Setting Up Meta Titles & Descriptions

Direct mail company setting up meta titles and descriptions.One of the most important aspects of SEO is setting up your page meta titles and meta descriptions. Here are some questions to ask yourself before starting the keyword research. For this blog I am going to use a small direct mail firm as an example. Write down the answers and please do not skip this step.  It will help you decide on which keywords to target.

Ask yourself:

  • What is your area of expertise?
  • What cities in your area do you want to target?
  • What do you think people type into Google to find a direct mail company in your area?

After you have answered the above questions head over to the keyword tool in Google Adwords. Click on “search for keywords using a phrase, website or category”. Enter a list of keywords/phrases into the product or service field. Then select 2 cities from the targeting section and hit “Get ideas”. This will show you important information, including the search volume and how competitive the keywords are. Select the appropriate ones and head over to your SEO settings in your website control panel.

Depending on which web design platform you are using will determine where it’s located. It’s typically located in the settings portion of your site.

Keep in mind most search engines will only consider a maximum of 60 characters for the meta title and 160 characters for the meta description. However, recent case studies on SEO have shown the sweet spot for Google is 50 or less characters for the title, and 150 or less for the description. If your title and description are less than the maximum don’t worry about it, just try not to exceed the limit. Otherwise Google will cut your description short and you don’t want to lose out on valuable information your potential clients will see when displayed on Google.

The general rule of thumb is to target 2-3 profitable keywords.  The first keyword is the main target keyword.  For us, it would be “direct marketing agency”.  It’s followed by another profitable keyword, “direct marketing company”.  The last one is our brand name, “DME Delivers”.  You don’t need to place three within in your title but try to use 2 keywords in your title if possible.

Try the template below for your website.

Recipe For Title: Your Competitive Keyword | Less Competitive Keyword… or you can use your Competitive Keyword | Brand Name.

Recipe For Meta Description: Your city + competitive keyword specializing in less competitive keyword, then blurb.  Do not use your brand name in the meta description because it would be a waste for SEO purposes. An important note, make sure both your title and meta description accurately represent your business.



Keeping the Passion for Graphic Design

Finally, I get it.

As graphic designers, we chose graphic design because we love aesthetics and visual arts. We love color, line and form. When we were kids in elementary school, many of us lived for two, one-hour art classes a week where we could lose ourselves in the creative process. We loved to push rules aside to create beautiful pictures (so we thought). We dreamed some day of being the next Salvador Dali, or even the next Leonardo (not Dicaprio), though we likely at the time had never heard of them.

Life happens and we make choices. We give up the aspirations of our youth to pursue success, or at least, an ability to feed our stomachs in lieu of feeding our souls. We strive to be successful based on societal norms and definitions, and hope to find a place where our talents can earn a living for ourselves, and if we are lucky enough, our families (if we chose that path). Compromises are made and some of us give up vocational art all together and pursue professional paths like sales, medicine or something even less exciting to pursue a living.

If you are like me, you may have even spent four (ahem, yeah right), years at a university only to discover you have no passion for your chosen field of study. You finish, and instead of pursuing a career congruent with your formal education, your career chooses you, and you find your way back into visual art through graphic design.

With the hope to contribute with my passion, I began my first career job as an entry-level graphic designer for a trade magazine in Santa Ana, California. From there I worked at a consumer lifestyle magazine in Laguna Beach, California, an ad agency in Costa Mesa, a marketing agency in Carlsbad, a web development company in San Clemente, self employed in Palm Coast, Florida and now again at a marketing/production agency in Daytona Beach, Florida. I have now been in the field of marketing and graphic design for… oh man (ugh)… 27 years.

I still enjoy the business, but I have learned a few things:

  1. YOUR design is not important. Good design is.
    • Let your manager, your peer or your subordinate take the glory if it is better, or even on par. “My way or the highway” is for buttheads.
    • If you think your idea is better, let it be known and why. But don’t get so passionate that it comes out as anger.
  2. Always be humble. Don’t let your pride get in the way of your marketing goals.
  3. Design should ALWAYS aim at achieving marketing goals.
    • Don’t be gratuitous with your graphics (even if they are really freakin’ cool).
  4. Feel free to let your visual inspiration direct copy if it works.
    • Copywriters often try to dictate concept without thinking about the graphical implications. This can be a dead end if the graphical goals are too expensive or unachievable.
  5. The simple solution is often the better solution.
    • Overthinking the design often ends in clutter, roadblocks and lost messages. When in doubt, go clean and simple.

It did not take me long to realize that I am not always the best at everything, or anything, I do. I have peaks of inspirations between expansive valleys of “just doing my job”, and that is OK. Learning to see inspiration and passion in others has become as important more important than stroking my own ego. I actually enjoy the success of others more than my own at times. At my best, I can go home and spend time with my family knowing that they are more important to me than my ego at work.

Oftentimes people will say to me after I explain what DME does, “well is there even a need for direct mail anymore,” to which point my jaw drops. Direct mail and marketing is NOT dead – and to be honest, I don’t think it’ll ever be dead.

Direct Mail is Alive & Well

In a majority of industries, direct mail marketing stands out more than emails simply because you don’t get as many as you used to. Direct mail is a great way to make your prospects feel a personal connection, get leads to your website, let people know to buy online, or help you collect information such as email addresses. The point is: direct mail isn’t going anywhere, and you should really consider using direct mail in your marketing plan to get the best results. Continue reading “Direct Mail is Alive & Well”

Relationship Marketing means that your brand or business understands that there is more to marketing and business than the one-and-done, transaction-based campaigns. In order to succeed in today’s marketplace, there must be a personal or emotional connection to a brand in order for a customer to come back.

Relationship Marketing: How Do You Make It Successful?

Emotions must be created in order to see a successful marketing campaign. Without it, your campaign might not be targeted or specialized for a demographic, causing your company or brand to just throw a campaign out in front of consumers without putting any thought into it, creating noise rather than relationships. We focus on how to make relationship marketing successful. Continue reading “Relationship Marketing: How Do You Make It Successful?”

Why You Should Stop Talking

We all talk. A lot. We want to have the answers, be the problem solvers for our customers. But we don’t always have them, or we do, but we can’t find the time to execute them. Our plates are full. Always.

So maybe we should shut up. As the old homage goes “actions speak louder than words”. That project you’ve been putting off. Do it. You say you have a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Honor it. Be a man or woman of your word. You could tell a customer or a peer how great you are all day long, and a lot of time as marketers that’s what we do: All.Day.Long., but don’t let that be all you do. Make sure you can back up what you are saying with policies, ethics and skillsets.

It sounds simple, and we all know it in theory. Of COURSE you don’t want to lie to anyone. Duh, it’s bad. But if you are honest to yourself, how often do you do it? Marketing walks the fine line of truth and exaggeration.

Getting out of your comfort zone or going the extra mile often results in great things. Shoulda, woulda, coulda doesn’t get you anywhere. Once your reputation is tarnished, whether as a company or an individual, personal or professional, you’ve just added extra hurdles to overcome. Not that those hurdles are fatal, but sometimes you are too tired and too downtrodden to jump them. So why set them up in the first place?

Be a doer. Be a goal setter. Excuses don’t cut it in the professional world and talk is cheap. Lead by example and success will follow. An outstanding reputation and unprompted peer or customer reviews mean much more than anything YOU could ever say about YOURSELF. Bottom line: Let your actions do the talking.