Google Lens – making search easier

Using Google Lens as a search tool

Google is always on the cutting edge of new innovations in search engine advancements.

Discover how Google Lens can help you search by capturing what you see, using it for finding things that are difficult to describe in words, and using images to make your search efforts easier to explore and discover the world around you.

Watch the video below 'How Google Lens helps you search what you see'

December update – new websites being published this month

December website updates

This month sees three new websites being published for two new clients and one existing client who requires an additional website.

One of the websites is in a new sector that I have not had much experience in before, therefore it became necessary to carry out more in-depth research than usual. But as most web designers are well aware, research is an important step as part of the web design process.

It may take a few weeks before these new websites get firmly established and listed in a good position in Google and other mainstream search engines. However, this is now expected these days as more and more businesses get online and fight for their position in order to stand out from the crowd.

Hopefully, these new websites, www.pureh2owindowcleaning.co.uk and www.residentialwindowcleaningltd.co.uk, plus www.dieselsolutions.uk will perform well enough to do so and bring new enquiries to their business.

Need a website to promote your new business?

Call 07789 021420 and ask for Mike

Business domain name considerations

Choosing the right business domain name for your website

When it comes to registering a suitable domain name for your website it’s important to choose one that projects the type of image that you want your organisation or business to be remembered for. Your website will be the ideal tool for targeting people looking on the internet for the type of service or product you provide, so make sure your domain is easy to remember and visitors will have no trouble finding their way back to your site when they need to. Not everyone makes it a point to save the web address of a useful website in their favourites folder. Some will try to rely on their memory.

Other points worth taking note of:

Keep your domain name as simple and as short as possible so it’s easy to remember. If your company name is to be used and still available for registration, that should be your first consideration. However, it’s also worth considering other names which may describe or relate closely to what your business does or sells.
example: www.royslandscapegardening.co.uk

You should register your chosen name without any delay because it’s surprising how quickly names are snapped up if they’re still available. Domain names are inexpensive so there's just no excuse for putting off buying. Even if later you decide not to use the one you first register, there’s little to lose, but you may kick yourself later if you find out that the name you wanted has been taken by someone else a few weeks or months down the line.

If you’re a UK based business or organisation and you intend to purchase a .co.uk domain name it’s also worth considering buying the other ‘top level domains’ that may be available i.e. ‘yourbusiness.com’ ‘yourbusiness.net’ to prevent others capitalising on your brand. Other TLD’s include .name, .tv, .biz, .uk.com, .org, However, the .uk .co.uk .com and .net are the main ones to obtain first.

If you find that the domain name you want is already taken then try thinking of a variation of the same name. For example, let’s say you wanted to register www.pollyspetshop.co.uk and it was already registered by another company, you might find that www.pollys-petshop.co.uk is still available. Or how about www.pollys-pet-shop.co.uk. You may even find that the .com or .net names are still available for one or more of these variations. However, take note that domain names can only contain letters, numbers and dashes, so spaces and symbols are not allowed.

It’s important to choose a domain name supplier with a good reputation. One company we like to use is 123reg.co.uk We have always found them to be very efficient and reliable. Changing nameservers or transferring names to another ISP, for example, is a simple process with their easy to use control panel. In fact, so far we have never had cause for complaint, and we have never had reason to use any other domain supplier because of their excellent service.

A good domain name supplier will always contact you when a domain name is coming up for renewal, so it’s important to keep your contact information up-to-date. Using the same domain name supplier for all your registered domain names will make this a lot easier.

October update

August through to October has been a relatively quiet time for gaining new website design work, but busier than usual for maintaining existing client's websites. There have been some new websites built including one for an exterior cleaning service and one still in the design phase for British Landscape Gardens but on the whole its been quiet.

Part of the reason is that I have also been taking more than usual holiday breaks to travel around parts of the UK, as I spent a good part of my spare time converting a campervan, starting last Summer and completing the project this Summer.

It's been enjoyable getting away and seeing some of the beautiful places we have been to, including some of the amazing countryside in the Yorkshire Dales, Northumberland and coastal towns in Dumfries and Galloway.

Staycation has been the buzzword this last year or so and there has been a boom in motorhome and campervan sales in 2020 and 2021 as more and more people take to the road and enjoy this type of holiday. However, I still miss going abroad and plan to get away to see my family in Italy and my new baby granddaughter in Prague. Hopefully soon, but it may be next year now.

Fingers crossed, 2022 will be a better year for travel abroad, with less hassle and expense for families and regular travellers.

How Google search works

How search works when using a search engine like Google

This video was published on YouTube in 2010 - but the information it contains is still relevant today.

What happens when you change your website domain URL

What happens when you change your website domain URL

There has been times when a client has requested to move their website to a new domain. Last year I had a client who changed their domain from a .com to a .co.uk domain and lost the .com version because it got snapped up when they forgot to renew it. This is an unfortunate situation but it can easily happen. There are people who are quick to snap up old domains, especially .com domains if they expire and don't get renewed on time.

An established domain, especially one that has been around for a few years, can be useful for the person who buys it, even if it's just to take advantage of the traffic that domain can provide. They then put ads on those domains in the hope they will generate some income. My client who has a tiling business and the new domain www.ctshartlepool.co.uk is still having problems getting his new website domain to replace the old one in the search results.

A 301 redirect, which is normally used to automatically send traffic from the old domain to the new one can't be used in this case because the old domain is not under his control.

It's important to remember to always make sure your domain name is renewed in plenty of time, and the best way to do this is to set the domain to 'auto renew' which most domain registrars provide in their control panel.

Hopefully, we can help the client in this case to get his website to rank high in the search results again to replace the poor quality website that has taken it's place. Even though Google is incredibly good at assessing the relevance of websites to provide its users with good search results, it can still get it wrong unless it gets a little help in pointing it in the right direction.

A change of pace

A change of pace

Wow. It's amazing how things can change over a relatively short period of time. One minute it seems like there is hardly any work coming in, then when you least expect it, you suddenly find yourself busier than usual.

Since the end of September, these last couple of weeks have seen an upturn in business, with six new websites being required. Five of which are for existing clients who want to expand their business, plus a new client who is looking to have a new website to promote her music tuition services. This site is in the early stages of development and will soon be fully operational at www.vjschoolofmusic.com

Funny thing is, I was just getting used to my lower working hours and concentrating on some d.i.y. projects, when suddenly out of nowhere I was hit with all this extra work.

Can't complain though. Better than having no work at all.

New sites also include www.allclean-services.co.uk which is a cleaning business that also offers a sanitation service for business and home owners who want to keep Covid 19 at bay. This client also wants another pressure washing website built, and work on this is due to commence very soon.

Two other cleaning related websites are www.qualitasendoftenancy.uk for specialised cleaning services for landlords and tenants who want their property put in good order before a change in tenancy. The other site is www.qualitascarpetcleaners.uk for promoting their carpet cleaning service.

SB Window Cleaning Services is a company that has rebranded and revived their old website, but with a change of business name. Their URL is www.sbwcs.co.uk

So things seem to be looking up. But who knows how the next wave of Coronavirus might seriously impact on businesses again. Perhaps 2021 will be the light at the end of the tunnel.

2020 The year so far…

2020 The year so far...

Who would have thought that at the beginning of the year the World would change so much in such a brief period of time. As we all know, nearly all types of businesses have been affected by Covid 19. Some more than others of course. I personally have seen a drop in income, due mainly to the knock on effect of other businesses being affected and the lower rate of new business coming in. Expected projects from existing clients have also been put on pause until recovery kicks in.

As of September, there is some signs of recovery, as some existing clients are wanting updates to their website, but still, in comparison to previous years, there are still much fewer new business startups looking for getting a new website built.

I have just completed one new website though, for a former client who is looking to start his own business with conservatory roof insulation. The website www.conservatoryinsulationspecialists.co.uk has had the main pages completed, and further development is on the horizon. I have also seen some increased activity from some existing clients who needed new updates to their website, and I've also taken over a couple of websites that needed reviving because they were having problems with their original service providers. These include www.backtohealth-leicester.com and www.mywindowclean.com (still in development). However, fingers crossed, here's hoping that things will improve and that most businesses will get back to some kind of normality in the coming months.

Website updates and new designs

Website updates and new designs

The last few weeks have seen a flurry of activity with website updates and some new designs being cranked out. Among them are a new website for a new client who chose to use one of the new templates I have designed for his window cleaning business Be Clean Window Cleaning. His website is www.be-clean.co.uk. There is still some SEO work to do to bring it to completion so at the time of writing this post (8th March 2020) it's still a relatively new website and it usually takes a few weeks to start seeing decent results in the SERPS.

Other work recently completed is a fresh makeover with new pages being added to Jamie Wilkes paving services as well as new updates to websites that belong to a number of long standing clients ACS Window Cleaning, www.acs1st.co.uk based in Chelmsford and Waterforce Property Services, www.windowcleanerleeds.co.uk based in Leeds.

See screenshots of work below and call me if you want a quote for your own small business website.