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Snapchat – The New TV Advert

Imagine a company could make a video of how their product worked or show it in action, then send that video directly too you. You could only see it for 10 seconds and you had to watch it or else you would have one of those annoying unread message icons until you did. Would you like this? Would you find it annoying? Would it even matter if you did, because you watched it, you don’t have much choice.

Snapchat allows this. However, right now, it’s not being used to that effect. Snapchat is untainted, it’s a novelty for some and others it’s now engrained in their life. People send videos & pictures of their everyday activities to people in their contact list. Eating breakfast, driving in the car, reading the paper & walking the dog. All are Snapchat worthy moments. Some may think that’s crazy, but it’s happening.  The company itself has secured major financial backing over the last few months and is now a commodity to be reckoned with.

Marketers have not clocked on to it’s usefulness (Lynx have become the first brand to use Snapchat as a marketing tool in the UK) as yet. All you need is somebody’s phone number, a smart phone and a 3G/4G connection. Unlike Vine & Instagram, where videos can be made/edited then stored on a profile page, Snapchat is instantly forgotten (so we hope). As soon as the video (or picture) has been watched. Like a TV advert or as you drive down the motorway and see a billboard, you look, and if it engages you enough then you remember it. 10 seconds to get your point across.

If you think you can capture the attention of people in 10 seconds, not annoy them and be persistent then Snapchat marketing could be the one for you. You are not relying on people “liking” or “following” you, you can just send them something. You have one chance, one opportunity (to seize everything you ever wanted…sorry) to get into peoples heads….what are you going to do?

Domain Names

When thinking about getting your first website, your first thought should be of choosing a good domain name. Depending on the overall purpose of your new website, there are a couple of important factors that you should take into account when searching for your domain name, which are, a) is the domain name brandable, b) does the domain name contain related and popular keywords, and c) is the domain name available to be registered.

Brandable Domains

If you’re looking for a brandable domain name that is highly memorable and will stands your company out from the rest, then it is more than likely that you will have to sacrifice having ‘searched for’ keywords with your domain name. This may mean that you won’t get that extra strength when it comes to ranking towards the top of search engines, but choosing a good domain name over a domain name containing keywords could be the right choice for your company in the long term because it means that you can create a more powerful and trusted brand.

Keyword Domains

Looking for domain names containing highly searched keywords will provide the perfect platform for starting an SEO campaign to get your website to the top of the search engines. By limiting your domain name choices to ones that only contain your chosen keywords does mean that you may have to sacrifice a long term brand. We recommend keyword domains to online independent companies that aren’t too concerned about building a catchy, well recognised name.

Lastly, you need to check if your chosen domain is available. You can do this by going to any domain name provider and performing a quick search to check that it hasn’t already been registered. We regularly use to register our domains and we would recommend them to anybody looking to buy their first domain name.

Google Pagerank Update

The long awaited (by some!) Google pagerank update has once again hit millions of websites around the world. The pagerank update always brings a mixed bag of fortune and naturally, some websites will increase in pagerank and some may well lose it. There is still no certainty on how long the pagerank updating process takes the almighty Google to complete but we will be waiting a couple more days before confirming any changes.

The Pagerank Debate

There’s still an ongoing debate on what pagerank means, is it important, should you take any notice of it? Well, everybody has their own opinions and there are many pro’s AND con’s relating to Google’s page ranking system. Our opinion is that pagerank can be very useful but there definitely needs to be more frequent updates because new websites are at a major disadvantage and have to wait months to say goodbye to their default PR ZERO or N/A.

Some critics say that pagerank has no relation to search engine rankings, but in many ways it does. Well ranked websites are usually ranked at the top for good reasons, a) strong inbound links, b) quality content, c) good on-page seo, now how do you think Google decides on a websites pagerank? Do you not think that Pagerank is based on similar lines to the above points? Of course. There are always going to be examples of websites with high pagerank, which don’t make it to page one for their keywords and there will be a reason for this i.e., the websites on page one also have pagerank, along with better content, links and optimisation – we have a PR4 website that’s sat all the way back on page three for its keyword…

Anyway we hope that you enjoy your new pagerank and don’t be too disheartened if some of your websites lost some of their pagerank. The important thing is to carry on concentrating on building quality links, adding good related content and keeping your website’s coding clean, tidy and fast.

Moving to Apple

The time has finally come. We are moving over to Apple to try out their latest Macbook. After constant appraisals of the software that the machines are loaded with along with the speed and performance you get for designing, we had to give in and give them a try. Fresh out of the local Apple store we are going to be working from the new Macbook Air 13.3″ laptop over the next few weeks to see if it helps us with designing and building websites. If you’re wondering why we chose the Air over the Pro, it’s simply because it looks and feels so much slicker and has just as good as (if not better) performance and is lightening quick.

We’ll update you with our review soon.

Web Design Forums

Web design forums along with SEO forums are a great source of information if you want to find out about everything from coding, optimisation, design and much more. Instead of reading tutorials and relying on search engines to find the help that you need, you can sign up to one of many established forums and ask for assistance from experienced design/developers.

To get you started we recommend for web design help and for search engine related queries.

SEO Benefits

If you’re a developer and have a few moments to provide answers to those looking for web related help then there is also a strong SEO benefit to take advantage of. If you’re contributing  good information on the forums then you are rewarded with the ability of including a signature on each of your posts, which is perfect for containing a link back to your website or to any other websites that you may be optimising. Perfect!

Premium Link Building

Many SEO companies promote link building as a large chuck of their SEO strategy and this is something that you should look into before signing up to any lengthy investment. Link building certainly does account for a considerable portion of having a successful SEO campaign to gain the results that you need BUT it’s the quality of the link building that’s being carried out, which will determine how successful your website is going to perform in the search engines.

Free, Reciprocal and Paid Links

In our SEO campaigns we focus on quality rather than quantity. You can gain the same benefit (if not more!) by researching authorative and relevant premium websites rather than wasting time and effort pumping out 1000’s of links to your website from unrelated, less powerful sites. In fact, by publishing your website using spammy anchor text on unrelated websites which link out to hundreds of other unrelated websites, may even have a adverse effect. This may see your website drop down the search engine rankings.

Not all premium websites cost the earth to add your website to, you can find several premium blogs, directories, forums and websites, which offer reciprocal and even free submissions. To find these websites you need to take the time to research relevant and industry specific websites, which provide useful information and are already well established in search engines. Sometimes it’s also necessary to contact the websites Webmaster to inquire about advertising rates, etc.

The general message that we are trying to explain in this post is that when it comes to link building for your website, quality is better than quantity. Build your links slowly and take extra time to find partner websites that 100% compliment the industry that you’re competing in.

For more information visit our SEO Services section.

Thanks for reading,
Professional Web Design

Google Instant

Google have recently released a new update to their search engine called Google Instant. We’re sure that you have all had a go with the new search feature since Google didn’t provide the option of sticking with the standard search, although once you have performed a search you do then get the chance to switch the Instant search off. Alternatively you can sign into your Google account and switch Instant off through the settings page.

Google Instant enhances your search, making it smarter and faster. As you type into the search box Google performs multiple searches, predicting what you’re looking for without you having to take the extra milliseconds to click Search or press Enter.  You will either love it or hate it, we haven’t come to a final conclusion just yet. Type (33*15)/9 into Google… at least you won’t need to worry about having a calculator any more.

CSS3 Rounded Corners

CSS3 is showing amazing leaps in the way in which designers can now manipulate various on page effects within CSS without using design software such as Fireworks and Photoshop. Today we are looking at creating rounded corners on a simple web banner using CSS3 border-radius.

So here is the standard web banner contained within a square <DIV> tag 400px x 100px.
WITHOUT CSS Rounded Border-Radius
Here is the same <DIV> tag and web banner with the addition of a few lines of CSS3 coding.

WITH CSS Rounded Border-Radius

It’s so simple but really effective and time saving. Normally designers would need to create the rounded corner effect on the image and with a clear background but now we can code the effect directly in CSS.

Here is the CSS/HTML code used in the CSS3 rounded border-radius example above:

web-banner img{
/*Border Radius controls – Edit to change effect*/
-moz-border-radius: 1em 4em 1em 4em;
border-radius: 1em 4em 1em 4em;

<div id=”web-banner”>
<img src=”” width=”400″ height=”100″ alt=”CSS Rounded Border-Radius” />
Hope that you enjoy!