Tag Archives: SEO

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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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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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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A Quick Guide to Technical SEO

In this post, we’ll look at a critical element of search engine optimisation; Technical SEO. This has become a fundamental and sometimes overlooked area of SEO but we’ll explain why it’s more important than ever below.

Technical SEO contains many topics we could dive in to, but by understanding the key elements, it should allow you to gain an understanding of what it is and best practices to follow. As you would have seen in or SEO Audit post, technical SEO was listed as a key element along with on-page and off-page optimisation.

So, what exactly does it mean? Essentially, the technical health of your site indicates how well Google and other search engines can crawl and index the information on your website. If they encounter any issues, these will be flagged as errors or warnings in Google Search Console.

By resolving these issues, you’ll ensure your site is in good standing from a technical sense and means that the site crawlers can index your site fully without any obstacles. Some of the common issues you’ll need to address are as follows:

  • 404 errors – nobody likes seeing these, especially soft 404s. You can manage 404s by implementing 301 redirects
  • 5XX errors – server errors or timeouts which are blocking access to pages
  • noindex issues – noindex is commonly used to block access to a page that you do not wish to be indexed (such as private or secure pages). If you submit a url in the sitemap but it includes a noindex tag then you’ll need to address this
  • blocked by robots.txt – another method to block access to a page. You can see more here – https://support.google.com/webmasters/
  • Mobile Usability – Google analyse each page and flag any anomalies that may cause a poor user experience on mobile. For example, if clickable elements are too close together, if a page is not fully mobile responsive, text is too small to read and so on. Keeping your site fully mobile responsive ensures a good user experience, decreased bounce rate and just an overall better experience for your website users.  

Most of the errors above can be viewed on the Index Coverage Status report within Google Search Console – https://support.google.com/webmasters/

This brief overview of technical SEO should hopefully give more understanding of the variables a search engine goes through in order to show your website on Google.

At 2Cubed Web Design & Development, we can assist you with any of the needs above, allowing you to ensure your website is in good technical standing. 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’s Mobile Search Update

You may have noticed a new layout while searching Google recently on your mobile device. Around the end of May, Google released an updated visual layout for the mobile search results page. This refresh was released to introduce a more modern and user friendly layout. Google say “we’re unveiling a visual refresh of the mobile search results page to better guide you through the information available on the web.” This was referenced on the Google blog here.

The familiar green font on the ads has now been changed to a black label with a simple ‘Ad’ reference. See below for reference:

As you’ll see from the above image, what Google have implemented is an opportunity for companies online to introduce their branding to users on the web before even landing on your site. This is done by using the favicon image which is uploaded on most websites. You’ll generally see this small icon on your browser tab while searching from a desktop or laptop.

What does this mean for me?

In order to take advantage of this update, you’ll need to make sure your website has an active favicon set and specified. There are some rules behind this:

  • Your website and the favicon need to be crawlable to Google (meaning you need to ensure your site is fully accessible to Google’s Spider). This can be a complicated issue, but we can help you with this if required – Contact Us
  • The favicon should be similar to your overall branding on your website. This will allow users to identify and recognise your brand online with ease.
  • Google will resize your favicon to 16px x 16px. They recommend uploading your file in multiples of 48px square to ensure clarity. For example, 48×48 or 96×96 etc.
  • Any favicon that Google see to be inappropriate will be removed and replaced with a default icon image.

At 2Cubed Web Design & Development, we can assist you with any of the needs above, allowing you to take advantage of this latest Google update. 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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3 Ways Your Web Design May Be Damaging your SEO

Three Ways Your Web Design May Be Damaging your SEO

As we have touched on before having a great Web Design employed throughout your website is very important to ensure that your website delivers a great user experience. We all know that a great user experience is great for SEO however if not properly done correctly web design can inadvertently end up actually damaging your SEO.

Three Ways Your Web Design May Be Damaging your SEO that you need to look for are:

Bad or no optimisation of Header Tags

Header tags (H1, H2, H3 etc..) are important for SEO as they help Google to determine what the content on your page is actually about. H1 should always be your page title and H2 tags need to accurately clarify what the page is about and what it contains. The other tags can be used when you go more in-depth.

Image Optimisation

A major factor in any web design is that it needs to visually be beautiful and pleasing to the eye of any user. To ensure that your images are successfully optimised you need to ensure the following three things have been done:

      • Ensure that relevant alt text has been applied to all your images.
      • Ensure that your image is compressed
      • Ensure that you have the correct image format

Non Mobile-Friendly Design

Since Google introduced Mobile-First Indexing the question of whether your website and web design is mobile friendly or not has become an extremely important one. Mobile-First Indexing means that Google will look at how your website performs on mobile first rather than on Desktop and from this judgement they will determine where your website will rank. Therefore if your web design for mobile is poor your SEO will be severely damaged.

If you can ensure that these three things are done then you will greatly reduce the chances of your web design damaging your SEO.

The Importance of Text & Heading Structure of Website Content for Optimal SEO Performance

Website SEO Performance

Strong website content is the cornerstone of having a successful website. By writing unique rich content that gives value to the user your website content will be strong, couple this strong content with great marketing/SEO and your site should soar up the rankings of the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).

Most people are familiar with the most common form of SEO for content which is optimising each key page with a unique Meta Title and Description. However there is further SEO that can and should be done to ensure your content ranks highly that many people aren’t aware of such as the importance of text structure and the importance of the successful implementation of a heading structure (H1, H2, H3 Etc..) on your page of content.

Text Structure is important as the structure of the texts on your site is very important for SEO. If your content is clearly structured, your chance to rank well in Google will be much higher. Before people choose to read content they do what is called a quick scan of the content. This is where they will run their eyes quickly over to content to get a quick feel for it before they commit to starting to properly read it. You need to hook the user from this scan to convince them to read it otherwise you have lost them.

This is where text structure becomes ever so important as the main parts that tend to catch people’s eyes when they scan over content is the beginning of sentences as people read left to right and secondly and probably most importantly what catches people’s eyes are headings and subheadings. Headings and subheadings will usually be in bold and also be centered so they really stand out easily, the headings and subheadings should be an accurate description of the content that lays beneath it. If these headings and subheadings are intriguing enough to convince the user to read the article after scanning then they have done their job!

Now that the importance of text structure has been explained, how directly linked the importance of heading structure to compliment it will also become quite apparent. As explained above headings and subheadings should be attractive and should clearly state the content of the paragraph beneath it. Best practice is to put a header above every long paragraph or above a group of paragraphs which are talking about a similar theme or topic.  

Header tags (H1, H2, H3 Etc..) are important for SEO because they communicate to search engines like google what your website and what that specific page is about.Search engines recognize the copy in your header tags as more important than the rest so it understands from this what your page is about. H1 is seen by google as the most important then H2, H3 etc.. It’s important to utilize your header tags however and not just throw them in anywhere and everywhere. To utilize header tags effectively for SEO they should contain your keywords which you hope to rank for. This is so effective as part of an SEO strategy because when search engines routinely crawl the website they will pick up on the header tags and will recognize the keywords you are using are important and are directly linked to what your website is about.

To find out more about the best way to employ effective content writing and other strategies to improve your website Contact 2Cubed today!

You can also contact us on 01 905 8114 or 051-440425, email hello@2cubed.ie

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Move your MODX site to WordPress

MODX site to Wordpress
Category: Tips and Tricks


MODX (originally MODx) is a free, open source content management system and web application framework for publishing content on the world wide web and intranets. MODX is licensed under the GPL, is written in the PHP programming language, and supports MySQL and Microsoft SQL Server as the database.

Many people choose to move their site from MODX to WordPress because they come to realize that with MODX CMS that it can be very difficult to make the simplest of changes. By converting their site over to wordpress users find it much easier for common functions such as updating and customizing.

When a client wishes to keep the look and feel of their current site when moving across to wordpress we start by first doing the content migration and then follow it up with the theme migration. If there is a lot of functionality already built in the original site we can distribute it over to various types of wordpress plugins. The site will then be converted for cross device compatibility and when that’s completed be moved over to responsive framework.

WordPress conversion from MODX is an approach that tends to make sense as best practice for most businesses. However there is one caveat to this point that should be considered, you shouldn’t rush into converting from MODX to WordPress without first properly evaluating everything first. It’s vitally important that you consider first your existing assets such as (such as SEO, Content, Functionality) are not compromised in the transfer.

Finally the most important point when it comes to converting a MODX site to WordPress is to make sure you have an expert doing it! This isn’t something that is recommended to be a DIY job unless you are very confident of your abilities because there are a lot of things that can go wrong and issues that pop up during a migration, this is where it will pay to have someone who has a cool head and knows what they are doing to make sure your site converts to the otherside intact and unscathed.

There are many so called ‘experts’ and ‘wordpress gurus’ out there who just copy/paste the existing MODX site into wordpress without first centralizing the control to the wordpress dashboard, this practices goes completely against the whole purpose of migrating over to wordpress! Many people also rely on automated software to cover everything related in the A-to-Z migration of a MODX site to wordpress. While automated software and scripts are very helpful in the migration process they aren’t always enough to complete the job by themselves.

An experienced wordpress migration expert will know how to utilize the perfect combination of both automation and traditional hand coding to garner the best results.

To get in touch with 2Cubed about migrating your site or just to inquire with queries you may have be sure to get in touch and contact us today!