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30 September 2011

16 Ways to Promote your Website

Many people spend their time maintaining their websites these days. Some even consider this as their primary source of income. There are so many websites which deals with various topics. It is amazing that no matter how many websites there is, there are always thousands of visitors each day. This goes to show that most people worldwide are really into this technology. It is now up to you on how you will increase your traffic and subscribers.
When one makes a blog or a website, the next thing to worry about is how to promote it and how to let other people know you exist. Well, it would be worthless if others couldn’t see what you worked hard for. So, that is why we have given some tips to help you promote your website.

1. Blogs.

Image: NVasion
Blogging is one effective way to reach other people. Lots of websites have a supporting blog in addition to the site which helps to increase the traffic of their websites. Blogs would be more effective if it has new contents every week. If you are making a blog, make sure you have planned the posts even before you have started making it. This is one way to ensure that your readers will continue following you.

2. Social Networking Sites.

Since using social networking sites is a trend today, make use of it to promote your site. You have lots of friends and followers in Facebook and Twitter who could regularly read your posts in your website. You can post updates about your website and invite them to view it. Readers could also bookmark your posts which is another great way to promote a site.

3. Networking.

Image: jonna_Asher
Connect with people and meet new ones whom you could talk about your field. They could not only help spread the word about your blog but they could be your friends who can give you professional advices when you need it. You can meet these people through social networking site and by joining online design communities and forums.

4. Contests.

You can have contests in your website. People will be interested to join them because they would love to win prizes whatever that could be. The more people who join it mean you had a successful activity. Aside from that, you can also join contests in other sites so that you can introduce yourself and your website.

5. Directories.

Image: ehow
Directories can be found in the web where people will search certain articles for they are kept in one website. All they have to do is search for it, you may want to be part of this directory to get backlinks and increase of traffic. Try posting your articles in sites like this.

6. Classifieds.

Image: haiderali
This is a common way to post your articles for free and reach millions of people. Like the directories, people can easily find you by searching on a topic which might be something you have made. Items are categorized making it easier for anyone to look for help.

7. Forums.

Image: koisnake
Join forums by answering questions, posting questions or commenting on posts. This will help you a lot in getting backlinks for you will include a link to your site after each comment. Make sure you will always give an intelligent and informative post so that people will be interested to know more about you from your website.

8. Banner and Text Link Advertising.

Banner and Text Link Advertising
Image: BuySellAds
Another way is using banner and text link advertisement. Making a banner could be a challenge for you are only given a limited amount of space. But if your banner looks interesting, then you’ll surely be successful through this. Meanwhile, text link ads are easier and cheaper to make. Contact related sites and ask them if you could post your ads. You can find these sites by searching for them in the internet. Or you may contact some sites which offer services for these ads so you can have a space on larger websites.

9. Portfolio Sites.

Portfolio Sites
Image: Behance
You may submit your work in sites that hosts portfolios. Put your link for every design you submit. You will not only invite new readers but this will also help you gain more clients especially if they like your design.

10. Tutorial Sites.

Another great way to get traffic is by submitting tutorials to tutorial sites. Other than letting them know you are good in the field, they will also check your website for more tutorials they can benefit from. Always place a link to your site whenever you submit a tutorial.

11. Link Baiting.

Link Baiting
Image: Sean MacEntee
Link baiting is when you post something that is bookmarked or blogged a lot. A good content of your post will be helpful to promote your site. If many people blog about it, share it or bookmark it, then there is a greater chance for more people to read it.

12. Email Marketing.

Email Marketing
Image: Aweber
To avoid being considered as a spammer, have an opt-in email form in your website where the visitors can sign up to receive updates from your website. Once they have signed up, you can start sending free tips or other freebies to them. You can even send them your email newsletter where they can find updates about your website.

13. Videos.

Image: RockNRoll200
Another popular way of promotion online is using videos which are viral. It is a good way to invite people to your site. Make an interesting video so that many will be eager to view it and end up visiting your site.

14. eBooks.

Make an ebook with an interesting topic and sell it in the market. You can also give them for free if you want to for every new subscriber. This will also arise interest in others to subscribe to your website.

15. Print Advertising.

Print Advertising
Image: ronaldesign
This is quite expensive but would be effective if you have your own office in a certain area. You can send out flyers and posters to introduce your business. Also, do not forget to make a business card which is very important in marketing a business.

16. Oral Communication.

Word of Mouth
Image: ronaldesign
Now, this is surely an old fashioned yet very effective way of promotion. Tell everyone about your website. You can use your printed stuff to tell them about this and for sure, others will know about it. Without you knowing it, there are lots of people who visit your site because of word of mouth. Also, always bring with you your business card so that you can hand it to anyone you meet on the way.
There are so many ways to promote your website and you could use all of them or not. Promoting your website is a challenge but after all the work has been done, it will all be worth it. We hope we helped you through this post. If you have other points to share, we would appreciate it. Feel free to write in the comment section below for some other ideas on promoting a website.

Author: Kareen Liez

23 September 2011

How to Make a More Effective Banner

Banner ads had been used for years especially during the time when the internet was still new. There are various types of banner ads used to market a particular product or service. Some are basic ones with just a line of text and then links of different kinds. Some use animation and drop down boxes to view ads. But as everything evolved, banner ads seemed to decline in the recent years.
If we really look into it, banner ads are effective and inexpensive ways to expose business and services. Creativity is also important in order to get the attention of the users. That is why designers need to consider some important things for effective banner ads.

1. Visual impact.

Visual impact
An effective banner will always start with how it looks. You should be able to choose the right colors that can attract the eyes. Choose font styles that are not too fancy and readable. You should also consider the colors of the text. Also, use large text for your call to action and smaller ones for the contents. Make sure your banner has a touch of creativity but still looks simple. Simpler banners are more effective.

2. Choose a good call to action.

 good call to action
In making your banner, you need to choose the right words that could give an immediate message and sense of urgency to the audience. It should also attract the users in a way that their attention could be diverted towards the banner even if they are reading something in the website. You may use the most common phrase “Click Here”. Many people could immediately click on your banner due to curiosity as to what will happen upon clicking. You could also use the phrases Press Now, Enter Here, Try This, This is Your Last Chance and many others. These words are effective in getting the interest of the users.

3. Choose attention-grabbing images and sounds.

attention-grabbing images and sounds
Use an image that will surely get the attention of the users. The image depends on you and the type of product or service you will be advertising. Use the appropriate image that could get the interest of the users. You may also include a sound like a drum roll or a music hit or whatever. The important thing there is, you should catch their attention.

4. Make smaller but wider ads.

Make smaller but wider ads
Make small sized banners under 10k-15k bytes so that it will download easily. And then use wider banners with 468 or 500 pixels wide. Wider banners are more effective for it could easily be seen and you have enough space for your design. Smaller banners downloadeasily hence the user doesn’t need to wait for a long time before he could see the ads.

5. Encourage audience participation.

Encourage audience participation
You can also invite your audience to be involved in some activity in your ads. It could be a giveaway, a game, a quiz or whatever. But do not make it so complicated. Simple games are found to have higher click rates. Do not make it too long, too for it could bore the user and they might not continue with it. Remember that users do not usually spend a long time in a website especially on banner ads.

6. Offer free stuff.

Offer free stuff
Everyone loves anything that is free. This will surely work if you offer freebies. Give themfree downloads for wall papers, screen savers and many others. Use your creativity in choosing what kind of free items you would like to give your users. This will surely bring in lots of responses. Even more than what you expected.

7. Do not include brand names.

Do not include brand names
In your banner ads, do not include the brand name or the company name. Allow them to discover what that is by the time they have clicked on the ad. If you include your brand name, there is a tendency that the user will no longer click on it for they assume that they know everything about the brand already. But if you do not mention the brand name in the ad, they will be curios if what is being offered is better than the brand they already know. Offer quality information to the clients. This is another way of arising curiosity from the users.

8. Use relevant keywords to target your market.

relevant keywords to target your market
For sure, you have a target audience for your banner ads. To do that, attach your banner to relevant keywords for an increased chance of being located through search engine. Consider sponsoring keywords and phrases for different search engines. For example, you would like to promote your website for business cards; you could enable users to easily find you every time someone enters the word “business”.

9. Animated banners.

Animated banners
Movement in ads could get more attention than those which aren’t. If you use animated ads with a good message and design, it will surely grab the user’s attention. But make sure that it doesn’t take too long to load or else your prospect costumer will move on to other sites without even clicking on your ads. It is said that animated ads generate more clicks. The disadvantage of animated ads is that some websites do not accept animated ads and they usually load longer.

10. Choose a strategic location.

strategic location
Since your primary aim is to have your banner ad noticed, you need to look for a location where in the user could immediately see it. It would be wise to place it above the fold. Most people place it at the top or at the left side. Actually, wherever you place it, as long as it looks really attractive, the users will still notice it.

11. Use different banners.

Use different banners
A user will no longer click on an ad which he has seen before. So it is wise to use different banners in various sites. Change your banners from time to time, too. Through this, you will still have clicks from users and you could also determine which one is more effective for it is receiving more responses. So, design various banners and use them in various websites. This will keep you going for a long time.
Banner ads truly work and the simpler ones are more effective. Static banners with good call to actions and good content easily gets the attention of the users. Indeed, using banner ads is one way to generate traffic for your website. Why don’t you try making a banner ad in promoting your websites?

Author: Kareen Liez

18 September 2011

10 Points to Consider in Making a Logo Design

Logos are used to identify a company or a product. It has a great impact to the people in showing the quality of the company it represents. It is very important in whatever business one is engaged in. Since all types of businesses need a logo, the logo design world always have some work to do. It may look easy for some but if you enter into the world of logo designers, you will realize that designing a logo is not an easy task. There are lots of things that they need to take note of to come up with aneffective and good logo design.
In this post, we will give you some points to consider in order to make a logo effective. Since logo designers play a vital role for the success of a company, you should be able to help your client by making a logo that will best suit for them.

1. It conveys the requirements of the client.

conveys the requirements of the client
Image: dougahay
One of the secrets of having a good logo is to perfectly understand the client’s requirement. You have to know what the client wants. There are instances that the client wants to match a certain existing and famous logo. They might also want a particular font and color. So, you have to get all the needed information during the consultation meeting in order for you to come up with a good logo design.

2. It has a strong visual appeal.

 strong visual appeal
Image: mysavings
One look at the design you have made, the audience should find it captivating. No matter how simple it could be, there should be a visual impact for the logo design. Most people have a good visual memory and if it is not that captivating and appealing, it might not be remembered by the audience. Take a look at the logo of KFC. The visual appeal of the caricature truly makes it unique and captivating.

3. It is unique.

No one would like to have the same logo as others have. Since the purpose of having a logo is to establish an identity for the company, uniqueness is very important. You won’t be able to help a company create their own identity and branding if you will merely imitate other’s logo. There might be logo designs they would like to match but that doesn’t mean that you make it closely similar to it.

4. It gives the appropriate message.

In designing a logo, make sure that it is appropriate for the company. Do not make a childish looking logo if it is for a television station. You have to make sure that even if the service or product is not shown in the logo, it should show appropriateness for the company. But take note that you don’t have to place certain symbolisms for your logo to be appropriate. A computer brand doesn’t show computers, a food company doesn’t necessarily show a particular food and a company for appliances and equipments doesn’t show a television or a refrigerator in it. You just need to be creative. The logo for Microsoft could be a good example for appropriateness.

5. It has a minimal design.

minimal design
Image: soccerreviews
As we look at famous logos, we can observe that they do not have too many details and are really simple in appearance. But despite that simplicity, there is still a different impact to the audience. It is said that simpler logos are easily recognized and memorable. It is even more versatile if we speak of usage. So, do away with logos that have too much detail for it won’t be easy to use them. The details won’t be so clear when used in a smaller scale. Take a look at the logo of Nike. It is simple yet it became famous worldwide- and not just the logo but the product, too.
6. It is memorable.
It is memorable
Image: soccerreviews
Of course, companies would need a logo so that they could have their own identity and be easily recognized by the audience and the target market. A logo, no matter how great it looks and no matter how it perfectly implies the companies’ goals and aims would still be useless if it cannot leave a mark in the minds of the people. It really needs to be memorable so that by the time they see it the next time, they will immediately know that it symbolizes a particular company. The logo of McDonald’s could prove that being both simple and memorable is indeed effective for it has been catering the people worldwide for years now.

7. It lasts long.

A good logo should be able to stand the test of time. It has to be effective for years no matter how trends changes. Lots of things around you may change but these changes just come and go. Your logo design should be able to withstand those changes, no matter what the trend is and no matter how long the time, your logo will still be the same as it marks a memory in the minds of the people from different generations. Make a timeless logo and for sure it will give a different impact to the company. The Coco-Cola logo has been the same since 1885.

8. It is adaptable.

When we say it should be adaptable, it means that your logo should still look good and the same even if you do it in black and white. It should also work well even if you use it with a light color in a dark background. This way, no matter how you use it, it will still look the same and will still be recognized as such.

9. It is scalable.

It is scalable
Image: plasticoceans
A good logo should work well in different formats and sizes. It should look the same even if it is used in huge billboards or in letter heads. Bear in mind that when someone asks you to make a logo, they will surely use it in different mediums and sizes. So you have to take this into consideration. Also, it has to work in both vertical and horizontal formats. This is one of the reasons why logo designs should be done in vector.

10. It stands out.

It stands out
Of course, during the consultation meeting with the client, you have inquired about their competitors. Be able to research the logo designs their competitors are using and make sure the design you will make will stand out and be more memorable to the target market.
To sum up, a good logo has to be simple, appropriate, unique and it stands out while conveying the right message to the target market. It is also important to bear in mind the requirements of the client. It has to work good when used in different color and sizes. For a logo to be timeless, it has to bear a great concept and that concept should be carried out well in your design.

Author: Ebrian Acebedo

13 September 2011

Tips in Achieving a Better Landing Page Design

Landing page is the lead capture page which is the first thing a user will see upon clicking on an ad or on a link. Landing pages are usually used in online marketing. It is crucial to any form of online business which is why a landing page should be good.
The effectiveness of a landing page is measured through its conversion rate which means how often people take action when they visit it. Conversions don’t happen magically. One needs to plan on optimizing and for continuous improvement. Try different strategies and monitor the results.
You may ask a visitor to sign up for your services, purchase a product, register for a newsletter and many others. Since landing pages is your first chance to convince a visitor, you have to make it effective. If not, you will lose the chance to reach your goal. Here are some important things to consider for a more effective landing page design:

1. Relevance of content.

Your landing page will be ineffective if you do not include relevant contents in it. Even if this is already obvious, some still fail to do this. If people do not get what they were looking for at first glance, there is a great chance that they will immediately leave the page. For instance, someone was looking for a specific Photoshop brush through a search engine site. He will type the keywords and then click on the first result only to find out that instead of giving him the exact brush, he saw a variety of brushes wherein he still have to look for the brush he needs. So, instead of looking at it one by one, he looks for another website who can offer him what he really wanted. If you are optimizing for search engines, make sure that the keywords are integrated in the contents naturally. This will be very helpful to give the user the right page when they search for it.

2. Make it simple.

A simple landing page will get most of the attention. There should be no useless elements on the page for it will only distract the reader. Page layout is important for this is the first thing that the client will look at. You should immediately showcase in your product in the landing page. Be sure that it is clear and easy to comprehend by the visitors. Landing pages need to be very specific with your goals.

3. Have a consistent message.

If you advertised using a banner and you were stating a certain promo like you will be giving 30% off if they avail of your service today, then makes sure that when they arrive at your page, you will also offer the same. Do not mislead the visitors. Also, you have to use the same logo, company name colors and everything. This way, your client will be sure that they are actually viewing the right page. This will also help build trust for the visitors.

4. Provide the right information.

Visitors will be glad that by the time they land on your page, they found the answers they had been looking for. If you could give answers right away, they will stay longer in your page and they will be convinced to take some action. Include enough and appropriate information that is relevant to a particular topic.

5. Use proper grammar and language.

Visitors will surely go over your landing page and read your contents. As they do this, you have to make sure you are using the right words, the right grammar, the proper spelling and the right language towards a particular field. If they can see that you are using grammar and language rightly, you will get their trust and confidence. Clients will be convinced that you are presenting a genuine service and product.

6. Use a clear conversion strategy.

When we say conversion rate, it refers to the number of visitors who views the content of a site and does some action. For example, the visitor could sign-up, purchase an item, and others. Hence, the landing page should be clear as to what the visitor will do. It should also be clear for what the conversion button is for and how will they know if it was successful. Make it easy for visitors to convert anytime and place the conversion buttons above the fold and you can also repeat placing it at every scroll-and-a-half of the screen space so that they won’t have to go scroll up again to do the conversion.

7. Make it sound urgent.

Part of your sales pitch is urging the users to make an action now for it is a unique opportunity. Make the sentence short and easy to understand. If you do this, your visitors would opt to make an action by the time he views the page the first time. This is an effective way of promoting your product or service.

8. Prepare for your target visitors.

Although you will really never know who will click your banner ad and visit your site, you still have to prepare your it to a particular audience. For sure, majority of those who will check it have the same interest as you have. So, speak their language, try to determine what they really need, use graphics that they can relate and many others. It is important to have a virtual connection between you and your visitors.

9. Place important elements above the fold.

When we say fold, it is the part of your page that can be seen in the screen without scrolling down. Make sure that they get everything by merely looking at the fold. After understanding everything, that is the time that they will look for more by scrolling. If the user still needs to scroll down in order to understand what the site really is, then they might move on to otherwebsites with clearer folds.

10. Feedbacks and testimonials.

You may include testimonials and feedbacks from clients in the landing page to ensure the new visitor that you are real. Also, you may include press releases, reviews and even videos. This will add more confidence from the clients.

11. Make it safe for the visitors.

Some people are afraid to signup especially if they feel that they will be charged for a certain amount by doing that. Give them the guarantee that they’ll get money back if it is a purchase or give them free trial first wherein they have the option of purchasing the product or not after they tried it. Let them feel safe in your landing page so that they will still be interested to look at other parts of it.
When you design your landing page, take note of the aforementioned things in order for it to be effective. As a designer, you should aid your client in order to help them have an effective marketing for their product or service. There are also available landing page templates that you might want to use. But it would be better to customize the design so that it could really suit the business.

Author: Kareen Liez

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