T&H Blamires, St. Boswells T&H Blamires is an historic name in the world of textiles, and Scottish Borders Website Design were delighted to be a part of the responsive site design for the newly revived business name.
What appears to be a simple one page website features a responsive layout that automatically adjusts the content width and menu formatting to best fit desktop monitors, tablets and smart phones (on the latter of which, the menu switches to a simple drop down to aid speedy surfing).
The responsive site design also makes use of smooth scrolling navigational elements, with a click on the menu resulting in the page auto scrolling to the relevant section of content (and when content is viewed below the fold, a “Back to top” button automatically fades into view).
Customer feedback: “Looks great to me. Many thanks!”; short but sweet.
Castle Gunmakers, Norham Castle Gunmakers was formed in 2008 just over the border in Norham, Northumberland. They’d had a basic website for a number of years but contacted Scottish Borders Website Design with a brief that set out the need for a professional new website with more targeted content and ongoing online marketing support. With a business such as this, it was important to maintain the existing brand but elevate it to a more professional level. Also of consideration was the fact that the clientele were largely of an older generation, so the new site design needed to retain the older audience, but also engage and encourage a new generation to take interest. Understanding how the business worked and what could be achieved online was also essential (stepping into the shoes of the client). All these elements come through in the newly designed Castle Gunmakers website; the brand is strong, there are elements of the traditional combined with more modern touches (for the young and old site visitors), and the site content is promoted and formatted in a manner that is clear, concise and easy to navigate.
Plum of London, London Scottish Borders Website Design has been working with Plum of London to help get their new range of luxury alpaca knitwear online and available for sale. We went through the process of designing a logo, helping to develop a strong identity and branding social media accounts back in April of this year, and now the first stage of the Plum of London online shop has launched.
As with the logo design, Plum of London had a very strong sense of how the online shop should look and feel. Scottish Borders Website Design therefore worked closely with the client to design and build an elegant, professional and trustworthy shop to highlight the range of unique, luxury products available for sale. Not only does the new shop effectively promote the new brand, it also details individual products with descriptions, detailed photos (including pop-ups showcasing colour ways and close-ups) and explains how to order and care for the beautiful luxury alpaca clothing and homeware products.
Although this initial site launch just offers a few product tasters more luxury alpaca clothes will be added over the coming months. And what did the client think of the site design? “I think it looks amazing – very impressed. Everyone I’ve met this week (all of whom work in the luxury retail industry), have said that they love the site! I wouldn’t have been able to give the right first impression if it wasn’t for you, so many thanks for your continued support in this. It really is much appreciated!”
GeoloGIS, Westruther Scottish Borders Website Design launched the new GeoloGIS website design today. The new brochure site was required to help outline the many services provided by the Border’s based geoscience company, whilst also being the starting point for further content development by way of an integrated content management system. The site is split into sections that help explain the core services and recent projects, and there are plans to develop a resource area for related companies (with the original content aiding online promotion).
Chirnside Hall Hotel, Chirnside I must admit that I am very lucky when it comes to the locations of some of the client meetings that I have. Sitting in the grand Victorian lounge of Chirnside Hall Hotel, with it’s opulant decor, elegant furniture, roaring open fires and stunning views across the Merse toward Cheviot, really was a special location to discuss the project requirements.
The brief required a new, clean, professional, elegant and trustworthy web design that would showcase the grandeur and luxurious nature of the hotel; an online brochure that was easy to browse through, each page highlighting stunning interior photos or amazing outdoor views.
In additional to the more standard elements within the site, the ability to quickly check availability and book rooms via a third party booking system was required, along with a separate section optimised for shooting parties and sports packages.
Recently I’ve had quite a few clients asking new questions about search engine optimisation (SEO). I must admit that after 15 years of designing, building and promoting websites I do tend to spit the term out without comprehending that it may mean different things to different people. Just like the web, internet marketing is ever evolving. A quick glance online indicates that there are numerous new views about SEO and the best way to tackle recent changes to search engine algorithms, not to mention the growing potential of social media marketing.
There is absolutely no doubt that SEO is changing. I’ve seen articles recently that question if the term “SEO” is dead. Matt Cutts, Google’s Head of Webspam, recently asked if SEO should be given a new name. Ultimately SEO as a phrase is not dead, I don’t believe it needs a new name and it’s never going to go away. However, with an eye on truly effective website marketing, and in the context of the ever changing world wide web, I believe that SEO should only ever be mentioned as part of a greater whole. This is a key change (particularly post Penguin and Panda).
“Search engine optimisation” has often been thrown around as a term that summarises website marketing. Effective marketing of websites has never related to doing just one thing however. So what should SEO be bundled with for 2013? Well I think that at the most basic level you can’t promote a website without all the following:
Traditional search engine optimisation
Natural link building (“natural” seems to be the new “organic”)
Social media integration and marketing
Obviously the above elements can all be considered organic, and there are paid solutions that can provide instant rewards, however, I’m only looking at non-paid long-term marketing solutions in this post.
SEO itself requires the ongoing analysis of website metrics, keyword analysis and search engine performance of site pages. Are people staying on a website long enough? Are a healthy number of users returning to the website? Are there individual pages that could perform better? Where do web pages feature in search engine results for a given number of search terms? Are those search terms accurate or could they be improved? The questions are endless, but these are all queries that need to be addressed on an ongoing basis and dealt with using a consistent strategy. However, if you carry out this type of SEO work and don’t bother with link building, social media marketing and improving your content, then your website will never perform well in search engines.
To get the best out of your site you must combine all four elements: ongoing SEO, continued natural link building, rolling social media integration and regular content development that has been planned in advance. These days content is at the heart of all this; get your content marketing strategy right and it makes everything else a lot easier. How? Great content gives you more to optimise and an increased spread of keywords for users to find when searching. Net result: improved chance of more site traffic. Inspiring content will interest people, make them stay on your website longer and give them a reason to come back. Net result: improved website metrics and more repeat visitors. Unique content increases the chances of people mentioning your website on social media platforms. Net result: free social marketing by word of mouth. Trustworthy and authoritative content means it’s easier to obtain links from other websites, plus webmasters and bloggers will be more likely to choose to link to your site without needing to be asked. Net result: more inbound links for less effort.
For me, SEO isn’t dead and doesn’t need a new name. SEO is what it is, search engine optimisation. However, if you’re planning website SEO for 2013, consider that the most effective use of search engine optimisation is when it is combined with natural link building, social media integration and content marketing. What’s more, get your content marketing strategy right, and link building, social media integration and SEO all become that much easier.
To raise curiosity and to encourage a visit to the museum, the site design makes use of several randomised elements; each page loading a range of exhibits, photos, facts and snippets of information. As a charity, the museum needs financial aid to operate, so it was important to promote the need for support too. After photographing the displays and items at the museum (a lot of which were very personal and told their own unique story of war), one piece really stood out; a food tin that an ingenious soldier had turned into a mug. This item features on every page of the site, along side a request for support and a donation; a simple thing on it’s own, but compelling nonetheless.
And the feedback from the client: “Wow! Very pleased indeed with the concept. I think it’s excellent. The design and imagery are tremendous.”
Border Motorhome Hire, Stow Following the design of the logo earlier in the year, Scottish Borders Website Design launched the new Border Motorhome Hire website today. The brochure site features information on motorhomes, photos, rates, a route planner and newsletter sign up form. To add an extra level of creativity the statement “Wish you were here” (normally found on postcards) was turned into a question and repeated over the banner photo. After all, you can holiday wherever you want when you hire a motorhome!
Scotia Welding, Lauder Many business website design briefs make use of terms such as “smart”, “professional” and “trustworthy”, but that doesn’t have to mean “boring” too. By adding one or two design elements it’s possible to lift a business website so it becomes visually stimulating and leaves a mark on site visitors. In this instance, Scottish Borders Website Design used a photo of blue sparks flaring from a welders torch as the background to the website. The intensity of light from the torch highlights the logo, and a semi-transparent page edge adds depth to the site design. Visit the new Scotia Welding & Fabrication website to take a look!
Palmer Campbell, Melrose Scottish Borders Website Design started this project with the design of a new logo for the newly formed property and renovation specialists. “Crisp, clear and refined” was the brief for the logo, and that needed to carry through to the new site design too. The photos of the recently renovated properties clearly showed the style, finesse, elegance and attention to detail inherent in the work of Palmer Campbell. As a result, photos of the range of renovation work and property types feature across the whole site, instantly showcasing the level of service and skill provided.