SEO Trends 2021

Category: News SEO

In 2021, you might be familiar with the concept of SEO. However, many website owners aren’t. Infact a large percentage have no idea how their site is crawled, indexed, ranking or performing in general at all. This can be a problem, particularly if you have made a substantial investment in your online presence.

Free SEO Audit

Before we get started, 2Cubed are offering a free SEO Audit for the month of February. We will crawl your site and make suggestions for improvements and how those could be implemented.

Please fill in the form below here to get started or contact us here https://2cubed.ie/contact/

Top SEO Trends 2021

  1. Speed / Performance (Core Web Vitals) – This is a huge one and formulates a big portion of the Page Experience Signals. Load times are a huge contributory factor when it comes to bounce rate. This means a missed sale, a missed opportunity to connect with a potential customer and it shouldn’t have to be. Google Search Console is your friend here and will flag any issues that require attention. Google have said Core Web Vitals will become part of the overall Page Experience Signals rolling out in May 2021. You can read more on what this means here – https://developers.google.com/search/docs/guides/page-experience
  2. Search Intent & Relevance – Gone are the days of keyword stuffing. Relevancy is key now as more search users are asking questions they want answered straight away.  Keep your content relevant to the service you provide and you’ll have a great chance of competing for those priority terms! Ensuring you have content with good readability and relevant text is certainly a winner in our eyes. Try to answer questions your ideal customer may have within your content.
  3. Keyword Research – Keeping with the Search Intent theme in mind as above, detailed keyword research is vital in order to prepare and develop content to drive organic traffic. Time can easily be wasted implementing a strategy incorporating low volume keywords. Using a good keyword tool can help with this. We like the Ahrefs Keywords Explorer (but it’s not free). Google Keyword Planner is a great tool but you require an Ads account in order to use it.
  4. Technical SEO – This is and always will be a relevant and important element. Rather than ramble on here, you can view our previous post covering this topic. https://2cubed.ie/2019/06/a-quick-guide-to-technical-seo/.

Some further things to look out for and be aware of in 2021 are Visual Search, Meta-Data Optimisation Structured Data.

Our team is on hand to assist with any questions you may have regarding SEO. 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.

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Website Maintenance Costs Ireland

Category: News

Last year, there was a huge shift in the number of businesses either improving or building an online presence. The ongoing situation has also allowed website owners to analyse and review their websites in detail along with the hosting and website maintenance package that’s in place in most cases.

website maintenance costs ireland

Your website is the online face of your business, so it’s important to ensure you are in the best hands when it comes to looking after it.

What is Website Maintenance?

Essentially, website maintenance is a fully managed service involving the following:

  • Hosting
  • Support
  • Security
  • Updates

Taking care of the above not only guarantees website uptime but keeps your site secure from hacks and security breaches. Just a small amount of downtime could have a negative effect on your overall business so ensuring stability is absolutely essential.

You can read more on 2Cubed’s website maintenance offerings here – https://2cubed.ie/services/website-maintenance/ and here https://2cubed.ie/services/website-management-maintenance/

How much does Website Maintenance cost in Ireland?

This is a question we are asked quite frequently! Every site is different and has different requirements and functionality. Given this, it’s tough to give a set cost for maintenance. Assessing a website individually and uniquely allows us to present you with the most affordable and effective package for your business. You may find that tiered packages are to your suiting but more often than not we have found that they don’t necessarily work. Some other considerations to get an accurate price are:

  • The overall size of your website and the expected resources to host it comfortably
  • Custom functionality built in on the website
  • API connections
  • eCommerce functionality
  • Expected traffic levels; especially during promotional periods such as Black Friday / Cyber Monday etc

2Cubed Website Maintenance services

Just some of the services we offer our clients are as follows:

  • Support 7 days a week
  • Priority 1 Incident Support 24×7
  • SSL Renewal and redirects
  • Hosting Monitoring and Uptime checks
  • Daily Back up on AWS
  • Patching and Security Updates
  • Virus Scans
  • Provision and maintenance of CMS and plugins
  • Content changes and amendments to pages
  • 24/7 monitoring on Manage WP

Shop around for quotes but ensure that you are given an accurate cost based on your needs including the amount of hours of development each month needed to keep your website up to a satisfactory level. 2Cubed would be delighted to assist you in this process. We guarantee to give you the most accurate pricing possible.

Our team is on hand to assist with any questions you may have regarding website maintenance. 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.

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LEO Online Trading Voucher – 2021 update

  • Financial assistance for businesses to build a presence and trade more online
  • Up to €2,500 available with just 50% of this coming from your business
  • Businesses that have already received an online trading voucher previously are eligible to apply for a second voucher

The LEO Trading Online Voucher scheme has been in place for a number of years and has offered thousands of businesses the funding to start or help with trading online. The good news is that the scheme is continuing on into 2021.

With Covid-19 hitting many businesses last year, the 2020 scheme was a fantastic way to build online platforms as many businesses looked to get an eCommerce element in place. The vouchers are worth up to €2,500 or up to 50% of the total (whichever is less).

In order to apply and be eligible for the scheme this year, you must:

– Be trading for at least six months
– Employ between 1 and 10 staff
– Attend a Trading Online Seminar with your Local Enterprise Office

More information on the scheme can be found here – https://www.localenterprise.ie/Wexford/Financial-Supports/Trading-Online-Voucher/

You can download the LEO Trading Online Voucher application form by clicking here.

Contacting us

If you have any questions on this scheme, please reach out to us in the same channels as you normally would:

Technical Support – support@2cubed.ie

General Enquiries – by using our contact form or by emailing hello@2cubed.ie. You can also avail of the LiveChat service on our website.

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How can I improve my website speed?

As far back as 2012, when web technologies were far behind what they are now, it was estimated that just a 1 second delay could cost Amazon $1.6 billion in sales each year. Slow loading webpages can cause a host of problems including higher bounce rates and lower conversions and can have a negative effect on business success overall.

In today’s busy world, nothing frustrates us more than having to wait. Whether it’s a bus, a train or a website, we expect everything to be instant nowadays.

When we look at website speed from the outside, it’s a very complex issue. The amount of variables taken into consideration just to load a webpage are considerable and this varies for each and every website. The technologies in place, the hosting setup, optimisation and much more are all factored in to this.

On top of this, speed and mobile usage should be optimised fully to enhance Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). By keeping on top of this, you can ensure that you are maximising one of the factors that go into your search ranking.

New Technologies for a Faster Web

Our resident speedster Scott Kennedy has been spending hours and hours researching solutions for a faster web! Scott’s project WPGridsome (https://wpgridsome.com/) is available for viewing and describes the technology that’s gone into it. Running a Google Pagespeed Test gives some hugely impressive results – https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/.

There’s also a fantastic explanation of the overall process and infrastructure here – https://gridsome.org/docs/fast-by-default/

Using the Jamstack architecture can help enormously and can take your website to the next level performance wise. This modern technology offers a wide range of benefits – https://jamstack.org/

How to improve Google Pagespeed Insights scores?

Some tips for improving your score are as follows:

  • Image optimisation
  • Serving images in a next gen format
  • Use a CDN (Content Delivery Network)
  • Remove unnecessary plugins
  • Improve your hosting package
  • Implement website caching
  • Optimise your database

Tools for Testing Speed

Google Pagespeed Insights
Pingdom
GTMetrix
YSlow
Think with Google

Get in touch now to discuss your options! 2Cubed can help you to improve your website speed giving your users a far better experience. You can call us at 051-440425 and ask for Stephen or follow the link below:

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Strong Customer Authentication – PSD2 2020 Update

Category: News

Lat year, we wrote a blog post covering the new requirements for Strong Customer Authentication (SCA). This post can be found here.

Initially, the deadline for compliance was September 2019 but given the difficulties this caused, many central banks had agreed to an extension to allow providers extra time. The updated deadline in Europe is now December 31st 2020.

What is SCA?

Strong Customer Authentication is a system to increase security standards for online payments and reduce fraud. If you’ve ever made an online payment, you may have had to verify this payment via a verification code or other method. SCA2 is an enhanced version which also covers subscription payments. The central bank in Ireland issued their guidance for these payments here – https://www.centralbank.ie/regulation/psd2-overview

What do I need to do?

As a website owner, you will need to ensure that the payment systems in place on your site are fully up to date.

If you own a WordPress site and take payments, you’ll most likely use Stripe or Paypal for accepting payments. The responsibility to make sure the systems are up to date lies with these payment providers. Generally, they will release an update for the payment plugin in use on the website and if you are a maintenance customer of ours, we will ensure these updates are applied during maintenance time. This is as much control that we, as a website service provider have in this case.

Woocommerce have released some guidance on this topic also – https://woocommerce.com/posts/introducing-strong-customer-authentication-sca/

At 2Cubed Web Design & Development, we are on hand to assist you. We also offer a number of services to help you grow your online presence. Check out our list of services – https://2cubed.ie/services/

Contact us today for more information on the services we provide – Contact Us

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Ensure Cookies are Compliant – Deadline Passed

Category: News

The date for the grace period has now passed. From October 5th, the Data Protection Commission can issue fines for non compliant use of cookie technology on websites. Following on from our previous blog post on this topic, we explained the ins and outs of the compliance measures required. You can view that post here – https://2cubed.ie/2020/09/cookie-compliance-gdpr/

2Cubed have been working with a trusted partner called OneTrust to help customers ensure compliance is met. The cookie compliance tool on offer is a ready made solution to ensure compliance.

If you’d like to have your website audited for cookie compliance, we can do this for you. Some considerations to keep in mind to ensure compliance is met.

  1. Review cookies currently in use on the website
  2. Whether or not you are offering users the option to manage their cookie preferences without ambiguity
  3. If a user chooses to reject cookie usage, are cookies then blocked for that user?

Get in touch now to discuss your options and to get you on the path to compliance today! You can call us at 051-440425 and ask for Stephen or follow the link below:

Contact 2Cubed Web Design

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***Please Note***

The information in this article is not intended to be legal advice or guidance. It is simply to inform you of the upcoming deadline and what you may do to help to achieve compliance on your website. Each and every website is different and therefore requires analysis individually. You should seek legal advice for all matters concerning GDPR or cookie compliance in your area of jurisdiction.

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Cookie Compliance – GDPR

We’ve heard so much over the past few years about GDPR and protection of personal data. In May 2018, the European GDPR regulation came into force and caused many businesses to re-evaluate how they process and store customer information.

Cookie Compliance

More recently in Ireland, the Data Protection Commission have undertaken audits of a number of websites in varying industries to gain an understanding of compliance. For the most part, a high number of websites are not compliant. The full guidance can be found here – https://dataprotection.ie/en/guidance-landing/cookies.

What are cookies?

Cookies are small files stored on your browser when visiting a website. They essentially track your movements throughout the website to improve browsing experience by storing specific information each time you visit a site. They can also be used for may other purposes such as;

  • Necessary for the function of a website
  • To track data for Analytics tools (Allowing webmasters to track traffic and behaviours on the website)
  • Used for Advertising in order to tailor relevant ads to a user

Earlier this year, the European Data Protection Board issued guidance regarding the use of such cookies. The main finding from this report, which you can view here – https://edpb.europa.eu/sites/edpb/ was to allow users more freedom over the use of cookies. This means that a user must clearly give unambiguous consent when they land on a website. Implied consent is no longer a valid method.

Solutions

From the 5th October 2020, the DPC will be carrying out further audits and may even issue fines where compliance is not met. 2Cubed can help you to ensure you are compliant. We have been working with a company called OneTrust to help with this. You can read more here – https://www.onetrust.com/products/cookie-compliance/. Don’t delay now, protect your website. Please contact us for more information or to get started – https://2cubed.ie/contact/.

***Please Note***

The information in this article is not intended to be legal advice or guidance. It is simply to inform you of the upcoming deadline and what you may do to help to achieve compliance on your website. Each and every website is different and therefore requires analysis individually. You should seek legal advice for all matters concerning GDPR or cookie compliance in your area of jurisdiction.

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Making the Most of Online – eCommerce

Category: News

Since the lockdown in March, many companies have had to re-evaluate how they do business. As a huge percentage of business shifted online overnight, action was required to keep many businesses afloat. At the time, we wrote about some measures our customers had taken to ensure business kept flowing – https://2cubed.ie/2020/04/covid-19-taking-advantage-of-your-website/.

The initial rush to get online hasn’t eased up and Enterprise Ireland are offering businesses funding options to help with this such as the Online Retail Scheme and the Trading Online Voucher.

The funding available from these grants is a fantastic incentive for companies to bring their eCommerce into the 21st century. The Times recently wrote an article outlining this and featured one of our clients Thunders Bakery. Thunders Bakery have used the time during lockdown to focus on enhancing the eCommerce side of the business and have secured funding from Enterprise Ireland’s Online Retail Scheme to assist. This will allow them to facilitate an easier and more efficient transactional process for end-users.

You can find your local Enterprise Office by clicking here – https://www.localenterprise.ie/

Why 2Cubed?

2Cubed have designed websites for many businesses across Ireland. Our innovative front end designs are always created with the end user in mind.

At 2Cubed Web Design & Development, we can assist you with enhancing your eCommerce website to its maximum potential. We offer a number of services to help you grow your online presence. Check out our list of services here – https://2cubed.ie/services/

Contact us today for more information on the services we provide – Contact Us

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Innovative Front End Design – UX Design

Category: News

What is UX Design?

This can have many explanations. Simply put, UX (User Experience) Design is the focus placed with the end user at the forefront of the mind when developing a software product. Thinking about how a user will interact with the product and basing thoughts around this is fundamentally how it’s described in Layman’s terms. UX Design is not simply just about visual design but about the overall interaction and experience. Some points to consider below:

Usability & Accessibility

Focusing on how an end user will interact with your product has been proven to be extremely beneficial and has seen the rapid progression of UX over the past few years. When it comes to web development, this can lead to vast improvements with bounce rates and conversions ultimately driving more revenue through your website. Accessibility is also a very important area to take in mind when designing a website. Search Engines are making it easier for users with challenges to access and use the web as best as they can.

Site Architecture

The architecture of a website in this case is of utmost importance when the design journey begins. The entire flow and processes involved in making a product or a website flow eases the burden on the user and means you are more likely to convert your traffic.

Customer Loyalty & Retention

A well planned and implemented UX can have a number of benefits. UX Design focuses on an enjoyment for a person interacting with the service and thus can result in customer loyalty, familiarity, retention and positive experience. All of these points should be considered as hugely beneficial when focusing on how a user interacts with your software.

When it comes to web design, keeping things simple and practical will have a great benefit to your overall approach and strategy and should absolutely be considered.

Why 2Cubed?

2Cubed have designed websites for many businesses across Wexford and Ireland. Our innovative front end designs are always created with the end user in mind.

At 2Cubed Web Design & Development, we can assist you with implementing a positive User Experience during design & development within your website, helping you to build your online presence. We offer a number of services to help you grow your online presence. Check out our list of services here – https://2cubed.ie/services/

Contact us today for more information on the services we provide – Contact Us

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7 Reasons Why You Should Hire 2Cubed

When choosing a website provider, there are many things to consider. For many people this will take them outside of their comfort zone and can be an entirely new experience and choosing a provider you can trust is essential to help ensure your web design project goes as smoothly as possible.

1. Trust

When you choose 2Cubed, you can be confident that you can place your trust in us to help you along the way. We are here to offer guidance and assistance for any questions you may have along the way from project conception to completion. We are focused on helping you achieve your goals and vision.

2. Expertise

With many years of experience in the broad field of website design & development, we are perfectly placed to tailor and execute even the most complex of projects. We have many years experience dealing with web design & development in many industries, API Development, connecting complex systems and interfaces and much more. You can view our broad range of services here – 2Cubed Web Design Services. Our graphic design process allows you to tailor your approach and we are here to help along the way step by step. Your design will only reach programming once you are fully satisfied!

3. Transparency

When you sign up to commence a partnership with 2Cubed, we remain fully committed to be open and transparent along each phase of the project. When we create your project plan, we will ensure that the steps listed within your plan are fully transparent for both parties. This helps to keep the working relationship open and clear. If we feel like your expectations are unrealistic then we will challenge the reasoning behind this and come up with a solution as to not impede or restrict you moving forward.

4. Due Diligence, Process & Care

We aim to exercise caution and care when you approach us for a working partnership. Before commencing, it’s important that both parties are on the same page in terms of the scope of the project. Open and honest communication is at the forefront of our principles. Our carefully planned process is built on years of experience and serves as a valuable tool – https://2cubed.ie/our-process/. This is a core part of our business and one that helps you to fully understand the steps along the way in a simplified manner.

5. Fully Managed Service

At 2Cubed, we offer a wide range of services ensuring that you don’t need to worry about items such as:

  • Hosting
  • Backups
  • Security
  • Domain Management
  • Updates, ongoing maintenance and much more

By taking care of this, we make sure to take the stress and hassle of doing so away from you, allowing you to focus on your own business!

6. Training

When your new website is ready to go-live, we offer an option to have training on using the CMS; adding products, pages, posts and much more. This gives you the flexibility to allow your team members to keep the website up to date with the latest information. Whether it’s adding / editing product data or amending content on page to writing a blog, we will guide you through each and ensure you are comfortable using the new site.

7. Aftercare and Support

When your website is pushed live to the world, you can rest assured that you won’t be left in the lurch. We aim to support you fully in the weeks after the launch and moving forward beyond this. We provide Website Maintenance for hundreds of websites across Ireland and we offer a fully managed support system for each of these. This gives you the comfort that you can reach out with any questions or issues after go-live and will be fully supported.

At 2Cubed Web Design & Development, we can assist you with any of the needs above, helping you to build your online presence. We offer a number of services to help you grow your online presence. Check out our list of services here – https://2cubed.ie/services/

Contact us today for more information on the services we provide – Contact Us

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