If you would like to find out more about any of these articles,
or would like help delivering your business objectives,
please do get in touch.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Tweets have started appearing on Google search results

Your social media activity is about to get even more important....

As of yesterday, Google and Twitter announced that Tweets will start appearing in Google search results in the USA. This will be rolled out to other countries soon. 

With the increased importance attached to mobile friendly sites in Google's mobile search results, things are rapidly changing in the world of SEO. 

Monday, 23 March 2015

Responsive websites vs Mobile websites

I like this quote from usability guru Jakob Nielsen about whether you should have a responsive website or a mobile website. I agree!

"I don’t prefer mobile sites or responsive ones. What I do like is sites that deliver the best mobile user experience, whatever the site type. And sometimes the best experience is provided by a mobile-dedicated site, sometimes by a responsive site. 
In truth, users don't care if  a site is responsive or not: they simply don't see any difference between a mobile-dedicated site and a responsive site."

You can read his article on the State of Mobile User Experience here.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Active Thinking

It is always a pleasure to work with Charles at Active Thinking. We have taken to arranging our meetings at Hall and Woodhouse in Bath where we can eat a delicious breakfast, chew the cud and eventually get on with some work. As it's dog friendly, Gem can join in too!

I first started working with Charles in 2010. Since then his business objectives have changed and he has also worked on many exciting projects such as the new Heathrow Terminal 2 and the Olympics.

Doing what, you may ask?

Active Thinking work in a very niche area - they are Customer Experience designers and they help us, the customer, have better experiences in public spaces. Getting this across with text, case studies and images proved challenging but we think we have achieved it together!

Charles must agree, because he said these nice things:

"Andrew has recently redesigned my web-site and it now looks fantastic. He has a great eye for design and layout but he also puts a lot of thought into the structure and approach of the web-site. 

He's always thinking of ways to improve the site and often does it 'in the background' - he just makes it work really well.

He also has a great sense of humour which makes our sessions really enjoyable."

Active Thinking website

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Favourite Albums of 2014

The year draws to a close and the world needs another best of 2014 list. Fortunately, I am in a position to provide one - my favourite albums of the year. 

Get yourselves down to a record shop and buy these:

This is all Yours by Alt-J

Built on Glass by Chet Faker

Warpaint by Warpaint 

Everyday Robots by Damon Albarn

Zaba by Glass Animals

Total Strife Forever by East India Youth

Present Tense by Wild Beasts

St Vincent by St Vincent 

Romantic Works by Keaton Henson

Lost in a Dream by War on Drugs

In a Dream by Juan Maclean

The Take off and Landing of Everything by Elbow

Love Letters by Metronomy

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

The role of social media buttons on websites

Many interesting points are made by Paul Boag in this excellent article about the role of social media buttons on websites.

He argues, very sensibly, that we should reconsider putting them on every page on your website. The reasons he cites includes:

1) It may divert your customers from pursuing the primary call to action for the page.

2) If you embed 'follow' or 'like' buttons, with code hosted on 3rd party servers, it can slow the page load times and perhaps have validation or security issues.

3) The button may not be the simplest way for a user to share your content.

You can read the full article here including suggestions on how to best use social media buttons.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Google have launched 'mobile friendly' labels.

It's official - Google have launched labels which advise people who are searching on mobile devices whether the website is mobile friendly.

This will be rolled out internationally over the next few weeks and it will look like this:

What constitutes a mobile friendly website? According to this post on the Google Webmaster Central Blog, mobile friendly websites:
  1. Voids software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash
  2. Uses text that is readable without zooming
  3. Sizes content to the screen so users don't have to scroll horizontally or zoom
  4. Places links far enough apart so that the correct one can easily be tapped.
You can check to see if Google consider that your website is mobile friendly here.

The implications are clear. 

If you do not have a mobile friendly website, it is now time to prioritise it.

Your share of visitors looking at your website will only increase; and now your rankings with Google are likely to be adversely impacted if you do not have a mobile friendly website....

Our own Content Management System

I am often asked why we have developed our own Content Management System (CMS) to support our websites and why we don't simply use Joomla, or WordPress, or any of the other available systems.

There are a number of reasons...

1) Most businesses have unique requirements.

Your web presence needs to deliver specific functionality to suit your business objectives.

We find many publically available systems are not as good at matching our clients specific requirements.

By developing our own system, we can build functionality to suit you rather than trying to change your business behaviour to suit a third party CMS.

2) We have control over the destiny of the system

We don't have to wait for a third party to build a new module; or use an untested plug-in found in publicly available directories. So, if you want to add, for example, a client log-in area, or a Customer Relationship Management system at a later date, we can do this for you.

3) Competitive advantage

Because the CMS is built for you, it can help you stay ahead of the competition. It supports you, rather than confining you.

4) Easily modified and updated

We know the nuts and bolts of the system. We have written the code from the ground up and so we know how to best modify the system. Because we have invested time in developing the system, we are always looking for ways to improve its functionality and make it easier to use.

Moreover, we have a number of clients, including websites funded by Wiltshire Council, who rely on us to keep the system up to date and bug free.

5) Less costly in the long run

Businesses grow and businesses change. Our CMS will grow and change with you. You will not be investing time and money in a system that cannot move with you. Moreover, there is no licence fee - you pay us for the work we do to build the CMS and that is all.

If you would like further information on our options for keeping your website up to date, then please do get in touch.


What we do
online strategy | web design | social media | seo | email marketing | brand identity | photography
what makes a good website | the process of creating a website

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