Design Fridge: “So you’ve just completed the first year for Become Known, how has it gone?”
James Yorke: “It’s been tough but going really well. Starting a business during a recession was always going to be difficult but there is work out there. I think if the work you do is useful, you won’t be too badly hit by a recession. I look for good clients to work with; people who have a great idea for a website and something people want and who understand, to a certain degree, and appreciate what I do.”
DF: “What do you have planned for this year?”
JY: “Well at the moment I’m looking at building up my own portfolio of income-generating and creative websites which don’t depend on my time but work on their own and I can get other people involved and produce some exciting and creative work. Watch this space!”
DF: “As anyone working in online industries will know, things are constantly evolving. How has your approach to online marketing changed with the growth of social media?”
JY: “Social media has created a whole new way that people can promote themselves and their businesses. It gives ways of connecting with your target market that aren’t available through any other medium. For me, the great thing about them is that it allows companies to be transparent and to show people the inside of a company as opposed to broadcasting. They can now interact more and, in some industries, companies HAVE to interact more. So this has changed my approach in that I now have to encourage a change in culture for many companies.”
DF: “When it comes to SEO, what are the 5 most important things, designers should consider when planning/building a new site.”
- The keywords you wish to target.
- Website structure so that it targets those keywords in the best way possible.
- Text on the page (sorry!)
- Internal links with keywords in the link text.
- Off-site links point back to different pages on your site.
DF: “More text on the page! Can it be white text on a white background in a 4px font-size?”
JY: “Ha ha , unfortunately not! The search engines love text and use to get a feel for what the page is about. When thinking about keyword density within the text on a page, you could look at between 2% and 5%. There are tools online that will tell you what the density of each word on your page is. However, I find that just writing naturally generally seems to work out with the keyword density being about right!”
DF: “If a designer wanted to start actively marketing their site what tips and advice would you give them?”
JY: “Create good quality content on your own website. This is easier than most for designers as people love linking to a website that looks great. I would contact people who you think would link to your website and tell them about it. Bloggers are always looking for content so its always a great idea to strike up relationships with these people as they can help you out in terms of awareness and linking to your website for direct traffic/SEO.”
DF: “So basically there are no shortcuts, but if you build things up properly the rest will follow?”
JY: “Yep! You have to be prepared to give away a lot for free, especially in the early days, when marketing a website in all of the various ways. This will be your time, effort, products, services, and information. Google started off with a search engine, got everyone to keep coming back because they had the search engine and then worked out the rest after that. Be the best at what you do and the best form of marketing, word-of-mouth, will take care of the rest.”
DF: “You regularly attend Tuttle Meetups, which I would describe as bite-size networking events. What are the benefits of this type of social networking apposed to the online type?”
JY: “You get out of the office! It’s a great way to meet link-minded people. Tuttle is great because its not based around getting work but about creating debate, talking about inspiring things and basically coming up with ways to make the world a better place. I find that once I meet like minded people who I enjoy talking to, work generally comes out of it but it’s the type of work which will really inspire and not just that which will pay the bills.”
DF: “I really need to get out of the office. (sigh) Need to be more organised and just plan it into my diary. When’s the next one?”
JY: “There was another one recently that I arranged. There aren’t any lined up at the moment but it isn’t owned by any one person so anyone can arrange something at anytime. Design Fridge could arrange a Tuttle meetup! You would definitely have to get out of the office then! Twitter also seems to be encouraging local meet-ups of people who work with the web and I think that’s the greatest aspect of Twitter – how it seems to be a starting point for people to actually meet up and work together or just talk about stuff.”
DF: “And finally to wrap up…Regarding online marketing and SEO, can you recommend any sites or networks we should bookmark or people worth following on twitter?”
JY: “There are lots of good sites out there which deal with SEO and online marketing and I think most people need to find what suits them. One site that suits me is doshdosh.com which is by one online marketer who provides online marketing tips and his posts always inspire me and make me think. Another obvious recommendation would be Seth Godin’s blog.”
DF: “Seth Godin! I take it he knows his stuff, especially having ‘god’ in his name?”
(Whilst on the topic of Seth Godin, there’s a site the fridge called Seth Said, which is focused on gathering some of Seth’s best quotes. Have a look if you’ve not seen it – a really nice clean design.)
JY: Well yeah, he is regarded as something of a marketing guru. He concentrates on all forms of marketing but to be good at online marketing and SEO, it’s key that you have at least an understanding of all forms of marketing and what makes people tick. Seth seems to have a great insight into these things.
DF: Thanks for the chat James. If anyone’s got any questions for you how should they get in touch?