Sunday, 11 October 2009

Argyll Now On Video!

There are many web sites about Argyll and Kintyre online, many are lacking in quality content or professional appeal but here at Net Visuals we are spending many hours each week developing new and innovative web sites to deliver a competitive edge over other areas of Scotland to stimulate and prevent declining tourism.

The 'youtube' phenomenon has grown and grown over the last couple of years and provides a place for primarily the under 25s to watch and share video content, a lot of which is useless and of no cultural or intelligable benefit. However 'youtube' can be ineffective and unprofessional when it comes to promoting tourism in your area.

Recently, over several months, Net Visuals travelled across Kintyre and Argyll spending hours upon hours taking high definition video footage of many interesting locations, animals, buildings, coastlines and much more to deliver a professional and interesting video resource that may aid tourism. This is still ongoing.

Apart from some old cine footage, every piece of video (shot in High Definition 1080i) was taken by Net Visuals using the latest professional HD video equipment and edited in house with titles and scene transition. This has resulted in a consistent and professional resource.

The web sites to visit are, Kintyre Video, and Argyll Video. Additional dedicated video web sites are in development.

It is possible to have some of these video clips available through your web site for a small annual fee, and you can have your business included on these web sites free of charge when you purchase the Net Visuals video service from only £199 + VAT.

Please contact us for more details about this product and getting your business video enabled.

Advertising opportunities for these latest web sites also exist from only £15 + VAT per month. Please contact us for more information.

Search Engine Optimisation

Everyone wants that top spot on Google, compared to Yahoo, Bing and other popular search engines Google remains King delivering 10 times as much web traffic as its nearest search competitor.

Here is some advice to get to that top spot on Google!

First of all, free web traffic is not the be all and end all, a focused offline marketing strategy directed cleverly toward your target customer demographics can be far more successful, although much of the time is expensive and can cut into profits.

Second of all, ignore all emails that tell you they will get your web site to number one on Google and other search engines, they do not work, the very fact that you have received the email demonstrates they have found you on the internet!

I'll give you an example - I receive emails like that all the time, recently claiming to get my web site to number 1 on Google. Tarbertlochfyne currently resides at number 2 on Google for the search term Tarbert, and in the top 7 for the search term Loch Fyne, so performing excellently for the key words of my target demographic for that web site. Now, there are several things that I need to do to get to number 1 on Google, and I know exactly what they are (as you will find out from the advice below) but to change the content and site may result in being number 1 on Google for the search term Tarbert, but lower for Loch Fyne or vice versa. More people search for Loch Fyne daily than Tarbert, so this would be detrimental to free traffic, so you see number 1 for one keyword can have an adverse effect on other keywords.

Our advice, of course is to ask for Net Visuals advice, we know exactly what we are doing and have years of experience and an understanding of getting the best for your web site.

So back to how to get your web site high on Google and other search engines.

Step 1 - Choosing your domain name.

You can reserve domain names and get your web site to work in one of two ways. The first way is to reserve a domain name that reflects your business name, so for us means if people search for the two words Net Visuals, this is a direct domain name match and gives us 'bonus points' in the search engine and will give us priority in search.

The second way is to try and capitalise on general searches rather than your business name, for instance we could choose with the objective of capturing web traffic of those who search for Web Design Argyll, in the short term this can have its advantages, particularly if competition is low or web traffic searches for this keyword phrase are high, but on the down side this will affect ranking for the search term Net Visuals.

Its a bit of a double edged sword, and both can work well, if you promote your business adequately offline and online through advertising and proactive marketing, then the first way is the best, if you do little advertising or little marketing then the second way may be the best choice, but of course it is dependent of your business and you should contact us to discuss it further.

Here are some tips on reserving your domain names, you should always reserve them with us, we manage them for free and also automatically renew them on your behalf so you do not lose them.

Domain Name Tip Number 1

Always reserve the .com domain name is available, this has two systematic benefits;

1) The domain name is the highest domain name available and if the same site existed on a .com or domain name (unless it was local search) the .com will always come higher
2) The .com domain name gives you official dns preference so if your business name was typed in the URL bar on the browser a dns resolution will deliver your web site over any competition with the same name!

Domain Name Tip Number 2

Always reserve the .com domain name AND the domain name, it is easy to forget as a customer whether the business has a or .com domain name and this ensures that if someone looks for your web site and types it in wrong, for example as a new customer remembering an advert from a magazine they had read a day or two ago, then you will still capture that customer.

Domain Name Tip Number 3

If you are considering having a web package from Net Visuals, in particular the mobile design plus package, reserve the .mobi domain name along with your .com and domain name. This ensures you have the right domain names for the future.

Step 2 - Designing your web site

Just uploading PDFs or using large images with no HTML content is no good, and using outdated tools such as Frontpage are no longer acceptable or helpful in delivering an optimized web site. The site has to be designed correctly, with correct HTML tags and using search engine friendly scripts. Only professional developers such as Net Visuals are able to do this.

A further aim of your site is to develop high levels of web traffic, this can be done by providing free content or interactive elements when your web site is designed and should be discussed with your developer.

Step 3 - Writing your content

Your web site must contain your key phrases, up to a certain optimized percentage which is usually about 5 - 7% of total page content. So for instance our web site benefits from the header containing our business name Net Visuals, our business address contains the phrase Net Visuals, and where possible in the main content we also repeat the words Net Visuals. This ensures that our content is optimized for our main search matches.

Step 4 - Promoting your web site

Once you have your domain name, you have written your content and you are satisfied that this should work well with the search engines you need to get it promoted.

There are numerous ways you can do this, and the reason why you must do this is that in order for your web site to be kept high, and ranked high is through high levels of web traffic comparable or higher than your competitors. Relevant and high traffic will get your web site seen.

The first thing is to submit your site to those search engines, occasionally your site may be found and crawled by the robots but it is best not to rely on this and using Net Visuals Web Trafficdriver product is a perfect way to get your web site listed on over 100 top search engines in 6-8 weeks or less.

The second thing is to submit your web site for free links or as part of a strategic online and offline advertising campaign as described in our marketing suggestions further below. This will generate web traffic.

Marketing Your Web Site

People search in particular ways and use particular phrases, for example particularly in the Scottish tourist industry people are likely to find your web site at one of four levels;

1) national - going to the Visit Scotland web site and learning about areas
2) by area - such as Argyll and Bute and browsing Argyll web sites
3) sub area - selecting an area of Argyll and Bute such as Islay, Bute or Kintyre
4) town/village - selecting a destination and viewing sites for that town or village

advertising at each of these levels on web sites is essential as this will bring you web traffic to your web site which has a potential high conversion rate.

You should get as many quality web links as you can, reciprocal links hold less value than solo inbound links, and avoiding web farms (mass link strategies) should be avoided completely.

You should market your site offline, display it on your business materials, in social networking, leaflets, writing articles to local newspapers or relevant magazines. If your business has historical interest that may develop customers, make sure your business is featured in the relevant news titles or web sites.

At least every 3 months you should test the search engines for key phrases that people search for and find out the web sites that are likely to give you traffic, for instance if you have a hotel in Kintre, you need to know the web sites that are delivered when people type in key phrases such as Kintyre Hotel, Kintyre, Tarbert, Machrihanish, Campbeltown, Carradale, Argyll etc and make sure your web site is listed or included for the area, town or village you are in.

This is the basic starting point for getting your web site noticed online by potential and existing customers and should help you generate or improve your current free web traffic. Remember though, on balance you want to advertise but maximize your customer conversions per pound, so getting as much relevant free web traffic may reduce your need to advertise.

How do you know where your web traffic and customers are coming from? The first and most conventional way is to ask your customers where they found you, include a 'where did you find us' field on your contact forms or limit your advertising to specific publications and web sites from year to year, month to month.

The second way is to get Net Visuals to manage your web site, we install the free Google Analytics plug-in and this allows you to see where your web traffic is coming from, how much traffic you have daily, monthly and annually. You are shown what keywords people search for to find your web site, how much is direct traffic (e.g. from adverts offline) or indirect such as search engine or referred from other web sites. It is an incredibly useful tool and we encourage any customer to use it, it is accurate, and removes the possibility of your web designer faking web traffic to your web site!!

Contact us today for more assistance with your web site in an easy way you can understand and that will not cost you a small fortune.