For amateur and professional bloggers alike, the art of SEO is one that must be practised and perfected in order to ensure your content performs to its fullest potential.

That being said, to the untrained, non-SEO aficionado, the optimising content for search engines can seem like a daunting task.

Luckily, it can be a lot easier than you would think; optimised blogs that are ready, willing and able to perform aren't just reserved for those that have a computer science degree.

 

seo basics, seo for bloggers

 

SEO for Bloggers

Neglecting to implement the SEO basics can act as the ultimate anchor that’s guaranteed to drag your content down the pecking order.

To help your blog soar to the SERP heights it deserves, try implementing these simple SEO basics into your content and turn your underperforming blog into a Search Engine Optimus Prime.

 

Need for Site Speed

If your idea of reducing cookie size is to bite it in half, chances are you won’t know how to minify HTML or make AJAX cacheable either.

Luckily, there are simple ways to help boost the speed of your blog page and perhaps the easiest of these is to optimise your images.

Most bloggers will be well-aware of the benefits of imagery within a blog and include them accordingly, so optimising these images is vital.

Compressing the image file can work wonders, as can appropriate resizing; however, be sure to scale outside of HTML.

Finally, name the file appropriately and make the most of the Alt Text, ideally using relevant keywords in both.

 

Beverly Hills Copy

Reading copy online can be notably different to reading in print, particularly when it comes to article length.

While a chunk of text on a page may seem manageable, seeing a long, scrollable block of text can be off-putting, often leading the visitor to either skim-read or potentially not read your blog at all.

As such, quality copywriting is key and layout is never more important. To sum it up in a sentence, don’t waffle, be engaging and make the most of space by breaking up your text.

In addition to improving the quality and readability of your content, top-notch copy will also keep readers engaged in your blog for longer.

The resulting “time on page” and “session duration” stats will ultimately lead Google to the conclusion that you’re producing Grade A content (which hopefully is true!) and reward you accordingly with a better ranking.

 

Back-Link to the Future

How many times have you fallen down the YouTube rabbit hole, watching countless related videos only to wind up a million miles away from where you started? Such is the power of related content.

Internal linking is your blog’s very own rabbit hole, allowing your readers to easily navigate from the original blog to topics of relative interest with ease. Best of all, it keeps your readers engaged with your content for longer and, most importantly, keeps them on your site.

It’s also an inherently easy way to share link equity around your site; however, this shouldn’t be taken as an opportunity to shoe-horn in as many links as possible. Aim to keep your links as relevant as possible to the original post, ideally linking related anchor text within the body of the blog.

For example, a blog on a motoring site about legal tread depth would be perfect to link from an article about changing a tyre. Conversely, it’s probably not the best blog to link to from a blog about fashion.

 

Clash of the Titles

While it may seem obvious, it’s worth covering all the same – optimising your meta titles is vital when it comes to SEO.

If you’re targeting specific keywords, it’s a wise move to include your most relevant one in the title itself. If you’re writing a blog around the subject of the Atkins diet, there’s no reason that phrase shouldn’t be the title itself.

While the headers to become less impactful as you go down the line (H1s to H2s to H3s, etc.), incorporating keywords into your main headings and titles can reap many rewards.

It’s also important to remember that excessively long titles will become truncated, leading to what is, essentially, half a title.

Aim to keep your titles under 60 characters to ensure your blog title makes the cut without taking a cut.

 

URL-Raiser

Much like the title of the blog, another easy way to make your blog SEO friendly is to optimise the URL.

A URL that’s excessively long and/or full of random numbers, letters and symbols does no favours to anyone: from the person reading it to the person writing it and search engine bots in between.

A keyword-rich URL that’s concise, accurate and readable is key. This can help enhance visibility and social sharing, while it can also contribute to better SEO performance due to the fact that URLs are commonly used as anchor text via copy and pasting.

A link to sampleblog.net/URL-advice is pretty self-explanatory, even if the title of the blog itself is not present, increasing the user experience as a result. Conversely, ambiguous URLs can be off-putting, deterring clicks as a result.

 

 

For more SEO tips and blog writing advice, check out our SEO blogs for further details. Alternatively, why not drop us a line and find out all about our professional SEO services at Designer Websites? Call now on 01446 339050 or click the button below to get in touch online.

Get in Touch

Another week has come and gone with huge announcements from the world's biggest tech companies including Apple, Facebook and YouTube. So, without further ado, let's jump in! 

Apple Music now available on the web

Starting in beta this week, Apple Music users will now be able to stream their favourite tracks straight from a browser without having to install iTunes or a separate Apple Music app. The new web interface is available as a public beta for subscribers at http://beta.music.apple.com/.

When launching the interface, users will immediately see the similarities between the new standalone Music app that Apple is launching with macOS Catalina later this year. Apple has stated that it should work in all browsers, across all devices, including Chrome OS, Windows 10 and Androids.

The beta site excludes some features that users may be used to, including the flagship Beats 1 live broadcast, original music videos and smart playlists. Apple says it will be adding more features over time, however. The new site moves Apple on par with its biggest competitor Spotify, which became the first platform to hit 100m paid subscribers this year.

Image: Theverge.com

Facebook Dating launches in the US

This week, social media giant Facebook announced that it's launching its dating service in the US, with plans to expand the new feature to Europe by early 2020. Facebook's dating service is currently available in 19 countries which includes Singapore, Mexico and Canada. Eventually, Facebook plans to release the service on a global scale.

Facebook will begin to integrate features from Instagram, the Facebook-owned app which was purchased in 2012. This move is planned in the hope that more users in their late teens and 20's will try the service, providing them with the ability to add recent Instagram posts to their dating profiles. They can also add one of their Instagram followers as their 'Secret Crush', that lets them select up to nine Facebook friends they're interested in romantically. By the close of the year, Facebook plans to bring both Facebook and Instagram stories to the dating service, allowing users to posts photos and videos to their profiles that disappear after 24 hours.  

 

Image: newsroom.fb.com

YouTube launches a new hub for fashion & beauty

YouTube, the Google-owned video site, launched a new hub for fashion and beauty content; YouTube.com/Fashion

Derek Blasberg, director of YouTube Fashion and Beauty said this week, "The aim for /Fashion is to create an ultimate destination for style content that bridges both our fabulous endemic creator community and the more traditional worlds of fashion and beauty. My hope is that anyone looking for all things style will now have a place to come and be inspired by what they see."

The new hub will feature videos from various YouTube creators, livestreams of runways shows and collaborations with world-renown brands such as Dior and Louis Vuitton. YouTube stated that the number of fashion and beauty channels on the site grew more than six times between 2014 and 2018 and generated billions of views last year. 

 

Image: Pixabay.com

To keep up with further news and updates from around the tech and digital marketing world, be sure to follow Designer Websites on Twitter! See you next week. 

Follow Us > 

The world of online marketing has changed a lot over the last decade. Consumer habits have changed with every passing year and technological advances have altered the way we consume media and information dramatically.

As a result, certain marketing techniques have become virtually obsolete, particularly when it comes to SEO. By contrast, video has become increasingly popular in recent years and this trend doesn’t look to change any time soon.

There’s no denying it, video content is king, so you better learn how to bend the knee!

 

video content for business, video content ideas

 

Typical Video Content for Businesses

When it comes to online marketing, video content for businesses is a lot like protein for bodybuilders.

Avoiding video isn’t just foolish, it’s essentially starving your company of a vital nutrient it needs to grow and perform to its fullest potential.

For many SMEs, some of the most common video content comes in the form of the following:

 

Helpful Tips/Tutorials

There’s a reason why they used to call the internet the “information superhighway”.

The first port of call for anyone looking to find out anything, the internet is the #1 destination for those seeking a solution to a problem, query or conundrum.

Providing answers, walkthroughs and guides on how to do things is a sure-fire way to get brownie points with your customers.

What’s more, actions speak louder than words; the power of video wins over text any day.

 

Expert Interviews 

Calling on company experts with specialist knowledge of a particular field can be great for providing useful, topical content to your customers.

This added value can further endear your brand to the consumer, strengthening the relationship as a result.

An engaging alternative to this is to conduct a Q&A using customer questions as the basis for the topics, allowing you to get to the root of what the public really wants to know.

 

Behind the Scenes

Providing a peek behind the curtain into your business can be a fantastic way to let your customers and clientele get a feel for the people behind the brand.

Creative offices are particularly interesting when it comes to these kinds of videos, providing a unique insight into the quirky environments where day-to-day business is conducted.

This can extend to include additional content like staff introductions and mini personality profiles from key players in the company.

 

Product Reviews

If you’re considering using a service or buying a product, chances are you’ve looked at online reviews for guidance at some point.

From a content creator’s perspective, this can translate brilliantly into video and transform customer feedback into a personable, sincere testimonial.

You don’t even have to stick to the customer testimonial route either. There’s nothing stopping you from reviewing products relative to your business as well.

In fact, providing expert insight and opinion on related products can be extremely helpful and useful to the consumer.

Unboxing videos have also become hugely popular in recent years, so why not jump on the bandwagon and ride the wave while the tide is high?

 

How It’s Made

Whether it’s a physical product, an online service or something else entirely, providing background info on how something came to be can serves two purposes.

In addition to providing your customers with insight into the process, it also acts a great way to showcase your skills and show-off exactly why your company is good at what it does.

When it comes to creative tasks and large-scale projects, time lapse videos are perfect, providing an impressive overview of the journey in a perfectly digestible manner.

 

video content for business, video content ideas

Video Content Ideas

While the former suggestions are great for creating video content you can churn out on a regular basis, none of these topics are really reinventing the wheel or breaking new ground in terms of creativity.

If you’re really looking to gain some momentum and build some excitement through your video content, why not consider exploring some of the following options to really give your business a shot in the arm.

 

Product Reveals

If your company is launching a new product, offering a new service or unveiling a new innovation, a reveal video is the perfect way to go about it.

Reveal videos allow you to create a buzz behind your newest addition and get it off to a running start with the fanfare to suit.

Product reveals also allow you to demonstrate how it works right off the bat and showcase the features and benefits of this exciting new addition.

 

Teaser Videos

Much like a product reveal, a teaser video is the perfect way to pique interest without giving away any of the details.

Subtle hints and glimpses into your main announcement, drip-fed in an enigmatic fashion can be the perfect way to whet the appetite of your audience prior to a big announcement.

Inherently short in length and even shorter on details, teaser videos provide the perfect weapon to provoke intrigue and expand the reach ahead of your actual announcement.

Best of all, this allows you to get additional content out of one reveal, providing ready-made ammunition for awesome video content.

 

Competitions

From the very young to the very old and everywhere in between, it’s a trait that’s virtually universal – everyone loves a freebie.

Competitions make for great content. Better still, they make for great shareable content, expanding your reach with little effort at all.

Creating a competition announcement or laying down a challenge in video form makes for effective video content.

Better still, you can also film the results to get even more content out of the very same competition.

 

Promotional Activities

If your business is planning on engaging in unique, fun or colourful promotional activity, getting such actions on film should be a top priority.

Whether it’s a pop-up stand in a local shopping mall or a branded vehicle in a major parade, promotional activities, big or small, show that your company is so much more than MS Office and invoices.

Interacting with the public through such activities can do wonders for brand awareness and help shape the public’s opinion of your overall business.

Failing to record any promotional activity is a waste of Grade A content and a regret that is virtually impossible to rectify once the moment has past.

 

Team Building

Much like promotional activities, team building exercises can translate well into excellent content, particularly when it comes to reinforcing a brand image and strengthening your company’s relationship with its customers/clients.

After all, a business is only as strong as the people behind it and showing the human side of your company can be a great way to humanise your brand. It also shows that the company values its employees which, once again, does wonders for the appeal of the brand.

As such, getting it on video can be a great way to provide unique content while also positively reinforcing your brand in the public eye.

 

 

If you’re interested in professional video solutions for your business, why not drop us a line? At Designer Websites, we offer a variety of video options, from company showreels to drone filming, so contact us today! Call now on 01446 339050 or click the link below to get in touch online.

Get in Touch

It's been a short week for us here at Designer Websites as we all enjoyed a long weekend for August bank holiday. However, the SEO, PPC & technology worlds never stand still and plenty of exciting things have been happening this week! Let's take a look...

Competitor ads appear on local business profiles

This week people started noticing Google ads appearing in local business profiles. Up until now, businesses have had a perception of ownership or exclusivity on their business profiles, but of course - like everything else that appears in search results - business profiles are owned by Google. Here's an example of what these ads look like:

Photo from searchengineland.com

Here you can see a business profile for a Chrysler store in California. Below all of the contact options, you can see an ad for Valley Hi Toyota, a different car dealership that's over an hour away from the Chrysler dealer.

Will this be helpful for users? In a way, yes, especially when you're doing something more mundane than buying a new car. Let's say you're trying to find a Chinese restaurant for your Friday night takeaway, perhaps the one you select is closed tonight, but Google advertises one that's open - it will save users time and they might even like the new restaurant more! 

For business owners, this feature is likely to be more of a nuisance and, so far, the SEO community agrees. Google is essentially drawing potential customers away from your business as they view your business profile. Worse still, businesses can't pay to remove the ads so they're here to stay. 

Can humans keep up with AI?

Alibaba's Jack Ma and Tesla's founder Elon Musk took to the stage at an event in Shanghai to share their views on the potential future impact of artificial intelligence. Despite being two of the most influential leaders in the technology community, their predictions for the impact of AI couldn't have been any more different.

Photo from bbc.co.uk

Chinese entrepreneur Jack Ma was 'quite optimistic' about the future of AI and suggested it's nothing to be scared of. Musk's response, 'I don't know man, that's like famous last words'. Musk believes that humans are simply the 'boot loader for digital super-intelligence', in layman's terms, a simple catalyst for its creation that will eventually be no longer needed. To avoid this fate, Musk suggests that we need to find a way to connect our brains to the computers so we can "go along for the ride with AI".

Despite their conflicting opinion on this topic, the two businessmen did agree that one of the biggest issues we face worldwide is population collapse. As more thing become automated and people starting to use more of their time for pleasure, both men predict a severe decline in population. They suggested that using AI to help people live longer and healthier lives could be part of the solution. 

Google tests content highlighting

Google have confirmed they are testing a new feature that will take users directly to the most relevant information on a page, depending on their query. Yep, Google is finding even more ways to serve users the information they want as quickly as possible, and we're not mad at it! Google originally introduced this feature on mobile, but it's now being trialled on desktop too.

Photo taken from searchengineland.com

So, here's how it works. Certain queries will show a featured snippet, the content of which is pulled from a source that Google considers highly-authoritative on the topic. When a user clicks the website shown in the snippet, Google with move the view down to the passage featured in the snippet to show users the most relevant content. 

 

Photo from searchengineland.com

This should provide an extra stream of traffic to well-optimised content as more chunks of it appear in search results. The best way for SEOs to stay on top of this is to keep an eye on whether their websites are doing this in Google search and rearrange or replace ads/call to actions in a more appropriate location on the page.

To keep up with further news and updates from around the tech and digital marketing world, be sure to follow Designer Websites on Twitter! See you next week. 

Follow Us >

The world of SEO is a lot like the world of fashion: if you want to stay relevant, you’ve got to keep up with the latest trends.

For SEO specialists, that means staying abreast of the latest Google algorithm updates and failing to do so can see you fall behind as a result. What’s more, continuing to use outdated SEO techniques can not only be ineffectual, it can even result in you being penalised as a result.

While the list of ageing SEO tactics grows with each passing year and every additional algorithm update, there are still a few old-school SEO techniques that continue crop up, despite their ineffectiveness.

Here are a handful of the most common outdated SEO offenders still prevalent in 2019.

 

outdated seo, seo techniques

 

Exact-Match Domains (EMDs)

Exact-match domains are essentially examples of websites where the web address itself is rich in keywords and describes what the site itself does.

For example, a business that focuses on student housing in Cardiff may have opted for a domain like studenthousingcardiff.co.uk. Think of it as the Ronseal effect – it does exactly what it says on the tin.

EMDs were once deemed to be a fool-proof SEO tactic, allowing sites to scale the SERPs like Sly Stallone in Cliffhanger. However, their effectiveness has since plummeted and the popularity of EMDs has fallen dramatically… like John Lithgow in Cliffhanger.

Nineties movie references aside, EMDs today are more of a deterrent than an SEO tool, appearing spammy and illegitimate to both Google and Joe Public alike. This can, in turn, hinder conversions and make link building more difficult.

 

Exact-Match Anchor Text

Exact-match anchor text is hyperlinked text that matches the exact desired keyword or phrase of the page. While sparing use can be…well, useful, overuse can be extremely detrimental to your site.

Exact-match anchor text can be seen by Google as a tell-tale sign of deliberate link building and, as such, can be deemed to be search engine manipulation, resulting in your page/site being penalised.

To avoid incurring a penalty, try to create natural links related to the anchor phrase by either opting for a partial match or an unmatched linkable phrase.

For example, if the exact match keyword is “Halloween costumes”, a partial match could be the phrase “Check out our range of Halloween costumes”.

Meanwhile, a safer bet would be to link the phrase “Check out our variety of spooky fancy dress options” – relevant yet completely unmatched.

 

Dedicated Pages for Keyword Variations

While the old-school method of targeting a single keyword on a specific page may have worked in a by-gone era, Google’s ever-evolving algorithm has luckily put this process to bed and tucked it in tight.

Thanks to the increasingly clever semantics of Google’s Knowledge Graph, the search engine is now able to take into account relative words and phrases that correspond to the search term.

The arrival of RankBrain – Google’s cutting-edge AI system – allowed it to understand the user intent even further, providing even more relevancy and accuracy in the search results.

If you have created singular pages for keyword variations in the past, keeping such superfluous content can be an issue and actually hinder your positioning in the SERPs.

If possible, merge the content and remove the surplus pages, placing their desired relevant keywords in positions of prominence within the surviving page.

 

Writing for Bots

Another classic way of attempting to boost Google rankings is to tailor your content to appeal to Google bots, keyword stuffing and shoe-horning phrases in wherever they will fit (and even where they won’t).

For example, once upon a time, a blog targeting the keyword term “writing for bots” may have looked like this:

“Writing for bots is great for SEO. If you’re thinking of writing for bots, check out our guide on writing for bots to help you uncover the secrets of writing for bots.”

Thankfully, this form of content manipulation has been largely eradicated, allowing the content itself to flow naturally and freely in a far more logical and readable way.

Think of it as the digital equivalent of forcing an impressive phrase into your French oral exam. While it may tick the box in terms of application, the phrase itself can be extremely out of place contextually and stick out like a sore thumb in practice.

Bottom line: write for the individual reading it, not the bot combing it, to ensure your content is extraordinaire and not a whole lotta bof.

 

Irrelevant Links

Google is continuously updating its system to keep spam to an absolute minimum, with algorithm changes constantly evolving the way it processes our search requests.

In the pursuit of backlinks, some SEO strategists will opt to link to any content regardless of quality, provided it garners reciprocated backlinks to their site. Nowadays, if this happens to enter spam territory, it could spell trouble.

Relevant backlinks that are relative to your target demographic, your business or your market, providing useful user information can help improve your SEO standing.

Conversely, off-topic, irrelevant links that have nothing to do with your content can have an adverse effect and attract penalties from Officer Google.

 

For more information on outdated SEO techniques and the best tips for today, why not check out our other SEO blogs? Alternatively, drop us a line on 01446 339050 or use the button below to get in touch online.

Contact Us

Another week and another DW Roundup blog where we take a look at all of the biggest news from the worlds of SEO, PPC, digital marketing and tech! It's been another busy week for announcements and releases so let's dive straight in.

 

Apple releases its 'Apple Card'

This week saw the public release of Apple's latest contribution to the tech world in the form of their 'Apple Card', the company's attempt to join the credit card market. Currently available in the US only, Apple Card's Vice President Jennifer Bailey stated that the tech giants are 'thrilled with the overwhelming interest in Apple Card and its positive reception." Apple also announced that they will be extending its 3% Daily Cash (cashback) to further apps and merchants, this is currently only available through Uber, Uber Eats, Apple Stores and Apple services such as iTunes. 

Following the announcement, however, a storm certainly started to stir across social media when Apple warned the public to keep their Apple Cards away from leather and clothes. If not, they run the risk of their shiny new credit card becoming permanently discoloured. To combat the potential aesthetic damage that may occur as a result of the Apple Card coming into contact with other metal items and materials such as denim, Apple has advised storing the card in a container made of soft material, just not leather. Will this have an impact on the number of people who apply for the Apple Card? Only time will tell. 

Image: Apple

 

Google redesigns its Play Store

Another tech giant, Google, has this week announced an incoming redesign of its Play Store. So, what's the biggest change? The removal of the colourful green header in favour or a cleaner and brighter whiter style. Similar to Apple's App Store, the new Google Play Store contains separate tabs for categories such as apps, books, games and TV shows. The tab bar now appears on the bottom for phones and in a sidebar on tablets and Chrome OS devices and icons now portray a more 'rounded' look, which offers a similar style to that of iOS. 

Image: The Verge

 

More indexing issues for Google? Surely not...

We're afraid so! After Google announced last week that they had resolved the indexing issues that they were faced with, it seems as if that was very short-lived. It appears Google is once again having issues indexing new content, an obvious problem for content creators like us! It is unclear how widespread the troubles are at this point, but Danny Sullivan from Google validated the issues on Twitter stating, "yes, I believe there might be some issues.” Yet another twist in the problems faced by tech giants.

 

Image: Google

 

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

Follow Us >

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.

Get in Touch

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!

Follow Us On Twitter >

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!

Follow Us On Twitter >

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 uncomplicated 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.

Get a Quote

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!

Follow Us On Twitter >

 

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