Month: July 2018

How to keep up to date with the latest Google Updates

How to keep up to date with the latest Google Updates

Keeping up with all the latest Google updates and trends is one of the more difficult parts of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). However, keeping up to date with the changes and trends can help to keep your site performing well and help you know how to optimise your site once these changes come into play. The changes can be so small you may never notice them, but they are there and you need to be aware of them to prevent Google from penalizing your website.

News Articles

A good way to keep an eye on Google’s changes is to take daily or weekly looks at some reliable and trusted websites that can give you the greatest insight to the Google Updates.

A great website we use which gives regular updates on Google Algorithm changes is Search Engine Land (https://searchengineland.com/library/google/google-algorithm-updates). Websites like these will not just leave you in the dark; they will give you some ideas on how to optimise in the best way in reaction to the changes.

Moz (https://moz.com/google-algorithm-change) is also another useful website because it has a Google Algorithm feature that will give you regular updates and states whether they have been Verified by Google or not.

Social Media

Using social media for tracking google updates is one of the easier and fastest ways to find out what has changed, all you have to do is find the right people, groups or companies that post related stuff.

A good one to follow would be Google’s very own Twitter account (https://twitter.com/GoogleUK).

If you are on Facebook or LinkedIn and show that you are interested in learning more about SEO and its changes then you can easily be accepted to groups of experts providing people with expert knowledge and updates when they find them out.

Research

Performing your own research is likely the most pain staking but you will probably get the most reliable results for you and your company.

Taking the time to perform testing on different methods will provide you with a better understanding of what it is you are trying to achieve. If you have the recourse, you can trial different methods on different websites to see which methods perform better and make notes. For example Website (A) has established X amounts of traffic whereas Website (B) has only gotten Y.

In an ideal world, we would use all three of these methods along with some others out of our reach to get the optimal results for us and our clients. However, Google’s Algorithms are unknown to most and it is simply a guessing game to which of the SEO techniques have the greatest impact and which have the least.

If you are struggling to keep up with the latest Google Updates and your search rankings are taking a turn for the worst or just aren’t performing as well as you hoped, come and see us! We have SEO specialists with expert knowledge who know all there is to know about Googles Updates. To get in touch call us on 01925 563 960 or email us on info@mosaicdigitalmedia.co.uk.

6 Website Design Top Tips

6 Website Design Top Tips

When it comes to your website design there are several key factors and techniques which will help your website audience understand what your site is about. Many different businesses utilise their websites in several different ways including:

  • A website to sell digital or physical products
  • A research website for site visitors to find more information about their business
  • A contact reference website. A simple web design allowing for users to get contact information
  • A marketing tool

Some other types of businesses, generally long-standing established business do not see the value of having a website. A website is simply a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week window into your business, essentially a shopfront that never closes.

If you are small to medium size business and have a website but do not feel that it is giving you extra return on investment, you may need to evaluate and ask yourself the question, does my website meet the needs of my site visitors? In the rest of this article, we will try to answer this question by looking at the individual website design tips we are going to share.

Keep your target audience in mind

Many businesses look to create a piece of art when it comes to their website utilising some of the latest design techniques which are at the cutting edge of development. Some of these things include parallax, jQuery carousels, custom animations, etc. This is all well and good if your trying to create a state of the art website, but is this really what is needed? If you are a plumber the likelihood is your client will require an emergency service and will not have the time to appreciate all of the effort put in. Again this applies to other business sets such as driving schools. Most people looking to learn to drive will want to find an instructor with a decent car and a good price and will maybe find the website nice but in the sum of things, all the fancy gimmicks do not help with the ROI (return on investment).

If you are a web design agency looking to showcase how skilled you are then this would be a good idea to show your design flair.

The rule of thumb generally when building websites is to make sure the design is simple. This does not mean your website has to have a boring look and feel, but you can utilise imagery and colour to make a good website.

Consider your website usability

This then leads to my next point and coincides well with “website design with the target audience in mind”. When it comes to good web design usability is one of the key factors in making sure website visitors get a good experience when using your website. If your site visitors cannot use your website, they will most likely jump off your webpage and go to a competitors website.

You want to allow your clients freedom to explore your website easily with good navigation menus and click to action banners and buttons across different sections on your website. If a website visitors are able to navigate around your site with ease, this will increase their return rate, lower website bounce rate and overall lead to a conversion.

One technique, post website launch is to monitor the website with heat mapping to track how website visitors use the website. This way you can make you get the most out of your website.

Website consistency

One of the biggest issues I find when using websites across the internet is there are lots of inconsistencies on different businesses websites. The biggest negative on a website is confusing your site visitors by inconsistencies which will lead them to move away and find a website that will appeal and be much easier to use.

Different elements of consistency in your webpage are important. You need to make sure your content is consistent throughout and clear to site users. Another key factor is to make sure the design and the branding are clear and not different across the different pages of your website. This way clients will feel the security that they are still on your webpage.

Be Mobile and Tablet Website Friendly

The whole internet has changed dramatically over the last 4-5 years with a demand on the mobile-friendly website being at its highest. Mobile websites and responsive are seen a minimum requirement nowadays with Google preferring a single code base website.

More and more of us are using mobile devices to access websites on the go whether it’s on a train during the daily commute or in the evening whilst watching TV. As the way, we use websites has evolved business need to evolve to make sure the site visitors again have the best usability when using the website and in particular on any device type.

As you can see from this website the percentage of web pages served to mobile phones from 2009 to 2018 has dramatically increased: https://www.statista.com/statistics/241462/global-mobile-phone-website-traffic-share/

Most reputable website designers including Mosaic Digital Media Ltd always consider building websites to be responsive no matter how big or small the project is.

Website Content Is King

One of the biggest factors of your website will increase the conversion rate or make website visitors want to pick up the phone to you is genuine content. If a website is able to buy into your business it will be the approach to your content. Content is also a huge factor in gaining natural Google positioning as Google likes genuine content that does not look like it has been manufactured and manipulated to just gain positioning.

If you can strike the balance between good content that isn’t too long but yet is informative enough you will find more and more visitors to your website will enjoy the experience and pick up the phone or fill out a contact form on your webpage.

Use The Right Images For Your Website

Time and time again I will see hundreds and hundreds of websites using poorly shot camera pictures to display their products or services. I also see lots of website designs using far too much stock imagery across the website making them look fake or genuine.

Good website design requires a good balance of carefully picked stock imagery for backgrounds and hero sections and good photography of your products and services. I would always recommend what sells best is to make sure your website design uses around 70% of your images to 30% stock images. If you need too I would recommend getting a photographer or amateur/college photographer to come and takes some pictures rather than using blurry images from an old smartphone.

By using this balance we can make sure you come across genuine to your website visitors.

Overall website design isn’t too hard to do, you just need to keep everything simple and make sure you come across genuine to all of your site visitors. By striking a good balance between well-written content and good use of imagery you are on a good path to ensuring you get the best return on investment.

Who won the Digital Marketing World Cup 2018?

Who won the Digital Marketing World Cup 2018?

The World Cup is sadly over, with England placing fourth after creating a frenzy on Social Media following their exhilarating performance – but which company took the opportunity of the World Cup to promote their products the best?

Aldi

In 3rd place we have Aldi’s clever marketing scheme where they announced that they would give their colleagues an early finish in celebration for the England match if they reached the finals. This is cleverly put together by using a simple England flag, catching the eyes of many dedicated England fans, with a catchy rhyme and the Aldi logo in the corner. Although Aldi didn’t take full advantage of the trending topic by not linking it to any of their products, their brand name has certainly been put out into the public eye especially with the use of the #BringItHome hashtag.

World Cup Marketing at Aldi

Aldi also made an on-topic reference to the ‘it’s coming home’ song, one which has been sung throughout the duration of the World Cup by football fans. They also refer to the ‘12th man’, suggesting that their employees have a potentially helpful role just like the 12th player has in the football game – we think this is an excellent way of showing their contribution to the celebration of England in the World Cup.

IKEA

In 2nd place, we have IKEA, whose marketing strategy was to make their traditionally English staple food, fish and chips, £1. This drives profit to their store as they’re not only promoting their food options, but their furniture too. One of their products, a coat stand, is featured and personified as praising England’s efforts in the World Cup following the Swedish defeat. We think this demonstrates their sportsmanship and sense of humour. Ultimately, the advert has a welcoming and friendly tone to it which is why they deserve 2nd place.

World Cup Marketing at IKEA

World Cup Marketing at Ikea

Marks & Spencers

At the top in 1st place, we have the winner of the marketing World Cup 2018: Marks and Spencer! Not only did they link their product to the World Cup, but they also created their own successful hashtag #luckywaistcoat, with loads of fans using it and even tagging M&S themselves. The fact that they are an ‘official tailor to the England team’ also makes the link more relevant and has encouraged England fans to go out and buy their own lucky waistcoat. The simple, bold red colour they used is eye-catching for England fans and symbolises the colours for England’s team. The reference to Southgate’s waistcoat is genius and targets a specialised audience only football fans would understand.

World Cup Marketing at M&S

World Cup Marketing at Marks and Spencers

World Cup Marketing

Like IKEA, M&S have also linked other products to their marketing scheme such as Percy Pig, a famous mascot of theirs, which helps promote and reference their products to the World Cup which gains further interest from potential customers and encourages them to spend there.

Just like what these brilliant and growing companies have done, clever marketing is essential for businesses to create a digital presence. Contact us to see how we can help you get your brand name out there.

5 tips on writing effective website content

5 tips on writing effective website content

Well written content is vital for your website – both from an SEO and customer journey perspective. If you’re looking to stay on Google’s good side you need to make sure the content on your site isn’t outdated – Google likes fresh website content!

Not only this, the user experience can be affected dramatically by your content. Continue reading for our tips on how to keep your content relevant and SEO friendly:

Plan before you write

Before you start writing your website content make sure that you have considered what the main aims of your business are and how your website will fulfil and aid these. You may even want to come up with personas for your website and establish what the best ways to communicate with them are.

As well as this, you need to make sure you have a clear grasp of brand awareness, as this will effectively determine the tone of the website content. If you are a corporate business and you start using slang and abbreviations then this is not likely to create a good impression to your audience.

If you have done your research this will help to keep website content relevant – keep it concise and don’t waffle, which brings us to our next point…

Write for lazy people

Put your most important information first. The customer should be able to know what your business does from reading the first few lines on your Homepage.

In the digital world, people make quick decisions without thinking much and are more interested in visuals. Use short paragraphs to keep readers engaged and avoid the passive tense where possible.

Check spelling and grammar

There’s nothing worse than an otherwise good looking website is riddled with spelling mistakes, no matter how quirky or relaxed the tone of your website is the errors will automatically give the customer a negative impression of your website. Make use of Grammarly (https://app.grammarly.com/) and ask your friends/family to review the website content for readability and spelling errors before setting it live.

SEO

We’re not saying you have to become an SEO expert overnight – leave that to us! However, make sure you consider keywords when you are writing website content. If you are a local business and your target demographic is largely based in Warrington then consider this when you are writing website content.

Avoid duplicate website content – Google doesn’t like this! Make sure that there aren’t large chunks of texts which are repeated on other pages of your website.

Don’t brag too much

Don’t overdo it on the self-praise. People who are visiting your website for the first time are not as invested and impressed by your products as you are – they don’t know how great they are yet! Rather than saying ‘we are the best’, show the customers why you are the best. Show them how great your products are.

Why is Design Important?

Why is Design Important?

Within the last five or so years we have seen a huge focus set on the design of one’s websites in the business arena to attract new opportunities. I like to call this the Apple effect. Apple started to create beautiful devices and computers and this millennial generation value looks and feel of a design far more in choosing to purchase a product or use a particular brand than with previous generations. Other brands such as Nike, Adidas, Coca-Cola, etc have followed suit with popular design trends to offer products that not only look incredible, taste great, feel great but offer a demand and necessity to have a particular product or use a particular service of theirs.

Moving away from big corporate industries and how they use designs of products to increase revenue. Most small to medium size businesses are seeing how these big powers have such influence and utilising some of these design techniques into their online and offline marketing to increase their businesses revenue stream.

One important factor is that if you have an office you try to keep things tidy and look good for you clients visiting. In designing a website this is just as important as this is a 24/7 storefront for your business. We as consumers still look for that professional feel across all mediums whether we are visiting you in person, seeing the designs of your business cards or leaflets and your website.

So what is Design?

Design is a service that is offered usually by graphic designers or product designers. Design is a service that allows you to see how a website, business card, leaflet, vehicle decals, clothing, products, etc is to look prior to the finished online or offline product is made.

Have designs or mock-ups created prior to the main build will allow you to see how it will look. This can help reduce cost as design is normally a digital service which can easily be altered. For example, if you pay for your logo to be put on your new workwear but when you receive the finished garments the logo looks poor quality, this costly mistake could have been picked up at the design stage.

In terms of web design, this is just as important. Getting a graphic designer to create you a full mockup prior to building a fully functioning website will help you minimize costs, help you get a website that will appeal to your site visitors and let you have greater design/brand influence.

Design Tools

When you are looking for a reputable designer most will use a similar array of design tools within the build of designs. Most designers I have worked with over the last ten years will hold extensive knowledge of Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign and Adobe XD. As you can see from the tools above all of these tools are Adobe packages. The reason for this is that Adobe tools have become the mainstream tools for designers and each program offer different abilities to design. Adobe does offer around twenty or so other products which have their own benefits but for a web designer, these are the best tools to build web design mock-ups.

If I was going to approach designing a website I would use Adobe Photoshop to build the full design. Photoshop is what I call a bread a butter of a web designers toolkit, this is the builder’s spirit level or tape measure. On a day to day basis, I will use Photoshop for around 5 hours per day building website designs.

Adobe XD is slowly becoming a strong replacement for rapid prototyping of web designs and is geared more around website mock-ups but for me, Photoshop will be around for some years before we switch to XD fully for designing interfaces of web platforms.

Illustrator again is another great tool of the design world but as this is a very heavy program I feel the biggest benefit this has to design is to create brandings such as logo’s, style tiles and vector-based objects.

One of the biggest drawbacks to using the Adobe cloud base suite of programs as a designer is that it can be costly to purchase. I strongly believe these costs are outweighed by the benefits of each program use and ability to give you a unique design.

If cost is an issue then you may want to look at some of the other design programs on the market:

  • QuarkXPress
  • Sketch
  • Pixlr
  • Coral Photo-Paint

If you are using reputable designer these will usually have the best tools of design trade ready to help you will all aspects of your website building.

Branding

Branding is the biggest key element to having a design made for your business website. Branding is usually what sets you apart from your business competitors and helps users of your product or service remember you.

Any good web designer such as Mosaic Digital Media Ltd will be able to take key components such as your logo, fonts, colours, images, etc and build you a bespoke design that incorporates all aspects of branding and highlights these to the best of their ability across your website. By increasing brand awareness, site visitors will remember your design and will grow a confidence in you from the start as your impression is great.

User Experience (UX)

Design isn’t just the key part of a designers job to build you a website. User experience is just vital in letting a site visitor make their mind up on if you are the right business for them.

So what is UX?

User experience goes hand with design and is a cornerstone of any good website design. When a site visitor lands on your website you want to make them get to where they want to go with as little ease as possible. For example, if you have an eCommerce website your goal is to get a site visitor from your homepage to the products, next to the basket and finally onto the full checkout process. Any good web designer will be able to map out user journeys such as this to give a site user the best experience when using your website.

This is why it is very important to make sure the design of your website looks great but also isn’t too over the top to where site visitors have such difficulty using the website they jump away.

At Mosaic, we look to make sure design and user experience are considered with just as much weight as each other when building website designs.