Of the many methods a company can employ to optimise their website, we’d recommend you give text cloaking a really wide berth. SEO specialists’ views on the effectiveness of different SEO techniques differ greatly depending on who you speak to. However, text cloaking is a technique which is universally regarded as black hat and definitely one that reputable online marketers would stay well away from.

Text cloaking refers to the practice of showing differing content or URLs to users than is presented to the search engines. Serving up different results based on user agents is deemed dishonest, and can cause your site to be perceived as deceptive, resulting in its removal from Google’s Index.

The penalties for cloaking are severe and you will be caught, it is simply a matter of when. The first step will be your immediate removal from the major search engines, and often many of the less popular ones as well. And depending on the severity of the text cloaking, you may well be blacklisted. Blacklisting is as bad as it gets as far as search engine penalties go; not only will you have to begin the marketing of your site from scratch; you will also have to purchase another domain name.

This is why it is so important to be 100% sure of the intentions of any external party you pay to carry out your website optimisation. You should always use an ethical SEO organisation, as sustainable white hat methods will always outweigh any quick gain you may experience from unethical practices. It’s simply not worth the risk.

So why do people still use cloaking to improve their website SEO? That’s a good question actually, one to which we really don’t have the answer. With so many ethical methods to employ, we really don’t understand why anyone would run the risk of trying to cheat the search engines.

Here at Designer Websites we specialise in the production of high-end, functional websites which support ethical SEO techniques. For further information or for a quote from South Wales’ premier website developers, contact us today.

Importance of internal linking and site architecture for SEO

Meta tags are one of the first considerations in any website’s on-site SEO efforts. They are amongst the easiest on-site elements to change, and in the case of the meta-description, can influence what searchers see in search engine results. There are more meta tags than just those for the ‘keywords’ and ‘description’, and although there has been much debate over the value of such tags, skilfully written meta tags can greatly help with your website SEO efforts.

Which tags should be included in website design?

There are many types of meta tag, but those you should concern yourself with from an SEO point of view are:

Meta Content Type

This tag allows you to control how your site is rendered in a user’s browser. Failure to include this meta tag can result in an illegible page or faulty design. Web designers will normally use such a tag in the design process, but incorrect usage have a detriment effect on SEO as broken pages lead to high bounce rates.

Meta Description

The meta description tag is one of the most important, allowing you to describe your page to the search engines. More importantly however, many search engines use this description in their SERPs. This tag should therefore contain your targeted keywords and entice searchers to click onto your site; this is effectively your sales pitch.

Robots

The robots tag allows you to dictate whether a search engine follows links and indexes pages on your website. Although, this tag isn’t necessary for search engines to follow a link and index a page as they do so by default, even in the absence of a robots tag. You only need to concern yourself with this tag if you do not want a link followed or page indexed. It is also possible to use specific bot tags if you need a specific robot to perform an action.

Language

This tag can be used to dictate the primary language in which your site is written. This is rarely used in domestic settings but can be useful if you expand abroad or relocate to another country.

Source

This is a relatively new meta tag introduced by Google in a bid to identify the source of the news stories it ranks. Similar to social media where the authority of the author is considered as a ranking factor, we can expect source authority to become an important element of the search algorithm in the future.

Keywords

The keywords meta tag has long been discounted as a ranking factor mainly due to its abuse in the early days of website optimisation. This said, best practice dictates the keywords meta tag should still be included as you never know exactly which factors the search engines will deem important in the future.

Refresh

If your site is using this tag you should change it to a 301 redirect; this tag will have a negative effect on your website optimisation.

Used effectively, meta tags can reward your website with a real SEO boost. On the other hand, if you ignore the tags you can expect a negative effect on your website SEO.  A good website designer will optimise your met tags for you. Here at Designer-Websites.co.uk we can ensure your website optimisation works for, and not against, your website.

We were approached by Direct Cane who are a leading Cane Furniture supplier for the South Wales area; they came to us with the requirement of designing a professional website to represent their Cane Furniture business. The website was to look good and perform well in the search engines for searches related to cane furniture and specifically in the South Wales region.

The website is located here cane furniture so if you are looking for a piece of furniture for your conservatory or garden then you simply will not find a better price and a more professional service, I am certain of that!

We were approached by James Installations and Maintenance for a new website that would both improve the appearance of the company online and potentially bring new business in through people searching on Google for an electrician in Cardiff or an electrical contractor in the South Wales area. We developed a new image for the company and then proceeded to develop the website and content, the result is this electrician website, which the client is very happy with.

On a personal note, I have used James as an electrician at my home and the work completed was faultless and very reasonably priced. I would recommend James Installation and Maintenance for any electrician type work large or small.

The latest addition to Google’s SERPs is their new Instant Preview feature. This allows searchers to “preview” a website or landing page prior to clicking through to it. Searchers can preview any listing in the organic results by either clicking the description, or the small magnifying glass icon to the left of every listing. The overview is displayed in a pop up window which shows a snapshot of the destination page, highlighting where the relevant search term appears on that page.

Through the preview pop up screen, searchers can get a feel for the site on the other side of the link; images, headlines, colour and general layout all have a major impact.  With relatively small size of the pop up window, prominent design features are more likely to catch a searchers eye as small text is difficult to read. This will make the first impression, or snapshot of your site, vital to traffic generation much like an advert in a magazine. You will only have 2-3 seconds to grab the searchers attention.

Some factors to consider when designing for instant preview:

Images

The prominence of images which are product or service specific will become even more important in your web design. Larger images allowing a clearer view of your offerings should be used to communicate instantly the thrust of your site. Smaller images or cluttered images will have less impact than a clear, large image in the new preview window. Pages containing long, text heavy content will look very dull and uninviting, whereas an image will allow you to make best use of the 2-3 second exposure.

Headlines

With small text so difficult to read in the preview window, anything in a larger font or bold will stand out as a headline. The searchers eye will be drawn to these sentences first, so make good use of them. Ensure your keywords are present and that the message you are trying to convey is clear and legible within your headlines.

Page load time

Page load times are an important factor in SEO as well as web design, but speed will be even more important with instant preview. If your images fail to render in the short space of time a searcher is hovering over your listing they will very, very quickly move onto the next. Combine this with the need to have bold images on your site, and a balance will need to be struck between image size, quality and load time.

Flash

As usual, Google has a problem with Flash, and Instant Preview is no exception. Flash sites or page elements are failing to display in the preview, making sites look broken or incomplete. This will deter searchers from clicking through to your site, especially if that flash element was critical to your product/service offering. This will result in fewer clicks, which will in turn lead to lower rankings and fewer sales.

Introduction pages

A good website designer will avoid introduction pages altogether, but there are still a great deal of sites out there using intro pages. Again, we have seen issues with these pages failing to display in previews, making your site appear broken and unattractive. This will have a serious impact on your click through rate and your rankings in the search engines.

So overall, instant preview presents new challenges as well as opportunities for web designers, both in design and SEO terms. Greater consideration will need to be given to what is legible and effective within the smaller preview window as well as on the site itself.

Here at Designer-Websites.co.uk we can ensure you have the edge over your competition with website design which takes advantage of Google’s new instant preview feature.

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.

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.

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 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

We have today launched a new TimberTech UK website today. TimberTech have a range of composite decking solution that simply looks fantastic and requires very little maintenance. The website is quite comprehensive and has some fantastic photographs of timberTech products.

Please take a look at this leading composite decking supplier here.

If you are interested in looking for garden decking then honestly look no further, these composite decking boards are amazing, I would highly recommend TimberTech and their brilliant products.

We have just launched a new Health & Safety website called Health & Safety Mentor.

The website is aimed at businesses that require assistance with the management of their health and safety requirements.

Take a look at the site here: Health and Safety Mentor

FREE WEBSITE REVIEW

Is your business website performing as well as you would like? Why not get a free website review from one of our web experts. One of our consultants will be able to analyse your website and provide you with a detailed plan for improving its performance.

What you get:

  • A free no obligation review of your website focusing on keywords, design quality, development quality and your websites over-all ability to sell your business.
  • Impartial advice about potential improvements to your website
  • A written plan outlining issues and potential improvements
  • Jargon free advice

WHAT IF I DONT HAVE A WEBSITE

We will also provide you with free impartial advice if you are looking to have a website developed for your business. Give one of our sales team a call for further information.

Perhaps one of the most interesting observations about website  design is the way in which they have evolved over the years. Rather than being a linear progression, the changes in website design have varied and even come full-circle. Starting off by presenting text for the most part, they then went on to host images and animations as well as - or, in some cases, instead of - text. However in recent years, traditional text-based websites have made a comeback.

Of course, there’s a very good reason for this evolution, which looks somewhat unusual on the surface. When the World Wide Web made its debut in the 90s, Internet connection speeds were much slower than they are today and so websites were developed to contain mostly text: anything more and there could be long loading times. As things went on, Internet connections grew faster and could handle larger files, such as images and eventually animations. When animations entered the fold, multimedia platforms such as Flash encouraged companies and their designers to develop their websites to look pretty, eye-catching and - forgive the pun - “flashy”.

With the birth of Broadband Internet access, online browsing speed is even faster these days, yet many companies have dropped their animated-based sites in favour of more text-based websites. Why? Three words: Search Engine Optimisation.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of increasing traffic to a website via the search engines. There are many factors influencing how this can be obtained and therefore many different techniques can be implemented, but one of the most important factors is that search engines crawl text, so a text-based website will fair far better in the search engine results over those that focus heavily on animations.

SEO is on its way to becoming a standard practice for every business website - even for the big brands, who are scared of losing customers to higher-ranking competitors. Those who implement SEO into their website last will inevitably be left behind.

Even though many website designers prefer to create websites with animations instead of text it is foolish to do so at the cost of online enquiries. The key to perfect website design is a good-looking site that also performs well in the search engine, not placing too much emphasis on one and sacrificing the other.