5 Ways to Increase Website Search Traffic

5 Ways to Increase Website Search Traffic

If you have just launched a new, beautifully designed website and need to generate search traffic or you’re looking to increase website search traffic to an existing website, here are 5 tips to get you started.

1. Target Keywords

Any website should have a defined list of target keyword terms and phrases. These should be words or phrases that customers use when searching for your products or services.

Once a set of target keywords has been defined, you’re ready to optimise your website for these terms so your website stands the best chance of appearing in search results when potential customers search for your products or services.

Top Tips:

If you’re not already using it, add your website to Google Search Console. This free tool provides a wealth of information and will show you what keywords your website currently ranks for.

Always put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Think about what words or phrases they would typically use to describe your product or service (remember they may not be aware of your company, brand or technical jargon).

Keywords

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2. Meta Tags

Meta tags are pieces of information which tell search engines and users about the subject matter of each page on your website. Every page on your website should always contain:

Title Tag: Used to specify the title of the page and clearly describe the content of the page. All page titles should be optimised for target keyword term(s) and be no longer than 60 characters in length.

Meta Description: This should be a summary of the page content in no more than 160 characters. As this will be shown to users in search results, treat this as an advert for your page, catch the reader’s attention and sell your page to improve click-through rates!

Top Tip:

Keep your page titles consistent across your website and ensure your target keywords are at the start e.g. {Main Keyword} – {Secondary Keyword} | {Brand or Company Name}

Meta Tags

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3. Content

Search engines and humans like to read well-structured, easy to read content, so make sure every page on your website is correctly structured using headings and subheadings.

Use heading tags (H1, H2, H3) to indicate headers and ensure content always follows website copywriting best practice (chunking, alignment, proximity).

Top Tips:

Your H1 heading should always describe the content of the page using your target keyword term(s).

Always use plenty of headings in your content, this allows users to easily ‘scan’ the information to find what they are looking for.

Content

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4. User Friendly Mobile Design

Unlike humans, search engines can’t see images displayed on a web page, so information should be provided about each image to explain the subject matter.

ALT Tags: A written description to explain what the image represents. This helps search engines to understand the subject matter of images, it is also useful for users who are visually impaired or have images turned off.

Filenames: Using a description of the image in the filename of the image itself is also a great way of optimising images on a website. Using keyword terms in the filenames of images will help search engines understand the subject matter of images e.g. image_description.jpg as opposed to DSC12345.jpg.

Top Tip:

Always upload images to your website at the correct size and ensure they are compressed using ‘lossless’ compression to reduce their file size.

Images

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5. XML Site Map

An XML sitemap acts as a ‘map’ of your website allowing search engines to easily find all of the pages published on your website. Having an XML sitemap is important because search engines rank individual web pages, not just websites, so making sure all of the pages on a website are easy to crawl is a must.

Top Tip:

Once you have created your XML site map remember to submit it on Google Search Console.

XML Site Map

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If you’re looking to improve your websites performance we’ve created a handy website checklist to get you started.

Need some expert advice?

Get in touch to see how we can help you get the most from your website.

Website Trends & Best Practice Tips

Website Trends & Best Practice Tips

Your website is your shop window so creating an engaging experience whilst also communicating important information is crucial.

After launching our own new website, we wanted to share some of our tried and tested best practice tips.

1. Video

Motion is a crucial part of storytelling and user’s demand for video content continues to increase. Website users have incredibly short attention spans so video can be used to create engaging experiences whilst also communicating information much quicker.

Videos can be used to explain potentially complex information in an easily digestible format like the video we’ve created explaining the benefits of animation:

Website Trends - Video

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2. Micro Animations

The clue is in the name, micro animations are just small animations, but they can have a big impact on your website’s usability.

Micro animations can be used to great effect to guide users through your website by providing visual cues and prompts.

Website Trends - Micro Animation

They are also a great way to add some interest to your website!

Website Trends - Animation

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3. Minimalist or Flat Design

Minimalist design is often referred to as ‘flat design’, this isn’t a new trend but has increased in popularity over recent years. There are a number of key characteristics of flat design:

No Effects: Flat design uses a two-dimensional style that is totally flat, there are no added effects such as shadows or gradients which are traditionally used to add depth.

Simplicity: Elements used in website design such as buttons and icons are displayed using simple shapes making them easy for users to interact with.

Typography: Due to the nature of flat design, typography is crucial to add visual interest.

Colour: This is one of the most important features of flat design and the colour palettes used are often much brighter and more colourful.

Website Trends - Flat Design

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4. User Friendly Mobile Design

Creating a responsive website which adjusts to the size of a user’s screen isn’t an option anymore and an intuitive user experience should be provided on all devices.

Thumb Friendly?

Most users on a mobile phone will browse using their thumb to scroll through pages and click on links. Navigation menus, links and buttons should be placed in positions which are easily accessible and sized appropriately.

This helpful graphic shows the thumb-friendly areas of a mobile phone screen:

Image source

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5. Content

The design or look of a website needs good content to help it thrive, which is why the text used on a website is one of the most important factors.

Make it easy to read

Chunking is the presentation of written content into small pieces of information. Website users will often scan written text to try and find information they are looking for so effectively chunking your content into easily digestible sections with clear headings will help users to scan your content more quickly.

Keep it simple!

Content on your website should be kept informal and easy to understand whilst avoiding industry jargon users may not understand. Users are more likely to engage with friendly, informal words than overly corporate language.

A picture is worth a thousand words

Studies have shown we remember only 20% of what we read but around 80% of we see. Using images to supplement written text, infographics to explain information graphically or video and animations to show rather than tell can all help to improve content engagement.

Website Trends - Content & Images

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6. Performance

The speed of your website should be regularly analysed and reviewed to ensure your site loads as quickly as possible.

Check your load speeds

Google provide this free tool allowing you to test the speed of each page on your website. It will also provide recommendations and advice to improve the speed of each page on both mobile and desktop.

Optimise your image sizes

Images with large file sizes are one of the biggest culprits for slow loading webpages, often images aren’t compressed or resized before they are added to a webpage.

‘Lossless’ compression is the process of reducing the file size of an image without any quality loss by removing unnecessary meta data from the image.

Lossless’ image compression can reduce the size of images by around 20% – 80%!

Optimise your websites code

Minification is the process of removing all unnecessary characters in the code which powers a website such as spaces and line breaks. This reduces the overall length of the code to help improve load speeds.

Website Trends - Performance

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7. Website Health Check

We’ve created a free website Health Check guide to help you evaluate your current website and identify where improvements could be made.

Website Healthcheck

Need some expert advice?

Get in touch to see how we can help you get the most from your website.

Seven benefits of Digital Publications

Seven Benefits of Digital Publications

What if… your website users were animals!

What if… your website users were animals!

Understanding how users behave on your website is vital to improving its performance and increasing ROI. We took a walk on the wild side to understand different user behaviors and how we can help them…

The lost Meerkat

Pops their head up in weird places that search engines have suggested, they’re interested have clicked through to your website but aren’t entirely confident where they should go from there.

Help this type of user with well-structured content to help them find what they are looking for quickly, provide clear signposts to related content on your top landing pages, ensure calls to action are clearly visible and labelled intuitively.

The impatient Cheetah

Got fed up waiting for a page to load and left your website or abandoned a form halfway down, they are looking for speed and efficiency.

Help your impatient Cheetahs by optimising your page load speeds, compress large images, minify your CSS and HTML and ensure forms only ask for information you really need.

The nervous Zebra

Looking for information in black and white, they want to understand the options available or have help on hand immediately should they need it.

Consider providing clear, concise information to reduce page lengths, provide live chat to field support enquiries or clearly visible FAQs and contact details.

The trendy Tiger

Wants to be impressed, if it’s not interactive, engaging or interesting, they’ll probably leave to find one that is!

Use animation, videos and interactive elements to present your content to keep users engaged with products and services.

The easily distracted Goldfish

Not really sure what they are looking for, often caught wandering elsewhere and distracted easily. Probably overwhelmed by lots of content and multiple calls to action on the same page.

Provide these users with a structured page hierarchy which adheres to content best practice such as chunking, alignment and clearl headers to break up lots of content whilst ensuring a consistent call to action is used throughout to avoid distractions.

Evaluate your own users

You’ll probably have a mixture of these users visiting your website, but that’s not a problem! Using Google Analytics data will help you understand what is and isn’t working for your users and consider implementing some changes to accommodate each user type.

Looking for more advice and expertise? We are an independent creative agency, specialising in design, digital and motion in the heart of Manchester! Come and have a chat or see what we’ve been working on recently.

How can WhatsApp benefit your business?

How can WhatsApp benefit your business?

How can WhatsApp benefit your business?

Want to find out more about how WhatsApp could benefit your business today? Monitor is an independent creative agency who help our clients communicate with impact in ways that are best for their business. Take a look at some of our recent work or get in touch!

Five tips to bring your Annual Report to life!

Five tips to bring your Annual Report to life!

Using a few different techniques and strong visual aids, bring your Annual Report to life!

Is it time to go digital?

Is it time to go digital?

Publishing a digital version of your Annual Report offers your readers the chance to navigate the document quickly and interact with key content. It also allows a traditionally static document to become more engaging using animations and embedded content such as videos.

Illustration could fit the purpose

Illustration could fit the purpose

Illustrations provide the opportunity to avoid stock or corporate photography through bespoke graphics. If you need an image to communicate a complex or niche topic illustration allows you to visualise this easily and can also align your brand.

Alongside imagery of real events, teams or the office, illustration can help to strengthen the brand’s personality.

A picture says a thousand words

A picture says a thousand words

The use of infographics helps give key numbers and stats more meaning. Sure, 1 billion sounds like a lot, but if it’s grains of sand, it’s not that much! Make sure your reader can process the importance of the data you present.

Combining graphs, numbers and images could breathe life into your Annual Report!

Think about the user journey

Think about the user journey

A person reading your Annual Report probably has a purpose or objective for doing so, they are hunting for key pieces of information. Providing a clear navigation or contents with clearly labelled titles can really help your readers find what they are looking for.

Stats. Case Studies. Action!

Stats. Camera. Action!

Struggling to showcase the CEO’s annual review in all its glory? Using video footage or recorded interviews is great for helping make content easier to digest and more engaging for the reader.

Use animated stats, video quotes and statements to capture your audience’s attention.

Just imagine the potential your Annual Report has now!

Monitor is an independent creative agency who help our clients communicate with impact in ways that are best for their business. Take a look at some of our recent work or get in touch!

*Please note that your company’s abbreviated reports, or full reports that legally have to be declared on Companies House are not open to unique styling, branding or personalisation (unfortunately!)

Our World Book Day Challenge…

Our World Book Day Challenge…

To celebrate World Book Day we dived into some of our favourite novels and got our creative juices flowing! Taking a variety of different routes to transform and develop some very famous books, characters and settings…

A drool-worthy brochure fit for the Wonka Factory! Have you got a golden ticket…?

Wonka Factory Brochure

We had a WHALE of a time redesigning some famous characters and delving into our favourite books!

The Real Moby Dick

Digital transformation with The Little Prince app…

The Little Prince App

Can you guess the Author?

Can you guess the author

Monitor is an independent creative agency who help our clients communicate with impact in ways that are best for their business. Take a look at some of our recent work or get in touch!

Logos We Love!

Logos We Love!

What is a logo? A name, initials, personality or a subtle message? Well, as our creative team know, it’s all these things and much more…

At the core of every successful company, is a logo and a brand that speaks volumes, it should be versatile and stand the test of time.

Not hitting a creative block and considering all possibilities of a brand is a hard skill to craft. Delving into a designer’s brain, our senior creative team share their two favourite logos:

Cheryl McMillan – Creative Director

FedEx

Love a simplistic style of design that conveys a thoughtful message, I’m always attracted to logos that reflect this and have great impact. In particular, the FedEx logo has stood the test of time. Lovely use of negative space to get across a hidden message. Simple, bold. Great use of two eye-catching colours that convey friendliness and reliability. One I remember from university days…

Amazon

Another lovely hidden message in the placement of the arrow between the ‘A to Z’. The logo uses simple colours that allow it to work across a huge variety of channels. In recent years the arrow has evolved to act as a smile on their fun animated adverts.

Fedex & Amazon

Marcus Barretto – Senior Designer

Planet

I love logos like this, not only because I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to anything space related, but it combines with my other great love, minimalist design. The subtle manipulation of a single letter to create an instantly recognisable mark, is really nimble and inventive. The ‘e’ can also be used as a stand-alone mark to summarise the brand, when the full logo isn’t needed.

The Swan and Mallard Restaurant

I’m still not sure if this is a real restaurant or not but I like to think it is, and that it’s full of creatives deciding what to eat from the beautifully letter pressed menu. I like the contrasting use of positive and negative space to create the swan and the mallard with the flash of orange boldly helping them to stand out individually. Having the swan form the ampersand is the cherry on a very considered cake.

Planet & The Swan and Mallard Logos

Alex Ashman – Senior Designer

Air BnB

They totally redesigned their old logo to create a simple, clean and super versatile new identity, which was specifically built to be used over many different mediums. It works well over video, animation, web, embroidery and even as keyrings. It’s designed to be drawn by anyone and has a real DIY feel.

I love that they made their own shape called a ‘Belo’. This was created to embody the sense of belonging, as well as creating a universal symbol of Home, which is what they’ve built their whole brand around. It’s a lovely ethos and a brand that has gone from strength to strength because of this huge identity shift.

Slack

A controversial choice, as many creatives have been very vocal about how much they dislike this new redesign. I personally think the redesign is a real improvement from the last logo they had. The previous hash symbol was made up of 11 different colours and didn’t work well over other colours, imagery or on physical products. It was inconsistent and didn’t work well at a small size.

The new logo still shows the traditional hashtag shape, but now incorporates the idea of conversations and works across different mediums in a much stronger way. It’s more cohesive, modern and consistent, and I like it!

Airbnb & Slack Logos

2019 Website Design Trends

2019 Website Design Trends

2019 Web Design Trends

The Importance of Colour in Branding

The Importance of Colour in Branding

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