How to Use Google My Business to Get More Customers

Google My Business

How to Use Google My Business to Get More Customers

You should know by now that showing up high in Google search results will greatly improve your company’s online visibility. However, you may be overlooking a free tool that gives you even more exposure, while enhancing your customer experience. What is Google My Business or GMB?

GMB is a free online business profile available to any business. In fact, you may already have a GMB listing that was automatically generated by Google—you just need to claim it. You can then enhance your profile by taking advantage of a wide range of built-in features.

Here is one reason why Google My Business is SO valuable: Google often puts local business listings at the top of search results when people look for a specific type of business. And those online searchers often turn into customers. One study found that 76% of people who search for a local business on a mobile device end up visiting that business or a similar one within the next day.

1. Get on the Map

How can you take full advantage of Google My Business to make it effective at attracting in customers? Get on the Map! Before setting up your profile, make sure that one wasn’t already generated for your business based on third-party information, such as online customer reviews. Google will guide you through the steps of building out your profile. One key step is ensuring your business shows up on Google Maps, so that potential customers can easily find your physical location. Is your business on Google Maps? Let us know in the comments below!

2. Make Your Listing Pop

Here is how YOU can make your Google My Business listing POP! Write a short, engaging description of your business using keywords that online searchers are likely to use to describe your type of business, such as “sports equipment” or “pet supplies.” This will help drive search results. Then add photos and videos showcasing your business, your products, your employees or your customers in the best possible light. Be sure to provide all the information requested, including your physical address, phone number and hours of operation. The more complete your listing, the higher it will land in Google search results

3. Customer Reviews

How many of you search in Google before visiting a store or restaurant? Another question, how many of you look at the reviews before going or buying from that business? Most people do! Customer reviews are a key metric Google uses to determine your Google My Business (GMB) ranking in search results, so it’s important to encourage happy customers to post reviews to your business profile. While you can’t pay customers to write positive reviews, an incentive such as a free appetizer or a discount on their next purchase could motivate them to leave you a review!

4. Posting Regularly

Here’s what else Google My Business (GMB) offers: For example, GMB recently rolled out a new feature that allows service businesses to display their service area. You can also promote coupons, blog posts or special events using the Google My Business Posts feature. Posting regularly will boost the SEO of your website if you include related keywords. These posts appear on your GMB homepage, almost like mini-ads or social media posts. You can then link back to your website or social media pages in your posts to MAXIMIZE their effectiveness!

5. Google Analytics Data

We LOVE data. Along with your free listing on Google My Business, you’ll have access to Google Analytics data, which shows you where your customers are coming from and how they are finding you. You can also measure the response to specific posts, promotions and calls to action. This can help you fine-tune your marketing strategy.

Need Help with Google My Business?

If you need help to create or optimize your Google My Business listing make sure to schedule your free web consultation today

Free Video Conference Apps To Stay Connected

Free Video Conference Apps
To Stay Connected With Your Clients

While we all do our best to practice social distancing during this uncertain time, it’s very important to find ways to stay connected with your clients. 

Thankfully, there are plenty of great free apps out there that can help you host a meeting, hold a video conference or share a screen with your clients to continue. Listed in no specific order, the following apps will help you stay connected all from the comfort of your own “home office.”

WhatsApp the best known option since it’s completely FREE — No Fees or Subscriptions! Keep in mind you can only communicate with people who have the app. Invite your clients to download the free app.

Supports: Group calling allows up to four (4) participants to video call each other using mobile WhatsApp for unlimited duration. Check out WhatsApp

100% download free! Check out some of the features included:

Get your own dedicated conference line and free web conferencing, video conferencing, and screen sharing. Web conferencing with up to 5 participants. (use for mobile and desktop) Check out Free Conference today and meet anyone, anywhere, anytime! 

If your already a Google user, you already have access yo Google Hangouts.  It’s so easy to make and join video calls. Hold video meetings for your business by just setting up a meeting and sharing a link. Google Hangouts supports up to 10 participants for unlimited duration. (use for mobile and desktop) Take a look at Google Hangouts!

Stress free conference calls right from a browser. If you have international clients, this app is especially great since they join without the hassle of dialing into a U.S. phone number. UberConference can be used from anywhere in the world by calling in through the web. Supports up to 10 participants for 45 minutes. (use for mobile and desktop)

Make video calls from your iPhone or iPad with FaceTime. Its video quality, its integration with other Apple devices are so beneficial combining the best of both worlds making easier to better understand and support your clients. 

Supports up to 32 participants, including yourself, for an unlimited duration (use for mobile and desktop). Get more details on Group FaceTime, check out Apple’s support page

Skype allows you to make free one-to-one video calls or group calls to meet and collaborate all at once. Skype’s video calls makes it easy to assign projects, talk about future deadlines, and make communicating more productive. Some of the features include full-screen video, chat invites and background blur. 

Supports up to 50 participants for an unlimited duration (for mobile and desktop). Discover all that Skype Group Video Chat has to offer.

Zoom allows its users to create video calls with a computer or mobile device. It’s free basic version of Zoom Meeting provides everything necessary you need to achieve. You’ll be guided through the process in easy to understand steps.   

Supports up to 100 participants for 40 minutes. Unlimited 1 to 1 meetings. (for mobile and desktop) 

Sign up for your free Zoom Video account! 

Tips For Working From Home

Tips for Working From Home

Tips For Working From Home

Due to the global spread of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, more people are staying home. Major conferences have been canceled and now most employers are now requiring that their employees work from home – all to reduce the risk of spreading infection to themselves and others. 

Although it may seem difficult at first, you can make working from home successful. Here’s our 7 tips to be productive and keep you going.

1. Set A Schedule

It’s very important that you try to set a schedule that works for you and stick to it.

Let your family and friends know your working hours. Make sure you inform them that you will contact them after work or lunch.

2. Start Your Day Right

Start your day early with a healthy breakfast, and change into comfortable clothing – pajamas not recommended. What’s so wrong with wearing pajamas all day? Let’s just say you’ll feel better when you get that last-minute video conference call – you won’t be taken by surprise!

3. Make A Checklist

Before you start your work, make a checklist on paper or digital format – don’t rely on a mental list. Use a scrap of paper or Post-It Notes! 

Let your list do its job – this helps to ensure consistency and completeness in carrying out a task.

4. Create A Playlist

Listening to music can increase productivity and your ability to concentrate.

If music with lyrics distracts you we recommend listening to instrumentals. Remember, make work more enjoyable. You know what helps you get more done and what doesn’t. Find the right balance that works for you. 

5. Set A Time For Breaks

Taking breaks are essential. It can help de-stress and re-charge. Many opt for a light stretch or a quick coffee break. Give your brain and body a break! It’ll help you feel refreshed.   

Get up and move! It’s good to go outside and smell the fresh air for a bit, walk on the treadmill or exercise. And if you feel like dancing, go for it! 

6. Healthy Snacks & Drinks

Don’t underestimate the power of snacks! Healthy snacks can help maintain your energy and improve your mood. Set a small amount of time and step away from the computer to fully enjoy them.

Dehydration can cause you to lose focus. By staying hydrated you can improve your cognitive skills and mental performance. Our favorite drinks are fruit or vegetable juices and especially pure coconut water.

7. Log Out Of Work

It’s 5 o’clock time to log out! It’s not easy, but try to make it a habit everyday around the same time. It’s important to fight the temptation of not checking work emails

Now it’s time for family and friends. Recharge so you can feel fresh for the next day! 

Staying Safe at Gee Productions

Stay Safe

Stay Safe

Staying Safe At Gee Productions

We know during the last few weeks things are becoming uncertain and the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation is worrisome. We hope you’re all staying safe! Rest assured we are taking the necessary steps for our health, as our goal is to continue serving you–our community with our online services.

We appreciate your support as we all get through this together as a community and soon return to normal everyday life. We will continue to be open during normal business hours. If you have any questions, please reach out to us by phone/text or email. We are here for you and will continue to be here.

As always, we appreciate your business and look forward to continuing to serve you. Thank you for your continued support.

Wishing good health and happiness to you and all of your loved ones,

Javi & Eli Gonzalez
GEE PRODUCTIONS

The Difference Between a Custom Logo and a Stock Logo

Custom Logo Vs Stock Logo

The Difference Between a Custom Logo and a Stock Logo

It’s hardly news that having a brand logo can massively improve your company’s authenticity and business presence. However, many companies think of their logo as an afterthought, instead concentrating on other areas they consider more important.

Here at Gee Productions, we understand how important it is to have the right logo for your business. So we’ve put this article together to explain the difference between a custom logo and a stock logo, and the difference this can make to your business presence.

What do we mean by stock logo?

Stock logo might not be a term you’ve heard before, but most people have probably heard of a stock photograph. Realistically they’re the same concept: an image that’s owned but can be used in the public domain. Stock logos can also include clip art and templates; all of these fall under the umbrella term of stock images. Getty Images is probably the most famous stock image company, but there are thousands out there.

What’s the difference between a custom logo and a stock logo?

As you can probably tell from the definition above, the difference between the two types of logos is essentially down to the ownership. Stock logos can be purchased from a public website for a fee, but this also means that any other business in the world can also purchase the image. As a result, you might end up with the same brand logo as many other companies.

Custom logos, on the other hand, are unique (hence why they’re called custom logos). They are designed specifically for your business by a graphic designer, meaning the logo can be whatever you want, and will be different from your competitors. This obviously helps you stand out from the crowd, particularly in saturated markets.

Similarly, stock images are generally cheaper than custom logos, but this comes at a price. While the idea of saving money might seem appealing when you’re in the early stages of setting up your business, having a stock logo that’s potentially the same as many other businesses could have an impact on your credibility later down the line when you’re trying to set yourself apart from your competitors.

Custom logos will generally be more expensive, but this is because you’re paying a designer for their time and design skills. However, if brand image is important to your company, then it can definitely be worth investing the extra money at this early stage.

Another key thing to remember is that using stock logos means signing the content owner’s license agreement. This means there’ll be restrictions on how you can use the content, and whether it can be used commercially at all.

A custom logo, however, means you own the content. You pay the graphic designer a fee, and then it’s yours to use however and wherever you want. While the upfront costs might be a little higher, the long-term benefits to a business are obvious.

Choosing a custom logo for your business

Custom logo design is definitely best practice for any business looking to set themselves apart from the competition. It gives you a unique angle and identity, which is what any business needs to establish a place for themselves in the market.

If you’re in the process of building your brand image and would like a custom logo designed, then contact Gee Productions. We pride ourselves on being leading graphic and web designers, and know exactly what a custom logo means to a business. We work with you to get the right logo for your brand, so contact us to find out more.

Do I Really Need A Logo For My Business?

Does My Business Need A Logo?

Do I Really Need A Logo For My Business?

If you had to think of some of your favorite (or the most recognizable) brands, what stands out about them? It’s likely that one of the first things you remember about any brand is their logo, along with any strong color choices on packaging. This in itself is reason enough why your business really needs a logo.

You might think this kind of logic doesn’t apply to small businesses or startups, but brand identity is just as important (or even more so) for them than it is for larger companies. Here at Gee Productions, we understand the value of a strong brand identity, so we’ve put together our top 5 reasons for why your business really does need a logo.

1. A snappy logo grabs attention

Most businesses nowadays have to compete in a fairly saturated market. Regardless of your industry, there are most likely many other businesses trying to occupy the same space as you, whether it’s locally, nationally, or internationally. So you need to do everything possible to grab the attention of your potential customers and bring them to your business. A logo is the perfect way to do this.

A business logo is going to be one of the first things people see from your company. You can often fit a logo where there’s no room for text, so there’s every chance people will see your logo before they learn your business name. Your company logo should therefore grab attention straight away and give people a reason to be interested in your brand and what you have to offer.

Similarly, your logo is often the thing on which most customers will form their opinion about your business. As mentioned, if it’s the first thing they’ll see, then it needs to get their attention and create a good impression about you. It should offer some indication of what you do, but still leave things open enough so that they have to visit your website to get more information.

2. A good logo really is the foundation for your brand

This is a very similar point to the one above, but definitely needs mentioning on its own because it’s so important. Companies like Apple and Windows have very simple but effective logos that are foundational to their brand’s identity. What’s more, they’re instantly recognizable to the point where even people who don’t use their products know what they are. While this is more than a small business would expect from their logo, it’s still a good thing to aim for.

Your business logo should be one of the first things you consider when building your brand identity. After all, it’s going to be put on any products you sell, any marketing campaigns, your website and social media, and any other place you can think of. Therefore it needs to be something relevant, interesting, and on brand.

3. Sets you apart from the competition

Branding works on many levels, but one of the most important is setting you apart from the competition. For example, if you’re opening a coffee shop, it might be tempting to include a coffee bean in your branding as it’s on topic. However, consider how many other coffee shops had this exact same idea. Now consider a company like Starbucks, which decided to use a mermaid as its logo. It definitely stood out from the competition.

However, don’t go too far away and come up with something completely random. An effective logo should be on topic, but with a twist that differentiates it from the potentially hundreds of other brand logos in a similar area.

4. Logos make a big difference to brand loyalty

It’s amazing how attached customers can get to a brand’s logo. After all, it’s one of the defining features of their brand identity, and is often the thing customers latch on to most (aside from the quality of the product, of course). An effective logo should not only create interest in the brand, but should also give customers a reason to stick with it.

As a side note, simple, bright, and easily recognizable logos are the best for creating brand loyalty. A logo that tells a story but is also a bit playful will help to get people on board with your idea, but will also create that desirable air of professionalism that’ll keep the customer with your brand in the future. While this might sound like it’s overstating things, much of this goes on in your subconscious without you even realizing it.

5. Customers definitely expect you to have a logo

Very few businesses can survive without a logo, even small ones. Think of as many companies as you can without a logo. While you might be able to name one or two, there aren’t many out there. Even small, local businesses without a heavy marketing presence have a logo because they understand the importance of building a solid brand identity.

On top of that, it’s fair to assume that most customers expect you to have a logo, along with other branding. While a lack of logo might not put all customers off using your business, it’ll probably cause most to wonder how long you’ve been in business, and how professional you can really be if you haven’t finished your branding yet. After all, why would an established company not have appropriate branding to their name?

Having a logo is much like having a social media presence: it’s become an expected part of modern brand identity. Making a name for yourself in business requires a certain minimum standard to which you have to conform, and having a logo definitely falls into this minimum standard.

Conclusion

As marketing and web designers, we understand the value a well-designed logo can add to a business’s identity. Along with generating interest and creating a good first impression, a logo should also foster loyalty to the brand and solidify its image in the customer’s mind. So remember not to overlook the importance of a logo for your brand’s identity.

Why Your Business Needs a Website

Why Your Business Needs A Website

Why Your Business Needs a Website

Many small business owners might be thinking to themselves whether they actually need a website. After all, social media can often cover all the information you need to display online, so why bother investing the time?

Regardless of business size, a website is an incredibly beneficial asset to have. We at Gee Productions appreciate that not everyone might be able to see the immediate benefit to expanding their online presence, so we’ve written this article to give you all the information you need on why your business needs a website.

1. Your competitors probably have one already

It’s fair to assume that your competitors (whether local or international) are already online. Having a website can be as simple as showing your potential clients that you exist, which can help create leads to your business. While you might not even sell anything online, having a business website at least creates a presence for you in the market.

2. It’s much easier to find you

If a potential customer is looking for web designers near them, or a local store in a new area, social media might not be their first port of call. Many people will jump straight to a search engine, so having a website means you can pop up on their search. Being able to find you with a simple Google search is much more appealing than trawling through Facebook business pages, so it makes sense to set up a website even if it’s just for the Google hits.

3. Websites are an investment

Even if you don’t plan on selling things online, having a business website is an investment that’s worth making. While you can get fairly inexpensive web design packages, it’s worth throwing a bit more money at it for better returns in the future. A more expensive design package often comes with the designer’s superior knowledge and some level of upkeep, meaning you don’t have to worry about it. Similarly, making money from your website can be as simple as selling ad space on it.

4. Customers appreciate reviews

In the days before the internet, word of mouth was often the best a business could expect for building interest. Nowadays though, potential customers are always on the lookout for reviews. This is where a website comes in handy: it gives you a place to collect all of those amazing customer reviews you’ve had, and lays them out in a way that’s appealing to new customers. Even if a customer does rave about you to their friends, at least having a website means that these people can Google you and see for themselves.

5. Websites are always accessible

One of the biggest limitations in a physical store is opening times. A website, on the other hand, is never shut. This means that customers can shop when and where they want and access important information about your business at unsociable hours. You might even find that this takes a surprising weight off your daily activities in your store.

6. Adds to your brand image

Brand image is so very important to a successful business. Websites add to your brand image because they are a unique space in which you can show who you are and what your business does. A well designed website can do wonders for customers’ trust in a brand, and can be very effective at swaying potential customers into using your service.

7. Allows you to show your knowledge

Similarly to point 6, a website also allows you to demonstrate your industry knowledge. Whether this is a blog of useful tips, a portfolio of your work, or simply a place to state your professional qualifications, a website is the perfect place to do this. Showing potential customers your relevant experience and knowledge can be the deciding factor in converting them into paying clients.

8. Offers customer support

Business websites are the perfect place to offer customer support options, and this saves you having to do it over the phone or social media. Along with simply stating what your business does, websites give you the chance to write out FAQs and other support options, because the chances are that if one person has a question about your business, then others are thinking it too.

9. Websites look professional

Customers expect businesses to have a website in this day and age. Even if it just provides location and opening hours, customers expect it. As a result, having a business website makes your brand look more professional and with the times. You might even find that not having a website is enough to turn away potential clients – particularly younger ones – as not having a website can be seen as old fashioned.

10. Every business is selling something

While you might not sell physical products, every business sells something. It could be a service, knowledge, or connections, but all companies have something to offer their client base in exchange for money. A website helps to facilitate this because, as we’ve established, it gives you a place to collect your business information along with a platform for contact.

11. Websites help with marketing

Even small businesses need a marketing strategy. This should include social media presence and possibly ad sales, but should definitely include a website. If nothing else, a website gives clients somewhere to visit if they click on one of your ads.

12. Reach a larger audience

While reaching a large audience might not be helpful for all businesses, it’s definitely useful for some. It’s hardly a surprise that having a website increases your business’s reach, particularly on an international level. So if you’re looking to expand your company, then a good website is a no-brainer.

Conclusion

Having a well designed website for your business makes a massive difference to customer trust and can have a big impact on conversion rates. If you’re looking for professional web design and maintenance for your business, contact Gee Productions. We know exactly what it takes to build an effective online image for your brand.

How to Choose a Name for Your Business

How to Choose a Name for Your Busines

How to Choose a Name for Your Business

Choosing the right name for your business is arguably one of the most important steps. After all, it forms an integral part of your brand image and can have a big impact on whether your business makes it or not. On top of this it also needs to be catchy and memorable. Choosing the right business name is no easy feat!

This article looks at some top tips on how to choose a good name for your business. While there’s no right or wrong name for a business, it’s helpful to try a few out to see which is the most fitting for your image.

Important things to remember

Before jumping into the tips, it’s worth remembering a few important legal points first. Along with having a firm idea of what your business will offer, it helps to know whether you’re setting up as a company or a sole trader/partnership. More than anything this can affect whether you need to register your business name or not.

Similarly, it’s helpful to know whether your chosen name is currently registered to a business. While it’s technically true that only trademarked business names can’t be used multiple times, there are obvious disadvantages to using the same business name as someone else, particularly if you’re operating in the same industry or on the same local/national field.

How to choose a name for your business

Other than being memorable, a business name should ideally give customers a clue as to what your business offers. While this isn’t always the case, it definitely makes a difference in most industries. So, along with being memorable, here are some top tips for choosing a good business name:

1. Spend plenty of time planning

Planning can’t be underestimated when it comes to a business name, as it’ll be with you for quite a while. Start by thinking of words related to the industry you’re working in; these could be descriptors of your product, related concepts to your service, or emotive words that you expect customers to feel when they use your business. These might not make it into the final name, but are a good place to start.

Similarly, crack out a dictionary and thesaurus for added help. It’s also worth looking up translations of your favorite words, whether this is in ancient Greek and Latin, or in modern foreign languages. The planning process takes a long time, but you’ll know when you’ve found the right name.

2. Keep it short and fairly simple

Avoid long and over-complicated business names. Alternative spellings can be fun, but try to avoid if it’ll prevent customers from finding you (remember, this will likely also become your web address). Your name needs to be something that people can spell with relative ease if they haven’t seen it written down before.

3. Don’t copy

It almost goes without saying, but don’t copy your competitors. This also covers choosing similar names (such as Pear for a computer company). In some situations this might be funny, but it also shows you’re not very original and are trying to build an image of the back of another’s brand identity. Similarly, it can create confusion that leads to lost business.

4. Be conscious of geographic locations

Including your geographic location in your business name might seem like a good idea, but should be approached with caution. If you only plan to work in your city or state, then it should be fine, but could become an issue if you expand onto a national (or international) level. Not everyone has business dreams of this height, but consider your eventual business trajectory when thinking of including your location.

5. Avoid anything too obscure

This is a bit of an ambiguous point, and follows up from point 2. While you want your business name to be memorable, try to avoid words that are obscure in some way. This could include archaic spelling or words that will be difficult to pronounce if read. Some companies have thrived off their obscure names, but this requires a bigger marketing budget than most start-ups can justify.

6. Can it be trademarked?

As stated earlier, any business name not trademarked can be used by anyone else. If you’ve come up with a good name and want to build a solid brand image, consider trademarking it. This is generally only applicable to companies working in commerce, and while it might not be applicable in the very early stages of your business, it’s worth thinking of a unique name that can be trademarked at a later point.

7. Get yourself a domain

On the back of this, make sure you can buy a related web domain. Internet presence is invaluable, and so a related, easy to remember domain name can make a massive difference. After narrowing down your list of business names, check them online to see if they’re free. This should be a big deciding factor in choosing the best one, as you don’t want to pick a memorable business name and then be stuck with a completely unrelated web domain.

8. Make sure your name considers future growth

Similarly to including places in a business name, make sure your name will still work if/when you expand your business. For example, if you’re going to bake cakes but might want to expand into other areas of catering, consider this. Broader names can make it easier to scale your business in the future.

9. Don’t be too plain

While it might seem helpful to include your business area in your name (XY Designers, for example), this can often be very limiting in terms of image. Sure, it would state exactly what you do, but it’s not exactly the most memorable thing in the world.

Some final points

Choosing the best name for your business isn’t an easy task, but it can be pretty enjoyable. After all, you’re attempting to distill your brand image into a couple of words that create impact. Getting feedback from friends, family, and customers is always helpful too, but always make sure you have the final say!