Tag Archives: seo

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Website Redesign – things to think about

Category:Websites Tags : 

A business connection recently asked “My website is two years old, do I need a new one?” You can read my answer to that question here, but if you have decided that you do indeed need a new website you’ll want to make sure you have thought of everything so you don’t need a new one again in a few years time! So here are my top 10 things to think about if you are redesigning your website

Check out the competition

Whatever marketing you are undertaking it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the competition. In this case you want to visit their websites (but as a rule make a List of your competitors on Twitter is a great way to keep an eye on them – read more about how to do this in my FAQ). Have a look at what they are doing that you think is good. I’m not saying copy them, but be inspired by great ideas. Also see if there is anything that you think doesn’t work so you can avoid it!

Does your current website have any particular problem areas

Are there any parts of your website that you are particularly concerned about, or that people have mentioned don’t work well. Perhaps your website isn’t mobile friendly (if you are not sure you can check here), maybe it takes too many clicks to get to important content. Whatever the issue keep this at the forefront of your mind as you consider your redesign

What about SEO

How does your current website perform in search engines? If the answer is ‘very well thanks’, then be sure what you do does not negatively effect your results. Perhaps this is one of the reasons for the redesign – you are not coming up in search engines…in which case make sure you do your SEO research right at the start. Or maybe search engines just are not an important part of your marketing strategy – that’s fine, but be sure that is the case before you disregard them.

Take a look at your website statistics

Does your current site have analytics? Google Analytics is a great free tool that can help you find out which are your most popular pages, how long people spend on your site and whether or not they come back. If you have it, then have a look through the statistics to find out what works and what doesn’t. If you don’t have it then make sure that you install it in your new website – you can read more about Google Analytics in this FAQ

Ask your customers

By far the easiest way to find out what is good and bad about your existing website is to ask! If you have many customers you could set up a short survey and allow people visiting your website to fill it out, perhaps offering a reward to participants. If you clientele is more limited you could email a survey to selected clients. Survey Monkey is a great free tool for creating your own online surveys.

What is the goal of your website

It’s really important to have your website goal front and centre throughout the design process. Perhaps your website has more than one goal, in which case you can prioritise several goals. It might be to give information, to create enquiries or to sell products, but whatever it is keep it in mind at all times.

Do you know your target audience

It’s never too late to create your target audience persona…is it Rebecca the Stay at Home Mum? Lawrence the Lawyer? Margaret the Retiree? Perhaps you have more than one target audience persona. If you haven’t already thought this out now is the time! It will make your website redesign and all your marketing so much easier and more effective

Review your content

Have a good look through ALL of your website content. Is anything out of date? Is there anything that is surplus to requirements. Just like the shelves of a shop everything in your website should be useful and beautiful. Don’t keep anything that doesn’t have a purpose.

Make sure you are happy with your brand

If you are redesigning your website is it also time for a rebrand? If your reason for a website redesign is because your business or target audience has changed then it may also be time to think about a rebrand. You certainly don’t want to spend your valuable time and money redesigning your website only to realise in six months time that you need a new logo!

Draft your new structure and content before you get started

Once you have followed all of the above steps, you’ll be in a great position to create a website structure, this will list all of the planned pages for your website. Because you have done your SEO research you’ll know your keywords and be able to write your service content to reflect these. If you are having a blog you should get at least 3 ready for when you go live and also have all the case studies and testimonials prepared. Get all your images ready, resized for web and named sensibly. All this planning and organisation will make your redesign go much more smoothly

As ever if you are thinking about a website redesign and you need some help, drop me a line louise@inspirationagency.co.uk


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Why isn’t my SEO working?

Category:SEO Tags : 

Search Engine Optimisation is a big part of marketing strategies these days, but it can feel like you are throwing your money away, so I thought I’d outline some of the reasons your SEO might not be giving the results you want.

No one actually searches on Google for what you do

Although ‘Googling’ is a very popular way to find products and services these days not every business is going to find their customers trawling through search engines for them. This is especially true of some ‘consultancy’ type businesses, particularly when you are servicing a local area. These clients are much more likely to come by referral and you are better off investing your marketing budget in referral marketing than SEO.

You are optimising the wrong keywords

This is something I often come across when talking to new clients about their existing SEO. Do you know exactly the keywords your SEO efforts are optimising? And do you know how many people search for those keywords each month? If you don’t you may very well be spending money optimising keywords no one is searching for. Even relatively small changes can make a real difference. A recent search I did for a clients turned up that ‘antenatal class bournemouth’ has 10 searches per month, but ‘antenatal classes bournemouth’ has 100 searches! That’s a big different in potential clients all for adding ‘es’

You haven’t got your meta data right

So you have done your research and you know people are definitely search for what you do and you know the exact words they are searching for, but did that information get accurately translated into your website content. It is essential that your keywords appear in your website content – both the front end stuff that real people read and also the meta data that search engines read….if you don’t get this right you won’t be appearing.

Your website isn’t converting visitors into customers

Unfortunately being ranked in search engines is not the end of the SEO journey, now your website has to be good enough to actually convince these hard earned visitors into people who actually want to buy from you. There are a large number of factors to consider here, but the two most important are

  1. Does your website give them all the information they need
  2. Is it your website clear and easy to use

You aren’t spending enough to beat the competition

This one is a bit of a shame, because it may be that people DO search for what you do, but there is already huge competition out there spending a fortune on SEO and you just don’t have the budget to compete. Once again this is something you can find out right at the start when you do the all important keyword research and if you don’t have the budget to compete then find another marketing method that you can afford.

Of course it could be a combination of all of these factors. If you’d like some bespoke feedback and advice on your SEO contact me for a chat.


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What is UX?

Category:Websites Tags : 

UX or User Experience is a term you will often hear bandied about in the website community these days, but what is it and more importantly why is it important for your business’ website.

UX stands for User Experience and when used in relation to websites it means what a person experiences when visiting your website. UX can also be used in other areas of your business, for example when someone calls, visits or interacts in another way with your business. I’m focusing on Website UX.

Why is UX important?

It is likely that your website was a big investment for your business, so it is essential that investment pays off and if your users are not having a good experience on your website the chances are it won’t.

If you have invested in a website I hope you have also invested (either time or money) in getting people to your website, this could be through PPC, SEO, Social Media, Blogging or a variety of other marketing methods, so if once you get your all important prospective customers to your website you really want them to convert – otherwise that was all a big waste of time and money!

UX can help ensure your website visitors become customers, there is a lot to website UX, but here are some things to consider when looking at User Experience on your website

Prioritise information

One of the nice things about websites is that you can include soooo much information. However it is essential that you think about the priority of information. What is the most important piece of information for your users, ensure that information is given the ‘top slot’ on your home page and then drill down from there. I would say one of your most important pieces of information is your contact details – so make sure they are front and centre.

Don’t try and reinvent the wheel

People are used to the way websites work, navigation is at the top of the page, contact link will be on the right, links are highlighted and underlined, buttons are rounded corner rectangles. If it works and people will find it easy to use don’t try and do something different just for the sake of it

Stick to your brand style

Translating your brand into a full website design can be difficult, it’s easy to get carried away with fonts, colours and imagery, but it is essential to stick to your brand style, so that users aren’t confused and distracted. Your website’s priority is to enhance your brand and communicate your message, if in doubt, leave it out

Think about all the pages, not just your home page

It can be very easy to focus on the design of your home page and let the others pages take second place, but bear in mind that a user might not enter your website at your home page. If you are relying on SEO or PPC they are likely to enter at one of your product or service pages. If you are blogging then the blog page will be their first impression of your site. Of course they will hopefully take a look at your other pages, but it is essential that their first impression, whatever page that might be, is good

Make your website scannable

Just like reading a book or magazine, people scan websites. The phrase ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’ has never been more true! So ensure that people can understand your website and business with a quick scan. Once they find something that interests them they will read, but you have to capture their interest.

Get rid of pop ups

They are annoying – get rid…simple

So now you know what website UX is and how to improve yours. I’d love to hear your thoughts…are there any websites which you feel have great UX or that really annoy you?


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Is print advertising dead?

Category:Design Tags : 

As the internet has grown and developed the question of whether print advertising still works has been something that comes up in discussions with my clients over and over again.

Throughout the 20th Century print advertising was king! Everyone read newspapers or magazines and popping an advert in one was a fantastic way to get new clients. The brilliant Mad Men shows what a high-pressure, successful world advertising was.

However in 1990 a clever guy called Tim Berners-Lee invented the internet and advertising in the traditional sense changed forever. Suddenly you could promote your business yourself with a snazzy new website! However businesses soon found out that people were not going to just magically know your website was there, so advertising was still key – how else were your prospective customers going to know what your website address was!

So advertising became less about telling customers about all your products and services, the website could do that, but just about telling people about your brand and letting them come and find out more, but then some brainboxes in California came up with Google and the game changed again.

Now it would seem people could search for your business on their actual computers and it appeared to be free advertising! Who would ever want a print advert again. Unfortunately as the years went by we realised that Google wasn’t as free as it seemed….actually getting a Google ranking involved quite a bit of work (or paying someone to do the work for you) or Google gave you the wondrous opportunity to pay for a top Google ranking (Pay-Per-Click). The best thing about Google, if you knew about it, was Google Analytics….definitely free and giving you the ability to track your website visitors; how many you get, how they found you etc. Finally you could actually give your advertising a Return-on-Investment number!

Mark Zuckerberg appeared to put the final nail in the coffin for print advertising in 2004 when he launched his Facebook. This was quickly followed by Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and many more than did not make it. Initially these seemed like great places to keep track of cousins and school friends, to check out your friend’s dinners or days out, but they soon became the perfect advertising platform. Not only are the results trackable, but you can also target your advert very specifically, run it for as short or long time as you like and it doesn’t cost the earth….so is it time to say goodbye to print advertising forever?

Unfortunately for many brands it may be that time, if your target audience are young people and teens there is some argument that they may never purchase a magazine or newspaper and in fact that reading on paper is a dead art for them, however if your audience is over the age of 20 there may still be hope.

The main problem with print advertising is that it is so hard to know whether it worked or not. Even if you asked every person that enquired they may not remember where they heard about you, or they may have seen your advert, visited your website and say that was how they came to you with no mention of the advert at all.

So do I have any tips for making print advertising work for your business….I’m so glad you asked

  1. Don’t take up last minute advertising offers, do your research and find out if your target audience is actually reading the publication. A larger investment in a quality publication is more valuable than a small investment that brings in nothing
  2. Really think about what you want to advertise…if possible create an offer with a unique code so you can track responses and find out your ROI
  3. Have your advert professionally designed, don’t just throw something together. Print is still a busy place and the readers are actually interested in the content, so you have to catch their attention
  4. Don’t put too much in your advert – keep it clean, use your website to give more info

One final thing to bear in mind is that many publications are going online now and they combine their print advertising deals with digital advertising, so make sure you find out if there is a digital aspect particularly if you are looking at a younger audience.


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Responsiveness and it’s effect on Google Ranking

Category:SEO Tags : 

Many of you may have heard that Google will penalise websites which are not responsive, but you may be wondering why has Google done this.  And possibly, what is a responsive website? And finally, what does it mean for my business’ Google ranking? Let’s start with the first question.

Why have Google done this?

By now I think most of us know that Google ranks websites according to an algorithm which is constantly changing.

Google’s algorithm is just trying to imitate the decision making process that normal people go through when looking for a product or service, in order to bring searchers the best results. The reason it is always changing is that the way people search and indeed use the internet is constantly changing.

A few years ago the majority of people were accessing the internet using computers, either a desktop or a laptop. Now nearly 60% of people are using Google on a mobile device (tablet or phone). So by penalising websites that are not ‘responsive’ Google is attempting to provide a better experience for searchers.

So this brings us on to what is a responsive website?

Being responsive doesn’t just mean that your website is ‘mobile friendly’. According to Google it is not good enough for your website to work on mobile devices. Google believes that the layout of your website should adjust to different devices to provide an optimum viewing experience and this is what being ‘responsive’ means. So if a user is viewing your website on their phone the display should shift to one long column and the navigation should be easy to use on a small screen.

So finally, what does this mean for my business?

Well, it may make very little difference in reality. Responsiveness is just one of many factors that Google uses to rank websites and certainly there are many other factors you need to make sure you are getting right, such as; keywords, user content, meta content. However bearing in mind that Google has brought this into affect because it believes it is what the public wants….you would be advised to ensure your website is responsive sooner rather than later.

Most websites can be converted to responsive with very little work, especially if there were built in the last 5 years. If responsiveness or indeed Search Engine Ranking Position is something you are worried about for your business get in touch for more information.


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How does website content affect SEO?

Category:SEO Tags : 

As I have mentioned in other blogs we know that Google’s algorithm is trying to imitate the decision making process of real people and because of this it is clear that the content of your website is going to have a big effect on how Google ranks your website. However there are some common myths about website content which we can put to rest.

Myth 1: If I update my website regularly it will improve my SERP (Search Engine Ranking Position)

Unfortunately improving your SERP is not as easy as that. Writing blogs, adding or changing service content or writing news articles on your website will not have a great impact of your SERP. Google likes to see websites which are kept fresh because stagnant websites are seen to be a symbol of ‘dormant’ businesses. However it is essential to ensure your content is relevant and also utilises your keywords.

Myth 2: The more keywords you put into your site the better

Unfortunately not….Google weights keywords, so the first one you list will carry the most weight and the weight apportioned to each will decrease as you go on down the list. So you can see that the more you have the less weight will be attributed to each. Google is trying to find it’s user’s ‘experts’, so by having 20 keywords all you are saying is that you are a ‘jack of all trades’ not an expert. If you have a number of products or services you want to optimise, then set up pages for each and optimise each one separately with a couple of select keywords.

Myth 3: If I have good keywords in my site I don’t need to do anything else

Once again, sadly, this is not the case. Ensuring you have researched your keywords properly and that you have used them in both your page content and your meta content is really important. However it is very unlikely that just carrying out this ‘on-page’ SEO will be enough to beat out the competition.

Myth 4: If I use my competitors company names in my site I will be able to steal people searching for their business.

This one is true…to some extent. If you put your competitor’s company names in your site there is a good chance that you will come up in search results alongside them. However this is a ‘black’ SEO practice and if your competitor complains to Google there is a good chance they will blacklist you from their listings entirely. Just stick to good SEO practice.

If you would like to have a chat about SEO and how you can improve your Search Engine Ranking Position get in touch.