Toolkit Websites Blog

SEO Myths - Busted!

When it comes to Search Engine Optimisation, it is a topic that is forever changing. Google make numerous changes ever year, including this year’s Mobilegeddon update from Spring 2015. Not only this, but Google’s Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird updates made an impact on the world of SEO also.

This year has seen link-building and keyword focus being dropped as priority and the main aim being about good quality and relevant content.

However, just because Google has shifted it's algorithm to focus on websites that have brilliant content and being mobile-friendly, there are STILL things you need to be thinking about beyond that.

Below we discuss our top 5 SEO myths...

Matt Cutts, engineer in the Quality group at Google, said:

"How does Google decide which few documents I really want? By asking questions; more than two hundred of them. Like:

How many times does this page contain your key words?
Do the words appear in the title? In the URL (web address)?
Do the words appear directly adjacent?
Does the page include synonyms for those words?
Is this page from a quality website? Or is it low quality, even spammy? What is this page's PageRank? 

That's a formula invented  by our founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, that rates a web page's importance by looking at how many outside links point to it, and how important those links are."

Myth #1: Keyword Optimisation is the difference between successful and unsuccessful SEO.

Latent semantic indexing (LSI) was conceived in 2004 and has become more and more prominent within search results. This basically means that when a web page is crawled by Google, it picks up on common words or phrases combined. These don't necessarily need to be a direct match for the keywords you've selected to be found for, but they can be closely related as well. By using synonyms and related items, the search engine will understand the content and your intention to keep it relevant.

The bottom line for this is: Do not force keywords into your content. Your content needs to be written naturally, easy for the user to understand and read, and be written for the customer/ client rather than aimed at Search Engines to get a better ranking for particular keywords.

Myth #2: The H1 is the most important thing on the page

The H1 is important. It tells search engines what the titles are on the page. Sub titles are H2 tags. And so on...

The H tags outline the structure of your web page. It tiers the page and is a way of letting search engines know what order a page is built in.

But mainly, the H1 tag is a style. It's part of your websites CSS that your designer puts together to style what your headings look like compared to the rest of the body text. It used to be more important for SEO purposes than it used to be, but as with keyword stuffing, people were misusing the H1 tag and having numerous instances of them on a single page.

Optimise your page for your user, and have Search Engines only in the back of your mind, when it comes to creating and laying out your content.

Myth #3: The more pages, the better it is for SEO

This is technically not a myth... however you do need to make sure that you focus your content around being good quality, not quantity. You will rank well with less content that is of a higher quality if that's all the content you have.

Google's Panda algorithm, introduced in 2011, has been improving on detecting bad content, which means you could occur a Google Penalty if you're not careful. Content needs to be carefully crafted and honed.

Of course if you have the content to sustain a larger amount of pages, then yes that will help with SEO. But having multiple pages without carefully crafting your content for each one, won't help at all. 

Myth #4: Local SEO doesn't matter

If you're a local business, you must optimise for local searches. Why? Because not only will it help you get found, people who are nearby who are most likely to look for services in their area will find you and most likely buy from you!

Google has been taking steps to continue looking at the best local content for it's search results. In 2014, the release of new algorithm Pigeon saw it take hundreds of ranking signals into account. It improved the way Google evaluates distance from you, for example when searching.

Google also has a Google My Business feature where you can set up Google Places and more to take advantage of local SEO.

Myth #5: I can just get someone else to do my SEO for me

There is a belief among many people that SEO takes technical knowledge and expertise to understand and implement, but this is really not the case. While the subject is technical, it requires more knowledge and a more indepth involvement with your business than any SEO company or IT company can provide. You are the perfect candidate to optimise your business website.

Of course you may need help along the way, and that's where you can lean on experts for advice and suggestions, but you are the best person for the job and you are the heart and soul of your business. Not only that, but you can optimise your website for FREE!

The world of SEO moves at such a pace that there may well be more myths to bust in the future! We hope this post has been informative and as always, if you have any questions, simply get in touch!
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Website of the Week: Liz Gibney Interiors

This week's website of the week goes to Liz Gibney Interiors. Liz can help you with all aspects of interior design - from a re-design of a single room to a complete ‘re-looking’ of your home.

Senior Project Manager Andy, began firstly by creating a full width panel responsive website design using the clients superb images. He styled the content using a similar font to the logo, and crafted the gallery hover over items on the home page, so that they are interactive using a splash of blue.

The website is a one page website, featuring a slide show of images, the clients testimonials and contact details, all accessible via anchors from the menu items also. The gallery items link to gallery pages, where there are more images to view of that certain project, and a description of the works.

With websites like this, the imagery is really key. If you can't get a professional photographer to take your pictures, there are plenty of tutorials online on how to get great looking images by using your trusty smart phone. As you can see with this design, the images are the main focus and are integral to the website coming together.

The website also passes Google's mobile-friendly test with flying colours, meaning that the website is responsive to the device it's being viewed on. This is a must when it comes to people viewing the website on the go!

The client kindly awarded us 5 out of a possible 5 stars and said that "It's a good quality product and fair price." We think the end result is great, and the website imagery is fantastic.

Are you an interior design company looking for a new design to showcase your work? Why not get in touch today.
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Giving your website a health check

Once your website is complete and live, there are a number of things you can check to make sure you've done what you can to give it the best chance in Search Engine results.

During your build, if you built your website with Toolkit Websites, you would have had your website built using web standards as default. But there are a number of extra items that you can apply, to give your website that extra boost.

We also have a health check of our own, to keep an eye on all items mentioned below. 

On Site Optimisation.

You can check that you have given your website a description and noted down what top 5 phrases or keywords you want your website to be found for. The website description is what appears below your website name and link, in Google results.

You can make sure you have given each of your pages individual descriptions and keywords, as well as an alias. These are all easy to edit and control in The Toolkit.

Other items include logo alt text, giving all of your images alt text, linking between pages on your site where necessary and to other, relevant websites or sources if need be.

You must also check that your website is mobile friendly. You can use Google's mobile friendly test to take a look. 

Social Media Integration:

So many people forget about the power of Social Media when it comes to Search Engine Optimisation. Google loves fresh and good quality content. So what better place to create, cultivate, share and engage conversation than on Social Media platforms? All the while, linking your accounts back to your website and embedding them onto your web pages.

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Youtube, a blog and many more could be the answer to driving traffic to and from your website. Plus it's free marketing, and you shouldn't really turn down anything that's free!

Search Engine Services:

If you haven't already, you can set up an Analytics account to track traffic to your website. It also provides you with statistics about the visitors to your site including keywords they've typed in to find your website, what pages are visited the most and more.

See here, reasons why you could have a high bounce rate.  
Google's favourite thing? Quality & Relevance. 

Having Google Webmaster Tools is also a huge bonus, including creating and submitting an XML site map, and Google My Business account.

Plenty of these services and tools are free of charge to set up and manage yourself. There are paid for services out there such as AdWords and Adsense. We always recommend getting an idea of the traffic to your website, and looking at how your website performs the first few months after going live... then you can decide on the strategy you are going to implement next to improve, boost and expand on your SEO. 

If you have any questions about any of these services, simply get in touch! We'd be happy to help.
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3 peaks... 3 days!

Our team member Tom will soon be heading up to Scotland ready for the start for his three peak challenge.

Tom isn’t heading up on his own; he will be joined by a group of friends that he went to school with. Their first day will take them up Ben Nevis (Scotland, 1345m) and ending the day by travelling 4 hours south to Scaffell Pike. Day two starts with climbing Scaffell Pike (England, 978m) and driving a further 4.5 hours south for day threes climb of Snowdon (Wales, 1085m).

Time to hit you with some facts:

•    Total drive will cover over 1250 miles and be over 20 hours
•    They will be walking for a targeted 19 hours, covering 26 miles and rising 3000m

Normally these 3 peaks are one in rapid succession, in just 24 hours but Tom is saving that challenge for another year.  ;)

As fun as it all sounds, Tom isn’t just doing this for a bit of fun…

“Whilst it is fun for us we realise this is a great opportunity to raise money for a great cause. Cancer affects way too many people and any money can help them get closer to a cure. Cancer Research UK is the world's leading charity dedicated to beating cancer through research and the more help thy get, the closer to a cure they become.

Please if you can, contribute to the great cause that is Cancer Research UK, and please share a link to this page so others may have the opportunity to donate too."

We wish Tom ALL the luck with his challenge and look forward to seeing the photos!
You can make a donation here.
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Green Southampton

As a company situated right in the heart of our city, we're pretty proud of Southampton and the benefits of living here. However, in May 2014 the World Health Organisation (WHO) released a report which named Southampton as one of the worst cities in the UK to be breaching air pollution safety guidelines!

The main cause of air pollution in the UK is emissions from vehicles. In Southampton additional sources of air pollution include industrial emissions, shipping emissions as well as airflow from the continent. See the other cities that breach air pollution safety guidelines here

As horrible as it sounds, compared to the other cities listed, Southampton and Leeds had the lowest average reading of those breaching this level, with Nottingham and Leeds exceeding the limit much more so than us!

This led us to do a bit of digging to find information on what is being done to make Southampton a greener place to live, and a sustainable city.

The Council

With the announcement that Southampton will be one of the first cities outside London to introduce a Clean Air Zone, it's a good first step in improving our air pollution levels. Southampton's Labour Council is quite committed to the idea of making improvements over the next few years, as laid out here.

Individual Groups / Volunteers

Another group dedicated to making Southampton a greener city is Transition, a group that host and run a number of events to do with sustainability and raising awareness of the topic. They provide a Sustainable Living Guide which includes where to find community venues, ethical shops and places to get things repaired in Southampton. Those behind the idea saw that there was a need to have a website where anyone wanting to volunteer their time could easily find out about projects they can contribute to at any time.

The Green Hampshire Community are another group focused on helping preserve and conserve the environment, both built and natural, for future generations.

Local Areas

It's not all bad though. Southampton has over 50 parks and green open spaces that range from small, locally used green areas to large, nationally recognised Sites of Special Scientific Interest, therefore as one of the greenest cities in the UK, Southampton has plenty of outdoor places in which to relax or go walking. These parks have won Southampton a number of awards.

Electric Cars

Southampton had a number of charging points added in 2011 for those that have electric cars. You can check the website for the locations of those charging points also. There are a number of companies offering solar panel installations also. Installing solar panels on your home helps combat greenhouse gas emissions and reduces our collective dependence on fossil fuel.

There are a number of reasons why Southampton is a great place to live! It's important to know what is going on within your city and get involved in the community. You could find out whether your business could be making a change to help your city stay green. Whether it's going paperless like we have, or recycling all materials you use, every little helps! You could walk/ run / cycle to work, or even start a car share.

Share your thoughts with us on Twitter using #GreenSouthampton

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A rising trend - One Page Websites

You may have noticed that there are a lot more one page websites around. Long, scrolling, parallax images and with full width panels of content, the one page website has risen in popularity over the last year. 

But what does a one page website mean, for search engine optimisation?

Issues you could be faced with: 

Search engine algorithms seek relevancy; they match queries with content. While a single page site may improve relevancy for your primary keywords, it’s more likely you will dilute relevancy for sub-topics and terms that might rank easier on their own pages. For example, if you have a website that show cases four services, each service could have it's own page with it's own optimised keywords, data and content. On one page, these four services could blend and blur into one page, and be hard for the user to find what they were looking for.

When asked about SEO for one page websites, Google’s Matt Cutts said:

"It’s going to depend on what your particular area is, what the topic is, and what kind of layout you come out with. But if it works for you and for users to have that all on one page, for the most part, it should work for Google as well."

What tips are there for optimising a one page website?

Content: Making sure you have defined content sections is integral. Each section of content should be designed as if it were on it's own separate page, have the keywords, headline and alt tags all geared up as you normally would if it were a page of it's own.

Anchors: In search rankings, we’ve sometimes seen Google list anchor links as site links. Anchors will help people navigate your one page website without having to scroll up and down. Back to top links could also be a bonus, to save people struggling with navigation.

H1 Tags: It's not usual for us to suggest using multiple H1 tags on one page, but for a one page website, each section that signals distinct and separate content should have it's title in an H1 tag.

Updating your content regularly:  As always, refreshed content is a necessity, so you’ll have to be creative as to what you’ll change on your site, and how often. If you've got a one page website that has been created with how it looks in mind, this may be difficult in terms of updating the text and making sure it still fits in within your design. You'd need to keep this in mind and make sure it's flexible in layout.

Adding layers: In order to add refreshed content without touching your web page, you could add a blog and embed your active Social Media accounts.

When should you consider a one page website?

If you want your web page to act as a landing page, to tell people Who you are, what you do and where you're based, along with contact details, a one page website would suffice.

Here are some examples of one page websites we have created to give you an idea

Coombe Shower Services
G&H tyre services
Alva Solutions

When shouldn't you consider a one page website?

If you have a lot of content, and a lot of different services you want to show case, a one page website really isn't suitable. For example, if you are a dental practice with numerous services, booking information, terms and conditions, forms for new patients to fill in and more... a one page website would be impractical.

A one page website should really be used as a landing page, to boost your online presence alongside other tools such as a blog, a website (with more than one page) and/ or social media.

It completely depends on your business, your area of specialism and of course what you are looking to get out of your website.
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Website of the Week: SK F.I.T

This week's website of the week goes to SK F.I.T. SK F.I.T provide high quality coaching and accountability to ensure you reach your desired goals. All new members have access to their FREE fitness sessions.

Senior Project Manager Lanara, began firstly by creating a full width panel responsive website design. She kept the content within a smaller content width and separated them into boxes and panels to make each part easy to read and digest.

The home page features a slide show of images, the clients videos and a before and after slide show of testimonials. The idea behind the home page is to give people an idea of what SK F.I.T do, who they are and where they are based, so that people know they've landed in the right place and can choose to read on.

The internal pages feature the same style as the home page, but with the content carefully set out and organised by support team member Adam, who worked closely with the client in making sure the right information was in the right places.

Each page has a lengthy amount of content, but the layout of each page makes that easier for people to navigate, and the videos are a brilliant way of breaking up pages that are quite wordy. According to analysts, one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words! They are a great way to communicate with the world. Videos can go viral and be targeted at the same time to reach a broad audience.

The website passes Google's mobile-friendly test with flying colours, meaning that the website is responsive to the device it's being viewed on. This is a must when it comes to people viewing the website on the go!

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