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For years a followed link on a popular site was seen as the ‘holy grail’ of digital marketing and SEO. This led to some people buying links by bribing publishers to link back to a website.

But times have changed and for the better. A recent Google update now states that citations (brand mentions) are equally as important as a link back to a site. The focus for Google is now on content and relevancy. A link on an authority site will send traffic to your website and, of course, help your SEO. But even without a link, securing a brand on a credible site will boost awareness, raise consideration and position a brand as an authority as well as being recognised by Google.

To secure a followed link is hard but not impossible. Still, sites like Forbes, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, will not give a followed link, but they will provide a brand mention, especially if it is a good story.

So, do you need a link builder or a PR professional to secure links and brand mentions?

What you need first is a great storyteller, who understands newsworthiness, the media, SEO, and brand building.

The focus now is, the strength of the story and the relevancy of the content to the audience it will reach. So, whether someone calls themselves a link builder or a PR, if they are strategically thinking about how to achieve the above – they are the ones for you.

Before starting to write or create content to achieve coverage or links, you should be asking yourself, “Why would a site publish this content?”  Is it interesting, relevant or new! What assets do you need to create to accompany the story to make it leap off the page?

The best approach is to ensure you do your research and target relevant media and sites that are specific to your industry or subject matter.  Think about your audience, raising brand awareness and telling an engaging relevant story. Consider these and you can develop a story that secures coverage, links and most of all, gets your brand remembered.


Holding out for a Hero Image

Big images have a big impact. Layer those with relevant, bite-sized content, and you’ve a hero image.

Websites usually display their hero images prominently, full-width across the viewing screen, so it’s the first thing a visitor sees, and really grabs their attention. It’s a way to communicate your purpose, present key information with calls to action and can sometimes be referred to as a banner, header or slider. It doesn’t have to be static either – you can opt for dynamic rotation, although we recommend no more than three or four.

The key to nailing this is to ensure your images are of the highest quality: sharp, beautifully shot and elegantly placed in the design to work with the copy that accompanies it. The text should be placed in close proximity to the image and they must be relevant to each other to ensure a consistent visual message.

What the hero image and its copy conveys is up to you – products or services, promotions, news – but it’s another marketing channel that can be used to excellent effect.

Your choice of hero image is customer-influencing. It takes mere seconds to make a first impression, so choose with your customer in mind. Try to imagine how the image you’ve chosen will make them feel about your business.

Does it alienate or polarise, or unite you with your customers? Are you using emotive images – smiles, cute furry creatures or the polar opposite – and are they the right images for the emotion you’re trying to convey? Does it stand out, or is it too vanilla to work on the big screen?

It’s a lot to THINK about, we know, but fortunately we’ve some everyday heroes who are ready to help you.

THINK Hero Image: Think Design: Call 0161 507 2410


See, scan, share: why you should be using infographics

Would you like to communicate information quickly and clearly? Of course you would! But there’s a limit on how much data we can commit to memory as we “scan” information, rather than read it.


Of all the information that is transmitted to your brain, 90% is visual. And of everything you see, your brain will process visuals up to 60,000 times faster than text. The human eye can register more than 35,000 visual messages in an hour. That’s impressive.


In a world that operates at the speed of sight, designers have created infographics. These are literally informative graphics, short bursts of text alongside visual images that are designed to communicate brief messages that can be absorbed quickly, and committed to memory. Because it’s bite-sized, it’s not overwhelming, and when you consider that as many as 65% of the world’s population are visual learners, it’s a great way to share information quickly, globally as well as locally.


Infographics are good for improving your SEO content too, getting that content shared, and growing your company brand and presence (providing your infographics are aligned to your company’s brand). Make them eye-catching, and you’ll increase engagement. Businesses that use infographics can see up to twelve times as much traffic growth as a business that doesn’t.

Put a picture on your Tweet, and you’ll score 18% more likes. Facebook posts with pictures get double the engagement than those without. You’re 40% more likely to get your image-based social content shared than text-only posts.


Infographics will increase awareness about your brand as they are shared across social media. Make the most of this organic engagement and link to your house style: design your infographic using your brand colour palette and typeface. Content is 80% more likely to be read when it’s colourful, and don’t forget to include your brand name and logo too.


There’s so much to look at in this digital age, we know standing out can be difficult. Including infographics in your marketing plan and the application of engagement-generating tools will ensure you achieve cut through. Check out the interactive infographic we created for The LK Group.

If you THINK you’re ready to grow your reach, and your business, our award-winning graphic designers will be very happy to help. Get in touch today: 0161 507 2410.