the very best in website design

Steve’s SEO tips Myth #14

Images do not require any optimization

Google uses both URLs and file names to understand images, making optimization a necessary part of the discoverability process. Let’s start with the basics.

When it comes to image formats supported by Google, stick to the following: BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, WebP, and SVG.

As for the alt text, this serves a couple of purposes. For one, alt text makes your images accessible for those who can’t see them. It also helps Google understand the image — and should be optimized to do just that. This doesn’t mean stuffing a bunch of keywords into the alt text, but rather writing a descriptive filename that clearly states what the image is displaying. Think: “vanilla ice cream cone with rainbow sprinkles” vs. “ice cream.”

To further optimize images for discoverability within the Image Search results, consider an Image sitemap. This will give Google more information about your images and help the search engine discover images it might not crawl otherwise. Additionally, you’ll want to use semantic HTML markup — <img> or <picture> — to help Google process your images, as CSS images are not indexed.

Finally, let’s touch on image compression. Google rewards pages with faster page speed and places those that lag lower on its rankings. So, it’s important to make sure your page-load times are as quick as possible. One of the leading culprits of page lag is large photos. If the photo you uploaded is too big, it will make the page take a longer time to load — even if the image doesn’t seem huge on-screen.

Once you pick a photo, use free compression software, like Squoosh.app to make it as small as it can go before it loses any quality. Any removal of excess photo data will speed up loading times so readers won’t have to wait.

Images do not require any optimization

Google tips #14

“Images do not require any optimization.”

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Steve’s SEO tips Myth #13

Local SEO does not affect traffic

This myth couldn’t be further from the truth. If you’re a local business, optimizing for local search won’t only help you get found, but it will help you get found by people who are nearby and more likely to buy from you. In fact, 46% of all searches on Google are seeking local information. And 88% of consumers who do a local search on their smartphone visit or call a store within a day.

To ensure your business is showing up in local searches, and providing helpful information to your customers, visit Google My Business. This free tool will help you create and promote your Business Profile on Google Search and Maps.

And for a complete local SEO strategy checklist, bookmark this resource from Moz, designed to help you create local content, earn reviews, optimize your social channels, and more.

Local SEO does not affect traffic

Google tips #13

“Local SEO does not affect traffic.”

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Steve’s SEO tips Myth #12

Steve’s SEO tips Myth 12

“Good user experience is an added bonus.”

As Google began to provide better results to its users, they were able to invest more in their search algorithm. They were able to qualitatively assess the effectiveness of their algorithm, then make quantitative adjustments to the weights of ranking signals for particular query intents. As a result, a good user experience is more important than ever.

It makes sense. If Google sends you to a webpage, they want to make sure you have a good experience on that page. They need to ensure that users have a good experience on that page to keep people coming back to Google.

To improve your website’s user experience, you’ll want to focus on things like page load time, bounce rate, time on page, page views per visit, and how far a person scrolls down the page.

As long as you satisfy the number one goal of creating content people can easily digest and enjoy, your content will satisfy a search engine’s ranking algorithms, helping your content to organically rise to the top.

Great article on this topic HERE

Good user experience is an added bonus

Google tips #12

“Good user experience is an added bonus.”

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Steve’s SEO tips Myth #11

Steve’s SEO tips Myth 11

The more pages I have the better

Some people have the notion that if you have more pages, you will get more traffic to your website. Just like link-building, creating content just to have more pages isn’t enough.

Make sure you are focusing not just on quantity, but on quality, too. If you don’t have good content, you will not rank well and all those pages you created won’t help your cause.

In fact, when asked about the top three things that help to make a website more discoverable, Google WebMaster Trends Analyst Martin Splitt started with content good.

“You have to have really good content. And that means you have content that serves a purpose for the user. It’s something that users need and/or want,” Splitt says.

Of course, logically you would think that the larger the footprint of your website, the better you would rank – but that’s simply not true.

The more pages I have the better

Google tips #11

“The more pages I have the better.”

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Steve’s SEO tips Myth #10

Steve’s SEO tips Myth 10

My homepage needs a lot of content

Have you ever come across a homepage littered with copy? Or, on the opposite spectrum, a homepage with barely any content at all?

Think of your homepage as the gateway to your business. Visualize it. This is your chance to make a first impression and convey what you’re all about. Maybe your value proposition is simple – in that case, just a single login makes sense.

For most marketers, however, there is a need for a bit more content and context than that.

Your homepage content should be long enough to clarify who you are, what you do, where you’re located (if you’re local), your value proposition, and what visitors should do next. These visitors should leave satisfied, not overwhelmed or underwhelmed – and certainly not confused.

My homepage needs a lot of content

Google tips #10

“My homepage needs a lot of content.”

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A great tool to help with content writing Grammarly

Steve’s SEO tips Myth #9

Steve’s SEO tips Myth 9

“You can only have one H1 per page.”

First, let’s start by understanding why headings are useful for Google. To do so, we’re going straight to the source:

“We use headings to better understand the context of different parts of a page,” explains Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller.

When asked about the SEO implications of multiple H1s, Mueller went on to offer this advice:

“Think about your users. If you have ways of making your content accessible to them, be it by using multiple H1headings or other standard HTML constructs, then that’s not going to get in the way of your SEO efforts.”

You can only have one H1 per page

Google tips #9

“You can only have one H1 per page.”

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Steve’s SEO tips Myth #8

Steve’s SEO tips Myth 8

“SEO is just something I should pass off to IT.”

While search engine optimization can get pretty technical, it isn’t something you want to hand off to your IT department and forget about.

Today, designing an effective SEO strategy means having a team of DRI in place that is prepared to handle not only the technical aspects but also the content development, link building, internal training, editorial calendar development, and more.

Delegating your SEO efforts to a dedicated individual or team may seem like a huge lift, but it’s really about finding inquisitive people that are ready to investigate and strategize. In the long run, you’ll be glad you implemented this separation of duties between SEO and IT.

Do you think you’re the right person in your organization for the job?

“SEO is just something I should pass off to IT.”

Google tips #7 “SEO is just something I should pass off to IT.”

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Steve’s SEO tips Myth #7

Steve’s SEO tips Myth 7

“Pop-ups will always hurt my ranking in search.”

As inbound marketers, we care about creating lovable experiences for our website visitors – and, at the same time, we also want to generate leads for our sales teams. To help generate these leads, many marketers have put pop-up forms on their website pages. (After all, pop-ups work.) But the misuse of popups has led to a lot of controversy over whether marketers really should use them.

Even Google had to weigh in on it all by announcing in August 2016 that they would begin to penalize websites that use what they call “intrusive interstitials.” (We call these “crappy pop-ups.”) This penalty eventually rolled out in January of 2017.

For marketers, the keyword here is “intrusive.” Google doesn’t penalise all pop-ups — just the ones that get in the way of a user’s ability to easily access the content on the page when they search on mobile.

For example, pop-ups that a mobile user has to dismiss before being able to access the main content of the page will get you in trouble with Google. On the other hand, pop-ups (including banners and slide-ins) that use a reasonable amount of screen space and don’t disrupt the mobile user experience are just fine.

When they’re used in a way that’s helpful instead of disruptive, pop-ups can be a healthy part of your inbound strategy. Be sure yours offer something valuable and relevant to the people visiting that particular site page and fit them seamlessly into the context of what your users are doing already so as not to sacrifice user experience.

Myth #7 Pop-ups will always hurt my ranking in search

Google tips #7 “Pop-ups will always hurt my ranking in search.”

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Looking for an ecommerce web design agency in Leicester?

Looking for an eCommerce web design agency in Leicester? Look no further.

If you are looking for a new or improved E-Commerce website but have not been able to find a local web design agency in Leicester that can help, you haven’t discovered us yet!

We have over twenty years’ worth of expertise in designing a wide variety of websites, providing clients with our expertise in Marketing. It doesn’t matter what your business is; we take all steps possible to ensure we have got to grasps with your company and what you would want from us.

Many customers have come to Caged Fish with negative encounters from their former web designers, and these encounters are not unheard of these days. We make sure you are taken care of and have the best customer care experience, as well as great results from our effective SEO strategies.

One of the E-Commerce websites we have designed is for a client in Market Harborough that sells coffee, called jute.coffee A lot of love and care went into the design process.

Appealing, stylish, and totally in line with what the client required, this website fits all user, search engine and client requirements – a feat that is difficult to achieve these days.

Plus, with the knowledge and ability to set up SEO strategies, you can be sure that once your website has been designed, your company can get the fullest exposure achievable.

So, what are you waiting for? With many more clients like these that are part of Caged Fish’s portfolio, and the chance to book a free meeting with us, there is nothing to lose.

Looking for an eCommerce web design agency in Leicester

Looking for an eCommerce web design agency in Leicester?

Want to get found, Give us a call HERE

read more about our SEO services HERE

Steve’s SEO tips Myth #6 “Meta descriptions have a huge impact on search rankings.”

Steve’s SEO tips Myth #6

“Meta descriptions have a huge impact on search rankings.”

Meta descriptions — the short page descriptions that appear under the title in search results – don’t serve as an official ranking factor for search engines. However, these descriptions can influence whether or not your page is clicked on — therefore, it’s just as important when doing on-page SEO.

Meta descriptions can also be copied over to social media when your content is shared, so it can encourage clickthroughs from there, too.

Here’s what makes for a good meta description:

• Keep it under 160 characters, although Google has been known to allow longer meta descriptions — up to 220 characters. (Note: Mobile devices cut off meta descriptions at 120 characters.)

• Include your entire keyword or keyword phrase.

Meta descriptions — the short page descriptions that appear under the title in search results – don’t serve as an official ranking factor for search engines. However, these descriptions can influence whether or not your page is clicked on — therefore, it’s just as important when doing on-page SEO.

Meta descriptions can also be copied over to social media when your content is shared, so it can encourage clickthroughs from there, too.

Here’s what makes for a good meta description:

• Keep it under 160 characters, although Google has been known to allow longer meta descriptions — up to 220 characters. (Note: Mobile devices cut off meta descriptions at 120 characters.)

• Include your entire keyword or keyword phrase.

Here’s what Google has to say HERE

Meta descriptions have a huge impact on search rankings

Google tips #6 Meta descriptions have a huge impact on search rankings

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Here’s what Google has to say HERE

Email marketing Leicestershire

Email marketing Leicestershire

When done correctly, email is one of the most potent elements in the marketing mix. The problem is, it’s often poorly done in a thrown together manner. In this ever-changing world, we have constant access to our emails on our computers, tablets and phones, but as a marketer, how do you stand out from the torrent of spam that heads into our inboxes every day?

Good email marketing is three main things: be relevant, be unobtrusive and be timely. 

It’s the one piece of email that you look forward to reading – whether that’s the top money-saving tips for the week or the surprise sale at your favourite shop that you’ve been unknowingly waiting for.

 At the right time, in the right place.

The main reason why so many email campaigns fail is that they’re too sales-driven. A hard-sell email campaign is about as welcome as those guys that catch you on the street and ask if you want to sign up for stuff. If they get one sale for a thousand people, they disrupt; they think the ends justify the means. Please don’t let your marketing strategy be like this!

Email marketing strategy is all about nurturing your leads; you shouldn’t expect massive returns from the first campaign, but if done correctly, your leads will flourish into a bunch of stable, happy relationships. The way forward, EH?

This is why we put so much importance on the content we put out there – is it going to be attractive? Will it stand out? Will it be useful to both the consumer and ourselves? Using industry drifts and by getting to know your readers, we learn what it is your consumers want and what time it’s best to show it to them.

 Automation

Email can be a gruelling and time-consuming task which is where automation comes into it. Depending on how you get your data in the first place, that data needs cleaning. 

 Create, send, test repeat

We can create stunning emails that complement your brand. Once our team are finished, any inbox will be pleased to have them!

Of course, we’d be joking if we said we got it right first time round – we might get near, but there’s always room for development. That’s why every one of our campaigns is tested to discover the way to success. Each email is tested, experimenting with the subject line, the layout, the message and even the time of day. All of this data gets fed back into our learning system to enhance coming campaigns.

We can also handle the background methods too such as website sign-up forms, list administration and opt-in methods, ensuring you’re compliant with the latest UK laws.

Email marketing Leicestershire

Email marketing Leicestershire

Don’t forget about the dreaded GDPR

read more about our Email services HERE

Here are a few tips

Clean and simple design

Every touchpoint your visitors encounter form a customer’s overall impression of your site and brand. 

Just as you take care of the design of your site, the look of your emails is vital to create a cohesive shopping experience. 

Creating simple, easy to understand emails using legible fonts and relevant images allow visitors to instantly grasp an email’s key message.

At first glance, a visitor should be able to recognise your brand and understand what you’re saying. Keep your email design simple and clean, and always on-brand.

Compelling copy

Keeping a regular tone of voice throughout all of your communications guarantees your brand is recognisable to audiences. 

Regardless of your brand’s tone, be sure to keep your copy simple and to the intent. Don’t over embellish things with unnecessary information that clutters the design – this will put a consumer off viewing your email right away. 

Say what you want to in as few lines as achievable using simple vocabulary and short sentences. Make your text as easy to read as likely so visitors can get the gist of your email in just a glance.

Well-crafted subject lines

Customers receive a considerable amount of emails each day, and most end up unread in their trash. 

Make sure yours is one of the few they click on by crafting an appealing, clickable subject line. 

If your open rate is poor, it’s worth visiting the types of subject lines you’re using and seeking out new styles and formats to see which your customers react best to.

Try phrasing your subject line as a topic or personalising with a customer’s name. Keep it short; ten words or fewer leads to perform the best, and use emojis sparingly.

Clear call to action

Make it totally clear what you want your customers to do next with clear calls to actions. 

With exact anchor text, you can show your users the next step to take after reading your email. This could be a link to recover to their saved basket, or to visit a particular product page or to complete feedback. 

Whatever the goal, make it really easy for visitors to complete the action with ease to boost your CTR and increase your eCommerce email conversions.

Check your repetition

Barrage your customers with regular emails, and they will unsubscribe.

You need to strategically time your email and deliver at a suitable regularity to maximise engagement. 

With email automation, you can program a series of emails to send at set intervals over a certain time. This will mean your customers aren’t getting emails too often to feel inundated but are continually being reminded of your brand. 

Just make sure you stop broadcasting your specific email campaigns after a client performs the coveted action to avoid irritating a customer.

Steve’s SEO tips Myth #5 “You shouldn’t link out to other websites.”

Steve’s Google Tips #5

MYTH #5

“You shouldn’t link out to other websites.”

Provide value. When you’re creating content for the web, this should be the motivation behind it. And if that means linking out to a website other than your own to provide additional information, there’s nothing to be worried about.

“If you’re linking out naturally from your website to other sites that offer additional value and more context, then that’s fine And there’s nothing special that you need to do,” explains Google Webmaster John Mueller.

There are a few exceptions, though. If you link out to a website in exchange for a link back, link to an advertisement, or link out in your comments, that link is typically not as contextual or valuable as one that occurs naturally. In these situations, Mueller encourages the use of the rel=”nofollow”link attribute. More on that here.

You shouldn’t link out to other websites

Google tips #3

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Steve’s SEO tips Myth #4 “Having a secure (HTTPS encrypted) site isn’t important for SEO.

Steve’s Google Tips #4

MYTH #4

“Having a secure (HTTPS encrypted) site isn’t important for SEO.”

Have you ever noticed that some URLs start with “http://” while others start with “https://”? Perhaps you noticed that extra “s” when you were browsing websites that require giving over sensitive information, like when you were paying bills online.

To put it simply, the extra “s” means your connection to that website is encrypted so hackers can’t intercept any of your data. The technology that powers that little “s” is called SSL, which stands for Secure Sockets Layer.

In August of 2014, Google announced that it had started using HTTPS as a signal in its ranking algorithms. At the time, this meant that if your website still relied on standard HTTP, your rankings could suffer as a result.

Then, in October of 2017, Google released a new version of their popular Chrome browser, version 62. At this time, it warned users that if their page contained a form but did not have SSL-enabled, visitors would see a “not secure” label alongside the URL. This label began to roll out in July of 2018.

From an SEO perspective, Google has publicly stated that two websites that are otherwise equal in search results, if one has SSL enabled it may receive a slightly rank boost to outweigh the other.

Not to mention, up to 85% of people stated that they will not continue browsing if a site is not secure, according to a recent survey from HubSpot Research.

As a result, there is a clear SEO benefit to enabling SSL on your website, and across all your content.

Having a secure (HTTPS encrypted) site isn’t important for SEO.

Google tips #4

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Steve’s SEO tips Myth #3 “Keywords matter more than anything.”

Steve’s Google Tips #3

MYTH #3

“Keywords matter more than anything.”

Amplified by the rise of mobile and voice search, search queries have become more and
more conversational. And Google’s updates over the past 2-3 years have focused on understanding these types of queries better through natural language processing, most notably with the rollout of Hummingbird in 2013.

The introduction of this new search algorithm, which began analyzing phrases instead relying on keywords alone marked a significant switch for the search giant from keyword to topic-focused SEO.

The takeaway here for marketers? The traditional view of “keywords” in search has changed.

Where a few years ago there were maybe 10-20 “big keywords” that would be sought after for ranking within a topic, there are now hundreds or thousands of long-tail variations that are regularly searched within a subject and change based on location.
Simply dominating a few words is no longer enough to produce successful results.

Instead of obsessing over keywords, we recommend marketers explore a topic cluster strategy.

This approach to content creation is centred around the reader, helping them discover the content they are searching for, regardless of the exact keywords they use.

Great tool for keyword research HERE

Keywords matter more than anything

Google tips #3

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Steve’s SEO tips Myth #2 “More links are better than more content.”

SEO Market Harborough Google Tips #2

MYTH #2

“More links are better than more content.”

In the past, building as many links as possible without analyzing the linking domain was how SEO typically worked. By doing this, your website was sure to rank higher.

Today, building links is still an essential part of ranking factors. That’s because a link to another website is more than just a link — it’s a vote of confidence, a recommendation, a way for publishers to say to their readers: “Here’s a source I trust. Go check it out yourself.”

That being said, it’s essential to focus on the quality of links you are obtaining rather than just the quantity. Sometimes less can be more if you know how exactly to build links the proper way.
If you’re deciding between investment in link building vs content creation, remember: one of the number one ways to generate quality backlinks is to start by creating quality content.

HERE

SEO Market Harborough Tips

SEO Market Harborough Google tips #2

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Steve’s SEO tips Myth #1 I must submit my site to Google

SEO Leicester Google Tips #1

MYTH #1

“I must submit my site to Google.”

The idea that you need to submit your website to Google to appear in search results (or rank) is rubbish. Google discovers content on its own by bots – also known as “web crawlers” – that are continually seeking the web for content to index.

But, if you’re making alterations to existing website pages or creating new ones, you can submit an updated sitemap of your website to Google to help its crawlers find your content faster.

Want to check to see if your site is currently indexed? Do a site search for your URL, like this: site:cagedfish.co.uk

Another great way to monitor is via Googles Search console, which can be found HERE

SEO Leicester Google Tips #1

SEO Leicester Google Tips #1

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Steve’s April #1 top SEO Leicester tips

Steve’s April #1 top SEO Leicester tips

If it’s important to rank your pages on page 1 of Google in 2021, you will need to have an understanding of the search intent concept and create content that aligns with your potential customer. 

There are four common areas of search criteria:

Informational: Mainly informational intent when the user is looking for specific information. 

It could be the user is looking for a specific product but hasn’t made the final choice yet. 

EG searches such as “best SEO tools” and “LCD TV” are dedicated commercial searches. 

Transactional: Committed to buying. The viewer has already made a decision to buy a specific product or service. 

A best practice is always to keep the search intent in mind while building content for your site.

EG. If it’s important to rank for the words “best LCD TV,” you need to realise that the search need here is commercial, not transactional. The user is still undecided on which LCD TV model to buy.

There is no point in optimising your LCD TV landing page with those main keywords. 

Google realises what users want when the search query is “best LCD TV ” They are looking for ideas. They are looking for a post or video which describes the best LCD TV, not product pages or shopping pages.

SEO Leicester tips

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Coffee is always on…

No instant either!!

Jute coffee

Steve’s April #1 top SEO Leicester tips

Bottom line: 

Create content that aligns with the search of your target audience. 

Write a Compelling Title and Meta Description

Your title and description are two of the most important tags on your page. Let’s cover title tags. 

Title Tags

Titles are clickable headlines that show in results and are essential from an SEO point.

Article from Google

“Titles are critical to giving users a quick insight into the content of a result and why it’s relevant to their query. It’s often the primary piece of information used to decide which result to click on, so it’s important to use high-quality titles on your web pages.”

Engines like Google typically display the first 60 characters of a title. Google will display the full title as long as it’s under 60 characters long.

What to keep in mind while creating titles:

  • Include your main keywords.
  • Write a title that matches search intent.
  • Avoid making duplicate title tags.
  • Avoid keyword stuffing.
  • Keep it descriptive but concise.

Meta Descriptions

The second most crucial tag on a page is the description. A meta description is a quick summary of a page in SERPs showing below the title.

Descriptions seem to not directly impact search rankings, but they can promote reasonable conversion.

 Google explains it best: 

“A meta description tag should generally inform and interest users with a short, relevant summary of what a particular page is about. They are like a pitch that convince the user that the page is what they’re looking for.”

Google typically truncates meta descriptions to 155–160 characters, so make sure you provide an accurate summary of your content while keeping it under 160 characters.

Meta description best practices to follow 

  • Write unique meta descriptions for each page.
  • Use action-oriented copy.
  • Include your target keywords.
  • Match search intent.
  • Provide an accurate summary.

Optimise Your Images/graphics

Images play a massive role in improving the user experience of visitors to your site. Chances are you spend much time selecting the right visuals to enhance your blog posts, product pages, and other essential areas of your site.

Is it essential to spend an equal amount of time optimising the visuals on your site? 

When used correctly, images can contribute to your site’s SEO and increase regular traffic. 

To follow are four things you can do to optimise your images.

The Best File Format

Speed is a vital ranking indicator, and images are frequently the most significant contributor to page size.

 As a result, you need to optimise images for speed in order to improve the performance of your site. The first step involved in optimising images is picking the most suitable format, so let’s look at JPEG vs PNG. Vs WebP.

The most widely used image formats on the web are JPEG and PNG. Both of these use different techniques, which is why the file sizes between these two can be dramatically different.

Concerning file sizes above, it would be easy to say JPEG is the clear winner. But it would be wrong to use JPEG as the main image format for your website.

While JPEGs look great for photographs, PNGs are excellently suited for images that contain text, line sketches, etc. 

WebP is another idea, which Google talks about here. Saying, “WebP is an up to date image format that provides quality lossless and lossy compression for images on the internet.

  • WebP lossless images are 26% smaller in size compared to PNGs.
  • WebP lossy images are 25-34% smaller than comparable JPEG images at equivalent SSIM quality index.”

More about how to use WebP in this Google guide.

Compress Your Files

The bigger the image, the longer it takes the page to load, which is why you must reduce your files before uploading them to your website. 

Fortunately, there are numerous free tools out there that can help you compress your images. 

  • TinyPNG: TinyPNG uses smart compression methods to reduce the file size of your PNG and JPEG files.
  • ImageOptim: If you’re a Mac user, you can download and use this free tool for all your image compression requirements. ImageOption is a tool backed by Google as well. It’s by far the most useful tool for reducing JPEGs, but not for PNGs. For reducing PNGs, you’re better off using TinyPNG.
  • ShortPixel: If you run your site on WordPress, you can install it to reduce your images. ShortPixel’s free plan allows you to reduce 100 images per month.

Provide Alt Text for Images

Despite improvements in Google’s abilities to recognise images, adding alt text to images is still an inevitable evil. Adding alt text to images increases web accessibility and supports browsers better understand the photos on your page.

Here is what Google says about writing alt text:

“When choosing alt text, focus on creating valuable, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and is in context of the content of the page.

Avoid filling alt attributes with keywords (keyword stuffing) as it results in a negative user experience and may cause your site to be seen as spam.”

When writing alt text for images, be concise in your description, and avoid stuffing your target keywords.

Lazy Load Your Images

This is a procedure that defers the loading of non-critical resources (images, videos, etc.) at page load time. Alternatively, photos and videos are loaded only when viewers need them.

Google explains the link between lazy loading and site performance:

“When we lazy load images and video, we reduce the initial page load time, initial page weight, and system resource usage, all of which have positive impacts on performance.”

Read more in Google’s resource guide for lazy-loading images and videos.

Optimise Your Page Speed

If your page takes too long to load, you will have many frustrated users, and your rankings will fall. 

Various free tools can help you check page speed, including Google’s very own PageSpeed Insights.

The tool Caged Fish recommend for this job is GTMetrix. This available tool provides insights on your page speed and gives ideas for the steps you can take to improve your load time.

A quick and easy win to improve your page speed would be to shrink your images. 

In addition to image compression, here are some other things you can do to help your pages load faster:

  • Enable browser caching.
  • Delete unnecessary plugins.
  • Reduce server response time.
  • Reduce the number of redirects.
  • Minify CSS and JavaScript files.

Use Internal Links

Internal links are crucial because they establish an information hierarchy for your website and help Google get a deeper knowledge of your page’s content. Internal links can significantly increase your rankings when used the correct way. 

Page speed plays an important role in enhancing the user experience of visitors to the page.

Other ideas to ensure that users have a good experience when they visit your page:

  • Use subheadings: Proper use of subheadings (H1, H2, H3) helps Google recognise your content better and makes your text more accessible to readers.
  • Make your content visually appealing: Several types of research indicate that visuals help people appreciate your content better. Use appropriate images, videos, and screenshots to explain content.
  • Avoid using intrusive popups: 
  • Popups are not just nasty from an SEO viewpoint, but they also end up irritating your visitors. Since 2017, Google has been punishing sites that use intrusive popups. So use popups sparingly. If you need to use them to grow your email marketing, use exit popups, or display them to viewers who have spent at least a few minutes on your site. 
  • Use white space: White space is a crucial aspect of good design. Space between paragraphs and in the left and right margins improves perception by 20%. So consider using space to make your content more readable and grab user attention.

Include Keywords in Your URL

URL structure is often ignored. A good URL structure gives both users and search engines an idea of what the target page is about. 

Google explains it best: 

“A site’s URL structure should be as simple as possible. Consider organising your content so that URLs are constructed logically and in a manner that is most intelligible to humans (when possible, readable words rather than long ID numbers).”

With that in mind, here is how you can create a well-structured URL:

  • Use short URLs: A study conducted by Backlinko found that short URLs tend to outperform long URLs in SERPs.
  • Use keyword-rich URLs: Always include your target keywords in the URL to increase your chances of ranking better in search results. 
  • Remove unnecessary stop words: To make your URL look clean and concise, consider removing stop words.

Focus on Getting More Authoritative Backlinks

Despite several modifications to Google’s search algorithm and ranking system, Google still considers backlinks to be a key ranking signal. Google understands backlinks as votes of trust.

If your web pages have a high amount of backlinks, it improves your chances of ranking higher in search results. As a consequence, you must concentrate on constructing backlinks for your website.

That said, not all backlinks are constructed alike. Some backlinks can raise your ranking for distinct search queries exponentially, while others can derail your rankings, which is why you should prioritise trustworthy backlinks over other kinds of backlinks.

It would help if you concentrated all your energies on creating high-quality backlinks to increase your chances of ranking higher. 

One of the most powerful ways to obtain authoritative backlinks is by replicating your competitors’ link building strategies.

Long story short, there is a strong relationship between text length and results. 

So, you should target publishing a couple of thoroughly researched, long-form pieces that include helpful information to Google users weekly. Google wants you to concentrate on the user’s requirements over SEO, and it is the best way to keep readers and convert. Nevertheless, we all know SEO is essential as well. 

When producing long-form content on your blog, target keywords that strike a good symmetry between volume and difficulty.

Long-tail phrases tend to have low search volume, but they could help reach the customers you need in some cases. 

If the search volume is too low, aim for mid-tail keywords with low to medium keyword difficulty. 

Final Considerations

The best practices described above are a great starting point to gain higher search rankings. That said, the race for the coveted first page on Google is important, notwithstanding the niche you work in. Once these best methods are in place, make sure you are well up to speed with the latest SEO trends and support other SEO methods from time to time to stay ahead of the competition.

SEO Market Harborough April 2021 Google tips

SEO Market Harborough tips April 2021

Google in 2021

Anyone who has worked with a website would have heard the term Mobile First.

However, in the last three years, Google has announced a new phrase we should all familiarize ourselves with: AI-First.

This has meant that Google has given us some new updates, which can hint as to why we should no longer think SEO in the same way as ten years ago (keywords in title, headings) instead, think contextual and more user-oriented text.

The latest major AI update that Google made is the BERT update.

BERT is a machine learning algorithm that, based on large amounts of text, has been trained to check a piece of text and find the best corresponding matching answer.

But what does that mean for SEO?

This means that Google, at the same level as a human being, can find the best answer to a question. This means that, to some extent, we can no longer trick the search engine with words and the length of the text.

Google processes text in a totally different way than it did many years ago.

So does this mean that you can write a text of Ten words and rank high in the search results?

Most likely not. Although a word count is NOT something you should spend a lot of energy on, you still need to write content that is relevant and that gives a contextual meaning.

So in summary

Just write correct engaging text, think about the user and not just your google rankings, and success will come

Also, be patient; this takes time

If you need any help, just give us a call HERE

SEO Market Harborough

Reasons not to work with us

Reasons not to work with us!

We totally love what we do, and we’ve worked with some incredible people over the years that we have been in business, and that’s over twenty. BUT everyone is not suited to working with us. And that’s OK. Employing someone to design your site is a crucial decision and, on many occasions, a significant investment.

Outlined below, I wanted to outline a few reasons we think you shouldn’t work with us.

Reasons not to work with us

Web design questions

Contact us HERE

Members of Leicester Networking group Working Breakfast

You can’t afford it.

Design prices can vary hugely. The average website can cost anything from a few hundred pounds to £5,000+. Our web design prices typically range from £1,000 – £4997. This can be off-putting to many business owners. We understand that. Our websites can be a large investment, but they’re totally that, an investment.

The main reason we charge what we do is based on the time it takes and the effort that’s involved. We create a design idea tailored around your companies goals, whether that’s an increased company profile or selling your products online. We have to understand your business thoroughly to be able to build a useful website.

Many business owners don’t want that. They just want an online advertising presence. If that’s what you want, fine, we’re probably not the right agency for you.

We want to deliver you a healthy ROI. 

You don’t want to do any work.

To able to create the best website, we will need some help from you. If you were hoping that we’ll do all the work and that you won’t have to do anything, then things are going to be tough.

Before we begin, we’ll have a meeting, usually via telephone, Teams or Zoom. We’ll spend time talking about your business and finding out more about your goals. We’ll need to ask you some questions to try and understand before we move forward.

 We like to understand your audience, the benefits of your services and why someone would choose you. 

You want a website quick.

If you’re looking for a quick and cheap job, then we are not for you.

Our websites take 6 weeks on average to complete and for good reasons. Your website arguably the most essential tool in growing your business online.

Read Below; I’ve detailed why it takes longer than you might think.

Research 

To create a website that’s right for you, we can spend a certain amount of time researching you and your market. Along with doing our research, we’ll be gathering information from you via our initial call and. We’ll also correspond via email if we need more clarification.

Planning

After we have enough information, we can start scoping out your website. 

Mockup 

Once we are all happy with the plan, we then move onto the design. This is where we pull it all together. Then the research and planning come together to create a mockup of your new site. We will design you a homepage layout in photoshop that shows you how the site will look before building it. 

Build 

When you are happy with the mockup, we can get to work designing your new site. This includes all the techy stuff like; coding your website, adding plugins, creating search engine friendly URLs etc. etc.

With this in mind, the whole process can take 2-3 months and believe it or not, we see that as a fantastic thing. I think we’d be doing you a disservice if we could get it up quickly, which is not our way

You don’t have time to provide us with any information

We totally understand you’re busy and you have a business to run. You will need to put aside some time if you choose to hire us to build your site. If you can’t find any time, we might not be the right fit.

Below is the idea of how much time you will need to set aside.

  • Initial chat – 1hr
  • Reviewing the mockup and giving feedback – 1hr
  • Emails conversations and phone calls – 1hr
  • Creating content* – 5 hrs
  • Sending us images and text – 1hr

Let’s face it, you understand your business and market more than us, so you are the expert.

Obviously will research, plan, design and build your website. However, but for it to work effectively, we totally need your assistance. The more information we have, the more complete the project will be.

You want a Yes Man

Some people know exactly what they want things to look like. They’ll have the exact design mapped out in their heads. The colours, the layout, the font…everything. They just need a coder to do it for them. We are not that kind of design agency.

Unless you’re a web marketing specialist with many years of experience, your ideas will likely need some work. It’s OK to have a rough idea of how you want it to look; however, you need to trust that Caged Fish know what we’re doing. That’s why you’re hiring us.

We have many years of experience building high performing websites that look visually pleasing, attract visitors and work well on search engines, as they say, “no brainer”.

We view our relationship as a partnership, where we invest ourselves in you. Sometimes, that could mean we come up with some new ideas or make suggestions. And, if I’m being honest, We’d struggle to keep our mouths shut if I thought something wouldn’t work. It’s in my nature.

You want to kick back and let the cash roll in

Build it, and they will come, right? Never happens.

It would be brilliant if you could just pay an agency to build you a website, and then you kick back and let the money roll in. Unfortunately, this is never the case. If this sounds like you, then you may have to return to the drawing board.

Once your website is live, it will need some work from you to promote it, or you could always pay someone to do it. Either way, you need a plan of action in place to attract visitors to your website, such as;

  • A Content marketing strategy
  • Facebook advertising campaign
  • SEO strategy
  • Google AdWords campaign
  • Email marketing strategy

If you do understand that marketing is essential and you’re prepared to do the work

You want to be the next Facebook.

Unfortunately, we’re just not Zuckerberg; making the next Facebook, Google or Amazon will be challenging. If you wanted the next big social media thing, you would need a team of coders and developers available 24/7. Just keep the site going. It’s just not our thing.

Summary

So there it is. The main reasons you shouldn’t work with us.

We pride ourselves on being upfront. 

 We would hate for you to hire us for the wrong reasons.

If you’re still here, then great! We’d love to hear from you.

web design questions

web design questions

How much is a website?

Our website packages usually range from £1,000 – £4999. However, it depends on what kind of project you have. Is it a brochure site, or are you aiming to sell online?

Are you expensive?

The method we use to build your website takes a certain amount of time, including planning and research. Unlike many agencies, we DON’T use templates. We make your website from scratch, which means you get a unique design tailored for you. Buying a website from us should not merely be seen as a business expense as your website is a marketing tool that should earn you cash.

web design questions

Web design questions

Contact us HERE

Members of Leicester Networking group Working Breakfast

Why are you so cheap?

Yep. We’ve been asked that question as well. We take a lot of time researching, planning the user’s journey through your site and then finally with the design and build. We’re typically cheaper than larger agencies because…We’re a small team that take on a small number of clients yearly. You won’t be talking to account managers; you’ll speak directly to the owners, EG Steve and Garry.

How long does it take?

Normally around 10 weeks to build a website from scratch, if we have all the information from you. Typically speaking, the website will only take a long time if we are still waiting for content from you.

How do we communicate throughout the build?

Typically, we’ll usually have an initial chat on the phone or with Teams to discuss the project. Once we have begun, most of the communication can take place over email.
This makes the process a lot more comfortable as we’ll have all of the information saved and come back to it later. Once we’ve completed the project, we will book your 1hr digital marketing coaching session.

What will you need from me?

It depends on what type of project you require. We’ll be able to talk through this before we start working together.
For example, For a company website, we would need…

•Images of your team

•Images of your office/factory

•Content e.g. text, PDFs etc

•Staff Profiles

•Videos you require adding to the website.

•Login details to your existing site

What if I don’t like the design?

You’re in luck. We offer a risk-free guarantee. Before we start building your new website, we’ll design a mockup of your homepage. We’ll create a layout in Photoshop first; that way, you’ll get to see our initial designs within approximately ten days. This is your chance to give us feedback, and if you genuinely don’t like it, we will amend it, so you are happy. The best part is, this won’t cost you anything extra.

Do you offer a payment schedule?

Yes, we split the payment into two. The first 50% is taken once you have signed off the mockup of your homepage. The following 50% is taken 30 days after this.

Can I pay the final fee when the site is finished and ready to go live?

No. In the past, we have found projects can take a lot longer than expected to finish. We might be waiting for content from you, and this can slow down the process. Sometimes these setbacks can take months. That’s why we always invoice 30 days after the first payment. At this point, we’ll be far down the development of your new website, and you’ll be able to see the progress.

Who hosts the website?

If we build your website, we will typically manage this for you, so you don’t need to do anything. We use the same company for our own site and most of our clients. Each website is managed. Every website we build has 99.9% uptime. We have used this same company for 7 years, and we don’t intend to change this.

What if I don’t want to manage the website. Can you do it for me?

Yes, we can arrange a care package to fit your needs. This can be between 1hr per month to 10 hours per month, and we can discuss a package that’s suited to you.

I want to have an email signup on my website? Can I have this?

When we design your site, we’ll build in all the features required, including an email signup form. As we create all our sites from the ground up, we’ll make sure it fits in with your company branding.
You will need an email marketing platform like Mailchimp or. As you’re collecting customer’s personal data, it’s best to invest in a secure and reliable third-party system. We can help to set this up for you; however, these services do charge as well.

Can I update the site myself?

Yes, absolutely we use WordPress to create your site, which means you can make many changes yourself without knowing all the geeky stuff. We will also teach you how to use it with a series of helpful videos.

How many pages do I get with my website?

You can have an unlimited amount of pages on your website. We will usually design you 3 pages layouts, i.e. A homepage, a blog page, an inner page, e.g. your about page. You can then use whichever layout you want for each new page you want to add.

Will you write the text for me?

No, but we have a copywriter we trust who will create the content for your website, so you don’t have to.

How do you build my website?

We design your website from scratch using several tools. We use photoshop for the first stage of the design and then move it onto the website using a platform known as WordPress.

I don’t want to use WordPress; can I use something else?

No. We only use WordPress to build our websites. We have used many platforms in the past but no longer.WordPress is a platform that’s so accessible for clients to update themselves, it’s search engine friendly, and it’s easy to integrate with third-party companies.

 I already have a website; can you change it?

If you already have a website. That’s great. This means we can build your new website whilst your other website is still live. Once we are ready to go live and you are happy with the new site, we can then swap the old site for the new one. It can take as little as 10 minutes for the new website to be visible. This means you’ll barely even notice a dip in your traffic numbers.

Will my website be mobile friendly?

Yes. Your website will be fully responsive and will look great on all devices. We don’t charge extra for this. It comes as standard.

How long will it take to get to the first page of Google?

It depends. There’s no clear answer to this question as search engines change their requirements all the time. However, we have had clients get to the first page for their main keywords within 2 days of launching, and we’ve had websites take 2–3 months for Google to show them on the first page.
However, there is no guarantee you will ever get to the first page of Google for your main keywords; some of your competitors might have substantial marketing budgets or have been there for years.

 Do I actually need a site?

No. If you have more customers than you can handle and don’t want anymore, then you might not need a site. However, if you want to grow the business, get more enquiries or become the go-to person in your space, then you should have a website.

 Will you buy stock images for me?

Yes. We will purchase the images for your website. We use stock image websites such as Shutterstock to buy professional images so that you don’t have to pay a photographer.

Do I need hosting?

Yes. Hosting is like renting space on the internet. You’ll need to buy hosting; otherwise, people won’t be able to access your website.

How much does hosting cost?

Hosting usually costs around £200 per year.
It can cost a lot more, depending on your requirements.
Hosting prices usually increase the more website visitors you have.

Who hosts the site?

If we create your website, we will usually host it for you, and you don’t need to do a thing. We invoice once a year. You could host the website elsewhere and manage it yourself. It’s entirely up to you.

Will you buy the domain for me?

Of course. You’re buying a website from us. It’s the least we can do. As long as it’s available for purchase, we’ll buy it for you.
We’ll send you an annual invoice for the renewal along with the hosting fees.
Obviously, if the domain name costs more than the average of £40-£60, then we’d have to discuss this with you!

Who will own the domain?

You will own the domain. We will register the domain in your name, it belongs to you. This means you have total control over it.

Do you do SEO for my website when you build it?

It depends on which package you choose. SEO is usually an ongoing project and will require continuous work. Although, we do offer a package that will start you off.

How much does SEO cost?

It can vary dramatically, but our monthly SEO plans begin at £50+VAT per calendar month. This is usually a starter plan for a local company with a small amount of competition.
Some of our other clients pay over £800+VAT per month for our SEO services. It depends on how much work will be required and how much competition you have in your industry.

How do I know if the SEO is working?

We can track your rankings using our reliable software. We would get updates every day, and we’ll be able to see what’s working and what isn’t. We’ll send you a monthly report so you can see your traffic numbers and rankings. (additional plan)

Who do you work with?

We only work with company owners who we can help. We’re not the type of company that works with anyone just to make money. We need to be sure that we are the right fit for each other. This is why we have a complimentary discovery session at the start of the process.

 Do you only serve customers in Market Harborough?

Many of our clients are not based in Leicestershire. Although our office is, we serve clients and business owners all over the UK, and we also have many international customers, including the USA.
We pride ourselves that we can work with any company wherever in the world.

Will you meet with me face to face?

Yes.
We are proud of our offices and always happy to meet you in person.

 Will you set up my Facebook, Twitter page etc.?

I’m afraid not. Social media is not a part of the web design process. However, we will integrate your social media into your website.

SEO Leicester

SEO Leicester

When it comes to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), let’s face it, everyone with a website would love to be found on page 1 of Google.

Align Your Content with Search Intent

Search intent is the purpose of every search query. getting to grips with search intent is Google’s ultimate aim. Pages that rank highly on the first page of Google have all passed tests on search intent. Some tips on optimising images below

Title Tags

Title tags are headlines that appear in search results and are critical from an SEO perspective.

According to Google

“Titles are critical to giving users a quick insight into the content of a result and why it’s relevant to their query. It’s often the primary piece of information used to decide which result to click on, so it’s important to use high-quality titles on your web pages.”

Search engines like Google typically display the first 50-60 characters of a title. Google will display the full title to your page as long as you keep your title tag under 60 characters.

Here are some other best practices to keep in mind 

  • Include your target keywords.
  • Write a title that matches search intent.
  • Avoid making duplicate title tags.
  • Avoid keyword stuffing.
  • Keep it descriptive but concise.

Meta Descriptions

The second most crucial meta tag on a page is the meta description.

 A description is a summary of a page in SERPs displayed below the title

Meta descriptions do not directly impact , but they can influence click-through .

Google explains it: 

“A meta description tag should generally inform and interest users with a short, relevant summary of what a particular page is about. They are like a pitch that convince the user that the page is exactly what they’re looking for.”

Google typically truncates meta descriptions to 155–160 characters, so make sure you provide an accurate summary of your content while keeping it under 160 characters.

 

Optimize Your Images

Images play a crucial role in the user experience of visitors to your site. Chances are you spend much time selecting the right ideas to enhance your blog posts, product pages, and other pages on your site.

Do you spend an equal amount of time optimizing the images on your site? 

When used the correct way, images can contribute to your site’s overall SEO. 

Below are things you can do to optimize your images.

Choose the optimum File Format

Site speed is a ranking signal, and images are often the highest contributor to overall page size. 

The first step to optimising images is picking the best file format, 

Compress Your Files

The larger your files, the longer it takes the page to load, which is why it is important that you compress your images

There are several free tools out there that can help.

  • TinyPNG: TinyPNG uses smart lossy compression techniques to reduce the file size of your PNG and JPEG files.
  • ImageOptim: If you’re a Mac user, you can download and use this free tool for all your image compression needs. ImageOption is a tool recommended by Google as well. It’s by far the best tool for compressing JPEGs, but not for PNGs. For compressing PNGs, you’re better off using TinyPNG.
  • ShortPixel: If you run your site on WordPress, you can install it to compress your images. ShortPixel’s free plan allows you to compress 100 images per month.

Provide Alt Text 

Despite advances in Google’s being able to understand images, adding alt text to images is still a necessity.

 Adding alt text to images improves accessibility

Here is what Google says about writing alt text:

“When choosing alt text, focus on creating useful, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and is in the context of the content of the page.

Avoid filling alt attributes with keywords (keyword stuffing) as it results in a negative user experience and may cause your site to be seen as spam.”

When writing alt text for images, be concise in your description, and avoid stuffing your target keywords.

How can we help? SEO Leicester

What are you waiting for?  give us a call. Contact

SEO Leicester

SEO Leicester

We cover all local areas, but hey, we’ve worked with companies and far away as Chicago

More about our SEO services HERE

Best website developer near me

website developer near me

Every decision that you make in life (especially choosing a local web designer), you have almost unlimited options available, the internet has made finding what you want more straightforward than ever before. Using Google, you type in what you’re looking for, in this example “website developer near me” and within seconds, you’re given a plethora of results right at your fingertips. Simple!

So how do you progress? A local company that comes up high in Google results, or a web design company at the other end of the country with a paid advert at the top of your search results? How do you make that choice?

You know you need a web design, but choosing the right company for your business will be based on many factors, including whether they are local or not.

Why choose a local web developer?

There are many reasons why “supporting local” has advantages, and for some, this will be a significant part of the decision-making process, but in reality, it comes down to where you feel comfortable.

Any web designer should be able to work with you, via email, telephone or Zoom, no matter where they’re based. At Caged Fish, we regularly work on projects with clients right across the UK and internationally. Getting the website you want shouldn’t matter whether your website designer is local or not

The plus points of using a local web company

1) Face-to-face meetings

For many people, face-to-face meetings are how they prefer to do business. If you’re local, then this is simple. You can arrange to sit down and go over everything you require, bring along any ideas and documents and get a good feel for your local developer. This becomes a little more difficult if you’re looking at a developer 1000 miles away.

2) Understanding the local market

If your business sells products and services locally, then working with a local company can bring added positives. They will know what the area is like and who your potential customers are likely to be. This first-hand knowledge can help position your website to the right audience.

3) Local testimonials 

By using a local company, they will have many customers and websites which they have created. A bonus of this is you’ll be able to see who and what they have created and even contact your designer’s clients directly to get some feedback. You will also be able to ask businesses that you know if they have heard of any local web companies that are great to work with. Word of mouth becomes difficult if you’re on the other side of the world

4) Business networking with your local designer

Also what’s also great about working with a local company is that they are already established within the local area by other companies. Being able to build local relationships and help each other out through opportunities when they come along. We have had many clients over the last 20 years we have recommended to other clients, and won them other work. Also, we have engaged in other projects on these recommendations from our clients also.

Factors that will need to be considered when choosing are price, skill and timelines, but working locally may bring benefits to your next website project.

What are you waiting for?  give us a call. Contact

Contact Web design Market Harborough

Great article on supporting local businesses HERE

website developer near me

We cover all local areas, but hey, we’ve worked with companies and far away as Chicago

Best website developer near me

Website developer near me

Graphic design Leicester

Graphic design Leicester

Here at Caged fish, we pride ourselves in very visually beautiful designs,
most web design companies do not have any graphic design capabilities within the company
Our team of experienced illustrators and designers have in many years of experience between them.

So if we are engaged in your website design, and we need any graphics, icons, headers, we can build them in-house without any external clip art and the use of an additional designer.

We also can get engaged in every area of your graphic design, weather our logo station redesign total branding vehicle livery ET Cetera ET Cetera

Logo design

We have designed logos and branding for many clients; this starts at a straightforward pencil sketch, sometimes several pencil sketches to get a feel for your project. We will then take that into Photoshop when the design is finally approved. We will then go into adding colour schemes.

Branding

We have branded many businesses from the ground up in our 20 years of existence. It’s nice to get involved with a client from day one. See their brand evolve. We have one client we on three iterations of their brand design for this client we have created logos typefaces stationary vehicle livery actual shop signage.

Illustration

Both the team guys are fantastic pencil, and illustration artists, anything you need we can create from the ground up, so why not give us a shout.

Examples

We are happy to supply examples of lots of work, so if you give us a call with your requirements, what industry sector you’re in, and we will be glad to oblige.

Costs

We prefer to work on a fixed fee rate for these jobs rather than an hourly charge. Upon supplying a brief and communicating with our designers, we are happy to give you a fixed cost from start to finish.

 

What are you waiting for?  give us a call. Contact

Graphic design Leicester

Graphic design Leicester

Great article on why you should use professional design HERE

Graphic design Leicestershire

We cover all areas of the Midlands, but hey, we’ve worked with companies and far away as Chicago

Graphic design Leicestershire

Graphic design Leicestershire

How much does a website cost in 2021?

How much does a website cost in 2021?

Your website is the most critical sales and marketing tool you have.

It’s the should be the centre of your marketing strategy, and it’s the first thing your prospective customers want to explore before making a purchase or even talking to you.

Now that most businesses understand the value of a business website overall is getting better. They’re faster, sleeker, mobile-friendly, and expected to be more useful. Great for the consumer but makes your job that much harder. 

We’re all forced to step up if we want to stand out from our competitors, which leads us to the inevitable project all modern businesses will face at one point or another — a website redesign.

The cost of a website redesign can vary tremendously from as low as a few hundred dollars if you do it yourself to millions of dollars for an advanced, custom-built website. 

Since businesses often have no idea how much they should pay for a website and what to expect, we’ve decided to try and answer that question.

Why web design costs have increased

Like everything else, the price of a website redesign mainly comes down to supply and demand. When the internet was still relatively new, businesses didn’t understand how valuable a website was, so they weren’t willing to pay a high price.

Today, a website is one of the first considerations a business makes when planning its launch. Many entrepreneurs narrow down their potential business names based on which domains are available and how the URL will look.

Of course, increased demand isn’t the only factor, however. 

Websites must be more advanced.

As time has passed, web designers have improved their techniques and access to much better tools. On the one hand, pumping out a decent-looking website is easier than ever with builders like Squarespace and WIX. On the other hand, building a genuinely first-class website presence requires more work.

The landscape is rapidly evolving — even more than in the beginnings of the internet. For example, it wasn’t until 2015 that Google announced that their search algorithms would show preference to mobile-friendly websites, even though web designers were preaching its importance since around 2009;

They knew that businesses need to deliver a better user experience, but eventually, Google would raise the standards looking at the growth of mobile buyer behaviour. At the time, mobile design was more complicated than it is today, and it was much easier for designers (and cheaper for their clients) to avoid it.

In today’s world, if your website doesn’t include mobile optimisation, Google is going to penalise you for it. 

Now websites also contain live chat so users can instantly get in contact with your company.

Not only has functionality changed, but the requirements to have an optimised website have become more rigorous. Focusing on page speed, accessibility, and user experience are more important than ever.

All of these factors can affect your website’s cost, but another major is the process or method behind its execution. 

In this blog, we’ll look at three of the most popular methods: building your website yourself with an online tool, hiring a freelancer, or hiring an agency.

The cost of doing it yourself

The building or redesigning a website yourself with a template is usually the cheapest option. It can range anywhere from a few hundred pounds to £3,000 or more, but the real “cost” here is the time and hassle.

Generally, the less money you spend, the more time and hassle you can expect to deal with to get the site how you want it — and it likely won’t be precisely how you want it to be without the ability to code.

New startups with limited budgets and no web developer often have to start small. ThemeForest offers tons of affordable website themes (mainly for WordPress) to choose from, usually cost around £200 to £100. 

Functionality, performance, and ease-of-use from those themes vary widely, including the level of customisation you can achieve, how easy it is to update the theme, and out of the box templates that are included. Once you find a theme that meets your needs, you’ll also have to make sure that it’s received positive reviews, has a strong track record and allows you to make edits without any technical skill.

Another popular option is a website builder such as Elementor, which is essentially an updated back-end editor for your website that you install on WordPress. This allows you to create content and edit the visual features of your theme with ease by giving you a variety of modules and widgets to level, each with its own unique formatting and styling options.

Once you’ve installed the framework, you’ll be able to select a theme to match the aesthetic you’re looking to achieve.

Their framework is a huge step up from the lower-priced themes on the market. They look great, are mobile-friendly, optimised for search engines, and easy to use. Take a look at their themes here — a lot of them will look familiar because tons of websites use them. 

You can start using Elementor for free, but the Pro level of £49 per year for one site gives you more robust widgets, templates, support, and more.

  

The cost of hiring a freelancer for a website redesign

The next level up from building your website is hiring a freelance website designer. Freelancers have various levels of talent and will charge accordingly. 

Depending on what your goals are, you should be able to find a freelancer that will charge anywhere from £1,000 to £5,000 

They will vary further depending on the experience of your freelancer and your project details. 

For example, if your freelancer is exceptionally talented and can build you a custom self-selection tool such as a product configurator, or you opt to go through a branding exercise with them, your costs may go even higher than that. 

When working with a freelancer, you can likely expect a design that looks good and functions well without any glaring flaws. They will probably take your ideas, come up with a few mock-ups for you to consider, and then they’ll build off of the one you like best.

In most cases, the freelance designer mainly focused on delivering aesthetic appeal you describe to them while suggesting certain features to improve user experience.

However, the downsides are that freelancers tend to be more hit-or-miss. The project might take longer if they are doing everything by themselves or are juggling multiple projects, and they might not offer much insight outside of design and development knowledge.

At the end of the day, if you’re not in the DIY type of mood, you’ll likely be able to find a freelancer to fit your budget, keep in mind that it will go up or down based on how big your project is. 

The cost of hiring an agency for a website redesign

The other option is hiring an agency to handle your website redesign, which gives you access to a team of seasoned experts who likely have experience with goals like yours and designing a website around them. However, as you would expect, a website redesign from an agency costs the most.

A more straightforward website redesign can run anywhere from £1,000 to £3,000 depending on the site’s size, whereas websites with a large page count, custom functionality, and more unique needs can cost much much more.

This may seem mad compared to the other options, but working with an agency goes much further than design. Agencies spend equal time on content, user experience, conversion rate, and everything else that makes your website an asset to your company and to achieve your goals. 

What sets an agency apart from most freelancers is the strategy that goes into building a fantastic lead-generating machine for you. 

A typical agency will work with you on your sitemap to understand the structure of your website and how the user journey is achieved.

You’ll be gaining access to a range of experts who can pull from their many years of experience with design, development, strategy, content, testing, SEO, not just a single resource.

Find the budget, bring in an agency!

 It’s worth your time to talk with some to see what options you have available. 

Continuous improvement 

Your site design or redesign launching, while a cause for joy, doesn’t mean you should move on to until you redesign again in three years. 

That’s another reason to consider an agency Growth-driven design. Growth-driven design is a process that helps you build a more robust project month over time using user data to help improve the journey.

What are you thinking? “This sounds expensive” well maybe, there is an investment to improve your website continuously. 

You can expect a monthly cost to achieve this.

How does content affect the cost?

Content is one of the essential parts of your website design. 

It gets your site to rank in the search engines, drives your user to take action.

Content when building your website yourself

If you’re going alone, map all of the pages out that you want your website to include, then write the actual content for each of the pages. Then, when you’re comparing website themes, you can pick out one that accommodates your content strategy.

Content when working with agencies

A lot of web designers will have a copywriter they work with, or they’ll be happy to work with someone that you hire yourself. Either way, ensure that both are on the same page because the process requires some real attention. 

Putting the price of your website into reality

Imagine a salesperson who works 24 7, pushing your business to prospects. Given the tools, this salesperson continually improves with minimal intervention on your part.

Whenever a customer wants information about your business when you’re sleeping, your main man is there with a smile and all the information.

 

How much does a website cost in 2021? Call us HERE

How much does a website cost in 2021

web developers Leicester

web developers Leicester

Looking for a web developer in Leicester look no further, here at Caged Fish we have a team of guys that love to work on projects large or small.

We also have a dedicated Graphic design department, comprising designers and illustrators.

All that sound good? It’s not all, we can also assist with your natural SEO (Google ranking)

And we can also help with setting up and managing Mailchimp campaigns

Shout if you need any info HERE

web developers Leicester

Online Pilates website

Online Pilates website

We’ve been working with Louise at  Studio 44 for a couple of years now.
It’s great to grow with a client and share their successes.

Louise is a fantastic Pilates instructor that decided she needed to take classes online to increase her business “reach”
The site manages all aspects on the subscription business along with members-only video feeds.

Check the site out HERE

Interested in something similar, contact the team HERE

Online Pilates website

Food delivery website

Food delivery website

We were approached by a local public house and restaurant facing the challenges of the recent lockdown. They decided to embark on a food delivery service.

We created a fully dedicated web app to overcome their problems
Features include

Auto address complete
Delivery applied to delivery distance
Limited order per time spots
Auto order print at kitchen level as the order is received
Fully optimised for desktop and mobile phone

Check out the site HERE

Contact for more details

Food delivery website
Food delivery app

eCommerce post Brexit, do you sell to the EU?

eCommerce post Brexit, do you sell to the EU?

Since we left the EU at the end of last year there seems to be a lot of confusion selling your products to Europe.

1st thing is the change to VAT
Next is custom declarations declarations

If you are selling to the EU via your online store, give us a call and we will see if we can help, we are already working closely with many of our clients

Contact us HERE
Further reading in this article. HERE

ecommerce post brexit

Serious about Coffee? We are!

Serious about Coffee??

Here at Caged Fish, we believe that life is too short for bad coffee, so if you ever visit (when allowed) you’ll be greeted with a fantastic coffee (or a tea if you prefer)
And our coffee comes from our wonderful customer Jute coffee

So what ya waiting for?  Call us and discuss your next project
Contact us here

Serious about Coffee

Click and collect web app

Click and collect web app

We were approached by a client recently with a very specific need, they supply merchandise to the PDC major darts tournaments.

Due to the Covid restrictions, the live tournaments have been on hold. Until this weekend when 1,000 darts fans are allowed into the Alexandria Palace.

However, the normal merchandise stands will not be in operation.

Instead, we have created a web application, accessed via QR code, allowing to buy the day’s merchandise to be collected from a safe environment.

www.pdcmerchandise.com

Click and collect web app

Social media, is finding time to keep updated a nightmare?

Social media, is finding time to keep updated a nightmare?

I don’t know about you guys, the days seem to disappear in front of our eyes, as you all know keeping customers and potential customers informed is highly important.

We cannot stress how important it is to keep your content updated on your web site, then what next, FB, Twitter, Google business places, Linkedin? All highly important, but a thief of time.

So we here at Caged Fish have integrated our news feed into these channels.

So if you are reading this on one of the social channels, it’s probably been fed from our blog.

So how easy, a bit of a pain to set up at our end, but after that, if I write a news story, it automatically lands on

  1. Facebook page
  2. Twitter
  3. Google Business
  4. Linkedin page and personal

The social media purists will probably say that each medium needs different content, but hey, we are all busy right?

Social media, is finding time to keep updated a nightmare?

Online shopping Leicester

Online shopping Leicester

Online shop, e-shop, online store, eCommerce shop whatever you want to call it, from small shops to large fully integrated shopping systems. Using the well-established Woocommerce platform ( over 28% of all online stores use this as we speak) built within the easy to use hugely popular CMS WordPress, where you can upload and edit your products and content. We design and build Online stores custom-built for your business where users can buy products, show products with or without prices or even allow users to download content after the sale.

Upon completion of an online shop project, Caged Fish provides a personalised suite of tutorial videos showing how to operate the websites administration area.
I found a great guide to online shopping at AO.com, random I know HERE

Check out our services here

Online shopping Leicester

#1 Web site design Leicester

#1 Web site design Leicester

If you are looking to get a new website or your existing site updated look no further than Caged Fish web design based in Market Harborough Leicestershire.

We pride ourselves on visually strong and functional designs.

We have a team of web ninjas including graphic designers, WordPress experts and an SEO skill set.

We have a proven track record in shopping sites, advising many of our customers to great sales.

This is a fascinating article about web trends, full article on the link below:

Mobile-first design will be the way forward.

Upon waking, what’s the first thing most people do? Be honest; you most likely check your mobile phone. Most millennials check their phone a vast 150 times per day.

More than 50% of all searches are on a mobile device, and nearly 95% of those mobile searches happen via Google. So, you need to prioritise a mobile-first approach to your business, wake up and smell the coffee

A mobile-first approach has seen incredible growth for obvious reasons, but it is interesting to note that in July 2019, Google rolled out mobile-first indexing. According to Google, mobile-first indexing means “Google predominantly uses the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking.”

Historically, the index used the desktop version to evaluate the relevance of a webpage to a visitor. Since the majority of users now access Google Search via a mobile device, Googlebot now primarily crawls and indexes pages via the smartphone agent.

Link HERE

#1 Web site design Leicester

#1 Web site design Leicester

Latest Wine delivery Rugby site launched

Latest Wine delivery Rugby site launched

Fantastic project for a great company

This companies main business is in beer and wine wholesale, but due to Covid lockdown a big area of the business was affected

So a plan was hatched, a home delivery service online within a 30-mile radius. We employed a system that checks whether the delivery can be made using a postcode search.

www.skywines.shop

 

Check out our portfolio HERE

Latest Wine delivery Rugby site launched

Kettering Vets new website

Kettering Vets new website

Launched last week we are very proud to have worked with a new Vets practice in Kettering. The client had a very clear view of the business model and was a dream to deal with. Best of luck with the new venture guys.

 

Kettering Vets

 

Check out our portfolio HERE

Kettering Vets new website

The fish tanks looking empty

The fish tanks looking empty

After we came back into the office after lockdown the office tank was looking a bit sad. We lost our solitary fish so it was time for a good cleanout. Tanks clean, waiting for new rocks and filter today, then you can all meet the new fish.

The fish tanks looking empty

#1 SEO Market Harborough Leicestershire

#1 SEO Market Harborough Leicestershire

For over 20 years, the Team at Caged Fish Web design has been helping those in and around Leicestershire improve their SEO. Market Harborough is where we are based, and we’re frequently involved with local businesses to enhance site visibility.

Companies large and small come to us with the intention of increasing the traffic their site acquires. By using many of our specialist techniques and methods, we’re able to increase a site’s visibility on search engines such as Google orBing.

Search Engine Optimisation can sound scary if you’re new to it, but it’s relatively simple.

By making some changes to your site and giving you some training, you’ll be able to improve your visibility. Of course, this is not a quick process, but we can be on hand to help.

There are two main areas to a good SEO campaign. Our SEO Market Harborough Leicestershire crew will take care of your on-page SEO, which includes textual content, keywords, and code, as well backlinks that point back to your site.

A successful campaign will need both of these things, which is why we don’t skip them.

If you want to have a read yourself on what’s needed, have a read HERE

To understand more about SEO, call us on 01858 469988 or message us using the Contact feature on this site.

More info HERE

#1 SEO Market Harborough Leicestershire

#1 SEO Market Harborough Leicestershire

WordPress website design Leicester

WordPress website design Leicester

Looking to have a WordPress site developed in the Leicestershire area look no further than Caged Fish Web Design.

Our team of Graphic designers and developers have many years of experience of designing, building and maintaining the popular CMS.

We are also on hand to update and care for your project along with fantastic in house SEO skills.

Why not give us a call HERE

CMS website design Leicester

WordPress website design Leicester
CMS website design Leicester

# 1 cheap website design Leicester

#1 cheap website design Leicester

So you need a website for your business?

Budget tight?

A few things to consider.

  • Do you want to be able to update the site yourself?
  • Is Google visibility a consideration?
  • Do you want to sell goods and services online?
  • Would you like to take bookings?

Caged Fish has been in the business of creating websites that are both visually pleasing and functional for over 20 years.

Please contact us for an informal no-obligation chat, the kettle is always on if you want to drop in, contact us HERE

We have created a document with questions you should be asking of your web designer, you can download the document HERE

Interesting blog piece HERE

1 cheap website design Leicester

No 1 eCommerce website design Leicester

No 1 eCommerce website design Leicester

Caged Fish web design, develop and market best practice eCommerce websites using WooCommerce.

We will help you get and convert visitors into buyers to boost your online revenue.
We deliver extraordinary eCommerce solutions that create substantial shifts in ROI through improved usability, increased traffic and conversion rate optimisation.

Read more eCommerce website design Leicester

Best practice article HERE

No 1 eCommerce website design Leicester

Old Market inn Kettering

Old Market inn Kettering

We are pleased to launch the new site for the newly refurbished Old Market Inn in Kettering.

Built using WordPress CMS

 

Also great use of the .pub domain name.

The site can be viewed HERE

Old Market inn Kettering

Personal training loughborough

Personal training Loughborough

 

SEO new client, we at caged fish, are happy to work with Personal training Loughborough. This is exciting to work hand in hand with the client.

 

Watch this space for more information

Personal training loughborough

Cheap website design Leicester

Cheap website design Leicester

We get many phone calls that seem to be concerned about price first when considering a web design-build

We at Caged Fish Web Design like to make sure that your project is “fit for purpose.”

Examples

  • What’s your target audience?
  • Have you identified a call to action?
  • Ecommerce, have you worked out your product flow

What we like to do with our clients is assist in this process, is it cheap? All depends on the size and scope of the project

Please give us a call HERE, no-obligation, chatting to us doesn’t cost a thing

Cheap website design Leicester

Good advice HERE

This is worth a read if you’re looking for a Cheap website design Leicester

5 Reasons Why You Should Use a Professional Web Designer
By avoiding generic website builders and amateur designers you’ll save your company countless hours and inevitable heartache. I know, I know, everyone has a cousin or a neighbour who claims to be a budding designer and is willing to take on your project for £500.

As tempting as it may be, you could potentially be getting yourself into a sticky situation.

I know where my bias lies, as I am a designer myself but honestly you are better off leaving it to the professionals. Designing a website can be a complex task; filled with questions like…Is this font web safe?

Does this logo adhere to my company’s brand standards? How many levels of navigation should I include? Why put yourself through the game of 20 questions when a pro can take it all off your plate?

Here are 5 reasons why hiring a designer is the best practice when looking to build a professional website (without the hassle).

You will save time – a designer knows more efficient, effective ways to design a reputable site. A seasoned designer knows the right questions to ask, and where to start; leaving out the guesswork and the delayed timelines. By streamlining the process, your big website overhaul starts to feel like a manageable task with the help of a professional designer.

You get a snazzy custom design – a professional designer can create something unique to you. Websites are a dime a dozen, so having a website that fits your business without the cookie-cutter approach is going to be a huge asset to your overall image. A well-designed site will give you a leg up on your competition and will make a great first impression.

Your site will deliver a better user experience –  As a professional in the industry, designers are trained and well versed in what your users want. Making an overall user experience that suits your audience will be a big benefit. The more intuitive the design, the more user friendly. By keeping your users in mind your business will seem more trustworthy and reliable.

You will keep up with technology – You shouldn’t have to know all the latest and greatest web techniques, you just want your site to utilize them. A good designer can take into account the best of web practices, and incorporate functionality and technology that will work for a business’s web presence.

You’ll stay on message – Whether it is finding a way to incorporate news articles pertaining to your industry, or graphics and photos that reflect your overall brand message, designers can keep your company on message and on-brand. Your visual presence is just as important to your message as the content itself, (a picture is worth a thousand words kind of deal). Finding the right photography, and implementing well-designed graphics can emphasize your personality and professionalism.

Hiring a professional designer can help you achieve your goals while staying on budget and on message. As easy as it may be to hire your high school neighbour, shopping around for a well-qualified designer can help you in the long run. Don’t be afraid to snoop around, or ask for some previous work examples.
This can really get you up to speed on their design style. Just take it from the designer herself, a professional will always be happy to share their work and is excited to start a new project!

Cheap website design, is that what you really want?

Before and after | Web site design Leicester

Before and after

Lovely quick makeover on a clients site. Bowcrest marine broker dutch barges and wanted a makeover to assist in the admin of the site

Before and after
Before and after | Web site design Leicester

New site launched for Vinyl elite

New site launched for Vinyl elite

We have just launched a new site for Vinyl record dealer Tom Immins. Over 8,000 titles available to buy online

 

https://www.vinylelite.co.uk

New site launched for Vinyl elite

Ever bought second-hand records?

Wondered about dealers grading? A quick guide below

MINT (M) :
The record itself is in brand new condition with no surface marks or deterioration in sound quality. The cover and any extra items such as the lyric sheet. booklet or poster are in perfect condition. Records marked as Sealed or Unplayed should be Mint.

NEAR MINT (NM) :
The record has been played only a few times. Perfect sound quality. The sleeve and extras in top condition.

EXCELLENT (EX) :
The record shows some signs of having been played, but there is very little lessening in sound quality. The cover and packaging might have slight wear and/or creasing.

VERY GOOD (VG) :
The record has obviously been played many times, but displays no major deterioration in sound quality, despite noticeable surface marks and the occasional light scratch. Normal wear and tear on the cover or extra items, without any major defects, is acceptable

GOOD  (G) :
The record has been played so much that the sound quality has noticeably deteriorated, perhaps with some distortion and mild scratches. The cover and contents suffer from folding, scuffing of edges, spine splits, discolouration etc…

FAIR (F) :
The record is still just playable but has not been cared for properly and displays considerable surface noise: it may even jump. The cover and contents will be badly damaged or partly missing.

POOR (P) :
The record will not play properly due to scratches, bad surface noise etc. The cover and contents will be badly damaged or partly missing.

 

BAD  (B) :
The record is unplayable or might even be broken, and is only of use as a collection filler.