Introduction to Search Engine Optimisation

Search Engine Optimization is the technique of getting a website as high as possible in the Google and Bing rankings (among others), for terms that are most likely to bring the most useful visitor. Read our complete guide to search engine optimisation here.

What's the SEO secret?

Many dodgy SEO 'companies' claim to know secrets ways to get good rankings, but not even Google can guarantee specific placements, so that should be a clear sign that they're talking nonsense. Wild claims that seem to good to be true: are - and should be filed in the same place as any other spam or con artists.

There are no magic secrets to success - just like anything else it's a balance of skill, experience, understanding of the concepts, keeping up to date with new developments - but mostly just a lot of hard work.

How to improve your website's Google rankings

These are the things you need to do to get your website to the top of Google:
  • Ensure your site structure is logical and straightforward
  • Focus on highly efficient keywords
  • Provide lots of good quality content
  • Use a high quality fast server to host your website
  • Get lots of other trustworthy sites to link to your website
  • Have a keyword rich domain name
  • Make sure the content on your site is correctly tagged
If you do all these things better than your competitors, then you'll get to the top for the searches you want. But if your competitors are working harder than you in the areas above, they are likely to be ahead.

Read the full article on SEO here.

5 Elements of Great Web Design

Below is a summary of the five most important elements of great web design.
For the full article about great web design, click here.

1.     Simplicity

Simplicity is at the core of everything from visuals to usability to code.
It’s much harder to create a beautiful simple design, or write elegant simple code, than it is to cobble together a complicated mess.

2.     Beauty

Whather it's fair or not, looks count for a lot. A well designed, calm, elegant site will make people feel at ease, and as if they can trust the owner of the website. A badly balanced, fussy, clearly homemade website will give the impression that the company is unprofessional.

3.     Usability

It takes a great deal of thought to pre-empt how visitors will use a website, but doing so and making sure they feel comfortable and dopn't get lost, will make the difference between a call and a back button click.

4.     Clear objectives

Objectives need to be defined early on, and the appropriate strategy and tactics applied. Are the calls to action in the right place, has enough been invested in SEO? How many customers does the website need to find for the business?

5.     Search Engine Optimised

You can have the most beautiful, usable web design in the world, but if it’s not indexed by the search engines, it’s not going to do you one jot of good. Search engine optimisation is not an area that can be summed up quickly and includes multiple on-page and off-page elements. Read our intro to SEO here.

Read the full article about 5 elements of great web design here.

Sentiva Web Design Website Refresh!

August is always a quiet month, so we've taken the opportunity to refresh our own website. It's had a complete (late) spring clean, with content updated, over ten new pages added, and our resource bank expanded.

To better reflect our evolving business, there are now separate sections on web design, web development, SEO, software development and web apps. Each of these sections gives information on the kinds of services we offer, as well as general information on what these things mean to modern business.

We've reinstated out Frequently Asked Questions section, with answers to all the most common answers we get asked on the phone, from how much does a website cost, to what is hosting and what is a domain name.

Our resource bank of articles now has 28 articles, covering general web and internet related topics, as well as SEO, domain names and internet and email scams.

We've also added over five case studies of our software development and web development projects over the past few years, where we've worked with everyone from British Gymnastics to Emerson Climate Technologies.

Finally, we've included lots of lovely shiny new pictures of our apps and software interfaces!

International Web Application Launches

One of our major projects, Emerson's Select 8 Online, has launched - marking the next generation in their refrigeration technology selection software.

We've have been working closely with the International Climate Technology Corporation, and liaising regularly with the company that built the original desktop-based software to create a new web-based version.

The new web-based software offers the advantages of being available to users anywhere they have internet access, and allowing Emerson to keep all of the data up to date, without engineers needing to download regular updates. Having the latest data is critical in this constantly moving industry.

Having a web-based version of the software also allows the program to be updated with new features and updates on a regular basis, ensuring all users have the latest benefits.

Select 8 Online software offers a range of new features including a flexible interface, allowing users to customise exactly which data tables and graphics they wish to have on display.

A customised PDF report can be generated based on the users preferences and selections from thousands of options, and these reports are frequently used as part of consultant proposals.
"Emphasis on a user friendly interface and regular database updates have contributed to its popularity and made it a ready tool for consultants, contractors, end users and students in the fields of refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pumps."
Emerson Climate Technologies

View the software here: http://www.emersonclimate.com/europe/en-eu/Resources/Software_Tools/Pages/SelectOnline.aspx

Sentiva is a web design and development company based in Leeds, Yorkshire - creating robust, elegent software for organisations in the UK and Europe. Find out more about Sentiva's software development and web development services here.

How much should my website cost?

A website can cost anything from nothing, to millions of pounds. So how do you know how much is the 'right' amount to be spending on your business website? 

Note - this is s summarised version of the full web design cost article.

Free Websites

Getting your relative or mate’s mate to design the website for free may seem a good idea, but in the majority of cases the good intention turns into a chore – with you feeling guilty for asking for anything and them resenting the time it’s taking, and putting it off for weeks, even months.
And unless they’re a professional, you’ve still got the problem of having an amateur job.
So, you may decide to bite the bullet and pay a web designer…

Cheap Websites (a few hundred pounds)

A brochure website from a professional web company can contain images of your products, services and work you've done and testimonials from previous clients. It shows that you're serious about what you do and solid enough to have invested in a professional website.

Professional Small Business Websites (£500 - £1000)

A professional website built by a decent company will have a nice amount of content (around eight to twelve pages), giving a good overview of your business, building trust and encouraging visitors to get in touch. It will also be optimised for Google to ensure it gets in front of the right people.

Enterprise Level Website (£1,000 - £10,000)

The website could become a central part of the business itself, adding value, and adding to your bottom line. It could include online services such as: ecommerce, online quotes, members only areas, surveys, technical calculators

Big Fish Website (£10,000 - £150,000+)

If you have an established brand and a strong online focus, the sky’s the limit with what your website can do. An ecommerce store for a department store could have thousands of pages, multiple relational search facilities and serve millions of users per day, or an online banking facility could run into the millions and will require a team of people to maintain the content and code.

Read about how much different websites cost - using a tortured transport analogy on our main web design site.