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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?

5 Things You Did Not Know You Could Use Google For

Without Google, the world would be a very different place. Its ability to as a search engine is well known but did you know that simply finding the results which are best suited to your searches is not the end of Google’s capabilities?

The world of Google can be a weird and wonderful place sometimes and below we have dug out some of more unusual uses for this brilliant search engine.

Exploring The Stars

Are you curious about what lives out there beyond the stars? Google will let you explore a well known distant planet, and if you’re lucky, even have a chat with an alien!Google Webmaster Tools

The Mars Feature on Google Earth 5 allows users to explore the surface of the red planet.  Simply type “Meliza” into the search box and watch as you are transported to a secret part of the planet where you can have a char with a local alien. We have our suspicions that it may not actually be a real alien, so let us know what you think!

Learn To Fly

Ever wanted to be a pilot? Why not give this a try to see how your skills measure up! Visit Google Earth, press CTRL + Alt + A (Command + Option + A for Mac), choose your aircraft, and fly!

You can even simulate flying an F16 Fighter Jet. Click here to learn the flight controls.

Are You a Trekkie

Star Trek is one of those timeless shows that it popular throughout the generations. It is also a show that its fans take very seriously! If your second language happens to be Klingon, your luck could be in. Try using Google’s custom Klingon search. It’s a fun way to put a new spin on Google. It will even correct your grammar! And if you don’t speak Klingon, don’t sweat it. Google has their own Klingon translator and dictionary to help you out.

Take a Trip Back To The 80s

Were you an 80s kid? It may sound odd, but typing a random string of letters into Google Translate, then hitting the listen icon will prompt Google to beatbox whatever you wrote down. Try it yourself by copy pasting “pv kkk pkkk pvpvpv ppkk pddd  bschk bschk pv zk pv bschk pv pv pv bschk bschk bschk kkkkkkkkkk bschk bsch” into Google Translate and giving it a listen. Or click here and try!

Follow Your Flight

Just enter the desired airline and flight number into Google’s search box and instantly see the arrival and departure times in the results. Now you can keep up-to-date with any flight without having to constantly check the airline’s website.

Further Information

Footprint Web Design have been at the forefront of web design and development for nearly 20 years. If you are looking for a website that truly represents your business, or advice on how to make your site stand out, then contact us today on 01883 372 488, or via email at info@footprint.co.uk.

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By | March 9th, 2016|Google, Google Maps, Uncategorized|Comments Off on 5 Things You Did Not Know You Could Use Google For

AWSTATS v Google Analytics – Which is the winner?

In our quest to provide the most accurate reporting to our clients, the monthly figures play an essential role. However, this is not quite as easy as we would like it to (or believe it should) be.

For many years we have used a combination of Google Analytics (reports produced from Google) results and Awstats (visitor details pulled directly from the server) to produce a comprehensive overview for our clients.

The world of Google can be a very cloak and dagger place on occasion though and a previously Google announced some big news for website owners. google-485611_1920Going forward, when a search is made through the Google search engine (which in February 2014 was approximately 89% of all searches) and the result clicked, the search term would no longer be passed to the destination website. Instead, these visits would simply be grouped together in Google Analytics under the keyword “(not provided)”.

Whilst this does not affect the tracking of visitor numbers to a website (a key indication of growth and the success of an SEO campaign) it now makes it impossible to track which term a user typed in to find the website.

For example if you found our website by searching for SEO Oxted on Google, when you clicked on the link to visit our website, our unique visitor numbers would increase by 1 but we would not be able to identify how you found our website. Annoying isn’t it!!

What Made Google Do This?

A great question! On the surface, the official reason was that this was done in the name of privacy. Google is suggesting that those searching using their general services would not want their search term to be passed on to the destination site.

However, some people have other ideas regarding this……

To further clarify the situation, we recently contacted our hosts for their take on this issue and this was the response that we received.light-bulb-1002783_1920

“This is unfortunately a known issue with Google not passing referrer data from searches under certain circumstances.

Awstats parses information directly from Apache’s domain logs- which are the raw web server access logs. These logs contain various pieces of information (see the samples below), one of which is the referrer- i.e. the site the user was visiting prior to coming to yours. If the referrer is a search term, Awstats is intelligent enough to detect this, and also detect the search terms the user had entered in.

Unfortunately Google have been taking steps for a few years now (in the name of “privacy”) to restrict the visibility of these referrers. Initially this was only for users who were signed into google when they performed a search. Now, it seems to be that any search done over SSL (i.e. https) doesn’t pass the referrer over to the site. I’ve provided an example below based on my own testing:

To test this I searched for “footprint web design” on Google and Bing and then clicked through to your site. Here are what the raw access logs recorded:

Google:
83.223.125.4 – – [26/Jun/2014:10:27:47 +0100] “GET / HTTP/1.1” 200 96724 “
https://www.google.co.uk/” “Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/35.0.1916.153 Safari/537.36”
Bing:
83.223.125.4 – – [26/Jun/2014:10:29:46 +0100] “GET / HTTP/1.1” 200 96724 “
http://www.bing.com/search?q=footprint+web+design&go=&qs=n&form=QBLH&filt=all&pq=footprint+web+design&sc=1-20&sp=-1&sk=&cvid=738cf01f67bd4d7b8f8f3e0d2b52f6d0” “Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/35.0.1916.153 Safari/537.36”

Notice the referrer (the sixth field) in the first line only reports “https://www.google.co.uk“. The actual referrer should be:

https://www.google.co.uk/?gfe_rd=cr&ei=0uqrU9qCKsfX8ge9tIDYAw&gws_rd=ssl#q=footprint+web+design

Because this is the URL of the page I was performing the search on. If this was the referrer Google sent, Awstats would pick up on the “q=footprint+web+design” bit at the end of the URL and record a search term of “footprint web design”. However, as Google doesn’t send the actual referring URL, Awstats can’t report it.

I hope this makes sense- unfortunately because this is a problem with the way Google are passing referrers there isn’t anything we can do at our end. I understand this will affect the SEO work you are doing as you won’t have visibility of many search terms.”

As you can see, whilst we are continually looking for an alternative method of tracking how visitors find our customer’s websites, this information is currently unattainable.

Some Good News Though!

Whilst the information provided by Awstats pay be incomplete (through no fault of the host server), the visitor numbers to your website are guaranteed to be accurate because these figures are generated directly from the server and cannot be altered in any way.

 

By | December 15th, 2015|Google, Uncategorized|Comments Off on AWSTATS v Google Analytics – Which is the winner?

One of the Most Important Parts of SEO

We understand, perhaps better than most, that there is a wide ranging perception relating to SEO that it is complex and nearly impossible to understand.

In a constantly evolving landscape, it is easy to see why this may be the case but we would like to shine a light on some of the basics to help provide you with a little insight.

It is all too easy to get wrapped up in trying to figure out exactly what search engines are looking for and tailoring all of your efforts towards them.  However, whilst that cannot be completely ignored, the most important part of any SEO campaign is considering who you are targeting (i.e. your potential customers).

Creating The Right Content

With any website and any SEO campaign, it is essential that you make your audience your number one priority. By thinking like your audience and cms-265127_1920acting like your audience, you will be able to create content for your audience.

More than anything else, are you producing quality content? Are you getting your message across? Are you waffling on for pages when a few well chosen words would do? Are you providing a reason for people to spend more than a few seconds reading your pages?

These are just some of the questions to ask yourself in assessing whether you’re providing quality content. This is not the place to skimp since it is the cornerstone upon which nearly all other factors depend.

Tips For Creating Content

To help you along the way, we have drawn up a list of some of the most important tips to help provide the best possible start to creating engaging content for your website.

  • Spend some time making a decision on which writing style will be the most appropriate for your line of business and your audience? Informal and chatty, or Formal and serious?
  • Keep the flow of content to your website regular. Either in the form of landing pages or blogs.
  • For any blogs, enable your readers to comment on your blog. Creating the ability to interact with customers is absolutely essential.cms-265128_1920
  • Spend some time researching your competitor’s websites. Without actually lifting content straight from them, there is every chance that you will find some great ideas that you may be able to tailor for your own needs.
  • Always keep your eyes open. It can be amazing where you can find some great ideas for interesting and engaging content for your website.
  • Use links and images. No one wants to look at a page full of dry text; appropriate and entertaining images break up the flow of the blog. They also provide invaluable keyword search opportunities, if properly labelled and tagged. Links in your blog to relevant pages on your site will keep people on your website! Links to other sites, or supporting articles add a credence to your blog that is also crucial to your SEO.
  • Link your blog to all your social media channels. This will let all your followers know when new content has gone up – keeping them in the loop and encouraging them to visit your site.

To find out more about how the Footprint Web Design Surrey team can help you, please give us a call on Tel. No. 01883 372488 and we’ll be happy to talk through your options with you.

 

By | November 23rd, 2015|SEO, Uncategorized|Comments Off on One of the Most Important Parts of SEO
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