About the Affinity for Design logo, a mythological Phoenix symbolizing our clients overcoming their challenges

The Affinity Blog

Get ahead of your competition

A Helpful Learning Tool

Our blog contains invaluable educational articles focused on making your print and online marketing successful.  

Direct Visibility – Referral Program

Google uses the term direct when people search for you using YOUR NAME or the NAME OF YOUR BUSINESS. Different from Organic visibility where people search with a key word. When people search with your name, it usually means one of two things.  You have just received a REFERRAL.  Or someone who knows you dropped by to get your phone number. That is why Direct Visibility Strategies are perfect to drive your companies referral program.

Build Your Referrals Driven Business

Using J3 Direct Visibility Strategies, you build your business through a REFERRAL PROGRAM. It’s almost FREE compared to other Internet marketing strategies. And requires almost no SEO. This strategy supports your referral programs where people come to you because someone recommended you. 

Level One Referral Program

Perfect for our clients who say the referrals they receive each year create all the new business they want or can handle.

  • Website – With J3 Relatable Marketing Message and effective Call to Action scheme.
  • Google My Business – Verified with complete information.
  • Social Media – To keep you in the conversation.
  • Newsletter – To keep in touch and retain the clients you already have.

Level Two Referral Programs Include

You can add more advanced J3 Direct Visibility Strategies. You will have a program that can produce robust results. Perfect for our clients who want to grow their business on a budget.

  • Reviews – So your people see good things other people say about you.
  • Testimonials – Provided by customers who have expressed their appreciation for you and your service.
  • Transitional Call to Action – to create an email list you can use to build relationship with future customers.
  • Lead Generators – E Books, Webinars, other pieces of great information people request in return for their email address.
  • Email drip campaigns – Providing more great information to establish a business relationship over time

Website Designed to Create Trust

Your website is the hub of your internet presence. Don’t skimp here. It’s the one thing you can do about marketing your business that will make everything else you do a lot easier or not even necessary. Done right, it will pay for itself over and over because of how it improves your referral/conversion ratio (The percentage of people referred to you who become your customer). Your website is the hub of your referral program.

High Function – It Works

  • It’s Mobile Friendly: According to official Google statements, more than 50 percent of search queries globally now come from mobile devices.
  • It loads fast: People won’t wait
  • It’s easy to navigate: People easily find what they are looking for when they land on your site. They see how to connect with you on Social Media. If they want to sign up for your newsletter, or make an appointment, or leave a review, it is easy for them to do it.

High Design – It’s Beautiful

Today, design matters.  In the first nano second, the look and feel of your site has it’s effect. That first impression creates a feeling…positive, neutral or negative. People don’t actually say, hey this site makes me feel good or bad. It’s not necessarily a conscious thing, but that first impression sets the stage for how your visitors will react to everything else they are going to see.

High Touch – It Relates

Many websites talk about the things that excite the owner. The smart website puts the focus on things that please the customer. Sites that talk about the business from the owner’s perspective are filled with words like we, me, I, ours and mine. We call those “I” words. Customer centered websites use words like you, your, you’ll, and yours. We call those “you” words. The low touch site is packed with facts. The high touch site is filled with pictures and stories. Pictures and stories that cause the visitor to feel what it will feel like to use your products, or receive your services.

High Visibility – Gets Found

Obviously, no matter how functional, beautiful, or relational your website, if no one sees it, the marketing effect is zero. These days, you need much more than a website. You need a highly visible Internet Presence.

  • If you are happy with the referrals that naturally come to you or you run an aggressive referral program, a “Direct Visibility” Internet presence will make you visible to your target audience.
  • If you want to make your presence visible to people in your target geography that you can’t reach with your referral programs, you need to maximize “Organic Visibility.”

Your website must be impressive to Search Engines. This is where SEO comes in. You start with carefully chosen key words around which you develop great content. Make it user friendly in multiple ways…it loads fast, it’s mobile friendly, it’s easy to find what people want to find… There are dozens of details that search engines evaluate to determine whether your website is the one it will show on the golden first page of search results.

You may even opt for one of several powerful Paid-For visibility strategies.

High Conversion – It Sells

For your website to contribute to your bottom line, there are two optimizing threads that you must weave into its fabric.

  • First, Your website is user optimized. You craft the content of your website in a way that causes your visitors to engage. Your headlines grab their interest.  Your hot links invite them to go deeper. They read, they look at your pictures, they view your videos.
  • Your website is conversion optimized. Your website must lead your visitor take action. You ask yourself, “What do I want my visitor to do?” Do I want them to buy something? Do I want them to call me? Do I want them to give me a review on Google+? Do I want them to give me their email address so I can message them with offers that may interest them in the future. You design your site so that it asks them to take the action you want them to take.

Google My Business

Your Website is essential, but these days, your Google My Business is just as important. Your referral program results in people searching for you by your name. Your Google My Business information panel most likely will be the first thing they see. 

What’s Google My Business?

Google My Business is a Google Account where a business can register a great deal of information. Google in turn publishes that information in two places: 1) Google Maps 2) Google Knowledge Panel

Google Map

Under the map you usually see a list of three business locations and the orange review stars.  By the way, those three listings are called the “Map Pack.” Google is showing the top three of a longer list of locations. To see more listings, you click on see more. When someone searches with the actual name of your business…your business will most likely be the top of the three business listed. That’s called a “direct result” because they searched using your name or the name of your business.

Google Knowledge Panel. That’s what Google calls the rectangular box on the right side of the page.  Google My Business fills that Knowledge Panel with all kinds of information you provide about  your business: You business name, phone number, address, reviews, pictures, video, descriptions, hours, business category. There’s a link to  your website, a button that gives people directions to  your location, a button that let’s people leave you a review. You can post articles, promotions, info about events.  Google My Business is information central about your business.

Why may Google My Business be as important as your website, or even MORE important than your website?

It’s simple.  It’s the first thing people see when they perform a search. Everything about the Knowledge Panel is scientifically calibrated to make it the FIRST place your eye goes when the search results page pops up. When people see your Google Knowledge panel they may click on the link that takes them to your website, but often, they don’t do that because they see your phone number as well. Instead of going to your website, they call you. Or they may simply click the button to get directions to your place, again never making it over to your website. We tell our clients that regardless of the visibility strategy, include Google My Business along with a website in your plan.

Your Newsletter

Your newsletter keeps you tightly connected with your customers and others who are interested in what you do.  An essential piece of both your referral program and your customer retention system.

  • It brings you to mind.
  • It supports your referral program because of how you can use it to encourage your customers and your friends to give you their referrals.
  • It brings people back to your website and your Facebook page.
  • It informs everyone about promotions, events, community service and such you have going on or coming up.

Your Social Media

Your business Facebook Page is branded to match the look and feel of your website. It is fully set up. It’s active. That’s essential. They see at least one or two posts per week. Things that:

  • Inform
  • Inspire
  • Interest
  • Entertain
  • Attract

It’s a social place. It’s also a business place. That means every tenth post or so, your fans are happy to see you make an offer, promote a product, or ask them to do some business with you.

We like to think of your Business Facebook Page as the story of your business in real-time.  Social-minded people will definitely check out your Facebook page to see what’s going on. The pictures they see and the conversation they encounter will round out their impression of the type and quality of service you provide. It confirms what they already believe to be true because of the cool things their friend told them about you. It will encourage them to give you a call.

What Goes Beyond The Referral Program?

For the company that wants to reach the vast audience that lies beyond the reach of their referral program a different type of visibility strategy is called for. We call it our J2 Organic Visibility Strategy. 

This strategy incorporates the Search Engine Optimization of your entire Internet Presence.

We’d love to have a conversation with you to see if the service Affinity for Design provides fits the company you run.

Try Reading These Blogs


Picture of BOBBI STILL


I am passionate about educating business owners so they can make wiser choices about their marketing whether it be their website, online marketing, or print advertising.





Scroll to Top