So, you already know that SEO is all about getting more traffic to your site. Fantastic. But once they’re there, how do you create an experience that shows them that YOU are the one they have been looking for? Great design, my friends. And that’s where our friend Illiah comes in. Please join us in welcoming her to the blog! But before we dive into the post, let’s learn a little about Illiah:
Illiah Manger is the creative mind and chief designer behind C&V where she collaborates with daring business owners with heart. She is known for creating clarity and focus while allowing her clients to co-pilot the design process. Illiah wholeheartedly believes in brands that are intimate and designed to tell a story. She is also the co-founder of Elevate & Cultivate, an online community for design professionals to strengthen their skills, get feedback on their work and make friendships stronger than Gotham Ultra.
Design opens the door to SEO
You are not ready for SEO until you’ve crafted your message, developed your voice and created pro graphics to match – branding. It creates experiences, influences decisions and helps your customers say yes to the opportunities you present them. Just think about your last Target shopping experience.
Walk through the big red spheres and enter the automatic red doors welcoming you in with a blast of warm air, keys still in hand. In an effort to limit your spending, you keep your sunglasses on, hoping they are the blinders you need to rush past the temptation of the dollar aisle. Starbucks is immediately to your right – maybe just a tall cappuccino today. Then, you stop at the dollar aisle after all, to choose your teachers’ Valentine’s gifts, all under $15. Your kid has FIVE teachers in her preschool class. Breeze through the rest of the store, relaxed and smiling. Even the grocery section is beautifully displayed and organized. You aren’t bombarded with a rainbow of mismatched colors or fonts in the beauty aisles. Easily locate the mittens you came in for, since your preschooler lost hers on the playground.
In spite of the infinite amount of choices available, Target always feels clean and every product is exactly what you’ve been looking for. It’s effortless, affordable quality. You feel good about your choices at the cash register while spending $246.13 without an ounce of regret. You need everything in your cart, right??
This happens on the regular, and it’s no accident. The experience begins with the Target brand. It’s simply elegant, consistent and cohesive. It’s full of fun and ease because they follow a strict set of brand guidelines at every level from coupons to TV commercials, signage to social media and online. Even the stickers they give to kids promotes their tagline, “Expect More. Pay Less.” Who else focuses on delighting kids as they leave the store, even if they couldn’t bring home the toy they can’t live without?
Target consistently demonstrates value, quality and a pleasant shopping experience and keeps us engaged through a playful and innovative use of color, typography and pattern. The Target logo is a simple red bullseye that’s everywhere in the most subtle and overt displays.
Like Target, you can create a visual brand identity system to delight your favorite customers. Spend time developing an identity with specific, targeted (no pun intended, sort of) messaging. Get clear on your core values and craft your voice to appeal to a narrowly focused audience. Talk with your brand designer about your favorite people to work with, the values your business stands for, the tone of voice that appeals most to you and your customers and how you provide solutions to their problems.
Steps to create your own Target – inspired brand experience:
- Create profiles of three customers you LOVE working with and be as specific as possible. Send them a short 5 question survey to get real answers. What solution are you providing to their problem(s)?
- Identify the values you stand for in business. Pay attention when you experience extreme emotions – positive or negative. This will help you identify values that are important to you and your business.
- Design your visual identity with colors, fonts and graphics you know your audience will love. Don’t settle on a color just because it’s your favorite. Do research and make sure your color palette supports your brand strategy. Using the wrong color will send the wrong message every time. Same thing with your fonts – choose just one or two with personality that matches you.
- Think about your visual identity as a system to create cohesion and consistency. Define a strict set of fonts, colors, logos and patterns, but have fun mixing them up. Just remember not to step outside this system without a strategy in place.
SEO is all about helping people find you, but it’s impossible to attract the right people until you know who they are, how you solve their problems and what you stand for. Design is simply a visual system of communication of this brand strategy with words, graphics and images. Combining brand strategy with design is the roadmap you need to know where you want to go before you can be found with SEO.
Thanks so much to Illiah for contributing to the blog this week!
We hope you learned something, we know we sure did! But also feel the need for a Target trip soon, too! 😉
Think you’d like to contribute to our blog? AWESOME! Just hit us up and we’ll work out the deets!3