Search Engine Optimisation – 10 SEO Rules for Web Designers

Search Engine Optimisation - 10 SEO Rules for Web Designers
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There’s no getting around it – Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is not just for marketers any more. It’s a vital component of any website, and when it’s done well, means better quality traffic, increased conversion rates and happier visitors.

Any designer dealing with online content has the power to make or break a website when it comes to SEO. Here are a few simple rules that will improve the SEO on your sites.

Rule number 1: Put content before flashy design.

Good design champions content rather than detracting from it, and ultimately, a site’s content is what users are searching for.

To help users find what they’re looking for, create a site that’s easy to navigate. A good place to start is with the content structure or Information

Architecture (IA). Break up your site into no more than seven sections, and use the section landing pages to summarise and link to more specific content in deeper pages.

On the pages themselves, lead with a relevant H1 tag and use the first paragraph of text to summarise the rest of the page.

Rule number 2: Make the most of your keywords.

Keywords are essential for good SEO and the more relevant they are, the better they’ll perform. Stuffing your site with frequently searched for terms may or may not bump it up a notch in Google’s search results, but it will definitely increase your bounce rates when your audience fail to find what they’re looking for.

Find out what your audience is interested in, and choose your content and keywords accordingly. Take a look at relevant forums and your competitors’ sites to identify words that keep coming up, and use them (and their synonyms) in your title tag, page URL, headings and main content.

Rule number 3: Pay attention to your homepage.

Your homepage is probably the highest ranking page on your site, so it’s the perfect place to ensure web spiders find relevant information and keywords.

It should summarise the rest of the site and include target keywords and links to important pages to help people to find what they’re looking for.

Rule number 4: Ditch the splash page.

There are few things more irritating than landing at what looks like a website’s homepage, only to find that it’s nothing more than a big banner and a link saying “Click here to enter”.

A splash page is just a barrier between your visitors and the information they want to find. Get rid of it.

Rule number 5: Use a site map and internal links.

Site maps link to every page on your site, so if you want search engines to see every page, you can’t do without one. A site map also describes the structure of your website, so it’s good for usability and easy navigation too.

Likewise, links in the body content to other pages on your site can help increase each page’s findability. If you link externally, make sure you set the link to open up …

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Why It’s Important to Choose the Right Professional For Your Outsourcing Project

One of the biggest mistakes I see small business owners and entrepreneurs make in their outsourcing is to try to outsource everything to one virtual assistant, one programmer, or one personal assistant. You want to make sure you’re choosing the right professional for your outsourcing project.

You would not try to outsource your laundry to your children’s $75/hour private music tutor. Sure, the music tutor might be capable of doing the job, but $75/hour is too much to pay for laundry service, and the tutor would likely be unhappy with your request. While that scenario might seem silly, it happens frequently when small business owners outsource!

It is important to realize that you may need a variety of tasks completed, and it is likely smart to divide them up. If you assign them properly you’ll save money and have happier assistants and professionals working for you. Here are some examples:

Website Design: A complete website design is best left to a website designer. While your virtual assistant may be able to handle the job adequately, they’ll likely take longer and deliver less stellar results than someone who specializes in website design and is trained in code and graphics. If you pay your virtual assistant hourly, you may also find you’ve spent more than it would have cost to hire a website designer by the time the project is finished. If design is not your VA’s speciality it’s going to take longer for them to get it done.

Website Updates: On the other hand, consider whether you really want to pay a website designer $60/hour to make small updates to your website that a VA could complete in the same amount of time for $30/hour. Many tasks other than website updates fall into this same category. Once you have a VA you work well with, ask for their list of preferred tasks. This will help you know what they enjoy doing and what kinds of work they complete regularly. Stick to their list and you’ll save money and have a happy assistant.

Advanced Programming: Setting up a fancy membership or ecommerce site with custom features? You would be smart to work with someone who does it regularly instead of asking someone who has never completed this type of project before to handle it for you. Why? Because only those who have worked with a particular script or setup know the little quirks that can trip up the project, how to get around them and get you the best results, and how to get things done quickly.

Accounting or Legal Services: Please don’t ask your personal or virtual assistant to provide services they are not trained and certified for. Enough said there, right? Logo or Print Graphics Design: Many people don’t realize that a proper logo design is not delivered as a 72 DPI web ready JPG file. Your logo design should be created in a format that allows you to use it both on the web and in print. Print graphics …

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How you can Come to be a Graphic Artist

Ever looked at a colorful advertising and marketing brochure or even a web-site and believed of distinct techniques you would design it if provided a possibility? Normally locate oneself marveling in the originality of an artwork on a book cover? Every time graphics roll around the evening news, do you wonder if there was a technique to do it better? In case your answer for the above concerns is yes and you have an undying thirst for creativity, then you definitely likely are a prime candidate for becoming a graphic artist.

Becoming a graphic designer involves as much difficult perform and commitment because it does flair and creativity. Your talent needs to be nurtured appropriately, as well as your creativity channelized within the appropriate direction if you’d like to produce a serious profession out of graphic arts. And one particular approach to do that is by means of sound training plus a relevant education inside the field. But ahead of we get down on the nitty-gritty of tips on how to turn out to be a graphic artist, let’s take a closer appear at what graphic artists do.

Simply put, graphic designers develop visual communication of an concept or even a message. They use a number of supplies such as pictures, sound, illustrations, animation, sort, and color to create visual options. They perform in industries ranging from films, television, and publishing to advertising, gaming and style.

Finding Education

So, how does 1 go about becoming a graphic designer? The very first step will be to obtain your way to a college or university that provides a graphic arts degree. There will be lots of individuals who will try to argue you out of enrolling for any college degree. Some believe that there is no point spending tough earned (or borrowed) dollars on one thing that you could teach yourself, although others will insist that a portfolio is all that matters to make it as a graphic designer.

Admittedly, portfolios creation and on the web tutorials are essential part of your instruction. But equally critical is really a strong education that only a graphic design and style plan can give.

Not just is really a college degree important to construct a sturdy foundation inside the field, but it is also the minimum credential that employers currently ask for when conducting job interviews. A graphic arts degree is also important if you need to mature into a lot more senior roles and aspire to lead a creative team of an organization at some point inside your profession.

The good point is the fact that you’ll be able to decide on between a basic two-year Associate’s degree in Graphic Arts along with a additional advanced and in-depth Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Arts, based on your career and educational ambitions.

For people that are creating a mid-to late-career shift to graphic design or who come across a college education completely out of their attain, you can find a array of expert certificate programs and …

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Creating Eye-Catching Graphics

With the constant tightening and increased stringency of image copyright laws and regulations, enforced both off line as well as online, finding appropriate graphics and images to accompany your product of creation, whether it be for an online article, an eBook, a CD cover, a video (YouTube or otherwise), or even for the creation of an entire website or product, can be an overwhelming procedure. This is especially true if you are not particularly gifted visually, or aesthetically, and creating your own designs on complicated graphic software is way beyond the scope of your imagination or achievement for that matter.

Probably the most effective tip that could be given with regard to the creation of graphic design is to become learned with the various available graphic design software programs that are both efficient and considerably user friendly. Two of the most consistent, reputable, and easy to use graphic design programs, include Adobe Illustrator, and Photoshop. Both Illustrator and Photoshop do have learning curves, however.

Other alternatives which save money and are often more unique and original include actually going out and taking your own pictures or creating your own photographic setting, and then manipulating the images using specific software. This way you have a foundation to start with, whilst you are on your way to achieving your graphic designing endeavors.

Going out of your way to create something original and unique with the means that are available to you, such as a camera and a graphic software program, for example, is key to creating graphics that are eye catching.

Online readers and viewers are attracted to graphics that appear to be real, complex in nature, as well as interesting and aesthetically appealing. Avoiding showcasing graphics that look like they have been spewed out of a cheap software design program or cheap clip art library, in the duration of minutes, is half of the mastery of the art of creating eye catching graphics.

Also dedicating some time to thinking, reflecting and developing a smart, witty and iconic design, is essential. This is so because it can really help in ironing out the initial wrinkles that may be present due to insufficient consideration of the design itself.

Eye catching graphics which extend beyond the scope of online imagery and are significant in further driving a product sale or brand name can include logo designs, flyers and brochures, multipage brochures, and display panels. Being able to extend your marketing through the implementation of eye catching designs is certainly possible through the distribution of the above marketing tools.

The most important factor in guaranteeing the visual appeal of a printed graphic design is obviously the quality, the size, and the intensity of the print. Second, the general design of the paper format that the tool comes in can also make quite the difference. So deciding whether you would like to go for litho printing, screen printing or large format photographic prints, depending on the size and nature of your business, will increase the visual …

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Designing Websites With SEO And Conversions In Mind

Whatever you want your customers to do – buy your product, engage your services, make a donation to your charity – a well-designed website can help you achieve it. Conversion is the process of taking a visitor to your website through a process just like these.

Good SEO, on the other hand, can help at the beginning of the conversion process by attracting visitors to your site, and ensuring that they get relevant content once they’ve arrived. So how do you make your website conversion and SEO-friendly? Here are a few simple tips to get you started.

Keep your design simple

It’s tempting to design a website that ‘pops’, ‘whizzes’ and generally looks snazzy. Which is all very well. But before you reach for the nearest Flash developer, remember that ultimately, your visitors are looking for content, not design.

Visitors to your website are more likely to convert if they can find what their looking for easily. So keep it simple, uncluttered and easy to read. Sites that rely on heavy imagery, Flash or large amounts of JavaScript load slowly, so there’s a risk your visitors will get impatient and leave.

For SEO purposes too, a simple HTML website will generally run rings around its flashier counterparts.

Create a clear user journey

Customers hate having to dig for the information they need. If they can’t find what they’re looking for in a few seconds, it’s unlikely they’ll stick around to trawl through paragraphs of text until they find it.

A solid site structure (or Information Architecture) will make your site easy to use. Split your content into clear sections, and use each section landing page as an index or teaser to more specific content in the pages within the section.

Your homepage should provide the broad focus for your business and act as a portal to further content, so resist the temptation to fill it with text. No one will read it.

Use keywords

Search engines look for keywords in your website’s headings, links, image text and metadata.

By keeping your website full of relevant information and signposting it clearly, you stand a better chance of attracting visitors and driving successful conversions once they get there.

Spend some time researching keywords for your business, and get some inspiration from competitors’ websites. Take notice of the words that come up again and again and try putting a few of these into a search engine to see what you get. For each keyword that describes your business, think of two synonyms.

Use calls to action (CTAs)

What’s the main thing you want your site’s visitors to do? A clear call to action is hard to resist, so make sure these are well signposted and easy to find. They should be above the page fold where possible, and a mix of text links and buttons or other graphics.

Never, ever, use “click here”. CTAs work best when they’re descriptive and action oriented – “Buy a ticket” for example is clearer, more persuasive and …

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