We developed the computer recruiter website for the Cardiff based specialist recruitment agency sometime ago now, however it was felt recently that it would benefit from a minor facelift, so our website designers created a new image for the site and plugged that into the existing bespoke website and CMS. The whole thing took a couple of days to complete, from design through to development. The result is a more modern and crisp website, aimed entirely at the computer jobs market in the Cardiff and South Wales area.

We think the site looks good and is appropriately targeted at IT professionals, but more importantly our client is very happy with the result.

Take a peek and see what you think, the website is.. IT Jobs Website

We developed a pair of pre-designed websites for The Smile Dentist and Perfect Lips. The websites themselves we designed by a third party and we were then approached to develop the designs into optimised websites. The Smile Dentists site was completed first and is aimed at cosmetic surgery for individuals who want the perfect smile, that website is located here.. The Perfect Smile

The second site was the Perfect Lips site and this site is aimed at ladies who want the perfect lips or who require other botox procedures, the website is here.. Perfect Lips

So if you want the perfect smile AND the perfect lips, well look no further!

Ask any SEO professional and they will tell you JavaScript can be a double edged sword when it comes to website development, specifically in terms of design over SEO. Why? Well let’s take a look.

First things first, search engines don’t crawl JavaScript, so any keywords present within the script will be ignored, which is not good for SEO. You might think that this is not so important but actually one of the most important aspects of a website is the navigation and many websites utilise JavaScript for the menu or primary navigation. Many sites appear to use comments within JavaScript in an attempt to alleviate this problem; however the search engine robots will ignore any comments within script tags, so this will not help.

Another problem which arises with the use of JavaScript in website design is the search engines may see it as an attempt to mislead their bots because this has been a black hat method used by some poor SEO companies to display different information to bots than that which is displayed to the website visitors.

These issues are especially prevalent in navigational links where unscrupulous coders will hide redirects to different URL’s through JavaScript coding. This can actually result in search engines not indexing an entire section of your site as they ignore your top level navigation. Best practise would be to remove JavaScript from navigational links altogether and rely on HTML links instead.

If you’re website design does rely on drop down menus or other dynamic navigation then our advice would be to scrap it and adopt the use of CSS instead, you can get fantastic effects and probably the same appearance by using CSS.

Loading time is another issue affected by JavaScript. The overuse of JavaScript can slow down your website’s load time which not only affects the visitor experience, but also has an impact on your SEO. Load time is just one of many factors search engines use to rank your website.

How can JavaScript be used positively in Website Design?

JavaScript is best used to provide quick user interaction and help make the website more attractive to the end user, so using it to draw attention to call-to-action boxes, speeding up form submission and generally improving the visitor experience will help the website seem less static and more engaging for the user. This can be done without compromising the SEO by ensuring that the JavaScript is used on non-structural and navigational sections of the website.

So if you are going to use JavaScript, here are some tips to reduce the SEO negatives:

• Stick to HTML links where possible
• Do not use JavaScript for menus or indeed any primary navigational elements
• If using JavaScript with images or video make sure you use <alt> and <noscript> tags to offer a text alternative which is placed in the HTML markup
• Move your JavaScript to an external .JS file
• Place the actual script at the bottom of the page code i.e. just before the end body tag

If you are worried about making such changes to your website yourself then it’s probably time to call on the services of dedicated website developers.  Designer Websites provide high quality search engine optimised websites for businesses. Contact us today to discuss your website needs.

Canonical Tags

It’s difficult enough to say, let alone understand - but getting your head around canonical tags in SEO is a must if you want your website to achieve the results you're looking for. Today we're going to take a look at what canonical tags are and why you should care about them.

So, what are Canonical Tags? 

In SEO and website design terms, Canonicalization means you have more than one URL address on the same page. For instance:

designer-websites.co.uk
www.designer-websites.co.uk
www.design-websites.co.uk/home

All three of these URLs will be pointing to your homepage, but the search engines will view these as different pages, indexing each page and allowing them to compete against one another. What’s the issue you might say, well the problem is that this generates duplicate content in the Google search engine results (SERP’s), which Google heavily penalises. This, in turn, means that your pages will likely be pulled from the search engine results, or will be pushed back in the SERP’s, leaving your site out in the cold.

This is where the canonical tag becomes important. Canonical tags are a piece of code you add on certain pages of your website to tell search engines which page is the prefered content. So, in this circumstance, you should choose one of these URLs to add a rel=canonical tag and add appropriate 301 redirects to the other pages. We recommend using both of these methods. 

Why is duplicate content bad for SEO?


Search engines aim to provide the most relevant content to a search query, so when they come across two pages which are exactly the same they are forced to choose one over the other, as displaying both would represent a flaw in their service. Google typically ignores the duplicate content to avoid the SERPs looking clutted with the same content on similar URLs. Sometimes choosing one is not realistic or possible and so a penalty is placed on the website or page in question. This is obviously an issue for SEO as duplicate content will inevitably lead to some of your pages disappearing from the index.

Make sure you define your canonical URL

The canonical tag (rel=canonical) allows you to dictate which URL the search engines should consider the ‘master copy’, the one you wish all SEO benefits to revert to. This canonical tag is placed in the HTML header text similar to the meta description and meta keywords tags:

<meta name="description" content="Site Description/>
<meta name="keywords" content="Site Keywords" />
<link rel="canonical" href="https://www.designer-websites.co.uk/" />

It is important to understand that this simply informs the search engine bots of your preference, but it does not actually redirect the content, thus a human will be able to see the content via the canonical URLs if you do not force a redirect. This can sometimes lead to links being developed to URLs that you do not want to be indexed.

What is a 301 redirect?

A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect, allowing you to move one URL to another automatically. So, for example, if you try going to http://designer-websites.co.uk it will automatically redirect you to the proper url which is http://www.designer-websites.co.uk.

A 301 redirect should be done from the webserver and not in code. Setting up a redirect is relatively easy but often done incorrectly.  It is imperative that the ‘status code’ sent to the search engine bots upon redirection is a 301, not a 302 or any other code. 

Can I still just use a 301 redirect?

Yes, you can. In fact, the safest way to deal with the canonical issue is to have appropriate 301 redirects in place for your website.

However, the reason we recommend having both is because some search engine bots will actually look for the canonical tag, so having it there deals with the issue quickly and in the exact way the bots are looking for. If a search engine does not look for the canonical tag then at least you have the redirect to fall back on. Most importantly if you 301 redirect properly then no one will be able to see your content under any other URL than the one you choose.

It's important to understand that there are many search engines on the Internet and not all are as sophisticated as Google, so it is safe to assume that not all search engines are sophisticated enough to work with canonical tag, so by not 301 redirecting your URLs properly you run the risk of other search engines issuing duplicate content penalties and the like.

This and many other website optimisation factors are essential for successful websites. At Designer Websites, we will ensure your new website is properly 301 redirected and contains the appropriate canonical tags, as well as dealing with many other technical SEO factors. For examples of our work just click here

“Flash”, the mere mention of the word will have most website SEO professionals running for the hills. Flash sites can look great if done correctly but appearance and user experience should never come as a detriment to onsite SEO, especially for business websites.

Why? Let’s explore....

What is Flash and why do website designers use it?

Flash is a software component used by designers to produce dynamic, interactive websites or site components. The use of flash can have a stunning impact on your visitors. Here is a great example of flash in practice: www.agencynet.com. A flash website on this scale is very time consuming to develop and thus very costly, however there are literally millions of very poor examples of flash on the Internet and that is because these have been done quickly and thus on the cheap.

Flash is often used to display artistic ideas or high quality images, or even to show off multimedia talents, and this is common amongst design agencies and photography web sites.

So what’s the Problem?

The overriding problem is this: it looks great to you and me, but to the search engines these sites are all but invisible. Search robots find it very difficult to index flash sites and although there have been recent improvements; flash sites still fail to compete effectively with HTML sites. Search engines work by scanning information on the web, storing it, and retrieving the best match to meet user queries. Search engines are designed to process text wrapped in tags. The title, headings, paragraphs and links in standard HTML provides structural meaning, which helps search engines understand the importance of the elements on your page.

Whilst the search engines try their best to extract links and text contained in Flash objects, the process is far from perfect, so if your website being found on the internet is important to your business then Flash presents a major problem.

So I think we get the idea, unless you simply don’t care about your website being found on the Internet, Flash should be avoided. However, if you are determined to use Flash elements or have a Flash website which you can’t readily change, then here are some possible solutions:

1. Make use of <noscript> tags

The <noscript> tags can act as an alternative to your Flash allowing you to add some optimised and indexable content. Within the tags you can add header tags which give the search engines something meaningful to crawl. This isn’t cloaking! Think of <noscript> as the Flash equivalent of your <alt> tags.

2. Make maximum use of metadata

Although search engines pay little attention to meta tags these days, if you have a flash file on a page it is essential you make best use of your meta tags. Optimise them as you would for an HTML page.

3. Provide Flash free alternative pages

Provide an HTML only page in conjunction with your flash page, thereby allowing users to access your content even if they cannot view the flash image. This is more labour intensive, but at least your content will be indexable whilst users get the full impact of your flash.

4. Above all else

Don’t do cheap Flash, understand that good looking Flash takes time and can be rather expensive, so do it properly, don’t let a cheap and awful Flash site represent your business online.

So, the verdict...

Search engines are still a long way from indexing Flash efficiently enough for such sites to compete with HTML sites, but if you absolutely have to optimise a Flash website, then the steps mentioned above will help you achieve a far higher ranking.

For further information on any aspect of website design, or for an exceptionally designed e-commerce website which encapsulates a user friendly experience with all the most up to date SEO techniques, contact Designer Websites.

We recently launched a refreshed looking website for Liberty Marketing. We initially created a small business website for the online marketing agency a while back and although the site still functioned well and ranked high in the search engines, the guys felt it was time for a facelift and they also wanted to refocus their core solutions by adding new content to the site. We developed a new design and implemented the changes and now the Cardiff online marketing agency has never looked better.

Visit Wales' largest online marketing services agency

Lovingly Managed offer a unique service, which offers a range of services which help people plan/manage their or a loved one’s end of life. We have recently launched their brochure site with a content managed system within the site which easily allows the site to be updated with news and announcements relating to Lovingly Managed. The informative site gives in-depth information of various ways in which the business can help ease the burden at an emotional time.

Visit the website to find out how Lovingly Managed could help you.

We released a garden decking website back last year and the site is doing incredibly well, we are happy to say. Having recently seen the quality of the decking once it is down I have to say how amazed I am at how good it looks! I have personally put timber decking down and it was hard work and needs staining every year, so this composite decking makes me cringe at how much time and effort we have wasted on timber decking, and continue to waste I might add!

If you are thinking about decking right now, whether it be for your garden or your roof top balcony, or even for a commercial premises I would urge you to first look at this composite decking from Timbertech, it is a little more expensive up front, but will be easy to maintain, will look better than other decking and will also be fitted easier!

Don't take my word for it - take a look at this composite decking site now.

There is absolutely no point having a website no one is going to be able to find. You could have a fantastic business plan, a market which is just ripe for the plucking, and the world’s most gorgeous website. That’s all well and good but how do your customers find you on the web.

What do you mean you’re on page 34 of Google? I’m not going to scroll through 34 pages to find your company, when there are hundreds of other reputable providers who can offer a similar product or service. So as a company, you need to make sure your website ranks highly on the internet search engines to bring in the targeted traffic; and here’s how you do it.

Write good content

Good website content is crucial for any well ranked website. It must be appropriate not just to the website, but also the specific page you’re targeting. Keywords: make sure they are placed in the correct places and throughout the body copy of the document. This alone will help your ranking over time.

Persistent content

Keep the site updated with fresh and relevant content. Whether you do this by updating pages regularly, such as blogs, news or an events section, or with the addition of features such as calendars, forums or newsletters; it is up to you.

Keep site navigation simple

Through a combination of menus, sub menus, a site-search function and ideally a form of site map, your site viewers must be able to access the content they’re looking for quickly. A general rule of thumb is that users should be able to access the content they want within three clicks. Otherwise they are likely to become frustrated and leave.

Give users what they want

Does your site contain all the information your users are likely to need? For example, if you owned a local takeaway, why not look into having an online menu and perhaps an online booking system? Maybe even a newsletter or a Twitter feed to keep your customers informed of any promotions you might have on.

Regularly review your site

Customers’ tastes change all the time and as new technologies become more readily available it is advised to adapt the website to reflect these changes. Mobile browsing has been on the increase for some time and is looking like a new technology which is here to stay. Developing a mobile friendly site will help you get ahead of your competition. 

Here at Designer Websites we use our mix of technical expertise and commercial know-how, providing you with elegant, functional websites, which can be fully optimised for search engine success. Call us now on 0845 272 6813 to take things further.

When your website is all built and raring to go; that’s the first step. Now you’ve got to think about promoting your website so that it enjoys a fair share of the traffic in your market place.

Sooner or later, as long as your website is coded correctly, the web spiders will come crawling and shortly after, you will start appearing in the all important search results. Initially you will probably only show for very specific searches such as your company name; however, this is likely to only offer a very slight benefit to your business.

If this is the case, how do you ensure your website is noticed by people who are not already aware of your business?

1. Content... Content... Content!

You (hopefully) know a lot more about your industry than the average person. Use this position to your advantage. Be the expert. Spread the news – whatever it maybe; whether it’s interesting developments and innovations in the industry, or the launch of special offers, new products and free trials. Whatever it is, tell them about it, and put your own interesting slant or twist on the story to show exactly how it applies to your company.

You can also put up a question and answer session on your website. It may take a little bit of time to administer, but this will help you connect with your customers and again provide invaluable content to keep those web spiders well fed. You should also contribute to forums or submit articles to the numerous article directories – wherever you can share your knowledge and start to get your name and website known.

2. Write using keywords

When writing all of this content, the best way to ensure the promotion is a success is to use keywords. The content on web pages needs to be keyword rich, i.e. have the keywords in all the important locations and in the right quantity.

This is something we can advice on further if needed, though as a starting point you need to ensure that the phrases you are targeting appear in your page titles, your meta description, your main heading, subheadings and then throughout the page a number of times.

3. Build links

Think of your website in the same way as you think of businesses in the real world. Unless someone is willing to recommend a company to you then you often will not consider spending your money with them. The internet is similar, in that unless a website enjoys good link popularity then it will not be taken that seriously by the search engines. Link building is a huge topic and there are hundreds of different types of links and thousands of ways to get them, but the easy quick wins include persuading your partner businesses and suppliers to place a link from their site to yours. You should also look for general and industry-specific directories that will allow you to place a listing and a link to your site. Doing so will help the search engines find your site more often and consider it a more valuable resource.

Designer Websites is a lot more than your average website development team. We care about the success of your business so make sure that not only is your website search engine optimised, but you are aware of the best ways to build traffic and enjoy search engine success. If you want the help of a team of talented website designers who mix technical expertise with commercial know-how, then call Designer Websites on 0845 2726813 now.

We have recently launched an ecommerce website specialising in branded keyrings. The ecommerce website sells a wide range of promotional products including promotional pens, promotional mugs and promotional USB memory sticks, but they specialise in branded keyrings.

You can select your branded keyring from a wide range of keyrings, customise it online and purchase online! There is no need to call anyone and no time wasting, simply pick a keyring, pick your desired quantity, customise the keyring and pay for it.. you then receive art proofs and final approval before the production of your branded keyrings.. simple!

If you are looking for branded keyrings then look no further than keyrings promotional

We have just launched a website for PSmicrographs. The company specialise in science images, particularly images or photographs taken under the microscope, known as SEM images or Scanning Electron Micrographs.The website is an online library for stock science images, which can be used for a wide range of media publication.

The images on this site are simply incredible, you can see them by following this link: Science Images

If you are looking for SEM Images images then this site is perfect for you.

We have just launched a new site based upon recycled promotional products called Freeda.co.uk

Freeda currently carries a wide range of products, both eco friendly and standard but in time the purpose of the site to only provide products that are eco friendly, recycled or biodegradable. If you are looking for recycled promotional products or eco friendly promotional products then please take a look at Freeda: Recycled Promotional Products

We have just launched a fast bridging finance website. These guys specialise in independent bridging finance.

We have just launched a website for Emily Webb, a young entrepreneur who appeared on Dragon Den with her superb invention the Oarsome Grip. This is an ecommerce website, which not only sells the oarsome grip itself but also the stylish rowing apparel to match.

Looking for rowing gifts? Take a look at this website: Rowing Gifts Website

The Oarsome Grip is also superb as a soft grip for crutches, see here: Crutch Grips