With many years of developing commercial websites, Mark has a number of partnerships with small and emerging businesses across Cambridgeshire to improve their online presence to allow them to compete with larger (sometimes global) competitors. Areas of particular expertise are:
- development of ultrafast WordPress websites, using the very latest web technologies
- creation of compelling content to stand out online (including high-resolution photographs and 4k videos)
- development and ongoing management of Google Ads campaigns
- search engine optimisation
- conversion maximisation through in-depth performance evaluation and detailed statistics analysis.
His advice and solutions are based on a successful track record of creating and running websites with millions of visitors. Willing to ‘put his money where his mouth is’, he partners with companies on a revenue sharing basis. For more information, contact Mark Heath.
Development of ultrafast WordPress websites
Mark specialises in the application of the latest web technologies to create ultrafast websites. Websites that are very quick to load are increasingly required because of major changes in Google’s search engine ranking algorithms and the increasing importance of mobile phone access.
In May 2020, Google announced that user experience will become an important ranking factor, quantified by a new set of metrics called ‘Core Web Vitals’. These measure loading speed, website responsiveness and visual stability. Google later announced that user experience would start to affect its search ranking results from May 2021. Over time, the competitive advantage of ultrafast websites is expected to become more significant.
This site is an example of a site developed using the very latest web technologies, which include:
- dedicated web hosting, with under-utilised servers running PHP7.4
- the best premium lightweight WordPress theme, optimised for speed and usability
- the best WordPress website builder, with a reputation for producing clean and lean code
- the absolute minimisation of WordPress plugins
- image optimisation and compression, using next-generation image formats
- the avoidance of external font libraries (for example, the now-ubiquitous Google Fonts)
- the use of advanced server caching and browser caching
For more information, read the recent blog articles:
- A Showcase of Website Speed For Google Ranking Advantage
- The Increasing Importance of Website Speed and Simplicity
If you are looking to understand how well your current website performs against the new user experience metrics being used by Google to rank websites, try Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool:
Development of compelling content that stands out online
Compelling content is critical to the success of most websites, since this will attract relevant visitors and encourage backlinks (to improve Google rankings). Mark can help with all aspects of this. Despite the allure of images and video, text remains very important on most websites to communicate information quickly and effectively.
Images can be really valuable in conveying information. As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words” and Mark can help provide amazing, retina-compatible images that stand out from the crowd. Video can also be important for some types of organisation. Mark can provide high-production-value Ultra HD (4k) videos and host them too. For more information about video, visit the Video Recording, Editing and Production page.
While images and video can enhance communication to visitors, they can also be damaging to website loading times and conversion rates, particularly if visitors do not find them useful or relevant. If a visitor is looking for particular information quickly, do they really want to scroll through a video in the hope that they will find the information they want? The average time spent on a website is 15 seconds.
Also, bear in mind that the text on a webpage is the principle way that Google search bots can ascertain the value of a website. A number of scientific studies have found that there tends to be a positive correlation between the amount of text on a page and position in Google search rankings, with the longest pages having the best positions. Those obsessed with having a ‘stylish’ site where text has been replaced by imagery need to consider exactly what their website visitors want/need.
Development and management of Google Ads campaigns
Google Ads present one of the biggest challenges to small and emerging businesses. It is extremely easy to spend many thousands of pounds and yet have very little to show for it. However, Google Ads cannot be ignored either. No one will have escaped seeing changes over time to Google’s search engine listings, where paid ads have become more and more prominent.
Properly implemented, Google Ads can be extremely useful to small and emerging businesses since they can get them to the top of Google listings quickly. Mark runs Google Ads campaigns for a number of Cambridgeshire businesses, and offers significant expertise in this area. Mark has found the following critical to his successful Google Ads campaigns:
- a high quality score (typically 9/10 or 10/10). Google produces a quality score for its ads and those with higher quality scores pay less
- creation of compelling, well-written ads that are highly relevant to keywords and the intention of users
- extensive use of extensions (helping to dominate that top ad slot)
- creation of multiple ad versions, with substantial ongoing experimentation to constantly refine ads and pick the winners
- creation of individual landing pages with very high conversion rates, for every major keyword targeted
- limiting ads to specific geographical areas, times of the day, days of the week and particular devices, based on comprehensive analysis of data
- removal of ads that do not work superbly, so they do not dilute overall campaign results (to maximise your campaign score)
- bidding high enough to secure the top position in search listings (if that is beneficial)
- widespread use of negative keywords
- switching off the ‘Display Network’ (which often may not be effective)
- avoidance of targeting keywords that are too generic and avoidance of ‘broad match’ keywords
- analysis of competitor campaigns to identify opportunities
- understanding the financial model of Google Ads so that they are profitable
- time. Those looking for a quick fix will waste a lot of money or get few conversions!
Statistics underpin Google Ads. The development of ads over time is critical to success. Gaining statistical confidence with changes to eventually achieve very high conversion rates requires significant time, particularly with modest visitor numbers. Mark believes there is a huge opportunity for many businesses with Google Ads, particularly as so many ad campaigns are poor. While poor ad campaigns make money for Google, Google’s reputation depends on the system delivering good results for users. Google rewards those who implement its ads well. Mark has been able to achieve conversion rates of 50% or more from successful campaigns.
Search engine optimisation – done legitimately
The term ‘search engine optimisation’ (or SEO) has almost become a dirty word because so many people associate the term with unethical (so-called ‘black hat’) techniques. The Internet is full of online companies offering paid backlinks, or utterly ineffective or severely damaging SEO ‘services’ for a given monthly subscription. Many SEO ‘information’ sites offer advice to website owners that is flawed and not actually based on any hard evidence whatsoever. It seems that the same old wrong information is replicated across the Internet, which actually makes it challenging for Google to communicate good advice.
The good news is that Google does provide a lot of information and support for website owners and developers and Mark ensures that he is on top of the very latest recommendations and good practice. Search engine optimisation is critically important, and it is essential that websites and their content are designed and implemented to make it easy for Google and other search engines to optimally feature these sites in their listings.
Increasing conversion rates through data analysis
One of the biggest mistakes website owners make is not focusing on website conversion. So much attention is often paid to maximising the number of visitors to a website or, worse, just trying to produce the ‘flashiest’ site they can. The reality is that some websites with large traffic volumes can be spectacularly unsuccessful, while small sites with very modest traffic levels can be extremely effective and profitable. With so little attention paid to maximising website conversions, Mark tends to spend significant time on this aspect. So many website pages lack a clear purpose, without a single call to action. Few website owners actually measure conversions, so how can they possibly improve them?
In-depth data analysis is critical to conversion rate optimisation. While so many website owners have strong opinions about their customers and their website, there is often no foundation to these. Opinions are opinions and not facts. Data analysis is the only way to truly understand visitor behaviour. The good news is that, through proper analysis, it is often possible to identify easy ways to dramatically increase conversion rates. Mark has a number of examples, for example, where a simple addition to a contact page quadrupled conversions overnight.
For more information, please contact Mark Heath now.