Tag Archives: seo services

The Art of Typography: The Aesthetic Importance of Choosing the Right Typeface

Typography The Aesthetic Importance of Choosing the Right Typeface

Outlining just how much the world has shifted from its axis in the last 5 years, the streaming giant Netflix garnered 8 nominations at the Oscar this year, with its documentary Icarus winning the prize for Best Documentary Feature, kicking off what is predicted to be an impressive year for the upstart company, merely a few months after being engulfed with scandal in one of their shows, House of Cards and its leading man, Kevin Spacey. That isn’t the only notable news coming from the American company though, just last month they announced a new original typeface named the Netflix sans, dropping off the Gotham font they’ve been using for years mainly because of two simple reasons. One, the cost of licensing the Gotham font has gotten expensive and using an original, in-house font is claimed to save the company millions per year. Two, as a company that interacts its customers through an online media, typeface is a critical part of its identity, following on the footsteps of major internet companies like Google, eBay and PayPal.

Typography is two-dimensional architecture

When it comes to web design, typeface is a small but crucial part of a company’s aesthetic, and the importance of picking the right one should never be underestimated. A good typography is like listening to quality ambient music; it whispers its good qualities without drawing unnecessary attention to itself instead of the quality content it was supposed to help focus on. It’s supposed to be subtle, unnoticed, inconspicuous and only appreciated by those of finer taste. If that sounds too hyperbolic and abstract for you, here are some valid reasons why you should consider typography:

  • It’s how you present yourself to your audience

Think of a typeface as a suit. You can always shop around to find one that fits with how you want to present yourself but nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, could compete with going to a tailor and fashion a bespoke suit of your own. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should go right ahead and design a typeface of your own as that’s actually quite a monumental task on its own but even when going with an off-the-shelf font, you still need to take extra care and consider how your audience is going to perceive you.

  • It’s how you convey your identity and personality

This ties in to the point above, just what kind of business you’re running on? What works for a law or an accounting firm might not work for an outerwear fashion company. A typeface should be able to convey the personality and identity behind the text. This project in designing typefaces based on musicians’ writing is a pretty good, albeit a very extreme example. Given that they’re based on an actual handwriting, the result is visually distinctive but obviously not very legible and balance should be struck between the two, which ties into my next point

  • It’s your main medium of communication

Obviously, this depends on what kind of business you’re running but it’s not a stretch to say that it’s statistically probable that your typeface is what your audience is going to spend most of their time on. Consider this when choosing your typeface, don’t just rush ahead and pick one that looks the nicest, also consider whether it’s comfortable to read for an extended period of time. Take a gander at Formula 1’s new corporate typeface for example. The one they used for the main body of text is fine but the lowercase font they use for the headline text is of a questionable nature, especially when it comes to the letter a and x. Position yourself in the shoes of your audience, it’s better to be legible than to be simply conspicuous. Remember, your typeface should work for you and draws attention to your content instead of the other way around.

  • It’s the most versatile part of your design

Your typeface should work everywhere, whether I’m reading in on the train to work, on my desk while on a break or lying in my bed before sleep. Apple’s bespoke San Fransisco font for example was designed to work across all of their devices, including desktop iMacs, living room Apple TVs and the Apple Watch on your wrist. With the way internet access has expanded across a variety of devices we never expected a decade ago, making sure your typeface works consistently across these devices is paramount. It helps create a harmonious ecosystem for your brand, which expresses professionalism

  • It’s how you set up an information hierarchy

Information hierarchy is how you categorize the blocks of text within your website according to their importance. The usage of placement, different font sizes, colors or even the type of font used and any combination of the four are usually used for this exact purpose. Again, using an example works best so go ahead and take a look at the tech blog The Verge’s website to see an example. As you can see, headline articles are placed right on top of the page with the titles colored in white while all of the titles for regular articles further down the page is colored in black. Additionally, the two most prominent headlines use a considerably larger font size to further catch the attention of readers and every single text for the writers’ name in the page is colored in a reddish hue for consistency. This is just one way of establishing a hierarchy; there are a lot of different examples out there. I suggest you experiment and take note of designs you’re fond off to figure out one that suits you.

Still, typography alone isn’t enough to define your aesthetics in web design. Together with the appropriate use of color palette and layout, typography makes up just one piece of the puzzle and that’s without going into the technicalities of site animations and the navigation of your website. The devil’s always in the details and sometimes, typography takes a backseat when compared to other most obvious parts of web design but just as how a simple felt-tipped pen enables astronaut Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong from getting off the surface of the moon during the Apollo 11 mission, it’s usually the small things that make a big difference.

These Are Why Using Flash Might Not Work for Your SEO

These Are Why Using Flash Might Not Work for Your SEO

When it comes to business, people in the business world are aware that having a website is now more important than it looks. Not only will it drive more new potential customers, but also real paying customers as well. With a website, a business can be more recognised and easily found by the target market. In order to reach to the target market, many business owners are now aware of SEO’s influence in the world of business, because a business cannot be separated from SEO. Therefore, business people are inclined to use SEO services to reach to their target market and get more real paying customers. However, there are some websites that cannot work well with SEO because of its design and components. The most common one that cannot “get along well” with SEO is the use of flash in a website.

A website that uses flash might be the one that looks beautiful and once you find that kind of website, you will find yourself attached to it, because, who doesn’t love animation? After all, almost all of us prefer visuals, right? However, some of us might not know that flash doesn’t really work well with SEO. Why? Well, if you are a business owner who has a website that uses flash, this article will make you think twice. Keep reading to find out why!

Search engines don’t get along with flash

Websites that use flash are difficult to be crawled and indexed by search engines, because a website fully implemented in Flash is seen as a single file. Search engines just wouldn’t be able to direct visitors to the proper page within that file.

Flash doesn’t care about users’ needs

While the ground rules of marketing focus on users’ needs, Flash websites ignore the basic principle of that. For example, a website using automatic sound that appears without users’ consent will make them uncomfortable, especially if they are in a work environment when browsing the internet.

Flash doesn’t work on mobiles

Flash will be useless when you use a mobile phone. This would cause confusion to users, especially the important part of your website’s information requires them to work on flash in order to see that. Well, you should reconsider the fact that over 3.5 billion people use mobile phone for the internet use.

Poor usability

Even though your website’s appearance might be appealing and attractive to some people, in terms of usability, it simply won’t help users. They can’t identify links that they can click, it can’t be searched, so it’s difficult for them to hit a back button within Flash content, and it’s hard for them to bookmark anything beyond the home screen; moreover, it’s impossible to navigate on a touch screen.

That’s why Flash is not good for your website, especially for your SEO. If your website is not SEO friendly, not only is it hard for Google to read your website, it is also hard for users to stay on your website for long. This will hinder you from gaining more traffic and more real customers in the future. Do you have a website that needs to be polished beautifully without any bad impact to your website? Feel free to contact us now.

Google AMP: Moving Web Pages Toward the Future by Setting it Back a Decade

Google’s AMP Moving Web Page Toward the Future by Setting It Back A Decade

One of the main reasons why the internet experienced such an exponential growth in the last decade is Apple’s monumental launch of the iPhone way back in 2007. Moving away from the relatively tiny screens and the iconic QWERTY keyboards of the then-leading BlackBerries, the iPhone revolutionized smartphone interfaces as we know it using a multi-touch screen with a high screen-to-body ration, which was quickly followed by phones using Google’s Android OS and later, by Nokia’s line of Windows Phones. iOS’ generous screen real-estate and gesture-based navigation was the closest thing we have to a future filled with Star Trek-esque gizmos and even though it wasn’t until a year later that 3G connectivity arrived on everyone’s favorite new toy, iPhone turned the mobile world on its head by making voice traffic obsolete and continually raising data usage. Close to a decade later, in 2015 to be exact, Google sought to further upend the world of mobile internet by introducing the Accelerated Mobile Pages framework or AMP for short, leaving the decisions on publishers or web developers whether to go along or not.

As its self-explanatory name proclaims, AMP is an initiative spearheaded by Google with aims on making contents easily accessible on mobile by giving web pages an injection of Flash’s Speed Force. Have you ever been annoyed when after reading a tweet from your friends telling you of this interesting longform article they read you are inevitably greeted by a never-ending loading circle when you clicked on that link? The idea is to make webpages as fast and as accessible as other examples of ‘instant articles’ i.e. those you’re likely to find in Apple News or Facebook. So far, it sounds all well and good; I mean why in the world wouldn’t you want a faster internet? But alas, all magic comes with a price.

Now, without getting unbearably technical, it’s the way Google is implementing AMP that’s the issue here. You see, the internet still has to obey basic laws of physics. If a website usually loads in 1 second, web developers can’t just magically make it load in 0.1 second without taking anything away, which is what AMP does. I described AMP as giving websites an injection of the Speed Force, which was intentionally misleading, because what the AMP does is to require your web to be stripped down into a skeleton and render its content in a particular subset of HTML that Google approves along with a few tags made for AMP.

Simplify, then add lightness.

In the world of automotive, there are two ways of making a car go faster. You can go the Colin Chapman route of stripping unnecessary things off of your car and make it lighter, or go the Bugatti method of stuffing an 8.0L engine equipped with four turbochargers into the back of your car to achieve +250 mph top speeds. Either make web pages simpler, thereby rendering the internet to look as ancient as this 1996’s relic of Bob Dole’s campaign website shows, or somehow make mobile network considerably faster. Obviously, Google has no way of making the latter happen, so they went ahead with the former.

To use AMP, Google requires web developers to create an alternative version of your site that conforms to the strict regulations of the AMP project. As the standards itself are a variation of HTML, but pared down to its barest minimum, most JavaScript are forbidden. No matter where your personal opinions lie on JavaScript and its prevalence in most web pages, they do add a lot of functionality to a simple website and are used to a considerable degree on a lot of web apps across the internet, like Spotify. Google AMP will basically undo all of that, inherently rendering every development in web pages made in the last decade useless, not to mention that it would certainly make your site looks depressingly dreary. Any site that conforms to these specifications gets VIP treatment from Google, which brings with itself a set of problems.

No privileged order ever did see the wrongs of its victims

On the result of a mobile Google search, stories and articles that conform to AMP’s specification have a little lightning icon and the word AMP next to its when the story was posted. In addition, AMP-conforming pages get top billing on a carousel in Google’s search results, which is great for publishers who took their time to adopt this standard but with one major caveat. If a reader decides to share the link for your AMP page they found from a search results, the link points to Google instead of the actual source. Why? Because one of the reasons an AMP page loads so quickly is that because it can be served from any caching server, in this case, Google’s AMP cache servers. Historically, a search engine simply acts as a MapQuest but with AMP, Google is taking steps to stockpile contents on its own servers and keeping users inside Google’s ecosystem, no different than what Apple has done for decades.

Those two reasons combined above, basically surrendering your own content to Google and Google giving preferential bias to publishers willing to adopt to its standards could easily be taken as Google strong-arming content creators into its ecosystem. It’s alarming when done by any other company but when it’s a stance adopted by a company whose search engine has a market share of 90%, it is downright dangerous. Even for a business of considerable size, it would still be a monumental risk to be on the opposite side of a company with such pull in the internet, let alone for small companies. A lot of web developers, in particular has taken a strong stance against Google thanks to this. If you’re still keen on relying on AMP pages to boost your visibility on Google’s SERP, then by all means do so, but keep in mind just how much you’re giving up to a company that has, in all practicality, monopolize the internet, if you ever decide to do so.