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Creating the Perfect Logo – Logo Design Rules

Logo-Design-Rules

Logo design is an art and a science. That’s why graphic designers exist – were it easy to simplify and emblemize a company –  they'd be out of work and we wouldn't offer logo design and branding services.

Your company’s logo can impact customer brand perception and the overall attitude formed towards your business. A logo is what helps distinguish a brand from its competitors, so it’s important that the image stands apart from the rest. A logo is a brand’s visual keystone using graphic design to create a corporate identity or brand identity which ideally becomes memorable and associated with the company it signifies.

Thus, when creating a logo or having a logo designed, you’ll want to remember these key logo design principles and general rules for creating the perfect logo:

Make It Unique

While they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, in the case of logos this does not apply AT ALL. Though inspiration can be drawn from existing logos that you think are awesome, asking a designer to replicate another logo but put a spin on it - is a terrible idea.

You want your logo to be entirely your own, absolutely original so that it stands apart and is identified with your brand and your brand only. The last thing you want is for your logo to be mistaken for another company’s logo. Your logo needs to be unique enough so that the only company that is recalled in the mind’s eye of your logo viewers is you and your brand alone.  

Read more: Creating the Perfect Logo – Logo Design Rules

Best Practice UI Web Design Tips for 2017

user-interface-website-design-best-practices

When thinking about a new website design, user interface (UI) design isn’t typically the first thing business owners, entrepreneurs or marketing teams think of. Some do but most are enamoured with what the new site is going to look like rather than its functionality. But let’s be real, when you are on a website and it isn’t working properly well, what the heck? And as pretty as the site may be, if it doesn’t operate the way you expect it to, you could care less about what the site looks like.

And there you have it – user interface design is essential when thinking about a new website design or a web redesign. Your users expect a seamless experience and that begins with thinking about how they’re going to use the site i.e. the user interface. Keeping this in mind, here are a few best practice tips for your website’s UI design:

Universal Usability

With the proliferation of devices that exist today and the many options to choose from between tablets, desktops and all the different types of smartphones out there, it is clear that one size does not fit all.

As such when you are designing a new website, you need to keep all screen sizes in mind. Don’t discount the very much still relevant importance of your desktop design either. Even though people are accessing websites predominately from smartphones, desktop usage is still prevalent. 

The key is to create adaptive user interfaces that will give your audience a great experience regardless of which type of device they use and whatever orientation (landscape or portrait mode) they choose to view your website in.

Read more: Best Practice UI Web Design Tips for 2017

6 Tips for Tweaking Your Title Tags to Increase Website Traffic & Rankings

Title-Tag-Tips

When it comes to the web and search results, your title tag is everything for capturing the attention of your potential clients. Title tags are still extremely important for SEO (search engine optimization) and by tweaking your titles you can increase website traffic and in turn your rankings. When you increase your click-through rate, we mean the number of people who see you in search results and actually click through to your website and spend time on it – this, in turn, increases your rankings, moving you up in search results. So here are just a few ways for you to get your titles in tip-top shape to get more eyes on your website and move you up the ranks: 

Use Numbers

Numbers have a way of standing out. Especially when a search engine results page is littered with various titles that use only words, titles that contain numbers capture our attention. Whether it’s a list of 10 reasons why… or a title that says that 70% of people do this…our brains respond and gravitate towards these articles because they look different.

In the same way that a lime stands out amongst a group full of lemons, by using numbers in your title tags you can draw attention to your article by switching things up with some digits.

Dates are Your Friend

Using dates in title tags is a wonderful way to distinguish that the article web visitors will be reading is relevant and contains timely information. As an example, for a web visitor perusing testimonials of a business or a product, they may search for “<insert product/business> reviews in 2017” to filter out older reviews and results because they want to hear about your most recent service or product quality.

In the same way, by leveraging dates you can indicate to those searching the web, that your article/web page and the information contained therein has information that is up-to-date. For certain keyword queries this technique can be super effective, for example 5 best patios in Calgary to visit in May 2017.  

Read more: 6 Tips for Tweaking Your Title Tags to Increase Website Traffic & Rankings

Best Practice Tips for Mobile Web Design

mobile-web-design-best-practices

We are connected to our phones. If we’ve forgotten our devices at home or in the car, a feeling of panic arises for many because well, our phones are like a lifeline to the world these days. As such, the emphasis on creating great mobile web experiences is increasingly important for business owners who want to reach their potential clients or customers online.

A great mobile experience is all about easy and intuitive usability. Mobile users are generally goal-oriented, driven to find information about a thing or make a purchase ASAP. As such, we must create awesome experiences that are easy to navigate and don’t stifle users. Here are a few best practice tips to incorporate when creating a mobile web design:

Keep Menus Short & Simple

Create distinct menu categories that make it easy for mobile web visitors to navigate through and to the information your website offers. On a phone it is harder to scroll through a long list of options. Think about tightening up your menu structure so that users can easily find what it is they’re looking for without having to scroll, scroll down an extensive list.  

Make it Easy to Go Home

Just as it is best practice in desktop design to make your logo (usually located in the left-hand corner of the web page header) a place where users can click on to return to the home screen, so does this expectation apply in mobile web design. Users should be able to easily go back to the home screen without having to do any kind of trickery to get there.  When things don’t work as expected, it usually results in irritated visitors that are more likely to leave your website.

Read more: Best Practice Tips for Mobile Web Design

The State of Google’s SEO Ranking Factors in 2017

SEO-factors-for-2017

It’s crazy to think that Google has only been around since 1998. For those of us that remember the days where you’d have to rifle through heavy encyclopedias to find information, the time seems at once so long ago and yet not so long ago. Nearly 2 decades since its inception, the search engine giant and its algorithm now greatly dictate how we use the web, what we find on the web and how we build websites in an effort to rank higher up in Google’s search results.

With each passing year, each passing day really, Google’s algorithm evolves. As they continuously find ways to fine tune their program to build a better search experience for all, the SEO industry is kept on its toes and web developers scramble to get the inside scoop. For business website owners keeping up to date with Google’s SEO ranking factors is a must, if they want to remain relevant and move their way up the search results pages.

SEO techniques that were once kosher may now be irrelevant. In fact, what once was ok may now belong to black hat SEO tactics that if Google detects will result in penalization. Realizing that people tried to con their system by stuffing content full of key words, buying links, duplicating existing content and so forth, caused the search engine to just get smarter.

Read more: The State of Google’s SEO Ranking Factors in 2017

5 Types of Content to Drive Website Traffic & Amplify Your SEO Efforts

content-to-drive-website-traffic-and-boost-SEO

The internet thrives on content. It’s the very thing that attracts customers to your website, keeps them on your page enthralled in reading and when it’s great – it prompts your website fans to share it through their social media channels, email your URL to a friend or pass the info along in a conversation. Great content draws more eyes to your website, driving traffic and brand awareness, which is what every website owner wants.

Not only are you helping to inform and educate your readers by crafting good content that is specific to your industry or niche, when you generate content on a consistent basis, you are also boosting your website’s SEO efforts. The more web pages you have, the more information and presence you’ll have on the web for Google’s search bots to read through and index in their results. This means the more likely your website will show up in the SERPs (search engine results pages) when users are looking for the info you’ve written.

But what to write? Well, first things first – whatever form your content takes on it should be original, well-researched and relevant to your target audience. You want to create content that addresses the questions and concerns your ideal customers would go to the internet to find.  Think about the things that you often get questioned about regarding your industry or service and use that intel to create topics that address these often-heard concerns. Chances are other people are looking for the same info and these people can be your potential customers.

Read more: 5 Types of Content to Drive Website Traffic & Amplify Your SEO Efforts

Common SEO Mistakes to Avoid in 2017

 SEO-mistakes-to-avoid3

Business owners, bloggers, and anyone who wants to drive traffic to their website has probably spent time perusing the web for tips on how to optimize their website for search results. Search Engine Optimization a.k.a. SEO is a fast-changing field with the search engines themselves updating their algorithms without warning. What was once effective may no longer be relevant. That’s why staying up-to-date on what works and what doesn’t is of the utmost importance for those who want to see a return on their SEO efforts. Here’s the scoop on the current SEO state of affairs and some common mistakes you’ll want to avoid:

Optimizing Your Content Around a Single Keyword

SEO has evolved immensely over the years and correspondingly, search engines have done the same. Gone are the days of optimizing content around a single keyword or flooding your content with keywords in an effort to get the search engine’s attention. Actually, if you go that route search engines will take notice, however it won’t aid your SEO efforts. In fact, they’ll consider your keyword-heavy content spam and penalize you accordingly.

Read more: Common SEO Mistakes to Avoid in 2017

Protect Your Company’s Online Reputation

protect-your-companys-online-reputation

Let’s face it – we google everything now. Whether we are looking to find a service, a date, information about someone we’re set to go a date with, a definition, a recipe, this list can go on and on and on - the fact is we live in a search-happy world.   

The point is, as a business owner – regardless of your industry - your company’s website and your brand’s online reputation is pertinent to your business’ success. When someone goes to research your company online, you want the results that show up to be in favour of your company. To achieve this, you’ll want to manage your online reputation by creating easily searchable content that lends credibility to your business. 

You'll want to make sure you're doing the following to protect your company’s online reputation:

Keep Your Website Up to Date

For many businesses, their website is the first interaction potential customers will have with their brand. You want to make sure that this first impression is a great one. That means having the basics in place, like a great web design, your contact information is easily accessible and your product or service offerings are clearly and succinctly stated.

Read more: Protect Your Company’s Online Reputation

3 Simple Website SEO Resolutions for 2017

website-seo-resolutions-2017

Happy 2017! Tis that time of year when we set out to develop new habits in an effort to make this year the best one yet. Alongside diet, health, and wellness goals - business goals also enter the list of new year’s resolutions made. Whether it’s finding ways to be more productive, more efficient, increase sales or get more traffic to your website – making a conscious effort to better your business is the first step. The next part, is getting down to the doing. In an effort to help improve your online marketing this year, we are listing 3 simple SEO resolutions that you can make to improve your website today:

Get Rid of All Duplicate Content

Duplicate content is an SEO no-no that results in lower rankings and less traffic coming to your website. When the same content appears in multiple places across the internet, search engines have a difficult time deciding which version is the original, the best, or the most relevant. As a result, search engines don’t know which version to include in their index and which version to rank when a given query is made.

Avoid duplicate content appearing on your website by not plagiarizing someone else’s copy to begin with. Copy and pasting something from your competitor's website won’t do you any favours when it comes to ranking better in search engines.  By all means, take a cue from them and gain inspiration for the verbiage you’d like on your own site but don’t just steal it and think that search engines won’t notice.

Read more: 3 Simple Website SEO Resolutions for 2017

UX Web Design Mistakes to Fix ASAP

UX-Web-Design-Mistakes-to-Fix-ASAP

Having a pretty, modern, mobile friendly web design is one thing. However, if your site doesn’t work properly – well, your web visitors will probably just drop off and head elsewhere on the net to find what they’re looking for.

Just as a profile pic can only tell you so much about a person, it’s only when you engage with them that you truly discover whether or not you’re compatible. A website is much the same, if links don’t connect or if when engaging with the website you get easily annoyed because you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, well – no second date and see you later, you get it.

A poor user experience is a killer for your website and in turn for your business, especially if your online presence is your primary marketing tool. So, what UX web design mistakes do you want to avoid? Listed below are some common web design mistakes that lead to poor user experiences and how you can fix them ASAP:

Don’t Bury Important Content

Web visitors want to find the information they are looking for quickly and easily. When they have to jump through hurdles to find what they’re looking for, you’ve got a web design mistake on your hands. Poor information architecture is the culprit and to fix it, you’ll want to think of your website as a user rather than as an organization when creating your sitemap.

Organize your website’s content as per what your audience needs to know. Take the time to look through your current website analytics to understand your users’ behavior and in turn prioritize content accordingly. Contact information should be prominently displayed in the header or footer of every page. Category names should accurately describe the content that will be found once the link is clicked on.

Read more: UX Web Design Mistakes to Fix ASAP