We recently designed a new website for cleaning at height specialists, Seers, who were looking to better target their height services in order to improve search rankings and expand their online presence. 

Seers offer a range of high level cleaning and maintenance services, from graffiti removal and bird spike installation, to standard gutter and window cleaning. Their team has decades of experience in the industry, and covers a vast number of buildings, such as warehouses, hospitals and office buildings (just to name a few). They also cover a wide catchment area, carrying out jobs throughout South Wales and South West England. 

In order to specifically target their cleaning at height services, Seers decided to commission a website that made full use of this term, in order to compete for a better position in search results. Although their variety of additional services are also included on the site, and are easy to locate in the drop down menu, the homepage copy is optimized to place a greater emphasis on height level cleaning, in order to fully encapsulate this phrase. 

As well is improving the SEO for cleaning at height, the new website also has improved functionality and visual appeal, making the site easy to navigate and engaging for visitors. Thanks to the image-heavy design, viewers are able to experience the full extent of the services offered by Seers, getting more of a feel for the type of work they carry out. The photographs also validate their experience in the field, by providing a visual record of past projects. 

At the bottom of the page, there is a prominent array of recognizable logos from high profile clients such as Pinewood and Marriott, which also helps to validate their experience in the field, by demonstrating their ability to carry out work for reputable companies.

The new website is also fully responsive, which means that it will be easy to navigate on mobile phones and other portable devices. This means that customers searching for their services are likely to have a positive experience once they have landed on the site, which in turn will also improve their search rankings by reducing their bounce rate.

View the brand new Seers website. 

If you would like more information about our web design services, please get in touch with us here.
twitter cards blog

If you run an ecommerce site, a blog or have an app you want to promote, Twitter Cards can be a great way to get around the 140 character limit imposed by a standard tweet. Much like add extensions on Google, Twitter Cards allow you to add enhanced details to your tweets, which could potentially lead to valuable actions for your business if used correctly.

Whether you want to focus on an image, a product or want to encourage someone to sign up for a service (to name just a few), there are 7 types of cards to choose from to best suit your desired results. These are tailored to suit the type of media promoted (be it text, image, video or sound clip), and to provide the intended audience with the information required to make them click. This means that as well as providing an improved visual experience for the viewer, the cards also allow them to interact with your posts easily from within Twitter.

For example, if your goal is to promote a particular item and make people decide on a purchase quickly, then a product card would likely be your best option. This includes a title, a thumbnail image, and a description of up to 200 words, as well as other details such as price and availability. These inject the online shopping experience directly into the viewer’s Twitter feed, allowing them to consider the purchase right there and then.

You are also able to measure the response to your cards easily, thanks to the accompanying analytics used to measure impressions and engagement with you cards. Just go to Ads, Analytics and then choose Twitter Cards, to see how well your cards have been doing. A range of metrics will display the number of impressions and clicks, along with other performance statistics, and will also let you see how well the cards have been doing over a given period of time. 

The analytics section also allows you to find out who your key ‘influencers’ are, which essentially shows which tweets had the most impact on the impressions your card received, along with the handle/persona attached to this. This function could be particularly useful to companies and individuals who have worked with bloggers for example, as it could demonstrate whether or not the product or service you attempted to promote through them is actually having the desired impact. It could also show who is already engaging with you brand, and could present potentially successful partnership opportunities in the future. 

If you think that Twitter Cards could be a useful edition to your digital marketing strategy, then there are three things you should consider in order to gain the most advantage from them: 

Test it Out

Once your developer has added the appropriate meta tags to the page you want your cards to pull information from, you can run the URL against the validator tool to test them. This allows you to preview the card, and make sure that you’re happy with the format.

If you’re just starting out with Twitter cards, or you’re unsure about which style would work best for a specific purpose, then it may be worth trying out several card types before choosing the one you will stick to. Check the analytics to see which type is performing better and driving more engagement, then make the transition to this type permanently if you are seeing consistently positive results from it.

Pin it!

If a card you have tweeted yourself has provided you with a great level of engagement or has had a particularly positive impact for you, then it is well worth pinning this tweet so that it appears at the very top of your feed.

By putting this at the top of your page, you are not only showing you or your company at your best, but are also creating an opportunity for the tweet to gain even more attention. This also allows you to prioritise your aims and messages, so that the most relevant piece of information is the first thing to be seen by your audience. This also works in terms of landing pages, as you will naturally want to direct your viewers to well-optimized and/or high-converting pages. 

Make Engaging Copy

Apart from website and lead generation cards, all card types appear in the Twitter stream in an unexpanded format by default. This means that the user must click if they want to see more of the content, by selecting the ‘view summary’ option. 

In order to make users click and view the full card, you will need to ensure that the copy itself is engaging and intriguing, in order to spark the viewer’s curiosity. The more compelling the caption, the more likely it is that people will want to find out more.


Twitter Cards are a fantastic way to offer your followers more information about your website, and when used correctly, can help to drive valuable traffic and conversions. The best part, is that they offer you a lot of freedom to try out and measure different strategies, in order to produce the best results over time. Experiment, and see what works for you, while maintaining the quality of your copy and landing pages – no Twitter Card can make up for poor content!

Follow Designer Websites on Twitter for more advice and regular updates.


When someone first suggested that you should get a blog, you weren’t really too keen on the idea. But eventually, after a lot of nagging, you came around to the idea. You thought it wouldn’t be too much work – after all, how much time do you really need to dedicate to a blog anyway? In fact, you were quite surprised by how easy it was to update your blog at first; you even began looking forward to writing the posts. 

Then one day, an important task came up when you were right in the middle of writing. ‘It can wait until later,’ you thought. ‘The blog isn’t my top priority anyway.’ Eventually, you were spending less and less time on your blog, going from one post a week to one a month, until you were spending virtually no time on it whatsoever. Neglected, and without any fresh content to sustain it, the blog soon became a distant memory, inactive and unloved.


So don’t neglect your blog any longer, use these three techniques to ensure it stays fresh and healthy:

Create a schedule

Be sure to make time for your blog. Decide ahead of time when you’re going to post and what the content will be; this will give you a plan to work from and something to stick to, so you can easily manage your other tasks around it. Thinking of topics in advance will also mean that you’re not stuck for something to write when you do get down to it, minimising the risk of writer’s block!

Think of your audience

It’s important to keep customers and readers engaged with useful content, so do your best to consider their needs and expectations when planning your blog posts. Think: what would the people who visit your website and/or use your services want to read? What would make them want to engage with your post?

Stay current

The easiest way to source fresh content and keep your blog up-to-date is by looking for important news that’s relevant to your field, or by scouting out trending topics that may be of interest to your readers. Try to make sure that what you’re posting is as original and as high-quality as possible; regurgitating content that already exists elsewhere could make people lose interest.


Here’s the bottom line: if you’re going to add a blog to your website, be sure to utilise it to its full potential. Post regularly, and post well; don’t ignore your blog for months on end, revisiting it only to post the odd bit of company news or an annual Christmas message to your clients. Your blog needs attention and love – if you don’t update it regularly, then it will not only fail to serve its intended purpose, it may actually cause your search rankings to drop. Why? Because if you haven’t updated your blog since last year, Google and its users might think you’ve abandoned your website entirely!


access training

Recently we were approached by Access Training Academies, a trade qualification course provider who were interested in improving the usability and search engine performance of their website.

Access Training offer some of the best trade courses in the UK, giving students the opportunity to gain practical experience in a large number of fields, ranging from plumbing to plastering. With state of the art facilities, and a concentrated 1-8 tutor to student ratio, Access Training are able to offer an efficient and highly successful set of teaching programmes to their candidates. 

Hoping to reach out to potential students and aid their location of suitable courses once they had reached their website, Access Training asked us to improve the site's visual and technical aspects, thereby increasing its overall performance and quality.They began, by deciding that they wanted to make the site fully accessible to people who were using devices other than a desktop computer to search for their courses. We achieved this by ensuring that the new design was fully responsive across a number of portable devices, allowing excellent navigation regardless of screen size.

This user friendly nature has been extended throughout all aspects of the site, and is particularly noticeable in the new 'course finder' wizard, which allows visitors to find suitable courses with ease and efficiency. This is directly related to the site's improved copy, which has been condensed to provide easy comprehension and better search engine performance by targeting specific keywords. We've already seen some improvements in their Google rankings since the site went live, and we are sure that this is something that will see continued improvement over time.

Visit the new Access Training Academies website now, or get in touch to find out more about our services.

Here at Designer Websites, we offer a bespoke web design and development service that provides our clients with unique and highly functional websites, which are scalable, fined-tuned to their needs, and are intended to offer the best user experience/impact possible. 

Whether your aim is to generate a strong and memorable brand image for your new company online, or to offer very unique functionality to your customers, there are multitude of benefits that come from investing in a bespoke website. 

A question we’re often asked by clients who are thinking of commissioning a bespoke website, is what makes this better than a template type site based on a pre-built system. 

On first impression, pre-built solutions can seem like a great idea for people who are starting out online, simply due to their low price point and accessibility. They are the ‘quick fix’ of the web design world, using shortcuts to get a website up and running in an attractive time frame, while allowing the user to build their design based on a set of ready-made foundations. While their popularity is undeniable, what this article will do is highlight why many of the benefits have drawbacks which outweigh the advantages, and why a bespoke web design could offer a more sustainable, professional advantage to you in the long term. 

Exclusivity and Customisation

As mentioned above, a template on a pre-built system can seem like a perfectly adequate solution for your website at first, especially as there are often thousands of designs that are available to choose from to make it feel unique. The fact that it’s pre-made, also means that you can test your site to see how it will look for the user once you have uploaded all the content. There is very little design or development time required and therefore the cost should be very low indeed. In fact many of these DIY type solutions allow you to build a site yourself, albeit you would need to be relatively web savvy to realistically get something operational.

Sounds ok so far right? So what are the drawbacks?

Unique Design

With many of these pre-built solutions there are thousands of template designs, with new ones becoming available every day. Over time of course, with hundreds of millions of websites online, they become less unique as more people choose the template. You can also tweak many of the templates to use different colours, images, etc; making them more specific to your company or requirements, but you can only go as far as the template will allow you. With many pre-built systems you can use a totally bespoke design on-top of the platform, which will give you some uniqueness for a while, again, within the constraints of the systems capabilities. These systems are meant to be easy to replicate and the code structure is always the same, so your design will not be unique for as long as you might like.

If you use a decent designer to create a template on top of a pre-built system, then you may well end up paying over-the-odds for what is fundamentally a template system, without gaining any of the benefits of a bespoke website. This is in fact where most people fall foul; these web designers are selling you what they term, or believe, is a ‘bespoke website’, when in fact it’s only a bespoke design within a rigid structure of a template system.

Moreover, we see companies charging ridiculous fees for what is simply a design, made relatively easy for the designer by the confinements of a pre-built system. After all, they believe that they are selling you a bespoke website, when actually they are most definitely not! 

Responsive or Emulated Responsive

A true responsive web design starts with the user interface designer, who should spend time creating separate designs for each device type, i.e. mobiles, tablets and monitors. The designer will carefully think about the user journey on the mobile, for example, excluding section and including the most relevant areas, making the point of the website more appropriate for that type of user in that situation. It may be a totally different layout to that of the monitor version. Along with this comes the usual menu style changes and resizing of images, etc.

An emulated responsive design, often employed by pre-built solutions or templates, is one where the system makes automated calculations based on the size of the screen and changes the style of the menu and resizes elements on like images and fonts on the screen. So it’s the same design/layout but adapted to the screen size. 

Emulated is better than not having a responsive design at all, but does not give the user the best experience, and does not sell your business of products in the best way.
Bespoke responsive websites are naturally far better than emulated responsive, so be sure what your web designer is offering you, ask them if it’s ‘true responsive’ or just ‘emulated’.

Expertise

Problems arise when you ask your web designer; ‘can we make it do this?’, or ‘can you make it do that?’, and the answer is often an intake of air and.. surprise surprise either 'no', or 'we can' for the cost of a small car! The reason for this is that they are not proper software developers, (although don’t straight up tell them that because they probably think they are) and fundamentally, they did not develop the system. They have merely placed the design on top of it, so it’s actually pretty tough for them to do what you are asking without outsourcing to a software development company.

A true bespoke website will be modern, totally unique, scalable, delivered by the people responsible for the coding and not just the design, and fundamentally if you need a change it is often very easy and quick, but most importantly very doable!
Truly bespoke websites are delivered by companies with a combination of professional software engineers, user interface developers and highly skilled web-specific designers. These tend to be far more stable companies and not your fly-by-night very small design-only firms, so an additional benefit is that you don’t have to worry about your website disappearing one day!

Some large companies take the view that pre-built solutions are a very fast way of making easy money, and therefore still deliver them. Sadly, these tend to be the companies who charge the same as a bespoke development company would for a truly bespoke website, but instead they deliver to you a pre-built template system at an extortionate price! It’s a very fast way to make money if you can sleep at night with this kind of business model...

So are bespoke websites more expensive? Well, they most definitely should be, because they require highly skilled and experienced people to develop them, butquite often they are not more expensive at all! In our experience, they are sadly often cheaper than the pre-built templates systems, because some unscrupulous companies charge a great deal for placing a design on top of a pre-built solution.

Code Age & Technology 

One of the biggest problems with pre-built solutions is that they cost the founding company a great deal of cash to develop, as they try to create a one-size-fits-all type solution. This then leads to them needing to sell that solution over and over for many years to claw back their costs. In turn, this often means that the pre-built solution being sold to you is 5 to 10 years old (or worse) based on old technologies and techniques, albeit its existence in an ever-changing technological world!

A bespoke website will be developed with the very latest technologies, available online techniques and scripting functionality, and there is significant benefit to this online, not least of which is the search engine optimisation benefits.  

Expansion and Optimisation

One of the most significant limitations posed by template systems is the inability to expand and improve your website over time. If you want to say integrate your Sage accounts, your ERP system, CRM or barcoding system, etc, this can often be made overly-complicated or even impossible! 

Plugins are often available within open source pre-built solutions, which are intended to offer the user the ability to extend the possibilities set out in a template, these can soon prove to be unreliable, insufficient, bug riddled and even highly insecure. Developed by third parties, these plug-ins could not only clash when used in combination with other plug-ins, but also with general system updates across the template platform. This puts the user in a lose/lose situation, due to the fact that while an update may affect the freedom granted by these additions, neglecting to conform to system updates could increase the chances of your site’s security being compromised (actually a common problem with templates). These plugins can not only compromise security and reliability but are often not optimised and therefore contain unnecessary code, making the system sluggish and unresponsive.

As far as online optimisation is concerned, your website should be light, fast and responsive to the user, making it easy to use. You want to offer your customers a speedy and useful journey through your website, and this too is what the likes of Google want. They don’t care about you or your business, they only care that the website they are affectively recommending is providing a useful experience. After-all, if they constantly linked to slow and poor quality websites, then we’d all stop using them to search for things on the internet right?

The problem with a one-size-fits-all system, is that it lends itself to providing quick and easy solutions, meaning that you don’t need to be very skilled or experienced to provide one, again meaning that the site will not be properly optimised. These systems contain lots of bolt-on’s and plugins to handle newer technologies that didn’t exist when it was created 10 years ago, which  just adds to the slowness and the bulkiness. Add to this the inherent security issues which arise with these systems, and you have to wonder why they sell so well.

Support and Security 

As I have already mentioned above, template websites can cause serious problems when it comes to security, simply due to the fact that they present an attractive target for hackers. If you own a bespoke website, then hackers would need to target it specifically and run lots of tools to find out where the admin area is, where the database is stored, etc. This makes the process far more time consuming, and therefore less appealing. Template websites tend to have the same admin login area, the same database location and the same codebase etc, so they are very easy to hack. As part of a wider network of replicated sites, they form a super easy target once a vulnerability has been identified. 

No website is safe from a really good hacker, all you can do is provide as much security as possible and make it more time consuming for them; if a good hacker wants your information they’ll get it! If they can get into military instalments or FBI systems, then they can most definitely get into your website if they really want to. The point is, why would they waste their time trying to get into a relatively secure and obfuscated website, when all these template type sites exist on the internet? These pre-built solutions make it easy for them, and the designers developing them actually know very little about the technical security of a website in the first place.

In fact, an inherent security issue is posed by the fact that many of these systems are open source, and provide free plugins. If you want a widget within your website to perform a specific task, you can simply look online to see if someone has created a plugin for it. Often you will find it has been done and most of the time these will be fine, but how would you or your designer know if that plugin had some backdoor access type code hidden within it, or keyboard tracking, or a million other security risks? Bear in mind that your designer didn’t write the code, and more than likely wouldn’t understand it even if they did try to read it.

Another disadvantage of using a template is the lack of support when things do go wrong, like some of the issues I have mentioned above. If you discover a problem with your website, without the proper expertise it can be very difficult to diagnose and fix. 

Summary

So a bespoke website will have the following benefits:


- Truly bespoke design – not easily replicated
- A true responsive design – not emulated
- A proper development and design team for support and assistance
- More modern and technologically advanced code
- True scalability and the ability to integrate any online technology as it becomes available
- Security from common vulnerabilities
- Importantly, an optimised solution that is light, fast and responsive
- And lastly.. value for money! We’re not simply pushing a design onto a pre-built solution and then charging you the price of a small car for doing so!


We’re happy to answer any questions you may have on this subject, if you do have any further enquires, please don't hesitate to get in touch.


In the lead up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Sage Pay released some interesting statistics and information concerning the way in which consumers would be shopping this year, highlighting the psychological motivations which urge people to buy into the frenzied purchase of Christmas bargains.  In collaboration with Professor Vince Mitchell and psychologist Dr Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, they gave us an interesting insight into the psychological reasoning behind the spending habits of the British public, a few of which we will discuss in further detail below:

Fear of Missing Out: Triggering Primal Impulses

sage pay stats

With Sage predicting £1.7 billion to be spent this year, it’s clear that the increase in Christmas sales is not simply due to the fact that everyone’s feeling a little more charitable during the festive season. ‘Fear of Missing Out’ is an important factor in urging people to part with their money in cases where they would normally abstain from buying, which plays on our primal hunter-gatherer instinct to prioritize our survival of over that of others. While the conscious, logical mind knows that the prospect of getting a brand new television over the next person is far from being a life or death situation, 39% of shoppers said that the concept of getting the best deal was what urged them to buy. Consequently, 60% of shoppers admitted that they later regretted buying a bargain due to lack of need or use for the product, which demonstrates just how easy it is to play on people’s instincts in order to override the voice of reason which would usually prevent them from taking action.

Types of Customers: Why One Size Doesn’t Fit All

sage shopper categories

While there are some shared instincts inbuilt into every human, there are also many individual personality traits which retailers should consider in order to target certain types of shoppers. Dr Chamorro-Premusic split these into a list of categories, which highlight the recognizable characteristics presented by certain types of spenders:

  • The Hyper-Maximisers: Have a detached relationship with their money, spending it on things they need rather than want. Furthermore, they put a great deal of energy into finding the best deal and being careful with their money.

  • Old School Savers: Careful with their money and unlikely to splash out, they are put at a disadvantage by their slow adoption of technology.

  • Old School Spenders: Impulsive and carefree with money, focusing more on the short-term than the long-term. They are more likely to pay in cash.

  • Click and Collectors: More likely to spend on utilitarian needs rather than hedonistic wants, although such purchases are not typically price-sensitive. More likely to use technology for convenience rather than saving money.

  • Carefree Clickers: Use technology in their purchases for the experience’s sake rather than to save money, and are more likely to splash out on a treat than on essentials.

  • Cash Flashers: less likely to go cashless; their relationship with the cash they spend is both conspicuous and carefree.

  • Sanctioned Indulgers: Members of this group are careful with their money, but tend to spend it on indulgences and associate it with emotional benefits. They are not particularly open to new financial technologies.

  • Hunter-Gatherers: Risk-averse savers and budgeters who use the latest gadgets to help them in this quest. They are likely to enjoy this process of hunting for bargains and use technology to save money.

Online Ease: Why Cyber Monday is Likely to Outperform Black Friday

sagepay cyber monday information

With Sage predicting £828 million to be spent on Cyber Monday this year, it’s interesting to consider how the popularity of online shopping could cause the in-store Black Friday deals to become somewhat obsolete. Apparently 71% of us prefer shopping online simply out of convenience, but it also seems to be an environment in which we are more willing to make larger purchases and spend impulsively. 43% of UK shoppers said they experienced feelings of guilt when handing over cash; a process which is eliminated by the ease of online transactions. Professor Mitchell noted that “in the online world, the reality of things such as money can get distorted, removing the guilt we associate with face-to-face spending”. With many of the negative experiences associated with in-store shopping removed, it is hardly surprising that online sales are progressively out-performing those seen on the high street.

In conclusion, Sage noted that while the Christmas shopping scramble is an important time for retailers, they should also remember to consider long term loyalty when targeting their customers. While impulse inspiring deals can prove to be profitable short-term, a universal model won’t keep customers coming back. Retailers should be catering to different types of customers by selling and promoting in different ways, in order to alleviate feelings of remorse and secure a sense of loyalty. Business should also keep in mind their capabilities and resources before attempting to keep up with larger corporations, in order to ensure that any action taken is good for their business as opposed to being detrimental to their reputation.

All information provided by http://www.sagepay.co.uk/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sageuk


IDS are a security company based in Cardiff who specialise in providing professional security and fire protection systems throughout the UK. With decades of experience in the field, the team are able to oversee the design, installation and maintenance of a variety of security systems, ranging from CCTV and access control to fire alarms. In addition to these services, they also offer 24/7 call-out and monitoring to their customers every day of the year. 

Despite being an established company with a thorough knowledge of their trade, IDS recognised that their website was not performing well enough in search engine results, which is what led them to contact Designer Websites. After careful consideration, our team set about improving the website in order to ensure that it was a great reflection of the company's products and services, which could easily be reached by potential customers. 

The new IDS website has a more professional look, with content that makes efficient use of meta tags and copy to ensure that the company will rank well in search results. The site also has an improved focus on local search terms, allowing them to effectively target and increase their business prospects within Cardiff and the surrounding area. In addition to these improvements, we also added a blog to allow IDS to share their latest news and insights, providing them with an enriched means of communicating with both new and existing customers.

You can view the new website we created for IDS here

For more information about the range of website optimization services we offer, click here, or follow this link to send us your questions and ask for a quote.
Responsive vs. Non-Responsive Websites

The development of new technology moves at an alarmingly accelerated rate, and it's important for business owners and web developers alike to keep up with these changes in order to respond to customer demands. One of the biggest changes to how we search and browse the internet today has been the popularisation of portable devices such as smartphones and tablets. We are now able to search for products and services online at any time we wish with practically no restrictions, dramatically changing the way in which we browse and keep up with online content. As a direct result of these changes, website owners need to adapt their sites in order to meet the ever-changing needs of consumers.

This is why responsive web design has become such a popular solution in recent years. Internet users now expect to be able to transfer from one device to another with ease, and well-made responsive websites deliver consistency and adaptability to users while making the lives of SEOs much easier in the process. In this blog post, we will highlight some of the differences between responsive and non-responsive websites, demonstrating why the former option is usually the better of the two.

Images and Loading Times 

Images are a great way to capture a user's attention straight away, which is part of the reason why it's important to include great-quality visuals on any website. A non-optimised website can pose many problems when viewing these images on portable devices, including increased loading times. Responsive web design utilises flexible grids, layouts and images in combination with intelligent use of CSS media queries to address this problem, allowing visuals to appear clearly across a multitude of devices with varied screen sizes. 

Being User-Friendly

As noted above, responsive websites are a great way to prevent images from losing their impact when viewed on devices with smaller screens. This goes for the text and navigation of a website, too; by optimising a website for use on mobile devices, web developers are able to streamline content while making it easier for users to view and navigate the site.

Some would argue that a dedicated mobile website performs better in this respect, particularly in the case of news sites with a lot of written content or ecommerce sites with a variety of functions that are difficult to translate. But here's the problem: due to the fact that every website must found its reputation from scratch, regardless of a separate website being part of the same brand or business, a separate mobile website will struggle to perform well in search engines. A responsive website, on the other hand, can deliver a great user experience across all devices whilst also preserving the site's reputation by keeping everything under one URL.

Pleasing Google and Getting Noticed

Recognition from Google is of vital importance to every website owner, due to the simple fact that high Google rankings drive a lot of traffic. If you're looking to improve your Google rankings, it's important to keep an eye on the bounce rate of each page on your website; a high bounce rate means that users leave quickly because they can't find what they are looking for.

Non-responsive websites often fail to translate content efficiently from one device to another, and this can force mobile visitors to give up on your site very quickly. This is why responsive websites seek to prioritise usability in their design, benefiting both the customer and the website owner by improving the search and share experience. The issue of consistent reputation (see above) is also part of this wider experience, as it once again makes it easier to get your site noticed and ranked higher by Google. Having a single URL for all versions of your site makes it easier for Googlebot to crawl and index the content while avoiding any accidental duplicate content issues. meaning that all positive reactions will be valid on other devices.

* * *

And there you have it: a short guide to the difference between responsive and non-responsive websites, and how they function for users and businesses.

If you would like Designer Websites to create a responsive website for your business, please click here to request a quotation.
Spectrum Displays

Spectrum Displays specialise in the design, construction and installation of film and television sets, as well as display stands and conference sets for special events. They also offer digital print and signage services to businesses who are looking to be more visually engaging. 

Despite having years of experience in the industry and a proven track record of success on a number of exciting projects, Spectrum did not previously have a website on which to display their vast portfolio of work and reach out to new clients. Attractive, engaging online content is vital for the continued success of businesses in the modern world, and now that their brand new site has gone live, Spectrum have a platform that will allow them to expand and improve their business.

The bespoke design of Spectrum's new website ensures that they are able to reach new customers in an appealing and visually exciting way. It is also fully responsive, thereby improving the usability of the website on smartphones and tablets and making it completely accessible and user-friendly for anyone visiting the site.

Due to the nature of Spectrum's business, it was essential to ensure that the website made prominent use of visual features. The use of photography is prevalent across the entirety of the new site, contributing to a clear and compelling reflection of the company's previous work. The subcategories of each speciality title lead to a gallery of images, which can be viewed as an online portfolio of Spectrum's previous work. 

While it was important to provide examples that placed emphasis on the finished product supplied by the company, it was also vital to present potential customers with familiar brand names in order to further endorse Spectrum's reputability. For this reason, client logos such as that of the BBC and ITV are prominently featured at the bottom of the homepage; this serves as a visual indicator that Spectrum have worked with some of the biggest names in the film and TV industry. 

Click here to explore Spectrum Displays' new dynamic website for yourself.

Having worked with the company behind Safety Life Gear on previous occasions, we were recently approached by them again, as they had decided to expand their existing business by branching out into branded workwear. Pleased with the results we had achieved for their other businesses, Designer Websites were their first choice when setting up this new venture, as they knew we could deliver an engaging and user-friendly e-commerce web design.

Safety Life Gear's new website allows users to browse an extensive selection of workwear and PPE, covering everything from hospitality aprons to hard hats. This selection is comprised of items for men, women and children, including a vast selection of accessories as well as clothing items. The majority of these items also come with the option to personalise them with company names and logos, offering you the option to choose between plain and branded clothing. 

Due to our previous work with the company, it was important to us that the design and branding of the site was consistent with their previous websites, which is clear in everything from the logo placement to the menu style. We also wanted to ensure that the site was as easy to use as possible for customers, which is why we implemented a quick and simple customization process. Under each product there is a 'Branded from' and 'Blank from' button, which makes it simpler and more efficient for customers to place their order and check out. Once the user has selected the branded option, they can upload their desired branding and select from a range of placement options, making the order process as hassle-free as possible.

As well as making the design work for customers, we were also keen to ensure that the company could make their own changes with ease and efficiency, via the straightforward CMS system. The company is able to manage everything from homepage banners, to featured products and page content, making it easy for them to add new products and advertise offers.

You can view the new Safety Life Gear website. To find out more about our web design and branding services, please contact us today.

The main purpose of pay per click advertising is to drive high quality traffic from your target market to your website for the lowest cost possible. To do this depends on the relevance of your adverts, your keywords, and your landing pages, both to each other and to your target market. 

Once your keywords, ad groups and landing pages are completely synergised, you will be rewarded with a higher position in Google's SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages), and you will pay less every time someone clicks your ad.  You may also see a metric called “Quality Score” increasing.

Quality score is one of the most important metrics in a Google advertising campaign. Quality score is scored out of 10 (1 being the most expensive and 10 being the cheapest). If and where your ad will be shown on the SERPs is all down to your quality score.  After a recent update, the default quality score for newly added keywords is 6; however this is subject to change very quickly. Quality score is  calculated by an algorithm based on the following factors; 

The relevance of your ad copy - When you are organising your account, it is important to ensure that your keywords are in a tight-knit ad group; this enables you to create ad copy that is relevant to all of the keywords in your ad group. This means that when a potential customer enters a relevant search query into the Google search box, your ad will be relevant to their search. Which leads us nicely onto the next point... 

Click-through rate (CTR) - Even though no one knows just how much weighting CTR has on Google's quality score, it is pretty obvious that Google count this as one of the most important factors, if not the most important. 

If your advert is relevant to the searcher's query, they will click on your ad and enter your site in the hope that they can find a solution to their problem through your company. The more people who click on your advert, the more likely Google are to realise that your website is relevant for this particular search and increase your overall quality score accordingly. To increase your click-through rate, make sure that your ad copy is relevant. 

Landing page - You have now created the tight-knit ad group and created a relevant advert that reflects your keywords. Now you need to think about where on your site you are going to send your traffic. Obviously, you need to send people to a page that is relevant to your keywords, and to your ad copy.

For example, let's say you are creating a campaign for a web design agency that specialises in ecommerce websites, but also provides customers with various digital marketing solutions. The company owner has asked you to create a campaign that focuses on their responsive ecommerce website design service. You will need to point your adverts to your ecommerce landing pages, not your digital marketing pages, as this will decrease the relevance of your adverts, meaning that they will not be shown as much, if at all. Furthermore, if your ads are pointed at irrelevant landing pages, every click you receive will be really expensive, and most importantly, potential customers will click onto the website, see that they are on the wrong page, and leave, increasing your bounce rate.

Unfortunately, people do not often have time to look through your website to find the exact page or product that they require. The less clicks it takes for them to find what they need, the more engaged they will be, increasing the likelihood of the customer completing your goal (e.g. signing up to your newsletter, downloading your e-book, purchasing a product, booking an appointment, or making enquiry about your company). When your tracked goal has been completed, this will be recorded in AdWords as a conversion. An increased click-through rate at a lower cost means that your cost per conversion is decreased, and your return on investment is increased! 

Would you like our professional digital marketing team to manage your paid search campaigns for you? Click here to request a quote, or give us a call on 01146 339050.
Psmicrographs responsive website

Have you ever seen a photo of something microscopic (such as a dust mite or a red blood cell) and wondered how that photo was taken? Well, there's a high probability that it was captured using a scanning electron microscope, or SEM; there's also a reasonably good chance that it was taken by the team at PSmicrographs, who specialise in SEM photography and provide a huge variety of detailed stock images to the people and the organisations who need them.

PSmicrographs recently contacted us because they wanted to update their website. The company's bosses had noticed a sharp increase in mobile traffic (that is, the number of users viewing the PSmicrographs site on a mobile device), and they were concerned that their website's design wasn't properly optimised for smartphones and other small screens.

We quoted PSmicrographs for a responsive website design, and work was soon under way to make their extensive image library easier to browse on mobile devices. That work has now been completed, and www.psmicrographs.co.uk is now a fully responsive website, functioning just as well on smartphones and tablets as on desktop computers.

If you need scientific stock photos of anything from chromosomes to wolf spiders, we heartily recommend that you visit the PSmicrographs website and browse their comprehensive collection of SEM images. Whether you're browsing the website on a PC, an iPad, or your mobile phone, we are confident that you'll find it easy to navigate and a joy to use in general.
Cross Accounting Service website

Based in the Rhiwbina district of Cardiff, Cross Accounting offer a wide range of accounting services for businesses of all sizes. The firm's specialities include bookkeeping, managing payrolls, and assisting with self-assessment tax returns; with years of experience and a flawless track record, Cross are among the leading accountancy firms in South Wales, and they're taking on new clients all the time.

As the owner of a growing business with a great reputation to uphold, Cross Accounting founder Nicola Cross was keen to ensure that her firm's website was providing potential clients with the best possible online experience. She recently asked our website design team to take a look at her site with a view to making it a little more mobile-friendly, and we're pleased to announce that the new, responsive version of the Cross Accounting website was released yesterday.

This version of the site has been designed to look good and operate smoothly on screens of all sizes, from desktop computers and laptops right down to tablets and smartphones. Mobile users see all the same information about the firm, but the site's navigation automatically changes to fit the smaller view, making it easier for clients to find what they're looking for on their phones.

We're very pleased to have worked with Cross Accounting, and we wish Nicola and her team all the best for the future. If you're based in South Wales and you need an expert accountant for your business, be sure to get in touch!

4 ecommerce optimisation tips for online retailers

 
Ecommerce optimisation
 
Ecommerce websites are typically a lot more complex than brochure websites. For one thing, ecommerce websites require some kind of online payment system, but there's also the issue of sheer size - by dedicating an entire page to each and every product you sell, you're potentially saddling yourself with a website that's hundreds or even thousands of pages deep.
 
And, as you can imagine, organising and optimising that many pages can be a mammoth headache. Fortunately, our website optimisation experts are here to share a few tips and suggestions that will help you to both climb the Google rankings and do a better job of satisfying your customers. If you're serious about optimising your ecommerce website, here are some things to bear in mind:

Every page should have its own unique title tag.

Google's guidelines demand "distinct, descriptive titles for each page on your site", and this includes the many product pages that form the bulk of your ecommerce website. The page title tag is an extremely important ranking factor for search engines, and since you ideally want all of your product pages to rank highly for relevant search terms, it's a good idea to come up with a different title tag for each and every one.
 
Let's say, for example, that your company sells decorative lampshades. Your lampshades come in dozens of different colours and designs, so it doesn't make sense to use a generic title tag like Buy Cheap Lampshades for Your Home on every single product page. A better approach is to craft title tags that give a more detailed description of each individual product; for example:
  • Dark Blue Lampshade | Buy from Spiffing Shades
  • Bright Red Pendant Lampshade from Spiffing Shades
  • Black & White Lampshade for Floor Lamps
  • Gingham Lampshade | Order Online with Spiffing Shades
These page titles tell search engines (and the people who use them) a lot more about each of your products, and this will make it easier for Google et al to index your product range and list your pages on relevant SERPs. Each title tag should also be accompanied with a unique meta description that offers a little more information about each product. For instance, here's what the description for that dark blue lampshade might look like:
 
This dark blue lampshade is handmade by the experts at Spiffing Shades, and includes a dual purpose fitting that's compatible with ES and BC lamps.

 

The recommended maximum length for a title tag is just 55 characters, so the meta description is a good way to go into greater detail about the page you're optimising.

Avoid duplicate content.

You might think that, once each of your product pages has its own unique title tag and meta description, you don't have to worry too much about what's actually on the page. Unfortunately, if you're serious about conquering your competition in the Google rankings, you'll need to write unique copy for each of your product pages as well.
 
This task can be particularly tedious if a lot of your products are very similar to one another, but it still has to be done. If Spiffing Shades sell a hexagonal lampshade in five different colours (red, blue, white, yellow and black), the company's copywriter will need to write five different descriptions to give each product page the best chance of ranking. Of course, Spiffing Shades could simply choose to list the hexagonal lampshade as a single product, with customers selecting their preferred colour via a drop-down list; this would mean less work for their copywriter, but that single product page would struggle to rank for colour-specific terms like 'hexagonal red lampshade' or 'black lampshade hexagon shape'.
 
So why can't the Spiffing Shades team just create five different pages and re-use the same product description on all of them? Because search engines don't handle duplicate content well. Each of those hexagonal lampshade pages will look practically identical to Google's bots if the same text is used on each one (and no, changing 'red' to 'blue' won't make a difference!)
 
If Google finds multiple pages that all look alike, it will usually only index one, which means that all the other similar pages cannot possibly appear in search engine results. Too many identical pages may even result in an outright Google penalty that affects your entire website - is it really worth taking that risk just to save a little time on writing product descriptions?

Put your most important products on the homepage.

We at Designer Websites have created a lot of ecommerce websites in our time, and one thing we've noticed on numerous occasions is that product pages seem to rank significantly higher when linked to directly from the homepage.
 
This may be because putting a product on the top page of your website makes it much easier for bots to find, crawl and index; whatever the reason, it seems to work, so if there's a particular product that you'd like to see on the first page of Google results, we'd always recommend including that item among the products listed on your homepage.

Put some effort into your images!

Images are an absolutely crucial factor for any ecommerce website - whether you're selling cookers, toys, laptops, or combine harvesters, nobody will be interested unless they can see what they're buying. 
 
But that's not the only reason to make sure you've got high-quality images for each of your product lines. There's also the small matter of Google Images; we've seen websites pull in thousands of visitors every month from image searches alone, so it's well worth getting your pictures done properly. Attractive, eye-catching product images will help you to stand out from all the other image listings (they're also essential for a successful Google Shopping campaign), and adding clear, concise alt tags to each of your images will help them to get closer to the top of the results page.
 
Need more help with your ecommerce website? Get in touch with Designer Websites for a quotation - whether you need some website optimisation or a brand new website design, we'll listen to your requirements and work to achieve the results you want!
Scoliosis SOS
 
The Scoliosis SOS Clinic has the distinction of being the only UK clinic that offers non-surgical treatments for scoliosis and other curvatures of the spine. Using a range of techniques - including the Schroth method, trigger point therapy, and osteopathy - the Scoliosis SOS team are able to effectively combat spinal conditions with no need for surgery; as the video below shows, this approach gets fantastic results for the Clinic's patients!
 
 
Scoliosis SOS got in touch with Designer Websites because they needed use to redesign the company website. Not only would the new site have to look more attractive and encourage more users to contact the Clinic, it would also need to have a responsive design that functioned equally well across all devices (including smartphones and tablets).
 
The new website went live last week and we're pleased to say that we met every requirement of the Clinic's brief. The site's layout makes it easy for scoliosis sufferers to learn about the company, its methods, and the results they can expect, and the numerous case studies and testimonials offer extensive insight from previous patients. Furthermore, our web design team delivered a sleek, responsive design that allows patients to get all the information they need regardless of what device they're using.
 
If you're seeking non-surgical scoliosis treatment - or if you'd just like to see our team's latest work - then visit the new Scoliosis SOS website now!