Making Progress with Website Content – Refreshing a Site

Google Trends

SEO is about asking the right questions

It’s tough to stay inspired when it comes to updating your website but a few basic questions might help get you started. Maybe rethinking the content you want on the site is enough to inspire whole pages of valuable new content to be ranked in Google. This is search engine gold. 

Our clients (primarily in Spalding, Peterborough, Boston, Bourne and Holbeach) often forget that they have assumed their main keywords are taking priority in their content. Unless deliberately added, this is often the case. You can avoid this by asking, ‘What keywords are used the most?’. If you then follow this up by adding or reinforcing the true priority keywords in your content, this will dramatically improve your google ranking. 

Another area that clients assume is certain service based information that they provide on a daily basis, but new customers won’t be familiar with. Issues like this can be highlighted by asking, ‘What information is missing/assumed?’. I have seen some clients miss hundreds and hundreds of valuable words on their first draft by assuming their customer will fill in the blanks. 

Finally, the toughest question to tackle is, ‘What keywords are actually ranking in google?’. You can find this by using google search results and analysing your ranking. A more accurate overview could be acquired on Google Analytics. You can rate the quality of those keywords against each other (or other potential keyword additions) by using the Google Trends analysis. I’ve created a demonstration by comparing ‘Keyword’ and ‘Search Term’ (two keywords for this post). Visit Google Trends Demo

Mastering tools like this will allow you to prioritise the right keywords for your audience. For any of the above e are obviously happy to help. We regularly advise our clients on how they can improve their content in ways like this. Ultimately, your customers don’t need to think you’re and up and coming author, but you should be able to make some regular improvements with your website content by asking questions like this. 

 Here are some other website content questions:

Is the content localised adequately? (so search engines can place you at those locations)

Could you criticise this content on a competitor website?

Have you highlighted your strengths in comparison to your competitors?

Writing new original content

If you’re looking for information on how to write brand new original content for your site we also have some information to help. For more information and content writing tips, visit our recent blog: Check out our content writing tips

Cowley Park Donington Branding – Ashwood Homes

Cowley park welcome sign

Regular clients of ours, Ashwood Homes are on the brink of launching their latest development site; Cowley Park, Donington. We were pleased to take care of the Cowley Park branding, from name and concept right through to designing the signage, promotional print work and public-facing documentation.

Ashwood Homes is a unique brand in itself; they merge the modern with the traditional in their commitment to developing homes which have all the modern conveniences, while respecting the Lincolnshire countryside which surrounds their developments. The Cowley Park brand is designed to mirror these values.

Cowley Park Donington Logo

Brand Concept

The Cowley Park brand was inspired by the rural placement of the development site. The name is a reference to Thomas Cowley; a prominent local figure, while the tree graphic pays homage to the surrounding countryside. Instead of sticking rigidly to a static logo design, we decided to take a more fluid and fashionable approach. By taking the elements of the logo and deconstructing it to create different design elements, the result is a fully fleshed out brand with elements that can be picked and chosen to suit their context perfectly.

Logo and Graphic Design

Using the logo as the root of the brand, we tailored it to describe each housetype, thereby retaining the branding, but in a more useful, informative and space-saving manner.

Similarly, we created a repeating pattern using the tree graphic to mimic a wallpaper print (perfect for a housing development company) where only a subtle injection of the brand identity is needed.

 

Do you need any branding or graphic deign services? Call us on 01775761512, or get in contact via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to get the ball rolling.

Writing Content For Your Website – Blogging Tips

blogging Spalding content tips

It’s not easy coming up with content for your website. While we cannot help make that much easier, we can tell you how to make the most of what you do write. Here are some ways you can improve your content quality:

Localised Content

Over the course of a year your can ready spread your reach far and wide if every website page or blog post is specific to a different location. In some areas you may not have the ability to crush the competition in one website page or blog post but in others there may not even be any competition and you’ll effortlessly make it to the top. Worst case scenario, even in the toughest areas to crack you can still be a few pages back in the search results for those more scrupulous searchers. The point is, unless you localise your pages and posts Google doesn’t see you as being everywhere, it sees you as being nowhere. For our business we usually specify clients work as being in towns and cities such as Spalding, Holbeach, Bourne, Boston, Grantham, Long Sutton, Lincoln, Peterborough.

Content is King

Don’t be one of the many people that uses too few words in their website pages or blog posts. You can maximise your SEO potential by exceeding the recommended minimum of 300 words. Although time is a big factor, I would still suggest putting aside at least an hour to write each new update instead of trying to cram in into a spare 5 minutes. It’s vital that content updates are done properly because there’s a very high chance that one of those updates will become somebody’s first impression of your business.

Blog early and Blog often

Did you know that companies that published 16+ blog posts per month had roughly 3.5 times more traffic than companies publishing from 0 to 4 posts monthly? It’s important to note that it’s the content that takes priority, but there is a balance to be struck. Why not pad out two quality, lengthy blog posts into four over the same period of time. Provided you aren’t cutting to close to the recommended minimum of 300 words, you’re probably substantially improving your visitor numbers. Some of the websites we host update their content on a daily basis.

Newsletter: We’re Here to Help – Hosting & Support

website support service
We’re sending out this latest mailshot as a reminder that we’re here to help all year round. Our hosting and support will cover most of your website update requirements but if it doesn’t we’ll never surprise you with unexpected costs. The last thing we want is for our clients to leave their websites idol while their business is active.

Website Update Ideas

  • Expand on an existing page or write a new page. Just a couple of hundred words can go a very long way to optomising your website for search engines like Google.
  • Update your website photos. This doesn’t make a lot of difference in Google but it does help convert your website visitors into customers. Out of date photos make a big difference to the impression your website gives.
  • Rebranding is a great way to reignite momentum in a business. Design trends change contantly and the best brands keep up to date with them. Your website can do exactly the same without needing a whole new website every time.
  • GDPR updates have become very common since the new regulations came in. This could mean adding a cookies notice, privacy policy or even adding an SSL certificate.
  • Re-engage with your social media followers. We recently decided to re-engage our social media followers and gained over 30 extra facebook followers in one week with very little effort. We also recently launched an instagram page and managed to attract over 100 followers in one week.
  • Direct customers reviews to your Google listing to demonstrate your service quality.
  • Expand into new technologies. We recently announced we were beginning to work with cryptocurrencies on our clients websites. We also made some predictions about what’s next for website technology for anyone that wants to get ahead of the curve.
So remember, we’re here to help. These are just some ideas to get the ball rolling. If you want anything updating on your website, contact us on 01775 761512.

Is Someone Reading Your Gmail Emails?

Google Hosting

Unfortunately, most businesses are unaware they may have unknowingly compromised their customers data (and their own). Believe it or not, all of your Gmail messages could be read human third parties. Furthermore, they could be moved, deleted or even sent!

Following the Facebook data controversy, Google has now confirmed that your private emails on the Gmail system can potentially be read by third parties. The third parties are given permission using app access or plugins for the gmail console. People who have used gmail to create accounts or manage apps are at risk of their emails being read by those companies.

Securing Your Emails

It’s important to note, nothing illegal is happening. Permission is given by users without attention given to the small print. It’s a very common problem that’s being exposed more every day.  With 1.4 billion users on gmail it’s likely that this story will unfold further as more people become aware of the risks. 

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Never allow any apps access to read, send, delete and manage your email. 
  2. Use the Security Check-up tool to assess and secure your account:  https://myaccount.google.com/security-checkup/3

We host emails for many of our clients. If you’re currently using Gmail but would prefer a safer local solution, we would be happy to help. We protect your data at the same high standard that we secure our own. Contact us for more information.

Lincolnshire Hosting – Safety and Security

Hosting Lincolnshire

Our Lincolnshire hosting service is something we are very proud of. A large proportion of our client base is hosted after we have undertaken their initial website development. However, we also offer a full transfer to our servers along with one year of hosting and support for clients that just need a fresh host. 

Website Hosting Transfers in Lincolnshire

Many hosting transfers require some work beyond just moving the website. For a start, we have to do a full security check. Even when we don’t find a threat we still have to implement our high standard of protection to new websites before we can fully integrate them. Ongoing, we also have to ensure system updates are made as fast as possible. One of the main reasons that people transfer their websites to us is because their site has been unsupported, leading to missing updates and patches. We regularly set up auto-updates on new websites to ensure this is resolved immediately. 

Content Updates

Content updates are another common service required by new clients. This is often because they have been ignored by their last host or not given sufficient training. These updates managed as support, included in our standard hosting and support package. 

Fast and Stable Hosting

Speed and stability is another issue. Our hosting is built on FreeBSD, widely regarded as one of the most stable and high performance operating systems of the whole Unix lineage. If you’re interested in how this compares with other industry systems we’ve created some comparisons on our hosting page. 

Loyal, Local and Trusted

We don’t reserve extra space and limit your website potential. We provide a powerful, fully managed service for all of our customers. If you are interested in hearing more about how we can help you with hosting, please feel free to call us on 01775 761512. 

Drive By Websites Ltd is based in Spalding, Lincolnshire. We work with clients all over the county including in Holbeach, Bourne, Grantham, Stamford, Boston, Long Sutton, Lincoln and Sleaford.

We’ve just launched our Instagram

INSTAGRAM Spalding

As many of our clients have recently discovered, we have just launched our Instagram business page.

Instagram can make a business look fantastic online and it does have a good share of quality users. Unfortunately, the best practice for achieving the most involves maximising engagements and it’s easy to forget that this is where most of your likes are coming from. Engagements are the highest priority for a social media manager (personal or commercial). The more you engage the better you’ll do. Hence, if you don’t have the time or patience, it’s tough to grow your audience on Instagram. Businesses using Instagram will often feel their time is well spent while collecting a large number of likes that add no value to their business in reality. But this is obviously no reason to avoid it entirely. The overall benefit is still quite high with expectations properly managed. There is a growing audience on instagram, both globally and locally. Around the Facebook privacy controversy, Instagram has benefited from a 30% boost in users.

So now we’re live and it’s rejuvinated some excitement for social media again. We are regularly engaging with our growing audience now and hope to set a good example to our customers. We’ve reached 136 followers in around a week, which we are quite pleased with. We’ll be promoting graphic design just as much as website work on our Instagram page.

Visit us on Instagram

Drive By Websites Ltd (@drivebywebsites) * Instagram photos and videos

136 Followers, 111 Following, 12 Posts – See Instagram photos and videos from Drive By Websites Ltd (@drivebywebsites)

Live Chat – Website Design Features

live chat feature

We’ve been working on a lot of ‘Live Chat’ plug-ins on recent website development projects, but benefits are not often considered for most businesses. We’ve written out a summary of what this interesting new trend actually offers to your business. 

  1. User Preference

Research has found that customers respond very positively to the idea of a live chat over a contact form on a website. In many cases, this research also includes a preference for live chat over telephone or general emails. 

  1. Time Management

Despite being the priority business contact point, the traditional phone call is comparatively inefficient. Using a phone, how many users can one employee be dealing with at one time? Certainly not as many as during a live chat. An employee could productively engage with far more people at one time. 

  1. Competitive Edge

How fast can your competitors respond to an email enquiry? Probably not anywhere near as fast as during a live chat. Even if your competitors respond in minutes, what’s the incentive for the customer to sit and wait? For all they know it could be hours or days before they get a response. In the case of the live chat, customers will patiently await your response.

Live chat boxes are not for everyone, but it may suit you better than you realise.

Did you know that you don’t need to sit and wait at your computer? You can manage it all from your mobile by receiving convenient notifications.

Did you also know that you don’t have to literally respond to every request? You can have an automated response for common questions and even have customers leave their questions for you to respond to later by email or telephone. 

Give us a call on 01775 761512 or email [email protected] to see how we can help you with your website design features.

SSL Certificates – Safer Websites and Higher Rankings

ssl spalding

After installing hundreds of SSL certificates on websites, we decided it’s probably time we did on our own website! Although we don’t exactly need an SSL certificate just yet, it’s actually helping to improve our Google Ranking for very little time and effort. The immediate impact is quite minimal but as companies move towards a safer web browsing experience, it’s highly likely that the importance of SSL certificates will increase drastically. 

An SSL certificate is visible on websites with the padlock next to the web address. These addresses technically start with https:// instead of the more common http://. SSL sends encrypted information over the web so only the intended recipient can understand it. It’s most valuable when sending sensitive information, such as payment details over the internet. It also instills a lot of extra trust in customers. 

This is already becoming a ‘must-have’ with payment gateways like PayPal and Stripe. It’s a fairly good sign of what’s to come in the website development industry. Google Chrome is also putting a lot more emphasis on highlighting websites that aren’t using SSL certificates. Even if you’re just looking to evidence your GDPR compliance, this can also go some way to securing your customers data even further. 

We can set up your website with a security certificate at a very low cost and with very fast turnaround time. Even if, like ours, you don’t exactly need it. We’re recommending it to all of our clients now, but especially to those dealing with customer data or payments. You might feel like it’s unnecessary but technology moves at such a rapid pace and we see it as our job to ensure your website is up to date with these changes.

It is practically inevitable that with enough time your website will suffer without a SSL Certificate. Give us a call on 01775 761512 to discuss setting up an SSL certificate on your website. 

The Problems with Freelance Web Designers and One Man Bands

freelance developer spalding

New clients in areas such as Spalding, Holbeach, Peterborough or Boston always come with new stories. Unfortunately, they often sounds quite familiar. Many clients have already worked with a developer before, a freelancer. Perhaps having even worked with a developer they were originally very happy with. In the end, there’s a number of problems that inevitably arise. We’ve tried to narrow it down to just a few:

  1. Poor Quality Work – It’s hardly a surprise that scarcely qualified developers working in their spare time aren’t able to meet the same quality expectations of many potential clients. It’s very often what’s happening behind the scenes that reveals this. For example, one of our new clients had found that their beautifully designed website was not hitting the rankings as they had hoped. After we had moved it onto one of our servers, we quickly discovered that this is because the website was clearly rushed together in the shortest possible time. Often, all of the developer’s effort goes in to the look of the website. This is likely because they are not specialists in the field, but enthusiasts.
  2. Missing Deadlines – Other commitments are a big problem with freelancers and one man band website designers. One might wonder why an expert would not start establish a company on the back of a good reputation. This rarely happens because they are committed to other companies or even entirely different jobs. There are exceptions of course, but in general this tendency of missing deadlines is very common. In the experience of many of our clients, these individuals undercut the competition and start with overwhelming enthusiasm but that rapidly becomes irrelevant as soon as another commitment comes along. Specifically consider the need to upgrade or update a quality website in order to achieve the best possible results, even if the developer does publish the website on time.
  3. The Freelancer Disappears – Yes, this is a horror story you’ve probably heard before. This is commonly known because it is so frequent. The lack of commitment and often poor reputation mean a one man band can do even better by leaving the area without saying a word. This can leave your business in a VERY tricky situation, especially if your website is not yet finished. Now suppose the developer is still very keen and wants to continue to support your business long term, it’s still not what you had bargained for. You can’t drop in or get a quick response, you’re just locked in to a very fragile arrangement.

Exceptions exist and we are confident that you’ll make decisions that are right for your business, but keep the above problems in mind if you’re considering a freelance website developer. If you’re looking to move your website to a local company with a commitment to every client then we would be very happy to help.

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