Category Archives: Web Design

Helpful hints and tips for improving your site, search engine rank and online presence.

Should I advertise on Yell?

pound-coins

Should I advertise on Yell?

This was a question I was asked by a client yesterday. Now I have my own thoughts on the services offered by Yell and their new digital branch Hibu (None of them good.) but let’s break it down and see how it looks.

Should I place an ad in the books? (Doorstop)
Look at the books decrease in size over the past few years, many other businesses have come to the conclusion that it doesn’t work as well as it used to.

Why have so many businesses come to this conclusion?
You just have to look at the growth of Social Medias, why place an advert in a book, that in a year from now could be out of date with the services you offer. (I know the services I offer and the way I do my business are not the same as what I offered last year.)

So should I place my business in their online directory?
This in my opinion isn’t the right way to spend your advertising budget. Think of it like this. You’ve just invested your cash having a website built; it looks great, it’s up to date with your services and contact details. Your developer has it registered with the search engines and your keywords have you sitting in position number one on Google.

Yell calls you – You pay for an ad in there online service, you tell them your selected keywords and your target area. All of a sudden their website is sitting in position number one and you are in position two. Here is where the pain comes in…. When anyone clicks on yell’s link they’re taken to a page with not only your advert, but a full list of yourself and your closest competitors.

Should I have a Yell Website?
I’ve been building websites since 2006 and in that time I’ve lost a few clients to yell, but I’ve had just as many disgruntled clients come to me from them.

They tell you that your website will be “Tailored to the business” though if you search businesses in the same industry you will find the same content reworded. They tell you they will research your competitors, but as far as I can see, they copy the content and keywords from your competitors that use Yell websites. Its duplicate content and your website (and theirs) will suffer for it. At the time of publishing the websites they “show off” on their website aren’t with them anymore that tells its own story.

Writing your own reviews – says a lot about the company too >  http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/business/Companies/article476882.ece

Discuss below, what’s your experience with Yell?


A Simple Social Media Strategy

Facebook-AdA simple Social Media Strategy

Lets keep it simple.

  1. Build your website.
  2. Create your social media accounts.
  3. Create new pages on your website for news, offers, new products, etc etc.
  4. Post your new links on your Social Media accounts with a brief description. (This will increase website traffic.)
  5. Increasing website traffic creates an opportunity to place advertising on your Website (Google Ads, affiliate links etc) Monetizing your site.
  6. Create a mailing list from your website and Social medias (Collecting email addresses allows you to send links, offer special discounts to subscribers, and create high value returning customers.) (Quarterly, Monthly, Weekly, Daily)
  7. And REPEAT!

A Website – Before Social Media is a MUST!

A Website – Before Social Media is a MUST

WebsiteAre you a new business owner or been in business for a long time? Either way, you should know by now that you need an online identity. You need your brand showing up within the reach of the search engines at the very minimum.
When I started my business in 2006; I started with a website and a telephone. Now I have the reach of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and numerous other Social Medias. (Which I love!). This got me thinking though, what would happen to my business if social media died tomorrow? Would I still have a business?
Well, yes! To put it simply, I have my own website, I have a mailing list, I have used the social Medias to gather contact details of clients who I work with now, and some whom I hope to work with in the future. (Read How do I create a simple Facebook Marketing Plan? to see a few tips and tricks on how to gather client information from social Media.)

It’s ironic to think that many small businesses still do not have a website and very little presence elsewhere. They think to themselves, “Business has been kind to me so far so I don’t need it” or “I have enough word of mouth out there to keep me going!”.
Every business needs a Marketing Strategy and one that is flexible to cope with today’s climate.

“So, let’s start with a simple website, buy a domain name, stick a few pictures and a bit of text on it, contact details and a map. There you go, that’s it done. I’ll look at it again in a few years’ time.”

Please don’t think about your website like this. Think of it as an extension to your business; keep it fresh, modern and up-to-date. The search engines LOVE revisiting a website to find new information to index.

Let’s start with a Domain Name

I love buying domain names, (It’s fun) but it comes with its own set of challenges. Every Tom, Dick and Harry before you; who has bought a domain name has already bought that exact domain name that you wanted for your website. So you have to become creative, most times, you will put together a combination of your business name and either a town, city or country (NI) before your ending suffix. (.com/.net/.co.uk)

Build a website

As I said earlier, your website will become an extension to your business, so as you would if you were building and extension onto your house, call a professional. Most web developers; if told can work within your budget.  However, the return on investment for building a quality website will make it well worth the cost.

Registering your site with Search EngineS

Yes, I have a Capital “S” on the end of engines above, most people think of Google when they talk of search engines. I like to add websites that i build to all the major search engines, and some of the smaller ones. (Have a look at the search engine page on Wikipedia to see how many there is and how fast they all come and go).
Before we can add a site to the search engines we need to make sure it’s ready to be indexed by them. This means the site needs to be Search Engine Optimized (SEO).
A Search engine will look for a certain amount of items when it crawls your site. Seo-optimization

  1. A focus keyword (The main Keyword for that page, If your business is a bakery, then the word “bakery” needs to be used quite a few times within the content of the page.)
  2. Heading (H1, H2, H3, and so on are HTML Heading tags, which create a heading at the top of a page. The focus keyword would normally be used here.)
  3. Page URL: (Your WWW. can also have the focus keyword )
  4. Content: (Use your focus keyword as often as possible within your content, but make sure the grammar is good.)
  5. Meta description: (This is the small paragraph that you will see under the link on a Google page. (Search engine results page))

With the tasks above completed, you’re on your way to becoming competitive in your local market. Now it’s time to use social media to drive traffic to it.

As always, If you found this helpful or have any further queries, leave a reply.

Kieran


6 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Local Developer

Web design Nothern Ireland

Local Web Developer

6 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Local Developer

At Lanoc Web Design, we are finding that local businesses are trying to use cheap online website builders but are growing increasingly frustrated with the experience and lack of service. A common call to us is from a potential client who finally realizes, they either don’t have the time to create their own website or they can’t get the personal help they need in the process.

Contracting with a cheap online website builder may incur a lower cost of your website design project since these bulk providers develop thousands of website’s for businesses all around the world. Because they’re working in quantity, they can charge lower fees. The downside of their service is low quality of customer support, little control of the finished website you receive and poor performance on the search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.).

A local web design company, on the other hand, will provide a better level of service because they can visit your business to meet you on a personal level. They can also learn more about the services you provide or products you sell. A local web design company will know who your customers are and how your website can serve them.

Reasons Why You Should Hire a Local Web Design Company

  1. They are a local company: This is obvious and needs to be stated again as the number one reason. You will meet the design team you’re working with in person, plus they know your community.
  2. They will help create unique content for your website: Site builders for specific industries such as real estate, restaurants and auto dealers can contain duplicate content (text and graphics that already exist on another website in your same industry). Duplicate content negatively affects a website ranking in the search engines. A local web designer is going to be sure your content is unique.
  3. They know your local community: Your web designer lives in your community and has a strong understanding of the area which should help you capture the local search market.
  4. Promoting your business locally: Once your new website is complete, your local web designer will want to share the great job they did with business associates, friends and family. Choose a web design company that gets face-to-face with more local business people through networking and volunteer work. They will most likely promote your products and services, not to mention use your products and services. Your web developer will want to display a screen-shot of your website along with a link to show examples for future clients, giving more visibility and credibility to your business.
  5. You are supporting a business in your local community: If you choose a cheap site builder, you might be sending your money overseas to pay for your monthly website fees. If you choose a local web design company, you will be supporting a local, professional business.
  6. They are interested in the future of your online presence: Your local web designer is a resource for you when it comes to adding new functions, sending enews, making website updates and making sure your website gets indexed in the top search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc).


At Lanoc Web Design we enjoy visiting a potential client’s place of business to get to know them on a more personal level, to get a feel for the business itself and to discuss the goals of the website. Our clients continually comment on the fact that they always feel comfortable discussing their website and email concerns with us. We are available by phone, we respond to email in a timely fashion and we make requested updates within 48 hours of receipt (depending on the complexity of the request).

Kieran