- Your profile (timeline) information, e.g. your contact information, interests and groups.
- Wall (timeline) posts and content that you and your friends have posted to your profile (timeline).
- Photos and videos that you have uploaded to your account.
- Your friends list.
- Notes you have created.
- Events to which you have RSVP’d.
- Your sent and received messages.
- Any comments that you and your friends have made on your Wall (timeline) posts, photos, and other profile (timeline) content.
KNOW WHAT YOU WANT BUT TEMPER YOUR EXPECTATIONS ACCORDINGLYAt some time or other every business will have to think about a website overhaul. It can be a daunting prospect. Whether the requirement is just to freshen content or to completely revamp a site, a key consideration is going to be preserving your SEO ranking. Of course in writing this guide its worth considering that to get a perfect score on all of these issue your designer is going to have to spend time making it happen. Therefore, the concept of cost and value need to be factored into our thinking and a client’s expectations. If you are a medium sized business aiming for a highly professional website and have a suitable budget, then you ought to include everything we are suggesting here. But the concept of satisfying a customer who wants an e shop to offer the same functionality as amazon.com and contain almost as many products, for the price of an A5 flyer, is something most developers have to contend with from time to time.
WHICH AUDIENCE?As our SEO Guru, we just call him Dave, likes to remind our marketers: content is written for two audiences, a) real people and b) search engine robots. You ignore either of these key targets at your peril. And yet it is a frighteningly common occurrence to find the latter is often disregarded. At Azzurro-Blu all of our Marketers are required to do some basic coding and SEO training to ensure their interface with our SEO specialists are more meaningful. We also give our developers regular marketing courses to make sure the process works both ways. For the purpose of this article we are going to focus largely on the SEO aspect. So with that in mind it is worth remembering that what we are really talking about here is constructing data to ensure that a website is found and ranked in as positive a manner as possible by search engines.
USE A COMPETENT DESIGNERAsk if they have a plan! Most competent SEO practitioners will be well ranked themselves. Assure yourself that they are there by design and not by default. A good web development company will be able to optimise your performance by using specific techniques under a planned strategy. Perhaps the company you are looking at had some expertise in the past but that expertise left a long time ago. Make sure you get a strategy and that the web developer knows what he is talking about. Check their content: content is a key component in building SEO performance. But just as importantly it is key to persuading real customers that you are a credible business. Look at the content of your prospective web designer: Is it well written? Does it make sense? Does it represent brand values effectively? Would you want this company writing your content? There is a balance: remember there is a balance to be struck. For example, if you want a great video to communicate what you are about to be the first thing visitors see that is a less effective SEO technique that text based key words. The ideal phrasing for your concept positioning and branding is unlikely to be the perfect SEO selection. But the SEO inputs can be accommodated in other ways. Conversion Rate Issues: customer experience is of course important. A fast page delivery speed is nice to have. If your web site is more biased towards on-line sales this feature will be more important than a web site whose purpose is converting targets over a longer sales cycle. This isn’t really and SEO issue but gets brought up from time to time.
SOCIAL MEDIA AND NEWSTake the opportunity to add Social Media Content and in particular news content. Although this is an activity that in general sits further down the SEO priority list, its importance is growing. Of more importance at this time is the need for up-to-date news pages or blogs. This will give you the opportunity to refresh content regularly in a simple effective manner. If you want something more complex you might want to consider a Social Wall. The volume and quality of the information you produce on Social Media will ultimately have a bearing on your SEO but is also more important for marketing to real people as opposed to SEO Bots. KEEP YOUR DOMAIN NAME Be wary about changing your domain name. Unless you have a good reason for changing your domain name you should think about keeping it. Aged domains as a general rule have a higher intrinsic value. Trust flow, citation flow, and domain authority are key metrics that are more likely to score higher on aged domains. Whilst there are techniques our programmers can use to protect some of these features where someone wants to move to a new domain name – it is a decision that should not be taken lightly. New domain names can carry hidden risks and you should evaluate the various items of relative value before making this decision. Your web designer should have access to specific tools that conduct this complex analysis quickly and effectively. Check that they do.
MONITOR PERFORANCEEnsure that you have a record of current performance for each page that can be used to compare future performance. What you web developer should do is lovingly re-create the URL for each page to protect your SEO value for that page. Many don’t because it can be a painstaking process. You really want this to be part of the plan – unless of course there is limited value to the pages in question, or you can’t justify the expenditure.
CHECK ALT TAGSWe strongly recommend that you make effective use alt tags or alt text throughout your website. Whilst this may not seem too important it can have a marked impact on SEO performance. Alt tags are an overlooked aspect of web design, they can easily be forgotten whether you are building a brand new website from scratch or conducting a rebranding effort. Please ensure that your use of these tags is uniform throughout your site, accompanying all images regardless of how prominent or subtle. (Avoid images where the text is part of the image if you can.) Best practices for alt tags require you keep such text specific and brief. Describe the image clearly and precisely, and avoid the temptation to use this as an opportunity to plant key words. Keyword misuse is a hazardous activity, so we recommend you avoid it to protect future SEO performance.
STRUCTUREAnyone who has ever used a website understands the importance of ease of navigation. It is a key aspect of the customer journey. But what you may not know is that ineffective navigation and poor website structure can affect your SEO performance. Even small changes can have an impact on your performance. As they say. “it’s easy when you know how”. But the knowing is the key. In determining an effective structure, you will want to know
- why users visit your site,
- what search terms they used to get there, and
- how they interacted once they arrived.
URL’aPlease ensure that URL’s follow a structured approach that mirrors your navigation plan. For example, a visitor should be able to look at the URL www.technolag.com/gaming/totalwar, to know that on the TechnolAG website they can click on the gaming menu and then the totalwar submenu to get to the same page.
INTERNAL LINKSConsideration needs to be given to internal linking that locates high-ranking pages throughout your website, rather than locking them into one area. Every page on your site should have and internal link to somewhere. But note that there has to be a logic to the use of links and the content used. Poor linking and illogical content is similar to keyword stuffing and can harm your SEO performance. Beyond SEO focus, effective internal linking allows you to guide the customer through the site in a way that prepares them for purchase.
ENGANGEMENT DATAIt is a feature that can be overlooked. A high bounce rate might be telling you something important. Unless you are a site that gets hit by mistaken visitors (and this can happen to certain sites for different reasons), a high bounce rate might mean:
- poor user engagement
- lack of clarity
- lack of information
- pricing or value challenges
CONCLUSIONThere is a lot to think about when undertaking a web re-vamp. Make sure you get a professional job done and include the considerations we have highlighted above. Without these considerations you are only getting half a job done. At Azzurro-Blu this is part of our process. Make sure you get the same service. If you are a web developer without detailed SEO support talk to us to find out how we can help you and your customer.
We’ve all heard of the popular TV series Game of Thrones. Whether you love it/hate it or couldn’t care less there’s no escaping the phenomenon which has spread around the world. With an average of 1.6 million UK viewers hooked with every episode its ratings never fail to disappoint. So what drives this popularity? Gripping storylines, epic sets and eye watering budgets aside there is another contributing factor to this success, their content marketing strategy. The team behind Game of Thrones are the experts in showing exactly how it’s done.
The Azzurro-Blu phones ring nonstop throughout the day but on January 26th there was one phone call that got the whole team at Azzurro-Blu excited.
We have to admit that it doesn’t take much for the Azzurro-Blu team to get excited, especially when it comes to clients and creative work, but when Robert G. Phillips called requesting a meeting we were intrigued. He didn’t give much away over the phone and he didn’t have to. All the team needed to know was that he was an author. No time was wasted, the next day Commercial Director Cameron Sim visited him at his home. Definitely a cosier meeting place than the usual café or meeting/board room. It was there we found out a lot more about the mysterious Robert G. Phillips.
Over a hot cup of tea on a very cold and wet January day all was revealed. A local author, Robert Phillips, 84 has written 3 inspiring books. Born in India, he moved to Scotland where he worked as a Marine Engineer for many years. Later in his life he started working as an industrial engineer and later still as an applications engineer at Robert Gordon University until he retired in 1997. Upon retirement his passion for writing evolved. Each book was written for a reason, whether to educate, entertain or to simply inspire. All he wanted to do was to get his books and their messages out there. That’s where the team at Azzurro-Blu come in.
Some of the Azzurro-Blu team had never embarked on a marketing campaign for an author before so were delighted when the opportunity came along. He’s an author with a difference though, a difference that was an inspiration to the team. What makes him so unique is his disregard for profit. What Robert values is the opportunity to share his thoughts, experiences and imagination with others. All he wants is for people to read his books, his stories and learn from his personal experiences across his many years of life. With his aim in mind the team got to work developing a marketing campaign which pinpointed the best way to help share his three books. Social media proved key, as always successfully promoting the three books, “The Circlip”, a gripping true story about Robert’s experience at sea, “Smile and Deliver”, a journey on the finer points of effective speaking and “Tammy the Seagull”, an imaginative, action packed children’s book.
Robert visits the office for an update meeting a few times a month and there isn’t a meeting that we don’t look forward to. He is a truly inspirational man and not to mention a great author who brightens up the Azzurro-Blu office every time he walks through the door. The team at Azzurro-Blu are always more than happy to have him in the office and listen to his many, fascinating stories he brings with him keeping us smiling every month. He’s a client to remember.
“In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” Those words were written by Eric Hoffer in 1951. But they are just as relevant now. Our local economy is in crisis. The market has changed. Two types of company will definitely make it to the other side. Businesses with vast cash reserves, and businesses that find a way to make sales.
I read recently that George Forman the former World Heavyweight Champion said that if he could give his children one gift it would be the ability to sell! With the ability to sell he felt they would be well equipped to succeed in life. If your future is affected by the down turn in the oil industry, then I’d suggest that there’s no better time to think about the customer, selling and what they mean to your business or your future as an individual.