Units 7 & 8, Patrick Farm Barns
Hampton in Arden, Solihull B92 0LT
Sharing tips, industry news and views from the worlds of design, online marketing, technology, IT and business plus a few posts that definitely come under the heading of “other”. As one reader tweeted “They definitely have the knowledge”.
This great research based infographic was recently produced by Tasty Placement, demonstrating the importance of social media in helping your websites perform well in search engines, unsurprisingly Google's own social platform, Google Plus, generates the best results. So if you need help getting social right as part of your online marketing mix, you know who to call, just in case you don't have the number to hand it's 44.1676 521444!
Being number one on Google nationwide or even worldwide for your business type and service is always going to be difficult, time consuming and costly and unless you have national reach, will be unlikely to deliver return on investment.
Local makes sense
Even if you do have national reach, it's easier and cheaper to convert local leads. People like to use someone local even if there is not necessarily any need to do so. For example, someone in Solihull is more likely to choose a web designer in Solihull, than a web designer in Manchester, even though all meetings could be done virtually.
Search engines are increasingly putting locality at the centre of the search results. If I search while in Coventry I will get a different set of results to if I was searching in Birmingham. It's even more important if, as is increasingly likely, your audience is using a mobile for performing the search.
So getting your local search optimisation right is vital. Here's 10 things to consider:
Too time consuming or techy?
Then we can help. We've launched two "Get On With Local SEO" packages.
For those on a tight budget we provide a toolkit, resources, reporting, support and mentoring package to support you in doing the work, costing £29+VAT per month (12 months minimum contract).
For those who think they may struggle to find the time to do it themselves then we provide a full service package, costing £199+VAT per month (6 months minimum contract).
Call us today on 01676 521444 to find out more, or visit the get on with website to read more detail and pay online.
Often it’s the last thing to be thought about, your website’s beautifully designed, the forms all coded, but there’s nothing to read. It’s easy to rush this stage, to lift content from printed brochures, but fall at this hurdle and your website is dead in the water.
One of the areas to consider is writing accessible content. Those with visual or other impairments may not be using conventional web browsers and it’s important to think about the issues facing them when writing your content. By curious coincidence, the techniques needed to help with accessibility are an immense help to search engines as well. So there’s a double whammy in getting this right.
So five tips, by no means an exhaustive list, but enough to get you started.
Think through the structure of your page, if skipping from title to title and link to link in isolation, do they make sense? Will the visitor, by reading the title, understand what content will follow? Where possible, break up content with headings and lists. All this also helps search engine robots understand what’s important on the page.
Don’t try and cover everything on one page. Have a clear focus for that page and write with that focus in mind. Think of no more than one or two search phrases that people might use to find that page and optimise for them within your content.
When writing for the web, short is good. And no more so than when the visitor is using a screen reader* which doesn’t have the same capability to “skim read”. Don’t let them lose interest before they find your call to action. Search engines also need clean, focussed copy, too much padding and they won’t be able to find wood from trees.
Screen readers have the ability to just read all the links on a page to the user, this allows them to decide whether they need to click through to the next page or stay and read the one they’re on in full. If all your links just have the words “click here” in them, that’s not too helpful! Search engines also place a great deal of emphasis on the text used to link to a page to analyse its relevance, “click here” doesn’t give them a great deal to go on.
When using images on your page, make sure you give them some “alt” text. This tells the computer what the image is about and can be read by a screen reader so the user isn’t left missing part of the detail that your sighted visitors are benefiting from. For search engines it might mean that your website is returned in an image search, another potential source of visitors for your site.
So there you go, a few tips to get you started. We’ve barely scratched the surface, if you want to learn more about writing for the web then contact us for details of our writing for the web courses. I would also recommend reading “Killer Web Content” reviewed on this blog.
*A screen reader reads written text to speech for those with a visual impairment.
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to speak at Coventry Business Network on how we add value to the web design process with a structured approach, ensuring our client's success online through search engine optimisation, usability testing and website launch checklists.
It was 10 minute spot so I took the opportunity to film it, apologies for moving around too much and occasionally chopping the top of my head off (though you may think that's a good thing!)
There's quite a lot of useful information in there that you can take and apply to your own website, if you would like a copy of the hand out mentioned drop me an email - email@example.com.