Blog

Fonts

A wonderful option you can have with one of our websites, is the ability to use and change to a variety of fonts in your title, page headings, menu font and body font.  With the websites that I create you can change to a choice of over 680 fonts any time you like.

In the olden days, we were limited to the basic fonts that were installed in all computers. We could download and use beautiful fonts on our computers but we knew if we put them onto our websites most people wouldn’t be able to see them unless we converted the font to an image. An image font isn’t as good to use as google can’t read it and so it isn’t as good for search results and SEO.

Now a whole world of typography has been opened with Google fonts.  It’s free to use, has over 680 fonts (and counting!), and will add a ton of visual appeal to your website designs. With the websites that I create you can change to any google fonts any time you like. Instructions below.

To see what fonts are available to you and to help you choose which fonts you like the best, go to Google Fonts

This is the first page you will see. It will show a default set of fonts, all 682 of them. Here, you can filter for sans serif, wide, narrow, script or slant.

google-fonts-1

Google fonts webpage

You can change the text, and see what your actual text looks like in each font. You can apply the wording to all fonts to help you choose the right font for your website.  If you move your mouse over the font you like, the words ‘Show Specimen’ pops up. If you click on this  you can type in your image and see more information about it.

googlefonts2

Tryout out one of the fonts available.

googlefonts3

It suggests what font would go well with the heading

It even gives you suggested pairings. So if you choose a fancy font for your heading, it suggests what font would be good to use as your text and shows you how it would look.

Once you’ve chosen the fonts you like, go back to your website dashboard and make the changes.  Just go to your dashboard – go to ‘Appearance’ – ‘Theme Design’ – ‘Fonts’ and from there you can edit the title, headings, body fonts and menu fonts, preview it and then make it live.

In this example (new site I’m working on) I chose Pacifico font for the Heading and Site title and Open Sans for the main font & navigation. Once I’ve made this change, it changes on the whole website.

fonts

How to change fonts on your dashboard

See how it looks on the site.

capture

How it then looks on an example website

Facebook competitions

If you are planning on running a competition on your Facebook Page to promote an event or product, you need to ensure your competition is run in accordance with both Facebook Page Guidelines for Promotions and State Government regulations for trade promotions.

Failure to comply with these legal requirement could result in your business being fined or your Page being removed by Facebook. All it takes is for a competitor or disgruntled customer or ex-employee to report you. Not worth the risk.

Facebook allows us to choose a winner from people who leave a comment on a post or Like a post. You can’t ask people to ‘Like and Share’ an image to Win” or “Tag a Friend to Win”

According to the new Facebook Terms: “Personal Timelines and friend connections must not be used to administer promotions  (ex: “share on your Timeline to enter” or “share on your friend’s Timeline to get additional entries”, and “tag your friends in this post to enter” are not permitted).”

If you want to promote your competition wider than your current fans, then ask them to Share the competition post, but don’t tell them they have to in order to enter.

If you run Facebook competitions on your business page it can be hard to select a winner.  If you get hundreds of comments you need to ensure that you are fair when you select a Facebook contest winner? This website give 3 apps that will do the job for you.  http://www.spiderworking.com/blog/2014/11/25/picking-facebook-competition-winner/

Here are a few examples

How to stop spam coming through your contact form

If you have a contact form on your website, chances are you are getting a lot of spam from ‘Sexy Russion Girls’ and ‘marketers offering all sorts’. There are a couple ways to stop this:

  • Capcha Code – a lot of forms ask you to fill in an image generated number or word. I don’t like this method as it’s a bit of extra work for the customer and sometimes it’s hard to read.
  • Honeypot plugin – this is the one I like best and the one I prefer to use. It seems to work very well.

Honeypot is a spam prevention technology. It tricks and traps spam bots into revealing themselves by giving them a field to fill out that human users can not see. When bots fill the in the field, they end up revealing themselves and are caught before they could post spam.

To install a honeypot secret field to fool those spambots, follow the instructions on this video. Don’t you think the guy sounds like Pooh bear who loves honey. Or follow the written instructions below. Or ask me to do it for you.

  1. Install using the WordPress “Add Plugin” feature — just search for “Contact Form 7 Honeypot”.
  2. Confirm that Contact Form 7 is installed and activated. Then activate this plugin.
  3. Edit a form in Contact Form 7.
  4. Choose “Honeypot” from the CF7 tag generator. Recommended: change the honeypot element’s ID.
  5. Insert the generated tag anywhere in your form. The added field uses inline CSS styles to hide the field from your visitors.

Spam on your Comment boxes – use Akismet plugin

You may still receive spam via your ‘Comment’ boxes on your blog or pages that you have the comment boxes open. If you want to stop the spam on these, it’s best to use Akismet plugin. Activate the plugin and then generate an API key by following their instructions. They will try get you to fill out your credit card but if you want to start with the free version just drag the slider that’s titled “What’s Akismet worth to you” to Zero and they won’t ask for payment – submit and voila, it’s all set up.

What are spambots you might ask?

Forum spambots surf the web, looking for guestbooks, blogs, forums, and other types of web forms that it can then use to submit bogus content. Some spam messages are targeted towards readers and can involve techniques of target marketing or even phishing, making it hard to tell real posts from the bot generated ones. Other spam messages are not meant to be read by humans, but are instead posted to increase the number of hyperlinks to a particular web site, to boost its search engine ranking.

 

 

Contact form 7 suggested updates

Various servers  have recently upgraded their filter systems to try stop spam coming through and this has caused many of the contact form emails to go into spam folders. So if someone fills in the contact form on your website, it might not be coming through to your email.

Don’t worry, if you are using the ‘Flamingo plugin’ (as all Seagene websites do), these are never lost emails as all contact forms filled in on your website are saved in a folder called ‘Flamingo’ on your WordPress dashboard. I’d advise that you have a look there to see if there are any emails that have been submitted on your website that haven’t come through to your email.

Your website that I set up for you has a contact form using a plugin called Contact form 7, the most widely used contact form plugin in wordpress.
The developers of this plugin have suggested that we make a change to the code on this plugin to stop the emails going into your spam due to this new change. They suggest that if an email is being sent from your website domain, it should now have a FROM address from that domain.

So to use my website as example www.seagene.co.uk – I should have the form sending from the email info@seagene.co.uk.

Even if you don’t have your domain email set up and you still only use gmail or hotmail, you can still have the form sending from info@yourdomain.com. It will still come to your gmail or hotmail.

See my example:

contactformscreenshot

So in the From: your should put [your-name] <info@yourdomain.co.uk
Also they advise that in the subject you should put [your-subject] and then add on something extra like I have – Seagene contact form.
Additional headers should be: Reply-To: [your-email]

The ‘To’ email address can either be your domain email or your personal email.

Save changes and test your form to check that it comes through to your email.

How to get up higher on google maps

Getting listed on google maps is so important for getting visible on Google search. The google map result is usually on the first page and appears above the normal (organic) listings. Have a look at these examples below – click on the image and see how the google maps show up either directly below the google ads or on the right hand side. When you search for a term like ‘electrician St Ives, Cornwall, or ‘Film production Cornwall’ like in these examples the first few results will usually be google adverts and you can’t get higher than that. But if a location is in the search term, a google map comes up showing the first 3 results and if you click on the image it shows more results on the map. You really need to be on here and below are some tips on how to get on or get higher on google maps.

So how can your Google Local Business Listing rank higher on Google Maps?

Here’s a list of things you should do.

1. Verify your listing and make sure that your information is correct. If there are two locations or phone numbers listed for one actual business, Google will discredit this. Only make one listing per business entity or per physical business location. If there are 2 businesses running on the same property make sure that you give it a ‘Store Number’ for each to differentiate.

2. Make sure your listing is 100% complete. Enter all the information like opening times, profile pictures, cover pictures and info you can until it says that you are complete.

3. Increase your inbound links from major data providers like yellow pages, yahoo, local chamber website which will list your address. Most good sites will require a fee for a directory listing, but some are free. Having links from other high ranking websites to your website will increase Google’s “trust” in your listing. Google wants to see that your listing information matches other well known and trustworthy sources. They are no longer relying on just the business owner supplied information anymore.

4. Add user reviews. A few good reviews will help you rank higher on Google Maps. Create a landing page on your website that has a direct link to your Google map listing and this is the link you will want people to click to write a review. Ask a few your favorite customers to write a review for you on google maps.

5. Add proper category associations. Make sure that you have chosen the correct category. Search your business and see what category other similar businesses have used.

6. Put your full business address on your website contact page. Make sure your contact page information is up to date and correct.  Google will check that your website contact page is consistent with your Google Maps listing information.

7. If you have control over the links to your website, have location keywords in anchor text for inbound links.  Instead of it saying “click here” to visit website, have it say “Visit Jabula Stretch Tent, St Ives, Cornwall”.

8. Include keywords in your listing description. Your Google Maps description has to be short (they impose a character limit) but needs to include your keywords. Instead of writing “Jabula Stretch Tents for Events” say something like “Jabula Stretch Tents, Cornwall”.

Continue reading

Google changes

There is a brand new change on google adwords and google search engine and it’s not great. Google has removed all Paid per Click (PPC) ads from the right-hand side of the search engine results page and there are now four paid search results at the top, with nothing on the right and then more paid ads (up to 3) at the bottom. It looks oddly blank now on the right and you don’t see any organic searches unless you scroll down past the paid adverts.

See how the change looks;  Here’s a search for ‘london hotel’ carried out two days ago…sideads
And here is the same search today – completely blank on the right hand side …
Screenshot

I don’t know about you, but I find this really irritating for these reasons.

  • If you are using Google Adwords it will make it harder and more expensive to get on the first page as you can no longer be featured on the right .
  • If you aren’t using Google adwords and your website is high on organic search, you will now show up mush lower than you did before. Even if you are No 1 on the search page, you will now only show up as No 4 or 5 if there are people paying for ads.
  • When searching for things on google  the first 3 or 4 results are paid adverts so are not the most relevant to the search. Now we have to scroll past more to reach them and most people don’t realise that those are adverts.

Google’s decision appears to be entirely commercially driven, and it is probably due to the fact that most people are viewing google on their phones and so don’t see the adverts on the side at all so they not earning as much as they want to.

This will be fine for the big companies that can afford to pay to be in the top four and the smaller companies who rely on the cheaper traffic will not be able to compete. In the long run, I wonder if this will backfire on Google as the sidebar advertisers give up rather than attempt to compete. This will put less pressure on the top of page advertisers to bid high, and ultimately could end in lower CPCs. Hopefully this will be the case and they’ll change it back again to how it was before.

Here’s an example: when I tried searching for one of our websites ‘Stretch tents St Ives Cornwall’ (which is quite specific) the first 3 results are all stretch tents that are not in Cornwall and then our website ‘Jabula Tents’ is the first organic search result.
See how Jabula Tents info is highlighted on the right because it is showing up on Google places.
Screenshot001

Here’s another example using one of our websites which shows what it looks like when no-one has paid for advertising. What a joy! First place organic search and showing up on the right under Google places.

This shows how important it is that your details and website are on Google Places – we can help with this if you aren’t showing up.
Screenshot002

 

 

 

Mobile-friendly – soon will get you higher in search engines

Google announced that from 21st April they are now ranking websites that are mobile-friendly, higher than websites that are not. This is being called Mobilegeddon and while the name may sound silly, it represents a very real threat to the Google rankings of millions of websites.

mobilefriendly

Test report from one of my websites

Luckily all Seagene websites are mobile friendly, so if you have one of my websites you don’t need to worry. If you’d like to test to see if your website is mobile friendly, use the app that google provide. Mobile-Friendly Test.

Here is the report posted by Google on 23rd Feb 2015

1. More mobile-friendly websites in search results

Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.

To get help with making a mobile-friendly site, check out our guide to mobile-friendly sites. If you’re a webmaster, you can get ready for this change by using the following tools to see how Googlebot views your pages:

  • If you want to test a few pages, you can use the Mobile-Friendly Test.
  • If you have a site, you can use your Webmaster Tools account to get a full list of mobile usability issues across your site using the Mobile Usability Report.

Second domains – benefits and how best to use them

If you’re setting up a website advertising your business you may want to get two or more domains. This costs you only the price of a domain which is £6 a year only and it can be redirected or mapped to your main website at no extra cost usually. The method of redirecting one domain to another is very important as you don’t want it to affect your ratings on search engines so I’ve researched this and although there are conflicting views, I think I use  the best method of redirecting.

Reasons to have more than one domain.

Rebranding – you may have decided to change the name of your business so need a new domain to match this. There will still be old business cards & links from website with your old domain name on it so you will need to keep both.

Protecting your name – If you own a site at jabulatents.co.uk then you might want to stop anyone opening a rival site at e.g. jabula-tents.co.uk which could be mistaken for yours. So you might want to register multiple names as a method of protecting your brand, and then redirect them all to the same place.

Another reason for wanting a second domain name  is if you would like to get the .com and .co.uk but if your website is uk based then  a .com isn’t really necessary and it is 3 times the price of a .co.uk.

Also its a good idea to get the different versions of your domain name so no-one else can get the same (but similar) name than you.

Semalt / buttons-for-websites – remove from analytics

I was busy checking out google analtics with a website client to see where her hits on her website were coming from, and we noticed a high number coming from a website called semalt.com and another website called buttons-for-websites.com.

Later checking my own websites, I noticed hits from the same websites. Looking it up further I found that this a problem for many people and I found this interesting article amongst many on this website http://www.tenrec.com/site-security/what-is-semalt/ and another one that mentions both websites.

They apparently don’t harm your website in any way but it is quite important to remove them from our google analytics number results as it skews your ‘page hit’ traffic report. It can also make your bounce rate look very high as they as they hit one page at a time (i.e. not following links on the page).

To remove them from your results in google analytics, do the following:

Go to Admin – Filters – enter new filter: ‘Semalt’ and under Filter type,  choose ‘Predefined’ – ‘Exclude’ – ‘Traffic from this ISP domain’ – ‘that are equal to’, then enter domain name semalt.com. Then in the box below it should show up ‘all website data / or your domain name’, then ‘add’ and ‘save’.

Do the same for buttons-for-websites.com

Or more indepth instructions on http://www.wikihow.com/Create-a-Filter-in-Google-Analytics

Here’s another brilliant article about it http://www.xdude.com/how-to-block-semalt-com-from-your-google-analytics-reports/

Comments are closed