October 2011

The Key to a Great Business Card

The Key to a Great Business Card

Most people don’t think too much about a business card when they get it. You see people stuff them in their pocket in the middle of drinks on Friday night after work.

However, your business cards do make a definitive statement in that second or so, they are first viewed. Despite the old saying, we do judge a book by its cover, and this is why it is essential to get your business card printing right. Here is a look at some important issues, the changes in what business cards are used for, and a guide to make your business cards really ‘pop’!

If you like this article, you might be interested in some of our older articles on Business Card Templates, Unique Business Cards, Cool Business Cards, Business Cards Designs, and Business Card PSD.

Finding The Right Printer:

This is absolutely crucial to getting the right options, the right materials, and the quality you need. You cannot afford to take short-cuts here. Look for printers, who can handle a whole range of items, from booklet printing, to books, magazines and posters. You might want to use that printer for other promotional materials in the future. If you can stay with the same printer, you know that you are guaranteed to get the consistent quality throughout. There will always be differences from printer to printer. Look online for larger companies that specialize in making your job easier. It does not have to be an arduous task.

Shape:

Business card shape is very important. If you want to stand out from the crowd, using size and shape to be different is one of your best options. Remember, business cards are not used in the way they once were. They used to be an important way to store details. Now, everything is online, and keeping that in mind, you can see how important it is to make an impact when you hand over your business card. It is not even important if someone keeps your card any more. They are less likely to keep it if they are not interested by it. If you have their card, you can instantly send them an email from your smartphone so you know they have your contact details.

Uniformity:

Your business cards need to be in sync with all of your other printed and electronic materials. That does not mean they all need to look exactly alike. However, they do need a common thread and branding. Spending the time to get your initial designs right, is well worth it. A good online printing company will have templates to handle this if you do not have a full branding kit of your own.

Simple and Thought-Provoking:

A business card needs to be simple and yet push the right buttons instantly. They are a miniaturization of your whole business message in an instant. Interesting job titles and intelligent logo bi-lines will get attention. You only have a few seconds to impress or intrigue the mind of your potential client. Creative typography and terminology are the skills of a very qualified copywriter, and so you might want to consider professional help. If you ever doubted how important words are, look at a blank piece of paper.

Creative and high quality business cards make a real statement about you and your business. Invest the time to do it right.

General SEO Do’s and Dont’s

General SEO Do’s and Dont’s

Let me tell you WHAT TO DO by telling you WHAT NOT TO DO:

Don’t Ignore Your Audience

Write about topics your audience cares about. Like what? Find out, by conducting a poll (like I did), scan some relevant bulletin boards or forums, look for common topics in customer emails, or do some keyword research. There are great free keyword tools like the Google Keyword Tool or SEO Book’s Keyword Tool and loads more. The plan is not to spend your life doing keyword research but just to get a general idea of what your visitors are interested in.

Don’t Be Dense About Keyword Density

Keyword density

Once you have a topic for readers; help search engines find it. Keyword Density is the number of times a keyword appears in a page compared to the total number of words. You want to make sure your keywords are included in the crucial areas:

  • the Title Tag
  • the Page URL (friendly URL)
  • the Main Heading (H1 or H2)
  • the first paragraph of content.
  • at least 3 times in the body content (more or less depending on amount of content and if and only if it makes sense).

Most people aim for a keyword density of 2% (i.e. use the keyword 2 times for every 100 words). But what if your keyword phrase is “SEO for Web Designers and Web Developers” how many times can you repeat that before it sounds just plain unnatural? Write for your readers not for search engines. If you follow the tips in this article you’ll be writing naturally for your readers; which works for the search engines too.

Warning: Do not over fill your page with the same keywords or you might be penalized by search engines for keyword stuffing.

Don’t Ignore Relatives

In this article, it makes sense to mention topics like “keyword research”, “search engine crawlers” and “title tag use”, but what if I mentioned a highly trafficked term like “cell phone plans”… kind of out of context right? So use other keywords and topics that make sense to your audience, the search engine measures keyword relations to determine relevancy too.

  • Cars and Tires (yes)
  • Web Design and Flying Monkeys (no…well sometimes)

Don’t Be Afraid of Internal Linking

Do you want the search engine to see every page on your website? Help the search engine spider do its job. There should be a page (like a sitemap or blog archives) that links to all the pages on your site.

Tip: You can promote the more important pages by inserting text links within body content. Make sure you use relevant linking text and avoid using “click here” (as mentioned earlier).

Don’t Ignore Broken Links

404 not found error

You should always search for and fix the broken links on your site. If you’ve removed a page or section, you can use the robot.txt to prevent the spiders crawling and indexing the broken links. If you have moved a page or your entire website, you can use the 301 .htaccess to redirect to a new URL.

Tips: You can use the Google Webmaster Tool to find broken links and your 404 Not Found errors.

Don’t Be Inconsistent With Your Domain URL

To search engines, a www and a non-www URL are considered two different URLs. You should always keep your domain and URL structure consistent. If you start promoting your site without the “www”, stick with it.

Don’t Be Scared of Semantic Coding

Semantic and standard coding not only can make your site cleaner, but it also allows the search engines to read your page better.

Search Result Position

Coding and setting up your site to be SEO friendly can improve how well a search engine can access your website, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll end up at the top of the search engine result page (SERP). There are many factors in determining the search result position, but here are the basics:

PageRank

PageRank

Some professional SEO’s pay attention to Google’s PageRank and some don’t. In my experience it doesn’t hurt to have a high Google PageRank. It’s a nice little benchmark to let you know how important Google sees your web page as. You can improve your PageRank by following the tips above and building-up quality backlinks. If you want to learn how PageRank works, Smashing Magazine has a very good article.

Domain Age Before Beauty

You might be surprised to learn that domain age is also a factor in the search engine algorithm. Older domains have a history, and their content is looked at as more credible than the website that got started last week. Older domains sometimes get the edge in search results.

Be Patient

You may have done every single thing right., but your site is still not showing up in the search engines for your target keywords. Why? Because everything takes time. It takes time for the search engines to index and rank your site (especially for new domains). So, be patient.

Another reason — it could be the keywords that you’re trying to target are very competitive. Try altering the keywords on the page and you may have different results. Remember, you are competing with millions of web pages on the internet.

Featured Project – Appraising WNC

Featured Project – Appraising WNC

This website is brand new and is using WordPress as a CMS so the client can maintain the website themselves. It is successfully using the “protected area” feature in WordPress to allow for a ‘members only’ section of the website. We also build a custom flash map to showcase their service areas in Carolina.

Name: Appraising WNC
Website: www.appraisingwnc.com
Features: WordPress CMS & Custom Flash Maps

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