Thursday, 18 December 2014

Choosing your domain and how it can help with SEO

Find out more about Toolkit Websites, Web Design in Southampton, Hampshire, UK and how they can help your business grow.

The best domain names combine 2 factors:
  • They contain a keyword or keywords relevant to your business (so a service or the company name)
  • They are short and easy to remember
Your domain name may simply be your business name, a shortened version of your business name, or a version of your business name that is slightly altered to incorporate a keyword that is related to your business services.

For example, if your business was called TK Company, you could incorporate a keyword or phrase that may be a service you offer, into the domain such as tkwebsitedesign.co.uk

The keyword/phrase here is website design.

You will quickly discover, when you begin researching domain names, that a lot of the shorter or more generic addresses are already taken. Don't give up though, keep trying variations until you find something that really works for you.

You can even use this free tool to see which domains are available.We always advise clients to stick with a co.uk suffix if they're a British based business, but feel free to branch out to the .com .net .biz etc. if you cannot find the availability for the .co.uk.

Normally, we would recommend against adding a hyphen into the website address, because a hyphen is something easily missed. People may type the domain name into their browser by memory, and may not remember that you have a hyphen in the middle of your business name. This could result in them not finding your site, or worse, landing on someone else’s site.

Some people choose to have a domain name that does not include the company name. Instead, opting for the domain to be the main service they provide. For example, the company could be called TK Cars, and the domain name could be www.carrentalservices.co.uk

It depends on whether you feel people will remember the business name in order to search for you, or the service you provide.

Upon beginning a website project with Toolkit Websites, we will register a website address for you. If you are unsure what website address would suit your website, feel free to discuss this with your project manager who will be able to talk you through your options.

So onto the next topic… How can your content benefit your search engine ranking?...

Website of the Week - R Taylor Plastering Solutions

http://www.serenitybeautyspauk.co.uk/siteassets/icons/serenity1.jpg
Name:
Services:
Location:
R Taylor Plastering Solutions
Full Refurbishment, Skimming, Rendering
Sheffield
Products Chosen:
Why We Love It:

Our Team in Southampton are quite excited about this one as it's a great example of how you can build an entire website with just one page! A lot of companies don't need pages and pages of information and images to describe what they do, they just want a professional looking calling card that allows potential clients to find them on the web and get in touch quickly and easily.

It clearly states the services they offer, where they are based and looks good while doing so. This website is elegantly simple, using modern looking full width panels to separate each section for easy reading. It also has attractive little grooves on each strip, perfect representation for RTP Solutions' line of work and great for standing out from the competition.

With a one page website, you will also get a free Gallery page as well as a Custom Form. Utilising the Large Thumbnails and the Lightbox function, the R Taylor Plastering Gallery can show off nicely the variety of projects that they have worked on in the past. And the custom form, styled with some charming drop shadows and an interactive Google Map, invites anyone coming across the website to easily make an enquiry.

So if you think you need a website, but don't have the need for pages and pages of written content then get in touch with our Team in Southampton to talk about what a One Page Website could do for your business.

Monday, 15 December 2014

How the website design can benefit SEO

Find out more about Toolkit Websites, Web Design in Southampton, Hampshire, UK and how they can help your business grow.


Having an all singing, all dancing style website might appeal to you, and it may look great and appeal to your clients too, however, your goal as the small business owner is to publish a website that is intuitive for people to use, and built in a way that search engines will be able to access.

Visually, the design of your site needs to present your business and showcase your branding. But one of your main concerns needs to be how the site will be used. It needs to appeal to your potential customers, and be easy for them to use and navigate.

This means that your site needs to load quickly, render correctly on all major browsers, the text needs to be easy to read and easily accessible by making sure you use a web safe font… it also means that the key elements of the site are rendered in plain HTML text that search engines can read and understand.

We often have clients come to us, whose existing sites have been built entirely in graphics or Flash animation. Google cannot understand and as a result it is unlikely that it will be ranked well. Images and other functionality such as screen tabs, graphics and more can be used as a great effect on a site if they are treated as embellishments or add-ons, rather than being the main focus of the website design.

Before embarking on a website project with us, do a little research on sites that you like the look of, and sites that you found easy to use, Share these with your project manager in your welcome call, and discuss what it was that you liked about those individual sites. You can take a look at previous designs in our full portfolio or you can do a Google search to see what your competitor’s websites look like, or even websites that are not in your industry that you just like the look of.

If you're working with a professional web designer, like Toolkit Websites, be prepared to express your likes and dislikes, but also be ready to accept the advice and recommendations we put forward regarding usability and functionality. It is our duty of care to make sure your website has all the components it needs, in order to function well. Having a site that can be used well by your users is vital to your success on the web, and at the end of the day, that is there job. To provide a website that not only looks good, but that works well.

SEO is an integral part of a good website. The design of your website must be built using SEO best practices and Google's Webmaster guidelines. Every good web design company will work within these guidelines and rules. A good website is a site that can be used with equal ease by humans and search engines alike.

So now the design is in place… what domain should you pick?

Friday, 12 December 2014

Website of the Week - Serenity Beauty Spa

http://www.serenitybeautyspauk.co.uk/siteassets/icons/serenity1.jpghttp://www.serenitybeautyspauk.co.uk/siteassets/icons/serenity2.jpg
Serenity Beauty Spa Home Page                                  Serenity Beauty Spa Treatments
Name:
Services:
Location:
Serenity Beauty Spa
Spa Experience
Brampton, Cumbria
Products Chosen:
Why we Love it:

This week our Web Design Team have been very much enjoying the Christmas Season in Southampton. After featuring some more corporate looking websites these past few posts, we thought we'd share Serenity Beauty Spa's relaxing and gentle design.

It uses the very modern and recognisable colour scheme of taupe brown and turquoise, perfectly in balance and evoking thoughts of earth and water. As does the beautifully tranquil header image with its low aperture effect. Essentially, it's a perfect representation of a spa and all the indulgent treatments it promises visitors to its website.

Another great design feature is the use of the creamy brown to highlight the content. It's also used in the custom social media graphics and accreditation logos across the website to create an even and harmonious look when browsing through the pages.

Though the website is relatively simple overall, it does make great use of a Large Thumbnail Gallery complete with Lightbox so that the client can show off the wonderful array of Jacuzzi available as well as the beautiful scenery surrounding their spa.

This website also features a couple of different page dressings. The Home Page is laid out clearly with all major points immediately available on site landing.  And the Treatments page uses a tabular structure so that the range of treatments and corresponding prices for each can be searched through in a matter of minutes.

Overall, discovering this website is the first stage in Serenity Beauty Spa's serene experience for their clients and as a website, is familiar and easy to use - a perfect online brochure.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

SEO for small business owners

Find out more about Toolkit Websites, Web Design in Southampton, Hampshire, UK and how they can help your business grow.

Our experience and expertise of working with small business owners has taught us that the small business budget is often suited to focusing on one or more targeted phrases for search engine rankings at one time. Your marketing plan needs to be clear, concise and focused on the main area or selling point of your business.

You can't compete with Apple.com for example, without having the same size budget and as powerful a standing in the economy as that company. So while it's great to aim high, it's more realistic to pick a specialised need you can fulfill within your target market.

If the phrases or keywords you're trying to rank well for aren't competitive (for example, you are in a niche business and do not have many competitors in your industry) then getting good placement is fairly straightforward.

However, if your phrase is competitive, such as “Web Designer Southampton” then you're going to need to make your site worthy of ranking well, and to stand out from your competitors. You are not going to be the only person trying to achieve a high ranking on search engines for a more generic or broad set of keywords or phrases.

You will need to do your research and carefully select what keywords or phrases you would like to focus on, that are relevant and will be beneficial to your website.

Getting to the top of search engine results pages means earning it. Google in particular are constantly tweaking their algorithm formulas, so cutting corners, or using black hat techniques are just not going to cut it. In order for your website to rank well, you’ll need to put the hard work, time and effort into the site in order to achieve this.

You can get good rankings by simply building a good quality site. If you are building and constructing your site with search engines in mind, or you are determined in trying to figure out how search engines choose to rank sites, you’re doing your website more harm than good.

The idea is that you build your website with the user in mind. If the user has the best experience whilst navigating and using your website, Google will be able to see this and reward you for it….

So the next question is “How will my design impact the success of my optimisation?”