HERTS: TOP 5 Advanced SEO Tactics For 2017 with Distinctly

We’re delighted to have Distinctly as our Associate Sponsor for the second year running at the Hertfordshire Digital Awards.

Founded in 2009, Distinctly provide search marketing services including SEO, PPC and digital PR, which increase visibility, boost rankings and deliver fantastic results for clients including Arsenal Football Club, designer furniture retailer BoConcept and the University of Hertfordshire.

Ahead of the awards on September 21 at Knebworth House, we spoke to Tom Shurville, Managing Director of Distinctly, who shared his insights into advanced SEO tactics for 2017 and beyond.

In this first episode in a series of five Tom explores Log File Analysis; what is it and why is it important?

 

Tom said: “On-page optimisation and link building alone are no longer enough for successful SEO. Optimise your online presence through 2017 and beyond with our essential guide to five advanced SEO tactics, what they are and why you and your business should be utilising them, starting with Log File Analysis.

Log File Analysis

What is log file analysis?

A key element of technical SEO, log file analysis is key to ensuring your site ranks well before any on-page optimisation, content marketing or link building begins.

A log entry is created each and every time a server, app, OS or device performs an action, such as a visitor browsing a page on a site. Depending on the size of your site, this could total thousands per minute. Each entry is then stored on the server, with the resulting entries collated to form a log file.

Log file analysis is the process of examining these files to interpret findings from the data, including:

  • Security issues – such as hacking or malware
  • Compliance – ensuring required security levels are met
  • Network issues – identifying any system errors
  • Development and QA – identifying any bugs or flaws in a code or design release
  • Customer experience – ensuring visitors navigate smoothly through your site, particularly in areas such as a checkout or bookings page

Why do you need log file analysis?

Log files are a useful means of interpreting and understanding crawl behaviour for your website. Analysis of your log files can help you identify any potential issues with your site such as:

  • Areas of crawl deficiency
  • Any accessibility errors identified during a crawl
  • If crawl budget is being wasted and where

Any necessary updates and improvements can then be implemented, ensuring your site receives higher rankings plus potentially increased traffic, a higher conversion rate and optimum sales.

Whilst log files only tend to be investigated as a result of an issue such as a bug, hack or system error, it is recommended you analyse your log files on a regular basis as failing to identify and correct flaws in your site can cause issues such as:

  • Search engines such as Google may reduce their crawl capacity of your site due to a high level of error codes. This may affect your site page ranks
  • Pages you do not wish to appear in your SERPs may be crawled
  • Any URL redirects may not pass on link juice, causing your page rank to drop

For more information, [email protected] or call 01923 728191.

 

HERTS: Two Weeks Left To Enter HDA17

Entry for the Hertfordshire Digital Awards 2017 will close in two weeks.

The scheme is open to businesses from any industry and was set up in 2015 to celebrate the online achievements of businesses, charities and schools across the county.

HDA17 is free to enter and has 14 free-to-enter categories which are:

Website
Website: School, Education or Charity
Website: Marketing & Creative
Website: B2B
Website: Tourism & Hospitality
Website: Lifestyle & Culture
Website: Sports & Entertainment
Responsive Website
Mobile App
Blog: Business
Blog: Entertainment
Use of Social Media for Business
Use of Video for Business
Online Retailer

The Headline Sponsor of HDA17 is website hosting firm Nimbus Hosting and the Associate Sponsor is Distinctly

Entry is open to businesses from every industry sector, not just design agencies.

But design agencies wishing to enter can also enter their client work, even if the client is based outside of Hertfordshire.

Robin Bailey, Chair of the HDA17 Judging Panel said: “The Digital Awards is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the Hertfordshire calendar.

“It is a great opportunity for businesses, charities and schools to showcase their online work, promote their services and get recognised for their achievements.

“The event itself is a fantastic celebration of what’s great about progressive Hertfordshire businesses and an amazing networking opportunity among some of the county’s most influential organisations.”

The Hertfordshire Digital Awards is supported by Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, the Department For International Trade and Hertfordshire Mercury.

The Presentation Evening will take place at Knebworth House on September 21, 2017.

Enter here

Entry closes at 5pm on July 21, 2017.

HERTS: Distinctly Backs HDAs For Second Year

Distinctly – one of Hertfordshire’s leading SEO and PPC agencies – has signed up as Associate Sponsor of the Hertfordshire Digital Awards for the second year running.

The company, based in Rickmansworth, will present the “Online Retailer” award at the Presentation Evening in September and take a place on the HDA17 judging panel.

Distinctly was founded in 2009 by Managing Director, Tom Shurville.

They offer a range of Internet search marketing services to clients to improve ranking results and website traffic.

Following last year’s sellout event featuring an exceptional standard of entries from businesses, charities and schools across the county, Tom was keen to get involved in the HDAs once again.

He said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with HDA17 again this year.

“The digital industry is thriving in Hertfordshire and it’s great to be part of these awards, celebrating the online achievements of businesses, charities and schools.”

Distinctly continues to thrive within the SEO and PPC landscape working with an impressive portfolio of clients including Arsenal Football Club, Vape Club, the University of Hertfordshire and international furniture retailer, BoConcept.

Their success is driven by delivering intelligently planned and executed SEO and PPC campaigns that increase search visibility and deliver fantastic results for our clients.

Distinctly – which also counts Watford Palace Theatre and the manufacturer InSinkErator among its clients – will now take a prominent position at the Awards.

Robin Bailey, Chairman of the HDAs Judging Panel, said: “We are delighted to welcome Distinctly back to the HDAs for the second year.

“I have said before and will say it again, Distinctly has proven over several years that they are a most effective, professional and progressive digital marketing agency and it’s a real bonus for us to have their support.”

Entry for HDA17 closes on July 21 and the Presentation Evening will take place at Knebworth House on September 21.

For more information about Distinctly visit https://distinctly.co or call 01923 728191. 

 

HERTS: One Month Left To Enter HDA17

Entry for the Hertfordshire Digital Awards 2017 will close in one month.

The scheme – which is open to businesses from any industry – was set up in 2015 to celebrate the online achievements of businesses, charities and schools across the county.

HDA17 is free to enter and has 14 free-to-enter categories which are:

Website
Website: School, Education or Charity
Website: Marketing & Creative
Website: B2B
Website: Tourism & Hospitality
Website: Lifestyle & Culture
Website: Sports & Entertainment
Responsive Website
Mobile App
Blog: Business
Blog: Entertainment
Use of Social Media for Business
Use of Video for Business
Online Retailer

The Headline Sponsor of HDA17 is website hosting firm Nimbus Hosting.

Entry is open to businesses from every industry sector, not just design agencies.

But design agencies wishing to enter can also enter their client work, even if the client is based outside of Hertfordshire.

Robin Bailey, Chair of the HDA17 Judging Panel said: “The Digital Awards is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the Hertfordshire calendar.

“It is a great opportunity for businesses, charities and schools to showcase their online work, promote their services and get recognised for their achievements.

“The event itself is a fantastic celebration of what’s great about progressive Hertfordshire businesses and an amazing networking opportunity among some of the county’s most influential organisations.”

The Hertfordshire Digital Awards is supported by Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, the Department For International Trade and Hertfordshire Mercury.

The Presentation Evening will take place at Knebworth House on September 21, 2017.

Enter here

Entry closes at 5pm on July 21, 2017.

HERTS: New Category Sponsorship For Just £749+ VAT

A new package offering sponsorship of a category at the Hertfordshire Digital Awards 2017 for just £749+VAT is now available.

The breakthrough offer – which is marketed on a first-come-first-served basis – includes substantial advertising opportunities online and huge branding exposure at the HDA17 Presentation Evening at Knebworth House on September 21.

The categories on offer include:-

“Use of Social Media for Business”
“Mobile App”
“Use of Video for Business”
“Online Retailer”
“Website: B2B”
“Blog”
“Website: Small Business”
“Website: School, Education or Charity”

Also wrapped up within the package are five tickets to the event, the opportunity to be interviewed during a live social media broadcast on the night and the chance to present an award on stage.

The Hertfordshire Digital Awards launched in 2015 and has sold out in the past two years.

In 2016, it welcomed close to 450 entries from businesses, charities and schools across the county and entry closes this year on July 21.

The HDAs is open to businesses from every industry sector, not just web designers and agencies.

The Headline Sponsor of the Kent Digital Awards 2017 is Nimbus Hosting and it is also supported by Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, UK Government’s Department For International Trade, Hertfordshire Mercury, Welwyn & Hatfield Borough Council and Clare Reeves Voiceovers.

To find out more about the HDA Category Sponsorship Package Offer for £749+VAT, call the HDA team on 01277 356200 or email [email protected]

HERTFORDSHIRE: HDA17 Launched With Nimbus And Entry Is Now Open

Entry for the Hertfordshire Digital Awards 2017 is now open.

The third HDAs is set to be the biggest yet, following the sold-out event in September.

Nimbus Hosting returns as Headline Sponsor of the scheme, which was set-up in 2015 to celebrate the online achievements of businesses, charities and schools from across the county.

Also backing the HDAs once again are the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, the UK Government’s Department For International Trade, Hertfordshire Mercury and Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council.

The Awards is open to businesses from every industry sector and digital agencies are allowed to enter work for clients, even is the client is based outside of the county.

There are 15 categories to enter including Website, Use of Social Media for Business, Mobile App, Use of Video for Business and Blog.

Nimbus Hosting – which will present the Website award at the Presentation Evening – is a dynamic IT firm which specialises in offering web hosting services to the digital agencies and commerce sites.

It supports clients across the UK from its headquarters in Hertford and one of the company’s missions is to allow digital professionals to focus on core projects rather than dealing with “hosting headaches” and the, often, complex details of IT.

Robin Bailey, Chairman of the independent HDA Judging Panel, said: “We are delighted to welcome Nimbus Hosting, a highly credible and very success Hertfordshire firm and big friend of the Awards back to the HDAs.

“And we are equally excited to open entry for the HDAs once again.

“We received hundreds of high quality entries in 2016 and we cannot wait to share and celebrate the best in what Hertfordshire has to offer on digital platforms.”

The HDA17 Presentation Evening will take place at Knebworth House on September 21, 2017.

To enter the Hertfordshire Digital Awards for free click

For more information about Nimbus Hosting click

CHAMPIONS: Details of Digital Awards Champions Announced

The inaugural Digital Awards Champions is to take place in February next year and details of the event have now been announced.

Every Gold Award winner from Digital Awards 2016 schemes in Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Milton Keynes and Surrey will automatically qualify for the Digital Awards Champions, an exclusive event where the ultimate winners across all regions will be unveiled.

And for the first time in Digital Awards history the overall winners in all 15 categories will be decided by public vote ahead of the Presentation Reception which will be held on February 9 at BFI Southbank in London.

Public voting will open on December 1, one week after the results of the Cambridgeshire Digital Awards 2016 have been announced.

Finalists of Digital Awards Champions will be sent a voting pack enabling them to encourage their supporters to cast a vote in their favour.

All tickets for the Presentation Reception will be priced at £20.17 + VAT, a special price for the first year only to celebrate the year of the launch of Digital Awards Champions.

Sponsoring the Digital Awards Champions is leading SEO firm FSE Online.

 

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Tickets for the event – which includes a reception drink, guest speakers and the ceremony in a prestigious London venue – will be strictly limited to two per finalist* until further notice.

Tickets are only available to Gold Award winners from the Cambridgeshire Digital Awards 2016, Essex Digital Awards 2016, Hertfordshire Digital Awards 2016, Kent Digital Awards, Milton Keynes Digital Awards 2016 and Surrey Digital Awards and can be purchased here.

An appropriate number of tickets have been reserved for all Gold Award winners at the Cambridgeshire Digital Awards which will be announced on November 24.

Robin Bailey, from the Digital Awards team, said: “We are extremely excited to announce the first ever Digital Awards Champions, an event which celebrates the brilliant work of businesses, charities, schools and other community organisations across our areas.

“For Gold Award winners it is all to play for so be sure to encourage your supporters to vote for you from December 1, this is going to be extremely competitive and will be a thrilling conclusion to a brilliant year at the Digital Awards where many outstanding organisations have been recognised for some great digital work.”

*A company that qualifies as a finalist in more than one category will be also be limited to two tickets until further notice.

The full list of finalists can be viewed here.

HERTFORDSHIRE: Bishop’s Stortford College Double Up On Gold Awards

Following the Hertfordshire Digital Awards on 23 September, we spoke to Sarah Gowans, Marketing Manager at Bishop’s Stortford College – who won two Gold awards, for Website and Website: School, Education or Charity.

Could you tell us a little about your organisation?
We are an independent day and boarding school for 4 – 18 years olds. We are consistently in the top 100 independent schools based on A Level results but the breadth of experience that is woven into daily life means that pupils can and do pursue high academic standards whilst enjoying and succeeding in many other interests.

What made you get involved in the HDAs?
We saw an ad and filled in the entry form. Our website was new and only launched in October last year and we’re very proud of it – it’s our shop window to the world.

What does winning gold at the HDAs mean to your organisation?
It’s a tremendous accolade and a reflection that not all the good work goes on in the classroom!

Where will you be putting your award?
One will be put into our main reception and the other into the Prep School Reception area.

What was your most memorable moment from the HDA presentation evening?
Not falling up the stairs onto the stage was certainly an achievement and one I’m very relieved about too!

What’s the best thing about the Hertfordshire business community?
We try to use local suppliers and support our local business community wherever we can so to have a wealth of digital talent on our doorstep is not only valuable but stimulating too.

You can visit the Bishop’s Stortford College website here.

HERTFORDSHIRE: Fluid Studios Discuss Winning Gold at HDA16

Following the Hertfordshire Digital Awards on 23 September, we caught up with Baldock-based web designers Fluid Studios – who took home Gold for Use of Social Media for Business, and Bronze for Website:Lifestyle & Culture – to get their take on the evening and find out what winning means to them.

Could you tell us a little about your organisation?
Fluid Studios is a leading website design and development company based in Baldock. Over the last 12 years we have been refining and building our large online portfolio, with a huge variety of clients from sole traders to international corporations. You won’t get a normal website design experience from us, there are so many things that set us apart. We’re a small team of talented individuals with skills in both design and development. We have a massive focus on customer service so you can be sure of always getting a quick and friendly response. We’re bursting with so many ideas we’ve taken to drawing them on our studio walls, honest!

What made you get involved in the HDAs?
Being at the forefront of all things digital and technological is a huge part of our industry, so the Hertfordshire Digital Awards were an excellent opportunity to not only showcase some of our recent designs and development projects, but to also find out more about what the rest of Hertfordshire has to offer.

What does winning gold at the HDAs mean to your organisation?
Winning Gold for ‘use of social media for business’ means a great deal to us, we absolutely love all of our social media platforms, so are over the moon! We have made some great connections through social media and it is a tool that greatly helps to support our business development. Our Marketing Manager, Jessie Lansbury, has worked extremely hard over the last year to build up our social media accounts and help to improve our online presence. Our online brand in particular is something that we have put a lot of time in to, and as a website design company, it is something that is very important to us. We take great care to keep our content well branded and in-line with our brand guidelines. Over the past few years this has helped our posts be instantly recognisable and has greatly helped us build our online presence. Being recognised as being at the forefront of the social media industry in Hertfordshire is just amazing, and something that we are truly proud of.

Where will you be putting your award?
Our gold award will be going in pride of place in our reception area!

What was your most memorable moment from the HDA presentation evening?
There are far too many to choose from! We had an absolutely amazing evening, and it was so lovely to meet and catch up with all of the other finalists. We also loved the quiz – but were pipped to the post by table 5!

What’s the best thing about the Hertfordshire business community?
I think the best thing is the community spirit we have! There are so many instances of Hertfordshire based Businesses working with each other and supporting each other in a whole range of different projects. It’s also amazing to see how many Hertfordshire companies are digital advocates, and taking full advantage of all the digital services that are available to them!

You can find out more about Fluid Studios right here.

HERTFORDSHIRE: HDA16 Presentation Evening Report

THE online achievements of businesses, charities and schools across Hertfordshire have been celebrated at the second Hertfordshire Digital Awards.

Accolades across 15 categories including “Website”, “Blog” and “Use of Social Media for Business” were presented to deserving organisations at the University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, on September 22.

Compering the event was former BBC broadcaster Robin Bailey who presented Gold, Silver and Bronze prizes to a host of worthy winners.

Special guests included Tim Dunton, from the headline sponsor Nimbus Hosting, Tom Shurville of Associate Sponsor, Distinctly, Carole Luck from Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, Ian Webber of Lexus Hatfield and James Selby from the Department for International Trade.

The Hertfordshire Digital Awards was set up in 2015 solely to showcase online work.

Bishops Stortford College saw double after scooping Gold in the flagship “Website” category and in “Website: School, Education or Charity”.

Also walking away with two top-placed accolades were Stevenage-based design agency Tutch Media who won Gold in “Website: B2B” for their work on behalf of Oakmont Construction and in the “Website: Lifestyle & Culture” for Wildgoose.

Red Bullet landed the top Award in the “Website: Tourism & Hospitality” classification for its Visit Hertfordshire website design and Fluid Studios, from Baldock, won Gold in the “Use of Social Media for Business” area.

Online poetry and gift retailer Bespoke Verse, in Berkhamsted, made it a third double-haul by claiming Gold in the “Online Retailer” and “Website: Marketing & Creative” sections.

Leading the way in the “Blog” category was Deep Phat Digital and the plaudits went to Elstree studio Cincera in “Use of Video for Business”.

Watford retailer 1,000 Mile Sportswear by The Creative Clinic landed Gold in “Website: Sports & Entertainment”.

HDA16 was sponsored by Nimbus Hosting and Distinctly

It was also backed by the Mercury, Lexus Hatfield, Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, the Department for International Trade and Capricorn Media.

Also victorious were Harpenden and Hitchin’s Lyndhurst Financial Management in “Responsive Website”, and Holiday Tots by Advanced Web Designs, in Hertford, for “Website: Small Business”.

There was also a ‘Spirit of Hertfordshire’ award which was handed to the film and TV centre Elstree Studios, the home of Star Wars and Strictly Come Dancing, who were commended for ‘going above and beyond the call of duty for the betterment and promotion of Hertfordshire’ through their digital work.

You can see a full list of the winners from HDA16 here