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Marketing Your Products
Branding Graphics Appeal on Your Website and Tips for Making it SEO-Friendly
January, 2010
n real estate, it's location, location, location. In website design, it's content, content, content... followed very closely by eye appeal, which is where a graphic designer can play a substantial role.

The SEO (Search Engine Optimization) portion of a website's foundation must be considered first to develop essential keywords. These keywords are then used throughout the site copy, the attending blog, and the marketing articles which will proliferate incoming links, something the ever-hungry search engines love.

If a gorgeous movie star becomes severely ill, her beauty becomes unimportant. This same concept holds true for website development. By building the functionality first for a website, and then adding beauty - an appealing graphical look - secondarily, the purpose for having the website is well served.

Many people who read web pages and view their images are motivated by what they "like" versus what they "need," so the key role of graphics assumes an importance right after functionality, SEO, and content. The content plus the graphics appeal are what leads to conversion on a site.

Your website is a marketing tool. It is the key way you gain presence and creditability on the internet. It's the way you turn eye appeal into buy appeal. The appearance of your website is the representation of all of the ideas you want to put forth under the umbrella of your business and they deserve thoughtful consideration prior to the creation of a graphical appearance.

1. Have you defined your target market and do you know what will appeal to them visually?

2. What is the actual purpose behind your site? To sell, to entertain, to enlighten?

3. What is the product you are offering? How should it be positioned in the market and how should it look?

4. Is your graphics theme consistent? Is your branding carried throughout the site as well as in your product line?

5. Have you gathered fill in photos or created consistent graphics such as bullets that match in color and typeface?

The design of pages in a website must first be functional, and then have eye appeal graphically. A great web designer will use the appropriate software to permit all jpeg and gif files to either load quickly or to hyperlink the images to load in a new page. A great web designer will use alt tags to describe the images in the coding behind these images so that the search engine spiders and read them and rank the page accordingly.

Some key graphical elements that can be used in website design are:

1.Branding. Think of branding as predefining what a company is all about in the minds of its clients. It encompasses all the factors that makeup both the recognition and interaction parts of doing business with that company. Branding helps to establish a sense of perceived value for your company, your product and your delivery of a service. Simply by seeing your graphics pieces, people will begin to identify with what values you are striving to achieve.

2. Logo. Your logo should represent what your company stands for and what function it performs. The best logos are sophisticated and simple, and they are challenging to design. Your logo should have a strong, balanced image with no extras to clutter its look. Bold logos are easier to see than those with thin delicate lines.

3. [b]Tag Lines[b/]. You would be well served to research the tag lines of other companies before you design your own. These few words can become part of the branding that tells people graphically who you are, what you do, and how you do it. My tag line is "Where Your Ideas Become Distinctive Designs."

Try to keep the size of your web pages in the vicinity of 50K. When you hire a website designer, this size web page will still give a relatively fast download time on a standard modem, although dial up access to the internet has waned with the insurgence of broadband and FIOS. If your site or any of its pages loads slowly, you will have to ask your designer to size down the graphic images, replace them with a smaller images, or replace them with the HTML default bullets, horizontal rules, or colored heading text.

Are YOU ready to create a powerful brand and website that delivers? Karen Saunders, owner of MacGraphics Services, and her outstanding team can lead you through her integrated 7-step branding and website launch system.

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