logosDo you struggle to come up with an attractive logo for your website? That means you understand how important it is to have a clear visual identifier for your online assets. Good looking logo instills in your visitors the sense of trust and helps them recognize your brand when they come in contact with it through other media: on FaceBook, on Pintrest, Instagram or YouTube – you name it. In fact, having a logo makes an average visitor stay on the page longer – a very important clue for search engines.

Employing a professional artist can easily cost you hundreds of dollars which may not be in the budget if you don’t have your site monetized properly, so it pays for its own beautification. Fortunately, if you know just a little bit about Photoshop or any other similar program you can get a decent logo without spending a dime. Here is how.

  1. Decide on the color scheme that you like. Either pick your favorite colors or use the colors favored by a webpage that you find visually appealing.
  2. Create a “dummy” logo that simply uses the textual elements that you want to have, using the colors you have picked. Do not worry at all about placement, fonts, sizes. Just get the text down.
  3. Save the dummy logo as logo.jpg.
  4. Go to http://images.google.com and click on the little image of a camera next to the search button.
  5. Click on “upload” and submit your dummy logo.
  6. Google will now inform you that it was unable to find any matching images on line. Darn right! Your dummy file is so original… But Google will also display a listing of logos that look similar to yours. You just have to point at one of them and click “similar.”
  7. Now you can peruse through hundreds of logo images, all of them use the same or similar color scheme as yours. Look for text placement ideas, angles, fonts, font styles, sizes, embellishments – and be inspired.
  8. Apply the knowledge and ideas you have gained to create a new logo. If you somehow think that because of following this process your logo will not be original, consider that an actual graphics artist that you could hire will in all likelihood use a very similar technique or simply use a “swipe” file!

 

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Do you have internal (or possibly even outbound) links on your webpage that you really hope your visitors will follow? Sometimes a slightest change in the wording will help crease the link’s click-through-rate (CTR), so every piece of information on how to structure anchor text is extremely valuable. According to one study (Spool, J. et al. 2004. “Designing for the Scent of Information”), the number of words in a link makes a difference. How big of a difference? That depends on your overall traffic. But it is pretty clear that the sweet spot is somewhere between 11 and 8 words per link. It is important to remember that the link text must be well written! Do not pad it with words just to reach the optimal count. Rather use this knowledge in combination with other factors, such as giving priority to keywords and identifying the value that your visitor can expect to find on the linked page. Also, you should understand that the magic number includes stop-words (and, the, of etc.), and such words should not overload your anchor text. At the end of the day, A/B tests will help you nail down the right link text, but definitely keep this tip in mind during the initial copy writing process.  Did you notice how many words I used in the title of this post? It worked, because you are reading it!

You can also improve your site’s stickyness and credibility by using a logo.

vegetineDo you ever visit your own website just to make sure that it’s up and running? Or maybe you just keep an eye on site access statistics instead (this a malady I have discussed in an earlier article)?

There is a better way! There are online services that can alert you whenever your site goes down. Some are paid, some are free. My personal favorite is Montastic.com. It is free to use for up to 100 URLs. You can set how often the URL has to be checked (as frequently as every 30 minutes with a free account) and also what text must be present or be absent from the page in order for the alert to be triggered. This means that the use of this service can be more creative than just a simple check up on your site’s vitals. For instance, if you are concerned about certain ad groups not showing on the site at times…

By the way, you can even monitor  sites you don’t own, hoping that when they go down you will be the first one to tweet about it. But to do that you probably need to get a paid Montastic account, so that URLs can be checked more frequently. And you better hope that the cnn.com webmasters follow strict rules and must attempt fixing a major problem before tweeting about it to the world.

You might think that web outages are uncommon, but Montastic can one day prove you wrong, because they will check on a site’s performance more often and more regularly than the most diligent website owner.

Montastic operates under a bold and ambitious logo: The free website monitoring service that doesn’t suck.

Give it a try!