Wednesday 31 December 2008

The final SEO update for 2008

To round the year off on the great SEO experiment, the results are as follows:

web site design swansea from position 180 to 125
website design swansea from 133 to 64
web design swansea from 134 to 74
swansea web design from 143 to 129
web designer swansea from 131 to 74

Even for 'web site development swansea' we're at position 59.

But is it working? Are people getting to the website?
According to Google Analytics, 17.75% of our traffic is from Google organic searches for 'web development swansea', 'web design swansea' and 'web design company wales'.

We still have a bit more work to do...but it does look to me like content is definitely a big part of SEO work judging by the pretty large jump in results!

Happy New Year's Eve! Don't forget to make your new year's resolution a new website.

Wednesday 17 December 2008

Pre-Content Search Engine Update

Before I add the extra content to I thought I'd better have a baseline to measure against. I was quite disappointed when I found out that in Google we had dropped several pages for some keywords - but this does show you that we need to stay on top of SEO and how quickly things can change. The results are:

web site design swansea from 128 to 180
website design swansea from 76 to 133
web design swansea from 85 to 134
swansea web design from 125 to 143
web designer swansea from 81 to 131

I also added a few other searches:

web site development swansea - position 71
website development swansea - position 85
web development swansea - position 60

Then I decided to see how we were doing in the next most popular search engine - Yahoo!
I was delighted to see that we were doing pretty well!

web site design swansea - position 9!
website design swansea - position 6!
web design swansea - position 117
swansea web design - position 95
web site development swansea - position 7
website development swansea - position 2!!!

What are people searching for?
However, it doesn't matter how well you are doing in the search engines if no one is searching for that particular phrase. So I have decided to focus on the phrases that are beign searched for. According to the Google Adwords Tool, from the phrases I have been focusing on, the ones people are actually searching for are:

website design swansea (average monthly search volume = 140)
web design swansea (720)
swansea web design (720)
web design (823,000)

I also have a list of 200 recommended keywords that I can going to use to target the content on the recently added pages.

Tuesday 16 December 2008

Is Content King?

For the great SEO project I have so far focused on adding the relevant "tags" where they should be, in other words, doing all the background work, and you will notice that up until now there hasn't been a huge amount of content on the website - apart from this blog. As we are now within the top 10 pages of Google -with only 2 weeks left unil the new year - I have decided to bring out the big guns and show you how targeted and well written cotent will (hopefully) boost this site to the top of the search engines.

I will post the final results in the morning, before I add the content and will keep you posted! Wish me luck!!

Monday 15 December 2008

Friday 12 December 2008

How to...Set up a Blog

A blog is a great way of starting a website without having to know about html or register a domain name and there are many free services available. This blog is powered by which is a free service owned by Google. It's very easy to set up and get started. The hardest thing is deciding what to write about.

Step 1 - Get a Google Account

If you already have a Google account all you need to do is visit and sign in using these details.

If you don't have a Google Account you can create one here. Just click 'Create Your Blog Now' in the big orange arrow and fill in the details on the next page then click Continue.

Step 2 - Choose a Name

On the next page you will need to fill in the details for the name of your blog.

The blog title is what will appear in the header of your blog. For example, 'Rhian's Web Design Blog'.

The blog address is what people will need to find your blog, I would use 'rhians-web-blog' in this case. Click the 'Check Availability' link to see that the name you have chosen isn't being used by someone else. Then click continue.

(This is a basic set up, so we're ignoring the Advanced Options for now.)

Step 3 - Choose your Style

Select the design you like best for your blog and click continue.

Step 4 - Start Blogging
Yup. That's it! All you need to do now is click 'Start Blogging'. The next screen will display the Create a Post screen. Simply enter your title and blog entry and click Publish Post. Your first blog post! To view your blog, click 'View Blog'.

Here's the one I created while writing this post:

The little pencil icon will allow you to quickly edit a post while you are logged in, and you can add Tags, change the layout, add widgets and loads more...but I'll leave that for another blog post!
Again, if you do set up a blog after following this How To, please post it here. Good luck!!

Monday 8 December 2008

December Search Engine Update

I have been in Scotland for the last week and (quite sadly) one of the first thing I wanted to do on my return was find out whether the website has progressed in the search engines especially as nothing has changed on it since 27th November. It's good news... the resutls are in:

web site design swansea from position 132 to 128
website design swansea from position 101 to 76
web design swansea from position 99 to 85
swansea web design from position 154 to 125

With things starting to quiet down for Christmas I'll be spending a bit more time 'beefing up' the website and including content on things you will actually want to know, like prices and what we can do, more information on our e-commerce packages and a series on how to write content.

Thursday 27 November 2008

Picseli SEO Update

More progress made on the great SEO project:

web site design swansea from position 173 to 132
website design swansea from position 154 to 101
web design swansea from position 157 to 99
swansea web design from position 172 to 154

It's great to see this working as I was a little sceptical especially as I decided to publish my progress to the world! However now the hard work will begin as once we get to the top 10 pages progress will slow down as the competition is higher.

Search Engine Success for Huw Davies

Having launched the new website on November 12th, I was delighted to see that already Huw Davies appears on page one of Google for 'Learn to Drive Swansea' and in POSITION 1 for 'Learn to drive Llanelli'.

Monday 24 November 2008

Do we need SEO?

Since starting my SEO project I have spent a lot of time searching the web to find out about search engine optimisation, what other people are doing and techniques that work. There is a lot of discussion on the web at the moment about why you don't need SEO. A lot stemming from this post - 7 Reasons Why You Don't Need SEO .

While I disagree with the statement, I agree with everything that is said in the post and I was quite relieved when I realised that the majority of issues highlighted are generally not an issue with websites we design. We build websites with clean and semantic coding that comply to web standards, and are generally search engine friendly.

However, there's only so much we can do and while we can help and advise you throughout, things like writing content is down to you. Especially on a content managed website.

Content & Link Building
To get peole to link to your website for authentic 'link building', you need to start giving people good content. This is why people and companies blog, why How To guides are popping up everywhere and why company sites are containing more news and useful information rather than just promoting their products. Link building can also get a bit out of hand. It only works if the links to and from your site are relevant, they need to make sense and be useful to your users.

How do you feel when you read content that doesn't really make sense because it's just been crammed full of keywords? If your content is well written, and gives people the information they need the keywords will be there, userswill visit AND STAY on your site and other websites will link to you. It's all very logical really.

And the answer is...
I think we need SEO, but you shouldn't necessarily be paying through the nose for it. If you have had a website for a few years the chances are you may have just missed out on the SEO wave and your site may not be best optimised. Although if your site is more than a few years old it may well be time for a change anyway....

Friday 21 November 2008

How to... use Twitter

You may have noticed a block on the right hand side of the main website titled 'Twitter Updates'. For those of you that don't know, Twitter is a micro-blogging tool. It gives you 140 characters to tell people what you are doing, what you're looking at, how you're feeling, what you're thinking about. It's a quick and easy way to update your site and keep people informed without having to write whole blog posts.

Follow and be Followed
Once you have set up your account with Twitter you can find and follow people - your friends and family, companies (for example Firebox are on Twitter) or people you're interested in. You can even send direct messages.

What are the Benefits?
These are the benefits according to me...feel free to Tweet or blog others.
  • It's easy to do
  • It eases you into blogging and the mentality behind it
  • You're likely to find some interesting people, websites and blogs
  • It's fun (really, I enjoy tweeting!)
  • It's a great way to promote new services, products and events
  • You can add a feed to your site so it's always getting updated

Step 1 - Sign Up
First of all you need to set up a Twitter Account so go to and click 'Join the Conversation'. Simply fill in your details and off to go!

Step 2 - Your first Tweet
Now the pressure is on - what will be your first tweet? Tell people why you have started, tell them what you are thinking RIGHT NOW, tell them what you had for dinner. The more interesting the better. Maybe you want a theme for your tweets? I have found a guy that tweets everything he has to eat, for Picseli it's all about the company and what we are up to.

Step 3 - Find some Friends
It can take time to get a huge following on Twitter, but so that people can find you - you need to find people. So look up your friends or send them an email, go to and search for people tweeting similar things to you then follow them.

Step 4 - Keep it up
So that people who find you want to follow, you need to make sure you keep tweeting! If you have decided on a theme - stick to it. Why not provide links to useful blog posts you've found? If you have decided to set up a feed on your website there is nothing worse than it showing your last tweet was months ago!

As a first step why not follow Picseli?

ADDED 27/11/2008:
A great list of ways to use Twitter can be found here

Tuesday 18 November 2008

Quick SEO Update

I am not the most patient of people when it comes to seeing results and thought I would check today to see whether the changes I have made to the website have made a difference. In many cases the results have improved by up to 2 pages!

web site design swansea from position 194 to 173
website design swansea from position 161 to 154
web design swansea from position 176 to 157
swansea web design from position 179 to 172

I know that the results do fluctuate regularly based on everyone else's changes and Google's feelings, but I was pleased to see that we are progressing.

Friday 14 November 2008

How to...add a 'Find us on Facebook' button

UPDATE 11th March 2011: With the new Facebook pages this tutorial is no longer completely accurate. For other ways to link to your Facebook page check out our new post: How to link to your Facebook Page. Thanks for all your feedback!


If you have followed last week's 'How To create a facebook page for your company' post you'll be wondering how you let people know about it. Apart from sharing it with all of your Facebook friends, you need to let customers, potential clients and non-facebook friends know about it.

The lovely people at Facebook have produced a button that you can add to your website telling people about your page. So how do you add it?

Step 1 - Find your page
Log in to Facebook and get to the page you want to promote. On the menu on the right hand side click 'Edit Page'.

Step 2 - How to promote your page the Facebook way
On the next page in the right hand menu under 'Communication' click 'Promotion Guidelines' and this page will tell you all you need to know about promoting your page and what you can and can't do.

Step 3 - Download the Badge
About 2/3 of the way down the page you will find the badge - simply right click and save to your computer.

Step 4 - Get the link to your page
Now, either send this to your web developer with the full link to your Facebook page (you are not allowed to link to the Facebook log in page) or add the button to your website where you'd like it to be with the link.

To get the link or URL to your facebook page simply get back to your page and copy whatever is displayed in the address bar of your web browser. For example, the link to the Picseli page is

You'll have plenty of fans before you know it. Just remember to read and follow the Facebook guidelines.

Thursday 13 November 2008


Having done some research into what Google users search for I will focus my SEO efforts on 'web site design swansea' - wish me luck!

The whole Picseli site has now been indexed in Google, so this is a good time to start a concentrated effort to get the site well ranked.

Current Position

According to currently ranks at position 175 (page 18) in Google for 'web site design swansea'. However when I did the search myself found us at position 202 (page 21).

For 'website design swansea' we can be found on page 17 (position 161) and for 'web design swansea' we're on page 18 (position 179). Not bad as a starting point, but still plenty of opportunity to improve.

Monday 10 November 2008

Google Analytics

We use Google Analytics to analyse our websites - it's available online, is easy to use and understand and provides plenty of information.


So as a baseline to mark our search engine progress, between 21st October and 9th November we have had 153 visits to the website from 51 unique visitors. Of these visits, only 16 came via search engines, all using the keyword 'picseli'. We currently appear number 1 in Google for Picseli (One advantage of choosing an unusal company name!)

Currently it is only the Picseli home page and blog that have been indexed by Google. To find out which of your website pages are indexed by Google enter in the Google search box. The search results will then return every page from your website that Google knows about. If it returns no pages or very few, you need to do something about it!

Choosing Keywords
Over the next few weeks I will keep an eye on these statistics and keep you posted. However, the first thing to do is identify the keywords I want to be found for. Picseli is one, web design swansea will probably be another, but the competition is high for this and many of the sites currently on the first page have been around for a lot longer than us. But what else is a challenge for?

Friday 7 November 2008

How to...create a Facebook page for your Company

Number 2 in our How To guide is about promoting your company on Facebook. I have set up Picseli on Facebook and can now message users about promotions, new websites, events and general information.

Why Use Facebook?
I access Facebook every day to find out what my friends are up to and to catch up. If they have had a good or bad experience they tend to mention it, and word of mouth from someone you trust is worth an awful lot. For example, if I am looking for a particular product or service - a web designer perhaps - and a friend tells me she has just had a website designed, the service was great, the people were easy to get on with and the website is fab, I am much more likely to make contact with them than have to search through countless other web companies.

Facebook allows potential customers access to your company via someone they trust - their friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances. You can also upload images, marketing leaflets, and videos to help promote your service, and add a 'Find me on Facebook' button to your website.

Step 1 - Get a Facebook Account
First of all you need to have a Facebook account, or find a colleague with one!

Step 2 - Create a Page
The easiest way I have found is to get to the Picseli Page (a bit of a plug I know, and if you fancy becoming a fan, please do!) and scroll right down to the bottom of the page. Here you will find a link 'Create a Page for My Business', click this!

Step 3 - Enter your Details
Enter your details on the first page - choose between Area of Business, Brand or Product and Artist, Band or Public Figure. Selecting the option thatbest describes your business. Enter your name and click 'Create Page'

Step 4 - Add some Information
From here, there is plenty you can do to make your page useful. Enter your opening hours, upload your logo or photograph, include contact details, upload photos, write reviews - anything you want. The more information you add, the better!

(The on-screen instructions are pretty good, so I won't go into details, but let me know if you want a more detailed tutorial and I'll put something together.)

Step 5 - Tell people about it!
Once your page is ready, please don't forget to Publish your page, or it won't be seen by anyone. Once you have added some information you will see a message at the top of the screen telling you that 'This page has not been published' with a link to Publish your page.

The next step is to become a fan youself (simply click the 'Become a Fan' link on the right hand side) as this will appear on your profile, letting all your friends know.

Then you will find a link that says '+ Share' - click this and it will let you post a link to your profile with more details or send a message to everyone you know.

And there you have it.

What next?
The worst thing you can do now is to not update the page regularly. Use it to keep your fans informed of news, let them use it to get in touch, upload photos, start discussion, give them handy hints. Anything to keep it interesting!

If you do set up a page following this post, please post your link here and I promise I'll become a fan!

Tuesday 4 November 2008

Search Engine Update

I have finally had the website handed over from the developers, and just need to add the content. (BTW - It looks great!) Before I begin the great SEO experiment, I thought I'd just check to see if Google has indexed the site at all - bearing in mind it only has an index page with very little content, and this blog - and yes, it has.

I haven't submitted the site to Google and haven't altered or amended the content since it was uploaded exactly 2 weeks ago today! (See 'Beat the Credit Crunch' post) I actually thought it would take longer than that.

So now the planning begins. I have the shell of my site and just need to write the content and begin my search engine optimising. Wish me luck!

Friday 31 October 2008

How to....create a PDF

Every Friday I intend to post a little 'How To' with some useful tip that will make life a little bit eaier or will add to your professional image. Today - how to create a PDF document.

Why create a PDF?
I send a lot more emails than letters, and many of these emails contain important information, including quotes, order forms, specifications and proposals. I save them all as a PDF for the following reasons:
  1. Most people can open a PDF document, so I don't need to worry about what software version the recipient is using, or whether they have the right software at all.
  2. It looks professional and will look the same with the recipient as it did when i saved it.
  3. PDFs are more secure than a Word document for example, in that they cannot be changed without the relevant software.

How to create a PDF?
I have found a great little tool that allows you to create a PDF from any document by using the 'Print' option in any application.

Step 1 - Installing Cute PDF
Go to and select the 'Free Download' option on the left hand side. In the 'File Download' box that pops up, click 'Run' and follow the instructions on-screen. Cute PDF will have installed itself as a printer on your computer.

Step 2 - Creating PDF Documents
When you need to create a PDF, for example, from a Microsoft Word document, open the document and select 'Print' in the File menu as you would if you were printing the document to send in the post.

In the Print options box, under 'Name' have a look in the drop down menu for 'CutePDF Writer' and click print.

It will then ask you where you want to save the document, simply enter a file name and choose where you want to save the document and voila! A PDF document for you to send wherever you choose.

Thursday 30 October 2008

I am a user, too!

I think many people forget that they use the Internet. That they are someone else's customers, and can feel quite detached from the site they are producing. So every now and then I take a step back and think 'So, how do I use the Internet?'

When I am booking train tickets, what information do I look for? What puts me off or stops me from booking a ticket? If I am looking for a book to read, where do I do my research? If I am looking for a new TV or information about updating my driver's licence (no, I still haven't updated it with my married name) where do I start? Then turn it all on it's head and ask the same question about your customers.

What don't you want?
I know everyone is different, but many people have similarities too, and starting off with what you know you like is better than trying to guess what others want. If pages and pages of text puts you off, chances are a lot of other people will turn away. If you can't stand flashing images and pop-ups, you're probably not alone. So take a stroll around the internet and see what you don't like - it's a lot easier to spot than the stuff you do like.

What do you want?
Having browsed the World Wide Web you'll probably notice a few websites that are 'ok' or that you tend to return to. They may not be the most impressive looking websites with a real 'WOW!' factor, they may not have a huge amount of functionality - but they do something right. Try to put your finger on what that something is. Is it that you can buy in just one click? Is it because the text is of a good size and is easy to read? Are the images nice? Does the navigation work just as you'd expect it? Make a note of your findings and apply them to your site. How do you think your customers feel when they use your website?

Take a break...
This is a lot to take in and will take some time, you'll probably return to your list a few times over the coming weeks as you get to a new website. The chances are you'll have a longer list of BAD than GOOD as there is a general tendency to moan rather than praise (that's what I have found, at least!) but stick with it and just keep your eyes peeled for the good stuff every now and then.

Monday 27 October 2008

Baby Steps

In web terms, the Picseli website is a baby. It is not yet registered in Google so no-one can find it...unless they have the web address of course. It has very little content, as we are still working on the design. And it isn’t due to launch until 1st November 2008. Yet, here I am writing about its success.

A successful Website

I am confident that by spending some time writing content and understanding the search engines and their users that I can have a successful website – after all that’s what all the other SEO companies are doing, isn’t it?

Understand your aim

The first thing to do is to consider exactly what it is that you want your website to do. Who you want to target. What you want to say. For example, Picseli is intended to attract people who need a website, want to improve their site or need some advice on how to do better. It needs to give visitors information on our products and services and a way to get in touch. I want to use the website as a case study to show you that the work we do does make a difference and to give you a more personal feel about who we are.

Take your time

I have worked on a number of websites and rarely do the website owners consider what it’s like from the users point of view. Yes, you need to make sure you get your message across, but is it the one users are searching for? At the moment the majority of people don’t want to spend money on a flashy brand new website, but want to find out how to make more of the money they have spent on it. This is what we will be focusing our website on in the coming months. It can take time to get the message right, but it is worth thinking about it and taking a step back to have a look at your site every now and then to check the meaning is right.

Time to get on?

If you want to discuss the article above and want some help to get your message right please give us a ring now on 08702 402777 or email to arrange for a website health check.

Thursday 23 October 2008

Beat the Credit Crunch

This is a difficult time for everyone (and probably not an ideal time to be starting a new web company) but it has happened before and people have survived. BSS did, for example. It was hard, and redundancies were made, but BSS is still going strong and believes they will get through this one too. To do this they have put a lot of time and effort into marketing as they strongly believe they can help others get through it!

Online marketing is the way forward
One of the cheapest ways of marketing is online, via your own website. Obviously BSS is lucky, having it’s own web department to handle it, but there are steps you can take to help you along.

How do you compare?
The Internet is the first place many people look for a new product or service as they can easily compare a lot of companies and products before making their decision. So what you need to ask yourself is – does your website offer people enough information to properly compare you and your competitors? If not, then the chances are they are using your competitors.

Improve your site
Over the next few weeks I will be sharing with you some of the things BSS has done (and Picseli will be doing) to improve our websites and promote ourselves.

Proof is in the search engines
Picseli is a brand new website, the first content was uploaded on 21st October 2008. So this is a clean slate and it is my job to make sure the website is found in search engines and I will share some of my tips with you. This website will be my proof to you that the work we do does make a difference.

Need a hand?
However, if you are keen to get your website up to scratch please give us a ring now on 08702 402777 or email to arrange for a website health check to find out what your website could be doing better!