Bust those pesky Google ghosts and make your website visible with our SEO essentials!

Welcome to the first instalment of our Ghostbusters Guide to Bustin’ Google Ghosts! If you’re a business owner, blogger, or online marketer, you know that having a strong online presence is essential for success. But with so many Google ghosts lurking around, it can be challenging to know how to get your website to rank higher and stand out from the crowd. Fear not, for we have the ultimate guide to help you bust those ghosts with ease. In this first part, we’ll give you the lowdown on SEO basics.

I. Spotting Google Ghosts

Before you can start busting those ghosts, you need to be able to spot them. Google ghosts are factors that prevent your website from being easily found and indexed by search engines. Some common ghosts include:

II. Keyword Research: The Proton Pack of SEO

Keywords are essential tools in your SEO arsenal. Here’s how to harness them:

  1. Brainstorm: Think of possible terms your audience might search for.
  2. Research: Use tools like Google’s Keyword Planner or SEMrush.
  3. Analyse: Peek at competitors’ keywords.
  4. Long-Tail Keywords: Go niche to rank higher.

III. Meta Tags: The Ghost Trap

Ensure search engines grasp your page’s essence:

IV. Quality Content: The Ecto-1

Drive your website’s success with stellar content:

Busting Google ghosts can be challenging, but armed with the right tools, it’s entirely feasible. With effective keyword research, meta tag optimization, and captivating content, you’re set to gain better visibility.

When you think SEO, remind yourself: “I ain’t afraid of no ghosts!” Regular updates will keep those ghosts at bay, boosting your search engine ranks and attracting more visitors.

Stay with us for more Ghostbusters Guide editions, offering advanced SEO techniques to elevate your online presence.

So for those about to SEO… who you gonna call?

I see dead links,” whispered in my best Sixth Sense impression, as I stare at the ghostly remains of a once thriving web page. That’s right, folks, today we’re diving into the spine-chilling realm of dead and broken links that haunt websites like digital poltergeists, wreaking havoc on user experience and search engine rankings. So grab your Ouija boards and EMF meters, and let’s get started on this supernatural adventure.

Paranormal Activity: How Dead Links Possess Your Website

Picture yourself exploring a haunted mansion, but instead of malevolent spirits, you’re greeted by broken links at every turn. You try to navigate from room to room, only to find doorways leading to the great abyss. Talk about a webmaster’s nightmare!

Dead links are more than just an annoyance; they’re like the ectoplasm that stains your website’s reputation. They spook away potential customers and even cause search engines like Google to rethink their relationship with you. Nobody wants to be ghosted by Google, right?

Ghostbusting 101: Finding and Exorcising Dead Links

Fear not, brave web dude, for there are tools to aid you in your quest to rid your site of these phantasmal pests. Here are a few of my favourite paranormal investigators in the link-checking world:

  1. ahrefs – Broken Link Checker – the Egon Spengler of link checkers
  2. Screaming Frog SEO Spider – the Peter Venkman of SEO tools
  3. Google Search Console – the Ray Stantz of webmaster resources

Once you’ve identified the otherworldly culprits, you must perform an exorcism by either replacing them with functioning links, removing them completely, or redirecting them to relevant content. With the power of these tools combined, you’ll send those dead links back to the digital afterlife!

Spiritual Maintenance: Keeping Your Website Ghost-Free

To avoid your website becoming a hotspot for paranormal link activity, perform regular link audits. Quarterly sweeps are fine, but monthly investigations are even better. Also, when linking to external content, avoid shady websites that look like they belong in a Stephen King novel – they tend to generate dead links more frequently.

Lastly, exercise caution when restructuring or renaming pages on your site, as this can lead to broken internal links. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of exorcism.

The Unquiet Internet: Rest in Peace, Dead Links

With these tips and tricks, you’ll soon turn your website into a dead link-free haven, bustling with lively, engaging content that keeps your visitors coming back for more. As you banish these digital ghosts, you’ll become the Bruce Willis of the online world – minus the whole [spoiler alert] “being dead” part, of course. So, happy hunting, and may your website be forever free from the clutches of the undead!

So for those about to SEO? Who you gonna call?

So a question I get asked here at Nettl of Stirling is, “how can I choose a web designer that gets me and fits my brand and vision?”  Well, that’s a tricky one as you don’t always know how the process will go when you’re at the start of your web journey. I’ve enlisted the help of a chap named Clint to guide you through the good, the bad and the average of the wild west web. Over to you Mr Eastwood…

Listen here, pilgrim…

When it comes to choosin’ a web designer, it’s like walkin’ through a one horse town here in the Wild West. You gotta be careful who you trustin’ with your website. Now, I ain’t no expert in this here digital world, but I’ve dealt with a few designers in my time. And let me tell ya, there’s some good, some bad, and some downright ugly out there.

So, you wanna know what to look for in a designer? Well, first off, take a gander at their portfolio. It’s like a gunslinger’s holster, it tells you a lot about their skills and experience. Make sure they got the style and functionality you’re looking for.

Next, communication is key. A designer that can’t explain their design choices or ain’t responsive to your questions is like a bandit who can’t be trusted. And when it comes to experience, well, just like a seasoned gunslinger, a designer with experience has likely encountered and solved a wide range of problems and still be standing. Make sure they are askin’ the right questions at your design meetings. Beware of tumbleweed…

And let’s not forget about timeframes. A designer who promises to have your website up and runnin’ in a day is probably cuttin’ corners. A good designer will be honest about how long a project will take and will work with you to set realistic expectations. More tumbleweed.

And when it comes to cost, well, a good designer is worth their weight in gold, let me tell you. A designer who is costing significantly less than others in the market might be trying to pull a fast one. Ask them how they’re planning on building the site? Cutting corners using templates? Bad SEO habits, or ignoring that completely?  Yeah, thought so.  

Web design is a complex beast, like a wild mustang – you need to keep a tight grip of those reigns. A good designer will understand your goals, brand vision, and purpose, and then create a website that not only looks good but serves a clear purpose and gets the job done. They should be able to take your ideas and translate them into a functional and attractive website that meets your specific needs and resonates with your target audience. 

You see, in this world there’s two kinds of designers, my friend: those who are loaded with skills and produce effective designs, and those who dig through a mess of bad design choices. You dig? The choice is yours. 

So, it’s high noon…do you feel lucky, punk? (hang on Clint, isn’t that Dirty Harry?)  It’s up to you to decide. But remember, a good web designer is worth their weight in gold and can help make your online presence a success. And ain’t nothin’ more important than makin’ a good impression in this wild online world, whether it’s on my dusty streets or on the wild wild web. 

There we have it folks. You survived your first encounter with Clint, now make your choice.

Ready? Draw! 

Choose a domain and web hosting package.  Choose ecommerce, a really big web shop.  Choose mobile friendly responsive websites that load in nano-seconds. Choose custom built designs tailored to your exact needs that are beyond your wildest dreams. Choose to create something extraordinary, to push the boundaries of what’s possible. Choose booking systems, till integrations and click & collect.  Choose SEO to boost your website’s ranking. Choose Pay Per Click to fire you to the top. Choose blog writing to drive punters to your site and keep them browsing. 

Choose logo design. Choose 500 400gsm matt lam double sided business cards for 55 quid.  Choose leaflets, letterheads and fast turnaround flyers. Choose exhibition displays, a big massive fabric pop up banner to attract punters to your stand.  Choose sitting back, relaxing while we sort out your digital marketing. Choose to be a better brand, Choose your future… 

Why settle for the ordinary? 

Choose your website’s future…choose Nettl

I haven’t felt that good about a web designer since Archie Gemmill scored against Holland in 1978

Good UX Design: Taking Cues from The Dude

If you’re a fan of The Big Lebowski, you’ll know that the Dude abides by his own set of principles. He takes a laid-back approach to life and doesn’t let the small stuff get to him. In the same vein, good User Experience (UX) design is crucial in web design. Just like the Dude, UX has its own set of principles and the goal is to provide users with a smooth and enjoyable experience.

When it comes to UX, it’s all about balance, just like a well-made White Russian. A website with a balanced design and consistent elements will provide users with a smooth and intuitive experience. On the other hand, a poorly designed site with cluttered UX will quickly drive users away. Good UX is key to retaining users and keeping them engaged with your site.

Good UX on a menu, can really tie the site together like a good rug, know what I mean?

Think of a well-designed header menu as the rug that ties the room (or in this case, the website) together. It should be clear, easy to use, and accessible from every page. A good menu makes the website feel complete and cohesive, much like a good rug can bring a room together. Don’t over-complicate things for your users, they just want to find what they’re looking for. Like the Dude, keep it simple and let the good times roll.

Fast loading speeds, that’s what the users expect, dude

Fast load times are what users expect, dude. You can have the coolest looking website in the world, but if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load, 53% of users will abandon it. That’s a bummer, man. Slow load times can lead to frustration and a decrease in engagement, so make sure your site is as fast as one of Donny’s bowling balls rolling down the lane.

Don’t Be a ‘Stranger’ to Testing

Good UX design involves continuous testing and iteration to improve the user experience. Don’t be a stranger to testing, try out different design elements and gather user feedback to refine and improve your design. You don’t want users to say that your site was made by nihilists. Care about UX, man, and make sure it stays on top.

Smokey, this is not ‘Nam, this is web design. There are rules…

Clarity and simplicity: Keep the design uncluttered, with a clear visual hierarchy and easy to understand language.
Consistency: Use consistent design elements, such as typography, colour, and spacing, throughout the website.
Accessibility: Ensure that all users, regardless of ability, can access and use the website.
Mobile-friendliness: Design for different screen sizes and devices, with a responsive layout that adjusts to fit.
A Clear Call to Action: The website should clearly communicate what action the user should take, like Walter shouting out his instructions on the lanes, man.

So there we have it… if you abide by these UX design tips, your users will thank you. Good UX design is about balance, simplicity, and user satisfaction. So, like the Dude, take a laid-back approach and let the good times roll…but hey, that’s just like, my opinion, man.