Category Archives: News

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.

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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.

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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/

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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

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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

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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

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Website Specification

When you are deciding on a new website, it’s important to take into consideration a number of factors. As you can see on the graphic below, we’ve created a simple process to assist with this. This planning process is critical to ensure you have a clear picture in mind for a new website. Failing to cover these steps before a website is created can lead to items or processes to be overlooked and cause problems down the line.

At 2Cubed, we want to ensure you have a clear picture in mind when considering a new website and we can assist you fully with this process to ensure success. 

What to consider?

Planning and building a new website is a complicated matter. Items can be overlooked and when a specification is not clear. A good starting point is to look at some websites you admire and list why you think so. 

Design or Redesign?

Are you looking for a completely new design or a refresh of what you currently have? 

Expectations

It’s crucial to consider your expectations when planning on a new website build. What is it that you are looking to achieve with the new site? Do you have any goals or ambitions for what you’re looking to achieve?

Information

What is your company all about? By documenting this, you can make it clear to your web design agency what you are all about and by using tag-lines, slogans, mottos etc to allow end users understand your ethos.

Budget

A new website is a huge investment and you’ll need to ensure you consider this carefully when developing a website specification. Defining a budget allows your agency to consider the expectations vs budget and help you plan accordingly.

Timeline / Deadline

Deadlines are a crucial are of the website specification. Setting a deadline firstly allows the entire project to be split into separate deliverables to keep all parties on the same page and to also ensure your expectations are met.

Functionality

Will your website users need to register? Are you selling products? At this point it’s beneficial to consider each and every element. 

UI / UX

After you decide on budgets, timelines and functionality, how will this all transition into front end user interface and user experience? Many times, consideration of these factors is left aside and may become an issue in future as the website is out the to the world.

Further Information

Thinking about any extra information or off topic items considered outside the above ensures clarity when moving forward with your web design project.

At 2Cubed Web Design & Development, we are on hand to assist you with developing your website specification, helping you to understand in detail what’s involved in a new website project. 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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Strong Customer Authentication

From 14th September 2019, the manner in which payments are processed is changing. Strong Customer Authentication is a new rule coming into effect in Europe. What this means is that an extra layer of security is added when making a purchase online and currently this usually is via an SMS sent from your bank with a code to input but as technology is developing rapidly, options such as fingerprint and facial recognition can be used but this is dependant on your banks’ verification process.

How do I know this will impact my business?

If you have an e-commerce store then you’ll need to ensure you have a clear understanding of this new rule.

In order to meet this new PSD2 regulation, you should ensure you are fully compliant if your business is impacted by this new update. If any of the following apply to you, then you’ll be impacted by SCA.

  • Your website serves customers within the European Economic Area (EEA)
  • If your business is located within the EEA
  • You accept card payments on your site (credit, debit etc)

The method used to achieve compliance with this new change is called 3D Secure 2. Our friends at Stripe have some excellent detail on this which you can read here https://stripe.com/ie/guides/3d-secure-2

How will this affect me?

2Cubed have been in contact with Stripe to clarify what action is required and many of our customers who use Stripe, Global Payments, Shopify Payments and so on have been in touch for clarification. The good news is that no action is required on your end. The liability will lie with the e-commerce platforms in order to meet compliance. The following info came directly from Stripe; Right off the bat if you’re using a third party plugin/platform such as Squarespace, Wix, WooCommerce etc then they will be carrying the liability of ensuring your store/checkout flow is SCA compliant. We are working closely with our partners to get their integrations updated before September.

At 2Cubed Web Design & Development, we are on hand to assist you with any of the e-commerce needs above, helping you to understand this new regulation. 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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Google Shopping

If you own or run an e-commerce store, you may want to consider looking into Google Shopping to help get the most out of your selling experience. Google Shopping is a powerful platform that allows you to display products from your website directly on to the search results page.

Setting up a Google Shopping feed and combining it with Google Adwords, allows you the opportunity to get your products in the faces of users without them having to click through to your website and search for the desired product. Many CMS platforms now support plugins to allow you create the shopping feed directly from the back-end of your website which will save time and hassle. 

Once your product feed has been created, it can be seamlessly integrated into Google Merchant Centre. and from here connected to Google Adwords to develop campaigns. The main benefit of setting this up is an increased level of engagement with online shoppers, increase your click-through rates and a greater chance of new customer acquisition.

Google have really ramped up this feature in 2019 and this is fully expected to continue in the coming years. The prominence placed on these product ads is likely to grow as Google look to consolidate merchant products to compete with the likes of Amazon.

At 2Cubed Web Design & Development, we would be happy to help you with any of the e-commerce needs above, helping you to create and manage product feeds. We 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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Google AMP in 2019

Google’s AMP project was launched in 2016 and after a slow start, soon became a common feature across mobile search results. AMP or accelerated mobile pages, is a framework developed by Google to rival Facebooks Instant Articles and the technology allows pages to load almost instantly. Last year, we wrote a post about the importance of AMP – See here. So what has changed in the past year and how important is AMP now? 

Nowadays, online users expect everything instantly. Waiting 10 seconds for a website to load is a big no-no in 2019 so enabling AMP can help enormously in getting traffic into your site while getting ahead of your competitors.

Google have now branched out and added some more features to the AMP framework. At present, it’s possible to create:

  • AMP Websites
  • AMP Stories
  • AMP Ads
  • AMP Email

You can find more information on all of the above and see some case study ‘success stories’ by viewing the AMP resource website – https://amp.dev/

Many sites are now seeing the full benefit of having AMP enabled content on their websites and this is likely to increase further into the near future so this needs to be factored in to your thinking if you own, run or manage a website.

Enabling AMP on your website can be tricky but once done correctly, it’s fairly easy to maintain and use on blog posts etc. For example, a number of WordPress plugins are available to help with layout, templates and amplifying content. As an example, you can view our previous post on this topic on your mobile device by clicking here – https://2cubed.ie/2018/06/the-importance-of-amp/amp/

At 2Cubed Web Design & Development, we can advise or help you with any of the needs above, helping you to enable AMP on your website. We 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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