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Waterlink Web

Service is in the DNA of Waterlink Web’s Business Strategy

The Waterlink Web story and my story are intertwined. Service to the community is part of my DNA. It is no surprise that service to Waterlink Web clients is in the DNA of our business strategy.

Waterlink Web’s Beginning — Pier Pool

Some of you may know that I live in St. Johns. In 2005 the City Council decided to close Pier Pool, our neighborhood outdoor pool. This pool is important to the children and families in St. Johns. So, along with some other parents, I formed Friends of Pier Park. We collected 700 signatures, we went to the City Council, and we testified about the value of Pier Pool to the St. Johns neighborhood. As a result, the City Council decided to keep the Pier Pool open.

Later I was at a Parks meeting with some Council staff when one of the staff members told me that both Pier and Buckman Pools had been on the chopping block and that the Council decided to keep Buckman open because at the time they had a website.

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grow a business on the web Waterlink Web

Value of a Tagline: one thing we learn about marketing from Donald Trump

Learning how to write a tagline and leverage its marketing value will help a new business owner start in a successful direction.

When I sit down with a new client to begin designing her or his website, one of the first questions I ask is, “What is your tagline?”

A good tagline sums up a company’s mission and promise and sets it apart from competitors. The tagline is such an important tool in marketing that there are agencies whose one specialty is crafting them.

Most us are not wordsmiths. Whether we are a solo entrepreneurs, artists, or run a small company, we already have enough responsibilities. Writing our company tagline can get overlooked.

This is a big miss. You can learn how to write a tagline. A well-written tagline used consistently will help even a small business rise over their competitors.

Tagline Marketing Lesson 101 From Trump University

Rum, make America great again. Donald Trump knows how to write a tagline
Will Rum make America great again?

This season’s Presidential contest reminds me, particularly on the Republican side, of the value of a tagline.

“Make America Great Again” is, frankly, a great tagline. After all, who doesn’t want to be great? The Trump tagline accomplishes all three of the important qualities of a good tagline: mission, promise, and brand. In four words the Presidential candidate lays out the mission of his campaign, makes a promise to voters, and brands himself as great.

This post is not an endorsement of any candidate. My intention is to encourage small businesses to think about their tagline and provide some guidance in how to write one.

–Mary Ann Aschenbrenner

Logo and Tagline Should Work Together

Nike swoosh with tagline, Just Do It. This is an example of how to write a tagline
The Nike swoosh and tagline are inseparable.

Think of it this way. A logo is the visible representation of a brand. The tagline is the audible representation of a brand. Like the logo, the tagline rarely changes. It is part of the company brand identity.

Large companies will spend millions marketing their logo and tagline. Consider Nike: the swoosh is inseparable from, “Just Do It.” In this case, the tagline implies activity and that Nike is a company of activity. The promise is that their products will make customers fit and active. Nike has done such a masterful job marketing their logo with their tagline that we can’t see one without remembering the other.

This season’s Republican presidential candidate gained status and recognition with free publicity from the media. His early marketing work in the Republican primaries, his volatile and entertaining pronouncements, garnered him millions in free media exposure. All along, at every public opportunity, he repeated his tagline.

As a small entrepreneur we often underestimate our ability to market our ourselves and our businesses. We may not have Nike’s budget or a billionaire’s ego, but we do have a network, a circle of business associates and customers. Each of our customers should know our tagline. Friends should also know our company tagline. They should know our tagline because we repeat it in conversation, on our websites, and on our business cards.

Even on a small scale, even for a small business or artist entrepreneur, a tagline will improve your marketing and help you stay in your customer’s minds.

Waterlink Web Example

Waterlink Web: connecting your customers with you. We can teach you how to write a tagline
The logo and tagline for this website design agency.

My company is an example of a small business using a logo and tagline combination for marketing. Our tagline is, “connecting your customers with you.”

I wrote this tagline because we include onsite search engine optimization in each website we build. Our websites come up in search results for the products and services that our clients build or sell. But, saying all that can leave clients who are unfamiliar with technology confused. The tagline sums it up: connecting your customers with you.

Our company mission is to help businesses grow by connecting our clients with their customers through quality websites. The tagline’s promise is that a website by Waterlink Web can do this.

Both online and in our printed material our tagline is shown with our logo. Our logo is a bridge, an image of connection. In this case it is an artist’s rendering of the St. Johns Bridge in North Portland where Waterlink Web is located.

When people ask me what, I do I include the phrase, “Connecting your customers with you,” as part of the conversation while describing my work. This sets Waterlink Web apart from our competitors who generally list website and marketing services when describing their businesses.

Truth in Taglines

M&M's package
“Melts in your mouth, not in your hands.” Really?

Taglines are not always honest, and occasionally we can live with that. As a child I remember wondering why the M&M’s were melting in my hand when the promise was, “melts in your mouth, not in your hands.” The M&M’s tagline may lack veracity, but this Halloween that won’t stop me from buying them for the trick-or-treaters who come to our door.

For business owners (and politicians), however, I recommend you keep your tagline truthful. Only promise what you can deliver.

Our fond memories from childhood will help us forgive M&M’s. Your customer’s memory of your service, products, and attention to detail will only be a pleasant one if those memories meet with the promise of your tagline.[divider_flat]

More Tips on Writing a Tagline

Keep it simple. Three to eight words is plenty. You can add more copy and description on your website or brochures. A short and memorable phrase will stay in your customer’s minds.

Keep it natural. Avoid the soulless version that a marketing committee might write. If it doesn’t feel right to you as the business owner, then it probably isn’t.

When I talk with a new client who doesn’t have a tagline we will begin the process of writing one. My client may not be a wordsmith, but I am. It may take a few days and a series of edits, but at Waterlink Web our clients come away with a website and a tagline. I can help teach you how to write a tagline.

For more tips checkout “10 Tips for a Remarkable Tagline” on the Inc. blog.

Categories
grow a business on the web

Write a Post that Ranks

Search engines, like Google and Bing, have a goal. They want to serve up quality content to their users. 

You also have a goal. You want your customers, clients, and fans to find and read your blog posts and, by extension, your website. Your goal is for search engines to recognize that your posts are the quality content their users want and to rank your posts organically at or near the top of search results.

Follow these five steps to write a post that ranks. The steps cover content, formatting, image accessibility, categories and tags, and on-page Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Done correctly they will help you write the content your customers want in a format that meets search engine requirements.

Good content and proper formatting will help your posts rise to the top in search results, maybe even the very top.

1) Write what your clients are searching for

Two women enjoying coffee and discussing business.
Mine your client’s questions for ideas to write your next blog post.

Don’t indulge in random posts about topics of mostly personal interests. Ask yourself, “What questions are my clients asking me?” Then answer those questions in your blog posts.

For every question a client asks, you can bet that hundreds of others have asked the same question on Google or Bing. Search engines are looking for the answers to users’ questions. Write those answers.

Include keywords, but don’t overdo it

What terms do your clients and customers use when they ask you a specific question? Make sure to include those key phrases or something similar in your content.

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learn WordPress

Get Searched … In a Good Way

Every day web visitors use Google or Bing to search for a solution to their problems. So, how do you go about submitting a website to Google or Bing? Did you know that WordPress has site analytics as part of the JetPack plugin?

Mary Ann Aschenbrenner leading a Portland WordPress MeetUp.
Mary Ann Aschenbrenner leading a Portland WordPress MeetUp.

At yesterday’s Portland WordPress MeetUp I walked about 40 WordPress users through the steps of submitting a website to major search engines and then what to do with the data.

Review the presentation below. I enabled full screen and the pan and zoom feature we have come to expect from Prezi.

Or, contact me to have your website optimized for organic search engines.