Tag Archive: SEO


When you’re designing websites for a global audience, you need to be aware of cultural differences that will affect the way they are viewed in different parts of the world. You cannot expect the exact same website to be well-received around the globe. You need to adapt your websites to allow for cultural differences and make sure they are equally effective in whichever region you are targeting.

Take your web content global

Content is the most important part of any website. The old saying ‘content is king’ still rings true. There are three main factors you need to consider with regards to your content:

It must be relevant and useful to your target audience. By ensuring that your content is well-written and relevant, you will not only be maintaining quality, but you will also ensure that it can be more effectively translated into other languages.

You need to make sure it is as universally understandable as possible. With 79% of web users not speaking English as their native language, at some point you are going to have to get your content translated if you want your websites to be truly accessible across different cultures. The best way of achieving this is to use a professional translator, but if your budget is tight, you may also consider an online machine translation tool, like Google Translate.

It should be appropriate across many cultures. This applies especially to visual content – you should be aware that some images may be perfectly acceptable in western cultures, but could be offensive in other parts of the world. For example, pictures of scantily-clad models may cause offence in some countries. Even a simple image of someone relaxing with their feet up, which is perfectly OK in most parts of the world, may cause offence in Thailand, where it is unacceptable to show the soles of the feet.

Keywords in a Foreign Language

Even if you decide to use an online translation service to translate the bulk of your website’s content, you should not rely on this method of translation for your keywords. Nor should you use direct dictionary translations. Your keywords are too important to entrust them to these methods of translation – they are just not accurate enough.

To ensure your search engine optimisation (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns are successful in other languages, you need to work with a professional translator to develop a good list of foreign-language keywords. This will save you a great deal of time and money in the long run, because you can be sure that you are targeting the keywords that people are using to search for your product in any market – there’s no point in building a great website if no one can find it.

CSS spans language barriers

Make sure to use CSS as your design tool when building your website, because by doing so, you are keeping the content separate from the design. This makes it far easier to develop versions of your website in different languages – it’s a simple matter of substituting the different translated text into your pre-existing CSS templates. You should also use Unicode UTF-8 character encoding because it is compatible with the widest range of language scripts.

Planning the layout for a global design

You can improve the cross-cultural accessibility of your website by carefully considering its design and layout. One of the main issues here is the fact that not all languages are read from left-to-right. This can impact on the usability of side navigation and sidebar content. For example, a left-hand navigation structure may not be very convenient for someone who reads from right-to-left.

The same principle applies to the theory that the eye is naturally drawn to the top-left area of a web page. For an Arabic reader, it may be the top-right. You can avoid usability issues with your navigation structure by employing a horizontal top navigation, which will be more universally usable.

Choosing colours for a cross-cultural audience

Colour is a very important part of web design, as it can affect the way your websites are perceived by different cultures. Most designers are aware of colour theory, which tells us that different colours can have different psychological effects on the people viewing them, and that the psychological impact of colour is strongly influenced by cultural factors. Put simply, colours mean different things to different people depending on their cultural viewpoint.

For example, in Islamic countries green usually has an important religious significance, whereas in Western cultures it may be more suggestive of environmental issues. In Korea, a name written in red indicates that the person is dead. You should examine your use of colour carefully to ensure you don’t make any cultural faux pas.

Put simply, cross-cultural web design is about being aware of the possible pitfalls highlighted here, and ensuring your websites are accessible to as many cultures as possible, a sensible move to take considering the increased internationalisation of the internet.

Twitter SEO can help you take one more step towards owning your online reputation.

When people think of Twitter, they don’t usually think of it as a SEO or reputation management tool. Yet, when optimized correctly, a Twitter profile is yet one more URL that anyone can get to rank for their name.

Here are 4 simple Twitter SEO tips to help your profile rank:

1. Optimize your title tag.

Your Twitter title tag will be this formula: (Username) on Twitter

The key point here is my name. It’s very important to remember that if you’d like to rank for your name, just as with any form of SEO, use the correct anchor text. In this case, it’s your name.

You can fix this by logging into your Twitter account and clicking ‘Settings’. From there, change your ‘Name’. Do not change your ‘Username’.

2. Optimize your meta description.

Let me clarify, first, that meta description is not a true Google ranking factor. It does, however, insure that people get the impression you’d like them to have and help CTR, which is a ranking factor.

What you may not realize, is that your Twitter ‘bio’, is actually your meta description. When I realized this, my ‘bio’ quickly changed from some fun-loving comments about cheeseburgers and chocolate to the more professional description you see above (which in no way infers that I will not give out even more tips in exchange for junk food).

If you’d like to optimize this even more, talk about yourself in the 3rd person in your Twitter ‘bio’. You can get your name bolded in the meta description by doing so. I personally try to only talk about myself in the 1st person.

You can fix this by logging into your Twitter account and clicking ‘Settings’. From there, change your ‘One Line Bio’.

Note: Google will sometimes include your ‘Location’ in the snippet. So, depending on how seriously you take this, putting your location as ‘Planet Earth’ may not be as funny as you once thought.

3. Build ‘followers’, links and PageRank.

Twitter will internally link your ‘followers’ to your profile. Higher PageRank ‘followers’ can give your page a boost as well. As always, you’ll pick up outside links naturally if you tweet high quality content just as you would with conventional SEO.

Note: If you don’t already, the 3 links referenced above are all SEO greats to follow….

* Lee Odden
* Chris Winfield
* Lyndon Antcliff

4. Link to your Twitter profile using your name as anchor text every now and then.

Don’t just link to your blog. Throw in a link every so often pointed to your Twitter profile and share the wealth.

Have you ever experimented with different ways to rank your Twitter profile? If so, what did you do and why? On a lighter note, are you as impressed with Yahoo Site Explorer as I am for picking out 3 great Tweeps.

When people think of Twitter, they don’t usually think of it as a SEO or reputation management tool. Yet, when optimized correctly, a Twitter profile is yet one more URL that anyone can get to rank for their name.

Many people are not aware of how directory submissions can benefit their websites. On the Internet, everything is about links. Without links, you can’t really drive traffic. And without traffic, your online business is not going to succeed. You can’t generate leads, and you definitely can’t make sales. Therefore, you absolutely need to learn how to drive traffic to your website.

But all that doesn’t happen if you don’t understand how SEO works. If you don’t understand how SEO works, you can’t execute an SEO campaign. It would be like flying blind in the dark.

SEO isn’t difficult to understand. But you do need to be patient to get your sites to rank well. In general, SEO consists of two main components – On site SEO, and off site SEO.

On site SEO are tweaks that you can do to your own website to make it more SEO friendly. For example, you should include your keywords in the title tag, use META descriptions, and so on. You have full control over your own website, so it’s easy to execute this part of SEO. It’s the second part of SEO that gets trickier.

Off site SEO is more difficult to implement and it involves building back links to your website. There is only one thing you really need to know – and that’s building links with your target keywords in the anchor texts. Anchor texts are words that you put in between the HTML link tags. For example, you link should read “SEO Web Directory” instead of “Click here”. You are not trying to rank for “Click here”. You are trying to rank for “SEO web directory”. So be sure to do it right.

What this means to the search engines is that an external page has “voted” for you. The more back links you get, the higher your site will rank in the search engines.

A quick way to build back links really quickly is to submit links to web directories. There are literally thousands of web directories on the Internet. To submit a link, go to the most relevant category that you can find on the web directory. Then click on “Add URL” or “Suggest URL”. You will then be able to add your link.

Once the directories approve the links, your website will show up in the web directories, with your target keywords in the anchor texts. The search engines will find these links, and respond accordingly. Soon, you will get higher rankings in the search engines. Enjoy the traffic!

Usage of internet all over the world is on constant rise and newer technologies have come up to make it faster and better. Earlier dial-up connection was used by most of the internet users but now broadband is replacing it. Yet major portion of net users are hooked to dial-up connection for web connection.

Websites would load properly with this connection containing text part, but problem arises in image loading. They slow down the loading time, making the users irritated and restless. Thus balance has to be maintained between the image loading time and right amount of images necessary to attract users.

After making selection of the images you want to upload on your website, then go about optimizing them for decreasing the loading time. During the process of image optimization, all unnecessary information is removed from the file to reduce its size. If it is done in proper format than the appearance of the image would remain same.

Many times the images that you get from stock photo sites or digital cameras are too big in size. Their size can extend upto 2000 pixels high and 3200 pixels wide, which is very big for any web page. Whereas for a site an image should be wide between 200-400 pixels. Maintaining this size would place the picture in proper format on the web page and also leave enough space for menus and content.

The large images can be cropped and made smaller by using Photoshop tool or any other image editor. Thus when the pixel size is reduced, the quality remains the same and size also decreases. There is one more method of decreasing image size, by saving the picture in a particular format when doing website designing.

After that re-save them as JPEG images, this format eliminates the unnecessary information without affecting the visual quality of it. The format in which you save the picture affects the manner its being perceived, as a logo or a image. The reason behind is pictures that are saved in JPEG format have better color quality. A logo that has more number of flat areas of color should be saved in GIF for image optimization.

We all know that images are an integral part of every website, all text site is never liked by the users. Thus in order to attract the users they are to be used, here you can save on the loading time by carrying out image optimization.

Bad SEO or ‘Black Hat SEO’ includes the use of keyword stuffed doorway or gateway pages, cloaked and redirected pages, link farms and a whole host of other search engine UNfriendly tactics.

Most ‘Black Hat SEO’ consultants make huge amounts of money. This is due to the fact that it takes a relatively small amount of time and energy to successfully optimise customer web pages, using unpopular keywords or keyword stuffed doorway pages. Of course unpopular keywords are rarely searched and receive virtually no visitors or sales. Keyword stuffed doorway pages are worse still as eventually the customers’ website suffers negative results in the search engines in ways that are sometimes irreversible, including permanent exclusion.
By the time this all becomes apparent to the client the unscrupulous SEO consultant has received payment and already moved on to the next unwary victim.

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Good SEO or Clever SEO as we like to call it requires a carefully planned structure and strategy to achieve desired results. This structure will take time to formulate as it requires days of dedicated competitor, client and keyword analysis. Once a strategy is decided then even more time is spent implementing this into a client’s web presence as an initial set-up.

Actual website optimisation should be considered an ongoing process, which continues to improve the clients’ web presence continually month by month. A good SEO solution will normally include a 9 or 12 month contract after set-up, with an option to renew at the end of the contract period. The monthly optimisation is used to improve on each previous month’s performance by following the websites’ original structure and strategy during set-up.

In other words a constant flow of freshly optimised sub pages, web content, hyper links and external content is added each month to maintain and improve results.

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Google SEO Tips and Tricks of the Trade | http://issywebsitedesign.110mb.com/

SEO | Issy Website DesignWhen it comes to Google SEO, you need an SEO company that knows all the SEO tricks of the trade but will never do anything that could cause your website to incur the wrath of the mighty Google.

At Issy Website Design, our Google SEO experts will always follow Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. These guidelines lay out SEO best practices and by adhering to them at all times we know that the SEO strategies that we employ will never get you into trouble.

Issy Website Design SEO department doesn’t need to use any deceitful SEO tricks to get your site ranking well because we have the in depth search industry knowledge to improve the quality of your site and the quality of your Google listings.
SEO Tips from Google SEO Experts

So what SEO tips can we offer? Well the most important one, the one that every website owner should always bear in mind, is to always show visitors and search engines the same information. When you optimise your website for Google you should make changes to benefit visitors which will also help search engines understand your pages. The Google SEO experts at Issy Website Design can do this for you with a few simple, ethical SEO tricks of the trade.

1. Indexing – You only need one link on a site that is in Google’s index for Google to find you. One of our most important SEO tricks of the trade is getting that first, all-important link from the right place so every page on your site gets into Google’s index quickly.

2. Content building – We can give you great SEO tips on how to get the right keywords into your text without making your copy sound awkward. We know how to produce keyword rich copy that gives your visitors the information they require. We don’t need to use the age old SEO tricks of hiding keywords and stuffing them into your HTML code.

3. Coding – Our SEO programmers can offer you SEO tips to simplify your code and make it more search engine friendly. We won’t use the old SEO tricks of showing one thing to searchers and something else to Google and of building thousands of keyword-stuffed doorway pages to link to your site – Google will always see what your visitors see and what they see will always be useful to your customers.

4. Link building – With Google very concerned about sites using links to trick them into ranking spam, you need an SEO firm offering tips on getting quality links from good sites. We won’t ever attempt to trick Google into thinking your site is more popular than it is – we will find good sites and convince them to link to you because your site will be of use to their visitors.

When you hire Issy Website Design as your SEO company, you get more than a few SEO tips – you get experienced Google SEO experts putting every single one of their SEO tricks of the trade to work for you.

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1. SEO Only.

Some clients are strictly interested in kicking off an SEO campaign, usually for a few basic reasons. They often have tried pay-per-click and decided it didn’t work, so they aren’t interested in trying it again in the foreseeable future (whether the initial campaign was set up effectively and the channel should be revisited is a subject for future discussion). They also often feel that since they themselves ignore PPC ads on the right hand side of the page, everyone else must do the same.

While there’s nothing inherently wrong with pursuing search engine optimization exclusively, it can take awhile to achieve rankings for competitive, profitable keyphrases, and there’s simply no way for your search engine marketing company to accurately predict (as they probably can with some degree of accuracy with PPC advertising) exactly what the initial results will be, and precisely when they will appear. However, for companies which do not have an immediate sense of urgency in their online marketing initiatives and who for whatever reason do not want to pursue PPC, organic SEO still offers a great, albeit slightly delayed, return on investment.

2. PPC Only.

Alternatively, a search engine marketing company may encounter the clients who are primarily interested in PPC… and nothing else. Even with a limited spend, clients can turn their campaigns on and off as needed, making market segments easier to control than with an SEO campaign. Pay-per-click also allows clients to achieve a somewhat predictable ROI if the campaign is managed effectively: “If I spend X, I’ll get back Y.”

The clients that fall within the ‘PPC advertising only’ category may have worked with a search engine marketing company before, pursuing SEO exclusively, and achieved less than stellar results. Despite all the positive press hyping up what search engine optimization can do for website visibility in recent years, it still tends to be viewed as more voodoo than science by most companies pursuing online marketing for the first time. With such companies, organic SEO is usually a topic we broach after achieving success with PPC.

3. SEO with PPC Stopgap.

The first and most common question a search engine marketing company may hear concerning an SEO campaign is how long it will take to achieve results. Naturally, clients want to be able to see the investment almost immediately.

This is where the PPC stopgap approach comes in. Though a client’s budget is usually fixed, they are often willing to spend a little more on the front end to see immediate results. Once positive results are evident, PPC spending is scaled back as SEO takes hold. An advantage of this approach to clients with limited budgets is that it can be managed on a very granular level. When top organic results are achieved for a given keyphrase, PPC bidding for that term can cease. Over time, PPC expenditures can theoretically be eliminated entirely. This model appeals to those who want a wide range of coverage and immediate results but have a fixed monthly budget that they do not control.

4. Hybrid Model.

A hybrid model is similar to a stopgap model, except that the client has no intention of eventually leaving the PPC arena entirely. Rather, the client has their search engine marketing company do a full on optimization AND paid search campaign at the outset, with the expectation that PPC costs will be reduced but not eliminated as the organic campaign takes hold.

In this model, a client recognizes that in an organic SEO campaign, they will be limited in the number of keyphrases that they can target by the amount of real estate on their website. With a PPC campaign, however, there is no downside to targeting thousands upon thousands of relevant “long tail” keyphrases, that is, search terms that are comprised of longer strings of words. Using the hybrid model, a company removes keyphrases from the PPC campaign on a granular level as they achieve top organic results for those phrases, but continue to bid on keyphrases that the site does not currently target.

5. Full Out SEM.

This approach calls for both SEO and PPC initiatives running at full speed. These types of clients are generally those that consider these two efforts as separate ‘beasts’ and frankly believe that showing up highly in both channels is a good thing … as long as the return justifies the spend.

These clients are happy to spend as much as possible with their search engine marketing company and do not usually have a set marketing budget – just strict ROI objectives. As long as each channel is performing within acceptable ranges, they are happy to reap the benefits. Generally, they treat the two disciplines as unique channels and monitor the results independently.

Choosing the Right Model

Which approach is right? It depends (you weren’t expecting a definitive answer, right?). The decision between SEO efforts vs. PPC advertising depends on means, goals, budget, comfort level, corporate restrictions, and many other elements. Keep in mind that these are only five possible models that we often encounter. Many clients do not fit neatly into any of these scenarios. Some clients may start out with one option and evolve into another. Some switch back and forth depending on their own ever-changing situation. The most important thing is to be aware of your options and pursue a path that fits your current goals.

The following tips are not necessarily in order of importance, but are in the order you should consider when building a new website from scratch. My top 10 tips ranked by order of importance for high rankings are displayed elsewhere.

1: Know your geographic market and ensure your domain has the correct TLD.
If your primary market is the UK it is important to use a .UK TLD and ideally have your domain hosted on UK based servers.

2: Include keyword in Domain name (using hyphens if necessary).
This doesn’t mean having a domain name like keyword-keyword-keyword-keyword.com try to stick to the one hyphen and not read as spammy. A good example is a site that sells wheelchair ramps with the URL of the site being http://www.wheelchair-ramps.co.uk

3: Create as much content about your products or subject as you can.
After doing this divide in to 4 or 5 sections (this will help later when creating your navigation structure)

4: AFTER you have your site content start keyword researching
There are tools you can use for keyword research; Wordtracker and The Google AdWords Keyword Tool to name but two. I personally use a combination of the Google Keyword Tool, Google LSI and T.J. Common Sense.

5: Decide on 4 or 5 primary keywords to use as main sub-sections
Ideally have an idea of 4 or 5 main keywords, call them your Primary Keywords and then try to position secondary keywords with the Primary Word most closely associated with it.

6: Sit down and sketch out your navigation system
Put a lot of time in to this and play around until it is right, use Primary Keyword as headers for 5 main Sub-sections and use secondary keywords as headers for content pages under each Primary Keyword

7: Re-write content using knowledge previously gained about keywords and phrases
This doesn’t mean totally re-writing and stuffing the page with keywords, it requires writing paragraphs ensuring the right phrases are in the right places but isn’t obvious that the phrases are written for the search engines. Do not write too much information on each page and do not stray of in to writing about something else.

8: Structure each individual page
With your content rich, keyword balanced page written, you now have to create the page structure. Each page should be seen as an individual website.
Starting from the top,
* Page title should reflect the content of the Page ensuring you use the primary keyword for that Page
* Meta keyword tags, (although not overly important), should list 4 or 5 individual keywords related to the Page you have created.
* Meta Description tags, this should be a short concise description describing what the Page is about. This is very important as a selling point as you can manipulate the search engines in to displaying this when the person searches for the keyword used in the description. A favourite of mine is “Provides information about the latest KEYWORD now in stock and available online” or words suitable for the product.
* Avoid bloated code by using external style sheets and minimum coding.
* Main page layout was previously discussed whilst sketching the navigation system, but it is important that all links are seen by the engines and are using the correct anchor text related to the pages they are pointing too. Avoid using javascipt for links and if you have to use images ensure you use the correct alt attributes. If the page has too many links on it and looks messy this can be overcome by using a combination of css and javascript to create drop down boxes, but should only be used if you know what you are doing. If you have the opposite problem, and want to include links on the page but not necessarily have search engines follow them, this can be achieved using drop down option boxes.
* With yout general layout and your linking structure sorted you should now sort out your headings. The main page heading of the page should use your Keywords and be in H1 Tags, this should be followed by your most important paragraph, ideally working down the page you should use secondary headers from h2 to h4 (always using the keywords if possible)
* If you have used images on your page ensure keywords in the Alt attributes, this doesn’t mean keyword stuff them but just describe the image using the keyword.

9: Proof read your completed page and get a 2nd opinion
With your page completed try and get someone to check it for you to see if it reads to spammy and to see if you have missed out any obvious key phrases that should be on the page.

10: Construct your site.
With the previous procedure completed for all pages it’s now time to put the site together. Simply use the previously devised linking structure, group similar pages together under appropriate sub headings and ensure all links are active and using correct anchor text.