3 Graphic Design Standards You Should Follow in 2019
Content and search engine marketing are increasingly bound with graphic design services. Impactful graphics help establish a brand’s identity and raise brand awareness; effective visuals help capture attention and engagement on websites and social media. According to HubSpot, images are the most important type of content for 32% of marketers, and crafting visual assets is a strategic priority for 51%.
With the proliferation of visual content, it’s essential that you uphold design standards as you plan your own assets. Meeting these will help your content satisfy the requirements of digital audiences and criteria for higher search engine visibility.
Establish a visual hierarchy
Good graphic design follows a visual hierarchy—a strategic arrangement of colors, fonts, and other graphic elements that signal which information people should look at first. This is at work whenever you see the following:
Logos on top of a page, where they consistently remain on view
Titles and headers in a bigger and bolder typeface than body text
Highlighted text, like quotes, set against a different background
A visual hierarchy makes webpages and infographics visually interesting. It also helps people scan and digest content more easily.
Why is this important? It’s not just because you want people to understand what you’re saying. People are more likely to stay longer on a webpage they can easily navigate, or share an infographic they can quickly understand. Search engines consider the length of time people stay on a page to determine its relevance. It’s in your best interest to craft visuals that make people continue browsing.
Optimize graphics for the web
Page loading time also impacts search engine visibility. Google uses it to determine page rankings. BBC reports 50% of people won’t wait more than three seconds for an online store to load.
Design your webpages to load faster by streamlining graphics. As much as possible, decrease the sizes and number of images you feature. A web-optimized image has the following specs:
Size: 100 kb or smaller
Resolution: 72 dpi
Type: JPEG (best quality for the smallest size)
Note that publishing images for social media comes with its own optimization guidelines:
Facebook: 1,200 x 630 pixels (landscape)
Twitter: 1,200 x 600 or smaller, with a 2:1 ratio
LinkedIn: 700 x 400 pixels
Remember: you can optimize all your graphics, but they will still fall flat if they don’t effectively communicate your message. To achieve a balance, collaborate with a content marketing agency that understands best practices in both online branding and graphic design.
Prepare graphics for responsive design
Ultimately, make your visuals mobile responsive to ensure they reach a wider audience. Mobile responsive designs adjust automatically to fit any device’s screen without losing readability.
Some web designers opt to craft three different layouts for small, medium, and large screens. Each has the same text and graphics following your visual hierarchy, but certain elements need to be scaled so they display properly across devices. Other designers use fluid layout to achieve the same responsive design.
Mobile responsiveness is another key to search engine visibility: not only do 48% of people research information about brands on mobile, according to HubSpot; mobile responsiveness also improves site usability, load times, social sharing, and the time people spend on a page.
Consult a content marketing agency with expertise in graphic design services to determine how else visual content can boost search engine performance.