Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a tricky topic. Google is constantly changing the playing field and SEO pros need to stay informed and make necessary site changes accordingly. Sprinkle Sparkle designs strong websites that include relevant search terms, while avoiding keyword stuffing and also offers a blogging platform that drastically increases site exposure and ranking. Increasing a site's page rank or search engine rank placement takes time - don't believe claims that it happens overnight or that a one-time overhaul of your website will affect your ranking permanently!
A visitor of your website should be able to navigate and share content without feeling like they've linked to a separate website or blog. I often see a freestanding blog simply linked to a company's website and it makes me feel like the two were just thrown together by an amateur designer that made it easy for themself and didn't consider the downside. When I visit a new blog or website and I'm interested in reading an article, I want to be sure that I'm not redirected to another website, especially when I intend to share the link socially. I want my social network to trust the links I post and feel comfortable sharing them too! Anyone can link to an existing website or blog; keep your content (and your brand) trustworthy and make the visit a seamless trip for a potential new client. Google will reward you for this.
Website owners often have separate blogs and spend time building up subscribers and posting great articles, which brings new visitors but only to their blog! The related website isn't gaining any of the blog's link-bait juice and it continues to rank at the bottom of the search engine results. If your website lacks the sparkle it needs to appear higher in the search engines, consider a new website altogether. Sprinkle Sparkle can import your Wordpress or Blogger blog posts to a new, shiny and all-inclusive website/blog. Afterall, a blog really is just a listing of your website's articles. The original term was web-log.
Sprinkle Sparkle's most recent completed design project is for Lumina Birth, a group of childbirth educators and doulas in Atlanta, GA. Lumina Birth's new website design is easy to use, so updates to the website can be made quickly for adding new childbirth class listings and free seminars. Their new birth pro website is clean and easy to navigate using a smart phone making it very user-friendly, engaging site visitors and prompting action such as sharing articles via social media and registering for new classes and events. Lumina Birth is already using their companion iphone and android apps to upload photos from community events and new blog posts directly to their website to keep site content fresh and appealing, which helps their website continue to rank high in the search engines for relevant search terms. How cool!
Sprinkle Sparkle recently completed a new website design of the existing domain at www.pregnancymassage.com. This job included the design of a blog to promote the massage services and classes at the Pregnancy Massage Center. Their new website includes a full online store so services and gift certificates can be purchased directly through the new website, increasing sales by turning visitors into customers with instant gratification. An email marketing campaign was implemented allowing both new subscribers and existing clients to receive up to date information about services directly in their inbox. Take a look at the new website design and subscribe to the blog for interesting articles about pregnancy, massage and news of the birthing community. Also, if you live in the Atlanta area or know someone who does, why not purchase a massage for yourself or a gift certificate for someone you love (pregnant or not) at the new online store? Happy browsing!
Sprinkle Sparkle serves as a one-stop-shop for doulas and other birth professionals that want to harness the power of today's internet. Easily create your online brand through Sprinkle Sparkle with website hosting, mobile and blog design, photo galleries, online stores and more all in one place. With a polished design, your birth business website will help you nurture client relationships, cultivate sales leads and distribute information about birth and postpartum support, childbirth education and mother-friendly practices. Start today and get your birth business noticed quickly!
Sitting on my couch with pen and paper, I jotted down a few topics pertaining to my business. Under each topic, I listed words and feelings that are associated with each. For example: Social Media made me think of social butterfly, which made me think of flutter and buzz. I really like the name Flutter Buzz and wanted to use it but the domain name was taken so I had to move on.
Next, I considered the phrase Search Engine Optimization and played around with portmanteaus such as Socialoptimize, combining the social media and SEO aspects of my business. I played around a lot and then looked for the domain socialoptimize.com and it too wasn't available. Boo.
Again thinking of the term social butterfly and how it pertains to social media use and the fact that my business (re)creates websites into highly effective hubs using social media and content management, I thought of the term metamorphosis. I thought this name would resonate with the birthing community and chose the domain and business name Metamorphosites.com, which also wasn't available. Still with me?
There is a term used in search engine optimization and social media marketing called 'breadcrumbs'. This refers to leaving a trail that leads back to a website or blog so that it can be indexed by search engines. Breadcrumbs made me think of other related words like scatter or the phrase 'sprinkle around'. Getting closer...
I love to use names that make me smile and evoke a feeling of happiness. (My dogs' names are Chili-Dog and Moon-Pie.) I also want my business name to be memorable. Finally, I want my clients to feel like social media superstars that sparkle and shine. Hence the name Sprinkle Sparkle.
Your birth business name needs to be unique and stand out from the pack. When considering names for my doula biz, I was shocked to see so many doulas and childbirth educators using business names that blended in with all the others. Many of these names are long, include the word labor or birth and aren't memorable at all. We live in a world of twitter, meaning we are headed toward even smaller attention spans and spend less time reading overall. Make your impression quickly!
Consider using a portmanteau (a word that is formed by combining sounds and meanings from two or more words). If you do, no one else is likely to have the same name making your business name truly unique and differentiating it from the pack. Try using descriptive words to evoke a feeling about your birth services and avoid using locations like city, state or mountain names. Remember you may decide to move someday!
"A logo is rarely a description of a business." - Paul Rand
A well designed logo is a reflection of the business it symbolizes. Its design can help or hinder your business impact. Your logo must be adaptive and look great on everything from a business card to your Facebook Page. It is the essence of your brand and begins the process of letting people know what your company is all about. Your logo complements your company name and brand image so be consistent using colors, fonts, photos, etc. on all marketing materials including your social media accounts. These components harness the brand's overall image.
Keeping your business image in mind, if you simply need a logo to get your business up and running, you probably don’t want to spend a lot of money on a design. You just need a professional looking logo to go on your business card and your doula website. A simple logo design should cost somewhere between $299 - $599 depending on how many concepts are provided and whether you retain the rights to the design (if not, another business may also use your logo).
Check out the kind of work you should expect in that price range at LogoWorks. They also offer matching business card and brochure designs. Also, I love the designs at Taste of Ink. I stumbled on their website when searching for unique printing options. The logo designs are professional, clean and affordable. Another option is to seek a student designer who is willing to create a concept for your business at a reduced rate in order to build his or her portfolio.
LogoDesign has examples of nicely designed and effective logos. Take a look around to get some ideas for your birth business. And finally, remember that logos should remain timeless and be effective no matter what decade you are doing business in. Stay away from trendy designs that look fresh now but wither with age.
Email newsletters are an integral part of your inbound marketing campaign as it is necessary to keep customers updated on your business services. It is important to offer an RSS subscription on your doula website or blog so visitors can stay engaged with your brand. It can be a daunting task to sit down and compose an email newsletter, nevermind measuring its reach and the click-through success rate of each article leading readers directly to your website or blog.
Readers of your birth blog can stay up to date in three ways:
1. Visit your blog to check if there are new post updates. (Keep your fingers crossed that your visitors check regularly and don't forget about you if you haven't posted in a bit!)
2. Subscribe to your RSS feed and receive news updates in an RSS News Reader such as FeedDemon or GoogleReader. (This is my preferred choice since I subscribe to many blogs and don't want to visit multiple sites everyday for updates.)
3. Subscribe to your RSS feed by providing an email address to receive email updates directly in their inbox. BINGO!
Enter MailChimp. Not only is their service free for account members that send small campaigns but they have a plethora of tutorials and resources to simplify the process. MailChimp for Bloggers is a free pdf guide that explains how to use your blog's RSS feed to create the content for your email newsletter. Once your MailChimp account is set up to receive RSS updates, you can select the frequency of mailings and how many posts to include. Amazingly, they offer multiple feed pulls, which means you can create an email newsletter from your Facebook Page and your blog and still track the analytics of it all.
There are two big powerhouses of social media: Twitter and Facebook. Google+ has just launched their new social media platform and will surely be a strong competitor soon enough. I hear from many birth professionals that they don't use social media at all and feel overwhelmed by all the choices. Truth be told, I was hesitant at first to join Facebook and Twitter confused me with all it's hashtags and retweets. Obviously, I have overcome these obstacles and chose to harness the power of social media and apply it to my birth business. Feel free to follow me on Twitter or Facebook or subscribe to this blog's RSS feed.
RAMA and BIGresearch states that women with children at home are more likely to use Facebook (60.3%) than average adults (50.2%). Moms use social media tools to search for coupons or deals so making your Facebook page about her, not about your company can be quite profitable.
Birth professionals need to include social media links on their websites so they can stay connected to their site's visitors and cultivate customer relationships. But watch out! If you only promote your services rather than sharing unique and helpful content, followers and fans might block your messages and consider your attempts worthless.
More than half the world owns a smartphone. Most of these people prefer using their mobile devices instead of a computer when accessing the internet. I am one of these people. I look up directions, find nearby restaurants or send emails while I am out and about. Look around you next time you are away from home; everyone seems to be using their iphone!
If a mobile visitor finds your traditional website design difficult to navigate, they are likely to leave and search for your competitors. A mobile site needs a simple design and layout, requiring minimal navigation and limited graphics. This means excluding flash, slow-to-load photos and keeping text to the bare minimum. Keep in mind the phrase function over fashion. It may not look as glitzy but a doula site that has a fast load time gets quick results.
If you are ready to make your birth biz website mobile-friendly, let's talk!
Google is King - we all know it as the go-to search engine and appreciate it's quality but many birth professionals don't understand how to use Google effectively to rank their business websites let alone get on the first page of search results. Imagine you are a potential client who is googling. What search term / keyword would you use to find your business services? These terms need to be included within the text of your website for search engine optimization. Simply placing the keywords on your doula website template isn't enough though - SEO is a science and experimentation and analytics is necessary.
Go ahead and execute a search for your birth website, just remember to clear your cache and log-out of your Google account first. This is a critical step since Google works hard to deliver relevant information and personalizes your online experience. To locate my website, The Happiest Doula, type 'birth doula in Atlanta' or 'Atlanta doula support' or simply 'Atlanta doula'.
I see no point to optimize my site specifically for the word 'doula'. It may rank high but I'd be competing with national businesses and since I offer my doula services only in Atlanta, why not reach out to the local audience? When search terms become specific, page rank increases and so do the amount of interested visitors to your birth site.