Just a quick note: We have gotten round one of our new graphic and logo design portfolio up and running. Please stop by and take a look! More to come but that is enough for now. Getting a blog-based portfolio turned out to be quite a challenge. The days of 100% pure hand-coded HTML seem so quaint by contrast…
I have the good fortune of having owned “bonfx.com” for the last 10 years. It could be any domain name, but having had it for so long with the same subject matter is a benefit for SEO. It has always been a freelance graphic design website focused on my portfolio of web, print, and logo design work. It has never had a blog on it until last week.
As of right now, I only have about 15 articles, all authored in the last week. I got a hat tip from Jacob Cass over at Just Creative Design to check out the Hubspot Website Grader. I ran a report and I think – someone correct me if I’m wrong – I have reason to be pleased with where I’m at after one week of changing to a blog format. Of course I have a lot of work to do now, but it could be worse. See the report:
I have a score of 83, and a Page Rank of 4. All of my old content is still being indexed, like totally random stuff and like Flash demos installed in their own folder from my days as a hack Flash Developer, temporary junk like a folder of pictures from when I sold my Jeep (96 Jeep Cherokee 4×4 – what a vehicle!), old customer sub-domains, and temp folders for friends like “stuff” hanging off the root.
So what did I learn? First, I learned that the way to increase SEO and ranking is to be humble, true, and honest and write good content. There is so much bad information out there that tries to game the system, but it won’t work. I just read last night, I think it was Jacob Cass (not sure now) that there are hundreds of PhDs working at Google and the like. You are not smarter than them, and they know how to write algorithms that smoke out the impostors. Essentially, do what is good and right, and do it in a good and right way, and you will do well in ranking. Essentially, it seems to be a fact now (and certainly more so as search engines get even better) that search engines will bless hard honest work and not much else.
Part of my blogging will chronicle my work in regards to ranking. Click the link above to Website Grader for a detailed report (and then get your own) of the BonFX website, or read some interesting facts I need to act on immediately:
- My page title is way too long. It should be 70 characters or less and mine is 236
- My site description is also way too long. It should be no more than 150 characters, but I hit 160. I guess less is more for these first 2 points!
- 2 images are missing alt tags.
- My domain is going to expire in 4 months. I had no clue this could count against me, though the site is old! The farther the expire time is out in the future, the better search engines feel about the site.
- My Page Rank is 4. From what I gather, 4 is pretty good considering what has been going on on my site for the last 8 years (nothing!).
- I have a form! I guess having a form on the site counts towards looking alive to the search engines!
- I am looking to lock down some decent search engine rankings for 2 basic terms: freelance graphic design and logo design. It’s not clear if I have to pick one or the other and focus on it. For now, I’m not doing too badly (20-30 ranking) for having done nothing, essentially, in regards to “freelance graphic design” other than having had that in my title for eons. Notice I didn’t even rank for logo design, but I’m just starting that, like 5 days ago:
freelance graphic designer 1,401 30 freelance graphic design 1,775 30
- It looks like my site vocabulary is too high, being ranked as college undergraduate. It is suggested I lower it. It’s probably due to my predilection for run-on sentences. Why stop when you are having fun? Yes, I’ll work on that. If you want some long sentences, try reading German Biblical scholarly titles translated into English. There are some sentences that are close to a full page. Not good, not user-friendly.
- Overall, I got a score of 83.
- The last thing I learned is that there is an astonishing array of very powerful tools to help you analyze your site, and a wonderful cadre of friendly bloggers to help find the way.
As usual, thanks for reading! Please subscribe to my feed in the top right corner to keep tabs on my progress
Blogging tips needed!
My blog is brand new. I’m new to this kind of blogging as well. I’m fairly new to SEO though I have gotten some great results with my initial site in it’s pre-blog incarnation. For instance, I was in the top 20 for some key terms (“freelance graphic designer“), and number one for local variations on that.
Evaluation of graphic design articles
If you have a few minutes, I’d love to hear some drag-down, knock-out assessments of some of the graphic design content on the site. The first few articles are longer and not very optimized, but as I researched how to write over the last week, I think I’ve made some progress. There are a lot of great resources and my learning uptake is about as fast as it can be. I’m drinking from the WordPress SEO firehose!
WordPress plugins to manage site and increase SEO of site
Can you recommend anything specific? I’d love to chat about it…
Evaluation of anything else for SEO
As my site finishes coming together and I get more content going, I’d love to hear whatever you might have to say, if you have any experience in SEO at all. It will be much appreciated!
Thanks in advance!
Here are 6 books for one penny each (US dollars) that are a steal! They are used of course but their information is timeless and you can’t beat the price:
- Graphic Artists Guild Handbook (Graphic Artists Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines)
This book contains priceless discussion about and examples of contracts for graphic designer to use. New or used, every designer should have this on their shelf.
- Color Harmony: A Guide to Creative Color Combinations
Sometimes you simply need to turn away from the computer and pick up a printed swatch book or some other tactile form of inspiration. This is a classic!
- Quick Solutions for Great Type Combinations
A great book for seeing on paper how to combine classic fonts. Sometimes you just need to see up close examples done by skilled typographer to see what classic fonts are capable of, and how they work in combinations you might not have thought of.
- Inspirability: 40 Top Designers Speak Out About What Inspires
It’s hard to find 40 designers in one place speaking about the timeless issue of how to get inspiration. For 1 cent, you just saved 5 hours of surfing the web looking for this info!
- 2005 Artist’s & Graphic Designer’s Market
Why include such an old book? Surely the information is dated. Not exactly, not at all! Most of the information in the book reveals how you should approach all kinds of people, timeless marketing tips, and a ready list of companies that year after year are in the book. So, for 1 cent, you can nab the book. If you really want an updated list, you can then turn around and buy the new version. But for 1 cent, you get to see what all the fuss about this great book is year after year.
- Designer’s Guide to Color 3 (Bk. 3)
I included this classic book which has been sold for years unchanged. It’s just another book you can turn to and hold and flip through when you need to take a coffee break and your eyes are tired of the glowing screen. It’s timeless and a book I pick up with some frequency nearly 10 years after I bought my new copy.
NOTE: When I checked these out there were limited numbers of copies from various booksellers for the 1 cent price. If the 1 cent copies are gone by the time you read this, there will be some under a dollar. And if you wait long enough (why you’d wait I’m not sure) you might see them again for 1 cent.
- What’s your favourite graphic design book? – David Airey
Here are 100 of the most popular books on graphic design. Some are old and some are really old. The great thing about the fundamentals of graphic design is that they never change. How many of these books are in your personal libray? Enjoy!
100 of the most popular books on graphic design
- Thinking with Type: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students (Design Briefs)
- The Non-Designer’s Design Book: Design and Typographic Principles for the Visual Novice
- Meggs’ History of Graphic Design
- Graphic Design Solutions, Third Edition
- Graphic Design: The New Basics
- The Elements of Color: A Treatise on the Color System of Johannes Itten Based on His Book the Art of Color (A Basic color library)
- Envisioning Information
- Universal Principles of Design
- Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines (Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines)
- Designing with Type: A Basic Course in Typography
- Design Elements: A Graphic Style Manual
- Making and Breaking the Grid: A Graphic Design Layout Workshop
- An Illustrated Life: Drawing Inspiration from the Private Sketchbooks of Artists, Illustrators and Designers
- Typography Workbook: A Real-World Guide to Using Type in Graphic Design
- Designing Brand Identity: An Essential Guide for the Whole Branding Team
- Layout Workbook: A Real-World Guide to Building Pages in Graphic Design
- Designing Brand Identity: A Complete Guide to Creating, Building, and Maintaining Strong Brands
- Graphic Design: A New History
- Interaction of Color
- Grid Systems: Principles of Organizing Type (Design Briefs)
- Geometry of Design: Studies in Proportion and Composition
- Picture This: How Pictures Work
- Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works (2nd Edition)
- The Elements of Graphic Design: Space, Unity, Page Architecture, and Type
- Design Basics Index (Index Series)
- How To Be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul
- The Laws of Simplicity (Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life)
- Forms, Folds and Sizes, Second Edition: All the Details Graphic Designers Need to Know but Can Never Find
- Designer’s Color Manual: The Complete Guide to Color Theory and Application
- Graphic Design History: A Critical Guide
- Fingerprint: The Art of Using Hand-Made Elements in Graphic Design
- Pantone Guide to Communicating with Color
- Logo Design Workbook: A Hands-On Guide to Creating Logos
- Design Language
- Graphic Design Basics
- Getting It Printed: How to Work With Printers and Graphic Imaging Services to Assure Quality, Stay on Schedule and Control Costs
- Understanding Color: An Introduction for Designers (Design & Graphic Design)
- Exploring the Elements of Design (Design Exploration Series)
- Elements of Design: Rowena Reed Kostellow and the Structure of Visual Relationships
- Exploring Typography (Design Exploration Series)
- Caffeine for the Creative Mind: 250 Exercises to Wake Up Your Brain
- Graphic Design School, Third Edition
- Graphic Communications Today, 4E
- Basics of Design
- Building Design Portfolios: Innovative Concepts for Presenting Your Work (Design Field Guide)
- The Designer’s Guide To Marketing And Pricing: How To Win Clients And What To Charge Them
- Color Index: Over 1100 Color Combinations, CMYK and RGB Formulas, for Print and Web Media
- Type: A Visual History of Typefaces and Graphic Styles, Vol. 1
- Becoming a Graphic Designer: A Guide to Careers in Design
- Introduction to Design (2nd Edition)
- Publication Design Workbook
- 1,000 Type Treatments: From Script to Serif, Letterforms Used to Perfection
- Data Flow: Visualising Information in Graphic Design
- A Guide to Graphic Print Production
- Layout Essentials: 100 Design Principles for Using Grids
- Layout Index: Brochure, Web Design, Poster, Flyer, Advertising, Page Layout, Newsletter, Stationery Index
- Picturing Texts
- Marks of Excellence
- Principles of Form and Design
- The Information Design Handbook
- Business and Legal Forms for Graphic Designers (3rd Edition)
- What is Graphic Design? (Essential Design Handbooks)
- The Designers Complete Index (Boxed Set)
- D.I.Y.: Design It Yourself (Design Handbooks)
- A Designer’s Research Manual: Succeed in Design by Knowing Your Clients and What They Really Need (Design Field Guide)
- Logo, Font & Lettering Bible
- Typographic Systems of Design
- The Wayfinding Handbook: Information Design for Public Places
- Visual Literacy: A Conceptual Approach to Graphic Problem Solving
- The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Graphic Design
- The Business Side of Creativity: The Complete Guide to Running a Small Graphics Design or Communications Business (Third UpdatedEdition)
- How to Think Like a Great Graphic Designer
- The Designer’s Desktop Manual
- Graphic Design: A Concise History, Second Edition (World of Art)
- Package Design Workbook: The Art and Science of Successful Packaging
- Starting Your Career as a Freelance Illustrator or Graphic Designer
- Letterhead and Logo Design 9 (Letterhead & LOGO Design (Quality)) (v. 9)
- Type Idea Index: The Designer’s Ultimate Tool for Choosing and Using Fonts Creatively
- The Design of Dissent: Socially and Politically Driven Graphics
- 1,000 Graphic Elements: Details for Distinctive Designs
- Decoding Design: Understanding and Using Symbols in Visual Communication
- Looking Good in Print
- The Graphic Designer’s Guide to Portfolio Design
- Idea Index: Graphic Effects and Typographic Treatments
- Creativity for Graphic Designers
- Designing Type
- Type Rules!
- The Creative Business Guide to Running a Graphic Design Business (Revised)
- Make It Bigger
- Design Matters: Logos 01: An Essential Primer for Today’s Competitive Market (v. 1)
- New Vintage Type: Classic Fonts for the Digital Age
- Design for Communication: Conceptual Graphic Design Basics
- Green Graphic Design
- Creative Sparks: An Index of 150+ Concepts, Images and Exercises to Ignite Your Design Ingenuity
- Process Color Manual: 24,000 CMYK combinations for design, prepress, and printing
- The Designer’s Guide to Color Combinations
- AIGA Professional Practices in Graphic Design, Second Edition
- Designing Brand Experience: Creating Powerful Integrated Brand Solutions
- Information Design Workbook: Graphic approaches, solutions, and inspiration plus 30 case studies
- Vector Graphics and Illustration: A Master Class in Digital Image-making
- What’s your favourite graphic design book? – David Airey