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Thread: Research before beginning my website..

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    Research before beginning my website..

    Hi guys,

    I'm wanting to create a freelance graphic design website that showcases my work and provides info on my service etc, but before I begin I wanted to find out a few details so I can optimise my site.

    I've done some research but hope you guys can fill in any gaps with suggestions experience etc.

    The first thing I'm unsure about is how to get my site highly rated on search engines: Obviously the contents will be mostly images, I've heard having copy will help with a higher rating. Is it a case of the more repeated the word "Graphic Design" (for example) throughout my website will help with search results?

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    WDF Staff mlseim's Avatar
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    You have your work cut out ... there are a billion graphic design / artist design websites already online. I don't think you'll ever stick out unless what you do is really unique and much sought-after graphics. Word of mouth will be the best thing for your business, so you concentrate your energy there instead of trying to cram keywords into your website. You picked a tough business to get into. Do you have any of your work online now? Do you have some graphic design examples that are different than the other million graphic artists now online? Show us what you're bringing to the table.
    TheGAME1264 likes this.


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    Thanks, I see your point.

    here is my old portfolio site: Shaun Wilson Portfolio
    And here is some newer stuff: Graphic Design

    I was thinking of narrowing the parameters a little by two things: #1 include the keywords Brisbane (my city) so I could get listed when people type "Brisbane Graphic Design" - and #2 specialise in logo design. So it would further narrow the search parameters "Brisbane logo design".

    I figured that people living in Brisbane looking for a logo would prefer a designer who is local and who specialises in logo design. What do you think?

    I would try and direct people to my site as you suggested but if I can optimise it to get some traffic from search engines as well that would be great.

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    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    Not necessarily the case. Sites such as oDeskLance and 99designs exist because a lot of people don't necessarily prefer "local". They prefer "whoever can get the job done".

    I'm not a graphic designer, but I'm a pretty good example of "not local". I'm based in a suburb of Toronto, but I have two clients in Brooklyn; one in Tampa Bay; two in Peoria, IL; two in Orange County, CA; one in Alexandria, VA; and two in England (not sure where in England, exactly, but they're both British). I also have clients who have related suppliers in Minsk, Belarus and HaNoi, Vietnam. So "local" is a bit in the past. You may find some that will and that might be your niche, but I would suggest to you that you're not going to butter your bread looking for local graphic design work, even in a city of 2 million.

    As Max also subtly pointed out to you, graphic design is a tough field to get into. You've got two major problems:

    1) Graphic designers are pretty much a dime a dozen these days. Any idiot can get a hold of a copy of Photoshop, start drawing some shapes, editing photos, and making effects based on the tutorials they find online and claim they're a graphic designer. I know, because I'm such an idiot (although I never claimed to be a graphic designer).

    2) Graphic designers are generally terrible businesspeople and have contributed to a "race to the bottom" scenario whereby they sell their works far too cheaply (in many cases, they give the stuff away when it's worth a lot more than that), they do little to distinguish themselves, and they basically slit each other's throats for business. That's why sites like 99designs exist; by utilizing "crowdsourcing", they can exploit graphic designers who just want to make a buck somehow and put them in hypercompetitive, highly subjective environments that allow the buyer to select from thousands of dollars' worth of work for a few hundred bucks.

    Note that I don't blame the buyer, nor do I blame 99designs in this scenario (although I used to blame the former). It's a side effect of an industry for which there are low entry barriers.

    So you're going to have to have some unique skill, some talent, some thought process, some other thing that will set you apart from everyone else in what has turned into a huge buyer's market. That's going to require some creativity (ironically, the thing most graphic designers seem to lack), and you're not going to find that answer on this or any other forum. It can only come from within.
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    Thanks.

    I would lump odesk and lancer into the same category as 99designs. They are killing the industry - there's an ad you've probably seen I can see it right now on this forum "I'll design your logo for $5" - I feel like punching that guy.

    But seriously. I don't think I am a fantastic designer, but I like to think I'm better than someone who just bought photoshop and can draw some shapes. Of the designs/logos that you can view on those two links I'd maybe select the best four to showcase and create another 4 or 5 for my website.

    I mention local because if someone types in graphic design there's no way my website will show up - I'm at least narrowing the parameters a little to make it realistic. But I'm not a web designer so I would take on board any advice you have.

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    WDF Staff mlseim's Avatar
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    I would say that you are talented. Your work looks very professional and up-to-date.

    Have you thought about teaming-up with a web developer (an online business relationship), where you can do graphics for someone that does websites or apps? Most developer (freelancers like myself), don't have much graphic experience. I use MS Paint, and I'm not proud of it, although I do some fairly "killer" stuff with it from time to time.

    I'm going to hang-on to your name and contact you sometime if I need some custom graphics done for a website app.

    Like we're saying, you're in a tough spot. I hope you find a full-time partnership with someone, you deserve it.


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    Thanks, that's a good idea. I could also offer website building services on my website but pass that part onto the web developer so we both benefit from the partnership in that sense.

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    So I've finished my new website. I've put the title of it 'graphic design' as well as my city. There is copy throughout saying 'logo', design, and other things, etc etc. I haven't yet published it on a proper server yet.

    So as mleim suggested I will do a lot of networking to direct people to the site, and try and develop professional relationships, but is there any additional things I can do to optimise my chances of people finding my site through a search on the web?

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    Senior Member Ronald Roe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arianna143 View Post
    ...Please take a look on the website behance.net
    You will get your all problem solutions.
    I've got this rash, I consider it a problem. Will Behance solve this for me?
    Ron Roe
    Web Developer
    "If every app were designed using the same design template, oh wait...Bootstrap."

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    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    I also have a problem. I see a bunch of people who come on here offering and expecting generic advice pertaining to web design, development and marketing as if every website was intended to be assembled in a factory by mindless cyborgs without the robotic parts and I can't explain the fallacy of their thinking at a level the average third-grader could comprehend.

    Will Behance solve this for me?
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link.

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