When it comes to keeping your finger on the pulse, there are certain facts about SEO that every business manager should know.

SEO is hugely important when it comes to a company’s digital performance and plays a massive role in ensuring a business' online presence is exactly where it should be.

Don’t let your business become MIA. Become a SERP VIP with this handy rundown of SEO facts every business manager should know.

 

seo facts, facts about seo 

 

Key SEO Facts

The world of SEO can be a complex one to navigate, particularly if you aren’t necessarily an expert in the field. Luckily, you don’t need to understand the intricacies of SEO to make it in the world of business, but it does help to know the basics.

If you’re a business manager looking to sharpen your SEO skills, here are a few key pointers that are well worth keeping in your mental back pocket for a rainy day.

  

Quality Matters

While content may indeed be king, it is definitely possible to have too much of a good thing. Churning out content can risk a dip in quality, watering down the overall effectiveness as a result.

In addition to ranking higher in search engines, quality content can strengthen customer relationships greatly, leading your followers to actively seek out your posts.

Conversely, poor quality content can have the opposite effect and put people off, sometimes damaging customer relationships irreparably. As such, it’s important to exercise quality over quantity.

Some of the best content often tends to be evergreen, unique and authoritative, which can, in turn, open your site up to a world of in-roads from elsewhere. Which leads us nicely into our second point…

 

Link Building

Creating original, authoritative content that provides a unique, informed perspective can attract other content providers to link back to you as a source. This will give your site more credibility in the eyes of Google and allow you to rank higher in the SERP as a result.

Similarly, developing relationships with other sites for mutual linking purposes can prove to be extremely beneficial, providing much of the same results. Like any business, synergistic relationships are a key to success and SEO links are no different.

Think of your site as a restaurant: the more recommendations you get from customers, peers and industry stalwarts, the better your reputation is and the more trusted and established successful your brand becomes as a result.

 

Internal Links

In addition to external links, linking internally to other pages within your own site can also be a great way to improve site traffic and secure conversions.

Wowing your patron with a stunning steak dinner only to direct them to the pancake house across the street for dessert makes no business sense. The same principle can be applied to web links.

If you’ve hooked your visitor with the content on one page, they’re far more likely to visit another page on your site. Strengthen that relationship with internal links to other relevant topics of interest to make the most of your audience while you have their attention.

 

Everything in Moderation

While it may seem logical to implant relevant SEO keywords wherever possible to enhance your Google rankings for that term, you might want to rethink that strategy.

It is possible to oversaturate your site with keywords and make your site too keyword heavy. This is commonly known as keyword stuffing – a black-hat SEO technique that’s a Google no-no.

Cramming each page with SEO terms and keywords not only seems spammy to Google but can also leave the content almost unreadable to the user. Remember, nobody wants to be force-fed spam, no matter how it’s served up.

Keep your keyword placement natural and logical. If you have a feeling your text may sound a little spammy, read it back and see for yourself. If it passes the self-read test, you’re probably in the clear.

 

The Bigger Picture

While images may look great and act as an eye-catching way of grabbing the reader’s attention, the pictures themselves have no bearing on SEO.

Search engines only monitor the text present on the page, making the content of the images largely irrelevant from an SEO POV. Even if your image contains text – e.g. a banner image containing all of your relevant keywords – Google’s bots won’t be able to detect them.

However, that being said, the ALT tags used in the back-end allow you to remedy this issue. Make good use of the image ALT tags by using them to describe the image, including relevant keywords where possible.

 

Get Mobile

Smartphones have changed the world in terms of how we live our daily lives. From information and social interaction to shopping and entertainment, the power is quite literally in the palms of our hands.

More and more of us are using phones and tablets as a web browsing tool, with many preferring it to the traditional method of a laptop or desktop computer.

As such, incorporating mobile-friendly functionality to your online presence is a must and disregarding such an approach is virtual insanity.

Ensure your site has a responsive design that’s optimised for mobile use and capable of being used by someone searching online using their phone.

 

Analyse This

Einstein is believed to have once said that “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”.

If you continue to plough on with your existing SEO tactics without identifying whether or not your efforts are successful, you can expect more of the same with little or no improvement. Worse still, misinterpretation of results can have an actively negative effect on performance.

If knowledge is power then lack of knowledge can leave you weak and vulnerable. As such, accurate analysis of SEO tactics is vital when it comes to maximising performance and incorporating necessary changes.

The ability to know when you just don’t know can also be a great trait to have. If SEO isn’t your cup of tea, hiring an SEO expert can be a smart move.  After all, understanding is one thing, implementing can be an entirely different ball game.

 

 

So, there you have it, seven magnificent SEO facts every business manager should know, laid out in all their glory. Now you’re up to speed, there really is no excuse for falling behind with linkless, immobile content that’s overflowing with keywords and empty ALT tags – you’ve been warned!

 

That being said, if you’re interested in learning more SEO tips or would like to find out more about the SEO services we offer at Designer Websites, why not give us a call today? Drop us a line on 01446 339050 or click the link below to get in touch online.

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Welcome to the latest instalment of our weekly DW Roundup blog, where we catch up on all of the latest and greatest news from around the tech world! It's been a busy week this week in terms of news and announcements, so let's get straight into it...

Google adds bulk review management to GMB listings 

In an attempt to help businesses save time, Google has added a new feature to Google My Business, which allows a business that has multiple listings to see their reviews on one single page. This can be seen by visiting the reviews section at https://business.google.com/reviews. The announcement given by Google is as follows; "Businesses can view reviews for multiple listings at once. With bulk reviews, you’ll be able to view, reply to, and flag reviews for multiple listings from one place.”

This is a very useful update for businesses that manage more than one location or listing. This allows you to quickly view all of the reviews under your GMB account, without the need of clicking into each individual listing to see its reviews. 

 

Twitter testing feature that allows users to follow topics of interest

Shortly, Twitter will allow its users to follow interests, the same way they would follow accounts. When the new feature goes live, users will be able to follow specific topics such as television shows, sports teams and celebrities, with a selection of tweets about the topic inserted alongside tweets in the timeline. 

Topics will be curated by Twitter, with tweets being identified through machine learning rather than editorial curation. For now, only sports-related interests can be followed by users. This feature represents Twitter's attempt to help users find the best content on the platform even if they don't know which accounts to follow. Users will also be able to mute topics that they do not wish to follow (perfect for avoiding spoilers for your favourite tv show). Other features that Twitter plans to incorporate include searchable DM's, the ability to re-order photos in a tweet after they've been attached and support for Apple's Live Photos.

 

Instagram face filters now available for everyone

The tool used by Facebook to create augmented reality effects, Spark AR, is now open for anyone who wishes to make custom face filters and other effects for Instagram Stories. The tool was previously limited to just approved creators, but the latest update allows anyone to create and upload their AR filters to Instagram. This has led to Instagram adding an Effect Gallery tab on artists' profiles, allowing them to display their creations to other users.

(Image: www.theverge.com)

 

Google shares more details on its recent indexing issues 

Over the past few months, Google has experienced several issues with indexing. Whether it's new context not getting indexed, or old content being dropped as a result of part of the index being lost. All of this has led to Google releasing a blog post, discussing their indexing problems, how it fixed them and the lessons it has learnt.

Going forward, Google has stated three key decisions it has made for communicating about indexing issues:

  1. Explore more ways to quickly share information within Search Console about widespread bugs and have that information serve as the main point of reference for webmasters to check.
  2. Post more promptly to Search Console data anomalies page. 
  3. Continue to tweet as quickly as possible about issues to quickly reassure webmasters Google are aware and that the issue in on their end.

To keep up with further news and updates from around the tech and digital marketing world, be sure to follow us on Twitter!

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Ski website design

Us Brits love our skiing trips. According to market research from LHM, 1.5 million UK residents go on at least one skiing holiday each winter, and more than a quarter of those people hit the slopes twice a year or more.

So as you can imagine, there's a lot of money to be made in the ski holiday niche...if you're able to give snowsports enthusiasts what they're looking for.

Is your ski holiday website up to snuff?

With more than 80% of holidaymakers now booking their trips online, travel agents (and other suppliers) are under more pressure than ever to polish up their websites and deliver a smooth, stress-free browsing experience.

In order to compete with all the other skiing agencies on the Internet, you'll need to make sure that your website ticks all of the following boxes:

  • Secure
  • Quick to load
  • Easy to use
  • Mobile friendly
  • Up to date
  • Clear and informative

If any of the above adjectives don't apply to your skiing site, you're likely failing to meet the expectations of users and search engines - in which case it may well be time for a new website!

Designer Websites can help!

Once you've identified the problems with your existing ski website, the next step is finding a web design specialist with the skills and expertise to help you turn things around.

At Designer Websites, we've developed a number of high-quality websites for ski agents and other travel companies. Here are just a couple of examples...

 

Slide Candy ski rental website

Slide Candy

Slide Candy is a ski equipment rental service that caters to Méribel and La Tania, two popular resorts in France.

The Designer Websites team gave Slide Candy's website a complete makeover. Not only does the new site boast a sleek mobile-friendly design, it also has an improved user journey that makes it far easier for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts to book their equipment online.

We also developed a bespoke content management system (CMS) to assist the Slide Candy team with back-end website management. They now have a far greater degree of control over the website's content.

"We are so pleased we chose Designer Websites to overhaul our site." - Andrew Buckingham, Slide Candy

View Case Study >>

 

Travel Booker Ski Website

Travel Booker

Travel Booker own a number of websites that sell lift passes, skiing lessons, and other extras to people who are planning to go skiing in Andorra.

We were asked to deliver a complex solution that would allow the Travel Booker team to manage all of their sites from a single administration portal.

Our expert web developers created a secure booking system that is easy for customers to navigate (regardless of what device they're using), as well as a user-friendly admin console that meets all of the requirements Travel Booker outlined in their project brief.

"Designer Websites delivered our complex project on budget and on time. We would happily choose to work with them again." - Steve Hull, Travel Booker

View Case Study >>

 

Ski Website for Travel Agents

Ski for Agents

The folks at Travel Booker were so impressed with our work on their booking system (see above) that they recently asked us to assist with another project.

Ski for Agents is a website that allows travel agents to log in and book ski holiday extras on behalf of their customers. Agents can register multi-level accounts with different levels of access for the head office, branches, etc. Meanwhile, Travel Booker themselves have complete control over virtually aspect of the site thanks to a complex CMS that we built specifically for them.

This was a very demanding project that called for a lot of unique, custom-made functionalities, but as ever, Designer Websites were more than equal to the challenge. Once again, the Travel Booker team were over the moon with the bespoke solution we were able to deliver.

Find Out More >>

 

If you'd like to speak to the Designer Websites team about your ski holiday website and how it could be improved, please contact us online or give us a call on 01446 339050.

View More Examples of Our Work  Request a Website Design Quote  

Ski for Agents Website

Skiing season will be upon us in just a few months' time, which no doubt means that countless snowsports enthusiasts are already starting to think about booking their visit to the slopes.

Our latest project, Ski for Agents, is designed to help travel agents purchase ski holiday extras for the globetrotting skiers and snowboarders who come to them for assistance. Agencies can register multi-level accounts with separate logins for the head office, other branches, different members of staff, etc. Once signed in, the streamlined design and user-friendly interface makes it easy for agents to get the very best prices on lift passes, airport transfers, and other useful extras, which they can then book online quickly and easily.

We relish a challenge here at Designer Websites, and this project called for a lot of bespoke functionalities, integrations, and unusual features - it was the sort of brief that would make lesser developers turn pale!

The Ski for Agents website has a custom-built and rather complex content management system (CMS), which allows our client to completely control virtually every facet of the website, including...

  • A truly flexible ancillary page manager
  • Language control
  • Resort and service provider control
  • Equipment management
  • Bookings management
  • Agents management
  • Ski extras control
  • Customised client invoicing

...and much more.

We specialise in tackling complex, demanding projects like this one! If you have an idea that can only be realised with a custom-made online solution, give us a call on 01446 339050 to discuss your requirements with a member of the Designer Websites team.

Examples of Our Work   Request a FREE Quotation

Universal Partners FX Website

Universal Partners FX (UPFX), based in London, are world-leading specialists in foreign exchange services. They work across borders for both organisations and private clients, safeguarding their money through currency transfers. Their team of experts work to guide their clients from market volatility, providing bespoke consultation at every stage of the FX process. Boasting over 100 years of experience in the FX industry, UPFX provides its clients with the unmatched expertise needed to develop a financial strategy that sails over market volatility. They provide a safe, secure and efficient online FX platform that allows personal and business international money transfers to take place. So, why did UPFX approach us? Let’s take a look!

Why UPFX came to Designer Websites

UPFX approached us here at Designer Websites as they believed that their website was in desperate need of a makeover, a redesign that brought them up-to-date with competitors and one that would be more visually appealing to their existing and potential clients. They were also having several issues with how the website loaded, functioned and acted when users were visiting. As a result, we advised that instead of optimising their current site, we create a brand-new website that was fully responsive, optimised and loaded quickly.

To kick things off, our design team created new visuals for each page on the existing website, including new icons and page layouts. Once the new look of the website was created, our SEO team completely rewrote the copy for each page to be fully optimised for industry-specific keywords, as their previous site lacked the much-needed optimisation to capture the organic traffic from search engines. Once the design and copywriting were complete, our development team made sure that the site functioned well, loaded quickly, and linked to their external sign-up forms, something which was paramount for the client. In addition to all of this, we included a landing page functionality, which enables UPFX to create specific pages that they can point online advertisements to!

We are proud to announce that the new UPFX website is now live and can be viewed here!

If you are interested in having an existing site re-designed or having a new, bespoke site developed for your business, then please feel free to get in touch with the Designer Websites team below.

Contact Us >

Welcome to the second instalment of our weekly DW Roundup! For those of you that didn't see our previous Roundup, this is a weekly blog post that you can follow every Friday to find out the latest and greatest news in the digital marketing, PPC, SEO and tech worlds. So, what's been happening this week? Let's find out. 

Hotel Reservations and AR Navigation Coming to Google Maps

If you're someone who loves to travel then this announcement is sure to excite you! Google Maps is starting to roll out new features that allow you to book your flights & hotel reservations directly through the Google Maps app. Store all of your information in one,  easy-to-access platform so that you're not fiddling between apps as you check-in at the airport or head to your hotel.

The reservations tab will show you all the information about your upcoming reservations and can even be accessed while you're offline! Incredibly handy if, for example,  you want to check your hotel reservation details while you're on your flight.

(Image from searchengineland.com)

As if this wasn't cool enough, Google is also bringing the beta version of their augmented reality walking navigation feature "Live View" to Android and IOS devices. If your phone supports ARCore or ARkit software then keep your eyes peeled for this! The arrows and directions are laid directly over your view of the real world, making it even easier than ever to find your way. 

Search Marketing is Becoming More 'Human'

According to PPC expert, Mark Irvine,  digital marketers should be working towards a more real-time marketing strategy. What does this mean? Irvine explained by demonstrating the effects of trending on Twitter: 

(A slide from Irvine's SMX presentation, found on searchengineland.com)

As you can see, within one hour of trending on Twitter, Google searches had doubled and after 6 hours they'd increased fivefold. Irvine makes a strong argument suggesting that users 'discover on socials and search on Google'. Based on Irvine's findings, he suggests that after years of perfecting page copy and posting perfect images across social media, perhaps a more human-to-human approach is better. This means we should be keeping up to date with social trends and customer insights more than ever!

Google Had Indexing Issues

In the early hours of Thursday morning, Google was having indexing problems that meant new content wasn't being shown in search results. This was most noticeable in news results, where no amount of refreshing was pulling recent stories through. Articles were stunted at around 3 am Thursday morning. Luckily, Google confirmed that they'd resolved this problem, so all of your new content should be indexed as normal! Hooray!

To keep up with further news and updates from around the tech and digital marketing world, be sure to follow us on Twitter and check back next week!

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Part of the ever-expanding Greensquares family, DeckPlus is the newest brand to hit the UK composite decking market.

Offering a wide selection of decking products – ranging from premium, capped composite decking to affordable, eco-friendly hollow deck boards – the company were looking to create a fresh site that reflected this exciting new brand.

After laying down the gauntlet to our web designers, we quickly got to work creating a fresh, new site for his fresh, new brand.

 

 

web design, web designers, SEO experts

 

A One-Stop-Shop

Combining their existing TimberTech products with their all-new DeckPlus branded boards, the desired outcome of the project was conceptualised as an online amalgamation of decking solutions, providing the ultimate one-stop-shop for decking design.

The result was DeckPlus.co.uk – a true home for all things composite decking.

The DeckPlus website provides a welcome online home for the DeckPlus brand, while also acting as a worthy second-home for the company’s TimberTech range, in addition to the pre-existing TimberTech site.

 

A Modern Site for Modern Products

As part of the brief, we were asked to provide DeckPlus with a site that reflects their modern products.

Our team of expert designers were more than capable of living up to the challenge and were eager to create a site that accurately reflects the new brand’s contemporary flair, while also providing the necessary capabilities of an effective decking site.

Logically laid out in a prioritised order, each webpage is packed with all the user-friendly functionality you would expect from a professional site, blending helpful information with simple processes and easy navigation.

Topped off with a clean, crisp oceanic colour scheme, the aesthetic appearance of the site is modern yet inherently easy on the eye, with an occasional infusion of orange-brown as a tip of the cap to the company logo.

 

User-Friendly Functionality

From a functionality standpoint, we created an ultra-responsive layout that provides seamless usability on all devices, working just as well on a mobile or tablet as it does on a laptop or desktop.

For further ease of use, the site is specifically designed to allow you to refine your decking search by a variety of chosen criteria: from colour and price to decking type and product range.

What’s more, the simple navigation bar positioned at the top of each page allows you to effortlessly transition from one page to the next, without the hassle or fuss of searching high and low for the relevant tab.

The site also features a company blog page to keep users up to date with all the latest goings-on in the company, as well as the wonderful world of outdoor decking.

 

Optimised Web Copy

DeckPlus offers a myriad of stunning designs and a variety of decking materials at a range of prices to suit all budgets. As a result, the site houses a vast online catalogue of these products and sub-categories, all requiring unique copy for each and every page.

This necessitated bespoke web copy for the entire site. Each page needed captivating copy that still included the all-important fundamentals: the essential top-line information, supplementing by the detailed nitty-gritty, before rounding off with the bottom line of price.

Meanwhile, each page was also painstakingly optimised by our SEO experts to give the site a running start when it was made live. This has helped to ensure the correct pages rank for the relevant industry terms and product descriptors in the search engine results, ultimately boosting the likelihood of conversions.

 

For more information on our web design and copywriting services, why not get in touch today? Call now on 01446 339050 or click the button below to get a quote online now.

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In this blog, we bring to you all of the major talking points from across the world of SEO, PPC, digital marketing and tech to ensure you're kept up-to-date and not missing out on anything important! This will be the first edition of a weekly DW roundup blog, so be sure to keep an eye out each week! So, what are we waiting for? Let's get into it...

Google launches a new algorithm to better understand useful and timely information

The Vide President of Search at Google, Pandu Nayak, announced that the tech giants have released an update to how their search algorithms to keep featured snippets up-to-date with fresh and relevant information. 

This latest release aims to make sure that Google provides searchers with answers that are not just accurate but also timely. Here is what Google said in their announcement:

"As part of our ongoing efforts to make Search work better for you, a new algorithm update improves our systems’ understanding of what information remains useful over time and what becomes out-of-date more quickly. This is particularly helpful for featured snippets, a feature in Search that highlights pages that our systems determine are most likely to have the information you’re looking for. For queries where fresh information is important, our systems will try to find the most useful and up-to-date featured snippets."

(Image from searchengineland.com)

 

Google adds 'get a quote button' to Google business local knowledge panels 

Google has added a new call-to-action button to service level businesses in the local knowledge panel for listings that have Google My Business messaging turned on. The reason behind this addition is clearly to make more searchers use Google's messaging feature. By making this button more noticeable, businesses are bound to get more messages via Google Messaging. Remember to get this feature, you will need to have messaging enabled. Click here for instructions. 

(Image from searchengineland.com)

 

Apple is reportedly releasing three 5G iPhones in 2020

With more and more networks beginning to roll out 5G networks, phone manufacturers are starting to release phones that will be able to access them. One of these manufacturers is of course Apple. Many reports have previously stated that Apple is set to release a 5G-compatible phone in 2020, however, according to new reports, all three of their 2020 mobile devices are set to support the 5G network. 

(Image from theverge.com)

Google temporarily banned from listening to voice recordings 

Regulators in Germany have ordered Google to stop listening to voice recordings from people using its Assistance software in the EU. The ban will last for three months while Germany's data watchdog conducts an investigation. 

 A small percentage of voice recordings made into Google's Assistant service are heard by human workers and third parties, with the intention of better understanding people's search queries and improving the software. Those recordings, however, have the potential to include private and sensitive information. Other tech companies such as Amazon have also come under fire for how they use their voice data.  

(Image from theverge.com)

To keep up with further news and updates from around the tech and digital marketing world, be sure to follow us on Twitter!

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Back in 2017, the Designer Websites team created a new, mobile-friendly site for specialist medical accountants Sandison Easson.

Sandison Easson were very impressed with the service we provided, and this year, they presented us with a new challenge: create a site that will help NHS consultants to calculate their deemed pension input for tax purposes.

NHS Annual Allowance Calculator >>

In actual fact, Sandison Easson already had a tool in place for this purpose - what they needed was a well-optimised, user-friendly website to house it.

And so we created www.nhsannualallowance.co.uk, a great-looking site that perfectly fulfils the brief we were given. The website, which launched earlier today, is:

  • Clear and easy to use
  • Mobile friendly
  • Optimised for search

Do you have a web project that could benefit from our expertise? Contact Designer Websites today to discuss your requirements!

More Examples of Our Work   Request a FREE Web Design Quote

A&L Scrap Car Dealers Website

A&L Scrap Car Dealers, the new addition to A&L Vehicle Recycling, is a family-run scrap car dealership located in the heart of Barry, South Wales. With more than 10 years’ experience within the scrap car and recycling industry, A&L provides professional and reliable services that their customers within the local and surrounding areas can trust. A&L’s business has been developed throughout the years on the excellent recommendations of their loyal customers in both scrap car and scrap metal services. However, without an established online presence apart from a few listings in local directories, A&L weren’t fully able to reach a wide range of customers that could elevate their business to the next level. That’s where we came in!

How did we help?

A&L approached the team here at Designer Websites as they were looking to build the online presence that the company desperately needed. Having been without a website, potential customers were having to find information on the company and the services that they provided via directory listings or through the business’ Facebook page, both of which contained scarce details. We were tasked with creating a functional website that delivered the important information about the company and the services that they offered as well as integrating a quote system that potential customers could use to discover the value of their car if they were looking to scrap it.

As A&L had no previous website, our design, SEO and development team had to work from scratch to deliver what was needed. As a result, comprehensive keyword research was conducted in order to identify industry-specific search terms, so that pages could be designed and created to include optimised copy and SEO. This enabled A&L to better capture online searchers and rank highly within search engine results. Once the design and copywriting were complete, we created the unique quote system that allowed users to input their car’s registration number and receive a free, no-obligation quote for the value of their car. This was developed in-house with every step of the process carefully curated, including a postcode lookup, which helps populate address fields. The quote system has been integrated with https://ukvehicledata.co.uk/pricing in order for accurate and reliable vehicle data to be pulled and displayed to the user.

We are proud to announce that the new A&L Scrap Car Dealers website is now live and can be viewed here!

If you are interested in having an existing site re-designed or having a new, bespoke site developed for your business, then please feel free to get in touch with the Designer Websites team below.

Contact Us >

It’s long been said that “content is king” in the modern world of online marketing. It’s no secret – Bill Gates famously made that statement way back in 1996.

Since then, it’s become a facepalm-inducing catchphrase for high-ranking bigwigs the world over, right up there with other classic business BS like “low-hanging fruit”, “moving the needle” and “peeling the onion”.

However, unlike the needle-moving, onion-peeling fruit-grabbers of the world, the “content is king” mantra is actually backed by some pretty solid substance.

Quality content that’s both informative and engaging is a winner on all levels: increasing leads, enhancing brand awareness and strengthening customer relationships, ultimately boosting revenue as a result.

That being said, if content is king, then quality writers are akin to royal advisors, entrusted with providing the king with a healthy supply of quality insight, accurate information and razor-sharp wit.

However, quality writers are hard to find – especially ones that are more gooder!

As such, companies often take one of two routes: hiring in-house writers or drafting in external ringers through outsourcing. Both offer their own pros and cons, but which is better?

 

sourcing content,in house content,outsourcing content 

 

Differences Between In-House and Outsourcing

While both options ultimately offer the same end-result, the fundamental difference between the two is as follows.

Outsourcing involves hiring a third-party that’s independent of the business to provide content for your company. Meanwhile, in-house production (aka insourcing) involves a dedicated team or specified individuals on staff who are assigned to the task of writing content.

Depending on your company’s approach to content marketing, you may be more familiar with one than the other; however, it’s well worth getting acquainted with both. You never know when you may need to flip the script and rely on the road less travelled.

 

Benefits of In-House Content

 Perhaps the biggest benefit of having an on-site team of content staff is their loyalty and connection to the company. An employed team of contributors that are a genuine part of the brand will likely care far more about the company than a team of non-partisan outsiders.

This affinity for the brand often results in a relationship that’s inimitable in an agency setting, leading the workers to be more motivated to positively contribute as a result. This contribution can also be incentivised further by the possibility of rewards, bonuses or even potential promotion.

Meanwhile, a team of on-site staff will also have an in-depth knowledge of your company goals, values and services, effectively streamlining the whole content creating process – from briefing to proofing – while also providing a better level of content contextualisation.

Additionally, a team of on-site workers will answer to one boss and be both governable and supervised, undistracted by other clients’ demands and deadlines. If you need some content done by a certain time, no other tasks will take precedent over yours.

That being said, hiring staff that are inexperienced or underqualified in the pursuit of saving money can be a fruitless labour that does more damage than good. If you are going to invest in an in-house team, don’t cut corners and hire the best candidate, not the cheapest.

 

Benefits of Outsourcing Content

While in-house content can be great for familiarity, outsourcing can be the perfect way to provide a fresh perspective from someone outside of the office bubble. This can often result in new and exciting ideas, a novel approach and a fresh tone of voice that is both engaging and notably different from an in-house team.

Meanwhile, outsourcing also provides you with a team of widely experienced professionals that don’t need any training, coaching or development. From a budgetary POV, this can be extremely useful; not only does it give you access to an entire team of on-demand professionals but it also allows you to fluctuate the workload depending on budget constraints.

Speaking of budget, outsourcing can also be a great option for those companies working to tighter purse strings, that may not have the financial resources to hire full-time content staff. Meanwhile, some businesses may not require such a high volume of content to necessitate a dedicated staff member or team, making outsourcing a cost-effective alternative.

However, while it can be more financially beneficial for businesses that don’t require a high-frequency of work, the phrase “if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys” is also very applicable here. While it’s always important not to overpay, content writing is very much a business where you get what you pay for and this is one area you won’t want to penny-pinch.

 

Best of Both Worlds

Even if you do opt for the in-house approach, you may find yourself in a situation where additional workload, unforeseen tasks and looming deadlines can see you snowed under in no time. Should this be the case, outsourcing can be a great safety net to have.

A blended approach can be extremely useful, offering the best of both worlds. As such, it may be worth having a trustworthy source in mind for third-party content, should busy periods warrant an extra pair of hands.

What’s more, a cocktail of in-house/outsourced content can be a truly symbiotic relationship that serves to boost both methods. External content can motivate in-house staff and vice versa, creating a healthy competition of sorts.

After all, as they say, you’re only as good as your competition and it’s a lot easier to run fast when you’re being chased. Creating an environment where you’re not restricted to one option can be the perfect sweet spot for a thriving creative environment.

 

For more information on content sourcing or content services from Designer Websites, why not drop us a line today? Call now on 01446 339050 or get in touch online using the button below.

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Wading through the muddy waters of Lake Google can be a troublesome task at the best of times, particularly when it comes to SEO.

Regular algorithm changes habitually move the digital goal posts, making the ability to adapt and react a vital part of the job for any self-respecting online marketing with an eye for SEO.

Naturally, the sheer volume of competition makes it difficult to swim to the surface of the SERP rankings, leaving you to jockey for position in an extremely crowded pool.

While it can be tempting to take shortcuts, the purest approach is often the one that has the longest lasting effects and they don’t come much purer than White Hat SEO.

So, dust off your ivory caps, mount that high horse and head for the moral high ground, as we take a look at the ins and outs of White Hat SEO.

 

white hat seo,white hat seo tips,white hat seo techniques,what is white hat seo

 

What is White Hat SEO?

If you read our last blog on Black Hat SEO techniques, you should know all about what not to do and which SEO tactics to avoid. From keyword stuffing to invisible text, it’s a dark art and one that can also be pretty risky.

This underhanded approach of manipulative methods and sneaky shortcuts will only work for so long before you inevitably get found out. The resulting penalty can see your site plummet down the search rankings and possibly even banished from the SERPs altogether.

On the other hand, there is White Hat SEO. The Ying to the Black Hat’s Yang, White Hat SEO offers Google-approved SEO strategies that play by SEO rules and regulations. White Hat SEO tactics are the best way to create an ethical online listing that isn’t in danger of falling out of favour.

 

Examples of White Hat SEO Techniques

Now we’ve identified what White Hat SEO is, it’s only fair that we paint a full, snowy picture to completely illustrate its squeaky-clean, albino goodness.

To help keep your SEO plan righteous, virtuous and, most importantly, effective, here are a few examples to keep you on the White Hat straight and narrow.

 

Keyword Research

Like any job, doing your homework before you jump in can reap many rewards and SEO is no different. Modern KW technology makes it relatively simple to identify a laundry list of keywords for you to sprinkle within your content in order to keep it ranking and relevant.

However, it’s important not to go overboard. There’s a fine line between keyword inclusion and keyword stuffing, and overuse of keywords could see the former become the latter with seamless ease.

Additionally, try not to choose keywords that are hugely competitive. The greater the demand, the less likely you are to rank. Instead, target long-tail keywords for a better chance of hitting the jackpot.

 

Quality Content

In the world of SEO, content is truly is king and quality content will rule the roost long after it’s first penned (especially if its evergreen). As such, creating well-written content that’s readable and engaging is one of the most effective White Hat SEO techniques there is.

While it can be time-consuming, providing original content that is relevant and useful to your site visitors can translate into serious results. The top 10 blog listings on Google typically comprise of 2000 to 4000 words, so don’t be afraid to dive deep into the subject matter.

Creating unique content about topics you fully understand and have expert insight to can help establish you as an authority on the subject, making your content both original and sharable. Which leads us nicely to…

 

Link Building

Backlinks are Google’s main indicator of which site page is most reliable and relevant to the search term, and therefore most worthy of a high SERP listing. As a rule of thumb, the more backlinks a page has, the higher it will rank on Google.

Backlinks can be gained ethically by writing testimonials, guest blogging and creating partnerships with other sites. Meanwhile, creating original, authoritative content that’s sharable is also a great way to organically bolster your backlinks.

 

Business Listing

In its never-ending quest to provide increasingly accurate results, Google also takes into account the location of a business when displaying SERPs. This can particularly helpful for those looking for local services.

For example, a Brummy on the hunt for a restaurant in Birmingham probably isn’t going to be interested in a steakhouse in Birmingham, Alabama. As such, Google weeds out the irrelevant and reports back with the most applicable geographical results.

Adding a Google My Business (GMB) listing for your company is a great White Hat technique in ensuring local SEO. Meanwhile, it could also attract additional traffic through Google Maps’ “near me” function – a tool used by 82% of overall smartphone users (rising to 92% for Millennials) according to figures published by Uberall.

 

For more information on White Hat SEO techniques and how to avoid Black Hat SEO, drop us a line on 01446 339050. Alternatively, drop us an email using the button below.

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Any business owner or content provider will be well aware of the importance of SEO when it comes to online visibility. The better the SEO, the stronger your page will be in terms of SERP rankings.

However, like any arduous process, there are always going to be those who seek out shortcuts in the hopes of getting from A to B quicker and with as little effort as possible.

Welcome to the world of “Black Hat SEO” – the black market of page ranking; the seedy underbelly of content manipulation; where businesses go to achieve digital dominance by any means necessary.

If you’re thinking of going rogue and donning a black hat in your quest for SEO supremacy, you may want to think again. It isn’t without its risks and short-term gain could very easily result in long-term heartache.

 

black hat seo, what is black hat seo

 

What is Black Hat SEO?

In the halcyon days of the western cowboy movies, the heroes and the villains were commonly distinguishable by their choice of headwear. For the purpose of black and white cinematography, the colours of choice were logically monochrome: the good guys wore white, while the bad guys wore black.

So, perennial silver screen hero, John Wayne, would typically be found sporting a milky Stetson, while someone like Lee Marvin would don an inky, villainous crown. For a more recent example, see Christian Bale and Russell Crowe in 3:10 to Yuma (FYI: top film!).

From an SEO standpoint, the same rules apply: “white hat SEO” ethically relies on human audience behaviour as opposed to the search engine’s, while “black hat SEO” focuses on manipulating the search engine and breaking the rules, all while showing two fingers to search engine guidelines.

 

Examples of Black Hat SEO

The dark arts of Black Hat SEO come in many forms, from the glaringly obvious to downright devious. Here are a few examples of the most common offences and how to spot them.

 

Spam Comments

If you’ve ever read a blog or online article with a comments section at the base, chances are that you’ve come across comments comprising of nonsensical fluff that’s completely irrelevant to the preceding post.

The comments section is a veritable playground for Black Hat SEO tacticians and typically filled with more spam than a war-time lunchbox.

While this was somewhat effective in the mid-2000s – resulting in follow links and flowing pagerank to your site for the priestly sum of zero – this process has since been found out, making the minimal benefits hardly worth the bother.

The net is now largely wise to these tactics and spam comments now offer no follow links, while many websites have removed the ability to embed comment content altogether.

Nevertheless, playing the law of averages, the more spam comments of this nature, the more referral traffic you can expect to receive, albeit of a questionable nature of varying quality.

 

Duplicate Content

Content created in a copy/paste manner can be used to deliberately manipulate search engine rankings in order to generate more traffic to a chosen site. While this can not only negatively impact the user experience, it can also detrimentally affect the original site.

Search engines universally prefer unique content to duplicated text and typically won’t show multiple forms of the same content in the SERP. As such, twin copy replicated elsewhere can become problematic and leave certain pages omitted from the results page.

Duplicated content can confuse the search engine, making it difficult for it to know which result is more relevant to a given search. In turn, this can have an adverse effect on ranking and a knock-on effect on traffic as a result, while it can also dilute link equity as well.

 

Keyword Stuffing

As the name suggests, keyword stuffing is the process of overcramming certain buzzwords and phrases into your page in order to maximise its visibility for those particular terms.

While, on the surface, this may seem logical, it can quickly degenerate into a smorgasbord of spam that not only seems unnatural but, at times, can become almost unreadable.

Spamtastic copy often makes little sense and, needless to say, is not user-friendly, negatively affecting your user experience, tarnishing your credibility and ruining the professional presentation of your site.

 

Invisible Text

Perhaps the sneakiest of all the examples on this page, invisible text takes keyword stuffing to another level.

This method uses coloured text on an identically coloured background, camouflaging it from visible view.

As a result, the site still ranks for the chosen keywords present in the hidden copy, yet the text remains unseen to the site visitor.

 

Black Hat SEO Tactics to Avoid

Naturally, Black Hat SEO tactics aren’t without their risks. Playing against the rules is essentially playing with fire when it comes to your website ranking. While you may get away with for a while, it’s only a matter of time before you face a serious burn.

Black Hat tactics can result in notable damage to your page’s long-term performance, while repeated offences can see your site banned from certain search engines entirely (although this punishment is admittedly quite rare).

More typical ramifications commonly result in a site receiving a serious demotion in the search rankings, nullifying the Black Hat tactics in one fell swoop. Meanwhile, the risk of digital banishment is an ever-present danger if you repeatedly stray to the dark side.

To avoid your Black Hat strategy turning into Black List misery, we recommend steering clear of these short-term fixes and instead focusing your time and efforts on conventional White Hat methods that don’t draw the ire of the SERP police.

 

For more information on Black Hat SEO tactics and the effects of unethical SEO, drop us a line today on 01446 339050. Alternatively, get in touch using the button below and find out more about how we can help you achieve SEO results the right way.

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SunSpaces is a well-established part of the Greensquares family of brands, offering a range of high-quality garden rooms, verandas and awnings to help residential and commercial property owners make the most of their outdoor living spaces. SunSpaces stand out from their competitors because their products can be customised to suit every client’s unique requirements and preferences.

We were recently asked to re-design and update the SunSpaces website. Many elements of the site including the colour scheme, page layout and menus have been refreshed by our web designers to create a contemporary, professional-looking new website.  

You will notice that the new website includes many products that have always been a part of the SunSpaces brand, like the Aspire garden rooms and Compact awnings. However, in addition to these longstanding favourites, their new website incorporates a variety of new products and accessories, such as the Avant-Garde and Ultra garden rooms.

The new SunSpaces website is packed with features that make it enjoyable and easy to use. Our development team used the very latest coding techniques and schema tags to build a bespoke, responsive website that stands out in the search results and works seamlessly on both desktop and mobile devices.

We included a content management system (CMS) so staff can control products and prices, categories, photo galleries, banners, landing pages, performance reports and more. We integrated Salesforce so that staff can easily manage quotes and follow up requests.

We also added intelligent landing page control and advertisement tracking so that advertising campaigns can be monitored and altered effortlessly. The new site is also integrated with conversion tracking so that its performance is continually recorded and easy to assess whenever necessary.

With these new features and a modern re-design, we are confident that the SunSpaces team and future SunSpaces customers will take pleasure in using the site. We have been able to create a new website for SunSpaces without compromising any of the features that made the old site such a success!

You can visit the new SunSpaces website here: https://www.sunspaces.co.uk/

If you’re looking for a professional website for your business, look no further. Get in touch with the team here at Designer Websites for a free, no-obligation web design quote.

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In the world of SEO and content marketing, there’s no disputing that content is indeed king. However, not all kings are created equally.

Like any monarch, a good king wants to reign for as long as possible and, in the world of SEO, the true king of longevity is undoubtedly evergreen content.

 

evergreen content

 

What is evergreen content?

Okay, before we go any further, let’s put a label on evergreen content so we know exactly what we’re dealing with here.

Taking its name from the evergreen tree that maintains its leaves all year-round, evergreen content is content that stays relevant long after its initial publication date.

For example, a blog titled “Fashion Tips for 2019” will automatically become dated the moment 2020 hits, not to mention the content within it will be very much seasonal and specific to that time period.

Conversely, a blog based on the subject of “How to Get Bigger Biceps” may still be relevant in ten months, if not ten years times, provided the text within it doesn’t refer to anything topical at the time of publication.

 

Benefits of evergreen content

Most content, particularly newsworthy posts and topical reporting, stays relevant for a relatively short period of time.

Take a review of a football match, for example. While the article may receive a lot of attention upon publication, the hits will significantly drop off in next to no time, as the story quite literally becomes “yesterday’s news”.

Meanwhile, evergreen content will remain consistently applicable, regardless of when you view it. As such, the KPIs of evergreen content are a steady flow of traffic over time, self-generating repeated backlinks and healthy amounts of sharing over social media.

When it comes to content marketing ROI, evergreen content also provides excellent economical value. While it may take a little longer to produce and require more time and attention to detail, the end result will last and provide a far greater return over time.

 

Creating evergreen content

If you’re looking to create long-lasting content for your site, there are a number of tips for evergreen content that are well worth keeping in mind.

Here are a few different ways to approach your content in pursuit of evergreen pastures.

 

Get educated

Content that’s designed to educate and inform is a great starting point when it comes to creating evergreen content. “How To” guides and FAQs are prime examples of this, providing a solid base for useful information that can be relevant long after it’s published.

For example, if you own a website that sells musical instruments, a post detailing how to change guitar strings is pertinent and won’t become dated any time soon.

Meanwhile, a history site that posts factual blogs dedicated to historical events is unlikely to feature information that changes over time, barring any new evidence or scientific breakthroughs.

 

Be practical

Similarly, practical content that can be used by the reader can also stand the test of time. This is particularly applicable to content that promotes personal growth and self-betterment.

Useful information that can be applied in the real world in a manner that’s not tethered to a specific time period can live a long and prosperous life, even in the fast-paced environment of today’s modern world.

For a prime example of this, look no further than How to Win Friends and Influence People. Dale Carnegie’s self-help classic was first published pre-WW2 in 1936 and still sells in bundles to this day.

 

Vital statistics

Research, results and statistical information are also key players when it comes to evergreen content. Authoritative content backed by supporting evidence is also a magnet for backlinks, which can be invaluable for SEO.

While date stamping and time referencing is generally to be avoided when constructing evergreen content, research and statistical info are somewhat of an anomaly, as information such as this can often be referred back to after the fact and still be deemed useful.

For example, a post studying crime rates in the UK can be utilised years after the fact as a point of reference for comparative purposes, providing a useful means of measuring positive or negative change and trends.

 

Subject matters

The topic itself can also have a heavy influence on the longevity of an article, with fast-moving industries that are constantly evolving typically breeding posts with a shorter shelf life.

Subjects such as fashion, sport and politics where a revolving door of news is commonplace often feature content that becomes old extremely quickly. Meanwhile, steady topics that remain relatively constant over time – such as health, careers, parenting, etc – can prosper long into the future.

After all, career advice from the 1980s can still be relevant today. Fashion advice, not so much.

 

Stand out

If your site produces content at a rapid pace over the course of the day, week or month, it won’t take long for your evergreen content to become buried beneath other content that may not be as enduring.

To keep your evergreen content strong in the public consciousness, it may be worth adding an additional tab or drop down in your site navigation, such as “Top Blogs” or “Guides”.

This can help highlight these pages and make them stand out from the crowd of daily blogs and content.

It also allows you to expose your visitors to your evergreen content in a far simpler manner, without requiring them to dig through pages of historical content to find them.

 

For more information on content and SEO, give us a call today on 01446 339050 or hit the button below to get in touch online.

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