Why You Need Great New Content Every Time

When you’re using content from your site or other sites in your SEO efforts, you might want to cut some corners. Who wants to pay writers every time you need something new done? But when you don’t want to gamble with your reputation online, you want to make sure you have original content and SEO every time you do it. The thing Google hates the most is people who “lift” content from other websites, so make sure everything you use, even for article marketing, is unique every time.

Why is Unique Content Important?

Five or ten years ago, you probably remember how a lot of blogs would just copy and paste the same stories over and over again. It was frustrating, and people got tired of seeing the same content everywhere; Google started nixing sites from the top of the rankings that were just spamming with other people’s content. Now if you’re caught doing it you can end up in the bottom of the SERPs or even worse, banned. It’s just not worth it to repost someone else’s content in the end.

Making Sure Your Content is Unique

Making sure your content is unique is important, but you also need to make sure that if you’re paying for content they’re not copying and pasting either. If you’re buying content, run it through a service like Copyscape to see if it’s been plagiarized before you pay for content. If you already have content on your site that you didn’t write yourself, you can run it through here too to make sure it’s original content. Making sure it’s original is important, but it’s really up to you to catch it!

Sometimes it’s Hard to be Unique

If you’re doing product descriptions for an ecommerce site for example, it can be hard to make sure your content is unique every time. You’ll want to work hard (or hire someone else to work hard so you don’t have to!) to make sure that even the little product technical specifications are reworded to be unique compared to other sites that are online with the same information. This may be hard, but it really pays off in the end and you’ll be able to get better search engine ranking positions on page one and two where your customers can actually find you, as opposed to being banished to page 20 where no one will ever find you!

Making sure your content is unique, fresh and different every time can be hard, but it’s a necessary evil. Even if you’re doing Ezinearticles article submission, you want to make sure you put your best face out there with unique an interesting content, even in a place where most of the stuff isn’t that high quality. If you can’t work on your content and SEO on your own, make sure you go a great seo company with someone reputable (like us!) who can provide you with the services you need and will make sure your content and SEO is on the level too!

Bringing Your Business Online with Great Website Design

Website design is one of those necessary evils; you have to have it but you’re not sure what it’s worth or what makes a design great! We know it can be hard when you’ve had a brick and mortar business coming online, but here you’re going to learn everything you need to know to have a successful launch. While this isn’t a complete guide (there’s only so much we can cover in a 500 word blog post) you’ll know a lot more and be better prepared to get your site online. Let’s go!

Why You Need a Website Online

Making the leap from physical to digital can be a little nonsensical, but if you want to stay competitive you’re going to need to make sure your current and future customers can find you online. With a great web design you’ll be able to make sure your business keeps growing year after year, and you’ll also be able to have a whole other level of interaction with your customers. It’s time to make the change!

Getting a Great Website Design

When you’re looking for a great website design, you might be confused by some of the terms. One of the first things you need to do is look at the designer’s previous designs; do you like the way they look, have they worked with companies in the same industry or niche as you? Experience with what works in your field is important, so if you can find a designer who has done work like the kind you need before it’s the most ideal situation. If not, see if they’re up for a challenge, a talented web designer is always up for trying something new!

Website Design Isn’t Just Pictures

A great website design isn’t just pictures, it’s also great clean code that keeps everything working and running smoothly. You’ll want it to be beautiful AND compliant (run one of their reference or sample sites through the W3 schools validator here) and when you know they can write great code, you’ve just found a good designer! You’ll also want to make sure it runs on a CMS like WordPress so you can go back later and add blog posts or update the content without having to hire a programmer to do it for you. While this might seem like the easier option (hiring someone else) it can get really pricey after a while and it’s just not worth it.

Finding a Great Website Design

You can find many different free designs online, but you want yours to be unique and to reflect your company as a whole. A good designer will be abel to work with you to make sure that you’re getting the best design for your industry, as well as a way to make a great impact with your target audience. With the right colours, navigation, layout and content, your website can easily hop to page one on the Google rankings! Click here to find out more about our own design services today.

How to Make Your Logo Memorable

Making your logo memorable is the center point of actually having a logo. If people can’t remember who you are, what’s the point in even having a logo? You logo needs to be unique, memorable, and have that emotional impact that creates the brand connection your company needs to survive. I don’t know how many small businesses I’ve seen over the years who threw their money away on trends when what they really needed was impact; before you hire someone to create your logo, you need to know what makes a logo great! Here we’re going to go over everything you need to know to have a memorable logo, so let’s get started!

A Great Logo Needs to be Planned

When you’re designing your logo, you shouldn’t just go at it with guns blazing! You need to make sure that you start planning ahead and think about what you want your logo to convey. What do you see your logo doing, what will you be promoting with your logo? What does it need to convey? These may be some tough questions for you, but you need to know what’s going on before you even start designing your logo. If you can’t answer these questions, consider hiring a designer or professional design company to help you get the right message across.

A Fantastic Logo is Unique

The last thing you want to do is have a logo that looks like someone else’s! You’ll want a unique logo to get that memorable factor; while it might seem like if you copy an idea that’s well known you’ll get the brand association and more sales, you’ll probably just end up with a lawsuit. In the end it’s just not worth it, so make sure that you make your logo as unique as possible, and make it reflect your business.

Follow the KISS Method

Keep it Simple! You’ll want to make sure that you’re getting across the most information in the shortest amount of time, and you should always aim to get the best looking logo possible, but you want to make sure it’s not cluttered with stuff that just doesn’t matter. Establishing yourself, your business as an authority is one of the most important thing you can do with your logo! It’s crazy how something so simple can really give you the edge you need over your competition.

Make it Professional

If you really want your logo design to be successful and memorable, you’re going to need that professional touch to help you convey everything in a smart way. You want to touch people in a visceral way that makes them remember you, but you have to be careful that you don’t fall the other way into making them hate you because you used the wrong colours.

If you can follow these rules, you’ll be able to make your logo memorable and help people really build an emotional attachment to your company and your brand. Being memorable is more important than being trendy, so make sure your logo is built to last!

Five Easy SEO Tricks to Rocket You to the Top of Google

We’ve all heard about SEO, but most of the information out there is just junk. Let’s face it, if you’re looking at this article you want to know how to start getting results and start getting relevant SEO traffic coming to your site, but you want to do it organically, then you’ve come to the right place! If you’re looking for real organic traffic from Google, Bing, Yahoo! and others, keep reading!

Internal Backlinks

You know you can link within your own site right? You don’t have to just link INTO your website, or link outside to other places! Internal backlinks are a great way to make the most of your links, and you wont’ be penalized for linking within your site once or twice on each page; one thing to note is that you’re going to want to be careful about doing it every other word! You don’t want to go too crazy trying to link within your own site.

Rock Your Website Content

Your website content is what Google sees about you, so rock it! If you’re not a great writer, hire someone to write your content for you! Whatever you do, make sure you have that website content there for the search engines to find, and of course you want something great for your users to read. Only publish content that you find interesting, because if it’s interesting to you it’s going  to (hopefully) be interesting to your readers too!

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

Getting great SEO is all a matter of doing it right and then waiting for the search engines to start giving you that link love you need to be successful. You’ll want to wait a while before you build more links (more is not always better), and being patient will go a long way towards helping you meet your SEO goals. There is no such thing as getting to page one in a single day, no matter what some system tells you.

Create Smashing Titles

A smashing title will help people FIND you! You don’t have to advertise nearly as much as you might thing, and a more colourful title will go a long way towards making sure that your website gets indexed. Your titles need to be keyword rich, meaning you should have a keyword in the beginning and a related keyword at the end. Make sure the keyword or key phrase that your visitors are looking for shows up!

Great Backlinks

Backlinks from other places like blog comments, forum and social media profiles, article marketing sites and more are vital to getting your SEO in the right place. You’ll be amazed how some good quality links back to your site will help Google find you and index you, and it’ll also establish you as an authority in your niche so you can start getting more organic traffic back to your website too!

Five Logo Design Tips to Make Your Logo Rock

Making sure you get the best logo for your business is hard, but how do you know what you’re getting? Designers hold their secrets a little close to their chest, so you don’t always know what little tweaks will give you a great logo. Here we’re going to go over the five top design tweaks and tips to make sure that you get a good logo the first time, and if you already have a logo you can use these tips to improve it and keep it for years to come.

Make Your Logo Unique and Creative

Making your logo creative and unique; making sure that your logo doesn’t look like any other logo in your niche (who wants a lawsuit for violating copyright?), you’ll want to hire a smart designer who can help you build a design that works for you. While it’s okay to be inspired by other logos in your niche or area of business, you’ll want to try and keep it as far away as you can with inventive uses of shape, colour and text.

Simple Logos are Better Logos

Think about different logos; the simpler logos are probably the ones that come to mind first for you! While it might be tempting to make a complex logo to convey your complex ideas, you want to just go as simple as possible. People are visual creatures, and you need to cater to that with your logo. Be clear with clever uses of text and go as minimalistic as possible.

Avoid Trends

Avoiding trends is one of the most important things you can do; what’s cute today will look like garbage tomorrow, and no one wants to spend good money on something that won’t survive. If you look at some of the best logos like Coca-Cola, Nike or McDonald’s for example, you’ll notice that most of the updates over time were simple improvements on great designs instead of full on overhauls. You want your original logo to be solid enough that you can just have it updated when needed.

Use Natural Colours

Very few brands benefit from unnatural colour schemes. You’ll want to make your logo with natural colours that have research behind them that help your customers identify what your business actually does. A good designer will help you find the right colours to use for your logo, so don’t worry about choosing them yourself if you get lost.

Use Shapes and Forms Wisely

A good logo doesn’t have to have a lot of clutter, so you want to make sure that you’re making use of shapes and forms in the design. Use shapes that are as simple as possible so you can get your ideas across in a cogent manner.

By using these five tips to make your logo design rock, you’ll be able to have something inventive and totally you to show the world what you and your business is really about.

10 Website Design Tips You Have to Know!

There are a lot of junk website design tips out there; I know I’ve read my own fair share of them! If you’ve been struggling to find a way to set yourself apart from the competition or you just want to make your website pop, you’ve come to the right place! Here we’re going to go over the different ways that you can spruce up an existing web design or make it special from scratch, so let’s get to it!

1. Make it Unique

You want your website design to be unique, so avoid any cookie cutter templates that other websites are using. If you can’t afford a custom web design, put the work into it to make it unique!

2. Text Matters

While images are great for SEO, you need to make sure you put a lot of text content in your website; ditch style for substance.

3. Be Modern, Be Functional

Your website has to be both modern and functional, so make sure you don’t head too much towards trendy territory. Your website has to communicate and push your browsers towards the thing you need to do (like buying your awesome products and services, for example), but it has to be pretty enough to keep their attention.

4. Make it Fast

Your website can’t take too much time to load or people will just give up and find somewhere else to get their information. If your website is slow loading look at how many different images are on the page and if the code is optimised.

5. Keep the Audience in Mind

Whenever you’re designing your website, think about who is going to be visiting it. You don’t want to use dark colors for a trust seal website, or bright colors for a site that’s selling death metal CDs; always keep your audience in mind.

6. Make it HTML5

While Flash is common, you’ll want to make your site with HTML5 to make sure that it works on the iPad and mobile devices.

7. Keep all Your Pages under 100KB

Sounds hard, but it doesn’t have to be. If each page is kept under 100KB, you’ll know that everyone can visit your site!

8. Make it Vertical

While a horizontal scrolling effect can make your site pop on a computer screen, you have to keep in mind your mobile device visitors, as well as people who just won’t think to scroll to the side instead of up and down.

9. Compatibility is Key

You’ll want to make sure whatever design you go with can be rendered in all browsers on all devices.

10. Keep it Clean

You’ll want to keep your design as clean as possible; this means clean gradients, web safe colours (check it out in Photoshop to make sure your colours are web safe) and clear shapes to get that modern and clean look you need to move products and services.

Now you know what to do to get a web design that pops.

Why Your Site Needs to be W3C Validated

When you’ve looked in the html of most designs, you’ve probably noticed that there is a little piece of code that is at the top that validates it… but why is this there, and what is it for? When you’re having a site designed you need it to be W3C complaint and validated! The W3C stands for the World Wide Web Consortium, and they set the web’s best standards and practices for design and code. If your design can pass their standards for compliance, you’ll be able to show up on all modern devices (like tablets, mobile phones and computers for example) and browsers, plus load quickly on most connections.  W3C validation also checks your grammar and spelling too, so you’ll be able to make sure that everything is on the level!

What W3C Validation Does

Every time we turn around there are new updates to CSS, HTML (xml, dhtml, how many more htmls can there be?!) Javascript and more that it’s hard to keep up. A W3C validation check at the beginning of your code helps you know that your site is always valid, and if something becomes outdated you’ll be able to get it fixed quickly.

  • Make Sure Your Site Works with Any Browser: There are about five different browsers that most people use, and dozens out there that may not render things correctly. W3C compliance means you’re going to get the exact same result in every browser, every time. There will be a few quirks that make the pages a little different in some instances, but on the whole you’ll be able to give it a uniform experience.
  • Shrink Down the Size of Your Site: Modern websites can easily become bloated blobs of code, but with W3C validation you’ll be able to cut down the size of your code and keep it fast loading for people even on slow connections! You might think everyone has high speed internet now, but even mobile phones can be a little slow.
  • Reach a Wider Audience: When people can access your site across a wide variety of browsers and platforms, you’ll be able to reach a wider audience. If people can’t get your site to load, they’re not going to come back again and see if it works that time. When it loads, it works; when it works they’ll look to you as a resource!

What W3C Validation Means for You

When you are having your website redesigned or designed for the first time, the designer should check to see if your code is valid. It’s one of the easiest signs for you to know that you are in good hands with a professional designer. They’ll also check their own code for bloat and lag with the validator, so you’ll know you’re getting clean clear code in your new site and it’ll be small enough to load on even the junkiest mobile phone! With W3C validation you’ll be able to sidestep the most esoteric code errors before they end up on your website, and you’ll be able to put a professional face forward.

How SEO Affects Website Design

Have you ever heard the saying “Design follows copy”? If not, you need to! What content is on your site will dictate design, and you should never have the design of your website done before you have copy! But one of the most important parts of content is SEO, and if your design isn’t good for SEO it’s not going to help you make money online. But, hey, who cares about SEO? Here’s why you should:

There are two sites online that are selling personal security products like hidden cameras. One retailer has opted for a CMS called OpenCart but never bothered to implement even basic SEO on his website design; the second retailer is using WordPress with an SEO suite that makes sure all of his pages are tagged correctly, that his keyword appears 3-4% of the time on every page, and that high PR websites get pinged from time to time. The first retailer fails and never gets customers to his site because no one knows he’s even there. The second retailer who paid attention to SEO and worked hard to get in the good graces of the search engines like Google and Bing is highly successful.

When you pay attention to SEO, you’ll be able to be successful online. But how do you know what you’re doing is right, and what is SEO anyway?

What is SEO?

SEO is a set of different methods that get you link love from Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines! When you play by their rules, you’ll start showing up for your keywords and get much more traffic than if you just handed out business cards and hoped that people just come to your site on their own.

What do SEO and Design Have to do with Each Other?

Web Design and SEO seem like their worlds apart,  but they’re not! Design is the visual representation of your site, but design alone can’t drive sales and signups. SEO pushes people to your website, but if your site looks cheap no one is going to buy anything. These two things work together in tandem so you’ll be able to get the results you need to be successful online. You can’t be successful with a pretty site and no SEO, and you won’t be able to drive sales with great SEO and an ugly site. You’ll want to make sure both of these are taken care of before you launch your website.

What is Good Design?

Now that you know what good SEO is, you need to know what good design is:

  • Appealing to your audience
  • Good navigation and clean coding (loads quickly and people can find their way around)
  • SEO optimised content
  • Images that are tagged and relevant to the website
  • Prominent logo and contact information

Your design should put your potential buyers at ease. With great web design, great SEO and all the information they need about your product at their fingertips, they have no excuse not to buy!

WordPress: Blogging Made Easy

Blogging is a fact of life if you want your business to be successful online, but getting started blogging can be just plain hard. When you use WordPress all the hard stuff is taken care of for you, and all you have to do is come up with stuff to write about! If you’re tired of struggling with complicated website software, hiring programmers and designers to constantly update your design and site, you need a WordPress website design. The best thing about WordPress is that it’s FREE; you won’t have to spend a dime on upgrades (but once in awhile you may have to update your design to work with new features).

What is WordPress?

If you’ve never used WordPress before, you are missing out! This CMS (content management system) allows you to publish your content fast and easy, and it has all the SEO tools you could ever need to leapfrog ahead of your competition. It’s built around the idea of “push button publishing”, meaning you shouldn’t have to do anything more than press a button to edit or publish your content. So if you’re tired of trying to get a blog that works, you need WordPress!

What You Need for WordPress

You’ll need a few things for a WordPress blog before you start setting it up. You’ll need hosting and a domain, and you can get these through HostGator, 1and1 and a whole host of other different web hosts. You can check around and find coupons (especially for GoDaddy and HostGator in particular) to bump down the price of your hosting and domain. Whatever host you go with, make sure it comes with databases and supports PHP5 (PHP 4 at the least).

Getting Started with WordPress

After you have a good host and a domain name, you’ll want to install WordPress. You can get the latest version of WordPress here, and you’ll save the zip to your computer. You’ll extract the zip and place the folder on your server with FTP (if you don’t know how to do this, check out the install guide for WordPress here) and you can start installing it. Make sure you read the install guide; it’s not that hard to get it up and running.

Once WordPress is installed, you’re going to want to make your first post! You’ll want to click on the “Posts” tab in the admin panel, and then you can fill out the title box (this is where the title of your post goes) and then you fill out the content box. When you’re done, you hit publish and you’re ready to go! If you ever want to edit or delete a post it’s just as easy as making one, all you have to do is pick the option and go.

Using WordPress to start blogging is the best way to get your website out there. While there are a lot of other CMSs, none do the job that WordPress does. Check it out today and see what it can do for you!

The Art of Design: Logo Edition

Getting the logo of your dreams is all about understanding what goes into making a logo great! While it’s always a good idea to find a professional logo designer or company to work on your logo, if you want to get the best deal you’re going to need to make sure that you understand as much as you can about logo design so you don’t get bogged down in a ton of jargon and costs that aren’t necessary to get the job done. An educated buyer is a happy buyer, so in this crash course you’re going to learn everything you need to know about logo design, and you’ll be able to find a designer to help you create the right logo for you.

Why You Need a Logo

First things first, you need to know why you need a logo. No matter what kind of business you have, you need to have a logo. Logos are the first part of your brand identity, and people need to be able to look at your logo and know that it’s YOUR logo; you want to evoke that visceral reaction in your customers, establish those emotional bonds (but in a good way) so you can make sure your customers know you. That’s the whole point of a logo, and if it’s not memorable it’s just not a logo.

Logos Should be Dynamic

Dynamic doesn’t mean it has to be animated, but it does need to convey a lot of information in a small space in the quickest amount of time possible. A logo should be a perfect balance of text, shape and colour to give the audience a window into what you provide. It’s a little crazy how important each of these three elements can be for logos, but you need to make sure that each is in perfect harmony with the others.

Different colours will communicate different ideas to your customers, and different shapes just turned on an angle can tell people drastically different things. The choice of text used for a logo needs to be unique; this means that the font shouldn’t be common or one that you use every day. With the right logo design company, you’ll be able to get the logo you need to be a success with your customers, and it’ll stay relevant for years to come!

Getting the Logo You Deserve

Getting the logo you deserve means being happy with your logo. Unlike some other forms of art, design has to communicate an idea. If you don’t get the ideas behind the logo, the designer has failed. You’ll want to show the different mockups that you get from the designer to your coworkers to see what they think about, just to make sure you’re getting a good perspective.

Understanding how logos come together is half the battle; you’ll still need to have some help understanding colour psychology and how everything comes together, so make sure the designers you hire (like us!) will work with you to make sure that you get the logo that you want and need to be successful!