Web Design has always been a passion of mine but for 10 years (2004-2014) my career was rooted in Digital Marketing as a Digital Communications / Marketing / Project Manager. This meant overseeing web projects and being in the position as a client utilising a range of Web, Design and SEO agencies across the South Coast. Being in the position of hiring and firing agencies has given me an invaluable insight and perspective I do not take for granted and utilise every day. Being able to translate technical jargon and geek speak as well as communicating in real business terms is a quality my clients appreciate. My career in Marketing always benefitted from my sideline as a freelance web designer and vice versa. This digital marketing experience and seeing the digital landscape evolve since the early naughties is something I like to pass onto my clients. One of my main motto's is 'What's the point of a pretty website, if no one can find it?' This is why I've always had a keen interest in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) which if done well integrates Social Media & Content Marketing Optimisation, UX and Conversion Rate Optimisation. All these aspects will help your business be found online and ultimately convert business whether that be a phone call, email enquiry, booking or online purchase. My job is to effectively position your brand, promote it on the approrpriate platforms and encourage conversions resulting in the maximum return on investment.
Wordpress has become one of the most popular open-source Content Management Systems (CMS) available. Having been developing with Wordpress since 2009 I regard myself to be fairly experienced as a freelance wordpress web developer. There are many benefits that wordpress offers however many pitfalls to watch out for. The content management system is quite intuitive and easy to use and the multitude of wordpress plugins allow for functionality to be extended relativitely easily. However, as such a popular platform it has been known to be vulnerable to hack attacks so security is paramount when dealing with a wordpress website. I've noticed that there tends to be an element of Plugin overkill particularly when I inherit a site. Plugins can be fantastic to extend functionality but they can also add unwanted and unnceccesary code impacting negatively on the load speed. Also, just like themes if they are not updated they can make your site vulnerable and exposed to a hack attack.
SEO has gone through a massive transformation especially since it's last 3-5 years with some major updates; Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, MobileGeddon, RankBrain etc. However, bearing in mind Google has always set out to produce users with the most relevant and quality piece of content to it's search it is no surprise they have only get better at this. My techniques have only ever been ethical (white hat), in other words if your SEO techniques are not deceptive in any way you should be fine and fortunately even through these major updates my website have never been affected in a detrimental way if anything they've actually improved slightly. I continually strive to future proof any site that I do and especially protect it's Search Engine Optimisation. I will probably build a dedicated website for my SEO work where I will write tutorials explaining best SEO practices, how to use Google Search Console and what things like Semantic SEO, Google updates so watch this space.
Feel free to check out my dedicated SEO Page by clicking here>>>
Liberty Leasing Plc is a specialist Asset Finance Company based in Warsash, Hampshire. I've had a long-standing working relationship with Liberty and have work for them on a contractual basis over the past year at their stunning offices. I'm often asked what do they do? and What is Asset finance? Simplistically put it is a type of finance used by businesses to obtain the equipment they need to grow. It tends to involve paying a regular charge for use of the asset over an agreed period of time, usually avoiding the full cost of buying outright. The most common types of asset finance are leasing and hire purchase.
Liberty finance a range of assets such as plant machinery, commerical vehicles, agricultural equipment etc but have a speciality in presitge and classic cars. I have worked with Liberty to ensure their brand is consistent across offline and online channels. We have made major improvements in regards to social media optimisation and have increased web traffic by 103% in a year. Their culture is very friendly and has a tight knit family feel about it. Their successes include being named Top 1000 companies to Inspire Britain for three consecutive years, ranking on the Investec Top 100 Index and winning the NACFB small funder of the year in Dec 2015.
Norman Court School is set in an elegant Grade 2 listed manor house and nestles amidst 45 acres of beautiful woodland and countryside on the Hampshire and Wiltshire border. The picturesque setting provides the perfect setting for boys and girls up to the age of 16, who will thrive and learn in a safe and inspirational environment.
Benefitting from the effective early years work of our Montessori Nursery, the independent school educates the whole child in a family atmosphere by offering academic rigour, combined with a wide variety of learning opportunities. Caring, professional staff encourage the children to have a go at everything and more often than not, they rise to the occasion.
Norman Court have allowed me to re-develop their website portfolio and give guidance with their branding and digital strategy. They understand the importance of brand and maintaining a positive perception and image online.
MCI Hampshire offer a state of the art part-time course for the Early Years Educator Qualification in Montessori Pedagogy at Levels 3 and 4 for teaching children aged birth – 7 years, jointly certified by Crossfields Institute and CACHE.
They required a new website to promote their Montessori Early Years Educator courses which are designed to develop a high level of professional competence in students who wish to become teachers of the Montessori Method for children from birth to 7 years.
Regan Stewart runs a specialist Commercial & Sales Recruitment Agency in Southampton, Hampshire. I designed her brand and first website back in 2007 when she was based in a funky basement office in Bedford Place. With the rise of Wordpress CMS I built her a new site in 2010 and in 2014 gave her website an overhaul and re-vamp to a modern looking and responsive website. She ranks highly on page one of Google for 'Recruitment Agency Southampton' due to all the local SEO work I have conducted over the website over the years.
Moxhams Creative Events are an established Audio Visual Hire, Conference and Event management company based in Southampton, Hampshire. I've dealt with Moxhams since 2009 and when they required a new content managed website they asked to discuss their requirements with me. We collaborated closely to understand and compartmentalise the different aspects of their business and how we could translate these online which essentially resulted in a 3 sites in 1 solution. The new mobile responsive website with unique content helped increase their SEO rankings. We are currently working on a content marketing and social media optimisation strategy to help deepen their market penetration and support their overall growth strategy.
Driving Excellence is a Southampton Driving School offering driving lessons and a Driving School Franchise Options. Michael came to me looking for a web designer to develop a website which would accept online bookings but include basic SEO and social media set up. The website is content managed using Wordpress CMS and incorporates the popular Yoast SEO plugin and WooCommerce Bookings.
Kelly's Perfect Lashes is a Southampton Beauty Salon specialising in Eyelash Extensions but also offer a range of other treatments such as shellac nails, pedicures, semi permanent make-up. Chris Masters is their in-house Hair Stylist/Colourist. I have built two websites for Kelly since 2009, both have been in wordpress and we were able to salvage her local rankings back after a de-ranking and she is still on page 1 of Google for 'Eyelash Extensions Southampton'. My mum and sister can both vouch for her beauty treatments and Chris is a fantastic hairdresser.
Nikki who runs Portsmouth's top Dog Walking business came to me in 2009, wanting a logo, website and flyers for her new business venture and passion of wanting to run a dog business. Having read a couple of books on SEO I managed to get her to top of page 1 on Google (organically) which her site has remained number 1 until this day. Having achieved this success once, I replicated it for two other businesses, one in Southampton and one in Wimbledon. Local SEO in the last 5-7 has changed dramatically and the tick list has grown quite significantly. With the introduction of the 4th Google Ad and MobileGeddon it almost seems organic has suffered slightly with the loyalty to organic positions. However, a well optimised website can help reduce CPC in adwords and if you have a top Adword and top Organic Ranking it helps cements more search real-estate space encouraging a stronger CTR (Click through rate).
Local SEO & Wordpress Updates
The above businesses have benefitted well from Local SEO, however it is important to stress, more so these days, just how competitive local SEO can be. Local SEO as well as requiring a well constructed and optimised website also requires an on-going commitment to content marketing and social media optimisation. With many of my clients I maintain on-going, retained relationship to ensure improvements and updates can be made. I tend to take on ad hoc websites less and less these days for the very reason I like to see results, improvements and avoid failing functionality and horrid hack attacks.
If you're interested in any of the digital services mentioned, please do feel free to get in touch with me by going to my contact page and sending an enquiry.