WordPress

SEO Exeter: Oodles of Googles

OK, it’s the end of a year, a time to take stock and a time to look forward. Design Credo design websites and perform SEO for companies in Exeter, Devon and the UK. We also specialise in creating WordPress websites but whatever the platform we believe that the sites need to be found easily by Google, so here are some of our top searches from 2010.
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How Organic SEO Works: an Infographic

Search Process Infographic

Search Process Infographic

Sam Aspden came to us recently with a bit of a problem. She had bought a DIY ‘website in a box’ for her starter business in wedding stationery design but unfortunately the site was doing very little. In fact even if she spelt her own name out in Google she still struggled to find herself.

Now, two weeks on,

Yeah it is on Google page 1!!! You’re like the Superman, Yoda & Optimus Prime of the SEO world, all wrapped into one.What did you want for xmas?
Sam Aspden Designs

So what did we do to get this huge turnaround?
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Exeter’s Design Credo Creates New Logo for London’s Perfume River

Perfume River Logo
Exeter based Design Credo have created a new logo for London’s Perfume River. This logo will be applied over the coming months to their dress labelling and website which is currently being re-designed.

The online retailer of flower girl dresses approached Design Credo having seen the recent rebrand for Sarah Treble Couture now based in the South West. Ha Ngo of Perfume River said that she was impressed by both the crisp clean design of Sarah’s new brand as well as the new Sarah Treble WordPress based website designed by us.

The brief was to create a simple clean logo that expresses “wedding” simply and effectively. This logo will need to be applied across a range of media, from websites and print to stitched dress labels. In order to accommodate the latter, a simplified version of the logo has been created.

It was felt that the existing logo (below) wasn’t suitable for Perfume River’s planned future developments whereas the new design will support future developments

Old Perfume River Logo

Old Perfume River Logo

10 Blogging Tips to Break the 30 Seconds Barrier

33 Seconds Clock
I don’t want to spoil your day but there’s a lot of evidence suggesting that people spend less than a minute on a web page, perhaps as little as 30 seconds. So you really are going to need to make things easy for people if you wan’t them to read your blog posts.

Now, I have a bit of a guilty admission, I don’t read terribly well. I’m not stoopid or owt, but reading has never come overly naturally to me. Nowadays this isn’t helped by my already very long arms refusing to get any longer and, hard as I try, the printed page always seems a tad too close.

I know I am not alone with the oldies and I know too that there are many school children out there who have more difficult learning experiences than others because they don’t find reading easy: frequently young boys, often rubbing their teachers up the wrong way as they get more and more marginalised.

I’m off on one again aren’t I?

Anyway, it may seem a bit of a paradox that I am investing so much of my time writing at the moment, this writing being principally for blogs. I do write, I don’t think I’m an expert but do I know people are reading what I write and post. For the record I also ghost write for other peoples’ blogs. (sssh, you ain’t heard that). But, perhaps most importantly, given what I have just told you, I am aware of what makes reading less onerous.

So let’s look at ten tips that might help break the 33 second barrier.

1 Open With A Bang

A nice strong shocking declaration. A statistic, a side splittingly funny joke, the offer of a lifetime. OK well we are wise to the last one but you get the idea.

2 Be Human

Don’t be scared of being human, it’s what blogging is all about. Show your emotions and your passion.

3 Be Focussed

Do try to keep a focus. If you find you have ‘gone off one one’ cut the offending words and maybe save it as a new draft post to be expanded on.

4 Titles

The post title needs to do two things,

  1. Attract the reader’s attention. Something that is clever, witty, inviting and descriptive
  2. Work for Google and search engines. This means that if you want your post to be picked up by Google your clever, witty, inviting and descriptive will need to be keyword rich too!

5 Headings

Break your post up with relevant subheadings. These aren’t so important for search engines but will make the page a lot easier to scan and navigate through.

6 Use Short Paragraphs

peoplewillnot readgreatblocksoftext thatcannotbeeasily scannedororganisedandfiltered peoplewillnotreadgreat blocksoftextthatcannot beeasilyscannedororganisedand filteredpeoplewillnotreadgreat blocksoftextthatcannotbeeasily scannedororganisedandfiltered peoplewillnotreadgreatblocksoftext thatcannotbeeasily scannedororganised andfiltered peoplewillnotread greatblocksoftext thatcannotbe easilyscannedororganisedandfiltered

When you write it may come out as a stream of consciousness but when it’s on screen you need to make your text easy to look at, to scan, to filter. This puts the reader back in control.

7 Lists

People love lists and they can be very useful tools to,

  • simplify
  • order
  • clarify

the information that’s on a page.

8 Use Bold and Italicize but don’t Underline!

Text styling can help you to communicate more effectively. You can format text easily by making it bold or italic, adding an implied strength or emphasis. At a push you can use capitals and exclamation marks but beware of SHOUTING AT YOUR READERS!!!!! It is my belief that the only places for underlining are in primary school exercise books and to indicate a link on a web page. Don’t do it, bad things will happen to you if you do.

9 Links

Don’t be afraid to use links it’s easy enough to add them in blogs but don’t overdo it. At best links can add depth and value to a post, at worst they can totally overpower the content.

10 Images

Images can really communicate a lot very effectively. Sadly, although Google is considering introducing face recognition technology, images aren’t as yet very searchable. So a good strong hero image probably won’t get people to your site but it may keep people’s interest up long enough for them to start reading.

The bottom line is that you are both helping and empowering your reader, if you put them back in control they will hopefully make the right choice and read your blog.

This post was originally written as a guest blog for the rather impressive Mediocre Mum blog. Many thanks

From Mass Observation to MassCommunication

York Races - Andrew Butler

York Races - Andrew Butler

The Limited Company behind Design Credo is called MassCommunication. It is called this primarily because the core business that we are involved in is communication. It is a name that I first coined at least 15 years ago. However, it would be unfair of me not to acknowledge the influence that a much earlier initiative had on me: that initiative was called Mass Observation.

Mass-Observation was a large-scale investigation into the habits and customs of the people of Britain that was started in Bolton in 1937. Bolton was named “Worktown” by Tom Harrisson.

The project focused on Bolton initially and during the Second World War was enlisted by the Government to monitor public morale in the population as a whole. The project still exists today and the archive is currently held at the University of Sussex.

The founders of Mass-Observation were: Tom Harrisson, an anthropologist who had made a name for himself studying cannibals in the New Hebrides; Charles Madge, at the time a promising poet and a member of a London based artists movement called the Blackheath group; Humphrey Jennings, an artist, poet, historian, translator and film-maker. Also a member of the Blackheath group. Jennings became widely known for the influential war documentaries he made after he left the Mass-Observation.
Source

Humphrey Spender

Pub - Humphrey Spender

Pub - Humphrey Spender

I first became aware of Mass Observation through a book of photos by Humphrey Spender borrowed from Huddersfield library. Humphrey Spender’s images moved me greatly and the notion of recording everyday existence for no reason other than the record appealed greatly: it still does.

For me this period was one where the photographic connection with the ’30s hadn’t been fully broken, black and white photography was still easy to be involved in, it still is a form that I love: André Kertész, Edward Weston, Henri Cartier-Bresson, how long would you like the list to be?

Life In A Day

In this YouTube clip Oscar-winning director Kevin Macdonald visits the Mass Observation Archive to talk about the inspiration behind Life In A Day.

Life In A Day is a historic global experiment to create the world’s largest user-generated feature film: a documentary, shot in a single day, by you. On July 24, you have 24 hours to capture a glimpse of your life on camera. The most compelling and distinctive footage will be edited into an experimental documentary film, executive produced by Ridley Scott and directed by Kevin Macdonald.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEQhy0oFE1w

Blogging?

I am a relative newcomer to writing blogs. I’m sure many people who know people who blog but don’t really get it: why spend so much time doing that, who’s going to read it anyway?

I think there is a thread that runs through all of this, from the black and white image that I took of York races that was inspired by my admiration of Mass Observation and Humphrey Spender to this WordPress blog. Expressing communicating, sharing that’s all but that’s enough.

You don’t have to read it, but thanks if you have.

WordPress Blog For Techserv by Exeter’s Design Credo

Techserv Online Design

Techserv Online Design

Yorkshire’s Techserv Cutting Systems continue to move forward with their online presence. Last year DesignCredo created a new fluid 3-column site which immediately showed a huge improvement for Techserv’s organic search results, both in the UK and more importantly on a worldwide basis. Techserv regularly appears top of page one for relevant Google searches.

New WordPress Site

As part of Techserv’s move forward they have launched a new WordPress blog site developed by Design Credo in Exeter. This site will be used to communicate the huge range of applications that the Techserv cutting machines are used for worldwide.

Techserv have a wide range of stories begging to be told, communicating the strengths of their CNC cutting equipment. WordPress based websites make an ideal platform for dynamic companies to communicate from.

Twitter

Early days yet for Techserv and Twitter but Design Credo have helped Techserv put their best foot forward by bringing the @techservcnc Twitter status page into line visually.