5 Important Elements When Designing A Logo

Logos are ingrained in our minds much more than we may think. Most people could be presented with the logos of top brands like Nike, Apple, FedEx and many others, and know immediately what they are. So to say that logos are important for building a successful brand is a bit of an understatement. A great logo sets the tone for your company. Yet more importantly, it helps you create that all important brand, what your company is all about; the culture, attitude, and everything else that makes a business unique.

As a graphic designer, you need to understand that. When a company comes to you looking for a logo for their business, they are actually asking you to help them create their brand. You want to create a strong logo that will help a company build their ideal brand that will last them for years. To help you do that, below are 5 elements you should remember when designing a logo.

1) Keep It Simple

One thing all great logos have in common is that they are simple. Think about Nike and you think about the swoosh. Think about Apple and you will, of course, think about the famous apple with a section cut out of it. You want it to be easily recognizable and easy to remember for someone that perhaps just sees the logo for a split second.

2) Memorable

This may seem a little harder to create but you want to create a logo that is easily remembered by people that see it. Think of McDonald’s and the golden arches or Starbucks and the Greek siren that is part of their logo. You want people to be able to recognize the logo easily and yet still stand out from other logos out there.

3) Timeless

Businesses want a logo that will last for years, perhaps even decades, so you don’t want to design a logo that is too trendy and will be out of style in a few years. Go with timeless design elements. A great example would be A&W Root Beer, as their logo hasn’t changed in more than 40 years.

4) Target Audience In Mind

When designing a great logo, it should also be created to reach the target audience of the company. If it’s a logo for an upscale clothing line, you would not want to create a logo like Toys r Us. It’s not representing what the brand is all about. One is trying to portray elegance and fashion, while the other is saying this is the best place in the world for kids.

5) Keep It Versatile

You want a logo to be all the things listed above while also being versatile in the way they can be used. This means that all the elements would still be recognizable even if the colors were inverted or changed a bit. A great example again of this is the Nike swoosh, it wouldn’t matter if the swoosh was white, red, or blue, as you would still recognize what brand it’s representing.


4 Business Card Trends That You Should Know

Business cards are still one of the best ways to showcase your name and/or company, but the days of just having a simple white business card with your information on it and that being enough are long gone. In this day and age, you want to stand out from the crowd, and one of the best ways to do that is through a unique business card: something that portrays what your brand is all about. And let me be clear – whether you are representing a person or company, you are always presenting your brand.

I get many people that come to me wanting business cards and I like to be able to create a unique design for them that will help elevate their brand to the next level. There are 4 business card design trends that you should be aware of that will help you design unique and effective business card designs that will have your clients jumping for joy and giving you referrals all over town.

1) Think Vertical

Traditional business cards are horizontal and are roughly 2”x3.” Just because that’s what has always been done doesn’t mean that’s how it always has to be. A great way to stand out is to simply make the business card vertical. This conveys a unique perspective and stands out from other business cards out there just by the way the text is on the card.

2) Be Double-Sided

Instead of just designing business cards with one side of print on them, utilize both sides of the business card. A great way to do that is to use one side to showcase the information needed, things like name, number, etc, and the backside to display the brand in a vivid and imaginative way.

3) Use Unique Sizes

Traditional business cards are 2”x3,” which means that buisness cards can get lost in the shuffle when someone has many on their desk or in a pile. One way to stand out is to simply design business cards that are larger than the traditional sizes. By doing this, the card that is thrown into a pile will always stand out because it’ll stick out and will draw the eye of the person who has it.

4) Unique Materials

If the ultimate goal of the business and or business card is to stand out from the crowd in a crowded industry, then a great way to do that is to create business cards that are printed onto unique materials other than just paper cardstock. You can get very inventive with this as I’ve seen business cards that are metal, clear plastic, very thick cardstock and even made to resemble a credit card. This does make the cost of the business cards go up, but if you’re working with a company that is really trying to stand out and present themselves as a top line company, then this is a great way to stand out and create a great first impression. This method works great with the 3rd trend in this article, which is to also use unique sizes of business cards with different printing materials.

Web Design Tips For Paintball Websites

The point of establishing a paintball website is to draw in the lovers of the game and to give them something fresh, new and exciting about paintballing to talk about and to experience.

So how do you achieve these objectives? The key is in the design of the website. It is very easy to build a site with forums for paintballers to join, but it is quite another to keep them hooked and bookmark your site. This is how you do it:

Colour Scheme and Background

It may serve you well to have some collage of splotches of paint as your site’s background. Just enough though, so it’s not distracting. If the content is descriptive particularly, it helps to balance the words with the graphics.

Optimization for Mobile Phones

The probability that more than half of your site visitors are going to be accessing it through phones and other portable devices is really high. So tap into this and explain to the programmer that you need a responsive website, one that is also optimized for use on mobile phones rather than desktops alone. Once the site runs smoothly on smartphones, then it is a guarantee that it will work as well on larger devices.


This is the basic element of web design, the point of interaction between the guest and yourself. Your interface itself, minus the site content should be able to draw visitors in and entice them to explore. This means use simple navigation panels, simple language, and toned down colors.

Easy Navigation

This is at the core of your web design plan. In this sense, stay traditional. The easier it is to navigate your site, the more the traffic it is likely to have. What makes navigation simpler? Have navigation icons where people expect them to be.

Choose buttons over text for mobile phone links and text over buttons for desktop sites.


Have different pages for different activities. If you’re selling gear, have appropriate buttons and links. It would be frustrating when all pages and activities are jumbled up. However, it is wise to include links to all pages on the same site, again, keeping these at a minimum and positioned in a clever way.

Suitable Theme and Style

The overall layout of your website should be determined by your ultimate objective. If your goal is to sell paintballing gear for example, get right to it. The links on the home page should be titled as the exact product being sold, those on sale, with accurate descriptions, prices, and modes of payment.


Logos are one of the most important design aspects of a site. It only serves to excite the minds of visitors, especially if it is an intriguing one. Use the trick that search engines do, make the logo a clickable link, to lead users to your home page and to other pages of even more fascinating ideas and games perhaps.

Getting all aspects into one place is indeed a delicate balance. These are just a handful of tips to create an effective site, no matter what its objective. The ultimate tip is to keep it simple without being boring and put up only what is necessary.

Elements Of A Great Logo

When it comes to helping a business stand out from a crowded space, there are many different things that you can do as a graphic designer. A great website is something that can help, of course, but I would argue that a great logo can go a long ways to establish a brand in a new space. Why would major corporations spends millions of dollars when they decide they need a new logo? It’s because they realize how important a strong logo is to a brand. Maybe just as important, they understand how a not-so-great logo can hold a company back.

It’s easy to talk about logos and all that, but I think it’s much more helpful to look at what elements make up a great logo. So to help those of you out that are designing logos or are seeking to get a logo designed for you, I’ll help you out with some examples of elements that make up a great logo.

Apple Computers

Of course, there may be no other iconic logo right now than that of Apple Computers. It’s a simple yet ultra recognizable logo known the world over. So why does it work so well? First off, it’s unique, especially when the company was originally founded. The name itself was distinctive and the logo was just a bite out of an apple; simple yet very different from what was out there. The simplicity of the logo also sets the brand apart, as being minimalist is one of the major design strengths of Apple. They believe that simplicity is beauty and their logo sets the tone for that right off the bat.

Tip: It may not be feasible for your company or the person you are designing for to have a super unique name, but what you can do is try and create a logo that is simple and unique. Obviously this is easier said than done.

Essential Fitness Gear

This is a new fitness company that specializes in weight lifting wrist wraps that are unique with bright and vivid colors that just aren’t seen in that world too often. Their logo is simple yet bold enough that you will more than likely remember it. It fits on a label well and the lettering is large enough that it is even recognizable from a distance, which helps give it brand recognition that it can use to build over time. They are a new company, so time will tell where the brand goes. But I can tell you that the logo definitely helps set the whole tone of the company and give them some boldness in that segment of the market.

Tip: You will want a logo to be easily recognizable with distinct features. This helps over time for people to have brand recognition. This is something that many companies strive for but few ever really reach.


I bring Facebook up because it helps prove the point that a logo can be nothing more than just the name of the company if it is done right. The most recognizable thing about facebook is simply the f that is seen on apps and other widgets online. Getting the right font that helps set the tone for the entire organization goes a long way, but if you have a unique name to work with, this can be a great way to create a memorable logo.

Tip: Again, this comes down to simplicity. There are a few exceptions, like Coca-Cola, but even that one is pretty simple being written in cursive writing. Use your imagination when it comes to font, but shoot for memorable while helping the name of the brand become recognizable.

A Guide to Branding/Marketing For Local Small Businesses

You finally started your new business. Congratulations! It’s what you always wanted to do and now you’re doing it. The problem is customers are few and far between. You have to get the word out to the world that you can do what it is they need you to do better than anyone else. It can be done, but it is going to take developing a brand.

There is power in having a strong brand. A strong brand triggers an immediate response of recognition and trust, from just seeing/hearing the brand name. An example could be seeing a “milk mustache” and immediately thinking “got milk”? Ever see an AT&T commercial? They use three tones. The three tones used in every commercial are unique to AT&T. If you only heard those tones and nothing else, chances are very good you will think of AT&T.

Branding of a product or service takes some forethought. It takes defining exactly what you want to say about your business with just a picture and/or sound. You have to be crystal clear about what supports your business. Then get creative. Dare to be original and different in your approach. No one thinks of tigers when eating breakfast unless you are having Frosted Flakes. Tony the tiger has been hawking cereal for decades. It doesn’t even have to make sense, it just has to make people think of your business. Frontier airlines used “a whole different animal”. It doesn’t really make sense, yet it is a strong brand. I recently saw guy from a pest control company that removes bats from homes who called himself the Batman. Cheesy, but it did make me laugh and remember him.

Strong brands have slogans that are simple and succinct in order to get an immediate response not complex ideas that require more than a glance to recognize what is being conveyed. If the brand is too convoluted, people will just move on and your message will be lost. “Better ingredients, better pizza” is Papa John’s slogan, Four words put together that immediately trigger a response of brand recognition. That is a good example of how slogans help build strong brands.

Developing a strong brand requires time and repetition. You have to commit to building the brand, especially when starting out in business. If you have defined how you want to present your business in a clear and concise manner and have developed a logo and a slogan, the next step is to consistently put your brand out there. Every single medium used to market your business should have your logo and slogan. All of the above examples of branding do this. You will see consistency in their marketing whether it is on the internet, television or print. Most people are busy and aren’t really paying close attention to the barrage of marketing messages being hurled at them every day, It takes seeing and hearing the same message numerous times before it becomes familiar. Once the message is familiar, branding has occurred.

Starting your own business is the first step and you have done that. You are going to need the help of proper branding to set you apart from your competition. Proper branding of your product or service will help you to succeed in your business quicker and more efficiently than without.

Are branding and logos important for a small business?

Does it really matter if you have branding or a logo at all?

Well, yes it does, branding is important, even for a small business. One of the most important thing about it is that is signifies that you are a professional and not an amateur. And it separates you from your competition and helps people to remember who you are. Branding is all about how you’d like people to feel about yourself and your business.

How to improve your branding

1. Define what your brand is and who you target market is and what the needs and concerns are of your customers.

2. Choose a good name that is relevant to your business and has some meaning. Don’t make the mistake of getting a fancy cool name that doesn’t mean anything and gives no indication of what kind of service you offer.

3. Get some strong branding
The most important thing is to get a decent logo, unless you’ve got some talent at doing graphics, don’t try and do it yourself as it is likely to be amateurish, and make your company look amateurish. If you do try and do it yourself ask others for some honest feedback, you may think it looks great but others may not.
It might also be a good idea to get a tagline, which is a meaningful statement that captures the essence of your brand.

It’s good to have some company colors, just one or two works best generally, that you can use on all your marketing materials, your website etc. Don’t use every color in the rainbow as this just looks amateurish.

4. Use your branding consistently
Keep everything consistent both the use of your logo, and the way you present yourself to customers. It looks more professional, and it helps customers to identity with you and remember you.

5. Develop a voice
All businesses have a personality of some kind and you want to develop one as well, either serious or playful, but it is important that customers remember you in some way. Try and keep this voice consistent throughout out all your marketing materials and on your website and in social media

6. Respond to feedback
Pay attention to feedback you get about your logo, slogan or voice. If the feedback is back then change them as much as you can. If your branding is considered poor consider whether you should get an expert to help you out

7. Aim to establish long-term relationships with your customers. Answer their questions on social media and via your website and make them identity with you as a brand and as a company.

If you are looking for website design or graphic design help and particularly if you live in the North London area where we are based – Stroud Green/Crouch End/Finsbury Park then please do contact us here.

Can Good Design Be Ugly?

Jason Fried, Founder of Basecamp Project Management Software said this in 2008: “I still maintain the Drudge Report is one of the best designed sites on the web. Has been for years.” In that post he goes on to ask the question “Can good design be ugly?” This is a reference to most people believing Drudge Report design to be bad.

In this post I want to revisit that question as we recently did some work for a client who thought good design SHOULD be ugly. But first let’s take a look at Drudge Report to see what Jason is talking about.

Looking at DrudgeReport.com

If you didn’t already know DrudgeReport.com is a website that breaks news. The thing is: They don’t write any news articles. The site simply links to other news sites with unique headlines. The site got big when it broke the Monica Lewinsky story before CNN or Fox or any other news outlet. The website is broken down into a headline section and has 3 columns full of headline links below that. The headline section is just a headline and picture. The rest is just text, some of it highlighted red. The website is not fancy or what other designers would call beautiful – but it works. It works for the user and the operator. It is fast loading and has no distractions. And it is obvious what you should be doing which is clicking the news headlines you want to read the story for. Also, the website is run by one guy, Mike Drudge. The site gets about 10 million visitors a month and is run by one guy. Let that sink in. This would be impossible if he had to write entire news articles.

So is Drudge Report both good design and ugly? I would say, yes. Even though I don’t consider to be that ugly. It’s just text. How can text be ugly? Maybe to some. Anyways, let’s move on to how this applies to my previous clients site, PressureWashr.com.

Looking at PressureWashr.com

As an initial example take a look at the Ryobi pressure washer information page he put together. The page is simple and not cluttered. It has a few images but is mostly text with varying sizes for the headlines and sections. So is that page ugly? Is it good design? Again, I don’t think it is all that ugly. Many people would say it is simple and looks generic, but is it not easy to use? There’s no distractions – just information on Ryobi pressure washers.

Again, another page on the site that we helped create in the same vain is the Craftsman pressure washer buyers guide which is again very simple and text based. But is it ugly?

As Jason went on to mention in his post he believes good design is more than just what designers consider beautiful. It is more about serving a purpose. A well designed car makes it comfortable and easy and enjoyable to get from A to B. A well designed mug keeps your hands from getting burnt by hot coffee. And so on.

So to answer Jason’s question of “Can good design be ugly?” My answer would be yes it can be, but it doesn’t have to be. Good design is good design no matter what it looks like.

Announcing the 2015 Web & Logo Design Winner: Austin Spin Cycle

I want to formerly announce the winner of this year’s 2015 Web & Logo Design winner: Austin Spin Cycle.  For the last 3 years, I have picked one lucky organization to whom I launch a free website for, completely set up and ready to share with all the logos and design already finalized.  Since I have begun this blog, I have been blessed with so many wonderful followers and learned so much from the online community that I was compelled to give back.  The only way I know how to give back is to through my passion of web and graphic design.

Each year, and endless stream of requests get sent to me to become the lucky winner.  Picking the winner is equally the most fun and the most stressful thing about my job.  I strive to choose an organization that gives back to their community and could truly benefit their greater community if they had a larger online presence.  That is why this year I chose Austin Spin Cycle.

Austin Spin Cycle is situated in Austin, Texas and is a small gym dedicated to spin cycle classes and outdoor trail rides.  Their passion is cycling, both indoor training and outdoor training.

What made me fall in love with this company is their commitment to their community.  Austin has a large population of homeless individuals and Austin Spin Cycle has made it their mission to help the homeless in any way they can.  The company makes sure three unique things are done to help this population.  Every single employee of Austin Spin Cycle is asked to volunteer at a soup kitchen at least once per month to benefit the homeless population.  Homeless individuals are granted jobs at Austin Spin Cycle, as long as they agree to volunteer at the soup kitchen and respect their allotted shifts.  Lastly, Austin Spin Cycle has partnered with bikecompanion.com and a local non-profit that shelters the homeless.  Any member of the shelter can receive a pass that allows them to exercise up to four times a week.  Austin Spin Cycle believes that exercise helps to clear the mind and body and if a member of the homeless population betters themselves physically, they may have the drive to find a way out of homelessness.  I love that they believe even as something as small as a spin class can lead to greater social change.

What I did for Austin Spin Cycle was set them up with a brand new, sleek website that outlines their mission and goals as well as the obvious membership pricing and hours of operation.  To go one step further, I organized some social media presence and taught their employees how to continue to operate the social media handles for free.  I even raised some money to buy Austin Spin Cycle some swag – new shirts, coffee mugs, pens, sweat bands complete with their new logo.  I truly believe with all of these new outlets, not only will their membership base grow, but also the community support of the homeless.  I wish this company nothing but luck, and of course will follow up with them in a few months so you can all see how they are doing!

Real Estate Website Development

We all have certain niches that we do well with and find a sweet spot in. For whatever reason, mine has been working with real estate companies and individual agents. Helping them create branding through great websites is just something that I am good at and also enjoy. The interesting thing that I read about all the time is how people in web design and other industries despise working with real estate agents, usually claiming they are difficult to work with, can never hold their attention during meetings, and have just overall bad experiences. Well, my motto has always been to try and make the most money I can and help the most people I can, so I don’t think you should ever steer clear of a specific industry unless you have moral issues against it. For those that have never worked with real estate agents and are afraid to, for whatever reason, I’m writing this to help you with some tips to dealing with them and how to help them make a great website along the way.

Trust Building

Many times real estate agents get lumped into the same category as used car salesmen. Since that’s the general public’s perception of them, it’s important to help them build trust. It’s easier than ever on the internet to do this because you can pull back the curtain and show the unique personality of a real estate agent, which helps build trust. If someone feels like they already know you before they even meet you, then you’ve built up trust in their eyes (assuming what they feel they know about you is good anyway).

I recently did this when a young real estate agent came to me and was wanting to help build up trust to prospective clients. So I went with the name Trusted Missouri Realtors and then made him a whole new website and titled it very simply www.trustedmissourirealtors.com. You may think that sounds cheesy or trying too hard to state something, but it’s not. People are more likely to believe something you tell them, especially if you’re new. So in this case, we are telling people that the people that work at this realty company are trusted. It sounds cheesy, I know, but it works. Find out other ways to build trust for your clients as well.

Be Unique

The thing that can be tough about working with real estate clients is that they all tend to blend together. Nothing really sets them apart from others. So, to help your client become a well known realtor, you should help them build a unique presence, especially in the online world. There is no secret recipe to do this and every area is different, so try and find out what is different about them compared to all the other agents in the area. Real estate is a regional industry, so look around at big cities and find someone that does something you like and apply it to your client’s area. You’ll have to be unique in finding ways to help your realtor be seen as unique.

Show Success Stories

One of the easiest things to do that will help establish someone as an expert (which is what you want to do in this case) is to show past success stories. Show homes that the agent has sold in the past (successful ones I might add) and try and round up testimonials from satisfied clients. People tend to trust things that other people, besides the real estate agent, have told them. You can even take this a step further and create a YouTube video for the site that has happy clients talking about their experience working with the agent. This is a tactic that I have used many times and it works great.

The Right Tools – Why They’re Important for a Graphic Designer

As a graphic designer, I really can’t stress enough the importance of getting the right tools for the job. You might think that the tools that you are using right now are enough, but trust me there will come a time when you need to upgrade not only the tools that you use, but your internal “tool” as well.

When I was just starting out as a novice graphic designer, I got a second-hand desktop computer when the original owner wanted to get a better one. The guy was a professional graphic designer and he and I became good friends because I’d help him out with some of his projects. Of course, the pay was not that good, but it’s something that I can use for daily spending. When I managed to save some money, I decided to buy his computer so I could replace the one that I have. Back in the day, I thought that it was good enough. Unfortunately, it wasn’t.

His computer was not exactly what I thought it would be. I only realized a few days later after the purchase that the reason why he sold his old computer is because he wanted an upgrade. What I basically got was not a superior machine, but a hand-me-down. I basically suffered because of my impulsive judgment. I couldn’t get a good opportunity as a graphic artist because my tools weren’t good enough.

That happened ten years ago. Now that I’m a little older (I’d like to think that I am a little wiser), I want to impart a few words of the wise to those young hopefuls out there:

1. Never buy second-hand computers and graphic tablets – Unless you have budget constraints, you should buy a brand new computer, graphic tablet, and any other tool you would use. Sure, you might save a few dollars by buying second-hand stuff, but just think of the problems you’ll get because the stuff you bought didn’t work well. Again, the reason why the owners are selling them cheap is because they’re too old and no one would bother buying them at their original price.

2. Internet connection is everything – You may have the best tools for the trade, but if your Internet connection is extremely slow and unreliable, then don’t expect clients to give you work. Back in the day, I got a residential plan for my Internet connection because I thought this would help me save some money. However, problems started to arrive when I can’t send huge files because my data plan is not that powerful. Now I’m running on Broaconnect.com high speed business internet and believe me, the investment is worth it.

3. Accept criticism and advice – Finally, be prepared to accept advice and criticism, especially from professional graphic designers. Back then, I got hurt whenever a top graphic designer would criticize my work. Years later, I realized that criticism actually helps on improving one’s skills. So always listen whenever your superiors give you important advice.

A Rice Cooker Logo and a Paddleboard Logo

Simple and memorable are two words you can use to describe a good logo, whether it is a text logo (like this one on a site about paddleboarding and surfing) or a mixed text and image logo (like this one on a rice cooker review site). You won’t even want to look at the web page, brochure, or company report if the logo is unprofessional in it’s complexity. At the very least you will feel that something is off about an organization if its logo is uninteresting or weird.

To make a really good logo that is complex is much more difficult than making one that is simple and professional. The more elements there are to any visual the more difficult it is to make all those elements harmonize. With a simple logo like the one on the train in the picture accompanying this post there is no problem with balancing and harmonizing different parts of the logo or different colors in the logo. The CN is one shape and one color. It is striking, memorable, and long-lasting. The CN logo was created in 1960 and has not changed at all since then. Perhaps that is another word we can use to describe a good logo: long-lasting. If an organization feels no need to change a logo, even if it is a conservative organization like CN, then we can rest assured that the logo is good quality and doing its job.

So we don’t expect our two logos from small websites about rice cookers and paddleboards to attain to the high quality of the CN logo but are they good? Are they good enough? The logo for the paddleboard and surfing site is simple and recognizable. It is perhaps not memorable but it looks professional. The text kerning is good and the font color is somewhat variable; it looks like the logo creator took an outline of the text and selected a water image to fill in the letters. On the page itself the logo looks a little lost in space, it might work to have a header background to keep the image company. Though the search field to the right does serve to balance the logo there is a lot of white space between the two. So we’ll give it a passing grade!

The logo for the rice cooker site is a little more complex than the surfer website’s. It incorporates a cartoon-like graphic element as well as two colours of text. It is still a good logo in that it shows the website visitor that the site is at least somewhat professional. The text colours harmonize with the colours of the cartoon rice cooker. The text colours for “rice cooker goodness” are a little faint, or put another way are lacking in punch. Something is needed to make the text stand out more — perhaps a stronger drop shadow?

At any rate whether you are trying to design your own logo or are finding a designer to do a logo for you two important things to remember are simple and memorable.

SEO Practices for the Mobile Web

It’s actually funny how many web designers fail to see the importance in not just designing an SEO friendly website, but a website that is friendly for mobile and tablet users. Within the past few years, there has been a tremendous rise for searches on-the-go. So it’s more important today, than ever before, that SEO specialists not only prioritize traditional SEO practices, but mobile SEO practices.

How Search Engines Work

For the majority of search engines, such as Google, Bing and Yahoo, the indexing process consists of three components:

  • The Crawler: This is where the crawlers visit the website, and all the outbound links.
  • The Indexer: This stores the content found by the crawler in their databases.
  • The Query Processor: This processor matches the queries submitted by various internet users to relevant pages in the database.

The Traditional Way of SEO

The traditional way of SEO in the past was by focusing on desktop development and desktop website optimization. And for the majority of history, most internet users have browsed the web on desktop computers. However, this is beginning to change.

Mobile Specific SEO Design

Back in December, Google released a crawler called Googlebot-Mobile. This was a crawler which ran off the same Googlebot platform, but was geared specifically to mobile sites. And in April, 2015, Google started to roll out a new algorithm which would rank mobile websites separately from desktop sites.

Now, there is an increasing amount of mobile specific websites to cater specifically to mobile users and mobile search results. Many of these sites are set up on completely separate URLs such as domain.mobi or m.domain.com.

While this is great, it may pose the risk of getting penalized for duplicate content by having two websites with the same content. Separate pages may also dilute the link juice obtained from inbound links from other websites. However, there is another solution to having a mobile-friendly site.

Responsive Web Design and SEO

A responsive web design will save you from a duplicate content penalty. The way responsive designs work is by restructuring the web page so that it’s properly visible across a variety of devices online. So for example, when a page gets loaded on a mobile phone with a certain screen resolution, there are a certain set of instructions given to the phone’s browser on how to load and structure the page.

The biggest benefit of having a responsive design is that it protects you from the risk of a duplicate content penalty. It also allows you to focus all your efforts on one webpage, and it allows all the inbound links to go to one specific webpage as well. This means that all the authority from linking sites is not diluted between two duplicate pages of the site, but all concentrated onto one page.

However, if you must design a separate mobile website, it’s highly recommended that you ensure the content delivered on the mobile website is unique and different from that on the desktop site. This would protect you from future duplicate content penalties from search engines.