Handmade
CSS Design

We couldn´t do it all by ourselves!

Over time we have become a team
of six people who all share
the eagerness to develop
outstanding websites
while still having fun.
We believe in thorough
planning and organisation,
hard work, transparency and
communication.

search engine optimisation

Alert: Beware of SEO Mythology, SEO isn’t something you should leave to chance

Ralphy, our golden retriever, knows what a meta tag is but does that make him an SEO expert? Well to date NOT… even though he is cute and clever! Without being too dramatic, success or failure can hinge on the performance of your SEO and so it’s best to get it right! Umm… need I say it “Get it right the first time!”

What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?

According to Wikipedia, Search engine optimisation is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the “natural” or un-paid (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results. Other forms of search engine marketing (SEM) target paid listings. In general, the earlier (or higher on the page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search and industry-specific vertical search engines. This gives a website web presence.

So how can Handmade CSS Design help you achieve this?

Coding Practices

  1. Markup – As this is where it all starts, all the code written for your site has to be done in such a way that will allow search engines to crawl your site easily, using semantic coding practices.
  2. Speed – Yay, the internet does not hand out speeding fines in fact it awards you for doing so, by avoiding things like video on the home page, reducing http requests, using server side compression etc. basically we try to get as close to 56kb per page – a super tough target to achieve.
  3. User Interface (UI) Images – Instead of dozens of tiny images that eat up bandwidth converting to one image sprite and loading with CSS.
  4. JavaScript’s – We use external compressed scripts and try to have as few separate files as possible. Where ever possible moving scripts to the bottom of the page so as to speedup download times.
  5. Fonts – By not using SIFR for font replacement or JavaScript we increase download speed considerably and also significantly reduce resource requirements.
  6. Tables – This is an oldie, but still rings true today! Only use tables where there is tabular data to be found.
  7. Databases – This is the only exception to the speed rule as it is so important for SEO, using URL rewrites so as to improve SEO, but unfortunately reduce page load times. Who knows maybe some genius will come up with a different solution to this conflict in the future.
  8. Site Analytics – We only use the fastest analytics product in the market today, Google Asynchronous Analytics as it is the least taxing on your sites speed and loads in the background which does not slow down page load times.
  9. Widget’s – Only use the most important widgets for your site thereby avoiding the unnecessary weight on your site.

Site Hosting

  1. Server speeds – We only recommend the fastest servers to our clients and via our partnerships and reseller programs we are in a great position to offer these at extremely competitive prices.
  2. Cloud Hosting – If your site has heavy loads then neither shared, unmanaged dedicated hosting or managed dedicated hosting will cut the cake the only solution is cloud hosting. This is also not a 100% guarantee yet, as there are still some security issues with cloud hosting that will hopefully be resolved soon for clients requiring the highest level of security dedicated servers are still the only solution for the time being. Anyway we offer cloud hosting in two forms Cloud Files and Cloud Servers more information can be found by clicking on the links found in our partners site Rackspace.
  3. Pro CDN – The best thing since sliced bread? Definitely… Content Delivery Networks combine some of the advantages of local and cloud hosting, serving your sites content physically in the vicinity of the request, more information on ProCDN’s can be found here at one of our partners Media Temple’s weblog. Quoting the article… “A CDN is essentially a network of storage and caching servers spread strategically across the globe containing copies of your website’s static content. The “magic” behind the system delivers your content from the geographic location closest to your users, drastically decreasing loading time for your site across the planet all while lightening the load on your origin hosting server.”

SSL Site Security and Malware Site/Blog Protection

Making your site safe and protecting your visitors/customers/clients etc. can have a drastic impact on your sites visibility. Security is not only for ecommerce sites and sites that contain sensitive information but also for the blogger who wants to protect his readers and we have partnered up with VeriSign to advise you on the perfect solution for your site regardless of what type of site you may have. Visit our blog to find out more on the subject.

Content Management

One of the toughest but most important things for SEO, that as a client of ours we can help you link your original content to your SEO campaign so as to always achieve the best possible results for your site and achieve the Google rank that your site deserves not just for a short burst but permanently.

  1. Content Consistency – The problems with original content and Google ranking is that consistency is also vital and the minimum new original content requirement for great ranking in twice weekly and specific days of the week i.e. every Tuesday and Thursday.
  2. Keyword relevancy – ensuring that time is taken to ensure you use the correct keyword tools to give you the best visibility for your content on not only Google but all search engines like Yahoo!, Yandex (Russian Search Engine), Bing etc. We use the following tools to help us achieve the best visibility for your site… Yahoo! Search Clues, Screaming Frog Spider, Google Global Market Finder, SEOBook Competitive & Keyword Research Tool.
  3. Social Media – Ever since the Twitter and Facebook big bang, even the smallest of businesses can now overtake and get higher rankings in Search Engine’s than the largest of companies and thereby grabbing the lime light and ultimately increasing sales by increasing their social presence or business social presence whilst helping you avoid crossing the line into “social stalking” or “cyber stalking” (A new term describing companies that digitally stalk their clients). This is achieved by your content going viral and your visitors/readers/clients/shoppers, tweeting, liking and generally sharing your content to their friends and thereby creating an online buzz about your product/article/service etc.
  4. Link building – Getting your site linked to is another way of showing Search Engines that you are an authority on your subject/field and thereby increasing your ranking.

Phew! This is enough to get anybody started but also confused and that’s why we here at Handmade CSS Design are here to make this thorny road plain sailing and get you the visibility you deserve. Why not contact us, and we can arrange a meeting to consult you on improving your internet presence and thereby getting you out of the shadows and into the lime light.

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