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SEO Trends 2020

In this post, we will take a look at what to look out for in 2020 from an SEO point of view. Search Engine Optimisation is a huge focus for many online businesses nowadays and is more crucial than ever in order to help drive traffic and ultimately sales.

Content and BERT

Fundamentally, SEO has for a long time been made up of a number of set variables, such as; backlinks, content and keywords. As search engines are constantly developing, we’re now at a point where the bots sent out by search engines to crawl websites are smarter than ever and becoming more human like due to advancements in AI. This leads us to think not just about content simply stuffed with keywords but content that is well written and answers the queries of real users. This was highlighted back in October last year by the introduction of Google’s BERT algorithm (Read Here). As mentioned in the article, each day almost 15% of queries searched for haven’t been searched for before. By analysing your website content in a more human format, allows Google to show users the most relevant websites based on the search term. Content is king as they say!

Technical SEO

Here at 2Cubed, something we’ve taken a particular focus in over the past year has been technical SEO. We had written a post outlining this in detail here. Technical SEO is the focus on the architecture of your site, the speed, the usability of pages and much more. Google Search Console is an excellent tool to examine any warnings or errors and ensuring these are clear will help massively toward SEO performance. Any site focusing on SEO this year should be fully aware of this.

Structured Data

If you’ve ever searched a term on Google, you most likely will have seen some structured data such as featured snippets. Featured snippets are described by Google as ‘Google’s search results sometimes show listings where the snippet describing a page comes before a link to a page, not after as with our standard format. Results displayed this way are called featured snippets.’ By adding structured data to your site allows you the opportunity to compete for space on the results page above the first position. This is a fantastic way to grow traffic and improve click-through rates.

Voice Search

More and more, users are searching queries by asking questions. Use of Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant and others are on the rise and the technology behind these brings us back to BERT. Conversational queries are not text and as such, search engines need to understand what is being asked and which relevant results are to display. By reviewing your content and optimising it with this in mind, you’ll have a much better chance of appearing for a search term and increasing traffic to your site. This was just some of the trends to look out for in 2020. Applying these to your SEO strategy will most likely lead to positive results! Some others to keep in mind are:
  • Link Building
  • Mobile SEO
  • Local SEO
  • UX
2Cubed can help you grow your online business! Check out a full list of services and our website process here – https://2cubed.ie/services/ You can use our dedicated quotation form below or contact us with any questions you may have here. Please feel free to follow and interact with us on the following profiles. facebook icon twitter icon linkedin icon Instagram icon Google+ icon  

Web Design Trends 2020

Category: News
Now that 2020 is upon us, we’ve been focusing on the web design trends for the coming year to ensure we keep up to date with the latest and greatest in design and technology. It seems that gone are the days of drop shadows and fussy design elements and we look towards a year of more minimalist and simple design with the addition of beautiful and futuristic elements. We’ll take a look at some of the new trends below. web design trends 2020

Dark Mode

A big focus this year lies with dark mode design features. We’ve seen dark mode grow popularity across a wide range of platforms in the past year or so such as Twitter, YouTube, iOS and more. The dark backgrounds enhance the colours and elements on pages and are a great basis to showcase beautiful photography also. See a nice example by clicking here.

Minimalist Design

Having a simple basis again allows the elements on page to become the main feature as these are no longer lost within a wide array of clustered graphics. A minimal design is user friendly, easy on the eyes and straight to the point. Fussy menus and navigation are becoming outdated as they lead to end user frustration. Hidden navigations and desktop burger menus are an option as they maintain the required menu items but are only activated on user interaction. So in 2020, keep an eye out for lots of empty space simplifying website functionality.

Full Screen Forms

Continuing on with the minimalist design features, full screen forms and lead captures are likely to be a common theme across the web design industry in 2020. Big forms with clear and easy to read fields and surrounded with white space are both user friendly and effective building up leads and contact lists. There are a wide range of options and plugins out there to incorporate these onto your website.

Parallax

Parallax has been around for a number of years at this stage but seems to be sticking around more so than other techniques that have come and gone. For the next year, parallax looks to be a key player in terms of building functional yet interactive websites. The illusion of parallax scrolling enhances basic pages and brings them to life. A great example can be seen here. This is just a brief overview of what you can expect in 2020. Some more trends to look out for are as follows:
  • 3D Elements and Artwork
  • Split screen content
  • Solid frames
  • Combining photography and graphics
2Cubed are on hand to assist with any questions you may have. Check out a full list of services and our website process here – https://2cubed.ie/services/ You can use our dedicated quotation form below or contact us with any questions you may have here. Please feel free to follow and interact with us on the following profiles. facebook icon twitter icon linkedin icon Instagram icon Google+ icon

SEO for SMEs

Category: News
If you’re a business owner and you’re looking to expand your online presence, having an SEO strategy in place is sure to bring many benefits. SEO is a complex subject and as the graph below shows, there are many elements that make up SEO overall.

SEO for your Business

A large number of SMEs tend to focus on traditional marketing practices and understandably so as these may have brought success over many years. However, SEO should now be a crucial consideration for any business with a website in order to meet targets and set business goals. This is especially true for SMEs looking to build an online presence. Competition is something we all deal with in business and SEO is no different. However, having a well planned and thought out SEO strategy can have a number of benefits.

Benefits of SEO

  • Increased traction on search engines (getting your site and brand out there)
  • High quality, relevant traffic to your website
  • A higher possibility to convert a website user into a sale or to convert a goal
  • Decreased budgets on other marketing activities
  • The opportunity to sit down and focus on priority keywords and phrases (how would you like your ideal user to find you?)
To summarise, by deciding SEO is a feasible option for your website, you are sure to see some benefits from doing so. As an SME, coming into 2020 this should be high on your list of marketing priorities moving forward. You can read more on our Digital Marketing service here – https://2cubed.ie/services/search-engine-optimisation/ Our expert team is on hand to assist with any questions you may have. Check out a full list of services and our website process here – https://2cubed.ie/services/ You can use our dedicated quotation form below or contact us with any questions you may have here. Please feel free to follow and interact with us on the following profiles. facebook icon twitter icon linkedin icon Instagram icon Google+ icon

Custom Web Design

If you’re looking to build an online presence promoting your company or selling products, 2Cubed are on hand to help you along the way. Our team work to bring your ideas to life using the latest design and custom web design processes. We collaborate to develop a wide range of custom-built software for your company based on your requirements. Website and software development is a constantly evolving industry. Things can change in a heartbeat. Keeping up to date with these processes, helps us to help our customers with the correct information and allows a flexible approach to your project. We have developed many custom and bespoke projects in a number of sectors and industries. Whether it’s an eCommerce payment integration, bespoke API development and more, we have the tools at our disposal to successfully complete your project.

On Brand Development

Keeping your company branding at the forefront of the development process, in most cases may involve a deal of custom development but allows a ‘build on brand’ approach to your online project allowing you to maximise exposure whilst increasing engagement. You can read more on our web development process here – https://2cubed.ie/services/website-development-at-2cubed/ Our expert team is on hand to assist with any questions you may have. Check out a full list of services and our website process here – https://2cubed.ie/services/ You can use our dedicated quotation form below or contact us with any questions you may have here. Please feel free to follow and interact with us on the following profiles. facebook icon twitter icon linkedin icon Instagram icon Google+ icon

Which eCommerce Platform Should I Choose?

Category: News
If you run a business and are looking to sell online, there are multiple eCommerce platform options available in today’s market. It’s easier than ever to set up an online store to sell products nowadays but that doesn’t guarantee you will actually be successful.which ecommerce platform should I choose

Which eCommerce Platform is Right For My Business?

Once you have decided to begin the journey of selling your products or services online, you should note the many options to consider. Many platforms have varying degrees of options, functionality and cost. The most popular options may not always perhaps be the best option for your business and that’s why a good deal of thought should be factored into any considerations. Some examples of the more well-known eCommerce platforms are as follows – A good place to start is by mapping out what you would like to do with your store; multi-site, multi language, discounts & offers, cart abandonments etc etc. There’s a lot to consider so 2Cubed are on hand to assist you in this process. We have many years experience helping businesses in Ireland build a solid online presence in order to sell items successfully. Our expert team is on hand to assist with any questions you may have. Check out a full list of services and our website process here – https://2cubed.ie/services/ You can use our dedicated quotation form below or contact us with any questions you may have here. Please feel free to follow and interact with us on the following profiles. facebook icon twitter icon linkedin icon Instagram icon Google+ icon  

Change Website Design Company

If you’ve been thinking of changing website design company recently, we have put together a list of requirements in order to make the transition an easy and stress free experience, whether you are looking to change website provider, change hosting company or just looking to have your website maintained.

What will I need?

Depending on the service you require, the list of items will differ. However, it’s always good practice to have, or at least know, where your website is hosted. In addition, where your domain name is registered and hosted, how your business emails are configured and knowing this information will save a huge amount of time when switching companies. Once the above items have been resolved (we can help with all of this), we will take over and work behind the scenes to enable your new service in a prompt and professional manner. At this point, you can sit back and relax! 2Cubed Web Design & Development offer a wide range of services to help you with your online presence. Some of these services include:
  • Website Hosting
  • Domain Management
  • Website Maintenance
  • Website Monitoring
  • Security Monitoring
  • Fixing website hacks
  • Improving website speed and performance
  • Plugin updates
  • Dedicated support channel between 9am-10:30am every morning (support@2cubed.ie)
Our expert team is on hand to assist with any questions you may have. Check out a full list of services and our website process here – https://2cubed.ie/services/ You can use our dedicated quotation form below or contact us with any questions you may have here. Please feel free to follow and interact with us on the following profiles. facebook icon twitter icon linkedin icon Instagram icon Google+ icon  

Fix Breadcrumbs Markup

Over the past couple of weeks, we have received mass emails in relation to Breadcrumb markup errors from Google. You may have received a similar email:

What are Breadcrumbs?

A breadcrumb, or a trail is a visual element added to show a user where exactly they are within a website. It also indicates the path within the hierarchy of a site. As Structured Data types are constantly evolving, this information is now targeted by Google while indexing and displayed as a rich result to users on the search results page in order to provide users a richer experience. You can see an example of this along with more information here. There is also now a dedicated ‘Breadcrumbs’ option within Google Search Console highlighting error types and potential fixes. If breadcrumbs are not enabled on your site but you’ve received the email then there may be a setting within the site or theme causing this. This is where we can help. If you have any query or issue in relation to Breadcrumbs or even just a general query, please contact us. At 2Cubed Web Design & Development, our expert team is on hand to assist with any questions you may have. In addition, we also offer a number of services to help you grow your online presence. Check out our list of services and our website process – https://2cubed.ie/services/ Please feel free to follow and interact with us on the following profiles. facebook icon twitter icon linkedin icon Instagram icon Google+ icon  

Google’s Nofollow Updates

Category: News SEO
Since the nofollow attribute was introduced in 2005, it has allowed Google to understand link relationships between pages.

What is a nofollow link?

Initially introduced to help with spam, the nofollow attribute was a simple way to tell Google whether or not to count or ignore links to use within their search algorithms. Link building strategies have changed drastically in this time and gone are the days of link spamming comment sections on websites in order to build authority and manipulate search engines as this was seen as a black-hat strategy and would decrease SEO performance for any sites flagged. By adding a nofollow link, you can tell a search engine not to associate your site with the linked page and this has been the case for 15 years now. Best practice since is to build high quality and relevant links and this remains the same but with some amendments to the process.

What has changed?

On September 10th, Google posted a blog (see here) highlighting the updates to this process. From now onward, outbound links will now be managed using four separate attributes or ‘hints’ which will help Google understand these relationships in more detail.
  • Regular links will be managed as normal and there is no need to add an attribute to these.
  • The nofollow value remains the same and should be added when a link should not be followed or counted.
  • Links towards sponsored content should now be marked with a value rel=”sponsored”. This value is especially important to avoid any penalties when linking to pages where you have received something in exchange.
  • ugc (user generated content) – links toward comments and forum posts for example should be marked with a value rel=”ugc” but with certain conditions.
For more detailed information on these values, please click here – https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/96569?hl=en It’s also important to note the difference between a nofollow and a noindex value also. The noindex value completely excludes a page from being indexed and should be treated carefully. In summary, the latest updates to how links are treated should help website owners to correctly mark links to help Google understand the relationship. At present, links already in place will not need to be updated as this would require huge effort for some sites and just isn’t feasible to achieve and there is no incentive or punishment for doing so. Google have said the following: Why should I bother using any of these new attributes? Using the new attributes allows us to better process links for analysis of the web. That can include your own content, if people who link to you make use of these attributes. At 2Cubed Web Design & Development, our expert team is on hand to assist with any questions you may have. In addition, we also offer a number of services to help you grow your online presence. Check out our list of services and our website process – https://2cubed.ie/services/ Contact us today for more information on the services we provide – Contact Us Please feel free to follow and interact with us on the following profiles. facebook icon twitter icon linkedin icon Instagram icon Google+ icon

Keyword Research

In order to grow your online business, to drive traffic toward your site and achieve set goals, a fundamental area is keyword research. Whether you plan on developing a solid SEO strategy or a PPC campaign, keyword research gives you the option to fully research and think about what your users may search for. keyword research

What are keywords?

Keywords are essentially the words or terms that you enter into a search engine when looking for an answer or a service. Put yourself in your ideal users’ shoes for a moment and think about the path they should take in order to see your website. Whether you are selling products, providing a service or providing information to users, you’ll see a huge benefit from developing a keyword strategy.

Where do I start?

Start by mapping out some broad terms related to your website. Keep them relevant to your sector and what you do. From here, you can begin to build out more long-tail keywords which are more specific to what you offer. Long-tail keywords are the three or four word terms that accurately describe your product. For example, take a store selling sporting goods. They would begin with some general but competitive keywords like sporting goodssport shop and so on. From here, narrow it down to more specific items such as hockey equipment Dublin, boys running shoes Kilkenny, Wexford kids GAA shirt etc. By developing and implementing these long-tail keywords in to your website content, you’ll have a much better chance of being found on the search engines. On top of this, more relevant traffic to your website and the chance to convert these users into sales. The long-tail keywords usually have less competition and a higher chance of conversion!

Useful Keyword Planner tools

There are many options online to assist with keyword research. Some free tools are available but may be quite limited. You’ll have far more features and options with some paid tools. Wordstream – https://www.wordstream.com/keywords Google Keyword Planner (connected to Adwords) – Keyword Planner Wordtracker – https://www.wordtracker.com/ By developing a keyword strategy for your website, you’ll give yourself every chance to be successful online. The importance of this can’t be understated. By using some of the keyword tools, you’ll get some fresh ideas for keywords that you may not have considered previously. Taking these terms and implementing them into your blogs, PPC, SEO and on-page content should enhance your online visibility greatly! At 2Cubed Web Design & Development, we offer a number of options to help you develop and a keyword strategy. In addition, we also offer a number of services to help you grow your online presence. Check out our list of services and our website process – https://2cubed.ie/services/ Contact us today for more information on the services we provide – Contact Us Please feel free to follow and interact with us on the following profiles. facebook icon twitter icon linkedin icon Instagram icon Google+ icon  

5 steps to prepare your website for Brexit

At present, the UK is due to leave the European Union as of 31st October 2019. Even though the vote to leave Brexit was way back in June 2016, much uncertainty remains even at this late point in the process. Learning how to prepare your website for the implications of Brexit should be considered. Firstly, understanding how Brexit will affect your business as a whole is vital. We’ve found some useful articles to help fellow business owners here and herebrexit website ready  

1. Trade

If you run an e-commerce site, purchase products from the UK or engage in any trade across the EU then you’ll likely suffer from higher prices, longer shipping and custom hold-ups and in turn hiked prices for your customers. It may be useful to contact UK suppliers and providers that you engage in to seek assurances. Back in January, Amazon, the largest marketplace in the UK noted that businesses trading on the platform should prepare in case of a no deal Brexit. This remains a real challenge but while there are many uncertainties, this may present a chance for Irish companies to promote buying Irish. If the expected skyrocketing of prices from the UK comes to fruition then there may be a huge potential to bring customers back shopping locally instead of using Amazon, Ebay and other online platforms.

2. Data Protection

Data protection has been heavily in the limelight in recent years. This is mainly due to the GDPR changes that came into place in May 2018. EU wide regulations were updated to protect user data processed by organisations and many businesses were forced to take action in order to meet these stricter guidelines. With the UK leaving the EU, this may require some further thought especially if you own or run a website and process data to or from the UK. If storing any of this data, using a newsletter service such as Mailchimp or taking payments from UK customers then you may need to consider reviewing and amending your existing processes and terms. You can read more on this on https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/bf5200-data-management/.

3. Currency

Since the Brexit vote was announced, pound sterling has been volatile to say the least. The conversion from € to £ has gone from £1.28 to £1.06 over this period and how it will continue remains unclear. As a website owner and especially if dealing with currency conversions, it’s vital to prepare for a worst case scenario. This PDF can help you prepare in detail.

4. Growth and Expansion

Growing your online business within the UK market again remains unclear but in order to protect your business, preparing for a worst case scenario is advised. Many companies may struggle just to stay afloat after a potentially hard Brexit so future plans to expand in another market will need to be examined in a realistic manner. 

5. Website Security

As GDPR is now a vital area of many websites, a critical component on this is ensuring data stored and processed is fully secure. The implications of a data breach can be catastrophic for businesses. A secure website allows you peace of mind that data held is fully secure and allows you to focus on other key areas such as website sales. The storage of this data should be treated as a potential serious security issue. If you have any questions regarding the website hosting or data storage then please use our contact form to send a message – https://2cubed.ie/contact/ At 2Cubed Web Design & Development, we are on hand to assist you with any required changes to your website which may be impacted as a result of Brexit. In addition, we also offer a number of services to help you grow your online presence. Check out our list of services and our website process – https://2cubed.ie/services/ Contact us today for more information on the services we provide – Contact Us Please feel free to follow and interact with us on the following profiles. facebook icon twitter icon linkedin icon Instagram icon Google+ icon