The year 2019 was a big year for me at Lara Lee Design. In 2018, I finally made the switch from working under Avian Design & Development to my own name, Lara Lee Design. By the end of 2018, I finally migrated all my things to the new platform at www.laralee.design. With a fresh start in 2019, I launched a new content strategy and new SEO game plan, making these the top 10 posts of 2019.
My Year in Review
I tried something new in 2019: Yoast.
Within the first 90 days of optimizing my site content with keywords, I experienced increases of 1,935% in organic searches, 294% in sessions, and 297% in users. (Keep in mind these numbers are so high, because I had nothing in the beginning!)
I also broke apart something old in 2019: permalinks.
Although still small, my site retains a steady trend of upward growth. I had to make a tough call: continue the default
yyyy/mm/dd/%post-name% permalink structure, or switch to pretty links. Research from Chis Coyier and Neil Patel offered pros and cons to each side. Ultimately, I decided to break my permalink structure. A devastating move which basically killed site traffic and halted my upward trend of growth, my new pretty link structure is nonetheless easier for users to find and remember. Indeed, my upward trend came back after a month-long plateau, and my site is stronger for it.
Finally, I made several tweaks as well, including updating my taxonomies and blog categories to topics my users want to see the most.
My top 10 blog posts of 2019 make the top category clear: Adobe Tutorials.
Top 10 Blog Posts
#1 Top Post:
How to Make Custom Post Types with Elementor Pro
- How to Make Custom Post Types with Elementor Pro
- 18 Performance Boosts to Fix Slow Adobe CC
- How to Use Photoshop: Batch Save Images for Web
Web Development Tutorials
- How I Manually Added a Custom Post Type in WordPress with PHP and ACF
- How to Use InDesign: Liquid Layouts
- How to Use InDesign: Mouse Rollovers
- How to Use Illustrator: Opacity Masks
- How to Use After Effects: Animate a 3D Card Flip
- How to Use After Effects: Animate Along a Path
I am surprised to see the Adobe Tutorials take off so much since there is a plethora of information online. However, I try to write each tutorials from the eyes of a complete newb. Furthermore, each tutorial ends with a FAQ and/or troubleshooting guide to summarize solutions to common problems. As a result, this tutorial strategy has really resonated with my readers.
Blogging is just a hobby for me. While I have no aspirations of becoming a professional blogger, I enjoy teaching myself new design and development tricks, documenting solutions to obstacles I face, and researching things I don’t yet know. The popularity of Adobe Tutorials in my top 10 posts of 2019 suggest I’m the only one! However, these blog posts are some of my personal favorites of 2019.
How to Use After Effects: Animate a 3D Card Flip
Tutorials are a must for graphic designers to continuously educate themselves and expand their skills. This is the most complicated After Effects tutorial I wrote this year. It took me three weeks to write! I also wanted to provide clear instructions every step of the way. Screenshots and illustrated guides help readers advance through this popular animation technique. (This blog post also made my top 10!)
Takeaways from Your Favorite Graphic Design Trends
Critical thinking is easily one of the top skills junior designers must develop to become senior designers and directors. While graphic design trends are just that—trendy—they nevertheless offer valuable lessons worth applying to all designs in the future.
Why Extended RGB Gamuts Are Changing Web Design
Web Design Tech
This techy article explores the advancements of the hardware and technology web designers use everyday to represent color. Find the answer to the question of whether RGB and HEX are the same thing? (Hint: they’re not!)
How to Do Client Research During the Brand Process
Branding with Peer Analysis & Competitor AnalysisStrategy
These sister articles were my top performers on LinkedIn. Nearly every designer works with branding. However, the temptation to jump into creating art can distract designers from the research needed to inform their designs and find success.
Twenty 2020 Web Design Trends
As 2019 comes to an end, look ahead for the big web design trends of 2020! Find creative inspiration from over 50+ live examples in the wild of designers and agencies already creating for the future.