2014 List of Top 5 Free Online Web Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tools

Every good web designer and developer has a toolkit of online sites that are their go-to for website optimization. There are hundreds out there on the Internet. Here are my picks for free online website tools that will help to make your life easier. Tools I use on a regular basis.

Google Analytic - Website Statistics Tool
This is an obvious one, but let’s be honest, Google Analytics is the standard in website traffic tools. Everyone uses it, it’s constantly evolving. You can look at others for reference, but nothing really competes. My favorite functions are creating custom dashboards, visitor’s flow and in-page analytics (the last one doesn’t always load.)

WooRank - SEO Analysis Tool
This is a great SEO, Social Media, Mobile and Conversions testing tool. Get a free report on what you need to do for improving your website. Generate a nicely designed report for you clients.

SpyFu - Competitor Analysis Tool
Is a sneaky way to get an idea on how much the competition is spending on online advertising. So when you’re client complains that the competition appears higher them on Adwords, here is a tool to show them it’s because they are spending hundreds more.

XML Sitemap Generator - Sitemap Tool
Every website needs a site map to be optimized and indexed with Google and Bing. This is a very easy, free tool that will automatically generate an XML site map and provide multiple file options for download. There is a paid software tool you can download if you work on a lot of websites.

ClickTale – Heat Mapping ToolI have posted about this site before and it’s good to mention again because there are not a lot of heat mapping tools out there and this one gives you a free sampling. It provides more insight than the In-Page Analytic tool offered by Google.  Seeing where users move there mouse and hover can be pretty eye opening.

What is your favorite tool?

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Posted in Marketing, Web Design

Stop Bad Logo Usage! The Clean Logo Initiative

This is a public service message to all business owners and graphic designers. If you place your company logo on a colored background or image, DO NOT leave a white box or rough white edge surrounding your logo. Clean it up! Use a transparent background. Please, we beg of you,  you are causing eye sores, it’s painful. If you know someone who suffers from sloppy logo usage, forward them this picture. Help save a logo.


Example of Bag Logo Practices

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Posted in Design

Upcoming Event: Insider Insights from an Expert Online Marketer

Editor of YDG, Rebecca Adolf will be speaking at

Inaugural Digital Megaphone Social Media & PR Measurement Summit

Program Description

Learn tips and tricks from seasoned online marketer, Rebecca Adolf as she walks through live case studies demonstrating how to analyze a brand’s social media presence and website interface.  The analysis will include how to discover weaknesses and potential areas to maximize.

This session will include the latest tactics for making sure traffic driven to your website from social media converts to leads. Tools such as heat maps, A/B testing and Custom Google Analytic Dashboards, demonstrated using real life client examples.

You’ll walk away with a better understand of online tools and reports that can help give greater insight into your brand’s online presence and target audience to create qualified leads and how to use your expertise and knowledge to find unique opportunities by looking at your brand from a different perspective.

You’ll also learn how to maximize a website’s effectiveness across multiple desktop and mobile platforms.

Friday, November 15th
9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Microsoft Innovation Center, Chicago, IL

Register Online

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Posted in Business, Expert Advice, Marketing, Networking

How to Get Approached for Design Jobs on LinkedIN

A couple of years ago when I was thinking about changing companies, my brother-in-law, whom is also in the design field (web developer), kept mentioning how he was being approached by big companies for job positions. I asked him how are they contacting him, he responded LinkedIN. So I immediately I reviewed his profile to determine what he was doing to get noticed and figured out a few key tactics to improve my chances and it worked! In today’s market even with the high unemployment rate, finding experienced experts can be tough for employers, especially in a specialized field like design. Recruiters are using LinkedIN to proactively find candidates that fits the bill. Here are some tips to get on their radar:

Makes sure to include you contact information. (Duh!!) Do not make it hard to contact you or see your work.
Type Your Full Name and Link to Your Website Portfolio in Your Introduction Paragraph
Unless, the viewer has upgraded their account and are shelling out $100.00 a month for an executive profile. They will not see your full name or portfolio. This is a “cheat”, but it works.

LinkedIN Tips
Make sure to include all the pertinent skills (keywords) so you will show up in the search, but don’t lie about your skill level. Ex. “Advanced Knowledge of HTML, CSS, SEO. Beginner Level: PHP, JavaScript, Jquery”

Behance Plugin
You can create a Behance profile, connect it and show examples of your work right on your LinkedIN profile. How to add links:

1. Go to “Edit Profile”

2. Click on “Add Link”Adding portfolio to linkedin

3. Paste the Behance Link or What ever Image link you want.

4. Post and rearrange in preferred order.

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Posted in All, Business, Job Preparation, Jobs

Social Media Week Chicago | Registration Open!

Social Media Week Sign up

InSITEs: Looking at Websites Through the Eyes of an Online Marketer

Visual aids and case studies of how an Online Marketer analyzes a client’s social media presence and website interface, including the weaknesses we discover and potential areas to maximize. We will present the latest tactics for making sure the traffic driven to your website from social media converts to leads. Tools such as heat maps, A/B testing and Custom Google Analytic Dashboards, demonstrated using real life client examples.

This program will help business owners understand there are online tools and reports that can help give greater insight into their online presence and target audience to create qualified leads. Also, how online marketers use their expertise and knowledge to find unique opportunities by looking at their business from a different perspective.



Chicago Online Marketing Speaker

Rebecca Adolf, Young Designer’s Guide Editor and Senior Designer at Impact Networking

Rebecca Adolf has more than 10 years of experience in search engine optimization and online marketing. She recently produced an online video project that placed third in the Career Builder Big Strides in Small Business contest. She was featured in the people section of the September 2012 issue of Graphic Design USA magazine, and her industry-related blog, The Young Designer’s Guide, was a suggested source for art and design by BBC.co.uk. Over the years, she has presented to several professional groups on various online marketing topics.



Impact Networking – 55 West Monroe Street, Suite 400 Chicago, IL 60603

Lunch will be served.

Lunch at 11:30am
Presentation at 12:30pm – 1:30pm

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Posted in Marketing, Networking, Web Design
"I am actually a great fan of scope creep. I actively encourage it."... via @ydesignersguide