Everything listed under: Tutorial

  • How to Promote Your Website on Google

    Sometimes, even after we educate our clients about SEO (search engine optimization), we get the question, "Yeah, but how do I promote my website on Google?". Well, for starters, that's what SEO is all about. But for the laymen out there, (and for those of you reading this that are not clients of ours) we'll provide a very basic list of things to keep in mind when attempting to get better search results in Google. 

    How to Promote Your Website on Google1. Create a cross-browser compatible website
    2. Submit your website to dmoz.org and other directories
    3. Start a Blog with an RSS feed.
    4. Sign up for Google Analytics
    5. Set titles on all pages (H1, H2, H3, etc.)
    6. Include meta data (description, keywords)
    7. Create a robots.txt file for search engines.
    8. Create a site map on your website.
    9. Write useful and helpful content on your website.
    10. Write useful and helpful content on your blog.
    11. Make your website a resource for those that find it.
    12. Make sure there are no broken links on your website.
    13. Set up a smooth navigation structure. Make sure it's not confusing.
    14. Start a Facebook and Twitter account connected with your website and/or blog.
    15. Begin link building: the higher quality the connections, the better the results will be.
    16. Own your domain for more than one year, and buy more than one year at a time. Google likes permanence.
    17. Make sure people can comment on your Blog. Respond to them.
    18. Be sure that every image on your website has an Alt Attribute.
    19. Make sure that the file structure of your website is simple and intuitive.
    20. Use naming conventions that are clear and make sense for all images and files.
    21. Relevance, Relevance, Relevance. Make sure that your HTML title, meta data, content titles (H1, H2, etc), images, and actual content are all tied in with each other for each individual page on your website.
    22. Do not try to trick Google. Stuffing keywords, repeating content, copying content from other sources, or link farming can get you penalized or even banned from Google.
    23. Update your website regularly.
    24. Update your Blog at least once per week. The more often it's updated, the better.
    25. Don't give up.

    Honestly, some of the items listed above will be confusing even to the layman. If you're not an SEO expert, web designer or developer, the truth is you really aren't expected to know these things. That's why businesses like ours offer search engine optimization as a service. However, there are some great points on here that you should pay attention to. The quality, usefulness and helpfulness of your content is completely within your control. Google would argue that the quality of your content is the most important thing, and we don't disagree.

     

     
  • Typography in Design

    TypographyIn the early days of most folk's web design and graphic design careers, the choice and application of typography was the same as asking oneself, "What font should I use?"

    As many entry-level graphic and web designers will find out, typography is not simply about font. It is about measure, leading, tracking, color and layout. The typography must be readable as well as visually pleasing - and it must fit thematically with the other content on the page. We will attempt to describe in layman's terms the importance of the basic elements of typography.

    Font: When designing for print, use serifed fonts. When designing for the screen, use sans serif fonts. There are exceptions to this rule, but mostly in the way of titles and headers. For body text seen on computer monitors, a sans serif font is the way to go for the most readability in most cases. We have seen many beautiful serifed fonts used recently on the web- but they are usually font size 14 and above. This makes the readability of serifed fonts a non-issue - mostly.

    Based on our own research and experience, the following fonts are the most available, accessible and readable for the web. Unfortunately, many designers may feel silly using such "archaic" fonts, even if just for body text.

    Sans Serif, size 12+: Arial
    Sans Serif, size 11-: Verdana
    Serif: Georgia

    Measure: The width of the body of type. Basically, how wide is your paragraph or body of text? The best practice is usually to limit your width to 50 - 80 characters in length. Any narrower or wider and you risk having readability issues. As a rule, the wider your measure, the more leading you need to retain readability.

    Leading: This is what many designers may call "line height". This is the amount of spacing between each line of text. As we mentioned above, the wider your measure (or width of the body text), the more leading you will need. When using light text on a dark background, you would need to add even more leading and tracking to the body of text.

    Tracking: This is the spacing between letters and words. Right now we're just interested in word tracking. A good rule to remember is the narrower your measure, the tighter the tracking. The wider your measure, the wider your tracking between words. Letter tracking can be fun, but make sure you are conservative when it comes to body text.

    Color & Layout: Color and layout are important elements of typography that must be tested and used by web and graphic designers on a regular basis. There is really nothing we can say here that can prepare a designer for all possible types of designs, styles or color combinations. Any rule of thumb that we could give would eventually be disproven with a typography style that works for an individual design that exists as an exception to the rule.

    While many professional designers are in no way experts in typography, they do have some experience putting it all together in a cohesive way. Usual strengths lie in design using color and layout. Even so, the final word of advice we will give is this: when in doubt, make it readable.

     

     
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