Headings help users and search engines to read and understand text, so it’s important to get it right. I will use appropriate Headings – H1, H2, H3 – in this blog to demonstrate.
Why use different Headings? (This is H2)
Headings show structure (this is H3 as it’s a sub-heading)
Headings are signposts that guide readers through an article. Therefore, they should indicate what a section or a paragraph is about.
They are NOT just a way to add different size and colours of font, which we have heard said by more than one person!
Headings improve accessibility (H3)
By reading or listening to the headings in an article, visually impaired people can decide whether or not to read the full website page or blog. Here’s a great article about why your website needs to be accessible for all readers.
Do Headings get my website ranked mire highly by search engines? (H3)
Headings aren’t a specific factor in how search engines rank your website.
However, if you use Headings correctly and help the visitor find the content that is helpful, Google will value your content more highly, which is great for your website.
How to choose the right Heading
I’m using another H2 above because I’m starting a new section about exactly how to choose the right heading.
Use H1 only for Page or Post Title (H3 – another sub-heading)
The heading I have used is H3 because it is within the section all about choosing the right heading, but talking specifically about H1.
Use H2 for Sections
Think of H2 like Chapter Titles – use it for the main section headings in your page or post.
Use H3 is for Sub Sections
Now I am actually using an H3 to indicate that I am talking about where to use an H3!
Think carefully before using H4
Only use if you need to break up the content beneath an H3 heading into sub sub sections. (We don’t use any on our website.)
Don’t worry about H5 and H6
Unless you have very in-depth product specification, you won’t need H5 or H6 – don’t just use them because they are a different font or colour.
If you’re ready to start a website for your own business, click the button below to book a Quick Chat with Fred to chat through what package would suit you best.
You want your website to look fabulous and work beautifully too, right? That’s why it’s really important to use the right size website images for the right purpose.
For screens, the measurement that matters is pixels, and measures the height and width of your image.
For website images, think in terms of width.
The maximum width you need for a full-screen image – such as a Hero Image or background image – is 2500px.
The width you need for an image within a page is 500-1000px.
Think about where you will use the photo before re-sizing. A small image will be pixilated if it displays larger than the actual size, so don’t over-reduce your website image.
A large image can be displayed smaller, but your page will load more slowly if it is unnecessarily large – a website no-no!
Using the right file type for your website image is essential. The file type might be different for printed material.
JPEGs are best for website photos because:
- JPEGs support 16 million colours;
- JPEGs can be compressed in a way that means your file size can be smaller without losing quality – important to make sure your website doesn’t load slowly
JPEGs aren’t good for text on images because the compression method means that the text edges can be blurry.
PNGs are best for website graphics because:
- PNGs use a limited palette of colours with great vibrant colour depth;
- The limited colour palette means that file sizes can be tiny – great for your website;
- PNGs can also be transparent, which is ideal for logos and favicons.
Although you can save photos as PNGs, the file size would be enormous, so unsuitable for websites.
Large images are the biggest reason that websites load slowly.
And, given that people leave a website if it takes more than a few seconds to load, you need to make sure that all the website images you use are as compact as possible.
What is file size?
File size is measured in bytes – KB or MB (1MB=1000KB).
The maximum file size for a website should be 1MB. Your media library may allow you to load larger files, but your images won’t look any better, and your website will be slower.
If you take photos on your phone, a photo can be 5MB or more. If you use stock images e.g. Unsplash, photos can be as bit as 8MB.
Therefore, you need to reduce the file size by reducing the pixels and compressing the image.
3 great apps to compress website images
Optimisation = compression.
ImageOptim (for Macs) – drag in image(s), and optimization happens automatically.
FileOptimizer (PC) – drag in image(s), and click “optimize”.
Photoshop: open image, then click “File > Save for Web”.
Our support is second to none, and, if you buy one of our website packages, we will make sure you know exactly how to make your website look and work beautifully.
Guest blog by Kate Hollingsworth photography in Sutton Coldfield
First impressions last
Visuals play a crucial role in how you portray your personal brand to your customers and clients, and how potential clients see you.
Customers shop with their eyes and will often make decisions based on their first impression of someone.
Personal branding involves influencing the way potential customers see you and view your products or services, which is why personal branding photography can have such a massive impact.
Benefits from taking professional personal branding photos
Professional photos are an asset and will serve you for years to come. A bank of on brand, professional, memorable and bespoke images will not only save you time, it will attract more of the right clients and make you more money into your business.
Here are nine ways that you would benefit from taking professional personal branding photos.
1 Send them with your press releases
If you usually send out press releases or are planning to in the coming year, professional photos will help your submission stand out.
2 Use them throughout your website
Businesses that feature professional photos of real people inspire more trust than those that use stock photos.
- Real life bespoke photographs, that are personal to you and your brand, also help tell your business story more authentically.
- Video clips and promotional show reels that your photographer has provided you with will provide real stand out on your site.
3 Your social media campaigns
For every post or social media communication, you can choose the right image, that will heighten the engagement that post gets. You can also use the graphics, video clips and promotional show reels that your photographer has provided to increase levels of engagement.
4 Place them in your email campaigns
Take your email blasts to the next level by including your brand photographs in them.
5 Include them on your landing pages
If you rely on landing pages to help you generate sales, adding personal branding photography to them can boost your results.
(Our Ristretto is a dedicated Landing Page website, which works brilliantly with a personal branding photo.)
6 Create a killer bio for events
Speaking at an upcoming event? Make sure that you have a professional headshot and branding photos on hand to send along with your bio.
7 Make your email signature memorable
Not everybody remembers a name but almost everyone can recall a face. Adding a photograph to your email signature can make it more memorable.
8 Add them to your printed marketing materials
If you print your marketing materials on a regular basis, a photograph can be used to make your brochures and business cards stand out.
9 Keep control of your brand and save time
This is your personal brand and you should have the final say in whom takes your photos.
- When you’re approached by a publisher, you want to have a professional photograph that you approve on hand.
- When you rely on publications to take your photos, you need to rely on their photographers, many of which are students.
- You save time in the sense that you don’t need to take additional time out of your day for the photos because you’ll already have them at your disposal.
Remember to refresh your photos often so that your personal brand is also reflected accurately.
We love to share our knowledge to help you get more from your website, and are delighted to share Kate’s expert advice here. Check out Kate’s website for more inspiration on personal branding photography.
For more tips on website branding, read our guest blog by Vardeep Edwards.
Why not check out our website packages to see which brew will match your brand?
I have been running my own business for almost five years now – I launched as a content marketing consultant after many years of working in corporate marketing roles, mainly on the sales enablement side.
The reason I share this is that I still get scared and overwhelmed when I press publish my on next blog post – what if something I have said is incorrect? What if no one wants to read what I have to say? What if, what if, what if?
If you have recently launched your own business, you may have heard about the power of content in building the “know-like-trust” factor with clients and potential clients. However, it can still seem like an enormous task to start “creating” content, never mind sharing it, especially if you are busy getting all your business fundamentals in place too.
I want to reassure you that everyone feels the same.
The joy of digital marketing also is that you can always edit or update your blog if you learn something new or want to make changes.
Why should you be blogging for your business?
There are a range of benefits to blogging. In addition to driving valuable traffic and potential leads to your website, below are just three:
- Improves SEO (the way search engines find you and show your content to your audience)
- Positions you as a thought-leader so that your clients understand your value to them.
- Provides you with a juicy bank of content that you can use on your other channels such as social media or email marketing.
How on earth do I get started with my first blog post?
It’s all very well deciding to start writing blogs, but I am sure we have all sat and stared at an empty page and felt overwhelmed.
I have created this five step list to help you get going and write and publish your first blog.
Step 1 – Brainstorm
Some topics to write about:
- What do you want your audience to know about you?
- Why did you start your business?
- What are the trends in your industry?
- What are the most common questions that people ask about your product or service?
Step 2 – Research
Once you have decided your blog topic, take some time to research more detail and background:
- Use your audience if you have one. Ask questions and ask for feedback about what they would like to find out about.
- Check out what others have written on the subject.
- Have a look at sites like Buzzsumo or Reddit for sources.
- What are you competitors saying, how does your point of view differ?
- Note down some key takeaways that you want your audience to remember.
Step 3 – Plan your blog post
- How will your blog structure look?
- What key points do you want to make?
- What do you want your readers to do at the end of reading the blog post aka what will your “Call to Action” be?
- Do you need any further information or quotes?
- What keywords will you include to help with SEO?
- What images will you need to make your post stand out?
Step 4 – Write and edit
If you have the time, I always recommend writing on one day and then returning to the copy the following day, or at least after a break.
- If, like me you are a person that is easily distracted, please set a timer, perhaps for 25 minutes? Get writing, with all your notifications turned off. You will be amazed how much you can get written in 25 minutes. Have a 5-minute break and then start again and repeat the process until you are finished.
- Check that you have broken up text with subheadings and short sentences. If you have a WordPress site (from Penny and Fred!) then Yoast has a brilliant free plugin that can help highlight long chunks of text that are difficult to read.
- Read your copy out loud, this is a quick way of spotting typos or sentences that don’t scan well.
- Are your key words are included? You can go back and do this as part of your first edit. It is recommended that they should be in your Heading, first paragraph, at least one sub-heading, Snippet (the part that the search engines use) and the alt-text of the image you use.
Step 5 – Publish and Promote
This is the bit that often makes the nerves come on, but if you have followed the steps above you can be confident that you have created a useful piece of blog content and your objective now should be to help as many people as possible get to know you, your business and what you have to offer.
Be proud of your efforts!
- Publish your blog post – once you are happy with the post, hit publish. You can choose to schedule it if you prefer so that it goes out at a day and time that works well for your audience. There are often good posts on Pinterest about the right time to share a blog post, depending on your industry.
- Share it – it would be lovely if people magically came across your blog but it simply isn’t going to happen, so it is down to you to share the good stuff – social, email, your auto-signature, really wherever you think your audience are hanging out. In addition, check out some of your social media groups that you are part of as they often have a promo thread on a weekly basis.
- Re-purpose – see what you can use from the blog post, perhaps record a video, an Instagram Live! Or offer to do a guest talk in a membership group and so on.
I hope that you found this explanation useful.
If you would like to ask any questions or discuss further, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me. I have a handy checklist to help you get started with your first blog, click to receive a free download of the Blog Brilliance checklist and sign-up to my mailing list to be the first to receive new offers and marketing tips.
We are so pleased to have Ruth’s advice here.
You can blog with either our Macchiato Multi Page Website or our Flat White eCommerce Website – click the button below for full details of what each package includes:
Guest blog by Vardeep Edwards, The Branding Fox.
Your website is the most important part of your business’s marketing.
- It’s your virtual shop.
- It represents your brand and generates sales.
- It’s your one-stop-shop for everything to do with your business.
- And it’s yours. You own it.
Your website is the best place for you to own the branding of your business as well.
It will encompass all the elements of your brand – tone of voice, visual identity, customer experience, values etc – and not just elements of your brand, like you might see on your social media accounts or in your email marketing.
It’s your digital storefront for your business, and it pays to get your website branding right.
There are many ways for you to showcase your brand through your website, depending on your goals. Here are 7 tips to help you brand your website and stand out from the competition.
1 INVEST IN A GOOD LOGO
Your logo will one of the first things people will see when visiting your website.
It’s worth investing in a good logo design for your website. First impressions count here. If your logo looks amateurish, then so will your business and website. A recognisable logo will help customers recall your business and brand more easily.
It’s also important to consider the different formats needed.
Nowadays, it’s not enough to have one version of your logo. You need to make sure it’s responsive and will work on various screen sizes and still be recognisable when viewed at a small size.
Legibility is key here too.
Logos with fine or intricate details may struggle to be clear enough when viewed at a small size. So it may be that you need to have a logo version that is simpler when being viewed at a smaller size. This is where working with a professional designer pays, as this is something they will take into consideration.
And don’t forget about your favicon.
This is the little icon you see in the browser tab. I see too many that are unclear and hard to make out. And I don’t know about you but I often have several tabs open at once, so this is a great opportunity for you to reinforce your visual identity whilst competing for attention from your users.
2 PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR BRANDING COLOURS
Colour is highly emotive and an important consideration in your brand identity. People buy 80% based on their emotions and then back those decisions up with 20%.
Choosing your brand colours carefully will play a big part in your branding and will help elicit the right emotions in your target audience.
And it goes deeper than the stereotypical associations with certain colours.
It’s about the combination of the colours used, the tones, shades, hues and the relationship between the brand colours – how they make you feel and what they say about you as a business.
Have a look at these resources for inspiration:
Don’t forget to take into consideration the HEX colours needed for your website and make sure they look the same when converted to RGB and CMYK so that everything you have designed for your brand is consistent.
Pay attention to how colours work on screens, too.
Yellow, for example, can be hard to read on-screen, so you may want to use a different colour or create a version just for screen use.
You can also think about primary and secondary colours palettes, depending on what’s needed for your brand.
- your primary colour palette will be the colours that you use most of the time;
- your secondary colours are there to support.
Don’t forget to use accent colours for highlighting info, Call-to-Actions, or to break up your existing colour palette.
3 CHOOSE YOUR BRAND FONTS WISELY
The typefaces you choose for your brand will convey a certain personality for your business.
What type of impression do you want to give?
- Sans serif typefaces with homogenised proportions have become popular with technology brands in recent years.
- High-end fashion brands tend to opt for a more timeless, elegant look by using typefaces with smooth curves, hairline strokes and bracketed serifs.
I’d recommend sticking to 2-3 fonts. This way, you won’t be confusing anyone by using lots of different styles and you won’t be sending out mixed messages about your brand.
Think about what you will use for your headings, body text and any information that needs to be highlighted. What size and weight will you use for the different pieces of information? And will you differentiate the hierarchy of information?
Play with combinations on these resources:
4 DON’T FORGET YOUR IMAGES
Images can often get overlooked when considering a brand, but they are a key element of your branding and particularly important when it comes to designing your website.
I always recommend working with a brand photographer if possible, even if it’s to get 5 key images that are on brand and you can use on your website. Your website should use the best of the best in terms of your images. I call these your hero imagery – images that are completely on brand and can be used on your homepage and on the front of any marketing materials.
Think about the style of imagery.
- What will they look like? Flowery, serious, corporate, serious or fun?
- And what does the context of these photos need to be? Are they going to be office based? In a cafe or outdoors?
- Will illustrations or icons be needed?
I recommend creating a bank of images for you to work from.
So if you have had some brand photography done, then that’s great. But you can also add to this with stock photography and choose images that match the overall look and feel you’re going for.
Aim to have a bank of about 10 images as your base, and create a mood board, so that when choosing any further images, you can see if they match and follow the same style.
Have a look at Penny’s blog on How to Source Photographs for your Website, as well as these websites that offer royalty-free photos:
Always take into account the format of the photos you are using in different places on your website – hero image, page banner, blogs – and choose images that will work in these particular sizings.
5 TONE OF VOICE AND MESSAGING IS PART OF BRANDING
Knowing the tone of voice and key messaging for your brand makes it easier to know what and how to write for your website.
Using the intended style will help you align this with your visual identity and keep everything on brand and work together effectively. This also helps to build your brand, as well as give a cohesive feel to your website.
You can also think about your key messages here:
- What’s really important to you in your business?
- What values do you abide by?
- What are your non-negotiables?
- How will you communicate this on your website?
Your website is where customers can find out all they need to about you and a place where your brand story can shine.
6 BE CONSISTENT
Once you have decided on your fonts, colours, images and tone of voice, then it’s a case of being consistent with them.
Branding is all about creating trust in your audience and, when they know what to expect from you, it builds on that trust factor. So make sure you stick to your brand elements for your website. Even if you’re not 100% sure about it, familiarity is better than chopping and changing parts of your branding.
7 BRANDING GUIDELINES
Once you have established all the above points, then putting everything together into a set of brand guidelines will help you stay consistent and work as a reference guide for anyone else you work with.
This way, everyone knows what the brand is about and what’s expected of it. It also helps to have such a guide when you’re working with a web designer or photographer, as they will be able to understand what the website should look like.
Do you need help with your logo or branding? I’ve helped many businesses over the last 20 years and can offer a package to suit your needs. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are so pleased to have Vardeep’s advice here.
You can find out more about which of our Flat White Website options would work best for your business – whether it is a Landing Page to get you started, a Single Page Website for your new business or Multi Page website where you can sell your products and services direct – by clicking on the button below.
Writing for your website is different to writing for print because people read differently online.
Imagine website copy as a conversation, rather than a lecture.
Website copy has to look different and work differently because visitors scan rather than read from top to bottom. Their eyes jump around from headline to headline, while they scroll, hover and click.
All your website copy needs to let your visitor learn something or do something.
Attention span can be as little as two seconds when someone first lands on a page, so your copy has to engage straight away.
Follow these 10 tips to improve your own website copy.
1 Find a consistent voice.
If you are running your own small business, a full-blown style guide might not be necessary. Mailchimp has a great Content Style Guide, which is written for their own employees but contains lots of useful pointers for writing website copy in general.
A simple alternative is to write a list of qualities that represent your brand, and include the opposite qualities. Mailchimp’s voice is:
- Fun but not silly
- Confident but not cocky
- Smart but not stodgy
- Informal but not sloppy
- Helpful but not overbearing
- Expert but not bossy
- Weird but not inappropriate
If you’ve already developed a consistent voice on your social media channels, continue this tone in your website copy. Use a friendly tone of voice, but don’t use that as an excuse for sloppiness – see No. 10 below.
And use exclamation marks only very, very occasionally. And emojis on your website? Never.
2 Focus on how you help, not what you do
As I said at the beginning, visitors will almost always come to your website to find out something or to do something.
Instead of focusing on yourself and how brilliant your products or services are, paint a picture that lets your audience see how their life will improve with what you offer.
Identify a problem – in my case, it’s writing website copy because it’s what our clients struggle with most. Then help solve it.
3 Have a conversation in your content.
Website copy is all about having a conversation, not giving a lecture.
- Use the active voice, rather than the passive voice, because it’s less formal. To spot the passive voice, look out for any “to be” words (am, is, are, etc) or “by” towards the end of your sentence – “The shoe was chewed by the dog” is with a passive voice, whereas “The dog chewed the shoe” is with an active voice.
- Use the first person (I or we), not the third person (s/he or they). If there is only one of you, don’t be afraid to use “I” – you are your business’s best selling point, so make sure people know that it is you, and only you, who they will be lucky enough to get.
- Use the present tense wherever possible – it might not be what you were taught at school, but it makes your copy more natural.
(If you’re a bit of a grammar geek (like me), read this wonderful article that goes into the active and passive voice in more detail.)
4 Include the most relevant information at the top of your content.
This applies to the whole page and to separate sections or paragraphs.
Use an H2 headline to describe the content in your page, and an H3 headline to describe the content in your paragraph or section. The clearer the information in your heading, the more likely your visitor will read on.
5 Break up your website copy.
Aim for a maximum of four sentences, or 50 words, for a paragraph, and use bold text to highlight phrases within a paragraph. Use bullet points or numbered lists to make longer sections of text easier to digest.
Try mixing up your sentence styles:
- Can you break your single sentence into two sentences?
- Can you move the words at the end to the front?
- Could you add another thought that would lengthen your short sentence?
6 Ditch the jargon.
Educate your audience, but don’t make your audience feel ignorant or patronised.
Unless you are specifically targeting industry experts, get rid of industry jargon and unfamiliar words.
If you have to use acronyms, use the full phrase with the acronym in brackets first. For example, when we first mention the WordPress Content Management System (CMS), we spell it out, and then use the abbreviation CMS further on in the content.
7 And then ditch the cliché.
Just as important as ditching the jargon, watch out for those phrases that have become meaningless from over use. No more:
- “Thinking outside the box” – do it, don’t write it
- “Being professional” – let’s take that for granted
- “We do things differently” – really? how? are you cheaper? Say so.
- “Welcome to my website” – we know, it’s exciting when you launch your first website. But.
8 Include keywords, naturally.
Keywords are not a substitute for good quality copy. Just as your visitors will appreciate focussed, informational content, so do search engines.
Use keywords carefully to enhance your Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO, and include them in your meta data too. Don’t use so many that your content loses it’s fluency.
Think about the phrases that your target audience might type into Google. Include these in your both headings and paragraphs, but make sure the content still reads naturally. The keyword phrase I am working with here is “website copy”, so I have included it in the title, two headings, and several paragraphs.
9 Include at least one Call to Action.
Include at least one action for your visitor to do next on every page, as I demonstrate here:
- check out our range of packages
- read about how to design a logo for free
- subscribe to our newsletter
- get in touch
Use this as an opportunity to persuade, too – go for the more powerful “Get your 10% discount code” rather than the dull “Find out more”.
10 Cut the fluff.
Being friendly doesn’t mean waffling on.
When you have written your copy, go through every sentence with a (metaphorical) pen, and strike out every unnecessary word. Saying something in three different ways dilutes rather than persuades, so remove repetition.
Repeat. (Irony noted.)
Use these tips to start you on your way. Every tip is here to guide you, not dictate to you. Above all else, write for humans.
Sign up for our Website Wisdom newsletter if you want more insight in to confidently launching a website worthy of your business.
We have tried and tested lots of tools that will help you design a logo, for free.
Why have a Logo?
A Logo is the most eye-catching way to make your brand recognisable across all media.
A well-designed logo builds trust. It’s one of the essential building blocks to ensure your business looks professional.
These tools are a great way to design a professional-looking logo yourself, without costing a penny.
Canva is best known for social media graphics, but Logo design is one element of Canva’s free graphic design tools. You can find lots of inspiration from the examples included. Easy to adapt to your brand. Download free.
Great range of logo layouts to use as your starting point.
We will forgive the annoying spelling because Desygner is easy to use, with plenty of options available free. Described as a design tool for non-designers, it has really good instructions, and lots of sample layouts for inspiration.
Great option to download your logo design in multiple file sizes.
Hipster Logo Generator
This is a fun one. And really easy to use. Hipster Logo Generator has the best tool for having circular text, which is usually available only with more expensive options. It even gives your finished logo a Hipster rating out of 5!
Free to download low resolution file, but only $5 for full size file.
Available free, even if you don’t have a Squarespace website. Stylish, quick, intuitive. As soon as your type in your business name, options come up for business card, website, and even t-shirt.
Good tool to design a logo if you don’t want too many options.
Tips to design a logo:
- think simple – use one graphic element, a maximum of three colours, and one font
- make sure it’s original – you don’t want to infringe copyright accidentally
- make a logo that is suitable for different purposes – see our blog about where to use different logos on your website.
If you have your own business, you will know how important it is to have your own website.
But it can be a daunting process when so much that is written about websites is full of confusing jargon.
So here is our Glossary of the most common Website Jargon. And we’ve included tips about how to maximise your website’s potential too.
Above the Fold
All the content that is visible when you first land on the page, before you start scrolling. The phrases comes from newspapers, when the most important content was put on the section that was, literally, above the fold.
Tip: include key information here, plus reasons to scroll down or click on a Call to Action.
All websites must be accessible for people with disabilities. When websites and web tools are properly designed and coded, people with disabilities can use them.
Content needs to be accessible, as well as website design. Images, for example, need “Alt Tags” are descriptions added that describe the image in words, and will be used by screen readers.
Alt Tags are descriptions added to images that are used by screen readers to describe the image to website visitors with limited or no sight.
Alt Tags have to be manually added to every image you upload to your website.
Below the Fold
Below the Fold is all the content on your website that visitors see when they start scrolling. Scrolling has become normal behaviour for anyone checking a website, so Below the Fold content is now as important as Above the Fold.
Tip: Include content that expands on the Above the Fold introduction – examples of your latest blogs, or some tasters of your products or services.
A Blog is dynamic content that is published regularly, as opposed to static content that makes up most website pages. A Blog can be separate from a website or form part of a website. Penny’s blog goes into more detail about the difference between a blog and a website.
Tip: If you do include a blog on your website, make sure you publish new content regularly – weekly or monthly.
A Web Browser, or Browser, is the software used to access and view websites. Google Chrome, Apple Safari and Mozilla Firefox are the most popular, and each offer slightly different functionality.
Caches are used by computers to store information and speed up the loading time of a website. The very first time you visit any page on our website, for example, the browser downloads the logo, and several other items, into the cache, and then displays it as part of the page you’re viewing. For each additional page you visit, as long as the same logo is displayed, it doesn’t need to be downloaded again — it’s already on your hard disk.
Sometimes, caching prevents a website page displaying the most recent information. If this happens, you can “clear the cache” – this blog gives excellent instructions for each different browser.
Call to Action
Whether it’s “Contact Me”, “Get A Quote”, or “Make a Donation”, a Call to Action is the best way to encourage your visitors to delve deeper in to your website. It can be a Button or a Link.
Make sure that any Call to Action is clearly distinguishable on a page, and make sure it’s clear what happens when someone clicks on it.
Every website consists of a combination of different content – words, images, animations. This content is displayed by a web browser that interprets the different programming languages, or Code.
Content Management System (CMS)
Behind every website is a good Content Management System, or CMS. This is where you edit all your content – images, blogs, contact details – and make sure that your website is always up-to-date. We use the WordPress CMS for all our websites.
Cookies are small files that are stored on a user’s computer, and are designed to store a small amount of information specifically relating to a website and the user of that website.
If you use Google Analytics, you will be using cookies on your website. Anyone that visits your website needs to know that cookies are being use, so you need a banner asking a visitor to accept cookies.
Every website needs a domain name – ours is newflatwhite.flatwhitedesign.pw. Read Penny’s blog explaining Domain Names in more detail.
We are guessing that everyone knows what an email is. Here are some extra points:
- Make sure that you have a personalised email address that matches your domain name (e.g. email@example.com) – it looks much more professional.
- Make sure your email address is really easy to find on your website. Don’t just include it on your Contact page – add it to your Footer too.
- Set up all your emails to come into one folder – it’s much more efficient that checking all your email addresses read Fred’s blog that gives step-by-step instructions how to do it.
A Favicon is an icon that appears alongside your website name in the tab of your browser window in Chrome and Firefox (favicons are not used in Safari).
It’s usually very easy to add these to a website within the CMS, and really helps to clarify your brand.
The Footer is at the bottom of your website, and is the same on every page.
Tip: include your contact details, and an extra menu for useful pages.
A Graphic Image Format is an image file which is compressed to speed up loading time. It’s designed for images with only a few colours, such as logos, rather than photos.
The Header is at the top of your website, and includes your Site Title and your Navigation. The Header will include the same information on every page. Depending on the design of your website, this content may stick to the top of the page and be visible when you scroll, or disappear.
A description of an image that fills the screen when you land on a website. It forms part of the Above The Fold content.
Tip: choose a simple Hero Image that works with your written content.
Every website needs a Hosting Company to save your website files on a Web server connected to the internet. A hosting company hosts these files, and ensures that your website is visible anywhere.
A Hosting Company might also be your Domain Name provider, but you can also buy your Domain Name from a different company.
Namecheap is the Hosting Company we use to host all our Flat White websites.
HyperText Transfer Protocol is the agreed procedure for transferring information on the World Wide Web. HTTPS is Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure – look out for the little padlock symbol alongside the website name in the address bar.
Google now warns any visitor to a website that doesn’t have HTTPS that the site isn’t secure. Make sure that your website host provides HTTPS.
JPG or JPEG
An image file – the best choice for photos on a website.
Keywords are the words and phrases that people enter into search engines. If you boil down all the content on each page or post on your website down to simple words and phrases, those are your primary keywords.
As a website owner and content creator, you want the keywords on your page to be relevant to what people are searching for so they have a better chance of finding your content among the results. Keywords for this page, for example, are “website jargon”.
Tip: make sure you use keywords naturally in your content to help your SEO – “keyword stuffing” will de-value your content.
Links – short for “Hyperlink” – take visitors to another place on a website. An Internal Link takes a visitor to different pages or sections of the same website. An External Link leads to another, separate website.
Tip: Always make sure that the link text is clearly distinguishable in your text – ours are red.
Meta Data is used to describe individual pages on a website. This data allows search engines to understand what each page is about, evaluate the relevance of the content, and determine whether a page will or will not be displayed within search results.
Meta Data for a page or post consists of two parts:
- Page, or SEO Title, or Title Tag – maximum 65 characters.
- Meta Description – up to a maximum of 150-170 characters.
Meta Data for pages and posts can be added via the Yoast PlugIn in WordPress.
A Permalink is the permanent URL for a page. This appears in the address bar – for this page, it is flatwhitewebsites/website-jargon. When you add a page or blog to your website, you will usually have the option to edit the permalink – in WordPress, this option appears at the top of any page or blog:
It is best for your SEO to make this as simple as possible – for this blog, for example, I changed the default wording, which comes from the title, “Glossary of Website Jargon” to “Website-Jargon”. Shorter permalinks are preferred by both search engines and users.
Tip: remove “stop” words e.g. and, to, from your Permalink – but make sure the meaning isn’t altered.
A tracking pixel, or Pixel Tag, is a graphic with dimensions of 1×1 (a single pixel) that is loaded when a user visits a website or opens an email.
Pixels are typically used to track certain user-based activities. Popular tools like Facebook, Google Analytics, and MailChimp all use pixel tracking to provide campaign analytics.
A Plug-In is a piece of software that adds extra functions to an existing computer programme, such as a website.
WordPress offers a huge range of Plugins. Like phone apps, these can be either free or paid-for, and add all sorts of functionality to WordPress websites, including Google Maps, Monster Insights (for Google Analytics) and Yoast (for SEO).
A responsive layout means that a website adapts to different screen sizes. If a website isn’t responsive, the content that is designed for a desktop screen will be much too small to read easily on a phone screen.
Because the majority of website visits are now done via a mobile, search engines penalise websites that aren’t responsive.
A search engine is software that searches the databases of the world wide web according to a user’s query.
Google is the best known example, but Bing and Yahoo carry out the same function.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the rankings of a web page (or website) in a search engine, such as Google. Good quality SEO allows a website to maximize its visibility in a search engine result page (SERP), resulting in “free” or “organic” traffic.
Tip: top quality content, written for humans, is the best way to ensure great SEO for your website.
A URL (or Uniform Resource Locator) is the same as a Permalink (see above).