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Responsive web design

Web Design: What Can a Professional Web Designer Do That I Can’t?

Before fully understanding why it’s a good idea to hire a professional to design your web page, we need to first see the value of having a website in the first place. Let’s start with a little history:

Back not too many years ago, if you had a product to sell, you would open up a shop on an easy-to-access road and establish a phone number in the phone book or Yellow Pages along with a street address where customers would come to buy what you had to sell. Today, if you have a product or service to sell, the process is actually quite similar only now instead of a physical storefront, you need to make yourself noticed online which gets your name to more than just Main Street in your local town. In essence, you are opening up a shop for the whole world to see with the potential of doing business with customers from around the globe.

It really didn’t take that many years before people were developing technology, and users were exploring what the internet has to offer. In today’s business world, the statistics reveal that more and more internet users around the world research products online before deciding whether or not to buy these products. If you don’t have an online presence, your company is going to get overlooked. If you want customers to do business with, you need a website for them to visit.

At this point, you may be asking, “OK, so I need a website. But, why can’t I just set one up myself and be done with it? What can a professional web designer do that I can’t?” Well, you may just be surprised!

A professional web developer knows how to make you look good. Don’t disregard the importance of a first impression. If a potential customer stumbles across your site and isn’t impressed, he or she will most likely move onto another one that captures their attention. If your website isn’t making a good first impression, it may actually end up costing you money by lost sales. A professional web developer, on the other hand, will know the current trends of the industry and online marketing to make you look good and stand out, or to get you noticed in the search engines in the first place so customers find you.

Once the customer is drawn into your site, you want to hold their interest long enough for them to follow through with a sale. Afterwards, you will want to provide them with the utmost in customer service so they will return and tell their friends. If your website is out of date or difficult to maneuver, this isn’t going to happen.

Finally, in today’s online world, potential customers are opting to browse the web on their smartphones or tablets more often which means that even if you managed to set up a decent DIY website and capture the attention of a decent customer base, you’re going to need to streamline your site now to make it mobile compatible. This takes some know-how from the web development standpoint which a professional will be able to easily accomplish to save you time, and in the long run, make you money with increased visits to your site that end with a sale, and hopefully, lifetime customers.

Coach Broker

Coach hire company, Coach Broker revamps website

The UK’s leading coach hire provider, Coach Broker, has this week unveiled their brand new website. The coach hire provider’s main site has undergone a complete revamp with a new design and page layout, new sections added along with a fresh logo design. As an internet based company, it’s essential that the company’s main website is easy to navigate and conveys a professional image from the outset, which was something the site’s makeover has achieved.

Coach Broker has enlisted a team of search engine optimisation (SEO) specialist to work on the new website using the very latest techniques including strategies, quality content and strategically placed meta-tags in coding so as ensure the site performs well whilst competing with industry websites.

A range of high-quality images of coaches and minibuses within the Coach Broker fleet are displayed on the new site along with several video clips to showcase the vehicles in action. The aim is to create a website which is highly informative so as to provide visitors to the site with all the details they could possibly need about the services offered by Coach Broker.

Take a look at the brand new state of the art site now to see the newly designed website for yourself by clicking the following link coachbroker.uk

social media

Social Media Marketing: Tips & Advice

Technology is rapidly advancing, and if you run a business, you have no choice but to keep up with the changes. When it comes to advertising and marketing your goods or services, you will need to step into the latest social media marketing in order to reach potential customers today. But, it gets even trickier. It involves more than simply setting up a Facebook page or Twitter account. Here are some helpful social media marketing secrets you may want to know.

Before you set up another online account or take another step to attempt to market your brand, it’s important to understand what your goals are in the long run. Make sure the goals that you set are kept simple yet attainable and within the framework of the customers you are trying to target. Some of your social media marketing goals may include increasing awareness of your brand, generate more sales, or establish a loyal customer base.

Next, do a little research into what your potential customers want before you decide which social media platform to focus on. Facebook’s demographics are going to be a bit different than Twitter’s or Instagram’s, for instance, while Snapchat is going to draw in the younger crowd, and LinkedIn may appeal more to older professionals.

Measure your goals. Once you have your accounts set up and in use, look at the analytics provided by the various social media platforms, and use it to your advantage. Look at who your posts are reaching. The Reach on the reports is going to indicate the number of unique users who see your posts to show you how far your content is reaching. The Clicks show you how many clicks your posts are getting. This indicates which posts your users are interested in enough to click on to find out more. Engagement is going to show you how your audience is interacting with comments and shares. Analytics will also show you how well your chosen hashtags performed and how well users reacted to your content.

Once you have chosen the platform for you, begin to build and engage your audience. Check out your competitors to see what keywords are sparking interest with them, and post at times when your fan base is most likely to be online to view it and interact. Above all, respond to questions and comments quickly. Social media can be a fast-paced game where you either keep up with the pace or get left behind. Make sure your response times are within just a few hours of any requests you receive, and always follow up to show personal interest in the individual potential customer.

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Responsive Web Design: Why does it matter?

What is responsive web design, and why does it matter?

In a nutshell, your website needs to be usable on a smartphone without the need of creating a separate app, which means it needs to have text that is readable without zooming in, use adequate space for tapping targets, and have no horizontal scrolling. All of this is part of a responsive design.

Why does it matter? Since the introduction of smartphones, usage has skyrocketed to a point where more and more people are accessing the web through their phones as opposed to a PC. Remember not too many years ago when you tried to access a website on your cell phone, and the best you could see was a shrunken, clunky version of the desktop site, often trying to run Flash on an iPhone? The experience was frustrating to say the least, leaving websites that were not prepared to fit nicely on smaller screens to begin to see their search engine rankings decline.

Back up a bit to understand that the way websites used to account for the differences in viewing screen sizes was to create two separate sites. Along came responsive design to streamline this process and made it possible to create one single site that would change to accommodate whatever size of a device the user chose to view it on.

Then came responsive design. Responsive web design is the term used to define how a website is designed in a way that changes the layout to fit the user’s screen resolution. A fully responsive web page will adjust to be viewed on whatever screen the user chooses to access it. It has what is called a fluid and flexible layout that adjusts itself depending on the size of the screen it is being viewed on. The result is a consistent and more pleasant, or optimized, browsing experience. It will also boost your search engine rankings as a mobile-friendly site, which ultimately means more business for you with customers driven to your site from customers who are pleased to stick around.

Find out how responsive your website is by taking this Google Mobile-Friendly Test!

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GOOGLE DUPLEX: FRESH NEW TECHNOLOGY BY GOOGLE UNDERSTANDS AND INTERACTS WITH CONVERSATION

Relief is on the way for your busy days, or for those who absolutely hate wasting time on the telephone. Imagine scheduling appointments, making reservations at restaurants, and conducting all of the time-stealing tasks throughout the day that keep you on hold without ever picking up the phone or even sitting down to type out a text or email. How is this possible? This ultra convenience is being developed with new technology, called Google Duplex, that is coursing excitement through amazed onlookers and taking the concept of Alexa to a whole new level, and freshly just announced at Google I/O 2018.

Google I/O is an annual conference presented by Google. It is intended mainly for developers, but savvy observers realize that it’s also when Google makes some big product announcements. This year, CEO Sundar Pichai amazed the audience when he demonstrated the innovation of Google Duplex by showing off actual conversations that had the technology make phone calls, schedule an appointment for a hairdresser, and even inserted a personalized, “mmhmm” to the conversation. By the end of the phone call, Google Duplex had successfully scheduled an appointment for a haircut as the ultimate assistant without the hairdresser at the salon realizing she was speaking to AI technology in place of a live person.

Pichai explained how this interactive technology that not only routinely and remotely goes through the steps of a process that has been programmed into a computer chip, but actually picks up on the nuance of the conversation to the point of redirecting its response when the conversation takes unexpected turns. He further demonstrated an example of having Google Duplex call a restaurant to make a reservation, and the person on the other end of the phone presented confusing information. This new technology didn’t miss a beat, even responding with a casual, “Gotcha, yes!”

Keep your eyes and ears out for this advancement in the ultimate assistant to be rolled out for you to use after testing and complex training is complete. Testing for Google Duplex is expected to take place this summer. Listen to the live conversations and learn more about this new technology on Google’s published blog post. Google hopes that it will not only be a virtual assistant that interacts and responds like a real human voice but also for it to be able to automatically and immediately update information on sitemap searches such as holiday hours.

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SEARCH ENGINES WERE SEVERELY MANIPULATED IN THE 90S

There’s a lot of crap on the internet isn’t there so I can see why you’d assume that SEO keyword articles are just more crap. And not just any old crap, crap to manipulate search engine rankings, so can you trust SEO articles?

Well yes, by their nature you can trust them. The very fact that they exist and that you have found them means you can trust them because if they were crap, you wouldn’t have found them because the search engine wouldn’t have directed you to them because the search engine is there to protect you from crap.

During the late 1990s search engines were severely manipulated by crap which people thought would help their sites rank better. Well the search engines have learnt their lessons from those ‘dark ages’ and makes a point to ignore crap, ensuring that the sites, the SEO articles and the information which ranks where you can find it, is useful, correct and pertinent to your search.

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PAY AS YOU GO WEBSITES (WEBSITE LEASING) HAS TAX BENEFITS

Website leasing has great advantages for new and existing businesses to keep costs to a minimum and maintain better cash flow. Also many people are not aware that there are also “Tax Benefits of leasing a website” also known as pay as you go websites.

Leasing an asset is like renting it over a period in return for fixed rental payments. Many UK businesses take advantage of leasing.

Renting or leasing assets can be tax efficient – this can reduce your overall tax bill, as the cost is deductible as a business expense. This is a factor in determining whether you should rent or lease an asset, rather than buy.

Here are some other points to consider when leasing:

  • You do not bear the risk that, when you have finished with the asset, its value has decreased below the amount you paid for it.
  • The asset can often be replaced by a newer one, by upgrading at little or no extra cost.
  • You do not have to find a large cash deposit.
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WHY SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION (SEO) IS SO IMPORTANT FOR YOUR BUSINESS

Optimising the search engine ranking of your new business is probably something which sounds like a good idea. If you are starting up a new business or bringing an existing business into the 21st century with a new website, then ranking well in a search for the products or services your business offers should be the top priority in growing your business into the next level.

In fact Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is an entire, very important and ever growing industry which your business, and your new website, needs to become a part of. The premise of SEO is to increase the traffic to your website by using the most appropriate keywords to describe the content of your site and your business, and match it to what a potential customer has typed into their search engine of choice.

Search Engine Optimisation will require you to add META tags to describe the content of your site, and make submissions to all of the major search engines, asking them to include your site in their search results. But with the end goal being to rank high on the first page of search results in your keyword categories, you site and your keyword focus simply needs to rank you above the competitors in your industry with sites structured better than your own.

Therefore the first step in SEO is not submit your site to search engines, but instead you should focus on creating a relevant and informative website and then submit this complete and polished site to the search engines which will then snap it up. In business, and in life, you have probably learned that it is always best to learn from others’ mistakes where you can.

Well in learning from your competitors’ mistakes, you can also identify what they are doing which is working well for them too. Look at the content, the design and the keywords which are being targeted on the sites which are ranking at the top of the searches you want to dominate. This can also form part of your market research as you will find the marketing tools and techniques which have worked to target the same type of customers you are trying to appeal to too.

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IS SEO REALLY IS A SECRET?

It does make you wonder if SEO really is a secret because everyone seems to be doing it. There are SEO firms all over the place offering business websites top search engine rankings and every website seems to have a page of articles, if not more than one.

Websites organise link exchanges and pay per click advertising so do we just assume that search engine optimisation is no secret anymore? Well it is no secret that it exists and that, when done properly, it works. But like anything that is the true secret – how to make it work, and work better than everyone else.

Like with anything – any marketing campaign, any advertising – there are people who are average at it and there are people who are the best. And you know this is true otherwise we would buy every soft drink we say an ad for and go on every holiday we saw on a travel show but we don’t.

SEO is just the same, the secret is to do it well, do it so it is targeted and do it better than everyone else.

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HOW OFTEN DO YOU USE GOOGLE?

It sounds like a silly question when it seems like anytime you have a question, can’t remember an actor’s name or want to download a song, you turn to good old Google to find the answer for you. But have a second think and answer this – do you use it all the time, for every search, to find everything you are looking for on the wide, wide world on the web?

Now the yes doesn’t come so easily does it? No, I don’t use Google for everything either, not for every single thing because sometimes I feel like I would be better results if I looked somewhere else, in a different way. Depending on the product or service I’m looking for, before turning to Google, I’ll look in the Yellow Pages, or the local directory under the industry I am looking for.

Doing this kind of search I feel as though I get better results because rather than typing ‘graphic designer’ into Google and coming up with results for companies in Australia, companies which are either too big or too small for what I need, or just results which happen to have ‘graphic designer’ as the keywords, in the Yellow Pages I can judge the size of the companies by the size of the ads, and choose one in my area.

So does my search technique have a fatal flaw or do other people have this problem?