Friday, November 20, 2009

Featured Graphic Designer: Janet Kullman

This article begins the first in a series of Featured Graphic Designers. Over the years I have been privileged to meet many fellow designer friends, both personally and online. This blog will now broaden it's horizons by featuring the work of these wonderfully creative individuals on a regular basis.

An admitted typoholic, "I love words, but am not a verbose persons," Janet says, "it's actually the interplay between the letters and other elements that attracts me."

This love of type mixed with her love of color and overpowering need to create, lead her to study graphic design. "Oh yes, I still love words, they can say a lot, but poet or essayist, I'm not. I like things said in their most succinct form and that, to me, is visual".

Janet worked for several ad agencies and of course a typehouse, before opening her own design studio, Kullman Design, in 1991. She refers to herself not as a graphic designer, but a communications designer. "It's not only what you say, but how you say it that communicates your message," she states. Her tagline, Building Images that Build Business, emphasizes her mission of creating unique visual messaging — putting form and content together— to make her client's message visually appealing and memorable.

She has built a successful list of long-term clients by focusing on relationships. "Building relationships are a key component in helping a cleint successfully build their brand. It's that level of trust and collaboration that enables me to effectively create their unique design," Janet explains.

Logo, brand identity, a new brochure, business cards and stationery, post cards for direct mail, catalogs, billboards, etc – Whatever your print design needs — from concept design through to printing, contact Janet. 330.456.7261,

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Offsite Methods of Getting Traffic to Your Website

“Link to Me ... Please!”

In the last post we talked about those pesky keywords - and the important role they play on a website. Quality keywords, placed strategically on a well designed website, should be front and center in any search marketing plan. This is part of your onsite search optimization plan.

If you are looking for other low cost methods of driving more traffic to your website, then inbound “Links” are one of the most productive means of doing so. The actual results will depend upon the type of links, the quality of the links and just how much time you can invest in obtaining a quantity of links. For those who don’t understand what links are - anytime you can click on an image or text and be taken to a different page on a website (or a different site all together), that is a link.

Quality Links Rule
You will want to cultivate quality inbound links to your site. That is - other sites that have links to your website. This takes time, and is an on-going process. Start with organizations and associations through which you have membership. A blog can be a great vehicle for inbound links. If you take part in any social networking sites you can usually add your website link to your profile. For instance, my Pencil Drawings by Kelli Swan Blog has several links to both my own sites, and client/friend’s sites.

Formatting Links
When setting up links, it is advantageous to be as descriptive as possible in the linked text. Even though the link address might be, the verbiage in the link should be a literal description, like: black and white photographs of windows and doors. (Example: Notice the descriptive links about each website sample on my SEO and eMarketing page. Instead of using the url address in the text, the words used are descriptive and more like keyword phrases.) What you are doing here is telling the search engines the search terms through which you would like your website to be found.

Link Requests
If you’ve had a web presence for any length of time, you are probably receiving email requests for “reciprocal links.” In this case, a website is promising you an inbound link to your site in exchange for you placing a link to their site on your own site. Personally I ignore the bulk of these requests. In most cases, I have found that the requesting site wants a prominent listing on my Favorite Links page, and in return I would be receiving a link nested somewhere in the middle of hundreds of other links. Hardly a fair exchange. Also - many of these link requests come from totally unrelated sites. You want to keep your inbound links relative in some way to your site. In other words, a website that sells shoes which links to a website that promotes local arts & crafts doesn't really help the arts/crafts site. An inbound links from an artist or arts supplier would be a much higher quality link from a search engine's perspective.