SEO | Web Development Articles from York web designers Semlyen IT

Archive for the ‘SEO’ Category

Heat Logs, Wood Pellets and Firewood in North Yorkshire

Posted on Tuesday, November 19th, 2013 by Jim

Semlyen IT became Castlegate IT in 2011.

We keep this blog  in order to provide links back to our client’s websites.

Renewable Wood Fuels is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of a range of domestic heating products including Agrol Wood Pellets and Agrol Heat Logs.

Heat logs are a clean, convenient and natural alternative to traditional firewood.  Heat logs are ideal for wood burning and multi-fuel stoves.

We are drawing to the end of a super project for Dalby Firewood, suppliers of Logs in North Yorkshire.  Dalby have commissioned a fantastic responsive e-commerce website.  With bespoke shopping cart, customer accounts and full administration system. More on that soon!

Check our Portfolio for more examples of our work.

IQ Property: Website Recode

Posted on Friday, April 26th, 2013 by Jamie

IQ Property, a Letting agent in Moseley, required a boost to their search engine rankings. In order to get the best search engine results we decided a recode of the website was needed.

Google much prefers lean, semantic code, with a high content to code ratio. It likes to see the page’s content straight away, without having to crawl through lots of code to find it. Lean code also benefits from improved performance and shorter page load times.

Their current website consisted of a whopping 1555 lines of code, with the first line of page content other than the meta tags starting at line 1257. The code mostly consisted of inline CSS and style tags repeating the same styles again and again. We took the site and recoded it to our usual standards, bringing the home page down to a nice 395 lines of readable, reusable code, and moving all the styles into a single CSS file.

Now that the content has room to breathe, and Google can swiftly crawl the site we should see much improved results for Moseley Letting Agent IQ Property.

Mezzanine floors: going up!

Posted on Monday, January 14th, 2013 by Richard

Mezzanine floor manufacturer Storplan Racking Ltd, based at Full Sutton near York, has grown to become one of the country’s most respected mezzanine floor manufacturers and storage equipment specialists. Castlegate IT has been working with Storplan on their corporate website, giving it some SEO treatment to improve their organic Google rankings.

Industrial mezzanine floors can provide valuable additional space in a warehouse or yard situation, but Storplan also provide innovative mezzanine floor solutions in more picturesque settings such as a recent project in a grade-2 listed dove cote. Storplan devised a 3-tier mezzanine floor solution to turn the dove cote into a luxury holiday let.

Although the main part of the business is mezzanine floors, Storplan also manufacture Industrial Staircases, Handrails, Pallet Racking, Shelving, Garment Hanging, Security cages, Mesh Partitioning and Screens, Lockers & Staircases and Mezzanines for Retail spaces. All of these areas needed to be considered in the SEO plan for the site.

Initially, we did some keyword research which identified key phrases to focus on. These were used to describe page content in the title, descriptions and H1 headings, and allocated to landing pages. This phase resulted in some terms rising in the rankings by as much as 8 pages. A second phase has concentrated on optimising the text. It was important that this was done sensitively, to maintain the quality of the content. With many of the phrases now on page one of Google, the project is showing great results.

SEO for Scoot Cycling Holidays

Posted on Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 by Helen

When a website already has a #1 position for some searches, particularly those using location-specific terms, it may be time to think about building on this with new SEO campaigns. Scoot Cycling Holidays, who recently commissioned some SEO work, were already sitting at the top of Google for “cycling holidays in Yorkshire” and related searches, but found that being in this position was not bringing them as much web traffic, and thus as much business, as they wanted.

Their target market is visitors from abroad, primarily those visiting Britain from the USA and Australia, who might want to take a short countryside break in the middle of a tour of major cities. As such people may not have a specific county in mind prior to their visit, they may be unlikely to type “Yorkshire cycling holidays” into Google. Furthermore, when I did some search popularity research with the location set to the US, I found that the monthly searches that include “cycling holiday” are fairly low. Thinking this was simply a case of the UK’s “holiday” being equivalent to the USA’s “vacation” I tried “cycling vacations”. Surprisingly, this was even less popular, according to Google’s Keyword Tool. After a bit more research, I found that the more commonly used term is “cycling tour”, and similar variables.

Choosing exactly which phrases to optimise the home page for was tricky for this site – they wanted to keep their position at the top for “Yorkshire cycling holidays”, and were already on page 2 for “UK cycling holidays”, which, although less popular, still brought them some traffic. “England bike tours” was the primary phrase I chose, while keeping the Yorkshire and UK cycling holidays content included so that they would maintain their positions. As the site had previously had very dilute and unfocused SEO content, the SEO for the “cycling holidays” phrases was improved by the treatment, even though they were only secondary terms. The site has since risen several places for “UK cycling holidays” and remains at position 1 for “Yorkshire cycling holidays”. It has made an entry a little further down Google’s search results for “England bike tours”, in which it could not be found anywhere prior to any treatment. As the SEO work is not yet complete, this is a promising start.

Too Many Meta Keywords

The meta keywords before the SEO treatment: the existing content was dilute and unfocused – more than half of the keywords had little relevance to the content of the page, or the SEO target. Google pays little attention to these anyway, so they were of little use, and getting in the way of the real content.

Search Engine Visibility on a Budget

Posted on Thursday, October 13th, 2011 by Helen

As the importance of SEO becomes more well-known, we’re taking on an increasing number of projects for small businesses who have existing websites and limited budgets. The websites that they originally set up may not have been built with SEO in mind, or even to best practice regarding the coding standards we would normally apply when building a new site. However, even with a small budget and half a day’s work, it can be possible to take a site that cannot be found anywhere in Google and give it a significant boost. This usually does not involve much recoding, and seldom changing the site’s appearance – it’s more a case of ensuring the right tags (for example, the title and meta tags) are in the right place and say the right things, and adjusting the written content to make sure it reflects what the site is about.

This may sound like common sense, but it’s quite easy to accidentally write a site’s content in a way that means it could be ignored by Google for what it supposed to be its target key phrase. A common mistake is making the title tag of the homepage just say “Home”. Another related problem is starting the website with a generic heading such as “Welcome to my Website”. These are the first things that Google will read when it encounters a site, so, if you are a York builder, as one of our recent clients is, these two important places ought to include phrases such as “builder in York“. If you have graphics and headers already proclaiming that this is what you do, it’s sometimes easy to forget that although the human eye sees these as prominent, search engines may not. Even if there is relevant alt text behind the image, Google wants to know that you’re so certain of your identity as a York builder that you’ve made it your website’s main heading. Preferably twice, in the title bar and as the H1 heading.

However, search engines, although not yet sentient (we hope) have evolved a bit of cynicism. If, for example, a webpage has headings declaring that the site belongs to a York architect, but the body text does not contain phrases such as “architect in York” or even mention the words “York” or “architecture” very much at all, Google may look at it, get a bit hopeful at the beginning about its relevance to architecture, but then be disappointed when the rest of the site’s content doesn’t follow through. It needs to be reassured that the title isn’t just a red herring. Fortunately, it’s quite an easy adjustment to make. If someone genuinely is a York-based architect, it’s a sensible thing for them to state on their website, if they haven’t already.

This is another illustration of how writing content for search engines should not be regarded as a separate art from writing for human readers. The fine-tuning of the details is what makes the difference.

York Architects

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