The Internet Consultancy Group

Category Archives: Blog

What are the advantages of a Mobile Friendly Website

Image of user browsing an ecommerce site on their mobile device

Improved User Experience

How painful is it when you get to a website on your mobile device and you have to zoom in to click a link, read the text and view the images. Not only is the viewing an issue but what about the speed of the website, it is painfully slow. A mobile friendly website is designed specifically for the different screen size and shape, greatly enhancing the browsing experience for users on various mobile devices.

When your users access your website via a mobile device you want to ensure that they get the best possible experience when visiting your website and can get the information they need to easily and smoothly. The whole experience should be seamless no matter if they are on an iPhone, iPad or on their desktop/laptop.

Easier Navigation

Building on improved user experience, a mobile-friendly website also makes site navigation on a smartphone or tablet much easier.

Improved Mobile Search Rankings

From an online marketing standpoint, creating a mobile version of your existing website will improve your search engine rankings when people search on mobile devices. The major search engines give preference to mobile-friendly sites in their mobile search results, so creating a version of your site that is optimized for mobile web browsing is absolutely necessary if you want to outrank your competition. On the backend, the same search engine optimization principles apply, but with a few minor adjustments.  For example, keywords are still very important, but with keyword searches done on mobile devices generally being much shorter than on desktop computers, mobile optimization techniques should focus on one- to two-word searches, rather than long-tail keyword phrases.

Lower Bounce Rates

In google analytics it shows the bounce rate and the majority of the bounces we see are happening when a user comes to the website on a mobile device. You will see a much less bounce rate once you have made your website ‘mobile friendly’.

Increased Mobile Conversions

All of the immediate benefits mentioned above are exponentially more beneficial if they lead to some type of user action. While your standard website may exist to provide background information to visitors in addition to leading to a conversion, a mobile site is designed specifically to drive users to action. This action may be a contact form completion, coupon download, actual online purchase, or an in-store visit. With a properly optimised mobile version of your website accessible to potential customers, the opportunity exists to capitalize on in-store mobile searches, or those conducted directly at the point of sale.

Google Sends Mass Scale Warnings To Non-Mobile Friendly Web Sites

Earlier this year Google sent out a notifications via email and Webmaster Tools warning sites that are not mobile-friendly that it will cause issues for them if they want to rank well for smartphone users.

Google is sending mass notifications to webmasters who has websites that are not mobile-friendly. These notifications contain the subject “fix mobile usability issues found on…” It then goes on to explain that these sites have critical mobile usability errors on 100% of the pages on the site and thus the pages will be “displayed and ranked appropriately for smartphone users.”

These notifications are being sent via Google Webmaster Tools and via email. It is also being sent to sites that are simply not mobile friendly at all and typically, the webmasters know their sites are not mobile friendly. What we have here is Google reminding these webmasters their sites are not mobile-friendly and issuing a warning that the pages won’t rank well in mobile search.

There are clear signs that a new mobile ranking algorithm is about to launch at Google. Google told us they are experimenting with it since November. They also launched a mobile friendly testing tool, mobile usability reports in Google Webmaster Tools, and mobile-friendly labels in the search results.

Google Mobile Friendly Example

This seems to go beyond the broken mobile site penalty Google had in 2013. It also seems to go beyond having problems with your mobile-friendly site – where it is targeting this communication to sites that are knowingly not mobile-friendly.

Typically, these are all signs of something big to come on the algorithm side. But we have not been able to get a confirmation from Google on this as of yet.

Here is a copy of the email sent to webmasters:


How To Make Your Content Work Harder

So you want to be seen and heard, you want your website to be found and you want to make an impact out there? Of course you do, that’s why you’re writing the content in the first place!

Your content is the first and most important component of building a thriving online audience; outstanding content is crucial to attracting visitors and can play a massive part in gaining high search engine rankings.


Creating that outstanding content is not as difficult as you might believe, you simply need to think about what your visitors want and what search engines need.

Make your content work with these 6 tips:

  • Quality matters

    If you don’t believe in your content and don’t find it interesting then your readers won’t either.

    Unique quality content has always been necessary, but as a few of you can probably testify after the recent Google changes, it’s now more important than ever. Make your content your own by injecting your own thoughts and unique personality into your articles. Google places greater value on unique content and your audience will always prefer an article written with passion and personality, so let your thoughts and uniqueness shine through!

  • Quantity is important

    Content is important for search engines and the more good content you provide the better. However, the attention span of most readers is pretty short, so make any content interesting, focused and attention grabbing.

    Focused content will also naturally include your keywords therefore having the added advantage of satisfying the search engines, leading to that sought-after high ranking without reducing the quality of the content.

  • Easy to scan

    It’s not enough to create real value, your posts must also be easy to scan.

    With so much information and competition online you need to help readers find what they are looking for quickly; use proper headings, keep paragraphs short and add bullet lists to organize information and to keep your posts targeted.

  • Easy to share

    Not only do you want people to read your content but you also need them to share it.

    Writing great content that is worth sharing is a good start but you also need to make it easy to share, so ensure the social media share buttons are in an obvious place. Content shared through links and tweets will give you a bigger audience, so go ahead and self promote a little!

  • Regularly creating NEW content

    Create new content on a regular basis. Sites need to grow rather than remaining static, so keep writing. Stuck for ideas? People love ‘top tips’, ‘how to’ articles and ‘step-by-step guides’, and I think I’ve already mentioned that search engines love content!

  • Naturally link

    If it’s useful and will benefit your audience then link to it naturally within your content. Don’t over-link your keywords though, as this can be very annoying to your readers. Relevant cross-linking throughout your blog posts will have a positive effect on your Search Engine rank.

At the end of the day its all about… Quality

Always remember that quality matters… the quality of your content is absolutely imperative to both your readers and your Search Engine ranking.

What do you feel is important when it comes to writing content? I’d love to hear your thoughts and what has worked for you.

Why your website needs to be mobile friendly by April 21st 2015

It is now official Google are saying you need to have a mobile site by April 21st, they are going to be ranking your site lower if you don’t.

The end result, Google says, is to make it easier for users “to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”

This is an example of Google’s search results that show the ‘Mobile-friendly‘ label.

Google Ranking Mobile Sites  April 21st

If you run a website then this news is very important for you and your business. Google has confirmed that it is now going to take into account whether or not a website is mobile-friendly when indexing for its search engine.

This means that websites that are not mobile-friendly will not be ranked higher than those who are. This change comes into effect starting April 2015 so site owners have over a month to make the required changes to ensure Google doesn’t penalize their website for not being mobile-friendly.

How can we help you?

Look at our clients list we have developed tons of mobile friendly websites since the introduction of responsive design. Our team can make your existing website mobile responsive and Google compliant.

If you would like Google to rank your website high call us today on +44 207 193 0171 to see how we can help.

What are HTML Meta Tags

Want to achieve the best search engine rankings and become top of Google? Just by adding these so called ‘meta tags’ to your website and you will magically rise to the top? Unfortunately this is not the case, those days have long gone. The search engine algorithm has changed and become even more advanced. Meta tags are one piece in a large algorithmic puzzle that the search engines look at when deciding which results are relevant to show users who have typed in a search query.

Meta tags definitely aren’t a magic solution to gaining rankings in Google, Bing, Yahoo, or elsewhere – so let’s forget that myth right from the start. However, meta tags will help tell the search engines and your users what your website is about, and when meta tags are implemented incorrectly, the negative impact can be substantial and heartbreaking. There have been many fake websites adding meta tags with incorrect data. The search engine algorithm has caught onto this and these fake pages have lost the google juice dramatically.

Let’s take a look at what meta tags are, why meta tags matter, and how to avoid mistakes when implementing meta tags on your website.

What Are Meta Tags?

The HTML meta tags are page data tags added to the of the HTML document.

The text or data in these tags are not displayed, but they tell the browsers (or other web services) specific information about the page. In simple terms they “explain” the page so a browser can understand it.

Here’s a code example of meta tags:

<head> <title>Not a Meta Tag, but required anyway</title> <meta name="description" content="Website Description Here"> <meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html;charset=UTF-8"> </head>

The Title Tag

Although the <title> tag appears in the head block of the page, it isn’t really a meta tag as such. What is difference? The title tag is a required page “element” according to the W3C. Whereas meta tags are optional page descriptors.

The Description Meta Tag

The description tag looks like this:

<meta name="description" content="The meta description is a meta tag that describes your Web page.">

In an ideal world your description should be no longer than 155 characters (including spaces).

  • Google started cutting off descriptions after 155-160 characters.
  • MSN started cutting off descriptions after 175-180 characters.
  • Yahoo! started cutting off descriptions after 160-165 characters.

However, check the search engine results page (SERP) of choice to confirm this. Some are longer and some are shorter.

The “description” meta tag helps websites in three important ways:

  1. The “Description” tells the search engine what your page or website is about: For the search engines to understand what your web page is about, you must write a good description. When Google’s algorithm decides a description is badly written or inaccurate, it will replace that description with its own version of what is on the page. So instead of letting Google describe your page your better of giving the page the best description possible.
  2. A good “Description” will help with click through rates to your website: If you write a good description it will not only keep Google away from rewriting it, but it will also helps you get more people clicking through to your website. A well-written description not only tells users what is on your page, but also entices them to visit your site. A description is what shows up here in the search engine results. It is like good window dressing. Sites with poor descriptions will get less click throughs and the search engines will demote your site in favor of other sites.
  3. “Description” helps with site rankings: The common belief (based on what Google said in 2009) is that nothing in the description will help you get rankings. However, I have seen evidence to the contrary. Is it heavily weighted? No, but if you want some value on a secondary keyword (say an –ing –ed or –s), use it here.

The Keywords Meta Tag

Many many years ago the “keywords” meta tag was a critical page element for early search engines. The only search engine that looks at the keywords anymore is Microsoft’s Bing – and it is mainly used to help detect spam.

If you think that by adding 100’s of keywords in the hopes of higher search rankings. It won’t work. Sorry.

If you already have keyword meta tags on your website, but they aren’t spammy, there’s no reason to spend the next week hurriedly taking them out. It’s OK to leave them for now – just take them out as you’re able, to reduce page weight and load times.

Other Meta Tags

There are plenty of other meta tags, but nowadays none are really considered that useful. Many of the tags that we used did things like:

Told the spider when to come back
<meta name="revisit-after" content="30 days">
Told the browser the distribution
<meta name="distribution" content="web">
Told the page to refresh
<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="30">
Told the page to redirect/refresh
<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="x_seconds; url=">

These meta tags aren’t used anymore, either because there are better ways (such as schema tagging or server side methods) or because the engines they used to work on are no longer in existence or Google has explicitly told us they are not great ideas (such as redirects at the page level).

Robots Meta Tag

The robots tag is still one of the most important tags. Not so much for the proper implementation, but the improper.

The robots meta tag lets you specify that a particular page should not be indexed by a search engine or if you do or do not want links on the page followed.

Believe it or not, it is still common for a site to be deindexed because someone accidentally added a noindex tag to the entire site. Understanding this tag is vitally important.

The Charset Tag

Finally, all sites must validate charset. In the U.S., that is the UTF-8 tag. Just make sure this is on your page if you’re delivering HTML using English characters.

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8">

Google Officially Launches “Mobile-Friendly” Labels In Mobile Search Results

Google sends a message to webmasters to that they need to go mobile friendly.

Google has made a large mobile announcement today, showing new efforts to encourage webmasters to ensure their web sites are mobile-friendly. Google has officially gone live with the mobile friendly label today, they launched a brand-new mobile testing tool and told us they are experimenting with new mobile-friendly ranking factors in their search ranking algorithm.

The new ‘Mobile-Friendly’ Label

Over the next few weeks, mobile searchers will soon be able to see a new label in the search results snippets for pages that are mobile-friendly. The new label will look something like this:


Google said they are showing this to reduce mobile-searcher frustration and encourage webmasters to build a better mobile experience for their users.

New Mobile Testing Tool

To help webmasters learn if their sites/pages qualify for the mobile label and what they can do to improve the mobile-friendly design of their site, Google has launched a mobile friendly testing tool. The tool is available at and it gives you a pass/fail score followed by additional advice depending on the results of the web page.

Google Experimenting With Mobile-Friendly Ranking Factors

Google also told us they are experimenting with a set of new mobile ranking factors around various metrics you would find in the mobile testing tool. Google would not commit to saying if they will go ahead with the ranking factors, but they did tell us they are indeed testing it. Google said:

We see these labels as a first step in helping mobile users to have a better mobile web experience. We are also experimenting with using the mobile-friendly criteria as a ranking signal.

For one thing, Google is clearly sending a message to webmasters that they want you to build mobile-friendly web sites.


Is your business social ?!?

Marketing Solutions – Social Media

Our team of social media experts have been looking at how social media can improve the growth of your business….

Twitter is a fantastic resource. Initially it was used by the web community, spreading useful links amongst the community, and it importantly still is, but it has caught on to the whole world. Now celebrities, companies, and everyday people are using it to keep up-to-date with what’s going on. By integrating twitter with your site, you allow people too much more easily follow what YOU are doing, and what is happening on your site.

You are of course going to want to encourage user to follow you, and what better way to do so than to make use of a fantastic button to attract the reader’s eye to your twitter page. Here is a fantastic roundup of over 100 twitter icons, but there are plenty out there, so if you don’t find something you like, Google is the place to start looking!

Facebook has grown massively in recent years. Nearly every teen and younger adult has an account and regularly checks it, sometimes several times a day. This offers a fantastic market of people to spread your site amongst, and with Facebook’s continuing growth, and branching out into all sorts of markets such as gaming, search and advertisement, it is somewhere you want to be.

YouTube continues to be the most valuable video marketing and advertising tool for businesses of all sizes. By far the web’s largest and most popular online video archive, YouTube offers fantastic opportunities for a business to show off its expertise, share knowledge, market products and connect with customers, colleagues and prospects.

Google tools for SEO and Keyword Research

There are many tools that will help you get the most out of SEO. Here is a list of all Google’s own web applications and tools that offer free keywords research and analysis.

Google AdWords – This is the most important product for researching your keywords. It’s very user-friendly and does a quick job of plotting down keywords based on prices, website niche, trends and search volume in your country. Used by almost all advertisers being FREE yet most powerful tool for SEO and keyword research.

Google Analytics – (GA) is a free service offered by Google that generates detailed statistics about the visitors to a website. The product is aimed at marketers as opposed to webmasters and technologists from which the industry of web analytics originally grew. It is the most widely used website statistics service, currently in use on around 57% of the 10,000 most popular websites. Another market share analysis claims that Google Analytics is used at around 49.95% of the top 1,000,000 websites (as currently ranked by Alexa).

GA can track visitors from all referrers, including search engines, display advertising, pay-per-click networks, e-mail marketing and digital collateral such as links within PDF documents.

Google Webmaster Tool is a no-charge web service by Google for webmasters. It allows webmasters to check indexing status and optimize visibility of their websites.

It has tools that let the webmasters:

  • Submit and check a sitemap
  • Check and set the crawl rate, and view statistics about how Googlebot accesses a particular site
  • Generate and check a robots.txt file. It also helps to discover pages that are blocked in robots.txt by chance.
  • List internal and external pages that link to the site
  • See what keyword searches on Google led to the site being listed in the SERPs, and the click through rates of such listings
  • View statistics about how Google indexes the site, and if it found any errors while doing it
  • Set a preferred domain (e.g. prefer over or vice versa), which determines how the site URL is displayed in SERPs

Adding Facebook “Like” buttons to your website

The “Like” button allows users to share your content with friends on Facebook. When the user clicks the Like button on your site, a story appears in the user’s friends’ News Feed with a link back to your website. There are 2 versions, the iframe version and the XFBML version.

“The Facebook Like button is undoubtedly the most important Social Plugin. It can boost your website traffic significantly and adds up to your website user interaction.”