A guide to initially improve your website's Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
As a small business, ODI recognises the importance of ranking high in search engines like Google, in order to attract potential clients. Having recently had the big job of relaunching our website, we found it needed a lot of focus. So we decided to write this quick “guide” for anyone else that is trying to improve their Google rankings. 1. Set up a Google Business accountThis is pretty self explanatory, but having your company listed on Google is very easy, it’s free and enables you to appear in local search results – start small, right? This is also great to link to which is essential in order to understand your customers’ behaviour on your site. 2. Mobile friendly sites are keyWho doesn’t use their phone to look up stuff on the internet these days? You’d be very silly not to make sure that your site works perfectly on mobile platforms, and you could certainly lose a lot of potential customers if you don’t. These days a lot of web building platforms automatically do this for you, quickly and cheaply with plugins for your, so you really don’t have any excuses! 3. Keyword SearchesThis is by far the most important but equally the trickiest – you need to identify keywords that you can use throughout your website, ie. identify the search terms that people use in order to find your type of product/service. You will most likely need to do some keyword research and identify gaps in the market, because if you are using the same keywords as your bigger competitors you won’t really be getting any higher than them in Google searches as they are more established, and will most likely have more coverage online. 4. Online Tools for the winGoogle Keyword Planner is a great online tool that help you identify keyword gaps in the market and help you capitalise on this aspect of your site.Another great tool is Google Webmaster/Google Search Console which helps you track your site’s search performance, and provides you with a wealth of information to help improve the performance and any errors you may have. Give it a go, it’s also free! 5. Images/ALT TextOne of the most time-consuming jobs (but it’s worth it in the end) – if you run a heavily image based website like ours, then you need to optimize the SEO on these images! Start with the file name – this shows up in your website HTML so make sure you include your keywords here too so that the images show up high in search engines! Alt text is where it can get painful, as you need to your images – this is what will show up if the image won’t load or if someone is visually impaired, but it will also hugely help your Google ranking as you can include keywords here too! Think of it like, Google can’t ‘see’ your images but it certainly can ‘read’ them! The Alt text needs to be clear, concise and not use too many keywords – you are describing the image! 6. Backlinks!Internal and external linking is important for SEO as you are linking relevant topics and themes together in a sensible way – not only for website readers but more importantly for search engines. These links help establish the authenticity and credibility of your business, so it’s important to only use helpful links and avoid unrelated ones, as this may harm your rankings.Social Media is a safe bet when it comes to backlinks, not to mention the mass audience that it reaches, making it a very effective online marketing tool. You should really try to link as much of your business’s website onto your social media accounts as possible (without spamming your followers, of course!).Press releases/Blog mentions are another great way to get some backlinks to your website, although this can be very pricey. If you want to go the cheap way you could try free press websites like PRWeb.com, or try posting your links in the comments of relevant blogs or forums. As you will be aware of, SEO and online marketing is very time-consuming, and it can take a while to see exponential results, but if you start will these simple steps, then soon your website will be ranking on the first page of Google!Good Luck! :) By Savannah Rado
10 weeks as an intern at ODI by Savannah Rado
I joined ODI after graduating, for a 3 month internship as a Junior Designer. This blog post is about my time and what I learnt.
Spotlight: Interview with Rowena Aitken
Rowena is a brilliant illustrator based in Scotland - we just had to know more about her charmingly mad characters! From starting out in RPG and fantasy illustration to your recent quirky and fun characters, you've maintained a healthy population of adventurous pirates, warriors and dinosaurs in space in your portfolio - could you tell me more about your own artistic adventure?I suppose I have always been on an artistic adventure - always drawing! I started finding my voice at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design where I started off on the foundation course and moved onto Animation & Electronic Media. The drawing side of animation was what I loved and I dug my heels in to stay away from learning 3D software! I love the freedom of drawing and it was clear after graduating that I wouldn't be happy doing anything else for a living so I boldly went into doing freelance illustration for RPG books and games. This taught me a lot and mainly that clients are (amazingly) people and while you have to maintain a level of professionalism you can have a lot of good banter! Over the years I have had many fun projects but I suppose my heart lay in "The Silly". I love silly expressions, fun colours, exaggerated poses - extremes, really! I made a deliberate move to go into children's illustration and I utterly adore it. You've recently finished working on a book called 'Ruan The Little Red Squirrel' - how did you build a working relationship with writer Rachel McGraw to bring the characters to life?Well thanks to the power of the internet this was made relatively easy! Forth Books, publishers of "Ruan The Little Red Squirrel" and Rachel are based near Edinburgh so in a combination of a few meetings and lots of emails we crafted the story of Ruan. Forth and Rachel are lovely to work with and I think it shows in the final product. Could you tell us a little more about the picture book you're working on at the moment? I can! The story is called The Kilted Coo - Rachel McGaw's second venture into children's books with Forth Books. Here's a poem by Rachel from her Facebook Page to tell you a little about The Kilted Coo:Facebook friends, if I could have a moment or two...I have some exciting news for you -I'm thrilled to announce that book number two Is on the way about a coo called Drew.Most of the details are still under wraps But for now I'll give you some of the facts:Illustrated by Rowena, published by Forth,I hope it'll be a hit here, up North.In case you haven't worked it out by nowIt's a rhyming story about a highland cow,Set on a farm on the West Highland Way About a cow and a kilt... and that's all I'll say!So please feel free to like and share(To spread the news everywhere)And look out for 'The Kilted Coo'In a bookshop soon somewhere near you!It's incredibly fun to work on as animals are my favourite thing to draw. There may be cameos from Pixel (The Studio Cat), some y-fronts and a certain Little Red Squirrel! What's your working process from inkling of an idea to fully-fledged Photoshop painting?Ooh it's a long one! If it's a book I start off by going through the story and reading any notes the author and/or publisher have added; If it's a painting I look at the brief or go with my own ideas if they're personal pieces then spend time looking for reference images of animals, environments, people, clothing etc to get the ideas going. Then I start VERY rough by scribbling out thumbnails - combo of digital and paper - to work out compositions. Then I mock up the pages, working out text placement (if this hasn't already been defined by the client), plan out characters, work out a rough colour scheme (this is all very messy!) and somewhere in between there and the finished piece the art happens! Lots of coffee helps too :) I loved the 'Haggis: a Simple Guide' - does the Haggis have a way to defend itself against the predatory Nessie and midgies?Thank you! For the Haggis avoidance is the best strategy but unfortunately they aren't very bright and can sometimes end up too close to the water's edge!Regarding midgies - no one can escape them! Revise your Haggis knowledge and see Rowena's brilliant work here
At Oxford Designers & Illustrators, we offer a comprehensive service to see your project through from plan to print, or assist with the workflow at any stage between.
We have been known as specialist designers and illustrators of educational books for over 40 years, but we have also produced a huge range of design material for businesses, colleges, museums, government departments, charities and much more.
Our team includes designers, illustrators, typesetters and proof-readers, all of whom bring traditional standards to bear on modern technology.
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
English language teaching, educational, self-publishing
Publicity, programmes, logos, websites and much more
From medical and technical to cartoons and comics
Bring your project to life
Copy editing & proof reading
Artwork by Dave Cockburn
Suite M, Kidlington Centre
High St, Kidlington