The coronavirus pandemic has caught many of us by surprise, unexpectedly forcing people to stay at home and also limiting businesses outside of their standard dine-in services. The Phoenix-Scottsdale area has not avoided this economic impact. This includes many of our beloved local coffee shops, the same ones we’ve slowly but surely made part of our personal routine and enjoyed every morning, afternoon – or probably both.
If you are reading this you are probably a coffee lover yourself. Here at Birch River, we are dedicated coffee-drinkers too; passionate about the art behind good coffee and the sense of community that it brings into our lives. We wanted to feature some of our favorite coffee shops in the Phoenix-Scottsdale area and remind our readers that they can still support their local community in a safe and socially distanced manner.
Berdena’s is a specialty coffee shop in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale founded in 2017. This local gem serves the best avocado toast in the Valley as well as a fine selection of roasts. Currently, Berdena’s is open Monday through Friday 7:30 AM – 2:30 PM, and Saturday 8 AM to 2 PM, and Sunday 9 AM – 1 PM.
Futuro is a coffee bar inside of Palabra Beauty Salon & Art Gallery. They serve coffee from 49th Parallel among other delicious roasts as well as whole bean coffee roast. FUTURO also offers an incredible minimalistic atmosphere and nurturing environment for those looking for some peace and quiet after quarantine. They currently offer curbside pickups only through their Instagram DMs and are open Friday through Sunday 10 AM – 2 PM.
Lola’s has two amazing locations, one in Arcadia and one in Downtown Phoenix. Both offer a full breakfast menu and delicious baked goods apart from their daily in-house roasted coffee. As of now, Lola’s is open daily. They deliver free of charge and are also offering to-go service. Rest assured that the staff is taking big safety measures to craft your favorite beverage as safely as possible.
PROVISION is a specialty coffee roaster, cocktail bar, and eatery in Phoenix. Their coffee offers rich, caramelized sugars and sweet acidity in each cup. Their sourcing process is no less involved; the team at PROVISION punches in an unholy amount of time into sourcing the best products for their customers. As of now, their temporary hours are 6:30 AM – 5 PM, and you can simply order online and pick up at the window.
As we all navigate the implications of this pandemic, let’s not forget to support the local businesses we frequent throughout our normal routines. They too have been rocked out of balance and depend on their local communities to stay afloat and to bring us cups of joy in the future. Curious to know other ways in which you can support your local Phoenix-Scottsdale community? Read our latest blog on local fundraisers that are helping alleviate COVID-19 complications here. Have any other coffee shops or local businesses you would like us to feature? Comment down below!
No business can survive outside the realms of society. From planning, strategizing, and actual operations, firms need to consider and adapt to the current situation in the community. Thus, any social, economical, or political crisis can have a significant impact on an organization. The effect can be positive or negative but what matters more is how a firm chooses to react to it.
Exceptional firms don’t just know how to make the most out of their resources, they are also adept in turning a bad situation around. So even during bleak days, they manage to see opportunities that will allow their business to grow. Enterprises can turn a crisis to their advantage by using it as a time to enhance branding and marketing campaigns. The following are some suggestions on how to do that:
Strengthen relationships with clients/customers.
People may not remember those who are with them during happy times but it is certainly hard to forget those who stayed by their side during a crisis. The same principle holds true in maintaining a positive relationship with clients and customers. This is not a time to hide and be quiet because a firm can greatly benefit by being more visible during a crisis. By coming up with ideas and implementing ways to ease the burden of people, a brand can easily gain new customers and win back past clients.
Branding is important because a bad reputation can hurt your firm’s overall marketing tactics. In challenging times, you can propel your branding campaigns and establish a good reputation by being a source of hope and positivity. Aside from offering sympathy to those badly hit by a crisis, it is also a good idea to remind people that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. This practice can help a brand earn respect and trust of clients which is essential for the success of any marketing campaigns.
Produce relevant content/products/services.
Firms that clearly know their audience can easily identify the top concerns that their target clientele is having during a crisis. This will allow a business to come up with content or services that will be highly relevant and useful for their customers. An organization can also customize their offerings to fit the needs of the time. Brands that make an effort to be part of the solution show that they are a valuable part of society.
Take note of consumer behavior.
Businesses rely on various stats and data to guide the direction of their branding strategies. Since a crisis can potentially alter many aspects of society; it is advisable to use this time to study the behavior of clients and customers. Some ways to do this include running surveys or observing fluctuations in revenues. A business can use the data it will gather in plotting future marketing tactics and making wise business decisions.
Are you looking for a digital marketing partner for your firm? Our agency based in Scottsdale, Arizona, the Birch River Design Group can efficiently handle and monitor your online branding campaigns. We also have a team of experienced digital marketing professionals that is ready to listen to your marketing concerns. To discuss your marketing needs as well as suggest strategic solutions, we will be glad to arrange a no-obligation meeting with your company. Reach out to us today!
Many of us have been left dumbfounded about the ways in which we can help during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. If you are trying to better navigate these times but also want to extend a helping hand to your local Phoenix community, here are a few fundraisers happening right now that are looking into alleviating those most affected by the virus. If you want to make a difference and aid your local community, give yourself time to study these fundraisers and their noble causes:
Phoenix-based nonprofit Another Round, Another Rally is a financial resource for people in the hospitality industry who are currently jobless. According to Travis Nass, the co-founder of the organization, it’s great for “dishwashers, busboys, servers, hosts, cashiers.” The group is giving out $500 to every unemployed person who applies on their website and uploads their pay stub.
NBA All-Star David Booker, in partnership with Phoenix Suns Charities, will raise money through live streaming on Twitch. The stream aims to support non-profits that help alleviate the needs of those affected by the pandemic in the Phoenix community. With a starting point of $100,000 by Devin Booker himself, the fund seeks to help non-profits like the Arizona Food Bank, the Foundation for Senior Living, and Banner Health Foundation. Donations can be made through Devin’s Twitch Channel.
By working with their partner organizations, Valley of the Sun United Way is allocating funds to address Maricopa County’s most pertinent emerging needs – in real-time. Valley of the Sun United Way assures that their donations will support areas of the highest need in the community by aiding in food security, child care, homelessness, lost wages driven by business closures, rent assistance, and other needs. You can donate to the fund by clicking here.
The Arizona COVID-19 Community Response Fund supports Arizona nonprofit organizations as they respond to the spread of COVID-19. Established by the Arizona Community Foundation and in partnership with numerous local corporations and foundations, the fund seeks to move resources quickly and to adapt to evolving community needs in order to support gaps not covered by state or federal funding. One hundred percent of contributions to the fund will be distributed to non-profit organizations.
During these challenging times, it is important to remember that even our small contributions can make an impact in our community. If you find yourself not being able to contribute financially, know that there are many other ways to contribute such as safe social distancing and staying home to stop the spread of the virus. However, if you are in a position to help financially, we highly recommend the funds listed above. As members of the Phoenix community, we invite you to make a difference and support those in need that are closest to you.
If you know of any other Phoenix-Scottsdale based organizations that need the support, let us know and we will link them on our platforms.
Firms involved in business to business marketing (B2B) are up for a big challenge. Although business to consumer (B2C) marketing can be as grueling and tough, striking B2B deals requires a different set of tactics. Since you will largely be dealing with the decision-makers in companies and organizations, strategies for winning clients will involve a more logical approach. Among other things, marketers need to relay the services they are offering with absolute clarity and present valid points to convince a prospective client to partner with them. To ensure that your B2B tactics will bring in more clients, the following are some important factors to keep in mind:
Understand target clients/industries
Designing any marketing strategy starts by defining the clients you want to cater to. In B2B marketing, you also want to identify the industries where they belong. Extensive knowledge about their top goals and main concerns will set a clear direction on your tactics. It will likewise be useful in plotting a business proposal that will appeal to them.
Focus on building trust
Unlike B2C marketing which is focused on conversions, the aim of B2B marketing is long-term partnerships. You can nurture this kind of business relationship by creating a B2B strategy that is based on exemplary business ethics. Most firms are picky when choosing areas to invest in. Therefore, an ideal B2B tactic should contain measures to gain the trust and confidence of your target clients. Branding efforts come into play here as you want to present your firm as a reliable and competent one. Fair deals, exhibiting professionalism, and honoring agreements are some ways to assure clients that they are making the right decision by choosing you.
Prove industry expertise
B2B marketing is far from easy. This is because companies can be meticulous in assessing the capability of a firm they want to do business with. Businesses can even be skeptical about your ability to deliver promises. You can help ease these worries by presenting your firm as a thought leader in the industry. Flaunt your expertise with a strong portfolio showcasing accomplishments and proving competence. Since B2B marketing can be highly competitive, you want to display an edge over competitors. This will involve knowledge of the latest trends and innovations in growing a business. Nowadays, these trends include delving into digital marketing solutions such as social media marketing, email marketing, and pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns.
Offer efficient solutions
Brilliant B2B marketing presents compelling reasons why it is a must to avail of the services they are offering. They pinpoint problems within an organization and present efficient solutions. Their proposals should also explain how it can help a business achieve marketing goals and increase revenues. Some firms may be clueless about the product or service you are offering and may have a hard time believing that it can be an asset to them. Thus, educating your prospective clients about the latest business solutions and all the benefits they can gain from it will give a boost to your marketing tactics.
The World Wide Web offers a multitude of opportunities for businesses that wish to expand their reach. However, leveraging the benefits of online marketing requires thorough knowledge and ample experience. To avoid mistakes and increase chances for success, it is best to collaborate with a reliable digital marketing firm such as the Birch River Design Group. Our team from Scottsdale, Arizona will be more than glad to conduct a no-obligation meeting with your firm. Contact us today so we can further explain why a partnership with us will prove to be a great investment!
How are you navigating through these times of self-quarantine and social distancing? Here at Birch River, we are aware that businesses and brands have been struck by an unexpected burden and want to extend our hand by consolidating valuable resources to improve your content strategy, as well as to use this time to revisit and polish otherwise forgotten and underdeveloped strategies. Here are some of our best-performing blogs on email marketing, search engine optimization, and UX/UI – all in an effort to return from this social pause stronger than before.
Never found the time to start your email marketing strategy? Well, today is the day! Our step-by-step guide takes you from ground 0 to a fully functioning strategy with a solid foundation to grow your business’s client relationships. Grow your email marketing vision with our help and at no cost through our free resources. Don’t have a contact list to send emails to? Read our blog on ways to grow your email list.
Already have an email marketing strategy in place but your subscribers are not showing you the love you expected? This blog outlines ways in which you can nudge your dormant audience awake. We go deep into it, too, and give detailed explanations and strategies to put in place in order to strengthen your email communications.
Search Engine Optimization
With so much of your website presence relying on Search Engine Optimization and with people spending more time online than ever before, let’s use this opportunity to begin the path towards getting digitally seen. We’ve written a fully-comprehensive guide that teaches you what SEO is and the many tactics out there that claim to improve it. At the end of this blog, we hope you have learned the tactics to be cautious of, the ones you shouldn’t touch even with a ten-foot pole, and the ones you should fully embrace for your SEO strategy.
Now more than ever, local SEO is an important factor for businesses that highly depend on foot traffic. This blog lays out 5 easy ways in which you can rank your local business in Google, Bing, Apple Maps, and other local searches. This way, you can optimize your profiles for the interested users out there who are eager to find out what your business is all about in person.
Does your audience expect a pleasing aesthetic and streamlined user experience from your website but you don’t even know the difference between UX and UI? This blog is for you – the website newbies out there with lots of ideas but not the technical knowledge. We break down what each of these buzzwords is and what you should expect from both UX and UI designers.
Want to offer your clients a pleasant experience when they visit your website? This blog offers UX strategy elements that make it so your site’s user experience is clear, useful, and consistent. If your website is not as user-friendly as you wish for it to be, we highly recommend giving this blog post a read.
During these challenging times, we understand that as a business it’s hard to stay afloat. But it is in times of uncertainty that we are able to step back and reassess the boxes we have created for ourselves in the past. We invite you to take this time to gauge your content strategy under a magnifying glass and come back better than before.
Are you getting stumped on certain parts of the process and no one is answering their phones? Leave us a comment and we will help guide you to the finish line!
Nowadays, building a website is a necessary move for firms looking for an ingenious way to expand audience reach and increase revenue. With everything going digital, a business website can do more than keep up with the trends. A business website also holds great potential to leave competitors in the dust. For all the benefits that having an online presence can bring, launching a website is indeed a momentous event. It is often a culmination of hours spent in brainstorming sessions, days drafting web content, and weeks polishing every technical aspect of the site, as well as its UX design.
However, the success of a website is not guaranteed upon its completion. It largely depends on its usability for your target audience. So before you get too excited to see your website go live, it pays to wait a while. Allot some time to check (or recheck) any possible loopholes you may have missed. To ensure that your website will give a positive user experience (UX), here are the aspects you need to check:
Your website represents your brand so do not forget to proofread and edit before launching. Small errors in grammar and spelling can reflect the quality of the services you offer. This may turn off potential clients. Since it is easy to miss small errors, it is best to have a team of editors ensuring that the site is error-free. It is also recommended to ensure that all facts and figures posted in your site are accurate with valid sources for conformation.
Complete About Us page
One important reason why you build a business website is for people to know more about what you are offering. Do not be stingy with information by providing an adequate “About Us” page. Listing down your company history, goals, and accomplishments can make your brand appear authentic and credible. Likewise, do not forget to write correct and complete contact information so clients have the best UX can reach out to you easily.
Regardless of the type of website you are launching, a thorough check is a must. This ensures your site is flawless and every functionality is running smoothly before the launch. Test your site’s UX by checking important factors such as page speed and ease of navigation. Each functionality on your website such as the call to action buttons or sign-up forms should be perfectly working as well.
A successful website enjoys a lot of traffic so it is necessary to implement on-page optimization techniques prior to launching. To increase the chances of getting a high-quality score from the search engines, web pages should have proper meta tags and descriptions. It is also best to put relevant keywords in the content. You should also anticipate users committing “Page Not Found” errors due to the wrong URL or links. If you do not want to lose these visitors, create a 404 page that will direct lost visitors to the right page. Other items you should not forget for a well-optimized site are sitemaps and a robots.txt file.
Compatibility with Browsers and Devices
To give an enjoyable user experience, your website that looks perfect in your web browser should also appear as impressive in all other devices. Aim for mobile-friendliness by checking how your site appears on smartphones, laptops, and tablets. You also want to adjust the design, functions, and content of your website to fit the behaviors of users on various platforms. Aside from the devices, your website should also be compatible with all browsers.
An impressive and functional website with amazing UX is not something you can do in a flash. At the very least, you should expect a team of experts to oversee the business website creation, from its design, content, and technicalities. For a business website that can significantly upgrade your marketing strategies, you can have the assistance of the Birch River Design Group. Schedule a consultation with our team in Scottsdale, Arizona today! You can also reach us through LinkedIn, Instagram, or Facebook.
For some, navigating the world of marketing is no easy feat, especially if you’re new. When traversing within this realm you’re bound to encounter a multitude of acronyms for key concepts that must be understood before crafting digital marketing strategies. Like with architecture, ensuring that your foundation is sturdy is vital before you begin building upon it. There are many ways to optimize your site’s ranking, but some techniques involve risks. Before embarking on your journey into the world of digital marketing, we’ll begin with an understanding of SEO.
What is SEO?
If you want to hide something, place it on the second page of the Google search results. People begin their research with Google, but only the first five search results receive 67% of all clicks. With this information in mind, you might be wondering, how do we make it into the coveted top five results? One way to make this happen is through search engine optimization.
SEO is defined as the practice of increasing the quality and quantity of traffic to your website through organic search engine results. It’s important to drive traffic to your site, but not all traffic is created equal. We want searchers who will find your content useful. Once you’ve sifted out the searchers who won’t find your content relevant, that’s when you’ll start focusing on the numbers, or in this case, the quantity of traffic. Unpaid traffic that is generated from SERPs (search engine results pages) is known as organic traffic.
When faced with a perplexing question, it is not uncommon for us to immediately take to our keyboards or awaken our devices from their slumber (Siri, Alexa, I’m looking at you) to help us find the answers we seek. Each second, Google processes over 40,000 search queries on average which equates to 3.5 billion searches a day. Within mere seconds, billions of results appear and are arranged in an order that the engine deems most fitting for our query. The order in which results appear is determined through three main processes: ranking, crawling, and indexing processes.
Crawling – These aren’t your average creepy crawlies! During this process, search engines send out bots to search the web for new and updated content which is later stored in an index.
Indexing – After a bit of search and reconnaissance, the bots store the information that was discovered while crawling. Once stored in the engine’s index, the webpage will be displayed as a result of relevant searches.
Ranking – Answering the searcher’s question is the priority. Based on the query, the results will be arranged from most to least relevant.
Since these functions are carried out by search engines, it may seem like you have little to no control over the crawling, indexing, and ranking processes. Thankfully, there are a few ways you can improve them! We’ve put together a free guide to help you improve your site’s crawlability, indexability, and rankability. Submit your information above and receive your free checklist right into your inbox in a matter of seconds!
Now back to business. When it comes to SEO, there are many hats you can wear. But there are also consequences that come with the hat you choose to don.
Black Hat SEO
You want results and you want them fast. These “short-cut” tactics are often referred to as black hat SEO. People who participate in black hat SEO often regret taking this route. Of the three methods, this one is the least ethical as it goes against search engine guidelines and is often given a penalty. There are many characteristics of black hat SEO. Not sure about which practices are deemed shady by most search engines? Here are a few examples of black hat tactics:
Keyword stuffing – This is the overuse of certain keywords in an attempt to improve visibility and increase organic traffic. In the case of keyword usage, less is more. Maintaining relevance when using keywords in your online content is vital. If determining whether a word is connected to the topic or not feels like a stretch, it’s probably best not to use it.
Cloaking – Trying to pull the wool over the eyes of a web crawler? Some webpages are able to show a different version of their site to crawler/bots that decide to pay them a visit.
Invisible text – This method is dated, but it is still loved by some. This involves hiding text containing keywords in the webpage’s background by matching its color or placing it offscreen using CSS. Doing this only makes the words visible to search engines.
Creating and operating a business requires a substantial amount of time and money. If you started one, chances are that you’re in it for the long haul. Websites flagged for these practices run the risk of being permanently banned from search engines, so it’s best to avoid using black hat techniques.
Grey Hat SEO
If there is a fine line between ethical and unethical SEO practices, a grey hat tactic is it! This method involves practices that aren’t illegal, but they aren’t entirely honest either. Here are a few ways grey hat SEO is done:
Keyword association manipulation – One of the things is not like the other. This technique is similar to keyword stuffing, but it involves trying to make unrelated words functions as synonyms in an attempt to trick bots.
Sneaky redirects – Using redirects on your site isn’t a crime, but when they’re used to show two different versions of your site, it becomes a problem. Refrain from showing one version of your site to desktop users and redirecting mobile users to a spam domain.
Duplicated content – Getting a sense of deja vu? Uploading the same content to multiple websites might seem like a great way to get more eyes on it, but it could run the risk of being deemed as spam by Google or other search engines.
As with black hat SEO, there are risks involved with practicing these techniques. With the ever-increasing advancements in technology, trying to outsmart algorithms is quite the gamble. If having your company’s reputation take a nosedive doesn’t sound like something you’d like to put on the line, it might be best to try your luck elsewhere.
White Hat SEO
If you’re looking to improve your ranking without running the risk of facing penalties, then white hat SEO is the way to go! Essentially, white hat SEO is the avoidance of grey and black hat practices. However, it also requires the optimization of certain components of your webpage. White hat practices include:
Quality content – It’s important to remember the purpose of your content. The user has a problem and your site holds the answer/solution. Through the use of SEO keyword research tools, you’ll be able to find and attach the appropriate keywords that match the purpose of your content.
Meta tags – Always be sure to include these and they not only provide a snippet of your web page in SERPs but are also read by search engines and crawlers to learn additional information about your site. This information can be used to determine rankability.
Information Architecture – The structure of your information plays a pivotal role in usability and findability. Finely structured Information that is easy to navigate will provide users with an optimal experience during their quest to find the answer to their query.
Mobile-friendly – Having a version of your site that is fully capable of being viewed on mobile devices is quite important. According to Google, failure to do so could result in your SERP ranking taking a hit. This is because they prioritize mobile-friendly websites. If you’re unsure about your site’s mobile compatibility status, Google provides a mobility test that can help bring awareness to the components of your site that might require further action.
Implementing most of these practices will begin with the construction of your site. Simplistic yet functional navigation for both users and crawlers alike is ideal. It should be taken into consideration when designing your webpage. Adhering to these guidelines will have you well on your way to improving your ranking. All of this without running the risk of being flagged by search engines.
Improving your ranking is of great importance, but it shouldn’t involve putting your business on the line. It is best to participate in honest practices that won’t result in the loss of your website and ultimately a decline in business. The world of digital marketing is a competitive field. Therefore, you might feel tempted to engage in practices that’ll help you quickly rise above the masses. But it’s important to be aware of the repercussions that are bound to follow.
If you’re still looking for an alternative way to increase your views, you might want to consider SEM or search engine marketing. Learn the basics of SEM and how to implement its practices into your strategy in the second part of this blog. Stay tuned!
Proven to be an effective advertising tool, more and more firms are discovering the earning potential of running PPC ads. A comparison between people who click on paid ads to those who discover a link through organic means shows that the latter is 50% more likely to make an actual purchase. Stats from Webfx reveals that small businesses allot around USD 9,000 monthly for PPC campaigns. The question now is no longer the effectiveness of PPC marketing but how to make your paid ad stand out from the rest of other similar campaigns.
In digital marketing, one way to stay ahead of the competition is to constantly be vigilant for new trends and be open to innovations. The digital landscape, as well as the behavior of consumers, are constantly changing. Therefore, your foolproof marketing strategy from years ago may no longer be as effective today. To make 2020 a successful year for your online marketing efforts, here are some PPC trends you may want to give a try:
Try Interactive Video Ads.
More people prefer video content than written texts because it is generally easier to watch than to read. Thus, incorporating your PPC ads with a video will increase the potential of your ad to gain attention. The entertaining element of a video also encourages marketers to be creative in presenting their campaigns. Since video ads can be used to communicate an interesting story that consumers can relate to, it also complements the branding strategy of a firm. You can even upgrade your marketing strategy by making your video ads interactive. Have you ever seen a video that seems to be talking specifically to you? This tactic solves the problem of annoying ads because it allows firms to display only the relevant ads to target users.
Make use of Artificial Intelligence (AI).
The technology of artificial intelligence can significantly improve and simplify the way marketers run and manage a PPC account. Machine learning tools can source and analyze data that marketers can use in making wiser decisions in placing bids. Investing in AI for PPC ads also enables marketers to automate certain functions so managing PPC campaigns becomes a lot easier. The tool can also make accurate predictions on how ads can perform. The valuable information that marketers can gather from AI can be used to increase customer engagement and increase conversions.
Make responsive ads.
People can view your campaign on different devices and platforms so it is a must to ensure that your PPC ads are displaying properly on all of them. This is especially important nowadays when smartphone usage is becoming more and more prevalent than desktop use. By making use of the responsive ads feature in advertising platforms, ads automatically fit well in all ad spaces.
Create specific landing pages.
To see your clicks turning to bounces is like watching money running down the drain. Lower your bounce rates by designing several landing pages for specific clients. A Hubspot study even proves that creating more landing pages can result in a 55% increase in lead generation.
Launching a PPC ad is an exciting option for businesses wanting to display their messages right where their target customers are. It also opens an opportunity for marketers to gain a 200% return on investment (ROI) as Google claims that every USD 1 spent on Adwords converts to USD 2. Get closer to enjoying this ROI by partnering up with our digital marketing firm, the Birch River Design Group. Our team will help you get the most out of your online ad spending. Together, let’s start creating successful PPC campaigns! Contact us to set a meeting today!