Why On-Site SEO Is Critical

You need your site to rank well on search engines, let’s be honest, Google! Two things you’ll need to help you do this are on-site and off-site search engine optimisation (SEO). In this post, we’ll discuss what on-site SEO is and how you can check and improve yours.

 

What is the difference between on-site & off-site SEO?

In very simple terms, what your website will rank you on a search engine is mainly decided by what is on the page, how high up the results you rank is mainly decided by what is found off the website.

What is on-site SEO?

In very simple terms, it’s adjusting the content of your website to be seen in very friendly & readable terms by search engines. It’s also key that search engines can determine what your site is all about and how it is structured. The more quality content that a search engine is able to draw from your site, the better chance your website has of ranking in relation to specific keywords.

How can you check your current site?

Easy! You can use a tool called SEO Site Checkup. You can run a free check by simply inputting your sites URL. SEO Site Checkup will then score your site out of 100 and below this will explain the reason for your score and give you actions to take to improve it. See the example below, we ran a test on international security experts Peregrine International’s website, as you can see they scored 71/100 with some things to fix including Meta Description & <h1> Headings Status.

How can I improve my on-site SEO?

You could run a report on SEO Site Check Up like we did above and then try and fix the issues concerned. Or you could employ a specialist, there are lots of companies offering this service, give it a Google! I bet the best ones will rank highly!!

 

 

Why your website HAS to be responsive on all devices

Why does my website have to be responsive? What is responsive web design? Don’t most people look at websites on laptops these days? In this post, we’re going to look at the answers to these questions and more… Making sure you understand the importance of responsive web design in today’s digital landscape.

What is responsive web design?

To put it very simply, it’s the ability of your website to adjust and optimise all it’s content to fit on different size screens. The most popular being smartphones, tables and differing sizes of monitor screens. The aim for the developer is for the website to be as appealing to the user on smaller screens as it is on larger devices.

Don’t most people look at websites on laptops these days?

Not really… Recent figures show 95% of people viewed Facebook on their smartphones, 31% on laptop & desktop combined and 8% on tablets according to Statista. As of very recently, 80% of top Alexa websites are mobile responsive, according to Mobiforge. So it’s pretty obvious, that statement simply is not true.

Why does my website have to be responsive?

In the modern digital age, your website simply has to be responsive. If it is not, it will now stick out like a sore thumb to users viewing on any device it wasn’t specifically designed for. With users so used to accessing Facebook, Amazon and other sites on their mobile devices, your site will almost look broken in comparison if it is not responsive. Add in better SEO results and proven lower bounce rates and higher conversion rates, it’s a no-brainer.

Show me an example of a responsive website

No problem! One of the UK’s leading security, surveillance and investigation firms, RWSSI has recently built a new website that is mobile responsive.

 

 

As you can see above the website optimises for the smaller screens perfectly. Allowing the site to retain all the design and functionality whilst moving seamlessly from lager to smaller screens.

Summary

You can’t afford for your website to not be responsive in the modern technological world. It’s absolutely imperative to the success of your website. If your current website isn’t responsive, get a new one straight away. You can’t afford not to.

 

Why Add Google Maps To Your Website?

If you’re going on a long journey, looking at the house you grew up in, finding a friends restaurant recommendation or locating your nearest cash machine… You’ve probably used Google Maps! Google has amassed a mind-bending 20 petabytes of aerial, satellite and street view images that are updated regularly.

How to add it to your site

The good news is… It’s super simple! You can use the Google Maps API or a custom field, both allow you to style it to suit your website. The map is customisable, allowing you to show different overviews and points of interest.

What are the Advantages

Although it’s hard to find evidence to suggest that it positively impacts on your sites SEO anymore, it is adding more content to your site and increasing the user experience. If your business requires your customers to find your premises, it will aid them to locate you.

Example

Abbey Masterbatch is a leading UK supplier and manufacturer of masterbatch based in Ashton Under Lyne, they have added Google Maps to their website via a custom field. It clearly shows where they are situated and accessible road routes as well as public transport hubs.

 

Summary

If you want people to easily locate your business, adding Google Maps to your site will really help. It allows them to see where you are located and what’s around you. It’s easy to do, and free, so take a look.

Which Navigation Setup Is Right For Your Website?

It’s essential that users can easily navigate your site to find all the interesting content you have created. If users find this a frustrating task, they may leave your site looking for someone else who provides a better experience.

A website that is easy to navigate will extend the time a user spends there and can lead to an increase in sales, enquiries or any other ‘calls to action’ built into your site. The three most often used types of website navigation are side, top and mega. In this post, we’ll take a quick look at how they could benefit your site.

Top Navigation

Often the best set up if you have only a few options to choose from. Users tend to read from left to right then top to bottom, so putting your navigation tabs in a horizontal line will help their eyes naturally adjust to the layout.

Side Navigation

Using a vertical menu is not a great option if you are looking for a simple menu design. This is because the content in the main body of the site can easily distract the user from the menu text. Side navigation menus certainly can work, but they need to be considered with the correct kind design and a minimal number of menu items.

Mega Navigation

If you have lots of pages, mega navigation could be for you! It looks great and helps users navigate your site with ease. On an e-commerce front, if you are selling lots of products in different categories then it’s probably the best solution for you. A mega menu could also potentially help your sites SEO results as you will be adding plenty of links to your site.

We asked Ben Yates from 16 Design, based in Middlesbrough to give us an example of a recent project and why he chose the navigation set up he did.

“I’m a big fan of mega menus! Especially on large corporate sites, however, a recent client I worked with is a commercial builder and construction company based in Newcastle and they wanted a really simple design and navigation style. They didn’t require too many information tabs or pages so I opted for a top navigation bar. It just keeps things simple and easy to use. The client’s main aim for the site was to generate enquiries and inform users of previous work, so it fitted in nicely with the brief.”

In Summary

Prioritise your user’s experience above all else. When choosing your navigation option, you want the user to easily find their way around your site and stay to browse all your products and services. This will increase the chances of converting them into customers and in turn increase your ROI.

Improving the User Experience With Simple Solutions

Your website needs to be aesthetically pleasing and highly functional, but can it solve users problems too? Of course it can!

It’s important to value the user experience of your website. Here are some surprising and not so surprising facts and statistics about user experience.

  • Judgments on website credibility are 75% based on a website’s overall aesthetics
  • First impressions are 94% design-related
  • 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience

So you’ve hooked them in with the fantastic design, now to solve some user problems with simple solutions.

  • Enquiry Form – Users need to contact the page. These can be simple boxes or more elaborate data collecting or lead generation devices. 
  • Newsletter Subscription – Help customers to stay up to date with your products and services. 
  • Maps – Help the user locate and find you. 
  • Download Information – This North East Building Surveyor lets users download a PDF with parking instructions. Although this could be used for a wide variety of documents, this is a fantastic way of improving the user experience and solving a simple user problem… Where do I park on arrival?In summary, the user will respond favourably to beautiful design and solutions to their problems. How do I contact the site? Where is this business based? How will I find them? All these questions can easily be answered with simple onsite solutions. It’s important to consider your user’s website journey, what could they use help with? What questions might they like answered? What problems might they need to be solved? You can then implement a simple solution to improve their user experience.

Eye Catching Animation Increases User Experience

Eye Catching Animation

Eye-catching, subtlety animated icons improve the user experience and can increase click through and conversion rates. All clients are looking for ROI on their websites, designers & developers have many tools available to achieve this, including a graphically enticing and engaging content.

There is a whole methodology around designing a user experience…

Peter Morville created a useful illustration to visualise some of the aspects of the User Experience

User Experience

We may all rank these factors in differing orders of importance, but they are all important to the User Experience. Animated icons make the page graphically more usable, desirable, valuable and accessible.

These animated icons or logos can be created by a designer or purchased online.

An example of eye-catching animation on a home page was recently used by leading UK web design company Sleeky on a site developed for Norvic Aero Engines.

Specialising in aircraft engine overhauls and ‘Ready to Go Engines’ Norvic’s site is clean and simple. Midway down the home page, two animated icons increase User Experience and add to the attractive design of the site.

Using custom icons for navigation

Using custom icons on your site is a great way to customise your navigation bar and attract the attention of visitors on your site. Custom icons are effective because they appeal to the visual part of our brain. 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, which means incorporating these features on your site means it’s more likely that your content will be memorable to visitors.

Liquidators and Insolvency practitioners, Connect Insolvency, needed an informative website that would also be visually appealing. Check it out here: By using five coloured icons to represent each of the services, it draws attention to the main information points of the website as well as giving the homepage some life. Icons can be used to break content on your page up and make it more readable as well as being more aesthetically pleasing to the human eye. When it comes to designing icons, there are a number of styles and shapes that can be used to create unique images.

Screen Shot 2018-01-12 at 11.45.15.png

As you can see, hexagons are the choice of shape here. Using this shape compliments the branding of the site and the company’s cubic logo. Geometric shapes, as custom icons, also sit well on a responsive website that is being viewed on a mobile device or tablet.

4 Ways to Promote Your Business Online

Mini Bees Photography Website Homepage

The digital world has opened up many doors for businesses wanting to promote their products and services. Creating a positive impact online can be done in a number of ways. Here are 4 ways to think about:

  1. Create a Website: Use a website to showcase your business and everything it offers. Having a platform that is unique to your brand is an essential in the world of promotion. Potential customers may create their first impressions of your brand from your website, which means putting some thought into the design and content of your site. Photography business, Mini Bees Photography‘s website is an example of this. One click onto the site’s homepage and you are immediately met with a large high res photograph taken from one of the photoshoots. The photo changes from one to the next, instantly portraying the work of the photographer.
  2. Social Media: Social media platforms have been around for a while now, but the way in which brands are using them is something that is still relatively new. With 3.03 billion active social media users (that’s a lot of potential customers!), it’s vital that your business has a presence on at least one social media platform. Social media pages are now more than simply having a profile. With the shop section on Facebook, businesses can now directly sell to their consumers. Twitter allows businesses and consumers to have instant conversations and get real-time information.
  3. Blog: A blog is a great way to show your consumers what your business is up to and to post any updates. Blogs can also be used to share information that you may think that your consumers could be interested in knowing, such as links to articles, events or any knowledge or expertise. Blogging can give your brand a voice and portray your brand’s values and passions through the content that is posted. This in turn can help to personalise your brand and increase the chances of customers who can relate to your business.
  4. SEO: With the amount of websites that now circulate the Internet and new ones going up everyday, getting your business discovered has become just as important as it’s content. Search engine rankings should be considered by businesses who want their websites to be found by potential customers. Both off-site and on-site SEO strategies can be put into place to maximise the chances of your website moving up the search rankings on Google. For example, targeting your desired audience by incorporating keywords, into your website, that they are likely to search.

The benefits of e-commerce

Great British Barber website homepage

Defined as “the buying and selling of products and services by businesses and consumers through an electronic medium”, e-commerce sites have created opportunities for brands that want to sell exclusively online, as well as helping existing ones to connect with other businesses and customers.

According to research, global online retail sales are growing and are estimated to reach 8.8% of total retail spending in 2018.

There are many benefits to using e-commerce for your business:

1. Sell to anyone and at anytime.
The accessibility of the Internet means that your brand has the potential to reach an audience on a global scale. It also means that consumers can buy from your brand whatever time suits them best, whether this is first thing in the morning or late at night.

2. Search for products instantly.
Products can be grouped into specific categeories and there is the option to filter these categories by customers who are looking for a particular product. This is ideal for those who do not have time to go physically shopping in traditional stores.

3. Online offers, discount codes.
Using an e-commerce store means that brands can advertise online offers which can be used when shopping online. Brands can also partner with companies such as Unidays or Groupon to promote their sites and offer discount codes to their customers.

Great British Barber is an example of one business that we have helped to create an e-commerce site. We integrated the plugin WooCommerce into their WordPress design in order to make selling easy. Customers can navigate around the product descriptions and add them to their basket with a simple click of a button.