People go online to get something. That something is either information or a product/service.
Better titles means more traffic to your site. Your website is not just your business card or a flyer. It is your sign out front of your building and the first thing you say to your prospective clients. Put yourself in your client’s shoes. What do they want from you? Chances are they probably don’t care what kind of coffee you had for breakfast or who you voted for in the last election. They probably don’t care if you are a born again Christian or a devoted Buddhist. That is what they go to church for. No, what they want from you is what they came to you for. Identify that, and then give it to them. Sounds pretty simple, but a lot of people miss this little tid bit of advice when building their site.
Your titles and content should be written for your client, not yourself. For example:
Poor title: “Our service is really fast”
Better title: “Delivered to your door in less than a week”
Titles should be more specific. Vague titles don’t work very well in searches.
Poor title: “Website improvement advice”
Better title: “10 amazing ways to increase your site’s traffic”
Watch your competition. Improve on their titles and slowly your site will gain rank.
Here are some other ways you can improve your titles:
Keep them interesting.
Use your Keywords.
Don’t make them too long. 6 to 8 words is about right.
Use words that illicit an emotional response. Words like Scintillating, painstakingly, and Brilliant!
Use words that make the reader curious. How did [subject] become so amazing this year?
That should get you started. Good titles will bring you more traffic to your site. It is not uncommon for good blog writers to spend a whole day writing a really good title. Oh and here is an awesome little hack to keep in mind when writing your killer titles.
Your title does NOT NEED to be identical to your keywords. In fact, depending on the search, it would be a good idea to just forget your keywords altogether for a moment. Just for a moment.
It’s not just the keywords in the title it’s how the title applies to the search. Did you know that when you search for items on Google or Duck Duck Go, you scan the results for what you are looking for, not for what you typed in ‘word for word’.
For example. When looking for a personal injury lawyer, you are not looking for how to books, where to study to become one, and so on. So it makes sense to have your title reflect that you are indeed a law firm; one that specializes in personal injury law. The title will not match the search exactly, but that is okay.
We want people to click the link, not just make Google happy.
Scan the search results for something you are interested in and you will see what begins to stand out. It’s not the exact phrase, most of the time, it’s something associated with that exact phrase. It might be a word, location, or a number that gets your attention because the way you scan the page is not exactly the same way you write words in to the search engine.
For a page I just made the search term is “Bible Images”. The title I actually went with is: “40+ Artistic Bible Photos :: Current and real. Taken with heart. [FREE]”
The number was added to the title, but I never expect it to be added to the search. No one is going to type in the exact number of bible images they are looking for. Breaking up the title into short phrases that emphasis an emotion is also key for these images because that is how they differ. It is not something that will be searched for, but it will help the listing to stand out in the search.
Sometimes The Best Way To Visualize What You Need To Do Regarding Your SEO Is To See It In An SEO Chart Or Infographic.
Infographics are also great items to print out and put on your wall by your desk as reminders. This one and a few others have been really helpful when it comes to my SEO. I have used all of these techniques in the past. They have all been proven to be very successful. In this SEO Chart, you have both on page and off page SEO. In addition they have added black hat techniques that you need to avoid. Sometimes the improvements to your SEO come in the way of fixing what was done wrong.
Another SEO chart I like to use once in awhile is this one:
Your phone number should be at the top of your site
Good Logo and Design. Keep colors and fonts consistent.
Have Useful content.
Make Sure Your Site is Responsive.
With Just Those Five Things You Can Improve Your Website’s Ranking.
Your website is a large part of your business. With good SEO it should easily dominate the local Spokane market. Plenty of companies in Spokane have no idea what to do when it comes to SEO and because of that, they rank much lower than they should. If you are competing with these companies it is a good thing you are reading this. It is a bad thing if you are one of those companies that has no idea what changes need to be made.
I am going to show you 5 simple ways you can improve your website and increase your site’s rank. Again, these are easy fixes.
Phone number and address
One of the first fixes to your site could be to simply add your phone number to your site. Your business phone number needs to be visible and prominent. The phone number is not so much about making it so people can contact you, but so that they know they can contact you. They need to know you are a legitimate business. Businesses that hide their number appear to be avoiding their customers.
Your logo and branding
Your logo needs to be easy to find, identifiable, and rememberable. It should also be a link back to your homepage. This is common practice these days. The site color scheme should match the logo and overall site branding. The following logo doesn’t match the site design at all.
Improve your Website with clear and exciting titles
You can easily lose your customer’s focus by not using an easy to understand headline hierarchy. Using titles like “Get yours today” and “Shop now” doesn’t help the viewer at all. Get what? What is the person shopping for? Shouldn’t that be a priority? It would be much more useful for them to write titles like “Spokane buys it’s RC cars here.” Followed up with more titles that build off of the first title. “RC Trucks for offroading.” etc. Welcome to your site is not a very useful title. The following site is not using clear, helpful titles. At least their number is at the top and easy to find.
helpful content (how can you better serve your customer)
Ask yourself, how can you better serve your customer? Your content should be an answer to that question. If you know your customer is going to want to know the difference between products, then tell them. If they want to know which one is the best, tell them that too. Just saying “shop now” doesn’t help them at all.
Your site needs to be responsive. Let me say that again. Your site needs to be responsive. More people are viewing your site on their mobile devices then they are on a desktop. They are driving by your store and then looking you up online before they get home. Is your site prepared for that? Do you know how annoying it is to bring up a site only to be able to read a sliver of it?
These five little fixes could quickly improve your site’s rank. Of course, there is a lot more involved with these site’s SEO, but this is a start. And a good start at that.
I Will Help You To Understand All That You Need To Know About Your On-Page SEO. This Is An In-Depth Introduction To On-Page SEO.
Your Site’s SEO Can Be Broken Down Into These Sections: Research. On-Page SEO. Off-Page-SEO. Social. Misc.
A very large part of your site’s SEO health comes from your On-Page-SEO. Your on-page SEO is all about the fine tuning of your pages and making sure the little things are done to gain site trust and bring in more visitors. It’s all about the core nuts and bolts of your site. For some this is the most interesting part of SEO.
I break down on-page SEO into 6 categories:
GENERAL ON PAGE SEO
There are plugins for creating a sitemap in WordPress. Sitemaps help search engines to categorize your content. Submit these to the search engines as you wish. Eventually the site will be picked up by Google, but submitting a sitemap should speed the process up quite a bit.
Speaking of which, when you change a site or delete a page for some reason, you should redirect non-existent pages to something more relevant. When you redirect use a 301 redirect. 301 is a permanent redirect.
Menus and Breadcrumbs
Try to keep your site navigation simple and logical. Straight forward navigation that is easy to figure out reduces bounce rate. If people can’t figure out the navigation they will just leave and probably never come back.
Check for Canonical links and use them when needed
Sometimes you will have two pages that are very similar or for that matter exactly the same when it comes to content. If this happens you want to tell Google or whatever search engine you are going with, which page it should consider the one to index.
Noindex your thin pages
Using your robots.txt file correctly can help immensely. Besides the security you will gain, it will help the search engines stay focuses on the content it should index rather than get hung up with login pages, and shopping carts. In addition, you may decide that WordPress pages that list your available tags and categories should also be ignored. Thin pages like that should be ignored.
Pagination should have Rel=”Next” and Rel = “Prev”
It used to be the case where people would count keywords and try to rank by having the exact percentage of keywords Google was looking for. Before that they used to cram thousands of keywords into their meta tags regardless if they had anything to do with the page or not. Now we strive to keep the site focused. Meta Tags should reflect the site’s content.
Have your keyword in the title
Your titles should be attention getting. See my post on titles and how they can drive traffic to your site. They shouldn’t be vague. They should have your keywords in them and the first one on your page should be an h1 title tag.
Check to see if you have H1 tags
Keyword in the H1?
H1 H2 tag orders
Like I just said make sure your keywords are in the titles. Your h1 tags should be followed by an h2 tag.
Use Long Tail Keywords
Long tail searches should follow your h1 title tags. What is a long tail search? A long tail search or keyword is a 3+ keyword phrase that you are searching for specifically.
Add Meta Descriptions
Word your descriptions in a way to gather attention. Using keywords and such writing them in a way that makes the reader want to know the answer to a question is really effective.
Images need ALT tags
Even your featured images need alt tags.
Check for duplicate content
Review visual design
Your site design should be quick loading and easy to understand. Modern trends are to keep the style flat and basic. You can get some attention by using font hierarchy over gaudy graphic design.
Video. Sound. etc.
Don’t try to load an image that is 1000 pixels wide into a slot that is only 250 pixels wide.
Tags to media
Schema can be used to rate products and show whether or not if they are in stock. It’s a great way to get some attention.
Latent Symantec Keywords are those that are similar to the keywords you are using. Maybe they mean the exact same thing. Like titles and headings for instance.
Silo. put content in proper categories
Too many times a website is broken down into some pages at the top level of navigation and then everything else is packed away in a blog. Consider using the SILO structure if you have a ton of content on your site.
Easily over looked. Remember to link to your content. This will help a lot the more content you add.
High quality outbound links
The quality of the link adds trust to your site. This goes for inbound and outbound links. If you link to junk sites no one will trust your site and actually they will start to avoid it like the plague.
Load times can be sped up by reducing image sizes, putting styles in style sheets, and caching elements of your site. If you have the money, switching from a slow host to a quick host can make a dramatic difference. Use CDN or content delivery network. A CDN is a globally distributed network of proxy servers deployed in multiple data centers. The goal of a CDN is to serve content to end-users with high availability and high performance. This is what Facebook does for example.
Make sure your site redirects to WWW or non WWW depending on your choice of URL.
Incorporate your keywords.
Use Mod rewrites to fix your dynamic URLS.
If your URLS look something like ‘index.asp?id=349012’ then use MOD rewrites to change them to ‘learn-SEO’.
Use 301 redirects for the pages that no longer exist.
This is a post on illustration. Namely my illustration. So let me get right to it.
What What is illustration? Illustration more than just drawing. According to Merriam Webster the definition of Illustration is: A picture or diagram that helps make something clear or attractive. An example or instance that helps make something clear. The action of illustrating : the condition of being illustrated. In other words, illustration is the act of drawing something to express or make something more understandable. I like to think of it as a way of better communicating an emotion. Every illustrator has their own style of drawing things. Mine tends to be a little like graffiti and anime. My style is good for mascots and characters. Perhaps your business or team needs a character to display the attitude of the team? That is where I come in.
Where I mainly work in one of two locations. My home office and my office downtown. I live out in the country and work in downtown Spokane. Both are great locations to really feel my work.
Why I started drawing when I was little. But that is not what got me interested in drawing. It wasn’t my drawings that did it. It was how I felt when I saw other people’s work. Today, in this modern age, it is really nice to have resources like Instagram, Dribble and Behance where you can discover and follow artists that really motivate you. Growing up during the height of graffiti it was a real boost to my energy level to discover additional graffiti inspired artists from all around the world, like Cheograff, for example. They move me in such a way that I feel I have to pick up a pencil and produce drawings myself, to sort of vent my artistic frustrations. Does that make sense?
Who I grew up in a small western town in the middle of nowhere. I used to draw and doodle all the time growing up. But it wasn’t until I saw my first burner that I knew I wanted to draw forever. The problem was I had nothing like that where I lived. And on top of that no access to it. It wasn’t until the internet came about that I could finally expose myself to the amazing art that hip hop inspired. I have been plugged into that under current art world ever since. Illustration has inspired my music interests as well as my career choices. I design websites thanks primarily to illustration. This is why it is offered as one of my skill sets on my website.
How My process right now starts with a pencil and paper. I don’t use a tablet right now. I sketch out my illustrations until I have an idea I know I would like to work with. I have to feel what it is I am going after in order to illustrate it. It seems funny, but I feel I have to be motivated in order to draw the character, etc. I have to feel it.
After I have the sketch done I work on the pencil drawing; cleaning up lines and so on. I take photos of what I am working on often so that I can see the drawing from a different perspective. Most of the time I try to finish a drawing the same day I start on it. When I am unable to finish, I will go back over the photos and see if there is anything I would like to redo or change. There is always something. 😊
After I have the pencil drawing where I want it, I begin working on the inks. My style right now has an emphasis on hand drawn, so don’t expect smooth lines in everything. I work on the same line weight in the beginning even though I try to vary the line weight a little throughout. Next I use a slightly heavier line weight for the outline and to deepen the important lines. After the ink is dry, I erase the pencil as best I can and go back in with super fine lines to add detail and texture. Then I take some more photos of the work and upload them to the computer.
In photoshop I lighten the image and increase the contrast so that the ink lines are more prominent. And then I take the image into Illustrator and trace the illustration. From there I add color. I usually do not spend a whole lot of time on color. I need to work on that, but it is extremely difficult when you are working with a mouse instead of a pen tool.
That about sums up my process. I expect it to change as my tools change. I am always trying to learn new techniques and styles to work with.
One of my favorite types of projects are the ones I get to do for the kids. My style of illustration is a mixture of graffiti and whatever else I can find that works at the time. Using graffiti to make what is normally a negative experience or memory in the mind of a child into a fun graphic is an awesome side effect of graffiti.
I was asked to make a “logo” that involved a school bus, so I immediately went to the rough drawing style and made the bus as funky as possible.
To make the bus look like this I drew the bus with a lean, and shortened up the perspective a lot. Then I gave the bus huge rims so that it would ride super low to the ground. Once I had the drawing I added color and text in Adobe illustrator.
It doesn't matter how you feel; as long as you look good!
When I was in high school punk was a thing. We had mohawks and leather jackets. At least those of us that could afford them. I just laugh at how we seemed to care about how we looked. We tried so hard to look like we didn’t care. The irony was lost on us at that age, but what do you expect. 🙂
Well the concept of caring how you looked was set in stone one day.
A friend of mine was wearing his leather coat on a hot summer day once and I asked him if he was dying in that coat. He said, “It doesn’t matter how you feel as long as you look good!” To this day I am not sure if he was being painfully honest or super sarcastic.
I think Seattle was the best it ever was in the 60s. The streets were clean, people were nice and there was a lot of fun things to see and do in Seattle. It was a never ending city of discovery for a young kid growing up. There were games/arcades running all summer long at the center. I think I can still smell the cotton candy sitting here at my desk. A child of 13 could walk several blocks down to the center, play on the rides, take the monorail downtown and more back then. Personally I loved going to the science center. I could spend 5 hours there without batting an eye. Once you see all there is to see at the center you have the entire waterfront to discover. You could walk on a ferry and check out the Ye Old Curiosity Shop at the pier. For lunch you could have the world famous Clam Chowder from Ivars and feed the seagulls french fries out of your hand. For the third day of discovery you had the Gas Works park, where you could climb on all sorts of really cool historic pipes and gears. And the day after that you could spend all day long at the Pike Place Market.
There was so much a kid could do there. It was never ending. You had amazing shops in the U-district, and fancy places to eat while watching the ships come in. I have fond memories of Seattle for sure.
The one thing that stands out with all my memories was the spirit of Seattle. It felt like the entire city was headed for the future. It embraced positivity. It was the city of dreams. I like to think about the better times Seattle had while working on some of the graphics I work on.