Tag Archive: Marketing

Has your web developer covered all the SEO bases?

Search Engine Optimisation

We’re all trying to make sure our web pages are best placed in the search results on the key search engines such as Google or Bing and these days it is much more of a meritocracy than ever before; the genuinely good websites rising to the top for their sphere of authority.

That’s not to say that they can’t be influenced. Please dispel any ideas of the black hat techniques of the past and concentrate on writing quality websites that are genuinely better than their compatriots, better content, better written, better composed, better liked, better coded, basically fundamentally better by any real measure.

Today we’ll consider ten key on-page items that make websites perform better in the search results. In other editions we’ll go deeper into this as well as looking at other off page factors. Follow us @Toucan_Group for later editions of the SEO Checklist.

Let’s now look at the on-page items that we consider mandatory for good SEO in this session. There are hundreds of items to consider but here is a snap shot of ten very important on-page items. Don’t shoot the web developer if these are not implemented exactly as prescribed here in your site as it can depend on the brief you’ve given them and the mission for the site.

To check many of these you’ll need to see the code that makes up your pages. This is browser dependent but is normally under a term such as “view page source”. In Chrome on PC, right click and you get that option.

  1. Keywords in the Title Tag
    The title tag is the webpage’s second most important piece of SEO content and it therefore provides the search engine a high SEO ranking.
  2. Title Tag Starts with Keyword
    Title tags that start with a keyword invariably perform better than title tags with the keyword elsewhere in the word order.
  3. Keywords in Description Tag
    This is a less relevant tag than in the past however these still make a difference to ranking with some search engines.
  4. Keyword Appears in H1 Tag
    H1 tags are the next most important item to get right after the title tag. These send another relevancy signal to Google as they reinforce the title tag.
  5. Word Count
    The extent of the content on your page with more words expanding on the relevant topic is a ranking signal and will affect the Search Engine Results Position. A bare minimum of 100 words is a fair rule however 300 words of more will give better results.
  6. Cross linking within the site using Keywords
    In the text within the site use links on the keywords to navigate to other sections of the site. Google picks up on these as items that are of high relevance within the site.
  7. Page Loading Speed in a browser
    Google and Bing monitor page loading speed as a ranking factor. Poorly built sites with no code minification, bloated code, badly compressed images and alike all increase page load time. For an impartial test of your site go to https://tools.pingdom.com/
  8. Duplicate Content
    Never use identical content anywhere in a site, it will be spotted and the site penalised in the search results as it is a negative indicator of quality. This includes all tags, meta and image except the keyword tag.
  9. Image Optimisation
    Images with a page provide search engines relevancy signals and usability factors. Use the file name to be descriptive, use alt text to describe the image so that text readers for partially sighted get an explanation and consider adding title, description and caption.
  10. Page html errors
    Poorly coded web pages are indicative of a poor website. If the code doesn’t comply with standards then there’s a chance the search engine spiders may even baulk at indexing it altogether and not all browsers will render it properly. The standards book is W3C and they provide a validation tool athttps://validator.w3.org/. Once again don’t cane your web developer too much if there is the odd Warninghowever if there are many Errors, then you should delve further.

Further publications will deliver further manageable bite-sized advice on this enormous topic. All announced @toucan_group.


 

This information has been written and collated by Simon Thomas, active in commercial web development and online marketing since 1996, who understands the need to stay current with standards and methods almost week by week.

simon@toucanweb.co.uk
@toucan_group
01279 871 694T Bird 72ppi

Has your web developer covered all the SEO bases?

Make Corporate Responsibility Work for your Business

A partnership between a business and a charity is a strategic and mutually beneficial alliance between two organisations who have found a common purpose and value base. Partnerships bring much needed funding and commercial advice for the charity whilst the business will benefit from increased visibility, brand building, good PR, a chance to ‘make a difference’ for the local community and will contribute towards overall business objectives. Businesses globally are aligning positive social and environmental outcomes with their core purpose and vision. A Corporate Responsibility (CR) programme is now widely recommended for a sustainable business.  As board and family member of the Ford Motor Company William Clay Ford said, ‘Creating a strong business and building a better world are not conflicting goals – they are both essential ingredients for long-term success.’ Corporate responsibility is being given increasing prominence on the business, localism and national Government agenda. ‘High on the list of the UK Government’s priorities is to achieve sustainable and balanced economic growth across the UK, as well as building a stronger, fairer society. We see responsible businesses as being central to this.’1

Business in the Community report on the seven key benefits of Corporate Responsibility from over 60 companies in The Business Case for being a Responsible Business2:

  • ·         Brand value and reputation – charity partnerships support companies to build public trust
  • ·         Operational effectiveness – improvements and innovation in business practice as a direct result of being responsible
  • ·         Risk reduction and management – benefits from corporate responsibility efforts that improve the business’ ability to identify exposure to risk
  • ·         Direct financial impact – improving access to capital, reducing costs and improving shareholder value
  • ·         Organisational growth – new markets, new product development, new customers, new partnerships from responsible business strategy
  • ·         Business opportunity  – new opportunities or innovation generation created for all stakeholders specifically because of business’ efforts in corporate responsibility
  • ·         Employees and future workforce – aligning values with a reputable charity improves recruitment and retention

St Clare Hospice is your local charity that provides specialist palliative care for the community in West Essex and the borders of East Hertfordshire. Our approach to care gives patients and their families the strategies they need to enjoy the best possible quality of life. The service is free and with costs that reach £3.75 million and with only 34% of our funding coming from the NHS, we need to build strategic partnerships with our local businesses. An annual partnership with St Clare Hospice helps to fund the free service that we offer to over 1,500 patients (and their families and loved ones) every year. There are also tangible rewards and benefits for our partners and so a partnership with us makes good business sense. The annual partnership scheme will take the form of a St Clare Hospice Business Club which will launch in April 2016. The club was formed in 2016 in response to a national movement of businesses away from philanthropy and non-strategic donations. It is designed to bring vital annual funding for St Clare while also helping businesses to succeed over a sustainable period of time through dedicated partnership management. Essentially, this partnership puts business at the forefront of a significant local community need, which forms part of a national movement.

There are a number of other ways to work with us. We run a number of events and challenges throughout the year which have earned their place amongst local community landmarks. Event sponsorship is a fantastic marketing opportunity and gives businesses a ready made platform to profile their services to a willing audience.

As a recent example, Local law firm, Barnes and Partners, are partnering with St Clare Hospice to help deliver the charity’s biggest event of 2016. The ever-popular Midnight Walk is the largest event in the St Clare calendar. Barnes & Partners have committed a groundbreaking £15,000 in partnership on the event and will receive a great return, including; local media coverage, brand alignment, employee engagement and the benefits of an intensive local marketing campaign all of which will help to meet their business objectives. They are making corporate responsibility really work for their businesses.

Nigel Barnes, Founder and Managing Partner said: “As a local firm who is dedicated to serving families in our community, we are delighted to be able to help our local hospice. Like St Clare, we help families at those big moments in their lives – buying a house, getting married and making a will – and are committed to serving our customers. We are proud to support the incredible work of St Clare and to help them to care for local families now and in the future.”

We hope it is just the start of a long term mutually beneficial relationship between our two organisations where the values fit so perfectly.

If you would like to know more about how to make CR work for your business or specific strategic partnerships with St Clare Hospice, please contact Amy Jacobs amy.jacobs@stclarehospice.org.uk

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Make Corporate Responsibility Work for your Business

Are your SEO practices in line with Google Hummingbird?

 

Hummingbird, Google’s search algorithm overhaul

Customers earnest about getting and maintaining a quality online success have consistently invested time and effort in selecting the right keywords for their website and inbound marketing channels. Why? Because Google will recognise these and will index your site accordingly; done well and consistently, Google will give your site the rewards you seek with higher search engine results positions.

If you thought you’d grasped what needed to be done, Google changes the rules and in flies Hummingbird. It’s probably the most significant change to Google’s search rules in 13 years, reportedly affecting a massive 90% of all searches. Now it’s more important than ever that you have quality inbound organic referrers to your website, i.e. visitors referred to your site by other websites.

The Hummingbird change means that searches are now totally secure, suggesting that keyword analytics data could well be a thing of the past! Basically Google has switched all of its searches over to encrypted searches using HTTPS. This means no more keyword data will be passed to site owners and website owners will no longer have the ability to track users by their keyword searches.  Other search engines will still send keyword data through to help with your analytics and keyword development.

The exact way the Hummingbird algorithm works is not 100% clear, however it appears Hummingbird looks at over 200 different components when determining the search rank for a site much like previous releases.  However previously Google would focus on the specific keywords where as now, with Hummingbird, the focus is on the context of the words entered and the matching of that meaning to web pages to which it relates; web pages matching the meaning do better than pages matching just a few keywords. This is a good thing overall and will kill the trend of content writers damaging the copy of their content trying to achieve “the right level” of keyword stuffing.

What is clear is that if you are to maintain leading positions in Google search engine results your emphasis now needs to shift to the breadth of your website and to answering of specific questions for your audience. As has always been advocated by search engine marketing professionals, quality content remains key, it is that that your customers have and will continue to want to see irrespective of Hummingbird, but now the more the content aligns with answering specific customer questions, the more likely your page positions will prosper under Google Hummingbird.

In short, the new Hummingbird algorithm is trying to measure the quality and how valuable and helpful your website is in answering customers’ questions. The key is therefore having as many unique entrance pages on your website as possible offering breadth, help and expertise on many relevant topics, plus of course relevant peer backlinks.

So how do you grow the number and breadth of entrance pages? One answer could be simply by adding new content regularly to both your website and blog. The need for a blog becomes even greater if you don’t already operate one on your site. The more energy you place into the content on your site the higher you are likely to appear on Google search. It is clear that Google wants useful and relevant content to be king, and any future changes to its algorithms are likely to reflect this also. This may require many companies to examine their content strategies and look at how they can use as many forms of content to maintain the desired energy and diversity (e.g. Videos, PPC promotion of best content, info-graphics, re-blog on industry hot stories, etc.)

Are your SEO practices in line with Hummingbird? If you review your Google Analytics since Hummingbird was introduced in late August you will be able to see if there has been any decline in your website visitors. However, if you are to maintain and improve your search position you will need to reflect upon your whole online content strategy and the links to your site/content both on site and backlinks from other website and your inbound marketing from your social media. Make sure you focus on growing the number of relevant links and the quality, breadth, depth, frequency and value of your content if you are to maintain and improve your search position.


About the Author.

This article was written by Simon Thomas of Toucan Internet LLP, developing high performance websites on the Internet since 1995.  Passionate about his clients’ success, you’re invited to get in touch to see if you too could benefit:

For more information.
t: 01279 871 694
e: simon@toucanweb.co.uk

w: www.toucanweb.co.uk

 

Copyright Toucan Internet LLP 2014©. All rights reserved.

Are your SEO practices in line with Google Hummingbird?

Talking business

I like talking business, and indeed I like helping businesses talk about themselves. This is what we do for Whitbread, Dixons, Mothercare, Costa Coffee and British Hospitality Association.

We create the right presentation, prospectus, report or presentation. We’re very good at it and we always deliver on time, in budget. That’s what we do, and that’s why we are asked to create value for other businesses.

So imagine my delight when BNI head office started promoting Andy Bounds talking business tips for BNI members.

https://andybounds.sharefile.com/d/s83bce14c4f84ebdb

So, listen and learn from Andy Bounds. A terrific speaker.

How do we relate King Canute with this information? Look & Learn illustration from 1989 shows King Canute addressing the crashing waves on the English shores.

How does this relate to you? Every business must change, adapt and not think that business will automatically stop and buy from them.

Creative Solutions has adapted and changed over the years. We’ll create the right impression, at the right time, every time.

Big or Small, we’ll design for them all.

 

Jeremy Rose, Creative Solutions 01799 541114 or email jeremy@c-lutions.co.uk

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Talking business

Toucan Internet – Dare to stand out from the crowd.

Toucan Internet has added Sketch Video to the array of services they offer their clients.

Sketch Video is a bold and captivating way to stand out from the crowd and get your message across in a memorable way. Use these bespoke innovative presentations in your website, your Youtube account, Powerpoint and other personal presentations.

See Sketch Video details at http://sketchvideo.co.uk/

To find out more about this or any of the other resources online success from Toucan Internet LLP please feel free to contact Simon at the contact points below….

 

t: 01279 871 694.Toucan Internet LLP
e: simon@toucanweb.co.uk
w:www.toucanweb.co.uk

 

Toucan Internet – website and Internet services for successful businesses from Toucan Internet LLP has updated their news.