Websites York - Beautiful web design and effective optimisation
I am Martin Waring. I am a Web Designer based in York, UK and wherever you live I am committed to offering affordable web design and optimisation, making your new website both interesting for your customers to read and easier for them to find in Google searches!
Most businesses today need a website to stay competitive, to find customers and for their customers to find them. Most new customers will find your website through an online search and foremost amongst the searches used today is Google so your website needs to be designed from the start, not just to appeal to your customers but also to be Google friendly.
Many small businesses invest a lot of time and energy in their website design but then find that the website disappears without trace in a Google search. A website takes planning and a good awareness of what keyword searches your customers might use to find you. A website also needs nurturing. You don't just get to the top of Google in a few days, and then stay there.
The Sweet Spot
When you do a Google search yourself, think about where you click first. Research shows that 70% of people ignore the paid adverts at the top and right of a Google search page and look to the first ordinary website listed and the next 2 or 3 listings. This is the sweet spot that I aim for in my website development and optimisation process.
What I offer
If you run a small local business (by which I mean that your customers are generally to be found in your town/city and surrounding area) and you need a simple website to attract more customers or clients, I can help you with:
- Planning the website - identifying what keywords your customers will use to find you. This is usually the most important stage and one that is often neglected. What are your customers looking for and what searches do you hope they will use to find you?
- Photography and videography using professional grade equipment. (I am also a videographer.)
- Website design and build, optimised for most current desktop browsers, including mobile tablets and phones. It is increasingly important that your site looks good on a mobile device.
- Google Places set up and optimisation. If you are a business offering local services and you want to be found on Google then signing up for Google Places is a must and it is free. I can help you set this up in the most effective way.
- Google optimisation of your website for small local businesses (this is usually referred to as SEO). I will focus mainly on Google. I'm not saying that I will ignore other searches entirely. Its just that if you get things right for Google then the other searches will fall into place naturally.
- Regular monitoring of where your site appears in the Google rankings
- Periodic (small scale) changes to the site are included in the price for the first 12 months so if you want to add testimonials or new pictures or videos - no problem.
What I don't offer
- 'Under the radar' techniques that might have short term gains but can potentially ruin your website's credibility ultimately
- Large scale e-commerce, national or highly dynamic sites
- Impossible guarantees. The sweet spot is a target to aim for for a given keyword. Sometimes it is not easy to achieve a sweet spot ranking due to the level of competition and no matter how much money is thrown into optimisation it will be difficult to outrank some of the big players. One of the first things I will do in the planning stage is assess what are the realistic chances of hitting the sweet spot for any given keyword combination.
- I also won't guarantee how long it will take to get your site up the rankings. It can take months as rankings can improve with the age of the site (as long as the content is kept fresh).
- Flash. There are some wonderful looking, highly animated Flash sites on the web where a lot of the content is invisible to a search robot and so is useless in a Google search. I build HTML and CSS based sites using Rapidweaver themes that are both human and Google search robot friendly.
Try this simple quick exercise:
Type "magician York" into Google (you can use cut and paste from here) and see where 'www.martinwaring.co.uk' magician appears.
Type "wedding videography York" into Google and see where my videography business appears 'www.weddingvideographyyork.co.uk'.
Of course, this works in other cities too!
Type “psychotherapist Liverpool” and see where ‘www.psychotherapistliverpool.co.uk’ appears
OK So they may not always be at number one but you probably shouldn't have too much problem finding any of these sites for these keywords because they are near the top of the first page on Google. Am I right?
You'll see above that for my magician business I have quite a few keywords at number one, and several more at number two or three. Remember that 70% of all searches result in a click through to numbers 1, 2 and 3 in the rankings (the sweet spot). It is easier to get into the sweet spot for 'York' than it is for 'Yorkshire' which you would expect as there's more competition in the whole of Yorkshire.
The way that I got to that position in York was by:
- Building a well optimised website with plenty of easily readable, well structured text content.
- Adding my business to Google Places (now Google Plus) with careful regard to the details added
- Using video to enhance the site.
What do I need to do?
To succeed in the Google rankings, i.e. to get into the top 3 for your chosen keywords, the website is going to need lots of interesting, well written, easily understandable text. You need to think about what that might look like and commit to working with me to develop it. If your written English skills are not brilliant, I can work with what you produce and work it into a better format for you but you are going to have to do most of the brain work in producing this text.
I cannot simply copy text from another website, well I could, but trust me, this is not a good strategy!
The text needs to be easily readable, so do not use unnecessary jargon. Write as if you were explaining what you do to a brand new customer, not to a colleague. Use a readability test like this one to get your text as readable as possible.
Writing the text does not need to be done in one go. We can launch a good looking website and then develop different pages over several months. This is possibly an even better way to approach the website as Google likes fresh content, delivered periodically as it shows that you’ve something new to say.
Prepare to be found
I have found some people who are reluctant, for whatever reason, to give out personal details on the web such as address or phone number. This can be quite a negative factor in ranking as Google is looking for consistency in NAP data (Name, Address and Phone Number) across many places on the web. If the NAP data is consistent then Google is happier that you are a legitimate business that has nothing to hide. If not and you are not showing Name, Address and Phone number consistently, or at all, then Google may think that your business is somewhat less trustworthy and rank the website accordingly.