The design process can seem like a mystery to those who don’t regularly work in design. In fact, most people might think that the design process is simply a matter of sketching a new idea! The process of creating an excellent design for a business is much more complicated than this. However, understanding the steps involved in the design process can make it much easier to obtain the best design for your preferences and your situation. The process may fluctuate slightly depending on the scope of the project. Factors that may impact the overall design process include how many comps you would like initially, if you would like us to build additional marketing elements, and a few other considerations. However, in general, the process can be narrowed down to a few simple steps. 

The Importance of a Great Logo

It is absolutely vital for a business to obtain a great logo to represent their brand. In most situations, the logo is the most easily recognizable portion of the company’s entire branding strategy. It can be tempting for new business owners to forgo the expense of obtaining a great logo with the thought that they can simply get a better logo when their business takes off. Unfortunately, this can be detrimental to the company’s reputation. Rebranding can be very difficult, especially when a logo change is involved. When done incorrectly, rebranding can lose customers and tarnish your company’s image.  

In order for a branding strategy to be effective, it has to be consistent. Consistency will signal to your customers that you are steady and reliable. Not only must the branding be consistent, but it must also be done well. Inadequate or poorly executed logo design may cause potential customers to assume that your products or services will be similarly inadequate. Your logo will ultimately be the face of your company. It will be present on advertisements, business cards, letterheads, and even the front door of your office. Taking the time to obtain superior logo design services can save you a significant amount of stress in the long run. 

The Design Process

After you have chosen a logo designer for your project, the design process will commence. We have outlined the design process to ensure that you understand how the project will proceed from this point. Knowing how the design process works can help ensure that you remain involved and obtain the final product that you desire. Here at Rebel Ape Marketing, we offer free initial design consultations. This will allow us to begin the project on the same page and make sure that we understand exactly what you need. 

1. Design Consultation

The first step in the design process is the design consultation. During this step, we will discuss the scope of the project with you. This helps to ensure that both parties are on the same page and that we understand precisely what you are looking for. With the design consultation, we will discuss what kind of design you require. We will ask questions regarding who the design is for to help us best understand how to craft a design that will meet your needs. At this point, we will also likely discuss how you intend to use your design, as well as a possible branding strategy. 

Your needs may be as immediate as a logo for your business or a more long-term branding process. Implementing the right brand strategy can help to ensure that your business maintains the image you desire and inspires loyalty in your customers. This step is also important in determining the exact requirements for the logo. This can ensure that the logo can be used wherever you need it to, whether you require it to fit on a banner or a shirt. 

2. Discovery Phase 

After we have discussed the details of the project, we can move into the discovery phase. During this phase, we draw out many different preliminary designs. This is essentially a phase of experimentation, where we try many different strategies and techniques to craft a design that captures the intended look and mood. A great logo can say many different things about a company, so we take the time to craft possibilities that will help you ensure that your logo makes the statement that you desire for your company. 

3. Refinement

Following the discovery phase, we begin the refinement process. This is where the preliminary concepts become more detailed and advanced. We refine our initial comps and take them into the computer, which is where we can build an early version of the logo. During this step, we experiment with colors and fonts to craft the superior look for the final logo. This step of the process is also where we build the structure for the logo. 

4. Presentation

Once the initial logo concepts have been developed and refined, we present the logos to you. We choose logo ideas that will work best for your particular company and the brand you wish to develop. After you have selected a design that you love, we provide you with multiple formats for the design’s application. This will include formats for both online uses, as well as print applications. This will ensure that you are able to use your new logo in whatever format you require.  

Contact us for Design Services

Here at Rebel Ape Marketing, graphic design is our specialty. Our professionals have an incredible amount of experience and skill when it comes to providing a design that will work for your business. Though many designers like to work on exciting new projects, there are certain requirements that make logo design different from other areas of design. A logo design needs to be simple enough to be easily recognizable and needs to be able to meet a large array of applications. Though you may have friends that are artistically talented, it is always better to consult the professionals when it comes to obtaining a logo for your company. To learn more about the design process or discuss your design project with us, contact us at Rebel Ape Marketing today!

Learning about the website process can go a long way toward ensuring that you remain involved in every step of launching a new website. Here at Rebel Ape, we are passionate about providing you with a superior website that will meet all of your needs.

Here are 4 steps of the website process to help you obtain the right website for you and your business. Thes steps take you from obtaining a domain name to website design

www Magnifying Glass
Website Process: Registering The Domain Name

1. The Registrar: This is where you buy your URL.

In simple terms, a domain name registrar is a service that allows you to buy a domain name for your new website. The domain name is the text you type into the browser address bar. For example: www.example.com. The registrar will tell you if your specific name is available or not and allows you to purchase an address for your website.

The domain name will be the way customers find your website, so this is a vital step in ensuring that your website is built on a firm foundation.  Though you can purchase any available domain, we recommend one that will be clear and represent your company's brand.

Website Process: Website Hosting
Website Process: Choosing A Website Host

2. Website Hosting: Where your website files live.

Website hosting is closely related to the domain name process, but it is a separate function. A great way to think of this is that the domain name is the address of the website, while the hosting service is the physical location of the website, like a home that the address points to.

After a URL has been purchased, it will have to be connected to the hosting location through the domain name system. If you purchase a domain name from the same company that will host the site, this is often done for you. If not, it's a fairly easy step for those who are tech-savvy enough or are great at following online guides. Likewise, we can help you as well.

This is essentially like providing an address for a building in order to provide directions. The purpose of the domain name is primarily to indicate where you wish for the computer to go. For many of our websites, we use Siteground to host.

Website Process: Users
Website Process: Users

3. Users: Who will be going to your website after it's launched.

When a user types in a URL, they will be directed to the hosting site. At this point, the computer will download the hosting files, which will allow the website to be displayed in their browser window. This process works the same regardless of which browser you intend to use, whether it is on Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, or Firefox.

This cross-platform ability allows users to view a website from whichever browsing window they prefer. Keeping the website navigation understandable is very important.

Website Process: Website Design
Website Process: Website Design

4. Website Design and Development: How the website looks to people visiting the website.

Once these matters have been completed, a website will need to be designed. The website design process goes far beyond just the looks, as it must take into account the importance of functionality along with many other aspects.

From the graphic design to the content creation, every component will come together to create a cohesive, functional, and optimal website. After the design has been finished, the appropriate platform will need to be installed. The design is then moved from our design software into the specific platform.

At this point, they are coded and begin to function. Sometimes this requires a specific developer but is often moving towards the designers handling the front-end process of the website these days.

Website Process: Getting Started
Website Process: Getting

Rebel Ape's Website Process

A great, effective website can provide many benefits to your business. It can help to drive more awareness to your brand, as well as improve the likelihood of growing your customer base.

There are many factors that are consistent with superior website design, so it can be incredibly useful to obtain the services of a professional to undertake this process.

To obtain more information about the website process, contact us at Rebel Ape Marketing today!

Business branding is a vital aspect that contributes to how effectively your company communicates with and makes an impression on its customers. It is extremely important to maintain consistency across every aspect of your company’s marketing and sales strategies. Business branding, when done correctly, can go a long way toward improving your brand’s recognition and awareness, which can increase your overall customer base.

Colors, images, and fonts can all be combined to maximize their impact on your potential customers. It is important to develop brand guidelines and cohesive brand identity to obtain all of the benefits of consistent business branding. These guidelines can help to ensure that further content is created in line with the rest of the business’s brand. Here at Rebel Ape Marketing, we strive to provide you with the best guidance and services to help your business succeed. 

What is Brand Identity?

Your brand’s identity is essentially everything that makes up your business. This includes the company’s mission, logos, colors, fonts, practices, vision, tone, and voice. These are both the visual and internal components that make up the company. Effective brand identity will be consistent across all of these platforms, ensuring that everything matches and retains consistency. It requires a good deal of thought to maintain a consistent brand identity. Writing clear guidelines for additional content can make it much easier to ensure that the components of your brand’s identity stay consistent across multiple platforms. Ensuring that the guidelines are specific and easy to understand can go a long way toward ensuring that your brand remains consistent. 

The Difficulties of Brand Consistency

Brand consistency can be somewhat difficult to maintain. Every aspect of your business needs to remain consistent. The same fonts, colors, images, and more must be used across every platform. This includes many things, such as stationary, flyers, blog posts, and additional marketing strategies. In most cases, it will be individuals that are creating the new marketing content. The problem with this is that in many situations, the individual’s personality can outshine the brand’s identity. This will result in inconsistent branding because the new content won’t perfectly match the brand’s previous branding. Additionally, different marketing techniques are likely completed by different specialists. Creating brand guidelines can be important to help minimize the likelihood of inconsistent branding. In addition, it is important to ensure that all new content is thoroughly examined to ensure that it matches the brand. 

Benefits of Consistent Business Branding

Consistent business branding can provide many benefits to your business. Customers’ brains will subconsciously search for patterns and consistency in your business’s brand. When this consistency is shown, it can improve the trust and loyalty of current customers. Additionally, a consistent business brand is necessary to build awareness for your brand. This will help to ensure that your brand becomes more recognizable, which can help convert more customers to your company. The more consistent your brand is the more trust customers will place in your company. Consistent business branding can help achieve many benefits, as well as increase the popularity of your brand.   

Problems Caused by Inconsistent Business Branding

Alternatively, there are multiple problems that can be created by inconsistent business branding. Whether this happens consciously or subconsciously, a customer will see inconsistencies in the branding and will assume that the company’s product will be similarly inconsistent. This will result in customers not having faith that your company will consistently provide a good-quality product or services and may look elsewhere to obtain these services. Inconsistent business branding can lose customers for your company, be insufficient at converting new customers to your business, and lose the trust of the customers that you currently have. Consistent branding can help increase your revenue and ensure that your business remains as successful as possible.  

Creating New Content

With the increasing growth of internet popularity, it is increasingly difficult to stay competitive. New content will have to be created regularly to ensure that your company’s marketing stays competitive with other companies. Due to the necessary generation of new content, you will have to create a complete list of guidelines to help guarantee that new content remains on-brand. In addition, the larger your business grows, the more content will have to be created. It is important to maintain the appropriate communication to ensure that all the new content stays on-brand in every instance. It is important to keep in mind that marketing strategies are consistently changing and evolving. This makes it necessary to ensure that proper guidelines are designated to guarantee that the evolution of your company’s marketing will stay consistent across multiple platforms.  

How to Maintain a Consistent Brand

Though it can be difficult to maintain a consistent brand, it is an attainable and necessary goal. One of the most important aspects of maintaining a consistent brand is to create specific brand guidelines. These guidelines will ensure that new content creators will have a set of rules that will help them to keep the new content on-brand, rather than allowing their personal voice to shine through. Clear communication is also vital to keep everyone on the same page regarding the company’s brand and identity. If the business’s identity is unclear, it will be difficult to generate content that remains consistent with the business’s branding. The more consistent your business’s branding is, the more beneficial the branding will be to your company. 

Consistent business branding is vital to increase the success of your business. There are many possible ways to improve the consistency of your business’s branding. Specific guidelines must be set in place to ensure that new marketing techniques remain in-line with the company’s brand. Additionally, clear communication is vital to ensure that all creators of marketing content remain on the same page. This will help to build the trust of your existing customers, help convert new customers, and increase the awareness of your business’s brand. It is important to ensure that your business’s branding is consistent. We are able to provide excellent services that will help you to improve the consistency of your business’s branding. To learn more about our services, contact us at Rebel Ape Marketing today.   

Good design vs bad design matters when it comes to your website.

Can your website design hurt your brand? Yes. Bad design can have a devastating effect on your marketing and branding. Your website is a direct representation of your company. The design can help or hurt your brand, product or services, and even the personality of your company.

Your website is often the first impression you make to online visitors. It plays a crucial role in the performance and success of your business. That said, you need to ensure that your brand can be found online and drive traffic to your site. While doing this still create trust through branding.

We are constantly making small tweaks to our site and testing it. We like to see if one metric plays out and increases interaction over another layout or if it’s the reverse. These numbers play an important role when we redesign certain sections of our site. It is important for you to work on your site as well to always increase conversions.

Good Website Design Creates Trust. Bad Design Does Not.

Just as you have your own personality, your company has a personality as well. It’s important to make sure your website reflects that.

Having a strong and consistent personality can help create trust and loyalty. It encourages community growth around the brand. It can also give users a reason to buy from you so they can support their favorite brands. It can help your company by building a trustworthy website people like to follow and hear from.

Likewise, if your brand is inconsistent it may feel untrustworthy. It can create the opposite effect and people won’t return to the site. Users won’t trust your company and will have a low likelihood of purchasing products.

Bad Design vs Good Design
Bad Design vs Good Design

Developing Consistency Between Your On and Offline Company Image

Visitors who are prospective clients depend on the look and function of your website. Though many users will happen upon your website, they may arrive from your marketing. Your marketing strategies have a big impact on your brand.

It’s important that when users move from one media source to another, everything matches. Or better said, is branded consistently. If your colors, fonts, mood, or any other aspect doesn’t match, they may feel that they are in the wrong spot. This will impact their trustworthiness in your brand may suffer.

When your website has brand consistency it starts to build trust and loyalty. Your marketing materials such as packaging, emails, fliers, etc. further increase trust. When they land on the website and it meets expectations, their confidence in the brand grows. This, in turn, increases the likelihood of them buying your product.

Colors

Website Swatches
Website Swatches

Your website colors should immediately reflect your brand. To give examples, if I name a soft drink whose logo is red, most people will respond with Coca-Cola. If I mention a coffee brand utilizing a green logo, people say Starbucks. Fast food with a golden arch logo, McDonald’s, and so on. Your brand has the potential to create this same impact with a little bit of marketing creativity and a whole lot of brand consistency.

So with that said, make sure your colors are consistent, not only on your physical marketing materials but on your website as well. This will be the first indicator of trust to your users and it’s not something that should be overlooked. Colors matter.

Font Size Icons
Font Size Icons

Fonts

Your website fonts can get tricky. Even with the vast library that Google Fonts now has available, it can still be tricky to find the font that your designer used on your marketing material. Since loading a custom font can have a significant impact on your SEO, it’s often best to pick a web font that compliments your brand. If you have trouble selecting one, visit your graphic designer and have them help you choose a font that will represent your brand efficiently.

Website Mood Icons
Website Mood Icons

Mood

The mood of your website is often confusing at first. After all, how can a website have a mood? To clarify this, the mood is the overall feel of the website when you visit. Is it designed for happiness, playfulness, despair, horror, elegance, etc? Each website can have a different mood and there will be extremes when it comes to this. Compare a website designed for young children vs. a website designed for the local haunted house on Halloween. Those would be two drastically different websites with very different moods to each of them.

Website Images Icon
Website Images Icon

Images

Everyone knows that images are an essential part of web design but we see images used incorrectly all the time on websites. From images that simply don’t match the brand or mood, to generic spammy looking images, to background images. Bad image usage is all over.

A method we use all the time is text overlay on an image. In fact, it’s a pretty common method of web design and you’ve probably seen it all over the web as well. However, when this method becomes bad design is when the background image isn’t tinted or shaded in such a manner that you can actually read the text. I’ve seen plenty of websites with text placed over the top of a fully saturated video or image and it’s next to impossible to read.

Images on a website are great, but it’s important to maintain a good text-to-image relationship. Supply the users with the visual stimulation they need to maintain interest, but not so much that it becomes difficult to find the information you are looking for. Images are a huge factor when it comes to good and bad design. Make sure your images match the company branding and aid in the end goal vs. just being something you happen to enjoy. Not all users share your taste in photography.

Enhancing User Experience Through Page Functionality

A well-designed website will balance beauty and functionality. UI/UX is a term that you may hear from time to time which stands for User Interface, User Experience. In a nutshell, having an easy to navigate site is the user interface which helps guide them through your site and the ease and enjoyment of it is the user experience.

You should really work on testing different forms of navigation, call-to-action locations, content distribution, and interlinking. All these factors play a role in how long the users stay on your website, consume more content, and ultimately, a purchase. How well laid out your page is can quickly allow a user to determine if the page is useful to them or not. Even a few pages with low or useless content can hurt the entire site.

User Interface Icon
User Interface Icon

User Interface

There is a line between creative user interfaces and functional user interfaces. A designer’s job is to narrow that line so you can have a creative interface that is immediately functional to the user. After all, the user is on your website for various reasons, but one reason is not to try to figure out how to navigate your website. Your navigation should be immediately clear and moving in and out of your website pages should be clear and conscise. If a user has to figure out where the navigation bar is on each page, they will quickly become frustrated and leave your website. Clear navigation will let them move between the pages with ease and fulfill their intent as quicly as possible.

A user’s attention span is fairly short and our job as website owners is to supply them the information or products they request as quickly as possible. Often you will see websites with multiple navigation menus. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it’s important to make sure that when you switch to a mobile device that you don’t get multiple hamburger menus that aren’t labeled. Often, when I have multiple menus, my secondary menu will be much shorter and will not toggle to a button when sized to mobile

That way, the menu is very clear that there is only one real selection to make where the multiple choices are, this way your users aren’t confused as to which navigation to choose from and the choice is clear.

Also, be careful with menus that are way too long. I’ve come across many websites that the menu is so long that the flyout or dropdown menus are so long that they actually go off screen. This is not only bad for the user, but it can also causes distrust due to poor quality, and often the code will not work correctly causing even more problems, further reducing the trust of the users. If a menu is going to be incredibly long, try breaking it up into categories to aid in navigation.

User Experience Icon
User Experience Icon

User Experience

The User Interface and User Experience go hand-in-hand. When the interface is easy to navigate, the experience on the website is heightened. The quicker the user can find what they need, how they interact with it, the better experience they will have. Now good navigation doesn’t mean everything has to be laid out in just some form of a list. Users can have interactive boxes that reveal information. There can be expandable sections, animations, and a bunch of other fun and interactive elements that can make the website an enjoyable experience.

However, it’s best not to hide crucial elements such as the navigation as that can negatively affect the user’s experience on the website.

Scroll Hijacking Icon
Scroll Hijacking Icon

Scroll Hijacking

Design goes beyond just the visuals when it comes to websites. With the advancements of coding, you can go as far as modifying how the mouse cursor interacts with the website as well. There are a few times where it makes sense to hijack the user’s scrolling feature but this is usually pretty rare. When a user is used to how their mouse scrolls the page, then suddenly it changes, has elastic scrolling, or smooth scrolling features, though it might look cool, it’s usually not very welcomed by the user. If this feature makes them frustrated, you may lose potential customers.

When it comes to scrolling, it’s usually best to allow the user to keep what they are used to unless there is a very specific feature for this. An example would be a full page scroll at a time. Some sites are set up not to be scrolled, but to be viewed as a slideshow. Though hardly my favorite type of site, they have their place and the experience may not be achieved if the scrolling isn’t hijacked. Don’t just go with what you think looks cool or seems fun to you, think of your audience. Will it enhance or diminish their experience on your website by adding a feature such as this?

Website Speed

The speed of your website can have a direct effect on how well your business is doing online. It’s important to have a website load as fast as possible. Under 3 seconds is best, but each second increases your bounce rates. There are plenty of studies available online that show how site speed relates to user retention. On top of that, even Google has come out and said that website speed is a direct and large ranking factor. There are many ways to speed up your website, some are very easy, some take a little bit of technical skill to accomplish. Here are a few things you can do to speed up your website.

Start a CDN (Content Delivery Network)

There are plenty of CDN’s available and many of them even have a free service available. My personal favorite is Cloudflare. This is one of the more advanced technical factors of speeding up a website, but even if you have basic knowledge, it’s pretty easy. Though do be aware that if issues arise, the solutions aren’t straightforward and your website can drop and you will probably need a developer to fix them.

However, if the step-by-step process Cloudflare offers goes without a hitch, and usually, it does. It will walk you through each step and at the end request that you update your nameservers. Once those are updated, your CDN becomes active shortly later and your site immediately will speed up, usually be a very noticeable amount. The more you understand about your CDN, the faster your website can become.

Caching

A good caching plugin is also very helpful for your website. If you run your website on Siteground like we have many of our sites on, they offer a free caching plugin called SG Cache that’s actually pretty great. However, most of our website we will be running our favorite caching software called WP Rocket. If you prefer another free caching plugin, we also like WP Supercache, W3 Total Cache, and a few others. Try a few and decide for yourself, just make sure you only run one caching program at a time.

Images

As we mentioned above, images are a huge part of your website which makes sense that they show up once again when we are talking about site speed. Having properly sized and compressed images are crucial when it comes to a fast loading website. When you save your images, before you upload them, it’s important to make sure you’ve saved them as small as possible. Photoshop’s Save For Web feature is great for this. You can even further compress them by uploading them to tinyjpg.com and redownloading them before putting them on your website.

We know a lot of people don’t have access to Photoshop, or if they do, they don’t know how to use it. No worries, once you’ve saved your file and uploaded it, run a compression plugin to help you reduce your file sizes. I prefer Imagify for my compression software but ShortPixel, WP Smush, and many others are also available. Once installed, they will start compressing the images as you upload them.

If you’ve already uploaded your images and they are too large, install the plugin and they have a “bulk optimize” feature in them. Simply click on that to optimize all of the images already uploaded to your site. By doing this, you will see another boost in your site speed.

Website Host

A website speed section cannot be complete without talking about the website host. Though this is sometimes another one of those sections that take some technical knowlege. This is also one of the largest factors taken into account when we talk about website speed. You may have been tempted to sign up for a budget host when you started your website but you will find that even though these hosts are often inexpensive, you outgrow them quickly by needing either more space or a faster website.

As mentioned above, we love Siteground, that’s an affiliate link by the way, but even with that said, they are hands down our favorite host. Not only are our websites fast, but reliable too, but sometimes even that isn’t enough for your needs. Another comparable host in terms of speed is BlueHost. However, if you are running a massive site with tons of traffic, I mean tons! and you cannot manage your site security yourself, you might want to look into a very power managed host like WP Engine, however, a host like that comes with a cost. They are often more powerful than most websites need, but they are worth looking into if you are having trouble getting your website running fast enough.

As I said, moving a website does require technical understanding. The plus side is, both of these hosts offer a migration service and they will move one website for free for you, most of the time. Talk with them first and find out which is best for you.

Why Is All This Important for Design?

When it comes to website design, you want to look at the entire picture as a whole. When you think of design, you often just think of the overall look of a website, which is a huge impact on the user, but how great is that design if it loads slow, or the animations are choppy, or maybe an image doesn’t load at all because it times out. No matter how beautiful the site is designed, if it doesn’t have the underlying structure, it will start to fall apart quickly.

Make sure you have all of these factors in place when it comes to a powerful design so it helps keep people on your site for longer, coming back later, and leaving their competitor sites for yours. All this plays an important role when it comes to website design affecting your business.

SEO with Computer Code
SEO Code

Design a Website with SEO in Mind

SEO is constantly changing. In fact, we have to go back and update our SEO articles all the time because of how quickly it changes. Some strategies last year, others seem to change monthly. As we are constantly changing our content, we also have to consider how the page is laid out and designed so we do not hurt our efforts while trying to enhance another section.

Search engine optimization is a marketing strategy that companies, both large and small, are implementing to increase their ranks and online visibility. With the right website design and proper content, your website will increase in relevance to your users. When you rank at the top of search engines like Google, your website is likely to receive a traffic boost and this coupled with an excellent site (content and user-friendliness), leads to higher conversion rates. This makes web design a major factor in your online marketing strategy.

SEO Isn’t What It Used To Be

SEO used to be all about getting traffic to your websites by keyword stuffing, spamming low-quality links, and a bunch of other methods commonly referred to as Black Hat. SEO today however, has changed drastically. Now SEO is about giving Google what it’s asking for vs. trying to gain the system and that’s simply making your website’s technical factors match what they are looking for, getting high-quality links back to your site, and other methods in those terms but that’s not what this article is about.

Instead, SEO today is much more user focused. Everything that Google asks for in terms of technical factors also aids with the user in mind. For example, Google wants a proper <h> tag formatting. You can see the proper use of these tags in this article with each headline being larger or smaller, denoting whether the sections are grouped or another topic in the article. Though there is code running behind the scenes, for the user, it makes it very easy for them to scan the article and instantly know what it’s about.

If you want to know more about SEO, there are other posts on this site that cover that topic.

Negative SEO Attacks

Negative SEO attacks used to have more of an effect on websites a couple of years ago than they do today. One method of this would be a competitor sending massive amounts of low-quality links to your website. This is usually done from low-quality PBN (Personal Blog Networks) with poorly spun content, then linking improper keywords and sending them to your site. It’s a very immoral practice but many people still do it, even today.

It’s easy to overcome a negative SEO attack these days and that’s if it even affects your site, but if you are ranking low, it’s worth looking in to. Use some backlink monitoring software such as aHrefs to find all the bad links coming into your website, disavow them in that program and export the list to a text file and just upload that to Google Search Console in the disavow links section. As simple as that is, make sure this file is set up properly so you don’t disavow important links.

Luckily, Google is already aware of these tactics and if they see a massive influx of poor quality links coming to your site, often, they just ignore all the links anyway. However, Google runs algorithms and sometimes some of these attacks can get by them. Finding and disavowing the links is a quick and easy method to remove all value from those incoming links.

Though negative SEO attacks usually don’t affect you, there are other types of attacks that can break your site functionality. Keep an eye out for those and take care of them if or when they arrive to keep your site beautiful and running properly.

Call to Action Megaphone Icon
Call to Action Icon

The Call-To-Action

Part of marketing is issuing a strategic call-to-action to your customers that trigger their fear of missing out. A call to action can increase conversions when used correctly, or they can drive traffic away if used incorrectly and overload them with an onslaught of sales pitches.

The right website design will incorporate certain techniques that convert page visitors into leads and finally into sales. When deciding on a call-to-action, it should be noticeable but non-intrusive. You will often see these in sidebars, modals, and overlays. Put thought into these call to actions. Consider a trade, information for an email, for example. If these call to actions have a reason, they can often be welcomed by your guests. However, used incorrectly, it can have them scurry to find the exit.

You need to be careful with any type of intrusive call-to-action. Items like forced pop-ups are being discouraged by Google because they can negatively impact the user experience. Even with that said, they remain as a reasonably effective way to get email signups and other information by them willingly handing it over.

However, modals such as Exit Intent, where the popup loads and locks you out as you go for the exit button, this type of hidden content is becoming highly discourage by Google and can hurt your website rankings. If you currently utilize an exit modal, it might be worth A/B testing this to see if your rankings and on-page interactions improve if it is removed.

Good and Bad Design Icons
Good and Bad Design

Good Design vs Bad Design

Web design is a necessary tool for branding your company and is an essential part of a marketing strategy, but as you can see, it’s important to make sure it is done right and then constantly tested to see where you can improve upon it since the web is constantly changing. By staying on top of regulations, requests, and just looking at how your users interact with your website, you can take a bad website design to a great design fairly quickly.

Here’s a summary of the impact of good design vs bad design and how it may affect your brand:

Green Thumbs Up Icon
Green Thumbs Up

A Good Website Design:

Red Thumbs Down Icon
Red Thumbs Down

A Bad Website Design:

Constantly Modify Your Website

A website shouldn’t be put up and forgotten about. Though there are always exceptions, most websites should show that your company is always scaling and staying current with the trends while maintaining its history of being a trustworthy and useful website. Whenever you implement a new feature or make a change, make sure that you document what was done, when it was done, and the effects it has.

Whenever you make a change that affects your website negatively, evaluate if it’s going to be a temporary drop due to something new and people are getting used to it or if it’s going to be an ongoing traffic drop. If the answer is the latter, then it’s best to change back to the original option and reevaluate what you were trying to achieve and find a new method to achieve the results.

There are a few websites that are placed online and forgotten about but, usually, you should be constantly working on your website or have a dedicated designer and developer constantly building your site, adding new features, new information, new ways for users to interact and contact you. After all, your website isn’t just for you. It’s for your users, as well. Everything should be done with them in mind.

The Overall Effect of Your Website

As you can see, when it comes to your website design affecting your business in a positive or negative way. It goes beyond just the design of the graphics to the design of the infrastructure and hierarchy of your website. You need to design every aspect of your site for your users and your goals and let them work in harmony. A beautiful site on a slow host with beautiful graphics that don’t load, or great hierarchy with virus warning labels on them are all just as bad as a website with poor design and layout.

When you are thinking about the design of your website, think off all the aspects that your user is going to encounter and design them all beautifully. Not only will your users thank you but Google will reward you with better rankings and more traffic.

Share Your Results

Share your good design vs bad design story. Have you ever made changes on your website that has resulted in a massive drop in traffic? Was it the design or the functionality that caused that drop? We’d love to hear both the successes and failures of your site and how you fixed them. Leave a comment with your story!

References

https://pgnagency.com/how-does-website-design-affect-your-brand/https://eggsmedia.com/how-website-design-affects-your-brand/https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7742992

If you are wondering how to hire a logo designer, you aren't alone. As a professional graphic designer who specializes in logo design, I get this question a lot. In this article, I am going to go into how to find the right logo designer and match their portfolio to the design you have in mind, as well as the design process and what to expect when you enter into an agreement.

  1. What do you have in mind for your logo?
  2. Find your logo designer.
  3. Look at the designer's portfolio.
  4. Contact the designer.
  5. Establish a realistic budget.
  6. Go over the project, agree on terms, finalize the contract.
  7. What to expect from the design process.
  8. Give your feedback.
  9. Finalize the logo design process.

The first thing you need to do before you even start looking for a graphic designer is to decide on what it is you want and that brings us to our first section.

1. What do you have in mind for your logo design?

The logo designer that you choose is likely to ask you a series of questions when you start discussing your project. Most professional designers have a questionnaire that they will go over or supply to you to fill out which will help identify your expectations of the logo, but you would be amazed at how many people want a logo but their initial idea is so vague they aren't even sure what they want. If this is where you land, don't worry. Most designers can help you identify what you are having trouble putting into words.

The best thing to do is to take some time and look at different logos on the internet for examples that will help you further develop your idea. This will help you present clear instruction on what kind of look you want. If you want a grungy sports logo that looks like it's exploding but the designer understands that you want a sleek handwritten logo, you aren't going to be happy with the final design. By doing some preliminary research, you can send them some logo ideas you really like and then talk about them.

Now that you have an idea of what you want, it's time to find your designer.

Find a Graphic Designer

2. How to find a graphic designer

There are multiple ways to do this but you need to decide on a few things first. Do you want to work with someone locally who can meet with you in person or do you want to expand nationally where you will often deal with them only in email? You can also consider what the future relationship will become when you need websites and print material. A local designer sometimes will fit the bill better if you need to meet in person, but that's not as critical with Skype and Google Hangouts available.

3. Look at the designer's portfolio

This is essential. If you find a designer who only deals with sports logo but you want a logo designed for a jewelry store, there is a good chance the logo will not be what you expect when finished. It is very important to match the portfolio to the logo designer. Don't only look at the craftsmanship but also the mood the designer works with. Do they have a happy colorful feel to each design? Is their portfolio full of desaturated corporate colors? Perhaps it's a dark and moody portfolio. Match the artists look and feel to what you are expecting.

Once you have decided, if you are going nationally there are a lot of websites you can go to such as Dribbble, Behance, or Logopond to look over the different logos and find someone who matches what you want. You can often click a hire me button or just fill out a contact form.

If you are going locally, you can often find good resources on your social networks. There is a good chance someone you know also knows a designer. Talk to them and if they don't match your feel, they often will know someone who does. In addition, you can go to local chambers, networking groups, and even online social groups for your city. Mention you are looking for a graphic designer for your logo and there is a good chance we are watching.

Communicate With The Graphic Designer

4. Contact the designer

After you have your leads established and you have looked at the portfolios, it's time to contact your designer. A simple introduction to how you found them and what you are looking for is usually enough to get the conversation started. The designer will often drive the conversation with a series of questions. A few sample questions may be:

Once you have the questions out of the way, it's time to talk costs. That's right, the question of all questions.

5. Establish a realistic budget

It is important to have a realistic budget in mind when you are ready to enter into a logo design project. First off, it is very rude to ask a designer to work on a logo for free. It is just bad all around. More than likely you won't work for free in your job, don't ask them to work for free in theirs. I don't mean to be blunt, but we get asked that a lot.

Do you have a budget already set, simply ask the designer if he can work within those means? If you don't have a budget and you are asking the designer to bid a project, that is fine too. If the cost happens to come back higher than you are expecting don't throw in the towel just yet. Ask the designer if there is any way to possibly lower the costs since it is outside of your budget. Sometimes the designer can lower the revisions they usually supply or perhaps you will be getting multiple concepts and they can reduce that amount. That is just an example.

Understand that the designer will have a lot of work behind the scenes that you won't even see. This could be hours of concept thumbnails, creating mood boards, competitor research, and then the hours it takes to fine tune every line in the final design. We care about our craft immensely.

It's important not to ask for clip art to be incorporated into your logo. Not only is this offensive to the artist, but if you want a clip art logo, just go buy a clip art logo.

6. Go over the project, agree on terms, and finalize the contract

Most graphic designers will work on contracts. Though this might seem a bit intimidating, it's to protect them and their work but it's also to protect you and what you are agreeing to purchase. All of your rights are in this contract so if you are receiving full rights to the design, it will be in there. If you are only buying limited rights, it too will be in there. Look over the contract carefully to make sure you are happy with the terms, if you have change requests just ask, this contact is as much for you as it is for them. Contracts are a good thing.

7. What to expect from the design process

So you've agreed on a price, talked about the design, and signed the contract. Now what? First, it's common practice for the designer to ask for half the payment up front. They will send you an invoice for a specified amount and they won't start your design until the half down has been received. Now you've paid the design process begins.

During this process, there will be many hours of work that you won't even see. This is going to be thumbnails (coming up with the strongest design in a series of many, many sketches), mood boards to get a feel of the mood of the logo, preliminary comps which are better-rendered sketches, and then the vectoring process. Though most artists don't show thumbnails because they don't make much sense to someone who doesn't work with them on a daily basis, most designers will supply them if you ask for them. Just don't get too set on a design because it's best to leave the strongest logo do the designer. You hired them as the professional after all. They have an eye trained to recognize the stronger shapes and physiology behind the design.

How to hire a logo designer

8. Giving your feedback

The designer will present you with your logo design. After all the work is done, the designer has selected the strongest logo design out of the tons of thumbnails, they have meticulously edited it to perfection, and now they are presenting it to you. This does not mean you don't get a say in your logo design.

It is common to have revisions in the design process. Perhaps you don't like the shape of a particular letter, or you aren't sure about the chosen color, etc. Just talk to your designer and they will usually tell you why they made a particular decision but if an edit strengthens the logo, we are happy to make it. If we don't agree with your decision, we will often advise against it and explain why and see if you still want to progress after our reasoning.

9. Finishing the design

The design process is a long process that requires the outcome to look simple and memorable. However, the process is anything but simple.

Now you have the final logo is done, the designer will request the final payment and once made they will send you over the final designs. Depending on your contract, it will specify what you get to use the logo for. If you have full or limited rights, and so on. Most contracts don't allow you to change the logo after it's complete so no stretching or recoloring the logo. Branding matters!

Conclusion

I hope this post has helped shed some light on how to get a logo made for you or your company. Even though I've explained the process in detail, It's a painless, straightforward process. When finished with your logo design, stay in contact with your designer, create friendships, and they will usually stick around to help your company succeed in all your marketing endeavors and will be happy to assist on other projects.

If this article was helpful, please share it with someone you think it could help.

Of course, I am a graphic designer and logos are my specialty so I can't end this post without a quick shameless self-promotion. If you would like me to design your logo for you, please feel free to contact me at any time to get started.

If you have a question about anything I covered on the article, please feel free to move the conversation by asking a question in the comments before or even tell me about a design experience you've had. Good, I hope! Let's expand on this and make it even more useful for others!

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