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Posted 8 May 2019

Why Graphic Design Is Important For Any Business

Why Graphic Design Is Important For Any Business 1

While a picture may be worth a thousand words, graphic design can be worth thousands of dollars in any business.

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Graphic design is more than just aesthetics; graphic design is a form of communication between your business and your audience. Businesses use graphics in every stage of the marketing funnel to inform, delight, and eventually persuade to purchase (or take the desired action).

You may craft a flyer design to inform your audience about an upcoming workshop, design an email series to upsell a service to current customers or create a sales page for a new product release.

If you’re in a business, you’re in the business of graphic design.

Let’s look at 5 reason why graphic design is important for any business (including yours) to expand brand reach and turn more profit.

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1. First impressions matter.

Graphic design is important for any business wanting to make a positive, lasting impression. The first time a visitor interacts with your brand in any capacity will set the tone for the rest of your business relationship.

The first business graphic a prospect encounters may be a business card, a sales page on your website, an online ad, a flyer, your latest social media post, or even your product packaging.

Capitalize on the first step of the buyer’s journey by implementing relevant, updated graphics that tell the story of your brand (hint: you may need to give your Facebook a facelift).

When a customer hears about your brand for the first time, they are most likely going to do some preliminary research on your website before making a purchase. What does your website homepage say about your brand? Are there bright, cheery colors with whimsical fonts? Or did you use sleek, professional design elements with gray and silver hues?

Take a ‘tour’ of your business website and social media pages, updating any graphics that no longer accurately represent your brand or brand message.

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2. Consistency is credibility.

Graphic design is important for any business wanting to create credibility in their industry or field. The more content you provide that helps solve a problem or relieve a pain point, the more the audience will trust your advice and start to regard you as an expert in your field.

To demonstrate this point, let’s say you’re walking in the park and see a basketball player sink a 3-point shot. It was a great shot, but would you assume he’s a great basketball player because he made one basket? Probably not; it could’ve been a lucky shot. If you had seen the same player sink 30 shot in a row, though, you might start to believe he’s actually a professional basketball player. Consistency creates credibility.

The same principle applies to marketing and branding; if you create a piece of content that helps someone solve a problem or relieve a pain point in their own life, they will most likely turn to you for advice again when facing a similar situation in the future.

Consistent content creation is the key to building a dedicated following of people who trust your brand and believe in your message.

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3. Efficiency in summary.

Graphic design is important for any business looking to share information with ease. Hubspot reports that infographics are actually liked and shared on social media 3x more than any other type of content.

Infographics are a great way to summarize information that your audience would otherwise skim over (or skip reading completely). Humans are heavily influenced by visuals; adding relevant graphics to text can deepen our understanding and recollection of information.

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If you’ve ever learned another language with Rosetta Stone, you’ve experienced the phenomenon of using visuals to deepen understanding and recollection. This language-learning software never offers explicit definitions to foreign words, but instead forces the student to infer the answer using visual context clues. The secret to success, according to the Rosetta Stone website, is discovering patterns instead of memorizing rules: “Rather than allowing you to rely on repetition and parroting, our sequence leads you to arrive at the right answers intuitively.

Learning actively helps you retain your new language skills. And before you know it, you’ll be thinking in your new language-instead of just speaking it” (source: Rosetta Stone).

Try incorporating infographics anywhere you currently use large blocks of text to explain information. Have a “how-to” page? Turn it into an easy-to-follow infographic. Posting an article about social media statistics on your blog? Add an infographic summarizing the important stats.

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4. Creativity kills competition.

To stay ahead of competitors in the marketplace, you’ve got to get creative.

Create content that approaches an idea, solves a problem, or relieves a paint point in an innovative way. Graphic design can be used to empathize with the audience by literally showing the audience what life would look and feel like with pain point x solved by your product, service, or advice.

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5. Your message matters.

Above all, graphic design is important for any business to tell their story. Whether you’re a solopreneur selling homemade jewelry on Etsy or part of multi-million dollar e-commerce operation, your business has a story to tell.

Graphic design communicates more than just words to your audience. Even simple design elements like font choice and color scheme can help to portray an emotion or feeling that supports your message.

While the message of all the graphics in your business will differ slightly, they should all tell the same story about your brand. Having a branding guide in place will help you and your team choose design elements that tell the same story and keep the look of your brand consistent.

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Posted 8 May 2019

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Posted 7 May 2019

What Is SEO (Search Engine Optimization) And Why Is It Important

What Is SEO (Search Engine Optimization) And Why Is It Important 13

Search engine optimization is nowadays more important than ever and it is necessary for every webmaster to understand the true meaning of SEO as well as the potential it creates for every business.

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What is SEO?

Search engine optimization or SEO in short, is a set of rules for optimizing you website for search engines and improve your search engine rankings.

It is a great way to increase the quality of your web site by making it user- friendly, faster and easier to navigate.

SEO can be considered as a complete framework since the whole process has a number of rules (or guidelines), a number of stages and a set of controls.

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Why is SEO important?

In today’s competitive market, SEO marketing is more important than ever.

Search engines serve millions of users per day looking for answers to their questions or for solutions to their problems.

If you have a web site, blog or online store, SEO can help your business grow and meet the business objectives.

Search engine optimization is important because:

  • The majority of search engines users are more likely to click on one of the top 5 suggestions in the results pages (SERPS). To take advantage of this and gain visitors to your web site or customers to your online store, your website needs to appear in one of the top positions.
  • SEO is not only about search engines but good SEO practices improve the user experience and usability of a web site.
  • Users trust search engines and having a presence in the top positions for the keywords the user is searching, increases the web site’s trust.
  • SEO is good for the social promotion of your web site. People who find your web site by searching Google or Yahoo are more likely to promote it on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media channels.
  • SEO is important for the smooth running of a big web site. Web sites with more than one author can benefit from SEO in a direct and indirect way. Their direct benefit is increase in search engine traffic and their indirect benefit is having a common framework (checklists) to use before publishing content on the site.
  • SEO can put you ahead of the competition. If two web sites are selling the same thing, the search engine optimized web site is more likely to have more customers and make more sales.
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An introduction to SEO for beginners

For beginners to SEO the above definition may sound complicated.

In simpler terms, Search Engine Optimization is a way to improve your website so that it will appear closer to the top positions in the search results of Google, Yahoo, Bing or other search engines.

When you perform a search on Google the order by which the returning results are displayed, is based on complex algorithms.

These algorithms (also known as search engine ranking algorithms), take a number of factors into account before they decide which web page will be shown in the first place, second place etc.

Optimizing your website for search engines will give you an advantage over non-optimized sites and you increase your chances to rank higher.

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What are the main stages of the Search Engine Optimization process?

As I mentioned above, SEO is not a static process but rather a framework with rules and processes.

For simplicity though, SEO can be broken down into 3 main stages:

Technical SEO: With technical SEO you can ensure that search engines can crawl and index your website with out any issues.

On-site SEO: Rules to apply on your site and content to make it search engine friendly.

Off-site SEO: Ways to promote your website or blog so that it can rank higher in search results.

Technical SEO

The first stage in the SEO process is called technical SEO. As the name implies, technical SEO has nothing to do with the actual content of a website or with website promotion methods.

It has to do with settings you need to configure to make the job of search engine crawlers easier. Usually, once you get your technical SEO correct, you may not have to deal with it again.

On the other hand, if you have problems with crawling and indexing, it can negatively impact on your rankings.

On-site SEO

The second stage is On-Page SEO. On-Page SEO has to do primarily with the content and other elements found on a page.

Unlike technical and off-page SEO, the main focus of on-page SEO is to provide search engine crawlers enough signals so that they can understand the meaning and context of your content.

Remember that search engines don’t read a page like a human so they are looking for signals to figure out what a page is all about.

It is at this stage that you will deal with website structure, keywords, title optimizations, headings, internal links, image SEO, structured data markup and other techniques that can send the right signals to search engines.

If followed correctly, on-page SEO will also improve the usability and credibility of a website or blog.

Note that content optimization is part of on-page SEO but sometimes this is referred to as Content SEO.

Off-site SEO

The third stage is Off-Page SEO.

Besides the changes you can do to your website (on-site SEO) so that it ranks higher in the SERPs, the other way to improve your website’s ranking position is by using off-site SEO techniques.

Why is off-page SEO important?

In general, when a user types a search query, search engine algorithms look into their index and try to find the best pages that can satisfy the intent of the user.

Pages that are good candidates appear to the first positions of the search results.

One of the factors to determine the position a webpage in the results, is the number of incoming links (backlinks).

Backlinks are a signal of trust and depending from where the links are coming, they can greatly affect your ranking position.

If the links are coming from well-known and trusted sites, your ranking will be positively affected.

If they are paid links, links in article directories, link farms or a result of an exchange, your ranking will be negatively affected.

Getting links this way, is a violation of Google guidelines and most probably it will also result in a Google Penalty.

What can you do to get more links?

That’s a very good question and I am sure that if you search the Internet for that phrase you will get hundreds of different answers.

Good content will get you natural links which in turn will give you high rankings and traffic.

If you try to buy links or get them the easy way, you may have temporary success and then see your website disappearing from the top pages after the next Google update.

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What is the best way to start learning SEO?

The best way to learn SEO is to practice SEO.

Besides learning the different concepts and theories, the only way to find out if what you’ve learned works, it to apply the various techniques on a website and monitor your rankings.

What is the difference of SEO and Internet marketing?

Some people often ask me “Steve, Is SEO the same as Internet Marketing?” The simplest answer I can give is that SEO is one of the tools available in your Internet Marketing arsenal.

It is not Internet Marketing as such but it can be part of your overall Internet Marketing campaign which normally includes other things like social media promotion, content strategy etc.

Good content is still the most important success factor with or without SEO

Before closing this introduction to search engine optimization you must have very clear in your mind that SEO cannot help you if you don’t have good content.

In other words, if you try to SEO a website with not very good content your chances of succeeding (in the long term) are minimum.

On the other hand, a website with good content can do well with or without SEO. SEO will just give the web site an extra boost.

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SEO is a must for every web property

To sum it up, Search engine optimization or SEO is a way to optimize your website so that search engines will understand it better and give you higher rankings.

It is important since a good SEO approach can drive more traffic to your website, blog or on-line store and gain more customers, make sales and fulfill your business objectives.

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