Web Design Blog : Toolkit Websites

Web Design Blog

Website of the Week: Sentral IT



This week's website of the week goes to Sentral IT. They are an authorised reseller of the entire Supermicro range of products. Supermicro are the leader in server technology innovation and green computing, provides customers around the world with application-optimized server, workstation, blade, storage and GPU systems.

Sentral IT had a clear brief. They wanted something professional, modern and responsive.

Project Manager Andy started off by creating a first draft that incorporated a full width panel layout, which gives the website an "open plan" feel. Even though the pages are content heavy, it's easy to take in and skim through if preferred. This is a very modern style of design that is favoured by those looking for something really contemporary and high end.

When it comes to a business like this, it's important to get the right balance of content and visual imagery. People like images to break up word heavy pages, and the panels are the perfect way of doing this. The images have been carefully selected to represent the businesses product range, and people can see exactly what it is that they'll be buying.



When you head to the internal pages, you can see that they are much simpler and stripped back. Using a clean white background, this means that the important information and content is easy to read, and is presented in a professional unfussy way.

Looking through the pages, you can see that each one has been carefully thought out, depending on the subject matter. and products. The entire website uses a Google font called 'Open Sans,' which is a nice balanced font. It's not too formal and it doesn't come across as too informal either. It's easy on the eye and matches the overall brand.

Sentral IT knows that their customers are likely to research and read reviews on the products before buying. This is why their testimonials page is the best marketing tool for them. Having their testimonials displayed on their website means that people can sift through them and get an overall feel for the company and what other customers have experienced. This is a very candid and transparent way of gaining potential customers trust, as they are able to read information from a reliable source.



The client uses the home page as a place for people to access their contact details and their Social Media accounts. Social Media is an excellent tool for marketing your website for free, and for getting a better Google ranking. If you are updating your Social Media accounts (and your website) on a regular basis, the more often Google will index you. As long as the content is good quality and accurate, this will be advantageous to you when it comes to ranking well. Not only that, but the website is also on the responsive platform meaning that Google has given it the green light and it is classed as 'mobile-friendly.'

The client was pleased with the end result, saying that they thought our "Customer service is outstanding." We're really pleased with the end result.
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Toolkit's Guide to: Clearing your Browsers Cache


When your website is being built, your Web Design Company have probably told you more than once to either "Do a hard refresh on your browser", or "Clear your browsers cache."

If you're unsure of what this means, you've come to the right place.

Why do I need to refresh/ clear my cache?

When you load up a web page for the first time, the browser you are using downloads all the files, HTML, graphics, images and more in order for you to see the page. Once you've viewed the website, it is cached in your browser.

This means, if you make a change to your website (say for example, you change an image) when you next visit the web page instead of re-downloading all of that information to show you the latest version of the site, it will show you the version it downloaded before.

This is why you need to force it to re-download all the website details again, so you can see the latest versions.

Sometimes this can be done with a simple refresh of your browser. On a PC you can hold down the Control and F5 key together, and then let go. On a Mac you can do the same but with the Command and R keys.

Some browsers have a little arrow or refresh icon where the URL is found:

But when that doesn't work, you will need to take a look at clearing your cache. In fact, you can fix many browser problems simply by clearing your cache.

In the office, our preferred browser is Mozilla Firefox.

To clear your cache in Firefox you simply follow these steps:

1. Click on the menu in the top right hand corner of the browser page


2.  Click on the Preferences option


3. You then need to select "Advanced" and choose "Network." You will be taken to the screen below, and you can then clear your cache.


Clearing the cache may take a few moments, you'll need to wait for it to complete it's work. Once it's finished, it's recommended that you restart your browser.

You will now be able to see the latest version of the website!

For a full comprehensive guide on how to clear your cache in other browsers and their different versions, visit the WikiHow article here.
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Toolkit's Guide to: Keyboard Shortcuts & Basic HTML



When your website is live, and you've had your training on how to use the Content Management System, in our case The Toolkit, you may or may not need to delve into the HTML code of a page.

To many, at first glance, it looks like a completely different language, and for the most part nonsensical. Luckily. you don't have to become a code expert to regularly update your website, and using the following tips and tricks, you'll soon have the basics under your belt.

Firstly, here are some keyboard shortcuts that will make your life much easier.

1. COPY TEXT

To copy a line of text, highlight it, and then on a MAC keyboard press Command and then C.


2. CUT TEXT

To cut the line of text, instead of copying it, you need to press Command and then X.


3. PASTE TEXT

To paste the line of text you have just copied, you will need to press Command and then V.


4. SELECT ALL

To select all the text on the page, to either copy or cut it using the commands above, you can press Command and then A.

If you are not using a MAC keyboard, instead of Command, you will need to use the Control Button.



Your website pages will have been set up for you whilst you were in build, in a way that means the pages are easy for you to update and edit in the Toolkit.

If you do find that you need to go into the code for something more advance, you will most probably be faced with a page that looks like this, when you view the source code:


As you can see, there is a number of things you can do in the Toolkit without having to enter into the code. But if you feel like you want to add something more advanced or you feel confident using the HTML, you can do so by clicking on the source view.


If you have a keen interest in improving your HTML skills, W3 schools is a great place to start.

W3Schools is a web developer information website, with tutorials and references relating to web development topics such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, SQL, and JQuery. The site provides a reference manual covering many aspects of web programming.

It's free to use, and stands by web designs best practices.
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Toolkit's Guide to: Google My Business


Google My Business is the place where you can now manage your online presence with Google.

Using the Google My Business dashboard, you're able to do the following:

  • Keep your business information up-to-date on Google
  • Build a customer based on your Google+ pages
  • Track engagement with insights for Google+ pages and posts
  • See information on your related Google Analytics account and YouTube channels
  • Seamlessly create and track performance of AdWords Express campaigns
Businesses with a physical location or servicing local geographies get additional benefits. Once you verify your business on Google My Business, you’ll be able to:

  • Help get your business found on Google. Google can use the business information you provide in local search results.
  • Read and respond to reviews from your customers
  • Get insights on how customers searched for your business, and where they’re coming from.
Google My Business is basically an amalgamation of Google Maps, Youtube, Analytics and what was known as Google Places.

Firstly, you will need to go to the Google My Business home page.


Once there, you will need to press the button that says "Get On Google."

You will need a Google Account in order to have a Google My Business account. Once you click on that button you will be taken to a Map page. You will need to either:

1. Enter your location using the search bar
2. Click on "Create New Page" to the right, if you already have a Google Account. It allows you to create a page or get to any existing Google+ pages you have for businesses already.
3. Or you may need to click on the text that says "Not a local business?" You will then be shown the box below, where you can choose whether you are a storefont, service area or brand. (Google My Business is not just for small or local businesses any more!)



Once you have selected and input the location of your business, Google will need to send you a post card with a code on it to verify your business. Why? Because the address that you give them will be where the post card goes... that way Google will know that you've received the post card at that address which proves that you are based at that location.



The post card can take up to 3 weeks to arrive, and once it has you can then login and input your code. Once you've done that, you will be taken to the dashboard. Firstly, it will ask you if you want a tour (recommended!) which will help you get to grips with where everything is and how to use it.



Once you've done that, you can then set up your profile page. This includes styling your Google+ page and adding details about your business for people to find. If you already have a Google+ page set up, this gives you the opportunity to edit or update the page.

Now you are able to manage all information that Google has on your business, in one place. You can manage your Google+ Page, Location details, Contact details, Youtube, Analytics account and more, all by logging into Google My Business. They even have an app so you can manage it on the go!

If you are unsure of anything, or you get stuck, you can take a look at Google's FAQs page.




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Website of the Week: Castle Fantastic


This week's website of the week goes to Castle Fantastic, who are confident that "you won't find a more trustworthy, reliable, family-run business more dedicated to bouncy castle hire than us!" Castle Fantastic know what it's like to plan children's parties and be let down at the last minute. With a strong belief that everything should go like clockwork for your event, they provide brilliant quality castles with a variety of themes and styles.

Castle Fantastic were looking for a website that stands out from the crowd. They wanted a vibrant, interactive and easy to navigate website, that makes children beg their parents to hire a castle from them!

Project Manager Lanara started off by creating a first draft incorporating the colour palette that the client wanted, using vibrant pinks, oranges, and blues. As a one-page website, Lanara had the challenge of making the page feel like a larger site incorporating the gallery and contact form page.




Firstly, the logo was created with a castle icon and bright coloured text. To keep the branding consistent, the purple and orange became the dominant colours. The website uses a backdrop image showing a cartoon style scenery with a custom made bouncy castle graphic that literally bounces when you hover over it!

To make this one page website feel larger, Lanara added a gallery with the various images of bouncy castles, adding a caption and price tag to each one. She then constructed a contact form page, for people to be able to get in touch with enquiries or bookings. The Google map is a custom made one in My Maps, with a radius added to show the areas that Castle Fantastic are willing to travel to for business.

There were a number of items that needed to be incorporated into the page, without cluttering it. This includes the accreditation logo, the website terms document and the small print with downloadable safety guide. Lanara managed to add these to the website without them becoming the main focus point. Sometimes important documentation and small print needs to be included into a design and finding a way of working it in without impacting the design too much is the way to go.

The overall feel of the website design is that it's fun, friendly and colourful. The pages work well and the menu hover over as well as the cartoon character on the home page are a great first impression. There is minimal scrolling and it is easy to navigate through the options laid out in front of you.

The client was pleased with the end result, saying that they loved the "Great customer service, very polite friendly staff and very prompt service to all enquiries!"
 
Castle Fantastic kindly awarded Toolkit Websites a 5-star review! 
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Toolkit's Guide to: Setting up a Google+ Business Page


Step 1: In order to create a business page on Google+ you will need a personal Google+ page first. This is because you need a personal page to be associated with the business one, as business pages are not 'stand alone' pages.

Once you've set up your personal Google+ page,  you can login and click on "Create A Page." The first thing you will be asked after pressing this is to choose a category.

You will need to select the one that is relevant to your business before proceeding to the next step.


Step 2: This is where you will need to personalise your page. You will be able to add your profile photo and tagline.

You can then edit your page information such as the introduction, links to your other social media accounts, photos of your business and the location and more.

NOTE: Your business information

If you have a local business page, your basic information (address, phone number, website, and business hours) will show prominently at the top of your page. Unlike other page types, when you create a local business page, you may have to verify your page. This verification can take up to a couple of weeks if you have to wait for Google to mail a postcard to your business address.

Step 3: Once you're happy with how it looks and the information displayed, it's time to get some followers and begin following people. Google+ has a facility called "Circles" where you can add people into your Circle such as "Business Connections Circle," or "Client Circle" etc.

Step 4: Get posting. Add information and images to your posts, make them engaging, interesting and industry relevant.

Here are some terms you may need to get acquainted with:

Circles
Circles are how you organise the pages and profiles you are following on Google+. Pages come with four default circles: following, customers, VIPs, and team members. You can add more circles to better organise the pages and profiles you follow.

Followers
People who have added your pages or profile in their circles.

Tabs
Pages and profiles come with default tabs. These include about, posts, photos, videos, YouTube, +1s (profiles only), and reviews.

+1
The equivalent of liking a post on Google+.

Hangout
You can create video chat rooms with up to 10 people using Hangouts.

We hope that helps! If you have any questions or are interested in having your Google+ page created for you, contact us today.
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Toolkit's Guide to: Email Marketing


Email marketing campaigns are still around and being used with a high success rate. When email first came about, seeing the "You're got mail!" flashing on your screen was something of a delight, it was a new novelty for many and a great marketing tool for business.

As the years have rolled on, and email accounts are being filled with more spam and junk mail than genuine emails, it's not regarded as being on the top of everyone's lists when it comes to marketing their business... however, it is still a very powerful tool that shouldn't be cast aside just yet.

Firstly, the best thing about emails is that people are checking them on the go. What does that mean? It means you could send an email straight to their pocket, and they can pick it up on the fly. They could be on tube, they could be walking to the shops, they could be sat at home browsing online. They could be just about anywhere and you can reach them with your message.

Plus points:
It works on mobile devices other than just phones/desktops
Emails are free for the consumer, whereas texting may incur a charge
Emails have far more space for content than text messages, allowing for better marketing pieces.

Secondly, it's not only inexpensive for your target audience (receiving an email is free!) but it's inexpensive to you too. You can reach a large number of consumers for a low and fixed amount. For small business owners on a budget, this is a much better strategy than looking at traditional marketing channels such as TV, radio or direct mail.

Thirdly, if you're offering an incentive in your email marketing campaign... whether it's a coupon, or a percentage off of their next purchase... statistics show that it's a sure fire way of growing your business interest and to reach your target audience.

E-coupons (such as the ones you see on Groupon or Wowcher) are big business, and email marketing is right at the centre of it all.

Finally, your email campaign can be personalised to your customer and make them feel like you're really making the effort to keep them in the loop. If they feel like they're getting an amazing deal, they will more than likely take advantage of it.

If you have a brilliantly designed, and well thought out email campaign, you could see your business grow considerably. It's all about getting it right.

So where do you start?

You'll need to do your research. Companies such as MailChimp and iContact are popular third party companies that many people shout from the roof tops about. It might be worth seeing if your web designer has an email marketing service available to you. After all, if they are looking after your website it might be worth investing in email marketing campaign services with them as well.

At Toolkit Websites for instance, we have our very own Toolkit Broadcast Service. You can stay in touch with your customers, employees and/or prospects using our very own system. There are no add-ons, and no hidden fees. When you sign up for our email marketing service, you receive our full suite of features - it's everything you need for marketing your business via email.

Whether you are switching from another email system or starting from the ground up, Toolkit Broadcast provides a complete business-class email marketing service for as little as 0.8p per email.

One of our happy clients said: "After sending out my first newsletter I had over 20 reservations in the restaurant in just the first weekend. Great open rates and great response from my designed newsletter compared to my own personal attempt!"




Feel free to get in touch with any questions you have about Toolkit Broadcast or any general questions you may have about your email marketing campaign.
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Toolkit's Guide to: Google's My Maps


Adding a Google Map to your website is a great way for people to be able to see where your business is located. Most people have a smart phone these days that can then click on the Google Map and get directions and even an approximation of how long it will take them to reach you.

Sometimes, when you add your post code or address to Google Map's, it may not be as accurate as you'd like it to be. Or, it might be perfect but you want to show a radius of an area you cover, pinpoint different branches of your business in different locations in one map, or you may want to customise the way it looks or the colour of it. That's where My Maps comes in.

Once you've gone to My Maps you will need to click on the blue button that says "Create a New Map." Once there, you will need to add your address and post code into the search bar as normal, where it will then drop a pin onto the map in that location as seen below. You can reposition the pinpoint to be more accurate if you wish, and then you will need to click on the pinpoint and click on "Add to Map" to set the location.


You will need to click on the wording that says "Untitled Map" to give it a name such as "Our Business Location" or something similar. Once you're happy, you will need to get the code to embed the map onto your website by following these steps

1. Firstly you will need to make the map public in order to share it. Click on the share button, and follow the instructions in order to make it public, then save.


2. Then click on the three dots and select "Embed on my Site"


3. Copy and paste the code that it provides you with. This is the code you can paste into the HTML source of your website page, to add your map to the page!

In order to create a map with multiple pinpoints for different locations, once you've added the first location at the beginning of the process, use the search bar again to add your next address and keep doing that and adding each one to the map until you're finished. You can then embed the map as normal following the steps above.




To add a radius to a map, instead of a pinpoint, simply use the tools provided and then click on the radius to style it by changing the colour, shape etc.




We hope this helps!
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Toolkit's Guide to: Online Chat Facilities


You may have seen a chat box pop up on websites that you've visited. Normally they look something like the one in the example below.


The first thing you need to think about, before adding a chat facility to your website is this: Will you be online and at hand to run the online chat facility if a client decides to use it? 

For example, if you are the only one updating and editing your website, but you're on the road a lot and unable to be online, you may find clients trying to use your chat facility with no one there to "chat" to.

Sometimes, having functionality there, but not having the time to manage it is just as bad as not having it at all. Take Social Media for example. If you have a Twitter page but the last tweet was from 2013 and no updates have been made since then, it can create a negative impression. Yes, you have a Twitter business page which is great for SEO purposes, but it's inactive or stagnant, which defeats the purpose. This is something that could easily put a client or customer off doing business with you. First impressions matter and clients these days do their research online to suss out a company before going ahead.

Once you've decided whether you have the time to dedicate to the online chat facility, or you've got someone whose responsibility is to be available to take control of it, then read on...

Firstly, you will need to decide what third party company you want to have the chat facility with. There are a lot out there, some are free to use, and some are paid for services. Again, you need to decide carefully and ask yourself a few questions. Is it a company that will offer support if you're unsure of how to manage it? Is the chat facility modern and does it look good? Does it work well on all devices and/or is it mobile friendly? These are all things you'll need to discuss with the company you choose to go ahead with.

Some examples of great live chat software companies include the following:

Pure Chat
Online Chat Centres
Click for Assistance

There are lots out there, so you'll need to do your research!

Secondly, you will then need to know how the online chat facility is going to be incorporated into your website. Usually, you will be supplied with the right code you need to add to the website for the chat facility to work. We would recommend that you speak to your web design company about the chat facility you have chosen to use, and discuss what you'll need in order for them to implement it on your website.

You can see a working example on a website we created for ODL dentists.

Any styling of the chat facility, including colour, fonts, and overall look and feel will be the responsibility of the company you choose to have the live chat facility hosted with. Your web design company will not have any control over the look and aesthetics of it, due to it being a third party widget.

If you have any questions at all, feel free to get in touch! We hope this helps.
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Toolkit's Guide to: Copywriting


When it comes to writing your copy for your website, you may be unsure of a number of things. How much content is enough? How much is too much? How important is it to have keywords and SEO in mind when writing your content? What happens if there are too many keywords, will I get penalised for keyword stuffing? And so on...

Firstly, as a web design company, we don't offer a comprehensive copy writing service. You will be required to provide the written copy for each of your website pages. That's not to say we won't recommend, or proof read the copy you send over. We're keen for the website to look great and the end result is just as important to us as it is to you!

What it does mean, is that if you want more in-depth, optimised and professional written copy, you will need to hire a copy writer for this service. They can work with you in terms of writing a first draft, and making any tweaks or changes you require as you go along. They will also have basic SEO practices in mind, making sure that your content links to other pages, or sources where necessary, and that the content is rich, a good amount and a true representation of your business.

If you decide to write the copy yourself, here are some helpful hints and tips to get you started:

1. When writing your content, always begin with a page structure.

Depending on how many pages your website consists of, you'll need to write out a plan for those pages.

For example, if you have a 5 page website, you may have the following site map:

Home
About
Services
Gallery
Contact

2. The Home page.

This is the most important page on your site. Google says:

“Provide high-quality content on your pages, especially your homepage. This is the single most important thing to do. If your pages contain useful information, your content will attract many visitors and entice web-masters to link to your site. In creating a helpful, information-rich site, write pages that clearly and accurately describe your topic. Think about the words users would type to find your pages and include those words on your site."

The home page usually consists of a summary of Who you are, What you do and Where you are based. The main three things clients or potential clients will be on the look out for. This as well as your contact details, and opening hours. This is the first page people see, so it needs to make an impression and refrain from being too cluttered or content heavy.

3. The internal pages. 

When it comes to how much content you need. Usually the answer is to keep it brief. You want to entice people to your services or products. If your aim is for people to pick up the phone or fill in your data capture fields, you won't want to give them too much information right away. A brief outline of your services or products would suffice, and if your customer or client has any further requirements or questions, they can always get in touch with you, which is initially what you want. Client interaction! 

"Website content creation is an art form all on its own because unlike print materials, web visitors prefer to skim the text. With literally millions of choices at their fingertips, internet users prefer to scan content quickly to find results. If they don’t find what they are looking for, they will quickly bounce from your site." ~ Kelly Thomas Mango 

4. Keywords and Phrases 

Yes your content does need to include your SEO keywords and phrases. But if they don't fit naturally and you feel like you need to force them you shouldn't include it. Google may well be looking for content rich text, but they penalise for keyword stuffing. They want the user to have the best experience on your website, and so you must write your content for your target audience. Not for Search Engines. Google simply want well written, frequently updated and quality content. 

"For better or worse, Google demands good content in return for high rankings. Pretending that SEO companies can magically find a shortcut that allows you to avoid this trade off just isn’t going to cut it.
 

If you care about how you rank, it is time to take responsibility for your website’s content. Once you overcome the initial hurdle, you will find that producing quality content on an ongoing basis becomes second nature." ~ Smashing Magazine

5. Getting a copywriter. 

If you feel that you need a copywriter to provide your content, because you don't have the time/ aren't sure where to start or would rather an expert do it, that's absolutely fine. We have a copywriter that we work closely with, that we can refer you to in case you get stuck.

However, having a go at writing your own content first is highly recommended. As the business owner/ staff, you have full knowledge of how your business wants to come across, the tone of voice needed, the knowledge that needs to be included and the ins and outs of the business services and products.

"Admittedly, a good SEO company will have copywriters on board who can write content for you. However, their knowledge will be limited, as will their ability to really get to know your business. 

The truth is that if you are serious about improving your placement on search engines, it has to be done internally." ~ The inconvenient truth - Smashing Magazine

If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch!
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Toolkit's Guide to: Website Calendars


When it comes to adding a calendar to your website, there a lot of options available.

If you want to be able to have a calendar where you can block off dates that are not available to book an appointment/ hotel room/ event/ service, then there are some great FREE calendars that you can use. You can also use them for showing a diary of events/ seminars/ courses etc.

Usually, we recommend Google's Calendar service. We know that it's free to use, it's simple and easy. However, you may be looking for something a bit more bespoke and is easy to customise.

There are a few third party company's to choose from, some with free options, some with paid for services. Most of them offer a way of embedding the calendar into your website page, with a piece of javascript or HTML code. All you need to do, is set up the calendar that you want with the third party company that you've chosen, and provide your web design company with the code to implement it into your site.

Some examples of these third party sites include:

Tockify - Customisable web calendars that blend seamlessly into your site
Upto - The modern calendar for groups and organisations
Timely - Timely makes it easy to add a beautiful and connected event calendar to your website
Google Calendar - Spend less time planning and more time doing with shareable calendars

An example of a Google Calendar, embedded onto a website can be seen below. If you have any questions about adding a calendar to your website, we're here to help!


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Social Media: How to deal with bad reviews


In a past blog post, we discussed the power of testimonials and why having customers share their experiences on social media and other online platforms is a good thing for your business. Today's blog post looks at the other end of the scale, where negative reviews can have an adverse affect, and how to deal with them.

Firstly, it's important to point out that having a number of reviews (both diverse and different in subject matter) is a great thing to have. The more reviews you have that are genuine, rated highly and written either constructively or appropriately, the better. The bottom line is that people read reviews.

In the world of Social Media, potential clients or customers can access information about your business or services easily and without too much hassle. Most people do a lot of research before working with a company or purchasing a product or service. Your business is no different and you can expect to be researched, have reviews read and your social media presence, and website, under scrutiny.

Unfortunately, with the world wide web available to anyone and it now being considered a Human Right, that also means anyone can take to Social Media to write about their opinions and experiences about your business.

If you do happen to have a customer or client write a negative review about you, the first thing you need to remember is that they have a right to their view. They've shared an opinion on your product or services and they've posted it online. Some reviews are genuine, and in this case if it is a client or customer you have worked with, and you can rectify the situation with a public apology/ some form of reimbursement or offer then that's fine.

However, if you get a review and you don't have any recollection of working with the client or customer, and you suspect that it's a "fake" review, you're not the only one to have faced this issue and there are a number of things that you can do.

So what do you do if you get a negative review, that is genuine?

Sometimes brands get feedback about decisions they've made that their customers/clients aren't happy with. Take Wagamama for example. A Japanese restaurant chain, found that when they revamped their menu and mixed it up by removing a number of dishes to replace them with new ones, that customers were unhappy about the disappearance of their favourite dish.

Listening to your consumer feedback is so important. With hundreds of people taking to Social Media to let them know that the dish was being missed, it was soon reintroduced to the menu with a "I'm back!" sign to show people that Wagamama listen to it's customers.

Sometimes brands get feedback about a service or product of theirs that is not working as it should. O2 in particular are great at getting back to people on Twitter where they are constantly troubleshooting and dealing with problems whether it's signal, technical issues with the hand sets or their website. A lesson to learn from O2 is that a quick response and an apology can save a customer from parting ways with your service, and handling it in a calm and cool way can also mean that the customer will come away from the experience content as well.




So when you get a review that is genuine, suck it up and apologise firstly. Other customers and clients will enjoy a refreshingly honest business that is happy to admit when they are wrong and do all they can to rectify the situation.

So what do you do if you get a negative review, that is NOT genuine?

The first thing you can do is report the review to the platform it has been posted on. This might be Trip Advisor, Facebook, Google+ or other. If you have information that the person who has posted has never been in business with you, purchased an item or service from you and has no association with your business whatsoever, then you need to make sure that the third party service you are using is notified about it.

It's always preferable to remove a fake review entirely, but if that's just not possible, you can still defend your good reputation with a response. Real or fake, positive or negative, it's always a good idea to respond to every review

You must always respond politely and professionally, perhaps something like this: "Thank you for your review. We take these matters very seriously. However, we have no record or recollection of any customer experience fitting your story and description. Due to this, we have flagged this as a fake review."

While it's not always possible to remove a fake review, many review sites place an emphasis on trustworthy information and are eager to filter and remove reviews that are clearly not truthful. In addition to reporting fake reviews for removal, it's also a good idea to establish a positive review presence on websites that have a solid removal policy.

The best thing to take from this is that at some point you may get a negative review. But dealing with it in a professional and calm way could actually mean that you gain the trust and respect of potential or existing clients and customers. If you have a number of positive reviews and one or two negative ones, the positives will always outweigh the bad. Not everyone is perfect and it's not possible to control everything that is said about your business online.

Take a look at Toolkit Websites reviews!
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What it's like to be an Apprentice, at Toolkit Websites... Callum Dewane


For the last 14 months I have been working as an apprentice for Toolkit Websites where my job role has been a multitude of tasks and responsibilities including editing and creating design layouts for clients websites, and providing passionate support to all of Toolkit's clients, via phone and email.

I have learnt many skills which will allow me to progress in my future job and career. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Toolkit Websites and have made some long life friends.

Since the beginning of my apprenticeship, I have gained a huge number of skills and further developed skills I already had. These have been skills such as being able to speak confidently to clients on the phone, training clients 1-to-1 over the phone with regards to setting up emails or any other questions or queries they have had, website coding languages and also being able to solve technical issues.

There are so many skills that I could list that I have improved on, but the most important skill that I have developed would have to be my “Design Eye” as we call it in the office. Working on clients websites has allowed me to improve on website design, layout, formatting and styling web pages in a professional and modern way. Adapting this to each client depending on their brand or requirements, is something that has helped me evolve my skills over time.

My favourite element within my role has been managing my own clients. When a client had gotten to the end of the project with their Project Manager, I would take the reigns to help them go live. By doing anything I could from last minute tweaks to any last questions before the site was launched, it gave clients the confidence to press the publish button! I really enjoyed this because you can build a strong relationship with clients and understand what they need from their website, learning how it needs to function and the look that they are trying to achieve.

One of my biggest responsibilities was to liaise with clients via phone and email when designing and creating their Social Media accounts or Google services. This involved setting clients expectations of when the set-up would be completed and keeping them informed every step of the way. A vital part of the process was their feedback throughout the creation of the design work, and adapting my work to align with these requirements or requests.

While working for Toolkit Websites, I have taken part in many team activities outside work. To name a few. The Toolkit Bake off competition and Barclays Fantasy Football League. This has allowed us to build relationships and respect for each other that enables us to work better as a team and of course is all good fun. There are a lot of perks that come with working for Toolkit Websites such as evenings out as a company, breakfast bought for us every Monday morning and the occasional fast food Friday!

The skills I had to bring to the table for my role at Toolkit included experience of interacting with clients. Being able to communicate clearly and adapting my approach depending on the client was important as not everyone I spoke with was comfortable with computers and websites. My role relied on me to liaise with clients to keep them up to date on anything we were doing for them in a professional and friendly manner.

When it comes to editing a clients website, I needed to use a variety of other skills in order to style, format, lay-out and design the web pages. This involved using coding languages such as HTML and CSS, technical knowledge within the CMS and design skills such as Photoshop. This meant that my job varied every day, and I got to work with clients from every walk of life.

The team at Toolkit Websites is brilliant, very friendly yet hard-working and always putting the clients first. They strive to achieve the top standard no matter how big or small the task. I feel that I have made life long friends at Toolkit Websites whom I will stay in touch with. I could not of asked for a better team to be working with, they have given me a big insight into the Web Design industry. This has all been so beneficial to me as I am continuing my work in the website design industry for my next career move.

When working for Toolkit Websites you will always be learning as there is a constant steam of updates, improvements and new skills to learn. Toolkit Websites improve and better their standard and what they can do as a company everyday, meaning it's very dynamic, innovative and a company to be proud of.
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How long does it take for a website to be indexed by Google?


As a Web Design Company, we are often asked "How long will it take for Google to index my website, and for my website to be found in Google rankings?" 

The answer is: It could take 1 day or it could take up to 6 weeks. There is just no way of knowing a specific time or approximation. Google is king of search engines, and with that title, they do not let slip their secrets about their algorithm, about how you can get your website indexed faster than others and more. What Google wants from you and your website however, is a much easier question to answer.

Whenever you create a new website or blog for your business, the first thing you want to happen is have people find it. Once the Googlebot has crawled your website and added it to the Google index you will then be found on Google rankings. (Again, you cannot determine whether you will be on the first page or not... but there are things you can be doing to improve your chances.)

The Googlebot is simply the search bot software that Google sends out to collect information about documents on the web to add to Google’s searchable index.

Crawling: The process where the Googlebot goes from website to website, finding new/updated content to report back to Google. The Googlebot finds what to crawl using links such as those found in a site map.

Indexing: The processing of the information gathered by the Googlebot from its crawling activities. Once content/ websites/ blogs are processed, they are added to Google’s searchable index if they are determined to be quality content. Again, there are no ways to take short cuts with this, you simply have to provide quality, relevant content for Google to deem it "good" and place it high in rankings.

What you can be doing in order to get your website indexed quickly:

Create an XML Sitemap: A sitemap is an XML document on your website’s server that comprises of a list of each page on your website.

Every website by Toolkit Websites has a basic Site Map which you can find in the footer.


In order to boost your chances of being indexed quickly and more regularly, it's recommended that you take advantage of Google's Webmaster Tools. You can create an XML site map here, and specify how often search engines should have back to check for changes on specific pages. For example, you might want a search engine to come back and check your homepage daily for your news page, if you intend to add to it regularly.

Add your new site to Webmaster Tools, then go to Optimisation > Sitemaps and add the link to your website’s sitemap. You can also create an account with Bing and other search engines and submit your sitemap to them via their Webmaster Tools also.

Google Analytics: As a Google service, they of course like the fact that you are using their services! You will want Analytics in order to track your websites progress anyway, but signing up for an account will also make Google aware of your new website/content too.

Social Media Accounts: Google crawlers access your site by finding links (like the ones in your site map.) So having yout Social profiles such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Youtube and more with a link to your website is a brilliant idea.

You can also market your website by posting about it, with the URL to pick up interest in it and have Google become aware of the content.

The main thing Google wants from you has been discussed in previous posts of ours which you can access below. We highly recommend that in order for your website to be a success that you follow the advice as best you can. If you have any questions, please do let us know and good luck!

Blog Posts:

Analytics and why every business should have it
Partnerships - Reciprocal Linking to other sites for better SEO
Things you can do to improve upon your SEO, once the website is live 
Is your website considered “good quality” by Google?
How to structure your website and content to benefit SEO
SEO December, An introduction to Search Engine Optimisation
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Toolkit's Guide to: PPC Campaigns


What is PPC?
Pay per click (PPC), is an internet advertising model used to direct traffic to websites, where advertisers pay the publisher when the ad is clicked. 

How does it work?

With search engines, advertisers typically bid on keyword phrases relevant to their target market. Content sites commonly charge a fixed price per click rather than use a bidding system. PPC advertisements, also known as "banner" ads, which are shown on web sites or search engine results with related content that have agreed to show them.

These advertisements are called sponsored links or sponsored ads, and appear adjacent to, above, or beneath organic results on search engine results pages, or anywhere a web developer chooses on a content site.

As your web designer, we can't offer support on your Google Adwords and PPC campaigns, but we can guide you in the right direction. The following pointers are a great place to start, and if you're really serious about PPC for your business, we highly recommend going to an SEO professional to get it set up and managed for you.




How do I get started?

A Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign is a popular way for attracting targeted visitors to a web site and converting them into buyers.

1. Firstly you must determine your goal.

Whether your goal is to increase sales or to raise brand awareness, it is vital you know what it is before you start.

2. Define a budget. As an advertiser you will have to make payments on the basis of number of clicks.

3. Make a list of keywords. The most important requirement for the success of any Pay Per Click campaign is selection of the right keywords.

4. Finalise your keywords. Select targeted keywords with the help of different keywords tools such as Google Keywords tool, Wordtracker etc.

5. Start bidding on the keywords that clearly describe your online business, products or services to get conversions and generate good ROI.

6. Create landing pages. Create unique landing page with good call to action features so that the visitor gets to see the product or service directly that you want to sell online.

This is where Toolkit Websites CAN help you. By creating attractive, clean cut, and easy to use web design pages.

7. Be transparent. If visitors come to your site and don't find the things as promised in the ad copy, it could lead to negative publicity for your site.

8. Optimise your PPC campaign regularly. Optimise your ad copy along with the landing pages on a regular basis.

9. Follow the Rules. Make sure your campaign follows the search engine rules.

10. Hire professionals. For the success of a PPC campaign hire an experienced team of dedicated professionals and campaign managers working in reputed PPC advertising companies to launch and maintain PPC campaigns, effectively. It's a very competitive industry and therefore benefits from expert knowledge.

Please Note; This is not a definitive list and we are not experts when it comes to PPC campaigns. If you want to create a PPC campaign for your business, the best advice we can give you is to get in touch with a professional.

The infographic below, shows the most expensive/competitive keywords.


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Toolkit's Guide to: Adding an Email Signature


When it comes to adding an email signature to appear at the bottom of every email you write, the process of adding one differs depending on what email client you are using.

Below is a guide on how to add an email signature in Outlook, Thunderbird and our very own Toolkit Webmail.

If you want an email signature designed for you, using your logo graphics, styling and more, you can take a look at our email signature service.

Alternatively, you can have a go at adding one yourself, either a simple text based one or more advanced depending on how comfortable you feel using the email client settings.

Outlook

Login to your Outlook as you would normally and then click on the cog icon. These are your email client settings. You will need to select the email signature option.


Once you've clicked on this, you will be taken to a window where you can begin adding your email signature, choosing a font, size and colour.

Or, if you have had an email signature designed for you, you will be able to add the HTML code you've been provided, into the box and press save.

Thunderbird

Open your Thunderbird as normal, and select the Tools menu item, and select the drop down "Account Settings."


Once in there, a box will come up where you can compose your email signature or post your HTML code into the box. Then press save!

Toolkit Webmail

Login to Toolkit Webmail as normal, and select the menu on the right hand side, and click on settings.



Once you've clicked here, you will be brought to a new window where you can edit an existing signature, or click on "add new email signature" to compose a new one.



Once you've clicked on "Add new signature" you will be taken to a window where you can compose your email signature, or paste in your HTML code.

We hope that helps!

Please note, we do not support Outlook... but if you have any questions or issues with Thunderbird or Toolkit Webmail, we'd be more than happy to help!


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