What Is Responsive Web Design

responsive-medResponsive web design is a technology used by web designers in order to build one website that will look good and also perform correctly on any screen size. Not long ago, if you wanted your company to have a presence for all users on any device you would have to have at least two versions of the site, one for PCs and laptops and the other for small devices such as tablets and smart-phones.Maybe you would also need an app for mobile and iPod users.

Nowadays with so many tablets and different sizes of mobile phones, many of which can also be viewed in portrait or landscape just by turning them, this has become even more confusing. Without the use of responsive design we would effectively have to build up to a dozen different versions of your web site for the same content. This would obviously make things a lot more complicated for the designer and a lot more expensive for you.

Fortunately, we can now produce just one site that will resize and adjust its layout in order to look good and function correctly on any device. No more scrolling left and right or trying to stretch a page to make it readable only to find the text gets covered up by an image or an advert.

Do I need a whole new site redesign?

No, in most cases we can convert and adapt your current site to a responsive design. This means it needn’t cost the earth and you can keep all the content you have worked so long and hard to put together.

So what does this mean for my business?

It means that you will be able to reach a much larger target market which should lead to more site visitors and more sales.

What do I do next?

Drop us an email and we can look at your current web site and let you know how we can help you to move over to a new modern and smarter responsive design.

Where Can I Get More Information?

There are loads of articles out there on Responsive website design. One of my favourites is this one by smallbiztrends.com; written in plain English and explaining things in a little more detail. Or of course, you can just ask us.

What is SEO and why do I need it?

 

search-engine-optimization-586422_1280Your site is your business. Without visitors, it is of no use to you whatsoever. You may as well be running a shop in a hidden away back street. So where does traffic come from? Well a (look up) x % comes from the search engines. According to searchenginejournal.com, when people search, 75% never scroll beyond the first page. And so your site needs to be visible right up there in the top 10, preferably top 5. This is why you need SEO or Search Engine Optimisation.

To achieve this, search engines need to like your site and for that to happen they need to know what your site is all about. Google for one understands a lot more than you think. It reads your site and uses many things including word relationships to understand the subject matter. Then when someone searches on a term (keyword) which relates to that content, it displays the most relevant results.

It also uses keywords header tags, titles, descriptions, inbound and outbound links, and a lot more. Consider inbound links as votes for your site. If someone else thinks that your page is interesting enough for their visitors to read then they will link to you. Links also highlight the subject matter by using relevant words as anchor text, so in their site they may say “see this great article on dog training”. Google will know that the link is most likely to an article on dog training. The more relevant inbound links from other authority sites, the more importance Google will place on your page.

Notice above I use the term page and not site. SEO is carried out on a per page basis and not per site. When someone searches for a keyword or phrase, Google will take them to the relevant page and not your home page. This means that every page on your site can be tailored to provide results for different keywords.

Another thing that Google likes to see is plenty of relevant, well written fresh content added on a regular basis. This tells Google that your site is being kept up to date and has plenty of activity. Gone are the days when you could stuff a few pages or articles out there and forget about it for months or even years. I don’t mean that you have to add an article every day but just add something regularly, maybe once every week or so. The more good content you have out there, the more there is for Google to find and therefore for your readers to come across in their search results.

Google also likes to see social media talking about your site. If your business gets talked about on Facebook then this is another vote for your site in Google’s eyes. Having your own Facebook page is a great way to put your business in front of your customers every time they check their feeds. Don’t overdo it though. If you bombard them with too much information in their newsfeed, they are just as likely to think you are annoying and unfollow you.

The great thing about Social Media though is that people can comment on your pages as well and this gives you free “content”.

Having a blog on your web site can also help. It enables you to add articles yourself or maybe have other people write articles for you which you then publish. Again, more fresh content which can be commented upon by your readers.

The above is just a very small introduction to the world of SEO. Add things like site maps, Google Analytics, local directories and a whole lot more into the mix and you will see that it can be a bit of a minefield. What you must understand though is that it is an ongoing business. Google likes activity and fresh content. You can’t just leave your web site alone and hope it brings in business.

How I can Help With Your SEO Campaign

 

If you would like me to help with your SEO campaign, I can offer any of the following: –

Health check

If you already have a web site, I can examine it and ensure that it is well written and structured for SEO. It should have with good Titles, headings, descriptions, content, links with no spelling mistakes. I will check that alt tags and descriptions on all picture are present and correct and the site has a good menu structure , footers, relevant anchor text and a site map which Google knows about. The site should have a good overall responsive design which is easily readable on all device types from mobile phones and tablets to laptops and large screen TVs.

I can also assist with any of the following and more: –

  • Ensure you have good fast hosting and page load speeds (GZIP etc)
  • Set up Analytics tools to monitor your SEO progress
  • Help you to create more content for your site either in the form of new pages or a blog.
  • Build a blog if you would like to have on on your site.
  • Build a Facebook page and set you up with a Twitter account.

I hope this guide has helped you to understand a little more about SEO and how I can help you to build your online business.

If you want to know more or have any questions, please do get in touch.

Web Design Tips

It has to look good but it also has to work efficiently

When you are trying to decide what to put on your web site and how you want it to look, it is easy to overlook the essentials. Here are just a few tips to make your site look good.

Remember, your website is central to your business. It may just be a simple sales page or it could be a multi-paged site, but it must work for the benefit of your customers and of course it must also enable you to make a profit.

Simple clear navigation. Even if you just have a few pages on your site, your visitors need to be able to get around it and find the information that they are looking for. You should have a navigation menu which is uncluttered and straightforward in its naming of pages. If your visitors are confused, they will hit the back button.

Small and not too many images. If you want images, ensure they are not making your site load slowly. Keep file sizes to a minimum as much as you can. Too many images are not necessary on a site and make no differences to your sales. If you need a lot of images, place them in a separate gallery so that your visitors can download them only if they wish to.

Short bite sized paragraphs. There is nothing worse than finding the page you want on a web site and then being confronted by one long paragraph of writing with no breaks. Most visitors on seeing this will click the back button. They do not read from start to end but scan a page looking for the information they want. You can help your site’s visitors to do this by using short paragraphs with sub-headings or bullet points, maybe breaking them up with a small image in each.

Be compliant. Make sure that your website complies with the web standards at w3.org. This will help you to do well in your search engine ranking. You should also check that it can be read in different browsers such as Firefox, Opera, Chrome and Safari as well as Internet Explorer.

Avoid Java scripts and flashy images. By all means use scripts to handle data such as in forms but not to create flashy visual effects. Some large scripts will slow down your site and also may not work in all browsers, causing problems for some visitors.

These short pointers will make your site easier to use for more visitors and that can only mean more business for you.