Today sees the launch of the short .uk domain extension, anybody who has registered a .co.uk or .org.uk will have first choice of the corresponding .uk domain name. This automatic reservation runs until 10th June 2019 so if you don’t feel the need to register your existing domain as a .uk there is no immediate pressure to remove it from circulation.
This reservation system does limit the immediate benefits of .uk domains. They were introduced to help counter the short supply of available domain names but will not be of any noticeable help until the five year reservation period have passed.
Pricing for .uk domains will depend on the registrar used – using 123reg we registered ardant.uk for two years at £11.98 inc VAT.
This month we look at two fantastic and quirky typefaces, Mystery Quest and Fredericka the Great. Both of these are available through Google’s Web Fonts platform and are suitable for print and website design.
Mystery Quest is a playful 1960′s inspired typeface. Even though we would class it as an ornamental typeface best suited to page headings and other decorative purposes, Mystery Quest remains legible at smaller sizes.
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Download Via Google Fonts
Fredericka the Great is a quirky ornamental typeface created in the style of blackboard text – it looks best when set against a dark background but can be used as a subtle grungy font when placed on a light background.
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This month sees the pre-ordering of the new .london domain names opened to business owners without registered trademarks. During this phase of the pre-order process, priority for domain names for businesses is given as follows;
1st Priority – Applicants with a valid London address who are registering their business name
2nd Priority – Applicants with a valid London address
3rd Priority – Applicants with an address outside of London
The yearly price of a .london domain will vary depending where it is registered – the four largest UK domain registrars are currently charging between £19.99 and £36.99 a year for each domain registered.
SEO is the process of working to convince search engines that your website is relevant to the keywords searched for by potential clients. This is typically achieved by;
Writing unique and relevant content
Developing quality backlinks
Adding fresh content
Formatting content in an SEO-friendly manner
What is Search Engine Marketing?
SEM is very different to SEO – instead of aiming to manipulate search engine rankings you work directly with the search companies to present adverts which appear above or adjacent to ‘organic’ search results. If somebody was to click on your advert and visit your website, you would pay a small fee to the search company. This is referred to as pay-per-click advertising, or simply PPC. The most widely used PPC platform is Google’s Adwords – the promotional video below explains how their system works.
Do people click on Adverts?
Paid adverts appearing on websites are mostly ignored but adverts appearing on search engine pages are still widely trusted. Recent research carried out by the consultancy firm Bunnyfoot identified that more than 80% of search engine users clicked on Google Adwords. Additionally 41% of the users were not aware the top three entries on a Google results page were paid adverts, instead believing them to be the most accurate results for their search phrase.
Which is best, SEO or SEM?
When considering the long game, we feel SEO is as least as valuable to a marketing campaign as SEM. The majority of web users are aware SEM results are adverts and will still consider organic results when searching for keywords. However, there are many situations where SEM can be more powerful than SEO – SEM offers several advantages which shouldn’t be ignored.
1) Fast Results
After launching a new business with a freshly designed website it can be disappointing to not immediately see it appear near the top of the search engine results pages (the SERP). It can take more than a week for Google to even acknowledge your website’s existence and unless you are able to generate a lot of back links, you may have to wait several months before you appear on the first page for your keywords.
If you are running an SEM campaign alongside your search engine optimisation you can bypass this lengthy period of waiting and have your website instantly appear at the top of the first page.
2) Predictable Results
It is impossible to be able to fully understand and predict the results from Google and Yahoo’s search algorithms. They are closely guarded secrets which are repeatedly fine tuned and modified over time in an attempt to ensure search results aren’t unfairly manipulated. Through trial and error the SEO community is able to identify techniques for convincing search engines a website is worthy of appearing at the top of the results pages but they are a temporary solution at best.
With Search Engine Marketing there is very little guesswork involved – if your advert isn’t appearing it means you are not bidding high enough for people’s clicks or you have reached your daily spending limit. If your advert is appearing but not being clicked, it means you need to rethink the wording to attract more visitors.
3) Meaningful Statistics
All of the websites we design use Google Analytics so visitor activity can be monitored, but some web users actively block Google from tracking their visits. Additionally there is no way of knowing if somebody first found your website on a search engine or if they heard about it from a colleague or friend and searched at a later time.
The statistics gathered via SEM are much more insightful and easily understood as they relate to the campaign. The effect of changes made to an advert can be identified immediately – unlike changes made to your website!