Picture the situation; you’ve paid a large sum of money for a brand new website with all the bells and whistles. A few months down the line the web developer goes bust, and your site is left in limbo. With no support number to call, what would you do in this situation? You’ve bought a website, but does that mean you own it? Follow these top tips to keep your website under control: Check your domain name is registered in your own name If your…

We’re big fans of WordPress at Ascendancy. The open source blog/CMS is our tool of choice when building new sites for many of our clients. It’s dead simple for clients to add new content to their own site, and easy to add new functionality, with new third-party plug-ins being created every day. As some of our readers may already know, we started out as an SEO agency, so we’re big on ensuring that our clients’ websites perform well in…

Over the last few months, you’ve probably heard quite a bit about Google’s latest attempt to break Facebook’s grip on our online social lives. Google’s previous social project, Google Buzz, never really got off the ground. This was partly due to the negative publicity the service received regarding poor user privacy and partly due to the fact that it didn’t really offer anything new. Google launched its new Google+ service to great…

Hopefully all readers of this blog should have access to a website statistics package – usually Google Analytics – that tells them how many visitors are coming to their website, what the most popular parts of the site are, how much of their traffic is coming from Google, and so on. (If you haven’t got this kind of information, you really should have – contact us if you need help sorting this out). Many clients feel…

Google’s ranking algorithm attempts to determine the most relevant and high quality search results from a particular query.  The search engine giant has recently updated their algorithm (the ‘Farmer’ update, also called the ‘Panda’ update) to penalise websites that have a large amount of ‘shallow’ or ‘low-quality’ content, in a bid to drive spam levels down. We’ve spoken to a few clients who are…

You’ve probably heard the hype over the last couple of weeks that the new Google Instant is going to ‘change SEO forever’. If you’re not sure what Google Instant is, here’s a quick summary. If you’re logged into Google with a Google account (which you will have if you’ve ever signed up to any of Google’s many services such as Gmail, Google AdWords or Google Analytics) then you will notice a difference when you search. As soon as…

A great way to boost traffic to your website is to get your products and services listed on Google’s product search. Formerly known as Froogle, Google Product Search is a price comparison service and a competitor to well-known shopping sites such as Kelkoo, Ciao and Pricerunner. Google Product Search results are displayed alongside organic listings; for example if you search for “Breville kettle” on Google UK, results from Google…

A common issue faced by our clients is that they need to find an effective way of targeting potential clients online who are situated in a particular local area.  If this sounds like you, here’s a checklist of several effective ways to target your local customers online: Make sure you have created a listing on Google Maps. If you’re listed already (as many businesses are) then take control of your listing by creating a new entry on…

As we work on our clients’ websites, we often see the same issues recurring across multiple projects. One particularly tricky issue that we frequently come up against is when a client is suffering from what we call ‘KFS’, or Keyword Fixation Syndrome. I asked our optimisation specialist Geoff about Keyword Fixation Syndrome – how to recognise the signs, and how to overcome it! Keyword Fixation Syndrome can be diagnosed…

Increasingly, we take over Google AdWords accounts that our clients have set up for themselves and subsequently found the system more difficult to make pay than they had expected. Google AdWords makes me think of the phrase ‘A minute to learn, a lifetime to master’ which was on the box of the Othello board game which I used to play as a child. Google have done an excellent job of making the AdWords setup process easy to use, so that…

The words that you use on your website are crucial not only for attracting visitors to your website via search engines, but also to convert your visitors into paying customers or clients. Even if you consider yourself a good writer, you may not know about writing for the web and how it differs from writing for print. Jakob Nielsen, usability guru, starts an article on “How Users Read on the Web” with the phrase “They…

If you’ve recently redesigned your website, or made some major changes to its content or functionality, you probably didn’t give a second thought to what happened to the ‘old’ version of the site. After all, you probably didn’t like that site very much and couldn’t wait to see the back of it. Maybe you didn’t like the design, the content no longer fitted with your vision for the business, or perhaps the…

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