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How HTML/CSS Only Websites Still Have SEO Advantages

While most people think that HTML/CSS based websites are out-dated, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that there’s a good reason to continue using HTML, even for websites. For example, there are a lot of SEO benefits that come with HTML websites that you wouldn’t normally get with newer content management systems (CMS).

Dynamic Content Takes Longer to Compile

Thanks to their simplicity, HTML/ CSS websites boast much faster loading speeds than websites that are built using dynamic CMS.

TTFB on HTML vs. Dynamic Content

You can use resources like ByteCheck.com to help you figure out how fast or slow the TTFB is on your environmental websites.

To give you an idea of what the implications of this concept are, Facebook is said to have a TTFB of 466 milliseconds and this is due to all the dynamic content that the platform generates. An HTML/ CSS website will generate a much faster TTFB in comparison.

Now, while this may not be such a big deal for the user experience, it can affect the website’s search engine ranking on Google. Basically, websites with faster TTFB definitely get a better ranking than those with a slower TTFB.

What You Should Do When You Can’t Use HTML

Switching to an HTML may not be the easiest exercise, nor the most practical, especially if your website is still small in scale. Fortunately, it’s not a necessity to do so.

Try the following tips to help you maximise your CMS based website’s SEO advantage:

  • Use Caching: This refers to the act of saving your website’s pages so that they don’t have to build from scratch every time someone clicks on them. That would obviously take a considerable amount of time and make your website very slow. What you want is static content that’s readily accessible when your audience looks for it.
  • Host Your Videos on YouTube or Vimeo: Using video is a great way to enhance the user experience on your website while video marketing can be a very effective tool for attracting customers, especially for environmental websites. However, self-hosting the video content on your site can slow it down significantly, while uploading the video into a hosting platform like Vimeo or YouTube will take care of that problem quickly.

For example, let’s say you have a photography preset selling website with a tutorial section that features several videos on how to use presets. This is an important aspect of your content marketing strategy and in order to do it right, you have to publish more than just a few videos. Now, self-hosted videos will cause the web page to load much slower than if you were to host them via YouTube or Vimeo which is why you have to choose the second option if you want to have a fast-loading and responsive website.

  • Get Managed Hosting: While it might be alright to use shared hosting in the beginning, you’ll need to switch to managed hosting in the long run in order to improve the overall speed of your website.
  • Maintain a Clean WordPress Database: The best way to maintain a clean WordPress database is to keep the trash section of your website empty. You can automate this process using the “Optimize Database after Deleting Revisions” plugin on WordPress, and you’ll find that the lighter your site’s database, the faster the page loading speed will be.

3 Web Design Tips to Boost Your Conversion Rate

A website’s conversion rate refers to the number of visitors who actually purchase your service and/or product out of the total number of visitors who click on your website each day.

Having a website with a high conversion rate is usually an indication that you’re using highly effective web marketing tactics. However, it’s important to note here that there’s not a specific number as to how much your conversion rate should be, as the measure of success in this regard differs from one industry to the other, and according to the specific business model being followed.

Nevertheless, the conversion rate remains one of the most important KPIs for any business, regardless of their industry, and businesses are always looking for ways and means to improve it.

In fact, research shows that about 80% of online businesses are dissatisfied with their conversion rate and would like to increase it.

What this tells us is that most agent website design companies have yet to crack the code on what the right formula is to achieving a desirable conversion rate. If you find yourself facing the same dilemma and are frustrated with the conversion rate methods that you’ve been using, then you’ve come to the right place.

Below we’ve got some practical and helpful tips on how you can increase your website’s conversion rate today.

  1. Use Big Bold Typography

The use of big and bold letters is one of the biggest web design trends that we’ve observed in the past few years. The efficacy and popularity of bold letters can be attributed to ease of use, and the fact that they’re accessible and visible to a huge number of users, even those with mild visual impairments that prevent people from seeing small letters.

  1. Optimize Your Website’s Speed

Because internet users today have so many options to choose from, it only makes sense for them to not put up with slow-loading websites. After all, why continue using a slow website when you can get similar information/services/products from a fast-loading one?

Research from agent website design professionals even shows that a 1-second delay in loading speed can lead to a 7% loss in conversions! That’s a lot of missed zeros from your bottom line no matter what line of business you’re in.

Want to find out how your website is doing when it comes to loading speed?

Try testing it with the following tools:

  • Google PageSpeed Insights
  • Pingdom
  • GTmetrix
  • KeyCDN
  • Sucuri 
  1. Make Use of the Negative Space

Not many agent website design professionals talk about it but the efficient use of negative space is of utmost importance if you want to increase your conversion rate.

What is negative space?

This term simply refers to the empty white space on your website which has no content or images. This space is usually visible in the gaps between the sidebar and content or between your website header and content.

The good news is that you can use this space to put up an attractive yet practical design element, like a call to action button that will increase interaction between you and your users, while increasing conversion rate as well.

How Can XML Sitemaps Boost Your Website’s SEO

As the Internet evolves, so does SEO and Google. This means that what may have been a good practice yesterday may no longer be effective today. This is especially applicable for sitemaps, which are about as old as SEO itself. The top website designing company will surely agree that sitemaps can help drive your SEO’s key performance indicators. If you don’t understand the intricacies of using sitemaps to boost your SEO, let’s clear the confusion around it.

What’s an XML Sitemap?

In the most basic term, an XML sitemap simply refers to a list of website URLs. It’s like a roadmap that will inform search engines what content is available on your site and how they can reach it. This ability of the XML sitemap helps search engine crawlers for faster indexation and is especially important for website owners that frequently add new pages, regularly change the content of existing pages, and most especially those websites that suffer from poor internal linking.

Although search engines are capable of technically finding your URLs even without a sitemap, by adding an XML sitemap, you’re proving that you have high-quality landing pages on your website.

Types of Sitemaps

There are several different types of sitemaps and the top website designing company should integrate them into your site.

Let’s take a look at some of them:

  • XML Image Sitemap – Image sitemaps are designed to enhance the indexation of the image content. In today’s SEO, however, most images are often embedded within the content of the page and will be crawled along with the URL.
  • XML Video Sitemap – Just like images, if the videos are important to your business, you need to submit an XML video sitemap. Otherwise, the video sitemap is no longer necessary.
  • Mobile Sitemap – This is not really required for most websites because these are only for feature phone pages and not really for smartphone compatibility. Unless you have unique URLs that are designed specifically for feature phones, the mobile sitemap may no longer be needed.

XML Sitemap Best Practices

It requires a lot of time and effort to implement XML sitemaps and boost the SEO of your website.

Although the top website designing company can help you with this, here’s a checklist of the best practices:

  • Add hreflang tags in the XML sitemaps.
  • Compress the sitemap files with the help of gzip.
  • Download the sitemap data to analyse indexation rates.
  • Fix all errors and warnings.
  • Generate XML sitemaps.
  • Group the URLs in a descriptively named sitemap depending on the type of the page.
  • Include only relevant pages in XML sitemaps.
  • Make sure that URLs are included in a single sitemap only.
  • Make sure to add these tags <loc> and <lastmod>.
  • Reference the sitemap index URLs in the robots.txt
  • Submit the sitemap index to Bing Webmaster Tools and Google Search Console.
  • Use images and videos only if the indexation drives your KPI.
  • Use the sitemap index file.

With this checklist as your guide, go ahead and check your own sitemap now to ensure that you’re on the right track.

Here’s How Progressive Web Apps May Change the Mobile Landscape

When it comes to mobile commerce, each and every second counts. In fact, even the smallest delay could cost your business some money! Now that Google is seriously considering site speed as a ranking factor, it’s about time that you look into the PWAs or Progressive Web Apps. This is especially necessary for those who are running an e-commerce site. If you’re an e-commerce company based in Bath, you may need the help of a professional web designer who’s capable of providing affordable web design services while incorporating progressive web apps.

Here’s how the PWAs may change the overall mobile landscape:

App Market Saturation

The Progressive Web Apps are a great means to rise above the saturated app market. There are almost two million apps on Apple Store today and almost 4 million in the Google Play Store. Amazon is the only retail app that has made it to the top downloaded apps. It’s not easy to cut through these numbers and get into your customers’ radar. There’s not even a guarantee that they’re going to download your store’s mobile application. While the PWA offers the benefit of working through all devices, which requires a low upfront cost.

Caching

With the use of a service worker as well as a cache API, the Progressive Web Apps could possibly function offline and this means that your customers will not need any mobile connection in order to get access to your website or e-commerce store. The caching function will store your app’s layout elements and load them into a browser. This is why web design companies offering affordable web design Bath incorporate the caching function into the websites that they develop. Caching could significantly increase the loading time of your site and decrease bounce rates. The faster your website visitors and potential customers can find their way to the journey of purchasing, the more likely they will be able to make a purchase and come back for more in the future.

Increased Conversions

There are many things that can be said when it comes to making your customer’s buying journey as easy as possible and those businesses that have decided to implement the PWAs have clearly reaped the benefits.

Push Notifications

One of PWAs biggest advantages is that they come with the push notifications feature, which alerts your customers of the latest updates, new products, and sales. The benefits of immediately sending a message to your customers about your products and services shouldn’t be underestimated. This could allow you to enjoy savings on your marketing spending, which definitely makes good sense for your business, not to mention the fact that it could boost your branding.

Progressive Web Apps could work well across various smartphones and browsers and will be more likely to be adopted by your customers. So if you’re thinking of hiring a company that can provide affordable web design Bath, consider the need to incorporate the PWAs as well.

Why SEO and SEM Teams Should Work Together

Aside from hiring the best web design estate agent to work on your website, you must also have an SEO team and SEM team. SEO refers to Search Engine Optimisation while SEM refers to Search Engine Marketing. The SEM team is the team responsible for paying for traffic. Both the SEO and SEM teams should actually work together and share their keyword lists in order to help the website succeed. Cooperation like this one is not usually the norm but an exception.

Here are three good reasons why SEO and SEM teams must work together:

  1. Keyword Expansion through SEO

Most of the SEO work would result in traffic that comes from long tail searches. Thus, a well-optimised site could bring in lots of traffic for a huge number of phrases. These long tail keywords are a great source of ideas for PPC campaigns. This can be especially effective if a website is ranking organically well in Google, but not in another search engine. Once this situation occurs, this list of keywords from Google can be used for the PPC campaign of another search engine.

  1. Long-Term Savings from SEO

It’s necessary for every PPC campaign to include high traffic keywords that will cost a lot for every click or those high conversion terms that don’t quite provide the return that’s necessary to justify the cost. With these words, Search Engine Optimisation can be the solution to huge savings. For instance, instead of spending $10,000 for two months for high-cost terms, it may be best to turn off the campaign and use the $10,000 for optimisation efforts that could organically attract the same amount of traffic.

And although deactivating the campaign for two months could result in a loss of revenue, the web design estate agent believes that this will only be for short-term but the overall success of the optimisation efforts could last for many months, and even years, of organic traffic.

  1. A Decrease in Cost per Click

Google has changed its AdSense program a bit recently. These changes include adding a quality score used to determine the overall cost of an ad. This quality score could also mean that two similar ads will end up with different costs depending on the overall quality of the destination page. Search Engine Optimisation usually influences most of these factors. As a matter of fact, improving the overall quality of a web page as perceived by search engines is what the Search Engine Optimisation should be all about. Thus, if you’re using SEO to increase the overall quality of your site, you could end up decreasing the cost for every click of your ads.

As you see, there are many good reasons why SEO and SEM teams should work together. Aside from helping your website succeed, it can also help you save money. But aside from these two teams, you must also think about your web design team. When it comes to this, you can put your trust in the best web design estate agent.

301 vs. 302 Redirect: Which One is Best for SEO?

There’s been a lot of confusion on which redirect to use for search engine optimisation. If you own a business website, you may need the help of web designers who are familiar with web design for businesses and are aware of the most suitable redirect to use for SEO. There have been lots of articles that were written about the 301 and 302 redirects before. In which a lot of people have suggested that the 302 redirect may not pass the Page Rank and that the 301 redirects are much more suitable for SEO.

In 2019, how has the redirect scenario changed for SEO Best Practices?

Let’s find out:

Well first of all, a lot of us may be beginners and even before wanting to know the difference of 301 vs 302 redirects, they want to know what it is that we are talking about. Being 301 and 302 redirects are two different things, they have different functions as well. This distinction is important to ensure that your website is working correctly.

To better understand, we need to review this topic in detail from the very beginning. Then it will be much easier to understand how it may affect the search engine optimisation of your website.

What is a Redirect?

In normal vocabulary, redirection is the action of changing one’s direction from one to assigning or directing to a new or different place, purpose, or direction. In terms of the internet, it almost certainly refers to the process of URL redirection or URL forwarding.

A URL redirect is a technique used to direct both website visitors and search engines like Google from the requested URL address to a different URL. So, not only is this an issue dealing directly with customers for a business website, it is an integral part of SEO and Google ranking factors. The two most popular redirects being our topic today – 301 vs 302 redirects.

What are the 2 types of Redirects? What do these numbers mean?

One: 301 Redirect = “Moved Permanently” (Recommend Best Practice for SEO)

Two: 302 Redirect = “Found” or “Moved Temporarily”

First of all, the numbers represent codes from the official registry of HTTP status codes. They are divided into 5 classes of status codes. The codes starting with 3 refer to the redirect class, as is their function. But you can do without this information, let’s move on to why they are important!

Why do you need Redirects?

With any growing website, just like a business, there are constantly new content and changes. With a lot of web pages being built on your website, it gets difficult to work with the URL structure in order for you to inform search engines know which is correct or which has more importance.

In addition, search engines like Google, may not be aware of the changes and of course will not be able to know which pages you want to be treated with more priority. So, when you update a page by changing its location, google remembers both locations. Google may think you have duplicate content in two places although you want only one page to be visible. Since unique content is crucial for the Google algorithm to get better ranking, multiple pages with similar or same content is huge red flag! This is when you need a redirect for Google and ultimately, for your potential customers.

Link Juice is an essential aspect of SEO and without proper redirects, your website will lose out on its due “link juice” or ranking value for Google. So, you need to inform Google that a page, content, URL, or site has moved by redirecting them to make sure that you don’t lose ranking value or your current rank.

So, which one should you use 301 vs. 302 redirect?

What is a 301 redirect?

A 301 redirect or moved permanently, as we know from before, is used as an absolute relocation. So, you tell the search engine that your content has moved permanently to a new location.

When should you use a 301 redirect?

You should use 301 redirect when you change your domain, or launched a new CMS for your website, or the URL structure has changed for any reason. Essentially, you are connecting your old content (a domain, page, content, etc.) from its present location A to a new location B. This sort of permanent move must be informed as it is crucial for ranking and to avoid any penalties by Google.

Do you have to use 301 redirect to permanently move content from one web page to another?

The answer is yes. If you want to make sure that the search engine understands that your URL or universal resource locator has been moved permanently to a new location with the same amount of content, then you definitely should use the 301 redirect. Now if you’re wondering if the 301 can pass Page Rank, yes, it can.

What is a 302 redirect?

A 302 redirect or Found, or Moved Temporarily, as we know now is a temporary move. This means the link does not require its ranking value and other factors to be carried over. It simply gets the user to an appropriate location until the issue is resolved, instead of showing a broken link and potentially losing that visitor.

When should you use a 302 redirect?

One of the most common logic maybe, that since 301 redirect holds SEO value while 302 redirect does not, then the decision should be quite simple. But it is important to consider the types of businesses running websites as well.

For example, an eCommerce business with a temporarily unavailable product or a seasonal product or a product out of stock will be able to use the 302 redirect to send the user to a more useful page. When the product is available, the page will simply be back and search engine crawlers will know to hold the ranking value and other associated factors intact for the page.

Worldwide Optimisation

If you are only concerned with Google, you don’t really need to be as concerned about redirects anymore. If you’re going to follow Google’s advice and use the kind of redirect that you believe is more appropriate to your given situation, then you probably won’t have any indexing issues with Google. However, if you’re based in the United States, Google might not be the only one you will have to worry about. In 2018, Bing claimed to have 33% of the market share but according to GlobalStats, since then till January 2019 Bing holds 1.74% of the US market. Also, Yahoo holds 2.65% percent of the market. Given that the search volume and internet users in the US, the percentage represent quite a large number of the population.

If you are optimising for web users based in China, in which Google currently has only 0.32% of the market, then you should care more about what Shenma and Baidu are saying regarding redirects instead of what Bing or Google is saying. Baidu holds 71.82% share of the market in China and Shenma holds 20.97%. You must also use permanent redirects for the permanently moved URL just to be sure. Google holds just over half of the market share in Russia at 51.07%. Yandex RU holds the Russian market share of 47.49%. If that’s your target market, then you will need to brush up on its algorithm.

Best Practice

If you are redirecting one URL to an equivalent content and you don’t expect for such content to go back to the original URL and you want the link equity to pass sooner than later, then you should opt for the 301 redirect. Generally, you can never go wrong with a 301 redirect when redirecting a permanently moved equivalent content.

Final Thoughts

If you are still confused on what redirect to use for SEO, then ask yourself this question – is your old content similar to the new content? If the answer is no, then use the 404. Otherwise, ask yourself if your old content will be coming back. If yes, then go for the 302. But if not, then use the 301. Don’t worry if you still can’t figure it out. A professional who’s knowledgeable about web design and search engine optimisation will be able to take care of this for you.

Be sure to pay close attention because it is simply silly to redo your content distribution and other efforts for the difference between the digits of 301 vs 302 redirect. While it is best to use 301 redirect in most cases due to its SEO value, you want to consider if you have other intentions such as testing multiple landing pages or you are marketing to a different geographic region.

If you have further questions 301 vs 302 redirect, get in touch with the SEO services on offer by The Web Designer Group for a free consultation.

Five SEO concepts that will boost your website’s Google ranking

For the modern-day entrepreneur, having your ducks in a row not only refers to having your investments and business models in place but also having a sound digital marketing strategy. After all, the web is where you’re most likely to reach most of your customers, and it’s more cost-efficient than traditional advertising.

Now, if you’re looking for tips on how to leverage SEO in order to promote your business and boost your Google search engine rankings, then you’ve come to the right place.

By following the tips below, you should start to see your website traffic and conversions pick up significantly:

Install plugins

Installing a plugin to manage your website means you won’t have to worry about the small details like solving technical hiccups or managing meta titles and descriptions.

In a nutshell, these plugins handle the technical aspect of SEO marketing so that you can focus on crafting content and managing your audience’s engagement.

Interlink your blogs

Interlinking past and current blog posts serves the important purpose of increasing your website’s relevance while charting your customer’s journey, allowing them to get the most out of your content.

Not only that, interlinking blog posts tends to significantly increase the amount of time that users spend on a single web page. If you include the right number of links in a single post then visitors will spend even more time on your website without even realising it.

Make sure the outgoing links are no-follows

While outbound links are an important part of SEO marketing strategy, make sure you keep them few and far in between. This will enable you to retain your audience’s attention instead of scattering it with outgoing links.

For the best results, make all your outgoing links “no follow.” This can be done by installing a relevant plugin. Just make sure you manually check all internal links as “do follow” once you’re done, in order to retain your “home ground” advantage.

Build external links

One of the fastest ways to build an online audience is to piggyback on established companies who’ve already amassed larger audiences than your own. However, in order to convince them to share their audience with you, you’ll have to provide something valuable in return, like an article or a backlink.

You’ll also have to put yourself out there by networking more often, both on and offline. And don’t be afraid to send pitches for guest blog posts, infographics, research and other resources on a regular basis.

Disavow bad links pointing to your site

Make sure that your website is only linked to high quality and reliable websites that have a good reputation. Avoid any association with dodgy websites that will only serve to degrade your SEO efforts.

Unfortunately, some of your competitors may even try to undermine your successful SEO by maligning your site with non-genre websites that are irrelevant to your company. This includes porn websites, and repeated spamming.

To minimise these bad links, click on them so that they’re automatically shared with Google. That way, they’ll become completely irrelevant to your search engine rankings and your website design will be safe once again.