SEO is all about getting even the smallest detail right. One such detail that’s usually ignored is the choice of web host. Normally, it comes last in the list of priorities when people build a website.
The sort of hosting service you use can play a big role in your search engine rankings. The sort of impact depends on the size of the website and the traffic level. However, your hosting will either damage or support your ranking. Of course, you want a host that helps with your SEO efforts.
Let’s take a look at how your host can affect your SEO rankings.
Website Speed Affects SEO
The quicker your website loads, the better it will rank in the search engines. A fast loading website won’t suffice when you want to take your site to #1 rank. Of course, if you already put in place some solid offsite and onsite SEO, and boost the site speed, you will see your site climbing up the ranks. If your host is slow, even an otherwise fast website will take time to load. So choose a web host that offers a high benchmark of performance.
Data Loss Affects Rankings
We don’t want to think about disaster. But there’s a chance that disaster might strike your website. It could be in the form of a website hack, a problem at the host’s data-center or data loss from your website.
You must have a backup system of some sort to keep your site and rankings protected. A good host will put in place a backup system that helps you to recover your website should disaster strike in the above mentioned ways.
Ensure that your host offers automated backup or at the very least install a third-party plugin.
Uptime Makes a Difference
No host would be able to guarantee 100% uptime. The better the host, higher is the uptime of your website. If you are seeing extremely high downtime, it’s time to move to a more reliable host.
When your site is down a lot, it can have a negative impact on the user experience. When your website is down every time someone tries to view it, they won’t come back. This would affect your bounce rate and CTR in the search engines.
Choose a host that offers high uptime. Ask for some sort of a guarantee.
At LS25 Web Hosting, we have built a reputation for offering high uptime, reliable service and ultra-fast hosting. Whether it's our great Shared Hosting offerings or our all powerful Managed WordPress plans that you go for, you will be sure to be more than satisfied. Get in touch with us today to experience the difference we can make to your website’s SEO
Does blogging help with SEO? That’s a question every business owner wants a solid answer to.
Google, as you already know, has pretty much an answer to any question you might have. For a lot of people, Google is the first place they visit when they want information about anything.
This means that irrespective of the type of website you are running, if you want people to find your site, you must show up in the search engine results pages. But that’s not an easy feat!
Starting a blog is a great way to launch your way into the search engines. Having a blog does not boost your ranks. Blogging helps with SEO because it aids in a variety of aspects that are crucial to search rankings.
When you update your blog regularly with posts that offer valuable information and covers topics that are hugely relevant to users’ search queries, it could make a big difference to your site’s performance in the search engines.
If you’ve ever been on a site that hasn’t been updated in ages, you have already lost trust in the website. Perhaps the company has gone out of business or the information could be no longer current and relevant.
Google likes to provide content that’s fresh and updated. When your website is updated regularly, it’s a sign that your content is fresh. Search engines are a lot more interested in websites with fresh content than outdated ones.
Long Tail Keywords
SEO is a hugely competitive space, no matter the industry you are trying to rank in.
So if you are trying to rank for the most relevant keyword, it’d be a huge challenge.
That’s where long-tail keywords can come really handy. But it’s difficult to use long-tail keywords on the home page and in product descriptions. Your blog offers a great opportunity to optimise for these long tail keywords.
For instance, if you are selling, baby products, you could offer information on search phrases such as “what is the best baby shampoo?” or “things you need for a newborn baby”.
Sure, these phrases might not bring as much traffic as your primary keyword, “baby products”, but they are still relevant to your target audience, and if you can reach on the top spot, you’ll land up with more traffic than if you are ranking on page 7 for your primary keywords.
Backlinks are an important part of SEO. And generating internal links is very easy as you are the one building them.
Every time you post a new blog, be sure to link back to one of your previous posts. You could even link back to your homepage or any other pages from your main site. And once you become consistent at blogging, you will be opening up the floodgates.
When it comes to hosting your eCommerce store, you don’t want to make a hasty decision. Running a successful online shop requires that you offer an awesome customer experience. By going with the wrong host, you might slow down your website’s performance so much so that your visitors leave your site as soon as they come in.
As a business owner, you want to make the experience of online shopping easy and hassle-free for your customers. The kind of hosting service you choose will affect the performance, uptime and site load speed, each of which is an integral part of offering a high quality customer experience.
Let’s take a look at some important aspects to consider when choosing a web host for your eCommerce store.
Every second that your eCommerce store is offline, you are not making any money. When your online shop does not have a high uptime, you are providing a poor experience to your visitors.
A lot of hosts might speak about high uptime guarantee, in the form of money back for the time your website is offline. However, this money pales in comparison to the kind of money you would be making if your site was not offline.
So instead of falling for gimmicky guarantees, look for a host that is known to offer a high uptime. At LS25 Web Hosting, our customers are assured of 99.9% uptime.
Your web host should be able to keep pace with your online store’s growth. If you are growing, you will need a bigger hosting space and higher performance. It’s highly possible that the shared hosting plan you began with might not be suitable for you anymore. You need a host that can handle your current resource and traffic requirements without affecting the performance.
When you have an issue with the hosting server, you want a quick resolution. A dip in the performance or the uptime will affect the user experience as well as your bottom line.
A great support team might not sound like a great deal. However, when you have a server issue during a peak time when you are expecting a big sale, you’ll want to deal with a support team that can understand your urgency and resolves issues quickly.
At LS25 Web Hosting, we offer a wide range of web hosting solutions including premium cloud shared hosting and WordPress managed hosting. Speak to us today for more information and we would be happy to provide expert advice so you can make an informed decision.
If you are looking to build a website for your business, chances are you’ve already done a bit of research. You might have come across phrases such as “mobile-friendly”, “mobile optimised” and “mobile responsive web design”.
With more and more people using their smartphones for shopping and online search, it only makes sense to build a website that’s mobile friendly. In fact, mobile responsiveness is an important ranking signal in Google.
So what makes a website mobile responsive? Let’s understand the basics.
Responsive design is an essential component of a mobile friendly site. In the absence of a responsive design, mobile users will get a mini-version of your desktop website. This means that they will have to scroll a lot to find information and zoom-pinch the screen to read anything on your site. Most users would simply leave and visit another site that makes it easier to find and read information.
A responsive website will adapt to the device it is being accessed on. So whether the user is looking you up on their desktop, smartphone or a tablet, your website will fit the device they are using.
Mobile friendly websites feature fonts that are easy to read on mobile devices. Your web design agency will take care of this for you and help you choose a font that goes with your branding and the kind of look you want to create. As a general rule, pick a font with clean lines. Script fonts and fancy fonts make reading difficult. Keep the font size a size bigger as no one likes to squint as they read.
Taps and Touches
Mobile responsiveness is not just about how your website looks and feels on mobile devices. It’s also making navigation easy on mobile devices.
Using a website on a desktop is easy as you have the mouse to help navigate a site. However, on a smartphone, users have to make do with taps, touches and swipes. There’s no mouse to help them. Your website must make navigation easy for your mobile users so they can navigate your site using touch.
A Mobile Friendly Site Can Help Your Business
It pays to build a website that delivers an optimal experience to the majority of your users. With a majority of users in the UK searching for local information on their smartphones, a mobile friendly site is a necessity.
When you make it easy for your users to find and use your site on mobile phones, you can expect to earn their trust and their business. When you want to rank in local searches on mobile devices, you need a mobile-friendly website.
LS25 Web Design is an experienced web design agency with years of experience. We build mobile friendly websites that deliver results. Get in touch with us today for a free consultation and quote.
Of the several Content Management Systems (CMS) available in the market, WordPress is far ahead of the competition. With over 75 million using WordPress, it’s the most popular CMS out there.
WordPress is an open source software, which means it’s free. With hundreds of thousands of plugins, customisation is a breeze, which brings down the cost of website development as well as the deployment time.
Here at LS25 Web Design, we’ve built hundreds of websites on WordPress for a diverse range of clients. Here are five reasons why we highly recommend this CMS to our clients.
No Licence Fee
WordPress is an open source platform. You don’t pay any license fees for the software. What’s more, all the updates to the platform are free for life. Proprietary platforms, on the other hand, charge hefty licensing fees. In essence, WordPress can really lower the cost of setting up a website as well as maintaining one.
WordPress is very easy to use. That’s one of the main reasons for its popularity. If you can use a word-processor, you can very easily manage your WordPress website. You can add new posts to your blog, edit the existing content and do a lot more things easily. The learning curve is minimal. So you can train your staff quickly and cost-effectively. It’s possible that some of your employees already know how to use WordPress, which means they can use your site without any training.
WordPress is SEO friendly right out of the box. The framework of WordPress makes it easy for search engine bots to crawl your site. Ranking your site in the search engines isn’t this easy with any other CMS platform! What’s more, WordPress is a popular choice for SEO agencies.
Power Packed Performance
WordPress scores on every performance benchmark you can think of. Want to reach out to audiences across the globe? WordPress can connect with your choice of CDN to deliver your content in the blink of an eye. What’s more, Wordpress is completely scalable, which is why some of the biggest websites on the Internet use WordPress.
Content Marketing Made Easy
WordPress makes content marketing a breeze. With its built-in publishing tools, adding content to your site is easy. You can preview your content before you publish, schedule your blog posts, edit them even after they’re published and do a lot more things. No matter what your editorial requirements, WordPress has you covered.
Ready to Build Your New Website?
LS25 Web Design is a trusted web design agency with years of experience. We would love to discuss your web design project. Feel free to schedule a consultation, and one of our web design consultants will meet with you to discuss your requirements.
Building a website is easy these days given that there’s no dearth of web designers. However, building a successful website calls for a lot of planning. After all, a website is made of several different elements – ones that the visitors can see and those that are behind the scenes.
Today, we look at some elements of a successful business website.
Content Management System
A content management system such as WordPress makes the task of managing your website easy and effective. You can add new content, edit existing content, and do a lot more with a CMS.
At LS25 Web Design, we love WordPress, and build all our websites on this much-loved platform. For one it’s free, and most importantly, it’s always evolving.
Talk to us today to know more about building a WordPress website for your business.
Your website must be optimised for your target keywords. You will need a good SEO strategy in place to ensure your website makes it to the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Begin with a simple keywords research to identify the kind of words and phrases your target customers use to find the products/services that you offer. Your web design agency can help optimise your site at nominal additional fees.
Mobile Friendly Design
This is a component that your visitors will notice as soon as they land. If your website is not mobile friendly, you are alienating a good chunk of your visitors.
With mobile phones rapidly becoming the go-to source for online search, a lot of people are likely to search for you on their mobile devices.
Moreover, mobile friendliness is an important ranking signal for Google. So if your site is not mobile friendly, your site will not show up in search results carried out on mobile devices.
Attractive and Functional Design
You need a website that not only looks good but performs robustly too. As a business owner, you might want your website to look the best, but that does not mean that you should stuff it with every design element and feature you like.
At LS25 Web Design, we understand what your target audience is looking for. We can build a website that’s not only visually appealing but highly functional too.
Your website must be easy to navigate. That’s a critical part of a successful business website. Your visitors should be able to find what they’re looking for easily and quickly. If it takes several clicks to reach something, it’s highly likely that your visitors will leave your site to look for one that will help them quickly.
Talk to LS25 Web Design
We are a leading web design agency in Leeds with years of experience. No matter what your requirements are, we will work with you to build a website that works for you. Get in touch with us today for a free consultation.
Few businesses can afford to ignore social media and its awesome marketing potential. Using social media platforms to establish a market presence and help promote your brand is key to future growth. While many organisations understand this, it can be easy to fall foul of a few common mistakes when implementing a social media strategy. As part of your overall digital marketing strategy, it should align with both your overall marketing aims and existing business goals.
Here are three social media marketing mistakes to swerve:
1. Don't only use the big two or three!
When it comes to social media channels, most businesses will use the major players including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. While these are undoubtedly important to have a presence on, you should not only limit your marketing efforts to these platforms only.
YouTube, for example, is a huge opportunity to market to a younger generation, as is Snapchat or Instagram. It is then a surprise to see only two-thirds of companies are using YouTube as part of their social media strategy! Having a presence on many relevant social media platforms will increase your authority and brand awareness which in turn will drive sales.
2. Don't treat social media as an afterthought
As social media marketing is one of the newer ways to get your message out there, it can be treated as an afterthought to your existing marketing strategy. This is a big mistake though as it will mean you won't take full advantage of the many benefits a bespoke social media strategy can bring. Instead, take the time to tailor a marketing strategy just for your social media channels to see best results.
3. Don't neglect to analyse results
As with all digital marketing and traditional marketing campaigns, you need to be constantly analysing the effects. This is just as true with your social media efforts. Be sure to regularly analyse the various channels you use to see where it is working or where you need to rethink your strategy. This is not only in terms of interactions with customers but also the business value each social media channel is bringing to the table.
If you would like a hand with your social media marketing strategy, then get in touch today. We have many years experience in this sector and can find the best one to add real value to your business.
Over the last 12 months, you have probably heard the phrase “GDPR” being discussed with increasing frequency. However, you may still be left with little idea of what it is and how it affects you. To ensure your website is ready for the GDPR when it comes into force on 25 May this year, here is all you need to know.
What is GDPR?
The General Data Protection Regulation (or “GDPR” for short) is an EU privacy law that takes effect in all EU and EEA members states (including the UK) on 25th May 2018. It is an EU regulation that is designed to replace the current miss-match of different laws and regulations that all EU member states currently have in place.
The importance of GDPR compliance
Though it is coming in via EU law, do not think that GDPR will be gone once Brexit occurs. In fact, it is expected that, if anything, GDPR will get more strict once Britain leaves the EU, and the UK is planning on implementing the GDPR into UK law via a new Data Protection Act. For this reason, it is important that you take it seriously, as it is here to stay. Also, there are strict penalties that apply to any business that fails to comply with these new regulations.
For example, failing to comply with the GDPR could see you receiving a fine of up to 4% of your company’s global turnover Or €20 million, whichever is higher. The body that is responsible for monitoring data compliance, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), is also having its powers extended and increased. This includes the ability to investigate any company they think may not be complying with the law, and impose harsh fines and restrictions on how you operate.
What can you, as a website owner, do to prepare?
Here are the key steps you will need to take in order to ensure that your website, once of the most public parts of your business, complies with this new law.
1. Before storing or using any customer data, make sure you have a legal basis to process personal data, such as consent, legitimate interest, necessity to perform a contract or a legal obligation.
2. If there is a data breach which could have a significant effect on individuals, then you only have 72 hours to informthe ICO of this.
3. You must allow all customers to easily access their data upon request and within 30 days of the date of the request.
3. Customers must have the ability to take their data from you whenever they wish and to transfer this to a different company.
4. You may need to hire a Data Protection Officer (DPO) if you monitor a large number of individuals (this can include cookies used by your website and web beacons used in email marketing).
5. All opt-in forms must be updated to ensure that the proper GDPR-compliant consent is obtained from users where appropriate.
6. You should review all current paper and digital files to ensure you are compliant.
7. You will need to review all third-party service providers and data processors you use and ensure they are fully compliant with the GDPR.
8. You should only ever collect data where it is relevant and necessary.
9. You will need to have a plan in place in case a data breach does occur.
With the May 25th deadline fast approaching it is time to get to work. The government is expecting all business and website owners to be fully compliant by this date and there is no grace period. No business is too small and there is no exclusions to compliance. Failure to comply could lead to high and unwanted penalties being imposed.
It is important to note that LS25 Web Design are not legal experts in this field and we are working through the process of how we can be compliant for the GDPR as we speak. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for legal advice. We encourage you to work with appropriate legal counsel as you explore your compliance.
Should you ever do so, then this person would view an entirely different place from how you would see it yourself. If they were then to buy your home, and if you returned a few months later for a look, you'd probably hardly recognise it. Both of you would have designed the home to your taste, to meet your needs.
How does this apply to websites?
The same principle can apply - and this can be a danger. If a business simply designs a web (or social media) presence to meet their needs, matched to how they believe their business should be seen, then this might not satisfy, or even interest, potential customers.
An initial problem with purely in-house web creation
The first possible outcome is a collaboration of design and content which simply tells the world what that business thinks it's good at. A step further: it might try to present what those involved are most proud of. This might bear little relevance to the specific needs or immediate wants of those who undertake online searches. The result is that potential custom can be lost, and almost always by accident rather than design.
Other potential missteps through self-creation
Each business uses jargon and has its own private language. Because those involved are so used to this, the danger is that it creeps into web content, and many potential visitors simply don't understand. Equally, the overall level of information, and how it's presented, can be beyond easy comprehension by many of those who might visit.
Also, through constant involvement in business, it's easy to take things for granted, and assume that others will know certain points about how a product, service or business operates. This can be compared to asking a local for directions when visiting a place for the first time. It's quite likely that their answer will be incomplete, because sub-consciously they already know how to get there, and may therefore miss out some key pieces of information!
Offering a practical solution
Partnering with a web design agency helps to identify and overcome such inadvertent revenue-losers. Taking the level of expertise and knowledge within a business, and then using 'outside eyes' to craft it into a presence that will best engage with potential customers, helps that business to maximise its online activities.
If you'd like to talk to our LS25 team about achieving this for your business, please contact us now.
Few websites rely on good user experience (UX) and usability as much as eCommerce sites do. The number of online shops consumers can access in seconds via their web browser today easily numbers into the millions, modern consumers will shop around before they buy. If you want your online store to be the one that customers decide to purchase their goods from, you'd better make sure your UX is up to par. Thousands of site visits a day won't add up to much in the way of profits if your visitors aren't actually making it to the checkout.
Think about your visitor's motivations
Good website user experience is all about making your website easy to navigate and use. The first thing you need to think about is your user's motivations. If you're operating an eCommerce website the chances are your visitors are here to browse your store, and perhaps make a purchase. Before they buy, though, they'll want to know what it is they're spending their hard-earned cash on. Quality photographs of products and clear descriptions and names will all go a good way to upping your conversion rates and getting more customers to the checkout.
Make it easy
User experience is all about, well, experience. It doesn't matter how good your products are or how competitive your prices are if users can't navigate your website and make it to the checkout without first throwing their computers out of the window. Conduct UX testing - even friends and family can help - to assess how easy it is to navigate your site, find specific products, add items to the basket and complete the checkout process. Website navigation should be intuitive and products should be clearly and accurately categorised.
Trust me, I'm a salesperson
While we're not doubting your personal integrity, as an online seller among many it's important to prove to your customers that you're trustworthy and reliable. Make sure your delivery and returns information is clear and easy to find, respond to customer inquiries swiftly, and include positive testimonials wherever possible.
For more information about our creative services, which includes website design for eCommerce and other sites, please don't hesitate to get in touch.