What is Alt Text and why is it important?

What is Alt Text and why is it important?

If you’ve built your own website or worked on your SEO (search engine optimisation) you will have heard of Alt Text.


Do you know what it means and what it’s used for?

Dou know how to use it effectively within your own website?

If you answered no to any of these questions, then this blog post will answer all of these questions and ensure that you are using Alt Text correctly within your site for users and search engines.

What is Alt Text?

Alt text (alternative text) describes the content of an image on a web page and within other digital content.

This text is not visible on the website and sits in the HTML code of the site itself as an alt attribute.

So, why bother adding it if you can’t see it anyway?

There are two main reasons why adding well-thought-out Alt Text to your images is important:

1. It is primarily used for accessibility

It serves as a way to provide context and meaning to visual content for individuals who are visually impaired or have difficulty seeing images. When a screen reader encounters an image with alternative text, it reads aloud the description to provide a comprehensive understanding of the image’s content. This ensures that digital content is accessible to as many people as possible.

Black dog giving someone a high five - example of good Alt Text

Imagine you have a photo of a dog like this on your website and the Alt Text simply says IMG_29483.png – this gives no context for someone who relies on a screen reader to undersand the image. It would be better to have text that says “black dog giving someone a high five”

2. Good Alt Text makes your site more SEO-friendly

Although search engines are getting more advanced, they still can’t actually ‘see’ pictures, at least for now. So adding this feature allows them to understand what your photos are about within the context of your website. In turn, this allows your images to be indexed more effectively and search engines to show your pictures in search results.

However, when adding keywords to Alt Text, remember that this is still primarily used for accessibility so ‘keyword packing’ is not recommended. Below is an example of what badly written alternative text sounds like when someone has tried to cram in as many keyword locations as possible:

What should I include in my Alt Text?

When writing Alt Text, remember to keep the content as succinct and descriptive as possible. For the example above, you could write “[Company name] electrician installing a new kitchen light fitting in Staffordshire”.

Remember to:

  • ensure it includes a clear description of what is in the image
  • keep the length of your text to a maximum of 140 characters.
  • make sure it is readable – in plain English

How do you add Alt Text?

Where you add Alt Text very much depends on the website platform you are using as each will have a different location for adding this.


WordPress Alt Text box within MediaIf you are using WordPress, you will find this section within your Media library. When you upload any image to your website there will be a section to the right of the image where you can add this.


Add Alt Text in Wix within individual image settingsOn the Wix platform, it is added within the Editor when you place an image. This can be found at the very bottom of the Settings panel when you have inserted a picture on your website.

For other website platforms, simply search within their Help documentation to find out where Alt Text can be added.

Next steps in Accessibility

Alt Text is just one way that you can make your website more accessible to everyone, regardless of impairment.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) cover a wide range of recommendations for making web content more accessible and there are free tools, such as the free website accessibility scan at Accessibe that can show you what other steps you need to take to bring your website up to scratch.

If you have a Wix website you can take their free Accessibility Course and Certification to learn more about what accessibility really means and prove that you have the knowledge to build those features into your own site.

To wrap up, Alt Text is extremely important to ensure that your website is accessible to all, and it can also be a great help to your SEO when used correctly.

And, if you need a little help figuring out where it goes on your website, give us a call!

Web Goddess




Say hello to Holly Hinton aka the Web Goddess
About Holly

Holly Hinton has been involved in IT since 2001 when she started working as a Microsoft IT trainer in London. She is passionate about using technology for the good of all. Connect with Holly on LinkedIn.

Where Does Your Online Marketing Fit In?

Where Does Your Online Marketing Fit In?

“A goal without a plan is just a wish”.

This is a quote many of us will have heard of, and one I totally agree with. It is a concept and a philosophy I abide me and advocate my clients do so too. In this guest blog, I will talk about marketing planning, why have a strategy and the benefits, when to have a plan and where does your website and SEO come into play in this whole marketing planning mix.


Why do you need a marketing strategy and plan?

The strategy piece is your foundations of the business eg your target audience, your messaging and what you want to achieve. Once you know who and what, you need to look at the how: e.g. the marketing channels to use, including online and digital such as websites and SEO. Then the strategy needs to convert into a plan of when and by whom.

In my opinion, a lot of growth is down to planning and down to knowing these basics. Marketing shouldn’t be seen as a tick box exercise, and it is important to know your business why and to know the purpose of your marketing. Time and attention need to be given by you the business owner to your overall business and its marketing and as such, a plan is the way forward.

Some of the benefits of a plan include:

  • Being more organised
  • Being logical
  • Building the foundations
  • Saving time, money and resources
  • Making informed decisions

What is included in a marketing strategy and plan?

There are 7 stages to a comprehensive strategy and plan document, or a roadmap if you will. These are:


Objective Setting – setting goals and knowing your why (including competitor analysis, keyword review, market research, website review, social media profiles review and SMART goal setting)

Defining the messaging – the wording used to attract your audience and understand your niche/USP

Pinpointing a strategy – this is the blue sky thinking by us before the doing

Refining the target audience – your ideal client avatar, plus your prospects, leads and then your customers

Developing the tactics – what marketing channels to use plus collaborations


Implementing the plan – this section is split into 3 phases along with outline budgets.  Phase 1, the foundations. Phase 2, the one-off campaign and 90-day marketing activity. And phase 3, a 30-day mini marketing plan

Measuring and evaluation – knowing the results then the ROI

Online Marketing - Nicole Martin of Pinpoint Marketing

What is the general marketing planning process?

An agency like myself or you current provider, should/will work with you the client by brainstorming where the business is now and where it wants to go, what you/the business is doing and not doing and what marketing is being done already and what isn’t. They/we will also ask questions and seek out answers and the current state on play on areas like competition, USP, messaging, trends, markets, target audiences, lead sources, budgets, resources available and more. These findings are then collated, analysed and turned into a bespoke marketing strategy and a plan to implement.


Where does a plan fall into the overall marketing journey?

Is there such a thing as a right time? Not really, but a good time or situation to create and write a strategy and plan are at the beginning/start-up of a business or when the business has grown or is planning change eg post pandemic or when a new service is being launched, or when the business owner, you, realises things are ok but they could be better. The reason for these times being optimal is before decisions are made and at the start of things to enable the groundwork to be laid out, the foundations set and things to be well thought through before taking action.


Where does your online marketing presence fit it?

Looking at your online presence or your digital marketing fill fit into the last stage of the strategy which is the tactics and the first stage of the plan which is the implementation.

The strategy paints the picture of your audience, their needs, your goals and the messaging which is vital to know before building a site and to also use in keywords and SEO. And for your CTA’s (calls to action) on the pages too.

The review of the website and its performance is part of the groundwork/initial phase of the marketing, and/or so is the setting up and launching of a site if you don’t have one already. And the maintenance of and the posting to/updating of the site via regular blog posts and content is part of the ongoing/30-day marketing plan. Without a website and online presence, it is very hard to prove your existence, prove your credibility and to generate awareness for your brand and your business.

“Ignoring online marketing is like opening a business but not telling anyone.” – KB Marketing Agency

Who a plan is for AND who a plan is not for

A plan IS NOT for you if you don’t mind making poor decisions and if you have time and money to waste. This isn’t many of us by the way! A plan may also not be for you if you haven’t got the time or resource to implement it nor have the budget to outsource the implementation.
A plan IS for you and your business if you want stop wasting time and money on the wrong marketing. And a plan is for you is to avoid overspending, wasting time and making poor decisions and if you want the desired outcomes and ROI.


What else do you need to know about marketing planning

Without a plan it will be harder, longer, more expensive, and stressful to grow your business, it is that simple.

“If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else.” –Lawrence J. Peter


Nicole Martin, Pinpoint Marketing for B2B marketing services
About Nicole Martin

Nicole is a marketing strategy and planning specialist supporting businesses with all aspects of marketing including lead generation, sales, implementation, measuring, consistency, and hands-on support to help her clients achieve more consistency and less overwhelm.

Pinpoint Marketing Consultancy Ltd

How Artificial Intelligence Will Transform SEO For Small Business Websites

How Artificial Intelligence Will Transform SEO For Small Business Websites

Unless you have been living completely offline and out in the wilderness somewhere, you will have heard of Artificial Intelligence (AI). It’s most definitely the buzz in the tech world right now with Google and Microsoft competing to develop the best AI out there.

But as a small business owner, how will artificial intelligence really affect you? And, is there anything you can do right now to ensure that your business website stays ahead of your competitors?

Let’s find out…

Did you know that around 75% of website credibility comes from design?

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence is the development of computer systems that can perform tasks that typically require human intelligence. In terms of search engine optimisation (SEO), AI algorithms are designed to analyse and interpret vast amounts of data to deliver more relevant and personalised search results.

AI is a tool. The choice about how it gets deployed is ours. – Oren Etzioni

AI allows search engines to better understand and interpret user intent, it’s our choice if we use it for good or not!

The Impact of AI on SEO

For the sake of this post, let’s assume we are going to use artificial intelligence for the good of our businesses! If so, here are four areas that artificial intelligence will impact SEO that you need to be aware of:

1. Enhanced User Experience (UX)

AI-powered algorithms can now measure user engagement metrics such as click-through rates (CTRs), bounce rates, and time spent on a page. In turn, search engines use these metrics to assess the relevance and quality of a website.

Therefore, it is crucial for your business to focus on creating user-friendly websites that load quickly, provide valuable content, and offer an engaging experience. 

2. Voice Search Improvements

Do you remember the battles trying to get your voice recognition to actually recognise your accent and tone?

AI algorithms play a vital role in converting spoken queries into text and delivering relevant responses.

To make the most of voice search improvements, focus on using conversational phrases and long-tail keywords to increase your chances of appearing in voice search results.

3. Personalised Search Results

We’ve all seen targeted ads and recommendations on our Google feed – you know the ones that pop up just after you’ve searched for something online? It is AI that enables search engines to understand user preferences and deliver these more personalised search results.

As a small business, this can help you provide a better online experience and by creating high-quality content that targets your ideal customer you can improve your visibility in search results and beat the competition.

4. Generating Relevant Content

Love it or hate it, AI-generated content is here to stay and whilst content creation can be automated to some extent there is still a need for human interaction in checking for quality, relevance and tone of voice.

There is real opportunity for those of us who run small businesses to leverage the power of AI tools for keyword research, content ideas and generating data-driven insights to improve our content strategy. Perfect when you don’t have a full team of professionals to do it for you!

How to Take Action

So how can you leverage the AI revolution to help with your SEO?

Here are five things you can do right NOW:

Focus on your Ideal Customers

Make sure you understand your target audience and what they are searching for. As a service-based business this may be looking at ‘pain points’ and crafting content that asnwers these. Now more than ever, content needs to provide value and avoid old practices like keyword stuffing. Writing just as you would speak in natural, conversational language is important.

Optimise your Website for Mobile

Your website needs to be mobile-friendly and load quickly. To be honest, this tip should be standard practice as mobile web browsing overtook desktop for the first time way back in 2016! Mobile optimisation is critical, as search engines prioritise mobile-friendly websites so we recommend using tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights to identify areas for improvement.

Implement Structured Data Markup

Structured data markup helps search engines better understand your content. If you want your website to display location data, reviews, videos or images these are all examples of ‘rich snippets’ – a form of markup that many websites already use. This markup provides additional information about your website, improving its chances of appearing in enhanced search results. Google’s structured data markup generator can help you get started.


Use AI-powered SEO Tools

Take advantage of existing AI SEO tools that can provide insights and recommendations for optimising your website. These can help you identify technical issues and conduct keyword research, and analyse user behavior. We love SE Ranking and use it with your client sites and our own, but you can also find many tools within your SEO plugins or features on your website to get you started.


Optimise for Voice Search

You can get your site ready for voice search by making sure you write in natural conversational language that includes long-tailed keywords. Having a frequently asked questions page on your website to answer questions related to your industry will not only show expertise, but will allow you to use the FAQ structured data markup for the page which will help search engines find your content more readily. Writing a blog is also a smart option here!

In summary, artificial intelligence will continue to shape the future of SEO. If you run a small business you will need to adapt and embrace its potential eventually – so why not start now?

By understanding what AI can do and FOR your business and leveraging AI-powered tools, you can enhance your online visibility and stay ahead of the competition. This will not only help your rankings, but also provide a better user experience and that’s got to be a good thing, right?

“Once a new technology rolls over you, if you’re not part of the steamroller, you’re part of the road.” – Stewart Brand

And, if AI is all a little scary right now or you need some help implementing the tips in this blog, give us a call!

Web Goddess




Say hello to Holly Hinton aka the Web Goddess
About Holly

Holly Hinton started working with tech before PCs came with a mouse so she’s seen a technological revolution or two in her time. She loves embracing new technology such as artificial intelligence for the light side of the force and helping clients get to grips with the ever-changing world of tech. Connect with Holly on LinkedIn for honest advice and tips about how you can improve your SEO and get your small business seen online.

Does Website Design Really Matter?

Does Website Design Really Matter?

You’ve got a website and it’s been doing OK, but now more than ever it is important to make sure that it is working for you. With the post-pandemic economic downturn, businesses are looking to cut costs and make existing assets work harder for them – and your website design could be letting you down.

You may think that just ploughing what budget you do have into advertising and SEO is the obvious solution but unless you put just as much effort into your website you could be throwing money away.

Did you know that around 75% of website credibility comes from design?

But is website design really that important?

In a word, YES!

Let’s say that your website design is a little outdated or was just thrown together to get something online, or it just doesn’t match your current business focus, you could be losing customers. When someone visits the site they are going to make a really quick decision whether to stay or leave – around 15 seconds in fact.

And according to Stanford University’s web credibility project, around 75% of website credibility comes from design.

So, if you’ve been putting off working on your website then now is the time to invest some time and energy into getting it right.

It really doesn’t have to be that difficult, to be honest…

Start by checking your website metrics

The first thing to do is look at your current website metrics. If you have access to Google Analytics and Google Search Console for your website this step is easy. If you don’t then the first step is to get these free tools (or other analytics) connected to your site so you have real-time data to reference.

Your bounce rate is the measure of visitors who arrive at a page in your website and leave again without doing anything else. Remember that 15-second rule?

It is measured as a percentage of total visitors and most websites have a bounce rate of between 26% and 70% according to Semrush. It depends not only on the quality of your website design but also on the industry you are in and the type of website you have. For example, ecommerce sites tend to have a lower bounce rate than non-ecommerce sites.

Bounce rate of a website

So if your bounce rate is high (70%+) there is some work to be done to keep visitors on your site for longer and encourage them to click through to different pages.

Top Tip: Add clear calls to action (CTAs) on each page so ensure that visitors are guided where you want them to go on your site next.

Then check accessibility

If it’s been a while since you’ve looked at your website design, make sure that it meets current guidelines for accessibility, content layout, and mobile responsivity.

You can use free tools to check these such as EqualWeb for accessibility and Google’s Mobile Friendly Test. These will give you an audit of where your website currently has issues and a list of things to look at when you redesign the site.

The more accessible your website is for all audiences, the better it will rank and the more visitors will stick around to look at what you have to offer.


Get some feedback

It may seem obvious, but just because you know what you do doesn’t mean you are clearly getting that across on your website. Ask someone you trust* to have a look at your website and then tell you how easy or difficult they found it to find specific elements.

For example, you may ask them to tell you:

  • What are the services that you offer?
  • What makes your business unique?
  • Where can they go to contact you?
  • Where can they find advice on a specific topic?

If they find it difficult, then you have a place to start with your redesign.

*Please don’t ask your Mum! She’ll probably think anything you do is wonderful and whilst that’s her job it won’t necessarily help you make your website more appealing!

And finally, redesign your website

When looking at your website design, it will seldom require starting from scratch. But I would recommend starting offline by making a plan.


Think about each of your pages and whether they clearly show HOW you can help your customers and WHY they should work with you.


Ensure that navigation is simple. Adding multiple navigation options such as buttons, menus and links within pages will help everyone move around your website easily.


Check your mobile website works correctly. All websites should be mobile responsive and easily readable on all mobile and smaller devices.


Run your website through accessibility tools to ensure all visitors can interact with your website.


And finally, make sure that your website redesign really shows your business in the best light and looks as professional as possible.

So, does website design really matter?

“A bad website is like a grumpy salesperson.” – Jakob Nielsen

And you don’t want that now do you?

If you want prospective customers to take you and your business seriously then investing some time and money in your website is a great way to ensure that you are making the most of your marketing budget in the long term.

And, if you need some help, check out our Website Rescue service, it’s why we’re here!

Web Goddess




Say hello to Holly Hinton aka the Web Goddess
About Holly

Holly Hinton has been building websites for over 20 years – since way back in the days of Dreamweaver and FrontPage – and started Web Goddess in 2014 to help small business owners build websites the right way. Connect with Holly on LinkedIn for honest advice and tips about how you can improve your own online presence.

Keywords v Long Tail Keywords – what is the difference?

Keywords v Long Tail Keywords – what is the difference?

If you run your own business, you probably already know that keywords are an important part of your online marketing strategy. But do you know any more than that? Or about long tail keywords? And why should you care?

What are Keywords?

Keywords are the words or phrases that people use when they search for something on the internet. If your website is optimised for relevant keywords, you can improve your visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) and drive more traffic to your website.

For example, if someone is looking for an accountant in their area, they might search for “best accountants near me.” The words “best accountants” are keywords and the “near me” gives search engines our location (if you have location services turned on for your device.

Sounds easy right? Well, you may be surprised to hear that we speak to lots of businesses who tell us what they want to be found for, but their website doesn’t… Just because YOU know what you do, doesn’t mean that the people searching for you do, and search engines can only return results when they can identify keywords on your website. Remember: people won’t know what you do unless you tell them!

So, the only way to tell search engines that your website is relevant for individual search terms is to write content and structure your website to include those keywords.

What are Long Tail Keywords?

Long tail keywords are more specific and targeted than generic keywords. They are typically longer phrases that are more specific to a particular niche or industry. For example, instead of using the keyword “accountants,” a long tail keyword might be “accountants for small businesses.” These long tail keywords are important because they can help you attract more targeted traffic to your website.

Generic keywords may bring in a lot of traffic, but as this traffic may not be as relevant to your business it will likely not convert visitors into customers.

And if you think that niching is not for you, here’s why it’s important to find your business niche.

How to Conduct Keyword Research

To conduct keyword research for your business, follow these steps:

Step 1: Identify your target audience

The first step in conducting keyword research is to identify your target audience.

  • Who are the people that you want to attract to your website?
  • What are their interests, needs, and pain points?

Understanding your target audience is important because it will help you identify the keywords that are most relevant to them.

Step 2: Brainstorm a list of relevant keywords

Once you’ve identified your target audience, brainstorm a list of keywords that are relevant to your business. You can start with generic keywords, but be sure to also include long tail keywords that are more specific to your niche or industry. Use a keyword research tool to generate ideas for keywords that you may not have thought of.

Step 3: Analyse keyword search volume and competition

Once you have a list of keywords, it’s important to check out the search volume (i.e. how many times a keyword is searched for) and the competition for each one (i.e. how many other websites are also targeting that keyword). Ideally, you want to choose keywords that have a high search volume and low competition.

There are lots of online tools that can help you do this and we use and recommend SE Ranking.

Step 4: Choose your keywords and optimize your website

Based on your analysis, choose the keywords that are most relevant to your business and have the highest potential to attract targeted traffic to your website. Then, make sure you add those keywords throughout your website content, meta descriptions, title tags, and posts.

We recommend writing blog posts that expand on the topics that are most important to your customers so that you can show your expertise in that particular area and also then link to how you can help them by answering questions within posts.

To summarise…

Keywords are important for improving your website’s visibility in search engine results pages and long tail keywords will help attract targeted traffic to your website.

By conducting keyword research and optimising your website for relevant keywords for your business, you can improve your online presence and attract more customers to your website.

And remember, this is not a race! Don’t get overwhelmed trying to update every page on your site immediately. Start with your most important pages and posts and keep going from there…

Is your website a bit shit?

Is your website a bit shit?

So, is your website a bit shit?

Go on, you can admit it – I won’t tell anyone…

This is something that I regularly ask both here on our website and also on social media. Mainly because I am all about honesty so never mince my words. And by admitting that your website is a bit shit you can work out how to fix it.

It’s a bit like any other problem in business or life in general. Until you face the fact that something is wrong there is nothing that you can do about it. Oh, and I know that there are many reasons why you might not want to admit that your website is a little bit shit:

You've already spent a lot of money on your website

I get it, websites are not cheap. However, if that investment is made in a website that you fall in love with, then clients will love it too and ltimately it will bring in more of the right people to your business. Is it really worth sticking with a shitty website just because you’ve paid for it?

It hurts to admit that it's not quite right

Yeah, it really sucks to admit that something you’ve put your all into doesn’t work. It’s even worse when you’ve put your trust in someone and they’ve let you down. It makes you feel stupid and difficult to trust anyone with your website again.

You just can't bear to go through it all again

One of our clients once told us that the pain of facing her website again was worse than childbirth! Now, while this may seem extreme I do understand that it is yet another thing to add to your already full to-do list and that can be enough to put it off indefinitely.

 What can you do to sort your website?

Here are the 5 steps I’d recommend when it comes to looking at your website to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes again…

Step 1 – Come to terms with where you are now

As I’ve already said, the first step is admitting that your website is not working and is, in fact, a little bit shit. This is not only the most important step but it’s usually the most difficult.

Once you’ve admitted this to yourself and realised that what’s done is done there can be a real sense of relief. It clears the way for creating solutions that will work in future.

Step 2 – Figure out what you really need

Instead of leaping into yet another website because you are panicking, take some real time to research what it is that you really need.

Look at your business as a whole and how your website integrates with other functions. Create a wishlist of features and automations that would really help you. This will give you a clear idea of the items you are willing to compromise on and those that are deal breakers. You then have a clear list to work from when designing your new site.

Step 3 – Talk to the professionals

You may be tempted to just go with a recommendation at this stage, but please do your homework!

I recommend speaking to a few web design professionals to get insights into the technology that is out there now – things will have changed since you last built your website and there is ALWAYS more than one solution! This includes keeping your current site and simply updating what you have.

Why more than one? Because every designer works differently and it’s not just about WHAT they can offer, but the technology they use, the businesses they specialise in helping and how you FEEL about them. You’ve got to get all of these things right to ensure you have a great working relationship.

Step 4 – Decide who to hire – if anyone!

It’s easy to put off making a decision because it all feels too much like hard work. But you can’t get started on the new site or rebuild until you decide who to hire. Get the ball rolling by saying ‘yes’ to the web designer you feel is right for your business and they will help you with the next stages of the project.

Oh, and if you are going to do it yourself, then making this decision is just as relevant. Don’t be swayed by outside opinion if you are certain that you can do it – and more importantly want to do it. Most web designers started out building their own websites and it is possible to build or rebuild your own amazing site.

Step 5 – Remain accountable

Dedicate time to making sure that you are accountable for the new website or rebuild. This may seem like a strange thing to say, but I have seen too many people hand over control of their website to a web designer and then blame them when the final design doesn’t hit the mark – yet again.

Your website designer should give you great advice and offer suggestions, but at the end of the day YOU are in control as it’s your site. So speak up if you don’t like something and make sure you have regular conversations with the designer to check they are creating what you ask for.

One final note…

Remember that your website will ALWAYS need refreshing and updating. Not only will your business change over the years, but so will technology.

In fact, technology change is moving faster than ever before and shows no sign of slowing down. This means that where a website design could last 5+ years a decade ago, it’s now more likely to be ‘on trend’ for around 2-3 years at most.

So, don’t be disheartened if your site is not up to scratch – most websites will look a little shit at some point and planning for a major update or complete rebuild every few years should be part of your business plan. 

And if you’d like to speak to us about your rebuild then drop us a message


Web Goddess

Say hello to Holly Hinton aka the Web Goddess
About Holly

Holly Hinton, founded Web Goddess in 2014 after seeing way too many shit websites on the internet. She has seen just about every underhanded trick and is still amazed that some companies treat their customers like poo. Connect with Holly on LinkedIn for regular rants about poor web design and honest advice about how you can improve your own online presence.

How To Make Your Business Look Professional Online

How To Make Your Business Look Professional Online

If you’re just starting a new business, everything you need to do can feel a little overwhelming. What do you do first and what actually matters the most? Well, the biggest mistake we see businesses make time and time again is not giving enough thought to how to look professional online – and offline for that matter!

Thinking that doing things on the cheap to begin with will save you money can actually impact your bottom line in ways you may not realise. And that’s what this quick guide is about.

Why does looking professional online matter?

Your competition is everywhere! These days it is the small differences and attention to detail that will help you stand out from your competitors and by investing in your professional image you will instantly gain the upper hand.

Thankfully, we’ve been there ourselves and helped dozens of new businesses make decisions that ultimately improved their professional business image online.

Get it right from the start

Investing a little time and money and doing things in the right order can have a huge impact on your business. It may not be instantly measurable, but first impressions really do count.

So, these are the five things we recommend you get right from the start. Yes, they are an investment but they will really help you look more professional. And by giving the right impression you will soon bring in more than enough revenue to cover the initial costs.

#1 Professional Branding

Nothing turns off a potential customer more than a business without clear branding. Whilst you may not want to spend thousands or even hundreds on a brand when you start your business, having a business name, a proper message and thinking about your digital and printed assets is key to looking professional.

And don’t think that branding is only about your logo – that’s just one part of your brand! So investing in some help to get this right can pay off in the long run.

DIY Investment from £0
Professional Investment from £250 for a logo

#2 Domain Name

Once you have chosen your business name, registering a domain is a great step. My favourite company to register a domain with here in the UK is 123-Reg as they are simple to use and easy to manage.

When choosing a domain name think about your users – it should be easy to type in and not too long. If your company name is a long one, you could try to abbreviate it, but avoid using hyphens if possible as these are difficult for users to type in, especially on mobile.

The best bit is that you don’t even have to build a website straight away, but by grabbing your domain name you will prevent anyone else from taking it first. Just note that there really is no need to buy lots of different variations of the same name – this was popular a decade ago but has little impact now (except for costing you a lot of money each year).

 Approximate Investment £15 – £30

#3 Website

This is your online business home and having a website makes you look so much more professional than having social media accounts alone. I’ve written before on why your business really needs a website and it is so important both in terms of professionalism but also for visibility. There are people out there who don’t use social media and if they rely on search engines such as Google you will be missing a big chunk of the market.

You can build your own website using a platform such as Wix (we recommend this for DIY as it is one of the simplest to use) using your newly created branding and domain name and you’re ready to go. You’ll need to put in some proper graft to ensure your site doesn’t look like your 10-year-old niece built it (although saying that – I have seen a 10-year-old build a pretty decent site), but with a bit of time and a willingness to learn you can build something professional that matches your business brand.

Whether you get a professional to build it for you or you do it yourself, please make sure you pay for the annual hosting that removes the ‘built with Wix’ or other platform advertising – nothing looks more unprofessional than this!

DIY Investment from £110
Professional Investment from £750

#4 Email Address

Whatever you do, please invest in a proper email address. When you register a domain name you can then get an email address that looks professional – like hello@[yourcompany]. This looks infinitely more professional than a free Gmail or Outlook email.

It may not seem like something you need to invest in straight away, but you will be taken far more seriously if you have a professional email. It will help you build trust with clients and make it easier to contact you too.

Approximate Investment: £60pa

#5 Marketing Assets

With your branding en pointe, domain name purchased, website ready to go and professional email address sorted, you are ready to start creating some marketing assets for your business.

Why do you need all of these other bits done first? Because you can use them in your marketing! Send people to the right website or email address from day 1 and you will never have to remember to update anything.

Marketing assets fall into two categories: printed assets (like business cards, brochures, flyers and even branded workwear) and digital assets (like social media posts, advertisements and banners).

When creating these, a good graphic designer is priceless, but you can get started on your own using an online tool like Canva. Here are 10 reasons to use Canva and you can tell that we love it. In fact, apart from our printed assets, we use Canva for pretty much everything else.

DIY Investment from £0

The final cost…

Your initial investment can range anywhere from under £200 for the complete DIY route to a few thousand if you want to hire professionals for everything. But remember, it’s not a COST – it’s an INVESTMENT. Creating a great professional image online (and offline) will pay for itself in the long run. And, because you are running a business, you can claim any expenses against your business.

So, get ahead of your competition and get these five things done right when you start your business!

Web Goddess

Say hello to Holly Hinton aka the Web Goddess
About the Author

Holly Hinton, aka the Web Goddess, has run multiple small businesses since 2003 so she knows a thing or two about setting up from scratch. Today she helps service-based businesses get found online for all the right reasons.  Connect with Web Goddess on LinkedIn.

What are Backlinks? Here’s a Quick Guide…

What are Backlinks? Here’s a Quick Guide…

Backlink Basics

Backlinks are simply a link from one website to another. In terms of your own website, these are links from external sites that link directly to specific pages on your website via an image or anchor text.

For example, here is a backlink to the Web Goddess website from a StartUps article we featured in back in July 2022:

Example of a backlink from Startups website to Web Goddess

So why are Backlinks important?

When you have a link from another website to your own, it shows authority. It means that there is value in linking to your website from another site on the web and gives search engines a reason to look at your own site as adding value and being credible.

The more backlinks you have from other credible sources, the higher your own site will rank on search engine results pages (SERPs).

Are all Backlinks Useful?

Well, no. And this is where it can get tricky. For a backlink to be valuable for your website you need to make sure that it comes from a trusted source – a website that also holds authority. This is known as Domain Authority.

Google and other search engines rank websites based on the quality of information that is shared on the site as well as other sites that link to them (amongst thousands of other metrics), so it pays to be picky about which websites backlink to your own.

Unfortunately, there are many companies that will offer to sell you hundreds of backlinks but the sites these are usually connected to are next to useless. In fact, by associating with these websites you could be reducing your own domain authority and not improving it!

When creating and sourcing backlinks, make sure that the source website is:

  • Trustworthy & Authoritative – does it meet your own expectations as a website user? Do you want to be associated with it? Having random links from list-type websites is not going to help anything but your backlink count.
  • Aligned with your business – if you have a financial consulting company and your site appears on a bridal boutique store website the connection is not obvious. Look for websites that are aligned with but do something slightly different to your own business. e.g. financial consulting and Will writing would make far more sense.
  • Offering ‘DoFollow’ links – backlinks are only useful for your own SEO when they are ‘DoFollow’ links. Many sites, especially directories or membership sites, will link to your website but in the form of ‘NoFollow’ links. These will still lead people to your website, but do not help your SEO.


Backlinks - difference between DoFollow and NoFollow links to the Web Goddess website

The graphic above shows the distribution of DoFollow v NoFollow backlinks to our own Web Goddess website (at January 2023). Data from SE Ranking software.

How do you get Backlinks?

Gaining good backlinks takes time and effort. There is no quick way of gaining hundreds of backlinks that is not associated with ‘black hat’ techniques – so if someone offers to do this for you please think carefully about the quality of sites they may be offering.

There are many ways to build backlinks, but here are my favourite 3:

1. Detailed Blog Posts

You know your own business and industry like the back of your hand, right? Why not write blog posts on your own website about what you know? Once you have written your post, do a search on that topic and see what other websites have to say about it. If their own posts contain links to posts that are outdated or no longer exist, you have a reason to contact them and ask if they would link to your updated article instead.

If you have written a well-structured and informative piece then you may get a link to your content for your trouble, but be prepared to email or contact many website owners for this as you can often be ignored or rejected, especially as you are building your own authority on a subject.

2. Infographics

Sharing infographics that summarise data in an easy-to-digest way can be a great way of getting links back to your website.

Do you have a new take on an existing issue, statistics you can share in a different way, or can you put some ‘top tips’ into a graphic? If it is part of a blog post then all the better!

Whichever type of infographic you create, ensure that it matches your branding and can be recognised instantly when shared to different platforms.

3. Guest Posting

Approach people within a similar industry to your own or business networks to offer to write a guest blog post for them.

Writing a guest post helps you with a link back to your own website, but it can also help the website owner as they can deliver more value to their own audience and it allows them to add interesting content to their site at the same time.

Just make sure you get that backlink!


Infographic: How many websites are created around the world each day?

In Summary

Gaining quality backlinks is not something that happens overnight, but with a good strategy in place and a willingness to ask for backlinks in return for your expertise, you can organically build external links to your website and build your website authority.

Be bold and notice those opportunities to share your voice when the arise!


Say hello to Holly Hinton aka the Web Goddess
About the Author

Holly Hinton, aka the Web Goddess, has over 20 years experience in the IT World. She loves translating technobabble and demystifying SEO for small business owners.  Connect with Holly on LinkedIn.

Google Maps – time to check your Listing

Google Maps – time to check your Listing

If you run a business and want local customers, the best place to get listed is on Google Maps.

It’s that simple.

You may have heard of Google My Business or Google Business Profile – both previous incarnations of the app used to manage your profile and now all housed and accessed directly from Google Maps.

“The information that appears in your Business Profile on Google will be shown on Google Maps and in results from Google Search, either when users make a search using relevant keywords or are looking for specific information about your business.” – Google

So, whether you run a small business or a bigger concern, getting your business listed is a great way to:

  • ensure you appear on Google Maps when someone searches locally for your business type
  • collect Google Reviews for your business
  • appear higher in Google Rankings than you would just on SERP results alone

You’ll need to verify your listing first and this is usually done the old-fashioned way – by Google sending a postcard to the address you list to ensure that you are actually where you say you are.

But what if you work from home?

Google gives you the option of pinpointing and showing your full address – great for if you have a studio or see clients from home – or setting a service area so that your address is not shown but you do still appear for searches within that area. This is best for businesses that may do administration from home but actually go out to service customers.

The choice is yours and you can also change your listing type from one to the other if you decide later on that you need to.

New Business Listings

You can still apply for a new listing in the UK via the Business Profile page and we recommend taking some time to accurately list your business so that you can be found.

Ensure all of your important details are filled in – like opening hours, contact details, products and services, photos, and a link to your website.

Update your Google Profile Listing

If you already have a listing, then make sure you check and update your listing often. Changing your opening hours for public holidays and other days you may be closed is a great way to keep customers informed of what you are up to and also let Google know that you are still active.

This also becomes important when someone tries to recommend a change to your listing, as you’ll see below.

Top Tip: regularly update your listing with photos, offers and posts so that searchers using Google can see what you are up to right from their search results.

Unauthorised Changes

Google can and will update your listing without your permission, so it is wise to keep an eye on your profile. Often this is because they have found conflicting data elsewhere on the internet (such as the opening hours you have published on your website) and simply update your listing to match. Sometimes you will receive notification of this, but unfortunately, this often does not happen.

And, did you know that other users can recommend changes and Google will update your listing without asking you first? This is the likely result if someone who regularly contributes to Google submits a change – even if that change is incorrect! However, if you regularly update your own profile, Google is less likely to simply believe some random recommended changes.

Top Tip: set a calendar reminder to check important details such as your address and opening hours to see if they have changed. You can always resubmit the correct information, but you won’t know if you don’t check often.

Collect Google Reviews

Having a Google listing means that customers can leave a Review for you. 

If you’re not proactive at asking for reviews from existing customers, make sure you put a process in place that makes it easy to remember to ask.

We include a link to our Review form when we complete a project so that customers don’t have to go searching for it. Whilst not everyone will leave a review, the easier you make it the more likely they will be to share their thoughts.

In summary

Think of your Google profile just as you would any other online listing or social media platform. Make sure you keep on top of changes, updates and announcements to help drive traffic through to your website.

What are you waiting for? 

Say hello to Holly Hinton aka the Web Goddess
About the Author

Holly Hinton, aka the Web Goddess, has over 20 years experience in the IT World. She loves helping small business owners make the most of Google tools to get found online.  Connect with Holly on LinkedIn.

Is your Website ready for 2023?

Is your Website ready for 2023?

I love the New Year with all of the promise that the 12 months to come brings! And it’s the perfect time to ensure that your website is up to scratch and ready for the world to see.

So, here are my Top tips to make sure that your website is up to date for 2023…

#1 Copyright Date

A quick win to start with – update your copyright date in the footer of your website to 2023.

If you don’t already have a copyright date set, then now is the perfect date to add one. You can simply add the current year, or to protect all of your content from the time you launched the site, I recommend adding a span of years to your site (e.g. © 2014 – 2023) to ensure that content is protected from the start date of your site. And don’t forget to add in your company or trading name too!

#2 Check for Errors

Is your website working correctly? Do you know how to check for errors?

Keeping on top of errors on your site is really important and I recommend repeating this task monthly, but the New Year is a great time to check for website errors to ensure that you don’t have any broken links or old content that is no longer relevant.

You can manually go through your site if you only have a few pages, or use an online error checking tool such as Google Webmaster Tools. Whichever method you use, you should ensure that your check includes:

  • broken internal and external links
  • site speed
  • mobile responsivity
  • SEO errors (see point 6 for more details on this)

Each time you update your website and fix some errors, make sure you run another report and see what needs to be fixed next as your website will never be perfect but you can improve it every time!

#3 Update Products & Services

Are you offering something new for 2023?

The New Year is a great time to go through your website and update, tweak or remove your products and services to match your 2023 goals.

#4 Update your Prices

Similar to Point 3 above, if you list your prices on your website, make sure that you update these for 2023.

I’m a huge advocate of having prices listed on your website because it helps visitors decide whether they are the right fit for your business before they even get in touch. Yes, it will put some people off if they see you as ‘too expensive’ but they are not your ideal client so that’s a bonus!

#5 Publish a Blog Post

Whether you are new to blogging or an old hand, adding new posts to your website regularly is a great way to keep your website up to date without changing other content.

Think about the questions you get asked about most often and write regular posts addressing those common problems – it’s a great way to keep visitors returning to your site and gives you more scope for adding keywords and useful information to your website, and also creates a resource of posts for you to share on your social media channels!

Here are 2 of my latest posts as an example of the topics that I write about…

What is Alt Text and why is it important?

What is Alt Text and why is it important?

If you've built your own website or worked on your SEO (search engine optimisation) you will have heard of Alt Text. But... Do you know what it means and what it's used for? Dou know how to use it effectively within your own website? If you answered no to any of these...

Where Does Your Online Marketing Fit In?

Where Does Your Online Marketing Fit In?

“A goal without a plan is just a wish”. This is a quote many of us will have heard of, and one I totally agree with. It is a concept and a philosophy I abide me and advocate my clients do so too. In this guest blog, I will talk about marketing planning, why have a...

#6 SEO Check & Update

SEO (search engine optimisation) is a task that really should be on your monthly list for website updates as you need to ensure that you keep an eye on your keywords and what’s actually 

Depending on the platform you host your website on, this will be a slightly different process. But it’s important to keep on top of SEO tasks and make sure you go back through your website. 

#7 Google Tools

Not really an update as such, but as with SEO, keeping an eye on your Google tools will help you to understand where visitors are coming from and how they are finding your website.

Check Google Analytics and Google Search Console and make sure these are connected correctly to your site – and if you haven’t installed or used these free tools before, make 2023 the year that you get to grips with them and add them to your website.

I also recommend creating a Google Business Profile (previously Google My Business) account if you don’t have one, or updating it with new information about your products and/or services for 2023. It’s great for local businesses, but don’t discount it if you have a service area rather than a physical location as it can be useful for all small businesses.

You can read more about Google Business Profile in my blog post here.

bonus tip – create a monthly action plan 

OK, so it’s not an actual website update, but planning dates for your updates each month NOW is a great way to ensure that you keep on top of all of your website tasks throughout the year.

I generally plan these for the middle of each month for my own website as my end/start of month is really busy with client work, but do whatever works best for you. Make sure you diarise the changes and check on your SEO, website content and blog posts at least once a month to keep on top of them throughout the year.

So, is your website ready for the New Year?

Web Goddess


Want to Learn how to implement these changes?

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