Focus on…


Most businesses nowadays have a website – it’s an easy way of allowing existing and potential clients to see what they do and get in touch. However, few website’s are built with longevity in mind, meaning that content, images and menu’s get old and don’t attract visitors to continually visit the website for news and updates. When updates should be made, it is an extra expense for the business and something that takes longer and is more difficult than if it had been thought about during the initial development.

We always recommend a content management system when building new or refreshing existing websites for our clients. So, what’s the benefits?


  • Everything is done online through an admin username and password – meaning it can be done from anywhere with a web connection and you don’t have to worry about connecting into servers or doing anything technical
  • You don’t need to be a programmer to update the content. In fact, if you’re comfortable typing a document in Word, you’ll be more than able to update content in a cms
  • It’s not just text that you can update – you can upload and edit images, video and audio to put straight on your website
  • There is no cost for you to maintain the content on the website
  • Fresh content encourages users to return to your website and keep up to date

There are literally hundreds of popular content management systems available, and they all differ slightly in features and interface. For example, some are better at handling regularly updated content such as a blog, while others are more concentrated towards content pages.

We have worked with some of the most popular systems and cherry pick the solution that best fits our client’s needs.

Take a look at some of the websites we’ve done recently:



To find out more about how a content management system could help you maintain your current website or to talk about developing a new website for your company, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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Yup, you’ve got a successful business and have now followed the hype, jumped onto the online bandwagon and set up a website. This may have just been a check box exercise – after all, a website’s handy to have, or maybe you had dreams, desires and goals for your online presence?

Come ‘go live’ day you feel both trepidation in case something goes wrong, then a huge sigh of relief as everything works and your business bursts into action online. Will the investment of both time and money into your website pay off or will your shiny new site go unnoticed and unloved?

Your website should be your most effective marketing, lead generation and sales channel by a huge margin. You know the benefits of being online so I won’t go on about them, but what actually happens when you launch?

Well, unless you’re extremely lucky, you’re not the only person in the world offering your products and services. Your competition are all out there as well (or soon going to be) so you need to stay ahead of the game.

This is where online marketing comes into play – a little bit of love for your website will help it exceed expectations and be a valuable asset.

So, how do you do it? SEO or Search Engine Optimisation. Now, you may have just cringed when I said that – there are so many myths going around about it, scare stories and confusion.

What it boils down to is ensuring your website appears as close to the top of the results pages in a search engine for a users search term.
In reality, very few people will ever access your website directly by typing your full web address into their computer – but will use a search engine (like Google, Bing or Yahoo) to search for your brand name, or even just a product or service you might sell.

The search engine will then present the user with what it thinks are the most relevant results for that search query. Therefore, it’s important that you let search engines know what search terms your site would be a good match for, and the search engine will work out how good a match.

What it really boils down to…
  • Having great, well written, regularly updated content on your site
  • Correct ‘semantic markup’ – that’s how your pages are coded. You’ll never see this, but all-important search engines will and making their lives easier can only be a good thing.
  • Links back to your site from others – the bigger the site linking back to you the better

There’s a lot of factors behind SEO, but get these three right and you’re going to do yourself a lot of favours.

SEO isn’t a quick fix or easy answer, it will take a bit of time, however it’s more a case of thinking differently rather than learning new skills or baffling yourself with new information.

What you can do to help your own SEO…

  • Keep in mind the sort of terms users would be searching for that would apply to your site and use them throughout your website
  • When adding pages, make sure the content’s easily readable, contains these key terms (and variations of them) and is really informative and useful
  • When writing content, link key phrases and words in it to relevant pages of your site
  • If your website platform allows you to, include these key phrases in page titles, meta descriptions and keywords. These are generally able to be set on a per-page basis and this feature should be part of your initial spec list.

Getting the basics right yourself isn’t difficult, however if you have a website already that’s not quite hitting the mark or your site just needs a bit of a refresh and some TLC come and talk to us.

We’re able to help improve your existing web presence by improving your site structure, helping you pick a keyword list and managing the implementation of your SEO strategy.

H1 Design will even provide reporting so you can see who’s using your website – how many visitors you get, where they’re located and what they do on your website. This allows you to see real business benefits to all the work we carry out.

Using this information as well as our marketing knowledge and experience, we can help turn around your online presence and ensure your website is a valuable business asset.

A couple of sites we’ve been working on lately are Turtlegates – Expanding Safety Barriers and Permatex – Automotive and Industrial Adhesives.



Jamie Sterling – H1 Design

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Mar/10

17

Focus on… Blog Jargon

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Whether you’re new to blogging or already writing articles online, you’ll no doubt have heard a abundance of jargon terms which made you lift an eyebrow.

Don’t worry – you’re not alone. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of common blogging terms along with plain English descriptions


Technorati

An Internet search engine specifically for blogs. It works by looking at the tags or keywords which authors place on their blogs. Each blog is also rated on the popularity and authority by looking at the number of inbound links, similarly to Google. (http://www.technorati.com/)


Tag Could

A visual representation of specific keywords (tags), or sometimes all of the content on a website. Important or common tags are usually displayed in a stronger typeface or larger font size. The tags are commonly linked to a search page for the specific word, allowing users to find popular articles without typing in a search query.


Blogosphere

The virtual community of blogs on the internet, inter-connected by links to and from each blog website. When people talk of the ‘Blogosphere’, they are referring to opinion and trending topics across the vast number of blogs on the Internet.


Permalink

A permanent link to an article on a blog, which remains unchanged indefinitely. As such, they are commonly used by other websites or blogs linking to an article on a specific blog. Such links invariably contain the date or time from when the article was created, as such information identifies the article more specifically than just a title.


CMS

A Content Management System is a piece of software which can be installed on a web server, allowing the administrator to manage and control a large, dynamic collection of material. There are several CMS applications which have been developed specifically for blogging purposes.


RSS / Atom

Feed formats used to publish frequently updated works, such as blog entries, in a standardized format. These feeds allow readers of blogs to ‘subscribe’ to the blog using an RSS or feed reader, updating them automatically of new articles without having to visit the website continually.


Trackback

A method for an author of a post to request a notification when someone links to one if their articles. This allows blogs and their authors to communicate with each other. Linking between blogs is useful as it means conversations spanning several blogs can be easily followed by readers.


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Dec/09

21

Focus on… Exhibitions

Create exhibitions that work

If you have the right exhibition event, with the right target customers, the right message and the right people manning the stand, then exhibitions offer a fantastic sales opportunity. Being able to identify these elements and put them into place is the challenge

Here is some advice when embarking on your next exhibition

  • An exhibition should be memorable and evoke a wish to visit
  • Focus your design and concept on your target audience
  • Use images from your marketing literature to maintain brand consistency and message
  • What you offer should be clear and interesting to the attendees. (Make it clear what product or service you are offering)
  • Your stand should allow the attendee to experience the brand and shouldn’t be a sales pitch
  • Even if your stand is small, make sure there is adequate lighting. For large space stands, don’t rely on expo hall to provide sufficient light
  • Text should always be large enough to see from a distance and positioned so its not blocked by people standing or stand fixtures such as tables and chairs
  • And finally. Make sure you have a system (paper or electronic) to capture customer details and enquiries.

Brian is our resident font of knowledge on everything relating to exhibitions. For the past 20 years he has been involved with designing, creating and managing a wide variety of different sized stands and can walk you through everything you need to do from start to finish.

Want to know more? Give us a call today to talk through your options.

Nov/09

20

Focus on.. Websites

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Most businesses know they should have a website or a web presence. It allows existing and potential customers to see where they are and the things they do. However, few think about the customer first and what and how they look for products and services.

If a site is not focused on what customers are looking for, then a huge business opportunity is being missed.

For the vast majority of businesses their website is the biggest and sometimes the only customer facing brand element and if done correctly, has the potential to cost effectively communicate to a wide audience. A website should allow a business to generate sales leads, educate, promote, sell and reinforce. However, few think about the business opportunity and how massive it could be. It’s not just about having a good-looking site (although the site should professionally reflect the business personality), a well thought out strategic site should deliver income and quickly payback on the initial investment to create and build.

That’s why when H1 produces a site, we look at the customer first and what they are looking for. We look at Search Engine Optimasation of your site with the aim of getting you to the front page of the major search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. That means that when we produce your site it is searchable, customer focused and gives the information a customer is looking for.

Want to know more? Give us a call today to talk through your options.

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