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SPICE 2 GO SEO INFLUENCES NATIONAL SUPPORT FOLLOWING DRAGONS’ DEN EXIT

We at SEO News have been slightly obsessed with Spice 2 Go over the past couple of days, especially preoccupied with their promotion of digital culture, encouraging consumers and potential investors to visit their site and interact with the brand.

The way the firm operates is both intriguing and admirable, ticking all the boxes when it comes to SEO, web design and social media interaction.

Being the avid tweeters that they are we always knew that their appearance on Dragons’ Den would spark conversation and commentary on Twitter, but we didn’t realise the lengths in which people would go to show support for the franchise business.

Where many people have wanted to show entrepreneur Tej their thoughts on his pitch others wish to commend Spice 2 Go on their ground-breaking website, making these comments predominantly through Twitter.

‘I designed the site in a way that would grab people’s attention. We knew that we would experience a lot of traffic during and after the show. We needed to utilise this by enticing searchers to the site and keeping them on there’ said Spice 2 Go Designer, Benjamin Jones.

Head of I.T Alexander Wigmore worked closely with the design team when developing the site.

‘We wanted to create something that was eye-catching, interesting and sharable, carefully crafting the content for SEO purposes.’ Said Alex.

It is safe to say that Spice 2 Go’s PR plan has really worked for them. You only have to search ‘Spice 2 Go Dragons Den’ to be inundated with articles and reviews on the firm.

Their presence on social media platforms has arguably been the catalyst of the public image they have created, subliminally encouraging people to leave their thoughts and opinions online.

Take a look at a handful of tweets from the night Spice 2 Go appeared on Dragons’ Den.

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General News Google News Latest News SEO news

HOW GOOGLE ARE KEEPING CONTENT MARKETERS ON THEIR TOES

Where SEO was initially achieved through understanding the way in which Google ranks websites, using trickery and know-how, this is no longer the case.

SEO was once seen as wizardry where it is now admirably transparent, with content marketers being heavily relied on to bring their company’s site into the realms of ranking success.

Google now appear to be a little more humane, recognising quality and company efforts through algorithm updates. We recently experienced the Panda 4.1 update that put huge emphasis on the standard of content and branding, an introduction that shocked the online community through the surprise shifts in website placement.

SEO can only be achieved by building a brand, not manipulating the system to cheat your way to the top. Where we used to be slightly obsessive over gaining links and being keyword rich there is now a heavier focus on rewarding sites with an effective content strategy, sites that are offering searchers their knowledge.

Google are really showing webmasters who is boss of late, not tolerating manipulating tactics and penalising sites with low-quality content. You now have to put a lot of effort into appearing in search results, constantly building on your brand to offer the searcher information that they are seeking.

Where many view Google as simply being a search engine they are so much more than that. Google is quickly becoming the leaders in consumer-facing, data-oriented schemes, wanting to interact with searchers and provide further assistance wherever possible.

The majority of searches are location based, ‘restaurants in Cardiff’ for example. Google now try to preempt the next search, throwing relative pages at you that they feel may be of use. This will be articles such as ‘Things to do in Cardiff’, maps and city guides.

Link building has been at the forefront of SEO stratagems for some years with many feeling that this was the only way to give their site weight. Due to this online businesses employed a culture of buying and selling links, a marketing approach that Google hates.

So, what is the conclusion?

If we look back at the history of SEO it quickly becomes apparent that those who try and achieve ranking power quickly often fail, where brands that follow Google’s recommendations and are patient in their journey to the top of page one succeed.

It is simple really, just remember, content is King!

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General News Latest News

A GROUP OF NORTH KOREAN JOURNALISTS DENIED THE RIGHT TO VISIT BRITAIN OVER APPARENT EBOLA SCARE

The world is in a state of panic of late with the Ebola epidemic consuming worldwide news.  Although countries take very separated approaches to the way in which news it dictated it is safe to say that we all agree on one thing, that Ebola must be contained.

Not only has this virus affected millions of lives but also it is still having an ongoing effect in the political sphere, stopping scheduled meeting from being carried out.

North Korea has been under lockdown for more than three months in an attempt to keep the Ebola virus from crossing the borders, with all arrivals facing 21 days quarantine before permitted entrance to the country.

Although an awful subject it seems that North Korea have been able to use it to their advantage, refusing to let a group of Journalists travel to the UK to learn about the UK press industry.

This trip has been planned for a very long time with the UK doing all they can to improve attitudes towards Human Rights in the country.

On a mission to learn online journalism skills and gain an understanding of the British media this part UK tax-funded project has been put on halt, with many feeling Ebola to have been used as an untruthful excuse.

Many say that this is just another product of the ‘over-enthusiastic health protection measures’ that the country have been heavily criticised for, where others feel it is North Korea officials imposing their values to control national thinking.

What the UK has to say

Lord Alton of Liverpool, chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on North Korea, told reporters Caroline Wheeler and Alex Stevenson that the cancellation could prevent embarrassment.

‘The Foreign Office might see it as a blessing in disguise if they can be given a reason for reconsidering giving a group of people whose speciality is propaganda rather than journalism the opportunity of coming to the UK,’ he said.

‘I think it has less to do with Ebola and more to do with the insecurity of the regime and their determination to try to prevent any influence by foreigners, aid workers or diplomats.’

A spokeswoman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: ‘The UK has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of horrifying human rights violations in North Korea. Last month, the international community condemned these abuses with a strong resolution in the United Nations.

‘This project is an example of the type of international exposure recommended by the UN Commission of Inquiry into human rights in the DPRK. It is just one part of our critical engagement to try to improve the lives of those who live in North Korea.’

A United Nations report earlier this year found that North Koreans are not able to express opinions that are critical of the regime or its official ideology.

It said: ‘There is an almost complete denial of the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, as well as of the rights to freedom of opinion, expression, information and association.’

With North Korea universally criticised for their propaganda workings could putting a stop on the trip simply be another example of the state feeling a need to control the press?

Leave your thoughts below.

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General News Google News Latest News SEO news

HIGH GEAR INSURANCE INVEST 6 FIGURES IN SEO

We are always happy to see businesses understanding the necessity of a great, functioning website, with investing in online marketing being the only route to modern success.

Highgear.co.uk seem to have taken this to a new level, with the news of them spending a 6 figure sum on their website shocking the industry.

In a previous release from the company the director said ‘we have geared our website up to attract taxi drivers, ensuring all UK cabbies know about the great service we provide’.

With taxi insurance being their main service it appears that they have placed huge focus on getting the site optimising for all relevant searches.

With a great website being a huge advantage to a business what is the point of having it if nobody sees it? It seems that High Gear is making sure their site sells their service to as many people possible, securing their success as a business.When searching for taxi insurance online you will be sure to stumble across their site, welcomed by a user- friendly design as well as an online quote facility.

Alex Wigmore, head of IT at High Gear says the quote page took months to make.

‘The quote page permits users to input their details with ease, offering a step by step process that generate a quotation in just a few seconds. We are very pleased with the way it both looks and functions and have had nothing but great responses and reviews.’

Insurance news site, said ‘With the news of them spending a six figure some on online activity we can see how this will probably not have gone far, with their new pricing system bound to have swallowed up a large proportion of that sum.’

What do you think of this lavish spending, has it been worth it? Leave your thoughts and comments below.

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All News General News Google News Latest News Web Design News

5 BENEFITS OF RESPONSIVE WEB DESIGN

We are strong advocates of responsive design, understanding what effect this has on the levels of user engagement.

If you have a website for whatever purpose then you want people to take it seriously, engage with it, learn from it and enjoy being on your pages. This is especially important if you use a website to advertise your business. E-commerce sites need to be responsive to enable people to book, place orders and purchase with ease. Having a hassle-free experience will influence not only more customers but it will entice them to return to the site and obtain services again and again.

With websites being the front face of every modern business it is vital that they can be displayed on all types of devices, not limiting who can be shown the greatness a site conveys.

So, why is it so great?

  • It increases the reach to tablet and mobile audiences

If you do not have a website that is accommodating to mobile users then you run the risk of losing that potential customer. With the majority of searches now being made on such apparatus it is imperative that a business can speak to them, with your target market relating to your online marketing material.

  • Influences higher conversion rates

If you have a website that is used to promote a product or service then the more people that can access it, the more people will become intrigued in your offering. So, by implementing a responsive site you could see a huge increase in sales.

  • Modernises your brand image

By adhering to the current market’s needs you will inevitably appear as more of a fashionable business, showing that you practice in a current and modern fashion. This can attract   technologically savvy people to your brand, reaping the rewards in many different forms.

  • Increases visibility on search engines 

With a responsive site you will have more people engaging with your content, appreciating your design and spending more time on various pages. This will flag up at Google, showing the search engine that your site is providing a service that people want. This will encourage Google to present your site for relevant keyword searches.

  • Consolidate your analytics

By having one responsive site you can create reports on the site’s success and functions, seeing what does and what does not work for your audience. With Google analytics showing you activities broken down into the devices you were reached from you create an online marketing strategy that best enhances your brand.

If you are looking for responsive web design then be sure to contact us today. Our team of incredible designers are renowned for working their magic to lure mobile users.

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General News Google News Latest News SEO news Social Media News

5 TIPS FOR MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS

If you have no experience in the marketing arena but would like to promote your company to the right people you may be pretty surprised by just how easy it can be. When setting up a business many can place too much focus on the operational side of their company, and although an imperative feature you must ensure you create a brand that supports what it is you are doing. There is no point doing something well if nobody knows you are doing it!

Here are our top tips for marketing a new business.

Make a plan

Effective marketing strategies are influenced directly from strategic planning, knowing what you want to achieve and defining the tools you need to get there. With the Internet now providing the space for businesses to connect with their audience it is essential that you utilise this, studying the avenues in which you can use to get to your target audience.

Whether it be blog posts, e-shots, newsletters or running competitions on social media, planning your marketing strategy around online user experience will see you reach the levels of success you deserve.

Web Content 

All modern businesses must have a website, no matter what. With over 80% of the UK taking to their keypad to research a product or service you must gear your site up to deliver the message you want to convey.

This can be achieved through content marketing, building your site with informative, punchy content that will attract both your audiences and the Google search engine.

With a well designed, responsive website that offers impartial advice on the industry you are working in your site will be recognised by Google, seeing the technology giants rank it highly for all relevant searches.

However, content marketing is an on-going process. As Google guidelines progress so must your approach to web content.

 Email Marketing 

Email marketing can be a cheap way to send news of your business directly to the mailbox of a potential customer. With free programmes such as Mailchimp permitting you to design e shots that are visually pleasing you can monitor how people are connecting with such messages, learning from each and every campaign.

Networking

There is no such thing as having too many friends, especially in business. By building a network of partners and affiliates you can cast your marketing net further, inspiring others to spread the word of your business free of charge.

Start by attending networking events. There are many companies that offer this service, helping up and coming businesses connect with those that can enhance their company.

Social Media

Social media is King! With modern society glued to their iPhones social media is the perfect platform to advertise your company, attracting friends and followers to your pages. As well as providing the space for you to constantly deliver messages and encourage brand awareness a Twitter or Facebook page can also create a hub for reviews. Allowing you to both attract and monitor comments made social media permits you to study what people are saying about your brand, giving you ideas to either further develop areas or abort a mission.

Has this blog helped answer your questions about marketing? Leave your comments below.

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All News General News SEO news Youtube News

YOUTUBE CHANNEL OPTIMISATION: IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE!

Youtube has a billion unique users every single month (according to YouTube), with the world relying on the site for music, tutorials and informative videos. With Facebook only generating 900 million users per month the power of the YouTube channel can often be overlooked.

Although providing a fountain of knowledge YouTube also offers the space for us to let out our silly side, watching compilation videos of cats and other stupid material.

Whatever you use YouTube for you know that whatever you search you will be presented with, being an easily accessible format for users to fulfil a need. This is why it is imperative for businesses to utilise this tool, making YouTube a big part of an integrated marketing plan.

BRAND AWARENESS

By designing and optimising your YouTube channel inline with your brand colours and shapes you will show continuity as a company, ensuring that people know whose channel they have landed on. The aim is to make new people aware of what you are doing, enticing them with unique material that will see them want to hit that subscribe button.

When looking at channels such as GoPro you can clearly see how YouTube is an effective marketing tool, allowing business to celebrate their creative side through video marketing.

SCULPTING BRAND PERSONALITY

If you are working for quite a seriously themed business it can be hard to express your brand’s personality to the fullest. YouTube can show your audience that you have many strings to you bow, with customers seeing your business in a refreshingly new light.

CONTENT IS STILL KING

By creating how-to videos and delivering material that searchers are looking for on YouTube you can place your business amongst new potential customers, widening your target audience to a plethora of demographics. With the content being such a huge focus you need to put yourself in the shoes of your target customer, thinking what videos would help them in their everyday life.

Where traditional marketing was heavily focused on making a call to action modern online marketing is far less aggressive, with Youtube providing the space for people to engage with a business not be dictated by one.

ONLINE PORTFOLIO

Through posting a series of videos you can tell the story of your business visually, not throwing promises at customers but showing them proof of what you as a business can do. This celebrates your business and the services you can provide, showing visitors a catalogue of abilities that they feel confident in.

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All News General News

MOBO’S NEW WEB DESIGN OFFICE SPACE

MOBO decided to finally up sticks and get a new office space near Cardiff Bay at the end of March 2015.

The old office design was looking a bit dated and not really inline with the MOBO feel. The aim was to build a real workspace that invoked creativity with a homely feel; an environment that makes the MOBO team happy to be in work.

No cubicles or dull office furniture for us!

With a vision to create a work environment that feels cosy, welcoming, fun and with just the right amount of professionalism, we set to work. Our colour scheme and palette tried to mimic our vibrant brand/logo pink, whilst maintaining a modest clean look. This focus can be located throughout the new office space, with a minimalist approach being contrasted by bold shots of pink.

We knew we wanted a chill out area for our developers and a place to research and read, as well as a craft area for our designers to get hands on. We came up with the idea of having three zones, segmented parts of the office used for different purposes.

The zones are separated enough without feeling like you are leaving the office or slacking when you’re in these zones.

The 3 zones we’ve got so far:

  • The desk/work pod area for team collaboration
  • The craft area
  • The chill out/bean bag area
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All News Developer General News

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF OUR DIRECTOR/WEB DEVELOPER

We’ve noticed over the past few years that our general studio manager, who plays a very varied role in our company, from being a director, through to getting his hands dirty in all types of web development, seems to have a fairly robust and rigid daily routine. Noticing this we decided to task Alex with tracking an average day and reporting back to us, here it is:

Alex had this to say:

Over the last few years I’ve developed the same rough routine, not necessarily in the same order or even the same day, but I segment each task into a separate repeatable routine, that way no matter where I need to do that task I can carry it out in the same modularised way.

The thinking behind this was you can save minutes on each task just by being efficient, and over the course of your life these saved minutes quickly add up to months, even years. For example, I never wait for anything… boiling the kettle? Do something else whilst it does so (in my case morning squats).. waiting for a download? Don’t just sit there, do something else at the same time. This may all sound very full on and hard work, but I believe in a rough mantra of: “Work thoroughly, relax hard”, if you work solidly for each task and just get it done, the minutes you save can then be put towards real solid relaxation that actually pays off.

7:30 Wake Up
Check for any critical/important emails then briefly scan all notifications on phone.

7:40 Breakfast
50 squats and stretches whilst kettle is boiling.
Cereal with milk and Black Coffee, always.

7:55 Further check of phone/social media

8:20 Ride bike to work

I don’t always ride my bike to work, but in the summer I try to as often as possible. It takes me 21 minutes to ride my bicycle to work (tracked with Strava!) or 25 minutes to drive due to the traffic in Cardiff

My bike rides are tracked with Strava to monitor efficiency and the overall ups and downs in travel time. (Bit of a data nerd).

8:43 Arrive at work

9:00 – 10:00 Go through all work emails

I try to only check emails in bulk, constantly checking emails multiple times an hour is so ineffective, so much time is wasted opening the browser/mail app, refreshing, checking, waiting, scanning, replying, I find it best to save all those variables for designated checks and get it all done in one bulk go, much more efficient.

10:00 Team planning meeting, briefly discuss what’s on the agenda for the day

10:30 – 11:00 Social Networking

I have a list of web blogs in a bookmark folder that I can open all in one go, I scan through all of these every day to check out the latest tech and web news, anything from the latest web design tools through to SEO news

11:00 – 11:05 – Snack and Coffee
In this case it was a MyProtein cookie, banana was saved for just before my ride home.

11:05 – 12:30 – Project Work
Clients projects, websites, blog posts.

12:30 – 13:00 – “Website once overs”
Health checks of sites, hosting, blog performance and updating of software.

13:00 – 14:00 – Lunch
Usually soup or salad brought from home, in one of our MOBO chill out areas.

I’m finding it increasingly more important to get an hour away from the office chair/screen, I spend the majority of my life in the same position and staring at the same bright iMac – it’s vital to get some time away and let your body and eyes chill out.

14:00 – 14:45 – Client emails and Client Catch Ups via phone/email

14:45 – 17:00 – Web Development and Coding of new/existing projects

17:00 – 17:30 – Final project tidy ups, check Google Analytics / Webmasters for key client sites

17:35 – 17:55 – Bike ride home!

18:00 – 23:00 – Home

Dinner, video games, further checks of work emails every now and then throughout the evening, prepare clothes/lunch and lay out breakfast for the next day.

No TV? Yeah I don’t watch TV, if I do I will watch episodes of TV shows directly online (Netflix, on Demand etc), with no adverts. So much time is wasted on adverts if you watch TV. If you spend 4 hours a night watching traditional TV, 1 hour of that on average will just be adverts.

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Blog General News Industry Latest News News Uncategorized

MAKING THE UK PARLIAMENT’S VISUAL IDENTITY FIT FOR A DIGITAL FUTURE

One of the most iconic institutions in the UK, and perhaps even the world, the UK parliament (previously known as Houses of Parliament), has launched a new visual identity. The project, led by London-based design agency SomeOne, intends to further unify the previously disparate identities of the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The identity, the studio says, “is digitally-led and is supported by multiple application grids and flexible colour systems”.

“Parliament should be there for the people. If the people can’t see that, there’s a crucial issue there. So we want to rebrand parliament to show it’s there for you, and not for the government.”

The project was assigned to SomeOne in late 2016. SomeOne held meetings and consultations with the administrative staff of the House of Commons and House of Lords throughout the design process. It was quickly identified the main issue was the digital application of the brand. Multiple design concepts were shown to the parliamentary managers, who selected the final brand identity.

The new logo includes a refined version of the previous crowned portcullis – a heavy, medieval-style, grated gate – symbol, alongside the new name set in sans-serif typeface National to the right of the symbol. The typeface was designed by type foundry Klim.

“The new visual identity has been designed to provide the consistency and coherence that was previously lacking, and enable faster, clearer visual communication, primarily across digital platforms,” says Simon Manchipp, co-founder at SomeOne.