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20 Feb

Posted by Lorna Casswell

In the last year alone there has been what appears to be large Google penalties handed out to some big brands. In today’s post we take a look at some of the brands that suffered, what they were up to and what we can all learn from their mistakes. Interflora Around a year ago Interflora were subject to a Google penalty. The penalty was so severe that even for brand searches (e.g. “interflora”) their site was nowhere to be seen in Google’s results, and this was the case for around 10 days! Being absent from Google’s natural listings for this period of time would have undoubtedly hit their bottom line hard. Although Google declined to comment on the disappearance of the brand from its search results, it is widely understood that Interflora received the penalty because they we...

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19 Feb

Posted by Lorna Casswell

SEO, also known as Search Engine Optimisation, is the process of making a website more visible in the free/natural/organic part of search engine results pages (SERPs). For the purposes of this article we are going to focus on the UK’s most popular search engine, google.co.uk. The area highlighted in the image below shows where the natural/organic listings are: You are not charged when people click on your website listing if it sits in this ‘natural’ part of the page. As you are not charged, the competition to occupy this space is fierce. A more recent development introduced by Google, as part of its mission to deliver the most relevant results to its users, is ‘local SEO’ which is about appearing in the natural space for searches related to an area or region: ...

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18 Feb

Posted by Lorna Casswell

Honeywell’s advanced heating control system, evohome, which allows users to control the temperature in up to 12 rooms of their home, launched in the autumn of 2013. In conjunction with this STAR Digital recently launched the evohome Simulator and the evohome System Builder to help potential customers understand how the system works and what it is likely to cost. The two web apps developed by STAR Digital were done so with the aim of making evohome’s products and systems accessible – for both consumers and installers alike. The System Builder and Simulator needed to make the process of fact-finding simple, and they needed to give people an insight into what evohome can really do. The System Builder web app had to allow users to estimate the products, and the quantity of produ...

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14 Feb

Posted by Lorna Casswell

Google launched Product Listing Ads (PLAs) in 2010, and since then the advertisers utilising them have seen fantastic results. In today’s blog post we take a look at what PLAs are, where you might see them and how they’ll help your business. What are Product Listing Ads and Where Will I See Them? PLAs are media rich ads that appear on Google’s search results pages along with ‘regular’ PPC ads. PLAs can appear for all sorts of searches – whether the query is generic or product-specific. Advertisers running PLAs pay on a cost per click basis, and the campaigns are managed through the AdWords interface, along with ‘normal’ PPC campaigns. PLAs can appear at the top of Google search results:   Or they can appear in the right hand column:   Product...

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13 Feb

Posted by Lorna Casswell

The simple answer is “Yes”. At STAR we’ve been advocates of responsive websites for a long time. We know they’re a great fit for pretty much every business, and with mobile set to get even bigger in 2014, having one seems like a no brainer. [caption id="attachment_606" align="alignleft" width="614"] STAR has recently delivered the fully responsive Magic Shine website[/caption] If you’re wondering what the benefits of responsive websites are, then take a look at today’s blog post… Responsive Websites Provide an Excellent User Experience (Meaning More Sales) We all know how frustrating it can be when viewing a website that has not been optimised for mobile on a smart phone or tablet device. All that pinching, zooming and swiping means we often leave the site feelin...

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07 Feb

Posted by Lorna Casswell

What is PPC? Pay per click, or PPC advertising, is an advertising model where an advertiser pays each time their ad is clicked on. PPC allows advertisers to show their ads on search engines (like Google, Yahoo or Bing), when people search on keywords/phrases that are related to the products or services their business sells. You will most definitely have come across PPC ads: Is PPC Right for You? Pay per click advertising is an excellent way to get your brand in front of the people who are looking for the products or services you sell at the exact time they are searching for them. The tracking tools available mean it is possible to see exactly what a PPC campaign is driving in terms of sales or leads, this makes PPC a very viable solution for pretty much all businesses with an o...

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06 Feb

Posted by Lorna Casswell

Around this time last year we were accepted onto the Magento Partner programme.  Star Digital are silver solution partners and we wanted to let you know what that means for your business and website. To be a Magento solution partner we have to demonstrate a number of things. We have to be able to design websites that are attractive, and that will work in the way users expect them to. We then have to show we can develop Magento sites, which in simple terms means we have to show we can build them with any necessary, or bespoke, functionality. We also have to consider the marketing of the website – by making sure a website is suitable for SEO optimisation for instance. Not only do we have to show all of the above, we have to prove it by showing we have successfully implemented and la...

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31 Jan

Posted by Lorna Casswell

If you’ve taken the opportunity, time and budget to get your company website up and off the ground, the likelihood is now you need it to start working for your business. It’s possible your website needs to deliver leads, sales or enquiries, and it’s most probable it needs to start delivering these things, fast! In this post we talk through just some of the things you need to consider when it comes to marketing your new website to help make your campaigns as successful as possible. Priorities First things first – you need to think about what is most important to your business, and your website marketing plan then needs to reflect this. For example, it’s possible your website has to start featuring blog posts and new content immediately, if this is the case you need to...

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30 Jan

Posted by Lorna Casswell

A few months ago, in October 2013, three of the developers at STAR Digital were awarded Magento Certified Developer status. Magento certification is no easy feat to achieve, and being awarded it is representative of the amount of Magento experience and knowledge the STAR Digital team has. In order to achieve Magento certification, developers have to study the principles of the Magento ecommerce architecture and evidence their competence by taking an exam under strict supervised conditions at an approved exam centre. Jake, Scott and Callum, the first of our developers to sit the exams, all have years’ worth of Magento experience between them, and yet they all studied for months before taking the exam. At STAR Digital we know how important it is for everyone to keep pushing themse...

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29 Jan

Posted by Lorna Casswell

This week Google awarded us Google Partner status. The Partner badge below is only given to agencies, or online marketers, who meet certain criteria such as following Google best practice when creating and managing AdWords accounts, providing high customer service levels and passing a minimum of two Google AdWords exams. At STAR we really value the relationships we have with our clients, and we follow Google best practice when it comes to managing PPC accounts, and receiving Partner status is confirmation that Google thinks we’re getting it right. It was in the autumn of 2013 when Google launched its new certification programme for agencies and online marketers: Google Partners. Google Partners replaces the old AdWords certification programme. This change means agencies now not ...

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23 Jan

Posted by Lorna Casswell

Following on from our post on Thursday, where we looked back at the digital marketing challenges we faced in 2013, we’re now looking ahead to this year. We think 2014 will be about continuing to target people on the go, and on the ever-increasing array of social channels. We think personalisation is going to become key, if it’s not already, and we’re sure content will continue to be king. We’ve explored each of our predictions in more detail below. We’ve considered what they mean to you and your business, and why considering them will drive your conversions up. Mobile If you’re not already considering mobile searchers, then you’re missing a major trick. The number of people searching on Google, reading emails and using APPs on mobile devices is increasing every m...

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22 Jan

Posted by Roger Martin

Recently we have welcomed three new team members into the Star family. Mina Masih joined us in November as part of our account management team. Mina has worked across a whole range of industries including property, recruitment, events, aviation and motorsports, and thus brings a huge array of skills and knowledge to the team. Yomi joined us in January; he is working as part of the programming and development team, which is getting increasingly busy! Yomi has come from an agency background and has over six years’ experience in backend development covering Magento and PHP. He also has considerable experience in APP development, with iOS and Android programming experience, this is going to prove exceptionally useful for our clients who are doing more than ever with mobile. Fina...

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