snail-on-a-mouse

4 quick tips to speed up your website

Snail on a Mouse
Your website might have an amazing design, be well optimised for conversions and get good levels of traffic but there is one issue that could make all your hard work go to waste: your site speed is too slow.

The time it takes for your website to load is now one of the most important factors that affects how well it converts. With the industry focus having shifted firmly onto mobile search by users who have little patience and demand near instant search results, a load time of 5 seconds can result in up to 25% of your search traffic bouncing and going to one of your competitors instead.

And we don’t want that, do we?

The good news is that there are some pretty straightforward things you can do to speed up your website. However, before you start tinkering, it’s a good idea to benchmark your current load time first. There are many tools available to help you do this – we recommend using GTmetrix, Pingdom Tools or Google’s own tool PageSpeed Insights.

Once you have established your benchmark, take a look at these 4 simple ways of making the necessary improvements to your site. In our advice, we’ve focused mainly on WordPress websites but you should be able to implement these solutions on most websites.

1 – Get the right web hosting service

Let’s start with the basics. If your web hosting is poor, then frankly none of the tips mentioned below are going to make any difference. This is a key area to get right from day one – but what is ‘right’? There are so many different types of web hosting – shared hosting, reseller hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated hosting – with some services costing as little as 99p while others will set you back over £100 a month. Which to choose?

When it comes to hosting, the old adage ‘you get what you pay for’ couldn’t be more appropriate. Cheap 99p-type deals will most likely be on second-hand servers with thousands of other websites hosted alongside. While this may be sufficient for, say, a small blog that gets a handful of visits per month, higher traffic levels won’t be able to cope and your website will crash.

As an absolute minimum, a website that is used to advertise a service should be hosted on a VPS (virtual private server) to give you more control over the hosting. With ecommerce websites, it’s important that they’re hosted on a dedicated service designed to deal with large volumes of traffic and that is secure enough to handle payment transactions.

2 – Optimise your images for web

When a website is built, it is best practice to upload any images in the required size, i.e. the size that will actually be displayed on the site. However, this doesn’t always happen. Often, the developer will upload images in whatever size they’ve been supplied, perhaps scaling them to fit using CSS. This is far from ideal since large image files (1MB+) can seriously slow down your page load speed.

WordPress does a pretty good job at resizing, and of course there’s always Photoshop. In addition, there are a number of free online tools you can use to compress images, such as tinyjpg which allows you to upload up to 20 images at a time and gives you the optimised images as a download, ready to use on your site.

Also available are plug-ins such as wp-smushit but these won’t give you as much control as resizing manually, and if you’re not happy with the image quality you’ll have to restore a back-up and re-upload from scratch, which is neither user friendly nor time efficient.

3 – Implement browser caching

Caching is a way of telling your browser to store certain elements of the website, such as image and CSS files, so they don’t have to be loaded every time. Implementing this is probably one of the quickest ways to improve your site load time.

There are literally hundreds of WordPress plug-ins to help you do this, the most popular being W3 Total Cache. It works straight out the box and you can also tweak the settings to enable more advanced caching, such as minifying CSS and JavaScript.

Some servers offer settings such as gZip and other caching plug-ins, but these vary depending on the server type, operating system and web host. It is certainly worth contacting your host to ask about any additional settings they may be able to activate for you.

4 – Maintain your WordPress plug-ins

It should go without saying that any WordPress plug-ins that you use should be kept up to date at all times. No doubt you are aware that any failure to do so puts your website at risk of being hacked. But did you also know that old plug-ins using outdated scripts can lead to your site slowing down?

What’s more, unused plug-ins in WordPress will sometimes still load, and may use the database, even if they’ve been disabled. A by-product of this is that your site will take longer to load. Make sure that any plug-ins that you don’t use are completely deleted from the website.

At Artemis, we’ve been helping businesses to get the most out of their websites since 2004. From local campaigns for small companies through to global ecommerce sites for international brands, our capable SEO team is fully focused on achieving tangible, measurable results for each client. Why not get in touch to see what we can do for your website?


brighton-wheel-and-sky

Who needs Photoshop? Top Tips for Image Compression

London Skyline Test Image - Original

Great images can be one of the most important aspects of your website from a user perspective. They can help sell your products, tell visitors what your business is all about and make your website look appealing. However, if your images aren’t done properly then this could have a negative impact on the performance of your site, as well as your rankings in the search results.

Huge images with massive file sizes will slow down your website – and if your site doesn’t load fast enough, people are going to leave. Site speed is also a major part of Google’s mobile-first index, so it’s important to get this right.

Let’s say your business operates across London and you want to use the above image of the London city skyline on one of your pages. Great! However, the file size for this image is too big. Without running it through online compression tools or using image editing software, this file is 183kb. That’s almost twice the recommended amount for optimisation purposes. Ideally, the image should be 100kb or below, although that’s easier said than done for some larger images.

Luckily, there are a few tools available online for free that can help lower the size of your images. We’ve taken a look at some of them below:

Gnu Image Manipulation Program (GIMP)

London Skyline GIMP Preview Image

If you don’t have access to Photoshop, you could always try this handy image editing software. Available to download for free, GIMP can help compress and optimise your images. You can resize the actual images dimensions so they fit the size needed for your website, as well as reducing them to the recommended level of 72dpi (Dots Per Inch). As you can see from the image above, this lets us get the London skyline image to 97.8kb, which is a perfectly acceptable file size for uploading to your website.

TinyJPG

London Skyline Test Image - After Tiny JPG

If you don’t want to download an image editor, there are a few image compression tools online that you can use for free. TinyJPG is a great example of a free online tool that can help get your file sizes down to an acceptable size. You can also compress multiple images at once, although there is a limit to how many you can do in one session.

Take a look at the image above for example. We tested our London skyline image to see how effective TinyJPG would be. Conveniently, the site gives you a comparison, showing the file size before and after compression. This reduced our image to a total of 79.5kb, which is fantastic in comparison to the original file size.

Optimizilla

London Skyline Test Image - After Optomizilla

Optimizilla is another great (and free!) online image compression tool, similar to TinyJPG. Just like TinyJPG, you can compress a number of images and then download them all once Optimizilla has done its job. Unlike TinyJPG however, Optimizilla shows you a preview of your images once they have been compressed so you can see if you’re happy with the results. If your images haven’t quite gotten below the 100kb benchmark, you can also adjust the quality with each one using the provided quality slider to the right of the previews. This also lets you see how the image would be effected as you play with the slider settings.

As you can see, Optimizilla does a brilliant job of reducing file sizes. With Optimizilla’s compression alone, the image was reduced to 117kb. We were able to reduce this further using the quality control slider, reducing it to a grand total of only 69kb. Thanks to the image previews, we can also see that the image quality is seemingly untouched compared to the original.

More top tips and advice

One thing to keep in mind when trying these tools is that you might see different results depending on the image you’re trying to compress. While we had the best result using Optimizilla with our example, we have had mixed results in the past. For example, in some image tests GIMP has come out on top. It’s always worth trying different tools to see what will give you the best outcome for your image.

If you’d like more advice on optimising your images, take a look at our blog post here for more of our top tips. Alternatively, get in touch with us today to discuss this subject or any other SEO concerns you might have.


Desktop barchart

Boost Your Conversion Rate with 5 Simple Website Changes

It goes without saying that conversions via your website are vital, but many websites skip simple tricks to boost their conversion rate.

Before changing your website, you’ll want to understand and measure the levels of enquiries your website currently generates by setting up tracking. You can do this by setting up goal tracking in Google Analytics (ideal for contact form tracking). For email and telephone numbers, you can use Google Tag Manager.

1) Include Telephone and Email Links in your Header

Make it easy for potential customers to find your contact details by including your phone and email details in the head of your website. Ensure these are clickable. With some basic HTML coding, you can set up click-to-call and click-to-email in minutes.

For click to call use the HTML example below:

<a href=”tel:+441444645018″> 01444 645018</a>

For UK numbers, always use the country code +44 after tel: as this ensures your click-to-call phone number will work internationally.

For click-to-email use the HTML example below:

<a href=”mailto:info@artemis.marketing”>info@artemis.marketing</a>

2) Contact Forms

Including a contact form on your website gives potential customers the opportunity to get in touch there and then. These are fantastic for businesses that provide quotes or need to understand requirements of their client before purchase.

For WordPress users, Gravity Forms provides a user-friendly form builder with features that include email auto-responders and a selection of 30+ form fields, although it’s important not to get carried away with the field options. Try to limit your contact form to vital information. For many this includes the name, email, phone number and comment box. The fewer elements a potential customer has to fill in, the better.

Add a contact form to your contact page and your most popular landing pages. Careful integration of contact forms into your design can work wonders to your conversion rate, making it easy for potential customers to find.

3) Calls to Action (CTAs)

A Call to Action spurs potential customers to take the next step, whether that is adding a product to the shopping basket, reading more, or submitting a contact form. You’ll find many businesses have become creative with their CTAs, combining their unique selling points to create CTAs potential customers can’t help but follow.

Netflix, for example, demonstrates this perfectly. “Watch anywhere, cancel at any time. Join free for a month.”

Netflix - See Whats Next

4) Offer Proof with Reviews

If you already have a number of reviews on a third party site, you’ll likely have the option to embed reviews on your website, just like Trusted Shops demonstrate. This is a quick way of adding reviews directly from customers to your website.

If you don’t already have reviews stacked up on a third party site, it’s never too late to start. For more immediate application, you can use snippets of the thanks and positive comments you’ve received from customers in emails or letters. This often works best when you can provide a case study about a customer’s experience of the service or product they received.

5) Unique Selling Points

There’s no doubt that hidden in your content somewhere on your website are some unique selling points, but they are no good to you unless you make them stand out. Applying your USPs as a heading or enlarging the font size and weight of your unique selling points should be the absolute minimum.

Try embedding the USPs into the design of your website and if you really want to show off your USPs, always place them above the fold.

A few ideas to get you started.

John Lewis


John Lewis Site Buttons Image

Secret Spa


Secret Spa Image

Ryman Stationary


Ryman Stationary

Final Thoughts

Remember, always measure your changes through event tracking. This will allow you to understand what contact method your potential customers prefer, what CTA they respond to best, and what page and device they are converting on. Collecting this data will help you to continue making the right conversion rate optimisation to your website.

Get the Support Your Website Deserves

If you need further support with your conversion rate optimisation, we’ve got many more tricks up our sleeve. At Artemis, we work closely with our clients to understand the desired customer base and create unique strategies to suit you and your website. Get in touch for a free consultation to discuss our technical, conversion rate and opportunity reports.


Mobile Matters

Why Mobile Matters

Mobile Matters

 

In 2016, a study found that the number of people browsing the internet on their mobile overtook desktop for the first time ever. Another article from Search Engine Land found that nearly 60% of search queries were made from mobile devices. The message is clear: mobile matters, and speed is key.

Think about how often you use your mobile to search for information. Now think about how many potential customers might be looking for your business. Ranking highly in Google will help put the spotlight on your website – but poor performance on mobile will turn perspective clients away.

For example, imagine you’re out and about and you want to find out more about where you’re going. Or maybe you’re looking for a café near you or the nearest hardware shop. You pull out your phone, load up Google and click on the first result – but it’s loading too slowly. Think about the last time you were in this situation, how long did you wait before leaving the site and trying another link? Most of us don’t wait very long.

We’ve grown to expect information on our phones at a moment’s notice, and having to wait just simply won’t do. 53% of people will leave a mobile site if it doesn’t load within 3 seconds. If your website doesn’t load quickly on mobile, this will also impact how many people will try and come back.

A study from Google last year showed that 79% of visitors who are unsatisfied with site performance are less likely to buy from the same site again. Whether you’re running a large e-commerce site or a website for your local business, this attitude from mobile users will have a major impact on visits and returns to your site.

Mobile performance is continuing to become more and more important to businesses and SEO. With Google’s mobile-first index continuing to loom on the horizon, it’s now more critical than ever to make sure your site loads quickly on mobile.

Contact us

At Artemis, we are constantly preparing for Google’s mobile-first index and focusing on mobile speed, design and user friendliness. If you would like to discuss this subject or any SEO concerns, get in touch with us today. Visit our blog often for more updates from our SEO Team.


What is Schema markup?

3 Schema Markup Tricks You’ll Thank Us For Later

Have a website? You should apply Schema Markup.

Why? schema.org is a powerful optimisation technique which will help search engines to understand what the data on your website actually means. It applies structure to your data and content, allowing search engines to display featured (or rich) snippets.

Working with local businesses, we’ve tested quite a few Schema Markup features and want to share three of our favourite schema tricks.

Organization/LocalBusiness

If you visit schema.org/LocalBusiness you’ll find a number of properties you could apply within your Schema script. You can get quite specific with the type of LocalBusiness you have with a range of business categories to choose from. Here’s a small selection: AutomotiveBusiness, EmploymentAgency, FinancialService, FoodEstablishment, HealthAndBeautyBusiness, HomeAndConstructionBusiness.

You can include a vast range of information about your business, from your logo, opening hours, to awards and even vatID if you really wanted to. To get you started, we’ve provided some basic Schema Markup we’ve tried and tested – You’re welcome!

Schema Script

QAPage

FAQ’s provide valuable content that search engines want to understand, whereby they can deliver informative answers to users. Google frequently delivers rich snippets to user’s queries with a helping hand from Schema Markup.

If you have an answer to a question that you want to appear as a rich snippet, just like the one below, you’ll need to apply Schema.

Google Featured Schema Snippet

You might come across a few different ways to Markup your FAQ’s, but here’s what we suggest to keep things simple:

Microdata
Microdata

JSON-LD
JSON LTD script

AggregateRating

Stars rating

Ever wondered how to get stars next to your listing on Google’s search? You’ve guessed it; Schema. This could possibly be our favourite use of Schema Markup, but there’s no guarantee it’s going to display… Not ideal.

If you want a shot at displaying your ratings you’ll have to follow Google’s Guidelines including:

  • Refer clearly to a specific product or service
  • Reviews should be readily available to users
  • Ratings should be used with a 5-point scale
  • Reviews must be sourced directly from users, not from other sites

As always, there are a number of properties you can display within your Markup, which can be found on schema.org/AggregateRating. In its simplest form, you should include:

Schema script

How to apply Schema

We recommend two options:

  1. Applying the script directly to your webpage using Microdata to Markup content you’ve displayed.
  2. Using Tag Manager with JSON-LD script.

You’ll find many examples of the two scripts on the schema.org website, luckily there are also many free tools which will help you to write the code.

After you apply the code make sure you check your work with Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool!

Getting the hang of Schema Markup

Like most code, there’s a bit of getting used to it required. The wrong placement of a comma or choice of property type will result in an error. Once you get the hang of it, we know you’ll thank us later. After all, there’s nothing more exciting for us SEO’s and website owners than seeing improvements in your search engine ranking performance or content appearing as rich snippets.


Mobile First SEO

Top 5 SEO trends in 2017

What an interesting year in SEO 2017 is already proving to be! So far we’ve seen a lot of changes.

From the jokingly named Google Fred update to the increased dominance of local and personalised search, to our faster than ever push into a mobile-only world. Then there’s the speed of voice search adoption.

But there’s much more coming.

Here are my Top 5 trends to watch for the remainder of 2017. All are interconnected and cannot be viewed in isolation. Nothing in SEO operates in its own separate silo.

Mobile First SEO

 

AI and RankBrain

Google’s RankBrain and algorithmic machine learning continues to dominate.

Ever since the Hummingbird update, Google’s emphasis on semantic search is never-ending and evolving at a tremendous pace.

Google even took the unusual step of confirming that RankBrain was the third most important ranking factor after links and content in 2016. This importance has only increased throughout the latter half of 2016 and into 2017.

Having moved on from its days of poetry and reading romantic novels, Google’s AI technology is getting better by the day.

It’s very hard to optimise for RankBrain.

It’s so all-encompassing and fast-moving that only true quality will dominate SERPs (search engine results pages). Which is great.

UX (user experience), CTRs (click-through rates), aiming for the ‘long click’ and the resulting engagement metrics should be high on your watch list.

The increasing importance of personal branding

The web is about people. It’s about us.

So that means having an outstanding About Us page; having a description of who you are; and a statement on just what makes you stand out from the competition. These are essential.

You need to build a personal brand as a core strategy for SEO. To establish trust.

Pictures and especially videos will be a central focus for Google for the remainder of 2017 – and well into the future. Having a team video and/or personalised photographs is no longer a choice, it’s a necessity these days.

If you show yourself as an approachable and friendly person, visitors will trust you much more readily. This will drive ever more traffic and conversions to your website.

Even social media platforms such as Facebook have been honing their algorithms in favour of personal posts (as opposed to brand posts). 

In the future more businesses will choose the personal approach to gain success.

User Experience Optimisation (UEO) and Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)

To a varying degree, user experience has always been important to SEO. Google ranks sites that are properly set up for mobile devices, that load quickly and where users spend a long time on a page.

This year we will likely see even more focus on user experience, especially on mobile devices. So focus on the traffic you already have to offer people much more than they expect.

Page depth, time-on-site, CTRs, and pogo-sticking are all things to work on.

If you offer true value you will notice the difference and soon know the full benefits of your efforts.

Personal digital assistants will become more sophisticated

Thanks to personal digital assistants the opportunity for new types of search and more advanced forms of conversational queries is huge.

Excellent tools such as Cortana and Siri have enhanced our user experience, made our lives easier and massively increased the number of verbal searches and enquiries.

For the rest of the year, we’ll see these tools become even more smoothly polished and capable of offering even more useful features. And that means excellent new ranking opportunities that have to be brought into play.

Voice search has the potential to really shake up the SEO industry.

The need for speed: a fast-loading user experience

It’s no secret that speed really matters.

Research has shown slower loading web pages are associated with higher bounce rates, and up to 40 percent of visitors are likely to abandon your site if it loads in longer than just three seconds.

Speed will be of even more importance in the coming year. AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) pages help and will be of increasing importance in the future.

There are so many other interesting technologies on the horizon as well – such as HTTP/2 and Google’s new open source JPEG encoder Guetzli, which are just two to keep a keen eye on.

In conclusion

Knowing who your customer is and what they want is the big change this year. Not just with SEO, it’s where the entire digital strategy will be directed.

You need to meet, match and exceed searcher’s expectations. To achieve this you have to understand your target audience better than ever before.

Google’s aim is to provide the most relevant website to the search entered.

Going big on word count is not working as well as it used to, not when short videos and images can be so much more attractive. Done well, they can deliver what you want to say and what customers want to know much quicker.

So, keep it simple! Give users what they want, let the search engines do their job – and it will all fall into place.

In 2017 it’s time to focus on providing true value.


Artemis logo

What is Google’s advice for hiring a useful SEO?

As a leading Sussex based digital marketing agency, we were very interested to view Google Webmaster’s YouTube video: How to hire an SEO. It covers what an SEO does, the hiring process and wider implications.

This 12-minute video by Maile Ohye explains clearly what to look for in an SEO and what makes a good SEO stand out. It is a ‘must see’ if you are thinking of hiring an SEO, if you work with SEOs or if you are an SEO yourself.

The role of a good SEO

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) covers the entire searcher experience from representation in the search results, clicking on the website, potentially converting to a lead or customer, to ranking appropriately where the website is expected to be seen.

Hiring tip

For long-term success in SEO, there aren’t any quick fixes or magic tricks, and the potential of SEO is only as high as the quality of your website. The SEO should advise and implement best practices to your website, from creating and implementing descriptive page titles to more complex language mark-up. The SEO should also ensure that the website is helpful both on desktop and mobile devices and delivers a good user experience.

To ensure best practice, SEOs should always corroborate recommendation with a documented statement from Google which supports the description of the issue and approach to resolving the issue.

The 4-step hiring process

Google suggest there are 4 steps in the hiring process:


General SEO hiring process

1 – Conducting a 2-way interview

Look for an SEO who not only focuses on ranking but also on helping your business. What makes your business unique? What do your customers look like and how do they find your site? How does your business make money? What other channels are you using? Who are your competitors? If the SEO is not interested in these questions, look elsewhere.

2 – Checking references

Check references from existing clients, and verify specifically that the SEO can provide useful guidance and work effectively with developers, designers and marketers. An SEO should be someone you want to work with, learn from, experiment with and who cares about your business. They should also educate you on how search engines work so that Search Engine Optimisation becomes part of your business.

3 – Technical and Search Audit

An SEO should conduct an audit using Google Search Console and Analytics Data have before touching anything on the website, and produce a prioritised list of recommendations.

The website should be reviewed for issues such as internal linking, crawlability, server connectivity and response codes. The Search Audit should look at branded and unbranded terms. For unbranded queries the SEO should detail the types of queries they think you should rank for, and what your competitors have done. Examples of recommendations could be to update obsolete content, improve internal linking, generate or learn from the competition.

4 – Deciding if you want to hire

 “Good SEOs will prioritise what ideas can bring your business the most improvement for the least investment, and what improvements will take more time but help growth in the long term.” – Maile Ohye, Google

Artemis Internet Marketing offer a completely free SEO consultation and website analysis service for anyone who’d like to find out more about online marketing and increasing enquiries, sales and profits from their website. We are focused on achieving SEO results for our clients using completely ethical, white hat, Google-friendly techniques.


Chrome Extensions

SEO Extensions for Chrome

chrome-extensions

There are thousands of Chrome extensions to use when it comes to SEO, so finding the gems out of all of these is an ongoing task. I tend to add a new extension a week, but often find it has issues or just doesn’t work how I want it to.

Below are my top picks of extensions that I use on a daily basis to help increase my productivity and make my life a little bit easier!

BuiltWith Technology Profiler

This extension gives you an overview of what CMS a website is using, the server information, email information, nameservers and SSL Certificates to name a few.

 builtwith

Redirect Path

This is a great extension that shows you any redirects, 301, 302, 307, and error codes 404 and 500. It is ideal for doing quick redirect checks if you are moving a page URL and don’t want to fire up Screaming Frog to run a redirect report.

MozBar

A pretty standard extension that 99% of SEOs most probably have installed. Doesn’t need much explaining, but gives you basic stats, DA, PA, followed links to name a few.

Google Analytics Debugger

This is extremely useful when it comes to debugging any issues you have with analytics. It shows you every time the GA code is fired, any events that are fired, and any errors.

You start it by clicking the extension icon and then loading the Javascript console (press F12 in Chrome). It will then print the information surrounding the GA code on the website.

ga debug

SERPs Preview Tool

This extension gives you an overview of what your page would look like in the Google SERPs. You can also make on the fly changes within the extension so you can see what any changes you might make would look like in the SERPs.

It is worth noting that it can be a bit temperamental and doesn’t always pick up the meta description.

serp preview gif

Fat Rank

Fat Rank is a very easy to use one off rank tracker. You can quickly check the rank of any keyword in any country for the website you are on.

fatrank

You just navigate to the domain you want to see the rank for, enter your keyword and away you go. You can export up to 50 keyword ranks to CSV for Excel which is nice!

fatrank export

Ayima Page Insights

This extension gives you information about the page that you are currently on. It flags up any issues, graded by severity (Yellow, Orange and Red).

It identifies some on page issues such as no or too long a title tag and multiple H1s. It also flags up more technical issues such as the canonical tag pointing to a different URL.

ayima

Tag Assistant

This is an extension by Google that flags up any tracking codes that you have on the website. It shows you if any of your tags have errors, and how to fix them.

tag assistant

It also shows how each tag is being called if it isn’t hard coded into the website, for example if your Analytics code is being run through Google Tag Manager

tag assistant2

LinkMiner

LinkMiner is a great extension that helps you very quickly identify broken links on a page. Be it for checking your websites, or for outreach when checking a links page to outreach to a site owner as an example.

In a matter of seconds, it shows you how many links there are on a page, how many are working (with a 200 header status) and how many are broken (4XX or 5XX header status). You can then export this data to a CSV file to play around with in excel. The links on a page are then highlighted green or red to show if they are working or not.

linkclump
On page highlighting of live and dead links
On page highlighting of live and dead links

 

A more recent feature that was added to this extension was to run it on a SERP to see stats about each website that is returned for a keyword.

linkclump serp

Link Clump

With this extension, you can very quickly open, copy or bookmark links that are on a page. You can set it up to work with a shortcut, or in my case I choose to have it activate when I right click my mouse.

I find it works best when you want to get some more detailed stats about URLs by using URL Profiler or SEO Tools for Excel, as you can very quickly copy the links off a page into these two tools.

Awesome Screenshot

Does what it says on the tin! You can very easily screenshot a section of the webpage, what is currently visible or you can grab the whole webpage.

Once you have taken your screenshot, you can very easily write notes, or add symbols to the shot to share with colleagues.

If you create an account with Awesome Screenshot, it enables a few more options including being able to share a screenshot with others and allow them to add comments to the image.

awesomeSS

February 2017 updates

Full Page Screen Capture

Sometimes Awesome screenshot can be a bit buggy when it comes to Parallax sites or sites with sticky headers. This is a great alternative to grab a screenshot of the whole page. No fancy extras like cropping or being able to add boxes and arrows, but works great!

Pushbullet

This plugin is great for quickly sharing links, pictures, text, in fact pretty much anything you can think of, between browsers and mobile devices. You can also add your friends to the plugin, so you can quickly send anything to them as well.

Another feature is that it can display mobile notifications, such as text messages and phone calls on your desktop and allows you to interact with these. So for example, you can reply to text messages direct from your browser, and see any calendar notifications etc.

All in all, it is a great plugin that helps save time!

Page Ruler

Page Ruler is a quick and easy way of measuring the size of anything on a web page. It not only gives you the dimensions of the item selected, but also the top, bottom, left and right pixel sizes which is great for workign out the margin and padding if you are a web developer as well.

Ruler

ColorPick Eyedropper

This plugin gives you a few different pieces of information about any colour on your screen. You can highlight anywhere and it gives you a box with the hex code, RGB, and HSL (Hue, Saturation and Lightness).

This is handy for very quickly grabbing Hex codes for if you are designing any banners, or need to change the CSS.

Colourpick

I hope that you find these handy, and if you have any extensions that you use and want to be added to this post, then leave a comment below, and I will check them out!


Love Keyboard

Valentine’s Special: 7 writing secrets to help you create seductive content

Love keyboard

Content creation is a bit like wooing a beautiful girl. You’re clear about the end goal, but what’s the best seduction technique to get you there? When it comes to writing compelling web content, you need a similar strategy to attract readers to your page and keep them engaged so they stay there. But how?

It is a well-known fact that your typical online visitor has the attention span of a love struck teenager. And while SEO managers can analyse session durations, dwell times and bounce rates all night long, what it really comes down to is that you only have a few precious seconds to sweep your readers off their feet.

As it’s the month of love, let’s take a look at a few winning ways of spicing up your web content in an effort to seduce your online readers.

1 – Heading for success

Did you know that your choice of title is more important than the actual article? It makes sense when you remind yourself that web visitors skim read for information. If the header doesn’t instantly turn you on, why would you click through to see the rest?

Try to find an interesting or unusual angle to an otherwise unsexy topic. Make it specific, informative, engaging, entertaining, shareable. Rather than ‘Home made romantic sweets’, say ‘5 tempting nibbles for your Valentine’. Be honest, which one would you rather read?

2 – Give it body and soul

Of course, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. In other words, if your article doesn’t deliver what the title so enticingly proposes, it’s no better than click bait. Choose a juicy topic that gives you a platform for;

  • education and information sharing
  • action and empowerment
  • humour and feel good entertainment

Most importantly, write assertively and with authority but without losing the reader’s attention. Use ‘you’ (not ‘I’) to better connect with your audience. Write with a mass audience in mind rather than the select few.

Have you heard of the inverted pyramid method? It’s a way of structuring your article that puts the key information and any conclusions you are drawing at the beginning of the text, not the end.

Content words on iPad

3 – KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid

When you’re writing for the web, keep it short and keep it simple. Complicated vocabulary and technical jargon turns people off quicker than you can pucker up. Short, easy-to-understand paragraphs separated by white space are best. Stick to one thought per paragraph and don’t make it more than a few lines long – five is good, three is better, and single sentences can really stand out.

Employ text formatting and structure to make your webpage, blog post or article easier to navigate. Headers and subheaders are a great idea, and bullet points are a good way to break up solid text. Try using numbered lists instead of paragraphs.

Keep it Simple, Stupid

4 – Are you linking?

Same as in writing for print, it’s good netiquette to reference your sources. Apart from being the right thing to do, it also lends authority to your opinions, assertions and any figures quoted. Add a hyperlink (and do choose the option to open it in another window, so your reader doesn’t bounce away from your site!) when you mention another organisation by name.

Government or other official sources, press articles, professional bodies, charities etc. should all be linked to, though I probably wouldn’t go as far as linking to competitor sites. Doing this can help you get valuable backlinks, and if you’re really lucky you may even get a reciprocal link or quote. Now that would be a result!

5 – Love your language

This one is very simple: if you write professionally, you need to have an expert grasp of the English language. Nothing says amateur more like a page of goofy grammar and toe curling typos – it will have your would-be readers run a mile!

Proofreading is a key ingredient to ensure your copy is nothing short of perfect. Take a break after you’ve finished writing and check it with fresh eyes later-on, or better still get a fellow word lover to do the job for you.

Proofread

6 – Add some magic keywords

Writing keyword-based posts can present a bit of a double-edged temptation. What’s more important: a blog or web page that is keyword-rich and will make your copy more search engine friendly, or one that is inherently engaging and shareable? Achieving both must surely be the Holy Grail of content creation.

While content writing for the web should always be driven by SEO strategy, keyword cramming is never ever the answer. In fact, if you stuff keywords into your copy willy-nilly, you’ll be watching your readability, conversion rate and SERPs rankings plummet faster than you can fall out of love, as your readers bounce off the page and Google penalises your site.

Much better to cleverly insert relevant keywords organically throughout the text, particularly in the first and last paragraphs, and otherwise focus on beautifully crafting your content.

7 – Give them more

All good things come to an end, unless you add a call to action. Where can your reader learn more? Is there an interesting video to watch, a newsletter they can subscribe to or an expert they can contact? Obviously, provide hyperlinks that can be clicked on to fulfil the action.

It’s a great idea to prolong the positive web experience in this way as it plays straight into your hands. Let the content work its magic by encouraging web visitors to share the information gleaned, or by directing them to other areas of your site.


website optimisation

SEO Basics – Title Tags, what are they and how can they help?

website optimisation

When you’re browsing a website or looking through Google search results, you will without a doubt end up seeing title tags on almost every page that you click on. When done correctly, title tags can be very beneficial for you, your business and the people visiting your website. A good title tag will also improve the overall optimisation of your website and improve click through rates. In this blog, we’ll be taking a look at what title tags are and how they can help improve your click through rates and overall SEO.

What is a title tag?

A title tag is a short snippet of text that shows the title of your page in search result pages and browser tabs. For example, if you hover over the tab for this post in your browser you will see the title tag we have added. A good title tag is typically short, contains one or two keywords related to the page, a pipe command (This character: | ) and then your company name. This helps to show your readers what the page is all about, as well as sending positive signals to Google.

 

Title Tag

 

The recommended length for a title tag is 50-60 characters. A title that is too long will not display properly on Google, so it is important to keep within this limit. However, different devices may only be able to show title tags at different lengths. You might have written a great title tag that displays correctly in Google on a desktop, but it could be too long to show correctly on a mobile device.

As with all aspects of Search Engine Optimisation, keyword stuffing is frowned upon. This looks spammy and will drive away potential customers, as well as sending negative signals to Google which will result in your page ranking much lower.

Luckily if you’re using WordPress, you can easily add title tags in using plugins. If you’re on a different Content Management System (CMS) you will probably need to add this to the html on each page in head section, for example <title>Internet Marketing and SEO Agency in Sussex | Artemis</title>. Speak to your site administrator to find out the best way of adding these in on your website.

Why are Title Tags useful and how can they improve my SEO?

Title tags have two main benefits. Firstly, they are a great way of getting visitors to click through to your page from search result pages. A short and tidy title tag with a clear message could make all the difference when a potential client is looking through the search results. Good click through rates from well written title tags also send positive signals to Google, making your page more likely to rank higher. If you have a poorly structured title tag, you could end up unintentionally sending prospective clients to competitors with better title tags.

Keywords in title tags help to send signals and let Google know what your page is about. Not having a keyword in your title tag can dramatically reduce your chances of ranking higher, especially if your competitors are using well-structured title tags with the terms that you’re trying to target. Having the keyword close to the start of your title tag will also help Google to see it easier. Remember not to use too many keywords and to write a nice, short title tag, as Google will be more likely to rank this higher.

A quick recap

  • A title tag is a snippet of text that shows in search results and in browser tabs.
  • Keep your title tags short and make sure they are well written. Avoid keyword spam!
  • Title tags help customers know what your page is about and improve click through rates.
  • A good title tag will send positive signals to Google, making your page likely to rank higher.

If you would like to discuss the subject covered in this blog or any other SEO concerns, get in touch with our professional SEO team today. Keep an eye on our blog for more SEO advice and updates.