Google creates a separate mobile index – what does it mean for you?

Thursday 8th December 2016   by Jake Tilsley Curtis

Google webmaster and trends analyst Gary Illyes has said Google is going to split its search index in two. In future, it will have a rapidly updated mobile index and a less frequently updated desktop one.

This could have potentially big implications for your website, if it isn’t optimised for mobile searches.

Mobile web traffic is on the rise. More and more people are switching from searching using a desktop computer to using mobile devices. It’s a leap made a lot easier with the widespread adoption of smartphones.

According to Statista, there are 4.61 billion mobile phone users across the globe. In a blog post, Google has said that the number of searches on mobile devices has now overtaken those from desktops.

A clear shift is happening in how people are using the internet, and how Google wants to optimise the experience of browsing the content they see.

 

What does this mean for you?

It means that you could potentially lose a lot of traffic to your website if it’s not optimised for mobile viewers. Your ranking in the Google search results for people searching with a desktop shouldn’t be affected. But, if your site isn’t optimised for mobile visitors, you’re positions in the mobile index will slip.

With more than half Google searches now carried out on mobile devices, that adds up to a lot of potential visitors you would be missing out on. There are two ways to optimise your site for mobile visitors.

 

A separate mobile site

You can have a separate mobile website, with the same content, but optimised for mobile searches. There are a number of ways this can be done. One way is to reduce the number of images and videos on the page, so it loads quicker and doesn’t take up as much data.

A responsive website

Or, you can make your website responsive. This is the more popular option. You create one site, which changes according to the screen size, so the content looks good at any size.

With a responsive website, you don’t have to maintain two websites. Also, you don’t have to worry about duplicate content.

A responsive website on a mobile

However, this change doesn’t mean you should shift your focus solely to mobile and forget about desktop. Mobile traffic has only just started to overtake desktop traffic. There is still a very large user base searching Google on their desktops.

A healthy balance of search engine optimisation (SEO) is needed to keep both mobile and desktop users visiting your website.

 

Don’t worry, there’s still time

Google hasn’t given a solid timeframe on this split. It says it will be rolled out in ‘a matter of months’.

But you should change the way your website is indexed as soon as possible, to reap the full benefits of Google’s plans. Also, when it comes to SEO, it doesn’t hurt to be proactive.

If you want to check your site’s mobile compatibility, or want to know what needs to be done to improve it, talk the team at MATM today or view our SEO Price List.

The matm web browser infographic – and why the future is about mobile search

Tuesday 27th May 2014   by Stuart Bickerton

Which web browser should I use? And what’s all this about mobile web search? Two questions we get asked a lot by our web design and web development clients in Shropshire and across the country. That’s why we’ve developed this simple web browser infographic giving the current picture for web browser usage.

We’ll be keeping it up to date, and adding to it, over the coming months. If you have any further questions or concerns, just give us a call on 01952 883526. We’d be glad to help.

 

 

Website development for global online success

Tuesday 16th October 2012   by Lindsay Crayton

It’s not just a saying, you can have the world at your fingertips – as we have proved! We’ve created a new website for Victoria + Albert Baths, makers of some of the world’s most sought after luxury baths.

The new site, built in WordPress, allows the Victoria + Albert Baths marketing team to manage 14 international sites, with five languages, from one content management system. Product images, colours and design elements can be changed for every site at the touch of a button, creating optimum flexibility and responsiveness to customer requirements.

I know I am biased, but it’s a beautiful website development solution for a beautiful product.

The new web pages designed by matm for Victoria + Albert Baths have larger images to display the products at their best

The new Victoria + Albert Baths website features easy-to-use menus that allow you to quickly get a good feel for each product

Launching Alexandra Vintage

Tuesday 6th September 2011   by Jem

matm has just completed a striking new website for ‘Alexandra Vintage‘ – a new online shop providing a base for expert vintage suppliers across the country to sell their goods.

Alexandra Vintage home page

Alexandra Vintage home page

I had a pretty tight deadline on this project. The site was developed using WordPress – an open source publishing platform powered by PHP – and also included WP e-Commerce customisation, extending out-of-the-box functionality.

The site has been integrated with PayPal Pro which accepts both debit cards and credit cards. PayPal Pro optimises the customer experience by letting shoppers complete the checkout process without leaving the website; it also allows payments by fax, phone or mail and will certainly make Alexandra Vintage’s life easier as the whole PayPal system is managed in one place. Payment online is safe as the site has SSL certificate integration ensuring maximum security.

I have also synced the Alexandra Vintage site with coffeemail – our powerful e-shot system that enables the user to send email newsletters to subscribers.

We also provided the design for the Alexandra Vintage website – Senior Creative Lindsay Crayton-Hardwick said: “We were actually provided with the Alexandra Vintage logo, but we made sure that different elements of the website, such as the background, retained a floral type style.”

New Access Alliance website

Tuesday 16th August 2011   by Stuart Bickerton

matm has completed a new website for Access Alliance – a collaboration of the UK and Ireland’s leading independent regional powered access sales and rental companies. It’s the alliance’s first website and has a number of easy-to-use features designed to help visitors and generate sales for members.

They include:

  • A depot postcode locator – providing a quick and easy way for visitors to find their closest access company
  • An interactive members map – providing visitors with information when they hover their cursor over a company’s name
  • Information on each member company with links to contact pages

Given our indepth knowledge of the powered access sector, Access Alliance asked our PR team to write a good deal of the content as well.

Click on the image to take a look at the site. And remember, if you ever need to hire powered access, you now know where to go.

 

 

matm cleans up with a five star review for web design and development

Thursday 21st April 2011   by Stuart Bickerton

It’s always nice to get an unexpected pat on the back, don’t you agree? Our web design and development team was certainly pleased to see a website review in the leading trade magazine Essential Kitchen & Bathroom Business.

The magazine’s ‘web doctor’ was reviewing the websites of premium brand kitchen and bathroom suppliers, among them Victoria + Albert Baths, based in Telford. And you’ve guessed it, matm designs, develops and manages the company’s website.

In what is a regular feature, the websites of nine companies were reviewed, picked apart, praised or given a poke in the ribs for their shortcomings. The February edition saw V+A’s website the only one to get the top mark of five out of five stars!

The most discerning critic concluded: “Top marks for simple beauty, teamed with practical touches that mean the consumer will never feel overwhelmed.”

The website has been a labour of love for matm’s senior creative Lindsay Crayton and web developer Jem Turner.

Lindsay said: “We’re very pleased to get such a positive peer review. Our aim with the V+A site has always been to combine clean, high quality design and highly effective functionality – very much like the baths we’re promoting and, it looks like we’re succeeding.”

Indeed. Thank you Essential Kitchen & Bathroom Business – we love you too!

 

Five Star Website Review for V+A - matm

We’re loving that! No s@*t Sherlock: even matm’s in programming jeopardy!

Tuesday 15th February 2011   by Stuart Bickerton

Here at matm, we like to think that we are up to date with the latest programming techniques, such as HTML5 and the very latest WordPress developments.

Step forward Watson, the IBM Supercomputer taking on past champions of the US Quiz Show Jeopardy! in a fascinating battle in this legendary show.

Viewers can follow Watson’s thoughts on screen and even see when his mega thinking capacity has gone into overdrive

ps @IBMWatson if you want to follow him on Twitter

 

Mobile marketers are rapidly catching on to quick response barcodes

Monday 10th January 2011   by Stuart Bickerton

In between numerous episodes of CSI (my guilty pleasure of the moment), I’ve been watching Delia Smith talking about posh pastry on behalf of Waitrose.

Given their strong corporate ID I had a bit of a moment when I saw a large jagged box on the TV, writes Lindsay Crayton, Senior Creative at matm, the marketing, graphic and web design, web development, PR agency at Jackfield, near Telford in Shropshire.

It took me back to a conversation I had with a colleague sometime ago about these ‘boxes’, it went something along the lines of:

Me: Stuart take a look at this!

Stuart: What is it?

Me: A bar code that you can scan in using your mobile phone, it can hold information like a web address or text.

Stuart: Eyes have glazed over…

Moving swiftly on, a bit of research found these boxes to be called QR codes, QR being Quick Response.

They were originally developed, as long ago as 1994, by Denso-Wave in Japan for tracking car parts for Toyota. The main objective was that they could be read at high speed from any angle.

The QR-Code carries information horizontally and vertically whereas a standard barcode contains data only in one direction.

Also, a standard bar code can only hold 20 digits but a QR code can hold more than 7,000 and can be made to be a fraction of the size (approximately one-tenth) so less room taken up on packaging.

Companies are now increasingly using the technology to market products and services via mobile phones.

Pepsi using a QR code on a promotional billboard. It helps that the code looks arty and intriguing

A smart phone with a camera and decoding software can be used to capture and read the information on a QR code – whether it appears on the TV, billboard, in a magazine advert or on a t-shirt. The process of is called mobile tagging, while the the specific act of linking from a physical object is called physical world hyperlinking.

You can also create your own QR codes using free software. The social media site Mashable recently explained how to do it.

Facebook has a dedicated QR-Code page with lots of creative and business uses. It’s also finding its way into the art world.

An edible and scannable waffle created at NYC Resistor in 2010

I wasn’t able to scan the QR-code on the TV, I have an older phone, but if anyone else has I’d love to know…

Fonts for web are getting interesting thanks to @font-face, says matm’s design team

Friday 26th November 2010   by Stuart Bickerton

How frustrating is it when your carefully crafted piece of printed material needs ‘translating’ onto the web and your choice of typefaces is dramatically reduced? Well, help is at hand in the form of CSS3 @font-face.

In short, @font-face allows designers to use fonts stored online, reducing the need to rely on the standard web selection that we’ve grown accustomed to, says Lindsay Crayton, Senior Creative at matm marketing, graphic design, web and PR agency at Jackfield near Telford, Shropshire.

Things are looking quite positive with the majority of modern web browsers supporting @font-face. And, yes, Internet Explorer is one of them.

If you’re getting started, Font squirrel could be your saviour. You can parcel up your own font selections and have them converted to the correct file formats. They also have a large selection ready to download to help you get started.

Always check that fonts have the appropriate licensing before use!

We’re not in a position to wave goodbye to Verdana just yet. But, with @font-face, web typography is getting interesting.

Check out the links below for more information on licensing, formats and examples.

10 free fonts for @font-face embedding
@font-face tutorial
font-face.com
webfonts.info

Customise your social media with new Twitter app – is professional web design here to stay?

Monday 8th November 2010   by Stuart Bickerton

matm designer Tom Blockley has come across what appears to be a useful new app while doing a bit of social media browsing – giving the opportunity to share some thoughts on creating distinct personalities through customised Twitter profiles.

customise you twitter profile with themeleon

Will this ever take the place of professional twitter profile design?

The app is called Themeleon and the main advantage is the large range of patterns and colours to choose from. You can customise background pattern colours quickly and there are quite a few patterns to choose from. Tom says:

“The browsing experience is a little limited and I thought that being able to view more at once would improve the system.

The range of colour pallets are a bit garish and similar to other popular social media sites like My Space, with horrible colour combinations. But you can create your own colour pallets, to match your personality.

Themeleon is built by COLOURlovers, it has more than 600,000 background patterns and more than 1 million colour palettes. That’s a lot but it’s fun and incredibly easy to use.”

In a few simple steps you can create some fun and professional profiles.
Step 1 – Login
Step 2 – Edit your Design
Step 3 – Save your theme

Tom, a designer at Shropshire marketing, design, PR and web design agency matm, based at Jackfield, near Telford, says: “Customised Twitter profiles are an extension of the user. The ability to create your own using a web app is a great idea and has good potential.

That said, I don’t think they will ever replace a professionally-designed profile that can be provided by the likes of matm. They will, though raise expectations which I think is a good thing.”

Do you have any cool social media apps or themes? Tell us about them by adding a comment to this post.

Video for web – it CAN be affordable as well as effective

Thursday 7th October 2010   by Stuart Bickerton

Video is rapidly becoming an essential element of the PR mix, especially for web and mobile media content where it enhances search engine optimisation, SEO, and promotes viral, word of mouth sharing through social media. So whether you are into video blogging – or vlogging as it’s also called – or more conventional video for web, you are in good company.

Our PR manager, Andy Comber, is a former senior television journalist who has years of experience producing and editing broadcast-standard video features. So, in most cases, we can keep video production in-house, saving clients a good deal of money.

At matm, we can now make your high quality blog video, corporate video or promotional video affordable and quick to produce. For example, we’re producing a series of online marketing videos for one client to promote oxygen as a sports and fitness supplement – showing how sportsmen and women benefit from using it.

Triathlete Dan Sims Oxyfit Pt 1 from matm on Vimeo.

Andy says: “The cost of producing video is falling rapidly. For example, in some cases it even makes sense for clients to make the videos themselves and we can advise on how to do that. What always makes the difference is having compelling content that is right for your target audience.”

Now, when matm puts together a conventional PR story for print or web, we can create a video package at the same time. And, in if need be, we can have it edited and ready for use on the same day. Interested? Contact Andy for a chat.

Typefaces are the clothes letters wear – viewpoint from Shropshire based designer

Tuesday 7th September 2010   by Stuart Bickerton

Love them or hate them we come across typefaces everyday, writes matm‘s Senior Creative, Lindsay Crayton. In most cases we follow corporate fonts which our clients have specified but what happens when you’re left to make the decision?

Here are some simple guidelines to get you started:

  • First impressions are important, choose something appropriate! Let’s face it Comic Sans is not as flexible or attractive as you may think.
  • Look for a typeface which has a large “family”. Roman, light, bold, italic, condensed, black, medium to name but a few. The larger the family the more flexibility you will have across a range of materials.
  • Serif or sans serif? Sans serif can be easier to read at smaller sizes and have a more contemporary feel. Serif can be seen as being more traditional, what is the look and feel you are trying to achieve?
  • Are you setting French, Spanish or Russian copy? Does your chosen typeface have all the accents that you need?

If you want to find out more, there are a number of font libraries to browse through such as www.linotype.com and www.fontshop.com.

Finally, back to my clothes reference…dress to impress, select a typeface which is fit for the occasion.