how to Archives -

Blog Archives

301’s, 404’s and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Posted on December 10, 2018 by

301 redirects

Why 301 redirects are VERY important for good SEO….

In this article you will find out what a 301 redirect is and why it’s so important. This is especially true when launching a new website. You will also find out the implications of not using 301 redirects properly and how that can destroy your rankings and website traffic.

What is a 301 (permanent) redirect?

A 301 redirect is basically a way to redirect one (old) url to a new url. There are several reasons why you’d want to do this but in this article we are talking in the context of a new website. To practically demonstrate a 301 redirect, click on the following link;

https://www.web-feet.co.uk/about/work

You will see that this will take you to this page on our website;

https://www.web-feet.co.uk/how-we-work

The first URL has a 301 redirect on it that permanently redirects it to the second URL. The reason being that when we launched our most recent website we changed the URL structure.

Why is a 301 redirect important for SEO?

Let’s use the scenario of having a new website built – and incidentally, this happens a lot.

You have had your website a while, built up some good page ranking in Google, you may have even paid for some SEO in the past. You are getting good traffic to your site and converting leads. As a result you want to further invest in your online presence and you have a new website built.

Website launch day!

Your new website goes live and it represents everything that you wanted. It looks great and you can’t wait for your existing customers to see it. You also know that it’s way better than your competitors’ and you wait for new leads to come rolling in.

Except they don’t.

You check your Google Analytics and your organic traffic has tanked.

seo rankings going down

You do some searches in Google and you are still listing well but when you click on the link you see this;

The dreaded 404 page! (I mean hopefully you don’t see our 404 page because then something very wrong has happened with your website)

What happened?

When your new web company built your website, they totally disregarded what was already there. Yes you got the nice new website that they promised but they did nothing to transfer all your old URLs and search data to your new website. They say they’ve done their job – you have a new website. You are left crying into your 404 page error and flat lined organic traffic report.

All, or maybe just some, of your valuable past SEO efforts and page rankings have just gone up in smoke.

If this has just happened to you – don’t panic.

If this has just happened to you, it’s not too late. You can rescue the situation, or at least limit the damage if you act quickly. It’s beyond the scope of this article but you will find help online, it’s not a unique problem. Whilst a bit technical, this MOZ article – Recovering Your Organic Search Traffic from a Web Migration Gone Wrong will help you out.

New website – plan ahead.

If you are having a new website built, make sure you, or your agency, take proper care to plan your migration from old to new website. You will want to research all that was good about your old website and the positive SEO results and ensure this is all reflected on your new website. This takes time and effort but it can steer you away from catastrophe.

Specifically, with respect to URL structure, make sure all old URLs are pointing to it’s closest cousin on your new website. It’s best to not change the URL structure too much if possible. Nevertheless, you will almost certainly change at least some.

How do I set up a 301 redirect?

WordPress

With WordPress, you can use a plugin to create 301 redirects. If you are using Yoast you can consider using their premium SEO plugin which will handle 301 redirects. This article How to create a 301 redirect in WordPress explains this in more detail.

Coaster CMS

With Coaster CMS it’s really easy to set up and manage 301’s because there is a page within the site admin to enter before and after URLs. It’s really easy and we added this feature because we like to make life easy 🙂

Any other CMS…

Google it!

new website and seo planning meeting

SEO Migration – bonus section!

I touched on this above, but to expand..If you are having a new website built. Take some time to map out your old URL structure (site map) and plan out your new one. A spreadsheet is good for this because you can copy and paste from your HTML sitemap. Make sure that all the old URLs are either maintained or redirected to one of the new pages.

Once you have this complete. Do some keyword research on your current page rankings. This is especially important if you are changing or updating content. 

You want to find out which keywords your current site is ranking for and for which pages. Now you want to find your most valuable pages and keywords (you can do a lot if not all of this in your Google Search Console). This in turn tells you which is your most valuable content. Be mindful of making this content better but not changing it too much at this stage. At this point you want to focus on maintaining all the good rankings you have.

Anything that’s not ranking well can be updated more freely.

Summary

You are now up to speed on 301 redirects and why they are important for SEO. You know how they should be used and how you can preserve all your good SEO and rankings when moving to a new website.

I’d love to receive your comments and questions and hope that you’ve found this useful.


How to clear your browser cache

Posted on December 5, 2018 by

When you browse the Internet, with a computer or mobile device, your browser puts a small file for easy connection in a cache folder. They contain information from the sites you visit. These files can become a handicap if the authors of the sites change the presentation of their pages. At worst, a corrupted file can even prevent the download of the page. To fix these issues, empty the cache folder of your browser which may include any of the following: Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Internet Explorer, or Safari.

Clear cache from Google Chrome

Desktop

  • Open your Google Chrome browser. The logo is a red, yellow and green diaphragm with a blue circle.

  • Click the three dots. The button is located in the upper right area of the screen. A drop-down menu will show up.

  • Click More tools. This option is in the fourth part of the menu. A pop-up menu appears on the left.

  • Click Clear browsing data. This is the second option at the top of the menu. A selection window will appear on the screen.

  • Choose a time interval. Pull down the Time range list. To be sure to completely erase cache data, choose All time. Otherwise, you can sort the data by choosing, for example, Last hour.

  • Check the Cached images and files check box. This is the last box of the window. If this box is already checked, go to the next step. You can of course uncheck the other navigation elements if you only want to empty the cache folder.

  • Click CLEAR DATA. This is a blue button at the bottom right of the window. Chrome’s cache folder is now empty of any data.

Mobile

  • Open your Google Chrome browser. Touch the Chrome icon, which is a red, yellow, and green diaphragm with a blue circle.

  • Touch the three dots. The button is found in the lower right part of the screen. A drop-down menu will come out.

  • Touch on History. This option is found in the drop-down menu.

 

  • Touch Clear browsing data. The tab is in the lower left area of the screen. In Android, this option is almost at the top of the screen.

  • Tap on Cached Images and Files. In doing so, you display a blue check mark. If the blue checkmark is already present, proceed to the next step. Uncheck the other navigation items if you only want to empty the cache folder.

  • Touch Clear browsing data. The button is seen at the bottom of the screen. In Android, you can press Clear Browsing Data.

Clear cache from Firefox

Desktop

  • Open your Firefox browser. Its logo is a blue globe whose lower part is occupied by a red fox.

  • Click on three dashes. The button is in the upper right corner of the window. A drop-down menu will appear.

  • Click Library. This option is in the fifth section of the drop-down menu.

  • Click on History. This is the third proposition of this menu, represented by a watch.

  • Click Clear recent history. The button is almost at the top of the menu. In this window, you will find the mention of the cache, but also other elements.

  • Select a time interval. Click the Time range to clear drop-down list, and find and click Everything on the menu. Depending on your needs, you can choose another time interval, for example Today.

  • Check the Cache box. Simply click on the small empty square to the left of the caption. If this box is already checked, go to the next step. If you only want to clear the cache, uncheck all the other boxes in the ‘ Details ‘ section.

  • Click Clear now. The button is at the down part of the window. The Firefox cache folder is now empty.

Mobile

  • Open your Firefox browser. Touch the Firefox icon, which is a blue globe whose lower part is occupied by a red fox.
  • Touch the three dashes. The button is in the lower right corner of the screen. A menu will appear. In Android, tap in the upper right corner of the screen.
  • Touch Settings. It is on the right side of the menu that appeared.
  • Scroll down and touch Clear my tracks. It’s in the Privacy section that you will find this button. In Android, Erase My Traces is in the middle of the screen.
  • Touch the white slider labelled Cache. This slider is roughly in the middle of the page. If you touch it, it will change colour, the cache folder is ready to be emptied. If the cursor is already blue, go to the next step. With an Android device, you must check the Cache box. If you only want to clear the cache, disable the other blue cursors so that they appear in white.
  • Touch Clear my tracks. The button is at the bottom of the screen. In Android, tap Clear my tracks at the bottom of the screen.
  • Touch OK at the desired time. The cache folder of your Firefox browser is now empty. This step does not exist in Android: it is automatic.

Clear cache from Microsoft Edge

  • Open your Microsoft Edge browser. Its icon is the lowercase letter “e” in dark blue.

  • Click on the three dots. The button is in the upper right corner of the window. A pop-up menu appears on the screen.

  • Click Settings. This option is at the bottom of the context menu.

  • Click Choose what to clear. This option is right under Clear Browsing Data. Scroll down to see the option in question.

  • Select the Cached data and files. It’s about in the middle of the list that you have in front of you. If this box is already checked, go to the next step. If you only want to clear the cache, uncheck all other boxes in the list.

  • Click Clear. The button is about in the middle of the menu. In doing so, you will empty the Edge cache of its contents.

Clear cache from Internet Explorer

  • Open your Internet Explorer browser. Its logo is a light blue “e” with a sort of yellow comet wrapped around it.

  • Click on the gear icon. This is in the upper right corner of the window. A drop-down menu will appear.

  • Click Internet Options. This option is at the very bottom of the drop-down menu.

  • Click on Delete. The button is on the right side of the Internet Options window, in the Browsing History section. If you do not see this, first click the General tab at the top of the Internet Options window.

  • Check the boxes in the cache. The two Temporary Internet files and website files and Cookies and Website Data boxes must be checked. If these two consecutive boxes are already checked, you have nothing to do, it’s perfect. If you want to empty only the cache folder, you can uncheck all other boxes on the page.

  • Click on Delete. This button is at the bottom of the window. Doing so will remove the contents of the Internet Explorer cache folder.

  • Click Apply, and then click OK. These two buttons are at the bottom of the page displayed on the screen. In doing so, you save the changes made and exit the Internet Options window.

Clear cache from Safari

Desktop

  • Open your Safari browser. In the Dock of your Mac, you will find its icon: it is a blue compass with a white and red needle.
  • Click Safari. You will find this menu, written in bold, to the left of the menu bar. A drop-down menu will appear.
  • Click Preferences. This is the third option of the Safari menu. Logically, the preferences window is displayed on the screen.
  • Click the Advanced tab. This option is at the far right of the preferences window.
  • Tick the right box. Check the Show Development Menu box in the menu bar at the very bottom of the Preferences window.
  • Close the preferences window. Check at the top of your screen that the Development menu appears in the general menu bar.
  • Click on the Development menu. This is at the top of the screen. A drop-down menu should appear.
  • Click Empty Caches. Look for its location roughly in the middle of the drop-down menu. You will have to confirm your order. To do this, click Empty Caches or OK (or any other formula of this type).

Mobile

  • Access the settings of your iPhone. They are represented on the home screen by a grey icon containing a gear. The settings page appears on the screen.

  • Scroll down and tap Safari.

  • Scroll down and touch Clear History and Site Data. This blue link is at the very bottom of the screen.

  • To finish, touch the red link Delete. The data in the Safari cache folder on your iPhone is deleted.

It is strongly recommended when you delete data on a browser to close the browser after the procedure and run it again to finalize the deletion. Removing the cache folder from a browser has nothing to do with removing cookies.

Once the cache is emptied, it is normal that access to the sites is a little slower: the browser starts loading data again.


What Makes A Good Email Marketing Campaign?

Posted on January 29, 2018 by

Many businesses use email marketing to communicate with new and existing customers. When done right, it’s one of the most effective ways to tell people about the products or services you offer and to increase your sales. Email marketing also allows businesses to focus on targeting specific customers or groups of customers directly and in a more personal manner.

Businesses benefit from using automation tools that help organise their email marketing campaigns. There are many automation tools to choose from. We use Hatchbuck, which is a CRM, marketing software and email marketing system all-in-one. It’s easy to use and helps you to stay on top of your marketing and communications strategy. You can allocate various tags to contacts that will help you differentiate your customers. Filtering contacts by their preferences or location can help you target right people with the right emails. This way you don’t have to worry about accidentally sending a ‘Congratulations on your baby arrival’ email to someone who wasn’t expecting one!

Steps to a successful email marketing campaign

First things first

Gather your contacts. You probably have a list of contacts in your database if you’re thinking about starting an email marketing campaign, however, you want to make sure this list constantly grows.

  • Get people to subscribe to your newsletter, clearly place the subscription form on your website or in a blog post. Make it as visible as possible so it can’t escape their attention.
  • Offer people some free goodies. These could be free samples of your products or a free e-book they could benefit from.
  • Collect email addresses at networking events. Make sure you send a welcome email afterwards.

There are many different ways you can grow your contact list, but also, bear in mind that your contact list is mainly about quality and not the quantity. Make sure you go through the contacts after each of your campaigns as there will be hundreds of emails which were either not delivered due to a wrong email address, or people in your database simply don’t work for the company you’re trying to reach. Keep an eye on this as there’s no point in sending emails that will never be opened.

Subject line

The subject line is the first thing we see when we receive an email. Therefore it plays a big role in determining whether or not your email is worth opening and reading. Think about creating a subject line that will make your recipient curious about what’s inside your email. Use creativity and relevance.

Personalisation

People like to see they are valued customers. Using their first name in a subject line or at the beginning of the email makes them feel that you value them and they are important to you. Using email marketing software helps you with sending a high amount of personalised emails to your contacts based on their buying decisions and preferences.

E-shot design

The design of an email is very important as it represents your brand and forms an impression in the mind of the recipient. Create an email template that you will use for your email marketing campaigns. This can be tailored for each of your campaigns, however, take into account brand personality and maintain consistency. Logo, colour scheme, font, size, and style should be in line with your current brand guidelines and remain the same for each of your campaigns. While working on your design you have to make sure the design is responsive so your customers won’t have any trouble opening it on any device.

Avoid spelling mistakes

Spelling mistakes can make your business look unprofessional and put potential off reading your email. Make sure you double check your emails before you send them out and make sure you get their name spelled correctly. The last thing your customers want to pick up on is a spelling mistake!

Relevant content

When your customers open your email, they will be expecting to find information that is relevant to them. If your content is too generic and the information or offer you provide has nothing to do with them, they are likely to hit unsubscribe. Stop and think – is this email useful and relevant to this customer?

Mobile optimisation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we mentioned earlier, make sure your email is responsively designed. People spend a lot of time on their mobile phones, so it’s no surprise that emails are most likely to be opened on mobile devices. According to Litmus report from December 2017 (based on 1.23 billion opens), Apple iPhone holding 28% becomes number 1 platform for opening emails. This means it’s crucial that your emails are adapted for mobile use as well as for a desktop use.

A/B test

Running an A/B test is one of the easiest and most reliable ways of finding out which campaigns work best for your audience. Try using a different subject line, or experiment with a different format and design of your email. Send an ‘A’ email to half of the customers in your contact list, and the email ‘B’ to another half. This will then help you to find out what works best for your target audience.

Test it – again and again!

Before you launch your email campaign, be sure to test it first, and then test it again. Test your campaign across multiple platforms and devices and check that it displays correctly. Run a spam check too – this will check whether your email will pass through spam filters or not, which is pretty crucial.

Measure your results

Each email marketing campaign will provide results. It’s important to measure your open rates, click-through rates, unsubscribes and complaints. Email marketing software gives you full reports on these results, helping you to analyse which campaigns work well and which don’t.

Follow up

Once the contact shows interest, it’s important to follow up. For example, if your email contains a link to your website which your contacts clicked on, follow up with another email based on the interest showed. This will help you to build new relationships with prospects and maintain good relationships with your existing customers. Keep the process of following up those who show an interest steady, however, remember not to make it overwhelming. You don’t want to put potential customers off by annoying them!

Web-Feet can help you with E-shot generation, email template design and planning your email marketing campaigns so don’t hesitate to contact us today.


How to Overcome Black Friday Chaos

Posted on November 8, 2017 by

 

The 24th November is right around the corner, so if you haven’t started to plan your Black Friday marketing campaign yet, you’d better start now. The biggest event in retail is here in a couple of weeks, so now’s the time to make sure you really satisfy your customers on Black Friday, even if you are a small commerce business.

If you are not quite sure how to start creating a successful Black Friday marketing campaign, we’ve got some tips which can guide you through the process.

Revise the data from previous year

Revise what you did last year. Check which promotions worked well, which products made the biggest profit and which keywords were the most searched for. Were your customers mostly women? Or teens? Avid golfers? Whoever your target market is, make sure you specifically target them in your Black Friday marketing campaign.

Google Analytics is a great tool for measuring your website’s performance, and the standard version is free for businesses to use. Speak to one of our digital marketing specialists to find out more about how Google Analytics can help your business.

Email Marketing Campaigns

Get your Black Friday email marketing campaigns ready. People will receive hundreds of emails during the build-up to and on Black Friday so you have to make sure your email stands out. Make it clear and catchy.

Subject lines – try to think of a subject line that will capture the recipient’s attention. This has to reflect the content of your email. If you are sending out an email about the new HP printers being half priced you don’t want to say ‘Win the brand new iPhone 8’ just to encourage people to click on it. Information like this is spam, and will encourage people to unsubscribe. Make sure the information you are sharing is relevant and beneficial to the recipient and add some creativity.

Use personalisation – people like to see they are valued customers. If John keeps buying protein shakes every month, let him know when they are on offer.

Email doesn’t have to be just plain text – the era of plain text emails is over. You can now get creative and make your emails engaging. For example, use GIFs – they are a great way to engage with customers.

Social Media

Companies use social media to boost brand awareness and communicate with customers. Make sure your social media content is rich. Whatever promotion you send out in an email campaign, don’t forget to share it on social media too. All of these different avenues come together to form a cohesive marketing campaign, which delivers a clear and consistent message.

Many companies have now connected their e-commerce stores to their social media accounts, encouraging customers to share your products and services, helping to boost brand awareness and advertise your business.

Invest more in ads

Many purchases on your website will come from a search on Google, so it’s important to make yourself more visible around Black Friday.

If you’re not using it yourself, you’ve probably at least heard of PPC, paid search or Google AdWords. They’re the results at the top of Google with the little green ‘ad’ next to them. PPC is a great way to get your business in front of your potential customers. Make your ads pop up after people search for products similar to yours and enable your ads to reach out to more people. You can target people in certain cities or regions, or even up to a certain distance from your store. What’s more, you only pay once they actually click on your ad.

You can also advertise on social media. For example, if you’ve got a number of customers following you on Facebook and Twitter, make sure you boost your posts to reach more people. You don’t have to spend a fortune, even a small amount like £50 can get you thousands of impressions! You can be in total control of your advertising by choosing how much you want to spend and how long you want the campaign to last for.

Make sure your website is ready for Black Friday

According to IMRG, the UK’s industry association for e-retail, online spend on Black Friday 2016 was £1.23bn which was 12.2% more than in 2015. More people shopped online than in stores which means that your website has to be ready to handle a lot of traffic. Some tips on how to prepare for high traffic:

Cache your website content
The content on your website can be either static or dynamic. Static content is cacheable and dynamic content is uncacheable. Make sure you cache everything you can. Images, CSS, JavaScript or large objects like downloads have an impact on the speed of your website if they are not cached.

No more error messaging
If your customers are in the middle of purchasing products and the page is taking a while to load, they certainly don’t want to see ‘an error message’ popping up! This will convey a negative site experience, and potentially put them off making the purchase altogether. Instead, think about how could you make the waiting time a bit less painful. For example, you could use a gif that appears while the page loads – if it’s something funny they might not even realise they are waiting slightly longer than usual.

Magento 1.x updates stopping

Mobile responsiveness is key

More people are switching laptops for phones or tables. Shopping on a smartphone is very convenient and quick. However, there are some companies that still haven’t optimised their websites for mobiles. Make sure your customers have a chance to shop faster, make your website fully responsive this holiday season!

Make it longer than a day

Although Black Friday is a one-day event, the past few years showed that companies were offering discounted products longer than that. Customers now expect to see sales from the beginning of the week. Last year data from the UK’s industry association for e-retail IMRG shows that £6.45bn was spent over the Black Friday peak period (Monday 21 – Monday 28 November 2016). This doesn’t mean you should put your whole store on sale for a week, but do think about it strategically – maybe start the week off with 10% off Monday, 20% off Tuesday leading to a big sale on Friday.

Smooth returns

It’s happened to all of us. You really want to buy something but as soon as you do, you are not that sure anymore and simply want to return it. Especially during Black Friday, people will often purchase items based on their price and then regret their decision. Make sure the process of returning items is as smooth as the buying process.

Also, don’t forget that your return policy has to be in a visible place on your site. Consider placing it not only in your terms and conditions, but also under the product description or in the shopping cart.

Last but not least – don’t forget about your employees

Events like Black Friday and the Christmas period can be very stressful for employees. Showing them appreciation doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Bring some snacks and drinks at the end of the day and let them know you wouldn’t be able to do this without them – it’s the little things that count!

 

If you need some help with creating your Black Friday marketing campaign, make sure you Contact Us today.


When Does Your Site Need a Security Audit & What To Check

Posted on June 29, 2016 by

Thanks to the evolution of online viruses and the growth of sites that have been broken into by hackers, dangers threatening your business are more common than ever.

The question of how often you should conduct a website security audit is vague. Ideally, you should download a security system that manages this for you and verifies your site’s safety automatically so that you do not have to worry about upkeep.

Still, most companies conduct a security audit and backup only when they absolutely have to. As an agency we often provide security audits and reviews for all types of businesses who don’t trust their software or just want a certified professional making sure they’re in safe hands.

Continue reading →


Conquer Email Marketing Because It’s Not Going Anywhere

Posted on June 2, 2016 by

Today the best tactics in marketing is to stay ahead of the digital trends and constantly look at reinventing what we already have. We’ve all experienced the frustration that comes from finally mastering a certain marketing tool, only to discover that it has lost its popularity.

Ironically, trends are one aspect of marketing that will never change, thanks to the digital age. As soon as you learn a valuable lesson from one strategy, it’ll be off to the next big thing for your marketing team, trust us.

However, there’s one marketing technique that hasn’t lost its popularity, even if the internal methods of delivery have changed.

email marketing

Continue reading →


Tips On Becoming A Social Media Badass

Posted on May 11, 2016 by

Becoming popular on social media is one thing. Having the odd post go viral is another. But to actually run the crowd and be as ‘social media royalty’ is something else entirely.

Indeed, this is the tricky part. You cannot crown yourself as social media royalty. Industry recognition as being a cut above the rest is the only way to meaningfully achieve such an accolade.

Continue reading →


A Beginner’s Guide To Content Management Systems

Posted on April 27, 2016 by

A content management system is vital for ensuring your website runs smoothly and is easy to maintain – so it’s vital you choose the CMS best suited to your business. There are endless different platforms available, so here we will go through some of the most popular and explain the basics, to help you make the right choice.

Continue reading →


Recovering Your Content From 123Reg.com

Posted on April 21, 2016 by

Was your website hosted on 123Reg.com? Don’t panic we can help you get online.

You potentially don’t have a website as your hosting provider, 123Reg.com recently made a schoolboy error, deleting everyone’s website. Furthermore, if you used an agency they may be telling you that everything is lost if they didn’t back up your site (anyone with common sense should back up).

Continue reading →


Some of our happy customers