Optimising your images

By optimising the images on your website you can drastically improve speed, perhaps making your site more SEO friendly too because we all know Google and Bing love a fast loading website. To optimise your images, simply open them in Photoshop and size them correctly. So, if you have a 300×300 pixel space on your website for an image, size the image to that scale and ‘save it for web’. Reduce the quality of the image for a lower overall file size but don’t choose one that’s too low because you still want nice looking visuals on your website. Once you’ve saved it, simply upload it via your CMS or by FTP. That’s all there is to it, and if you do this each time you add a new image you’ll be making your website faster and more user-friendly. So it really is a job worth doing right.

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Updating your website naturally

It’s natural for websites to change and evolve over time, especially if your products and services change each year. You may find that you’re naturally improving your search engine rankings by doing basic tasks such as updating news items, updating products, removing old products, adding new services and creating new pages. Google likes websites that incorporate fresh, engaging content and its algorithm is designed to reward these websites. Make sure you’re not slacking when it comes to updating your websites with new product information, it may just be more important than you think. Simple updates will certainly go a long way and they can assist an SEO campaign, so if your business is slacking at the moment and there’s a lot of outdated content on your website at the moment, get it updated now. You won’t regret it in the long run.

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Why isn’t your website ranking on Google?

Google is a brilliant search engine that gives us the information we want fast. Everybody loves Google right? Wrong, not small business owners who have paid a lot of money on a new website only to find Google isn’t interested in it. Google’s algorithm isn’t friendly toward new domains and it can take time to build up a level of trust, but when you do you’ll reap the rewards. Google wants you to prove yourself by producing high quality content, doing the right things to drive traffic to your site, such as setting up social media accounts, modifying your title tags, adding lots of valuable content to your website and making it as user friendly as possible. A good UX designer can help you create a site that will tick Google’s boxes but you’ll also need someone with seo expertise to optimise your content when it’s in place. Start making friends with Google today, getting great content on your site and into the eyes of Google.

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The power of SEO Yoast

SEO Yoast is an incredibly powerful plugin. If you have a WordPress website and  want to make sure it’s optimised for search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing then please don’t wait around. Get this plugin installed today. It’s compatible with the latest version of WordPress, and it essentially allows you to modify everything you’d ever need in terms of SEO. You can make titles tags and Meta descriptions with your relevant keywords, create xml sitemaps so Google has a better understanding on your website content, and get analytics set up so you can track your visitor rates. This has to be one of the most widely used and most powerful plugins to date and it’s only getting improved year on year. Hats off to SEO Yoast.

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Checking your website speed abroad

I thought no matter how fast my website is in my country it will be the same elsewhere. Only I was completely wrong. I tested the speed for my WordPress website using a 3rd party tool and it clocked the loading time in at 3.1 seconds. I was fairly happy with this as it said my site was faster than 71% of websites in the UK. I then ran the same speed test but changed the location to Australia. The results were terrible. It clocked in at 11.6 seconds. How can that be, the only different aspect is the location? I thought to myself, is Australia way behind on Wi-Fi or something? The problem is, a website will always load quicker when it’s hosted your own country, if it was hosted in Australia it would be quick there and slow here. I’ve managed to optimise it and speed it up significantly, but it hasn’t made much of a difference down under. Lucky I don’t have many customers from there!

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My favourite WP Plugin right now

WP Smush is a plugin I was recommended by my hosting company to speed up my website and it’s the most amazing plugin I’ve ever installed. It’s specially created to optimise images on WordPress websites, and it essentially ‘smushes’ the images, reducing their overall file size, meaning your pages load quicker. The great thing about it is it’s a one-click plugin, and every time you add a new image to your gallery, it will automatically ‘smush’ it. It was created by WPMU DEV and it has over 400,000 active installs. Are you one of the current users? We’d love to know you thoughts. I’ve never known it to be so easy to strip hidden bulky information so quickly, and it’s definitely helped me improve SEO because my site is a lot faster. And so my visits are up this month!

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Making a cracking contact page

The contact page is one of the most important on your website, especially if that’s where you’re hoping your leads, enquiries and sales are going to come from. That’s why it should be dressed accordingly, and we’re going to give you a few tips to make yours as conversion-orientated as possible.

Keep it simple

A simple contact form is good, and it means your customer doesn’t have to mess about before they can get in touch with you. Don’t ask too much of your visitors, only ask for the information you need, or keep things simple with a request a callback option.

Make contact info accessible

Many website simply have a contact form and nothing else on their contact page, but you should also include all of your relevant info such as address, email and telephone number as different visitors will want to contact in different ways.

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Sharing content from your website on social media

It makes sense to use the material you already have, rather than constantly thinking up new content for different platforms. Your fans or followers on Facebook or Twitter may not have seen all of the information on your website, and you should never presume they have.

Some say sharing content published on your site is lazy, but it’s only on your website because it serves a purpose, and we’ve found that it can actually send more people to your site, and create more awareness around your brand.

The more your customers understand you, the more likely they are to make a purchase, and that goes for your social media followers too, so try sharing some content from your site with persuasive images or graphics, and you may see a big difference in enquiries, leads or conversions!

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Getting to know WordPress

WordPress is something many people have heard of but aren’t too familiar with. If you’ve remained with your web designer for many years, they may not have mentioned much about WordPress to you, or perhaps they’ve told you it’s no good. That’s understandable; after all, it’s put many designers and developers out of work. Let us explain.

Virtually anyone can make websites nowadays, you don’t actually have to be an experienced designer. With WordPress you can install a theme (which is essentially an off the shelf design) you can add your content to  including logos, information and contact forms among other forms. It just takes some playing with to get used to it.

If you want a simple brochure website without paying over the odds, WordPress could be the answer. But shush… don’t tell your designer you know about it!

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Are you overpaying for hosting?

Hosting can often sneak up on us, and it’s only when we’re looking through our emails or invoices when we really start to see that we’ve been ripped off — possibly for years! We recently changed our hosting, and that’s because time moves on quickly. You can get a great hosting package a really great price nowadays, and it’s important to shop around each time your contract nears renewal.

Hosting is something you, as a business owner, have to keep on top of, and if you sit back and relax, years can go by without you even realising just how much you’re paying. Save yourself some serious money, and review your hosting options. If you only have a blog or a brochure website, in most cases, all you will need is the following:

  • A UK Hosting company
  • Automatic backups
  • 24 hour support
  • 50gb diskspace
  • 5 databases
  • FTP Access
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  • Web Design

    There are a few different types of website designs, such as a dynamic website design, or a static web design. Both have their merits and demerits, with dynamic websites being the only option for e-commerce, and rigorous content management, while static websites may be an ideal style of website for people just starting out, who know very little about how to manage a website and its content. Read More >>

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