that are honest, transparent and walk the walk when it comes to sustainability.

Do you want to truly make a difference with your business and allow your company to be the best for the world rather than in the world?

You may consider obtaining B Corporation Certification, which allows a business to balance purpose and profit and use business as a force for good. Becoming a Certified B Corporation is a voluntary process that is completed with the assistance of B Lab.

Think of it as an audit. Most entities that decide to designate their businesses as Certified B Corps start off as limited liability companies or corporations. The business must pass a test known as the B Impact Assessment (BIA). The company also must be able to meet legal requirements and meet with a B Lab Standards analyst for an assessment review before they are approved as a Certified B Corporation.

Before you begin the process, consider consulting a legal professional to determine if a Certified B Corp designation is the right decision for your business.

5. Listen to your customers

Earlier, I mentioned that having a website can be a helpful tool in creating a seamless customer experience. Whether you’re launching a new startup or growing your existing business, take the time to listen to your customers.

Listening to customers allows businesses to do more than just respond to their needs.

 

This is the time to get to know and understand your customers. Problems facing customers during COVID-19 might be different than they were before the pandemic.

Dine-in restaurants, for example, initially dealt with the issue of being able to serve customers. In the past, a customer would be able to enjoy a meal indoors, but that was not an option during the first few months of the pandemic. Many restaurants resolved this issue by listening to customers and providing take-out and delivery services. Some even installed drive-throughs to make it easier to place orders and help customers get exactly what they needed.

Listen to customers and pay attention to the needs of your target market. Identify their problems and pain points.

How can your offerings act as a solution? Is it possible to develop new products if your existing services are unable to help solve these problems?

Study and plan how you will best be able to serve customers in calm and challenging times alike. Reach out for customer feedback on a year-round basis and keep a sharp eye on customer behavior changes and audience interests. The bigger the business, the more investors will take interest in your startup — and its loyal customer base!

The above content should not be construed as legal or tax advice. Always consult an attorney or tax professional regarding your specific legal or tax situation.

The post 5 ways to make your small business bigger appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.



Get Hosting for $1.00*/mo with GoDaddy!

This post was originally published on this site

Continue Reading

Marketing

Planning your September social media calendar with GoDaddy Studio

Published

on

Get up to 30%* off! Get going with GoDaddy!

Content for days

When it comes to planning your social media content, the important thing is to think about what engages your target audience most. Businesses across varying industries can utilize their social content for strategic advertising purposes. Using GoDaddy Studio can help you plan your September social media calendar more efficiently with tools to create content based on this month’s trending events.

Examples of social content you can plan for this month include:

  • Auto specials
  • Live music events
  • Outdoor craft fairs
  • Last-chance summer clothing offers
  • Late summer meal specials at restaurants

Below, we’ll share our best tips for success and give you plenty of ideas to plan out your September social media calendar.

Key tips for a successful September social media calendar

Before we dive into specific dates to start planning for, it’s important we review a few logistics that’ll help your social campaigns attract more viewers. Think about these points as you get started.

Go for a design that’s warm and cozy

As you look forward to planning your September social media calendar, think about adopting a fall look for your marketing campaigns. This could mean adorning your messages with warm hues like:

  • Burnt orange
  • Lemony yellow
  • Deep crimson

Anything that inspires a sense of coziness is good here. You can add these touches to:

  • Seasonal sales
  • New ranges
  • Fall menus and more

Related: GoDaddy Studio — Create eye-catching imagery for your brand

Be timely with seasonal trends

For many companies, September signifies the end of the back-to-school season. This is the final time for industries in this area to do a big push before families finish their shopping for the new school year.

Consider targeting this seasonal trend in your September social media calendar if your business specializes in:

  • School supplies
  • Kids’ clothing
  • Meal prep
  • Family health
  • Daycare

Remember, strategic social media calendars are built around your target audience. Cater to their needs accordingly by highlighting your key products at the right time.

Don’t forget about global audiences

If you’re connected to global audiences in different locations (and if you’re selling online, there’s a good chance you are),  you’ll want to think about ways to hone in on other seasonal trends.

Take our friends located in the Southern Hemisphere, for example. This is the time of year they head into spring, which is something to note on your September social media calendar. If you do choose to reach those customers with seasonal posts, try to target posts directly to those regions, so your North American customers aren’t targeted with spring posts meant for your Australian customers.

In this case, you can use the wonder of nature to position your brand firmly in the minds of those looking to start afresh. Florists are a natural fit here, but so are companies working in outdoor space like:

  • Wellness
  • Fashion
  • Restaurants and more

National and religious holidays

Celebratory get-togethers are much sweeter this year now that lockdown restrictions are starting to ease up.

Expect folks to be more excited about upcoming national and religious holidays.

Take advantage of this enthusiasm where you can on your September social media calendar.

Labor Day

Labor Day, celebrated on the first Monday in September unofficially marks the end of summer in the United States. It typically signifies a time of getting together to enjoy the last days of the season.

But for many online businesses, it also means planning out a September social media calendar with events or specials focused on spending time with loved ones and small gatherings (think barbecues, picnics, and outdoor fairs).

Rosh Hashanah

This holiday falls on September 6th and is a time when the Jewish community celebrates a new year and a fresh start. For brands, this is a time to send well wishes to your Jewish community, as they spend time together on this special day.

Yom Kippur

September 15th and 16th are days that are reserved for forgiveness and spiritual reflection within the Jewish community.  Social messages that wish to acknowledge this holiday should be more humble and avoid celebratory or excess tones.

20th anniversary of 9/11

September 11th is a time for all Americans to remember and honor the men and women who lost their lives on 9/11. It’s also a time for ordinary citizens to recognize and appreciate first responders and military personnel working hard within their communities.

Your message shouldn’t be celebratory here. Rather, it should portray a level of respect and appreciation, and an acknowledgement of the anniversary.

Sports and entertainment

When planning your September social media calendar, consider any sports-related content that may appeal to your audience. The U.S. Open and college football are two major sporting events that occur during this month, so let’s dive in on how you can tap into this category through social planning.

The U.S. Open

The U.S. Open continues this month and runs up until September 12th. This means you’ll want to get your balls in a row and your chalk marks lined up, as you make a play for all things tennis.

Key industries that would benefit here include any sports-related:

  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Cafes

If you’re an outdoor venue, you could also consider organizing a viewing party to drum up a celebratory atmosphere.

Create specials and share them to your social platforms to draw customers in.

College football

If you haven’t yet jumped on the bandwagon for college football season, you’re not too late. These events go on until the championship game in early January and can benefit businesses like:

  • Sports bars
  • Retailers specializing in outdoor equipment
  • Sporting good shops

Since many fans weren’t able to cheer for their teams in social gatherings last year, now’s the time to get in on the heightened excitement. Plan ahead on your September social media calendar and celebrate these events if it relates to your business. This is especially important if you’re in a college town with a big football presence, like Ann Arbor, Michigan or College Station, Texas.

Awareness months and days

September includes some important awareness events that you can use to educate and inspire your audience. Of course, this will depend on the space you’re in and the brand voice you have. But planning your September social media calendar with the right choices will help elevate your online engagement.

International Literacy Day

International Literacy Day falls on September 8th, and it’s the perfect time to promote all the great literary minds, works and wisdom of the world.

Anyone in the education industry can get involved here, but here are other example industries that should participate:

  • Charities promoting literacy
  • Bookshops
  • Booksellers
  • Independent authors
  • Libraries

All of the above have a chance to step into the spotlight on a day that falls squarely within their area of expertise.

Deaf Awareness Month

National Deaf Awareness Month is about raising awareness for anyone with varying degrees of hearing loss, ranging from mild to moderate or severe cases.

Charities can obviously use this time for very targeted messaging, but any brand can create content that centers around hearing loss education.

Be sure to include subtitled videos, too. You can create them directly around the theme or have them relate to more generalized content you’re posting.

National Hispanic Heritage Month

Spanning a month, from September 15th to October 15th, National Hispanic Heritage Month nudges Hispanic-owned businesses to the fore.

More than just a promotional window, this is a great opportunity to tell your brand’s story.  It could also deepen your connection to your audience — especially when it comes to engaging more with your Hispanic followers.

Any business can use this opportunity to connect with their Hispanic audience. But the following industries should prioritize this a bit more on their September social media calendar:

  • Restaurants
  • Educational institutions
  • Non-profit organizations

When it comes to your social campaigns, think about connecting through:

  • Dialogue
  • Awareness
  • Pure celebration

These techniques are great for brands looking to start conversations within the Hispanic community, but make sure to be open to learning more along the way.

International Day of Peace

If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that the world needs more peace. International Day of Peace, on September 21st, is the perfect time to educate or inspire your audience with concepts of goodwill.

Charities, educational institutions, political organizations, and health and wellness brands have great opportunities to plan campaigns for International Peace Day.

Again, this can be an excellent theme to connect with your audience in a positive way. You should especially consider adding it to your September social media calendar if this message closely aligns with your brand.

Trending months and days

If you’re looking to celebrate the less serious stuff, try adding these trending events to your September social media calendar.

National Yoga Month

Join the many yogis across the U.S. and unite with them to say “namaste” all month long. Anyone offering the following products or services can get involved:

  • Yoga classes
  • Retail (think yoga gear and equipment)
  • Health and wellness brands
  • Fitness brands
  • Travel brands (yoga retreat, anyone?)

Invite your audience to meet you in downward dog with fun graphics or create a hashtag challenge that promotes physical and mental well-being.

World Heart Day

Social ads for World Heart Day

Our hearts literally keep us alive as they pump blood around our body to our vital organs. They also have metaphorical references in books and poems that have spanned for centuries. But World Heart Day on September 29th is all about educating people on the importance of the magical pump in our chests.

Health and wellness businesses, medical organizations and nonprofits, food and beverage brands, and doctors’ offices can promote World Heart Day on social media.

Social campaigns that target this day should focus on healthy foods and habits that contribute to good heart health.

World Tourism Day

Never has the tourism industry needed our support like they do now. While the global pandemic put a stop to most international travel last year, this industry is still curtailed to varying degrees in different countries.

ocial media ad examples for World Tourism Day

ocial media ad examples for World Tourism Day

Still, many industries can continue to celebrate World Tourism Day on September 27th by promoting a sense of wanderlust, including:

  • Travel agencies
  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Airlines
  • Entertainment spaces (think casinos, shopping, or popular tourist destinations)

As more countries begin to open up more, the travel industry should seize every opportunity they can on this day.

National Video Games Day

If you’re in the gaming space, you’re in an industry that continues to be on the up and up. Video games continue to take center stage in popular youth culture and many gamers celebrate in the U.S. on September 12th.

Social media ads for National Video Games day

Social media ads for National Video Games day

This the perfect opportunity to engage with your audience through:

  • Giveaways
  • Specials
  • Competitions or other events

If your brand’s online persona aligns with any humorous or witty audiences, this is a day you should mark on your September social media calendar.

International Podcast Day

The popularity of podcasts continues to grow exponentially – not least due to our homebound habits in the wake of the pandemic. If you haven’t already, you ought to at least consider getting in on the podcast action. September 30th is International Podcast Day, so it’s a great day to launch a podcast or promote the one you already have.

Podcast image examples

Podcast image examples

If you’re not producing podcasts, you could also showcase the ones you love that relate best to your business and industry. You can do this by promoting it through a blog post or social media.

Update your designs and promos accordingly

Posting on a special theme relating to one of the events above is easy and impactful.

You can use these opportunities to update your brand identity for maximum impact.

Try doing this for a day, a week or month that aligns with the holiday you’re celebrating.

Mood boards for social media ad inspirationMood boards for social media ad inspiration
Consider creating a fall mood board for your brand.

Having your templates ready and accessible in a tool like GoDaddy Studio is a super simple way to keep the design process quick and uncomplicated. When it’s made easy, creating your content during the month of September can literally save hours out of your day. Utilize this extra time to plan your September social media calendar strategically with events that relate to your business most.

Create some beautiful visual content for the month of September, with GoDaddy Studio. Try it for for free now.



Get Hosting for $1.00*/mo with GoDaddy!

This post was originally published on this site

Continue Reading

Growing a Business

The ultimate guide to optimizing a website for lead generation

Published

on

Get up to 30%* off! Get going with GoDaddy!

You’re probably creating websites with the goal of connecting with more customers and growing a business. But if you want to connect with more customers, you need a lead generation guide to help you to optimize those websites.

This process involves finding ways to reach customers, like optimizing the site for search engines, as well as setting up a site so that it’s designed to generate as many leads as possible from the traffic it generates.

In this post, we’re going to cover everything that you need to know about lead generation.

We’ll start with an introduction to lead generation and why it’s important. Then, we’ll share some actionable tips that you can implement on a website to start generating more leads today.

What is lead generation?

Lead generation is the process of generating interest in a product or service. A person who is interested in what you have to offer is called a “lead.” Once you generate a potential lead, you want to “capture” their information, which is why you’ll see the term “lead capture” used alongside “lead generation.”

Typically, you’ll “capture” a person’s information using some type of form or chat — this could be a form in the site’s content, a popup, a chatbot, a notification bar, etc.

Lead generation isn’t just about collecting the contact information of as many people as possible, though.

You want to go after qualified leads, which are people who really do have a genuine interest in a product or service and are likely to convert into paying customers or clients.

Typically, lead generation works something like this:

  1. You attract traffic to a website using strategies like search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing. You want to try to reach the type of people who might be interested in the product(s) or service(s) offered.
  2. Once you get people on a site, you use web forms or chatbots to collect their information. You can then store that information in a customer relationship management tool (CRM) to more easily track and engage with leads.
  3. With a person’s information in the CRM, it’s time to start converting them into a customer, either with additional marketing content or direct sales (or both!).

Why is lead generation important for a website?

When you’re building websites for your clients, optimizing for lead generation is very important.

Your goal for the website probably isn’t to just have “a website.” Instead, you want the website to help achieve a business need. In most cases, that business need is getting more customers, which requires lead generation.

When building websites, it’s easy to get caught up in the design and just focus on creating a great-looking end product. But having a good-looking website isn’t the only thing, or even the most important thing. You also need to have a website that gets results.

Think about this… would you rather have:

  • A stunning website that wins design awards and generates 50 leads per month.
  • A good-looking website that won’t win design awards, but generates 250 leads per month.

Of course most people want both! But if you had to pick, option #2 would be the best, right?

And that’s the really important thing to understand.

If you can move beyond creating just a website and get to a website that generates leads, the business will be much more successful, with a steady stream of potential customers for whatever it’s offering.

How to optimize a website for lead generation

Now that you know what lead generation is and why it’s important, let’s get into some tactics for how you can optimize the websites that you build for lead generation.

Optimize for search engines

Ranking your site’s content in search engines like Google is one of the best ways to reach qualified leads. With search engines, you already know that people are searching for keywords that relate to a business — all you need to do is get them onto the site to capture their information.

Here are some tips to do that:

Optimize content to match search queries

One of the best ways to generate qualified leads is to create content that potential leads might be interested in. You can then rank that content in Google so that people find it when they’re searching.

The content doesn’t have to be directly promotional. In fact, it’s often more authentic to not be overtly promotional in the content that you create. Instead of trying to sell people right away, focus more on getting them onto a site and collecting their details — you can always convert them later on once you have a relationship.

For example, let’s say the site is for online personal training and your client is looking to reach potential clients. You could write an article on a topic like “the best ways to get bigger biceps.”

This article isn’t directly promotional — it’s just providing information. However, the same types of people who are interested in learning how to get bigger biceps are also the types of people who might be interested in hiring a personal trainer to help them achieve their goals.

Once you get them on the site, you can capture their information and start working to convert them into customers.

Of course, creating content is only one part of the puzzle — you also need to optimize the content for SEO. To do that, here are some tips:

  • Perform keyword research — Keyword research helps you discover the queries that people are searching for so that you can match your content to the exact phrases people use in search engines.
  • Write for humans, but pay attention to SEO — You should always write content for humans, but it’s still important to include the target keyword in your post, especially in the title and periodically in the body of content.

You can learn more about content optimization in this post.

Install essential SEO plugins

If you’re trying to optimize a WordPress site for SEO, it’s essential to install a dedicated WordPress SEO plugin so that you can implement good on-page SEO best practices.

A good SEO plugin will help you:

  • Set SEO titles and meta descriptions — These let you control what users see when a site appears in Google.
  • Analyze SEO optimization — Many SEO plugins can analyze content for a focus keyword and help make improvements, such as optimizing the keyword density of content.
  • Implement technical SEO — SEO plugins help you implement important tactics like redirecting attachment pages and just generally making the core WordPress software more SEO friendly.
  • Integrate with Google Search Console — Plugins can help you integrate a site with Google Search Console to track its performance in Google search.

There are lots of great SEO plugins, but here are some of the best:

All of the plugins above have free versions available at WordPress.org.

Optimize for Page Experience (speed and user experience)

In 2021, Google will launch its new Page Experience update, which is an update to its search algorithm to factor in page speed and other user experience metrics as SEO ranking factors.

If you want to set up a site for success in Google, that means you also need to focus on optimizing the website for performance.

There are a lot of ways that you can optimize for performance:

  • Use fast, performance-optimized web hosting.
  • Use page caching to reduce server processing time.
  • Minify your site’s JavaScript and CSS code to reduce its size without changing functionality.
  • Reduce the size of your pages, as paying special attention to image optimization can usually result in large reductions in page size because images account for about half of the size of the average web page. You can also use server compression technologies like Gzip and Brotli.
  • On WordPress, make sure you’re using a lightweight theme and try to limit the number of plugins that you use to only those that are essential.
  • Consider using a content delivery network (CDN), especially if your site has a global audience.

You can use tools like PageSpeed Insights and WebPageTest to analyze your site’s performance. In general, Google recommends that your site’s Largest Contentful Paint time be under 2.5 seconds to do well in the Page Experience algorithm update.

Optimize for Security

A site’s security can play a key role in lead generation, as security issues can reduce trust with your potential leads and also cause issues with your search engine optimization efforts.

Use HTTPS

HTTPS is a technical protocol that encrypts the data that moves between visitors’ web browsers and a website. In order to activate HTTPS on a website, you need to install an SSL certificate.

There are two ways that using HTTPS can improve a site’s lead generation:

First, using HTTPS boosts trust with visitors and lets them know that the data they submit via lead generation forms is secure. In fact, if you have a lead generation form on a site and you don’t use HTTPS, some web browsers (like Chrome) will even mark the page as insecure — you can see an example in this blog post from the Chromium team.

Second, using HTTPS can also help you optimize a site for search engines, which is important for reasons that we discussed in the previous section. Since 2014, Google has used HTTPS as a small ranking factor in its search results, so adapting HTTPS will give your website a slight edge in the search results. Every little bit counts when it comes to SEO, so you shouldn’t ignore any advantage that you can give your site, no matter how small it is.

Consider a security plugin

Beyond using HTTPS, it’s just generally important to keep your site secure. Malicious actors are always on the lookout to find ways to infect your site with malware or spammy SEO links. Having your site infected will hurt trust with your potential leads and can also cause issues with your site’s search engine optimization, as Google removes infected sites from its results and many browsers will block access to infected sites (e.g. Google Chrome Safe Browsing).

To help mitigate threats, you can use a security plugin like Sucuri Security for WordPress.

Optimize for mobile

When you’re optimizing for lead generation, it’s important to pay special attention to mobile visitors.

It’s easy to focus on desktop visitors when you’re optimizing a site for conversions, but more than half of all website traffic happens on mobile devices nowadays, so you’re missing out on a huge source of potential leads if you don’t optimize for mobile lead generation.

Implement response design

Optimizing for mobile starts with responsive design at a minimum.

What is responsive design?

It’s the idea that your website will automatically adjust to show an optimized design no matter what device a visitor is using. Someone browsing on a desktop will see a desktop-optimized design and someone browsing on a smartphone will see a smartphone-optimized design.

Nowadays, most content management systems (CMS) include built-in features or themes to make responsive websites. For example, most themes for WordPress are responsive by default. The same is true for most website builders.

Test for mobile-friendliness

In addition to having a responsive design, you also want to make sure that a site doesn’t have any mobile usability issues that might make it difficult for mobile visitors to interact.

Google will also start using mobile-friendliness as an SEO ranking factor in its Page Experience update, so optimizing for mobile-friendliness is another useful tactic to optimize for SEO.

To see if a site has any issues, you can use Google’s free Mobile-Friendly Test tool. The tool will flag any issues on your site and give you some tips for how to fix the problem.

Google Search Console also includes a report that lets you see mobile issues that Google discovers.

Optimize for lead capture and conversion

If you’ve done everything so far, you’re ready for the last step — the actual lead generation forms.

There are lots of different ways that you can capture leads’ information. Here are some popular options:

  • Web forms — Place lead capture forms in the actual content, either on a dedicated landing page or as part of a page, such as in the sidebar.
  • Popups — Experiment with different types of popups, such as modals, slide-ins, notification bars, and more.
  • Live chat — Use live chat and/or chatbots as an interactive way to capture lead information in a more conversational format.

Tools like HubSpot can help you create customizable web forms to place anywhere on your site. HubSpot also offers a free WordPress plugin that lets you create forms from inside your WordPress dashboard, along with other types of lead capture tactics including popups and chatbots.

When creating your forms, you need to think about what fields you include in your forms. There’s a fine line between using too few form fields and too many. As a rough rule…

  • More form fields equal lower conversation rates for your form.
  • Fewer form fields equal less qualified leads because you don’t have as much information about a person.

For most businesses, the optimal lead capture form will be somewhere in the middle. You want enough form fields to add at least some lead qualification, but not so many fields that you discourage visitors from filling out the form and lower conversion rates.

Beyond the form itself, you should also experiment with different placements and lead capture methods.

For example, you can see if a modal popup generates more qualified leads than a basic web form. Or if your interactive chatbot is more effective than the popup.

Experimenting with these types of details can help you boost your conversion rates, which means more leads end up in your CRM.

Use our lead generation guide to start optimizing websites today

If you want to create successful websites, optimizing for lead generation is key. Having a website is great, but having a website that generates leads is what will help your business grow and succeed.

In this post, we’ve introduced you to what lead generation is and why you need to care about it.

We’ve also covered some of the most important areas that you need to focus on if you want to optimize your website for lead generation.

Implement these tips today and you’ll be generating more leads in no time.

The post The ultimate guide to optimizing a website for lead generation appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.



Get Hosting for $1.00*/mo with GoDaddy!

This post was originally published on this site

Continue Reading

Trending

SmallBiz Newsletter

Join our newsletter for the latest information, news and products that are vital to running a successful SmallBiz.