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Monthly Archives: May 2016

Why Your Small Business MUST Be Listed on Google Maps

Whilst big businesses may be able to call on a very large marketing budget, the great news for smaller businesses is that Google maps listings offer the perfect method of promoting your business in your local area and unlike Google Adwords, the service is free to use.

Understanding How It Works

Google-Maps

To access Google Maps, please visit the following link – https://www.google.co.uk/maps

Google Places (often referred to as Google + Business now) is a service which allows you to create a dedicated listing which will be displayed on Google Maps.

Business owners, who are listed with Google, can use their Google Places account to manage the information that they would like to display regarding their business.

Please Note – Considering the fact that Google usually blends the Google Places’ page and Maps along with the organic results for location specific searches, listing yourself in Google Places can be an excellent way to create brand awareness.

3 Step Guide To Getting Listed

Getting your business listed on Google Places simply could not be easier and by following our 3 step guide you can be live in just a few weeks.

  • Step 1 – The first step is register with Google and then add all of the relevant business information including your business address, Tel. No., E-Mail address, opening hours, images etc.
  • Step 2 – Once you have completed your listing, the next step is to verify your account. This is done via a postcard which will be sent to your business address (it normally arrives in 2 to 3 weeks).
  • Step 3 – Once the verification postcard arrives, you can take the final step, simply log in to your account, add the code and your listing will go live within a few hours.

Perhaps one of the best parts of creating this account is the fact that Google do not charge you to use it!

The Importance For Small Businesses

Your business listing on Google Maps offers a highly effective method of making the important details about your business visible and searchable on the internet. You don’t even need to have a website in order to make the most of it. If you are a small business owner, you really cannot afford to overlook this excellent form of free advertising.

How To Make The Most of Your Listing

Now we have explained how the listings can be set-up, we want to help you make the most of your listing once it goes live.

  • Choose Your Categories Wisely – Google provides a choice of categories to which you can add your listing and you are not limited to one. Simply type the first few letters of your services into the category box and select the most appropriate results which are provided.
  • Add Images– You can make your listing more attractive by adding a number of photos/images to your account. You can add a logo and background image to your homepage and up to 10 images in the listing itself.
  • More Than One Location? – If your business is based in more than one place (perhaps you have more than one branch?), make sure that each branch has a separate Google Places page with the location’s address and phone number.
  • Encourage Reviews– We cannot over emphasize the importance of this tip – ask your customers to review and rate on your listing. Online reviews play a crucial role in helping to separate competing businesses and the chances are, the more positive reviews on your account, the higher your listing may rank and the more likely undecided customers may be to opt for your products and services.

If you have any further questions about the importance of Google Maps listings for small businesses and how they can be used to help you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on Tel. No. 01883 372488.

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By | May 23rd, 2016|Google Maps|Comments Off on Why Your Small Business MUST Be Listed on Google Maps

Do Your Onsite Images Carry Any SEO Juice?

Did you know that the use of images and the addition of the correct tags can play a crucial role in achieving excellent search engine results? Search engines such as Google are trying to incorporate more images into their results and for e-commerce websites in particular, getting rankings on Google images can offer a great way of drawing visitors to your website.

How To Optimise Your Images?

By simply following a few basic guidelines, you will be able to take the required steps towards ensuring your images work for you. Following a few Do Your Onsite Images Carry Any SEO Juice?simple guidelines can help ensure your images are working hard for your SEO.

1) Choose The Right Image: Finding the most appropriate image is the most important part. A good image which attracts attention and describes itself can really do the job for you. Steer clear of irrelevant images – this can have the opposite effect.

2) Utilise The Alt Tags: Alt tags displays the text in-case the image is not able to load in the browser helping users to know the details of the image. It not only helps the users but also acts as a base for search engines in identifying what the image contains. The Alt tag must be direct and succinct – avoid lengthy descriptions and keyword stuffing.

3) Re-Name Your Images: Using a file name that is relevant but is none generic means you will ensure the right sort of traffic are coming across your content. If your file name is too generic, you may end up with non-relevant visitors to your site – potentially skewing your site stats. The above example has been named “Houses of Parliament at Night” – relevant, but not too generic a title.

4) Re-Size Your Images (Where Necessary): Google considers the page loading time as one of the important ranking factors, which will beDo Your Onsite Images Carry Any SEO Juice? dictated by the size of the page (image file size, video size, etc). Optimizing images in terms of size can really improve your site performance. File size depends on the resolution of the image, the higher the resolution the bigger the file size. So you need to maintain a balance between the size and the quality. There are different image types supported (JPEG, PNG, GIF) on the web, and choosing the best will depend on your requirement. Try and choose a image which is of good quality and lowest file size. Very high resolution images will be huge and, as such, should be avoided.

Why Is It Important To Do This?

  1. Search engines can detect an image but not what the image is. This makes it difficult for them to sort out images based on user query.
  2. Images have now been added to the main page search results in Google resulting in a potential for more traffic.
  3. Images can break up text blocks are are better at enticing people into your site.
  4. Images can also act as link bait if you allow image sharing in exchange of a link.
  5. Image sharing is more prolific among users with sites like Pinterest getting more popular.

Further Information

Footprint specialise in creating bespoke websites, designed to help take your business to another level. If you’d like to speak to us regarding any of our services, give us a call on 01883 372488 or contact us via Facebook and we’ll be happy to talk you through your options.

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By | May 16th, 2016|Images, SEO|Comments Off on Do Your Onsite Images Carry Any SEO Juice?

Shenise’s Wing Walking – 9th July!!

Saturday the 9th July 2016 is a momentous day for the Footprint family and Shenise in particular! On this day, Shenise takes to the skies to perform a ‘wing walk’ in an effort to raise money for a truly excellent cause.

To make a donation, please visit the following link to submit your details – https://www.justgiving.com/shenisewingwalking

For a look into why Shenise has decided to undertake this amazing feat, check out below for a little insight.

What Is The Back Story?

“I decided that I wanted to do something different this year so in a mad moment with friends I suggested Wing Walking (think wine was involved). Other than being shocked my friends said what a great idea. “But just one thing you don’t like heights Shenise” – oh yeah I forgot about that, but you know what it’s just a fear I can do this and overcome a fear I have had forever.”

“It’s for such a great cause and charity Matthew’s Friends. The staff & volunteers work so hard. Luckily I will be fitted with 4 different camera’s & a Go Pro so if I pass out then I’ll be able to watch the footage back. So I would really appreciate your donation for this great charity.”

Who Are Matthew’s Friends?

Matthew’s Friends provide information and support for children and adults using Ketogenic Dietary Therapies for epilepsy, Glut1, Brain Cancer and other neurological disorders.

The video below highlights some of the outstanding work that Matthew’s Friends have completed during the past 10 years

Please Dig Deep!!

Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity. So it’s the most efficient way to donate – saving time and cutting costs for the charity.

To make a donation, please visit the following link to submit your details – https://www.justgiving.com/shenisewingwalking – Don’t forget to dig deep!!

Offering a Helping Hand (From The Ground!!)

To help support Shenise, Footprint Web Design are very proud to donate the £500 costs which must be covered to allow the wing walk to take place.

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By | May 10th, 2016|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Shenise’s Wing Walking – 9th July!!

3 Tips To Help Choose The Perfect Domain Name

Whether you are setting up a new business website or starting a blog the importance of choosing the right domain name is there for all to see.

When it comes to choosing a domain name which is effective and appropriate, we believe that there are a few guidelines which can help you along the way. Below you will find 3 of the most important tips that you can follow.

No. 1 – Choose a Unique Name

Whilst this may sound fairly obvious, you would be surprised how many people try to choose a name which is fairly similar to a well established Guildford Web Designcompany with the hope of riding their coat-tails to draw some traffic to their own website.

This is a tactic which is very unlikely to succeed and will only work towards undermining the identity of your own company.

Top Tip – Focus on the strengths of your company.

No. 2 – Keep It Simple

Short, catchy and relevant names are often the best idea for any domain name because they are easy for people to type and just as important, easy for people to remember.

Not only do short domain names help potential customers, they also look better on printed media and when used on Social Media channels as they unlikely to be shortened when posted.

Top Tip – Never underestimate the power of word of mouth marketing. Choosing a catchy and to-the-point domain name will make it as easy as possible for people to pass the details to their friends, family and colleagues should the need arise.

No. 3 – Eliminate The Guesswork

It is always good practice to ensure that your domain name automatically offers potential customers a good idea of what your company actually does without them having to visit your website if possible.

For example, the following domain name http://www.jandpplumbing.co.uk makes it immediately clear that this company is a plumbing company.

Top Tip – Choosing an obscure domain name may result in the need for an increased effort and expense when it comes to branding and market to ensure customers know more about your products and services.

Bonus Tip – Make it SEO Friendly

Are you looking to target a particular keyword in your future SEO efforts? Whilst many of the most popular domain names will already have been snapped up, if you can purchase something relevant to your target demographic, you may be able to put it to good use.

For example, if you are a plumber in London looking to target that particular geographic area, the domain name www.plumbers-london.co.uk could prove to be highly beneficial.

Further Information

If you’d like to speak to us regarding any aspect of web design or SEO, please give us a call on 01883 372488 or contact us via Facebook and we’ll be happy to talk you through your options.

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By | May 9th, 2016|Uncategorized|Comments Off on 3 Tips To Help Choose The Perfect Domain Name

Have You Noticed a Change to Internet Explorer?

Whilst the majority of people now use Google Chrome as their primary web browser, there are still a number of die-hards who prefer using either IE (Internet Explorer) or Firefox to view the internet.

For anyone currently using Internet Explorer, you may be about to notice a significant change.

In early 2016, Microsoft cut support for older versions of Internet Explorer including IE 8, 9 & 10. Therefore if you have so far resisted upgrading browser-773215_1280either windows or your browser, you may very soon be left with no choice.

What Does This Actually Mean?

In practical terms, for Microsoft’s consumer operating systems, that means:

  • Windows 8.1: Internet Explorer 11
  • Windows 7 SP1: Internet Explorer 11
  • Windows Vista SP2: Internet Explorer 9

Therefore, if you are currently using one of these operating systems along with an older version of Internet Explorer, it will not be long before your stop receiving security updates and bug fixes from Microsoft.

What Can You Do?

If you are using Windows Vista SP2, Windows 7 SP 1 or Windows 8.1 with a version of Internet Explorer other than the ones highlighted above, the best advice is to run a Windows Update as soon as possible and then install the latest version of your chosen web browser.

To be perfectly honest, if this is not a practice you are well versed in, there really is no excuse for doing this as you are exposing your computer to unnecessary security risks.

Updating your IE browser to the most recent update will ensure that it performs better than older versions (they are more stable, more secure, have more features and receive better support).

If you would like to ensure you have the latest version of Internet Explorer installed on your computer, please click here and then follow the on screen instructions.

Alternatively, if you feel that now is the perfect time for a change, check out the links below to download Firefox or Chrome to your computer.

Further Information

If you’d like to speak to us regarding our ability to design you a quality website or perhaps how to maximise the potential of your existing website, please give us a call on 01883 372488 or contact us via Facebook and we’ll be happy to talk you through your options.

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By | May 2nd, 2016|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Have You Noticed a Change to Internet Explorer?
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