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Responsive Website Design – a how to guide

The first question to ask yourself is this – is your website currently designed using responsive website design? If the answer is “don’t know” then maybe we’re getting ahead of ourselves. First of all make sure that you know exactly what responsive web design is.

A new way of designing for mobile

Essentially this is exactly what responsive design is, a whole new way of building website content, design, and infrastructure to better suit mobile browsing. One of the greatest things about responsive design (besides essentially doubling your potential target audience size) is that it’s very simple for a desktop device to read, whereas a site designed originally for desktop can be a real problem for a mobile device to read. So if you are currently designing your first ever website, perhaps consider designing for mobile first, it may save you time, money, and a lot of hard work.

Small screen size

The main reason for the difference in design between desktop and mobile is the limited and widely varying screen sizes used on mobile and tablet devices. When you access a website which isn’t responsive you will find that images are too large to view, the speed of the site slows dramatically, and content format becomes corrupt.

Your one stop solution to all of this and to give you access to the massive wave of mobile web browsers is to invest in responsive mobile website design, it’s that simple!

Most of the widely used responsive design tools out there focus on using intuitive grid systems to help you design how your web content will look on different screen sizes. Other neat features like more finger friendly buttons and icons are also important. Finally in designing for mobile you will focus on stripping your website back to the necessities, speed is a common problem with mobile browsing and by keeping elements like media to a minimum you can help to speed up your mobile site.

Mobile Website Design is more necessary than ever

It’s a fact that many are still yet to get their heads around – mobile browsing and ownership has clearly overtaken desktop Internet use. For every household with a desktop device the chances are that there are more mobile devices for each house. On top of this mobile browsing can be done on the way to and from work, in a cafe, the cinema, or on a train. For all of these reasons and more the importance of strong mobile website design is greater than ever.

In the past couple of years the same trend which we were seeing for browsing has now followed suit when it comes to online sales, and now a great proportion of online sales are going through mobile devices.

With this moving trend web developers have been quick to find a myriad of solutions to speeding up and improving the performance of mobile websites, responsive design, and mobile web apps. This means the potential for creating a fantastic mobile site is greater than ever, though there is one problem worth noting.

Despite all of the evidence to support the rise of mobile internet use, other evidence shows that those who run or own websites have been slow to respond to the changes in trend. Though we’re seeing a decrease in overall desktop browsing and a massive increase in browsing using a mobile or tablet device, investment in desktop friendly websites are still the biggest made. This is a good opportunity though for your business to take the bull by the horns and speed ahead of your competition.

Your mobile website, or web app needn’t be flashy, and just ensuring you have a mobile capacity for your website can make a huge difference to how your audience perceives your company, and in turn what traffic and revenue you combined internet efforts bring in.

First Page Placement for an independent business

If you’ve ever run a small independent website or have a website for your independent business then you probably know the feeling of frustration at finding your web page that you’ve worked so hard on featuring dozens of pages down the list in the search engine.

Whilst it certainly is true that in some ways it will always be difficult for a small independent business to compete with industry leaders in the quest for first page placement, though this certainly doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Also remember to try different search terms, you may never know how your web page will best be ranked by the likes of Google.

On page optimisation

First off when competing with the best there are plenty of ways you won’t necessarily be competitive, however there are advantages you have and one of these might or could be more concise individual web pages. Ensure that your url names, meta tags, and meta titles are all clear and concise. Doing this will rank your page better on the search engine, and will also help to attract more viewers and in time both of these factors will boost your pagerank.

Be the best

Secondly never sell yourself short. You might not be the biggest company in your industry but that doesn’t mean you aren’t the most professional at what you do. Ensure that your content has everything that your competition boasts and more and you’ll be sure to make big gains over time.

Local keywords

Finally take advantage of your local area. Locality is one of the biggest weapons you have in your toolbox, and it can target your most relevant customer base and set you apart from the rest of your competition. Consider using map services for your website to help local mobile browsers to find you directly.

Investing in PPC Management

If you’ve found your way here then you’re probably considering investing in a PPC management service, or else you’re doing some research about what exactly PPC management is, and how it can help your business. In either case we’re taking a look here both at what PPC management is and can be, and how exactly the ROI works with PPC management.

PPC stands for pay per click, and this is essentially the core of what we’re talking about in online advertising. When you place a PPC ad, a search engine like Google for example will sponsor your website in a link at the top of a search page. The particular way that PPC advertising works is that rather than paying for the advert in its place, you only pay when a customer clicks into your page.

So in essence your PPC manager will be in charge of fine tuning your PPC marketing campaign to get the best results.

Among the biggest added benefits of using PPC marketing is the ability to fast track your site to the first page of Google. First page placement can be hard to attain and won’t necessarily possible for all new websites, but with PPC you can quickly find your site at the top of the search results, and sponsored by a reputable name like Google.

Another great thing about PPC marketing is that your experts will continually experiment using new keywords, trying synonyms and different word combinations can yield great results and save plenty of money. They will then analyse the results and create reports to find the best and most affordable way to get results for your website.

Do remember though, a PPC campaign is no replacement for organic SEO, and shouldn’t be used as a replacement. PPC may be the quickest solution to bringing customers into your website, but then it’s your job to keep them interested.

Blog Posting guidelines

Welcome to our weekly post, in this instalment we’re taking a look at guidelines for blog posting. Choosing to set a custom blog up is an excellent and slightly less common form of search engine optimisation, but for exactly this reason, plus the fact that it’s relevant cheap and simple to run means that if you feel you’ve covered your design, keyword, Back-links and other relevant SEO techniques in place then a custom blog might well be your best next move.

Before you decide to set your blog up it’s great to know a few key things. Firstly your blog is within your website, though in a sense separate. This gives you the opportunity to develop more fully features which you only deemed relevant to give minimal explanation of on your website.

One of the main benefits of a blog is that you can go further into particularities by leaving a special space in your blog for just that topic. Over time as you build up an archive of these posts, each of these will be an arm reaching out to your customers or users who may require extra help or assistance.

Relevant

When making a blog post, the first guideline to abide is to keep it relevant to the title of the post. The best blog posts are very particular, and cover the topic they discuss without going off subject or leading on to too many other topics. Remember your blog post isn’t for everyone, and in many cases an individual post might only end up being read by a small handful or viewers.

Regular

The second guideline we would recommend is to keep your blog posts regular. Whether it’s every day, once per week, or once per month it doesn’t matter, though it’s good to keep some consistency to your posts, both for your users and for the search engine. Having consistent posts on your website reads well with search engines and might see your website climbing the pages toward first page placement.

Concise

Finally try to keep your posts concise. This kind of carries on from the first point but with one extra thing to mention. Generally blog posts should be short, this caters to the practical purpose of blog posting, and will see your visitors returning again.

Simple techniques for Small Business SEO

Many of the SEO techniques that you’ll read about can be applied differently to different sized businesses, however there are some which apply more to larger scale operations, as well as some which are particularly valuable as a small business SEO approach.

In this post we’ll be briefly taking a look at some of the most valuable SEO techniques and how a small business might utilise them in particular.

Keywords

When researching for keywords there are a variety of factors which need to be considered. One of these is the popularity of the keyword as a search term, another is how popular that term is with your competition. If your business specialises in say coffee beans, you might find that the competition is too fierce for a small company to make much of such a broadly used keyword. Instead look to ways to specialise your keywords, perhaps your product is organic, or particularly premium for some reason, or maybe you simply want to add your locality to the keyword such as coffee beans in London or organic coffee beans in London. Although you won’t be targeting the most common words necessarily, you may be able to set yourself with keyword use.

Maps

Small companies are more likely to rely on regular local trade, and as such investing in interactive maps for your website and mobile website could be a great way to boost your traffic and sales. Although it’s tempting to look to the entire World Wide Web as your customer base, realistically you should ask yourself who your core customer base are, and where they live.

Backlinks

Rather than shooting for the stars try to link your content to other smaller scale, preferably specialist vendors. Though the status may be less you’ll at once be giving your customer a more useful link, and your own site is far more likely to be linked back to.

There are ways in all areas of SEO that you might consider adapting for the purpose of your small business, and there is plenty of room for innovative new ideas too.

Why Local Internet Marketing is so important

When it comes to your general SEO efforts for your website it’s no doubt true that for the most part you will be targeting a general audience on the web. Keywords will aim more at your industry, product, or service than it will your local area. However taking advantage of local internet marketing is easy, and there are plenty of really useful ways that you can integrate local internet marketing to your wider SEO campaign.

First of all why would you want to target your local audience over a general Internet audience? Well there are plenty of good reasons but the main boil down to this – much of your potential customer base is in your local area. For many types of business like retail or hospitality as well as many other services from a taxi to a plumber rely on local trade, but even if this isn’t the case people still love using a service with a physical address, especially when it’s near to them.

So how can you add a local touch to your marketing efforts and make the most of local internet marketing?

Maps

First and foremost it’s well worth investing in a maps service. Your web developer can synch your business address with Google maps allowing your customer to see you on a map when on your website. The main benefit of this is that local spontaneous customers can click for directions when nearby and looking for your service and be directed right to your door.

Local forums

Post info about your business in local council / borough / state websites to tap directly into your customer base. Featuring on sites like this will give a sense of trust to your custom in advance.

Local keywords

Finally by interesting local words to your keywords you can again tap directly into your most relevant customer base. Trying to compete with the keyword pizza restaurant might be hard but down town LA pizza restaurant will shortly you to the first page of google for those most relevant web searches.

Affordable SEO for a basic business website

When it comes to searches about SEO, price is one of the most commonly searched for subjects. But that SEO practices need to cost a fortune is a myth, and you can implement effective changes using affordable seo techniques.

If for example the website you currently have is in need of a complete revamp with new design, content, the works, then for a small website the cost could be as low as a few thousand dollars. But what exactly do you get for your money?

Keywords

Keyword research and implementation is one powerful weapon in your SEO arsenal. Keyword research tools like Adwords allow an expert to find the most appropriate keywords to use in your web content. By analysing your keyword performance you can continually edit your keywords and thus your results in the search engine.

Content

As we’ve said elsewhere content quality is now more important than ever, this is why producing high quality, unique content needs to be a priority and can be a part of your SEO campaign.

Backlinks

Backlinks connect parts of your content to other relevant websites which expand upon something on your site says or explains a related topic. By connecting to other relevant sites you can expand on the areas you cover, and the site will often link back to your site.

Custom blog creation

A custom blog is s beat SEO technique and a well of opportunity for any website. By posting short regular posts in a blog you’ll benefit your website in many ways, and your customer too.

Firstly a blog allows you to expand on information that wasn’t quite relevant to your web page itself. This allows you to go into greater depth without filling up your web pages with content most people would ignore. Blogs allow specialists to discuss concerns, and this can create a micro community around your company and your website. It will also make your site appear more active, which is great for its page rank.

Website SEO for 2016

Website SEO trends move as quickly as with any other online trends and 2016 is another year. We can expect much of the same as we had from 2015 in many respects when it comes to design, content, and keyword use, here’s a closer look.

Content

SEO focus will remain heavy on content in 2016. The release of Google hummingbird last year meant that more than ever the significance of fantastic qualifiable content was more than ever, and this will certainly continue.

Website SEO should focus on connecting keyword research and content creation to better integrate thoroughly researched short and long-tail keywords. This can be done by ensuring an open channel of communication between keyword researchers and content writers.

Design

2015 was a pretty big year for mobile browsing with it having overtaken desktop browsing for traffic and in many sectors sales too. This means two things when it comes to design, and the first is that you absolutely must have responsive design for your website.

Second it means that the influence mobile design has had on the web will go further, with more horizontal browsing, hidden menus, web apps and other nifty gadgets inspired by the challenge of mobile browsing.

Keyword research

Taking more advantage of long-tail keywords will certainly become more valuable in the coming year and relying only on short tail keywords won’t be enough. More time should be spent analysing reports on how effective keywords are too.

We’re sure there’ll be many unexpected developments in the coming year for website SEO so be sure to check back for updates, and to regularly update and tweak your website.

Blog Creation

Creating a blog for your website is another fantastic way of boosting your potential when it comes to search engine optimisation. By having an extra space in your site full of content you’ll bring in more readers, and find more customers returning.

 

Your Organic SEO guide

Running a business online means that you’ll inevitably have to come to terms with organic SEO and it’s better sooner rather than later. If you’re not yet familiar with SEO then it’s good to know that SEO stands for search engine optimisation and it concerns how your website relates to search engines like Google.

There are plenty of intricate ways that you can improve your organic SEO growth and many of these can be completed by web developers. This list is a great place to start planning your organic SEO campaign and includes all of the most SEO techniques.

Keyword research and development

Researching keywords involved using tools to find the most appropriate and relevant keywords for use in your content, titles, page urls, PPC ads and more. Certain keywords rank highly in search engines and can therefore be very beneficial to your website. Results of how well keywords perform informs us on how and when to make changes and this development never finishes.

Backlinks

Backlinks are when you use hyperlinks to connect some content in your webpage to an external webpage. If you have links going from and to your page you’ll score well with Google and you’ll also help customers and build relationships.

Design

Web design is key to any website’s success. There are plenty of interesting ways you can make your website design more interesting, but what’s more important is keeping it simple for your viewer.

Custom blog creation

You can also create a blog on your website as a form of SEO. The extra posting will rank you higher for consistent posts and the wide array of topics covered may help you to pull in some extra traffic.

Page optimisation

Be sure to format your page properly for all devices, and ensure to pay attention to details like meta tags and meta titles too as well as url name. Remember to keep them short but relevant.  

There are other important factors to your SEO success, navigation around your site is one important example, however this covers much of the basics.