Our web design revamp for Hunter Finance

Posted on August 6, 2021August 6, 2021Categories Web designTags

When approached by Hunter Finance to redesign their traditional, one-page website to a more modern one – we were eager to complete the job!

Hunter Finance is known for being a financial provider specialising in offering property development loans to people looking to develop different types of properties.

Their old website was one that mostly featured what they did without showing off the work they had been involved with during all the years they have been operating.

While they did not build the properties that are now featured on their websites, they provided the funding that made it possible for those homes and offices to be completed.

When we approach them with our design plan, we wanted to get rid of the “less is more” approach. This is because of the increasing number of companies that offered property development loans.

We noticed that websites with more photos in their portfolio were generating high amounts of interest, as the modern consumer wants to be shown what they are buying rather than being told what a company can do for them.

Our main purpose of the new website was to show all the potential that Hunter Finance had as a property development loans provider by highlighting all of the good work made possible as a result of the company.

We decided to create three new pages that would be dedicated to providing users with a simple understanding of what we provide and how we operate:

  • Case studies page
  • Guide page 
  • Reviews page

More photos were also added to the website to visually appeal to users. This was to appeal to those that are interested in developing properties similar to ones that their previous clients developed.

Once the new website was updated, Hunter Finance noticed an increase in their traffic, time spent on their website and CTR rate.

As more people were finding the website and interacting positively with it, this caused an increase in the number of new customers that were enquiring about their services.

We continue to work alongside them and provide suggestions for changes that can be made to the website in order for them to hold their strong position in their market.

More information

What is the importance of web design for your audience? | Smart Insights

The Importance of Web Design for Your Business

How Schools Can Use Facebook Effectively

Posted on August 5, 2021August 5, 2021Categories Social mediaTags
The word “Facebook,” so ubiquitous across the world, is enough to make any educator uneasy. When the topic of social media comes up in teaching circles, it was about how teachers were being fired for posting too much information or were receiving disciplinary action for an ill-advised status update. The prevailing thought was, “better safe than sorry.” Basically, teachers were advised to be very careful when mixing our professional and personal lives in our use of social media.

When dealing with children, it is especially important to be mindful of protecting their well-being in whatever ways you can.

It makes sense to have a policy to discourage individual teachers from posting specifics about their students to their personal profiles.

By setting up a Facebook Page, schools can establish a controlled, professional presence that allows them to capitalize on this social space in many important ways, while still protecting their students. It’s important to note that while a Facebook Page is an excellent opportunity for schools to supplement their web presence, it doesn’t fully replace the benefits of a robust website.

A Quick Note on Protecting Students

As we discuss the potential benefits of using Facebook, it’s important to frame the discussion with a warning about protecting students. Before launching a Facebook Page, school leaders must ensure they’ve thought through the types of content they’re going to share with the world. Schools should avoid sharing last names of students as this can potentially jeopardize their safety (and in some cases is actually illegal). With a little forethought, Facebook can offer a variety of benefits without risking any safety to students or members of the school community.

Share What’s Happening

A Facebook Page is a great place to post noteworthy happenings around the school via a status update that posts on the Page’s wall. This is an easy way to keep families informed as to what’s going on during the school day. Additionally, it only takes moments to do (which in a school is always a good thing). If an event is particularly exciting, take some photos to share.

Share Upcoming Events

A Facebook Page is an excellent opportunity for a school to post upcoming events using the Facebook Events app. This app not only allows people to RSVP, but also makes it easy for them to share that they’re attending.

Use Media to Showcase School Culture

Many schools see them as not only academics but also the social development of its students.

Share Photos

Photos are an excellent way to showcase school culture. A school may choose to use photos to highlight a variety of aspects of the school, including:

  • Students exhibiting values the school encourages
  • Celebrations of student work
  • Field trips
  • Experiential learning activities
  • Assemblies or school-wide celebrations
  • Recognition of individual students for excellence

Share Videos

Videos can be an incredible way for a school to personalize its online presence and actually demonstrate what it is that makes it special. A school may add videos that showcase a lot of different things, including:

  • A variety of learning, including different subjects and age groups
  • Assemblies or school-wide events
  • Community meetings
  • High caliber teaching and student engagement
  • Students, teachers, and members of the community discussing what makes the school special
  • Share songs, chants, or cheers that are used as a part of school culture or academics
  • Sporting events
  • Plays, concerts and other performances

Use as a Recruitment Tool

Facebook has potential to help a school attract talented teachers and school leaders as well as raise the overall level of awareness surrounding the hard work it’s doing. By using Facebook, a school can add another layer to their recruitment efforts and help attract staff and, if applicable, attract students as well.

Using Facebook to Attract Staff

Facebook is a logical place for schools to focus some of their efforts when recruiting talented teachers and school leaders.

Additionally, Facebook is a great place for a school to post its job openings. Facebook makes it incredibly easy to share content, which means if I know someone who’s looking for a certain teaching position and come across such a position on a school’s page, I can easily send it his or her way. Current teachers can also share job openings with people in their network that may potentially be interested in applying.

If a school has an online system for accepting job applications, it should include the link on the Facebook Page. If a school doesn’t have such a system in place, it may want to consider using an application that integrates with Facebook. Here’s an example from TEAM Schools, a Network of KIPP Schools, which is using the Job Magic Facebook app to recruit and accept applications.

Using Facebook to Attract Students

A school can share the aspects of the school that make it appealing through photos and videos. But it can also provide how to enrol, including deadlines, links to an online application, and links to resources that may be useful for a family that is interested in enrolling a student. The fact that information is easily shared via Facebook again bodes well for a school interested in recruiting students.

Get Feedback from the Community

By effectively leveraging Facebook, a school can make it easier for community members to get involved and share their opinions on a variety of fronts. While some schools may fear this increased participation, others will embrace it as it not only increases involvement, but can also lead to a healthy discourse about what’s happening at the school.

Use Facebook Discussions

One opportunity lies in the Discussions tab on the Facebook Page. A school can create a discussion about a specific topic and allow members of the community to share their thoughts within the thread. Admins will be able to moderate the thread and remove any posts that are inappropriate.

Use Polls

Polls provide a chance for a school to solicit feedback directly from its followers. The nice thing about using a poll is that a school can limit the choices available and, with a few simple clicks, blast it out to all of its followers. It’s a great way to quickly collect data that can help inform decision making.

Make It Personal

The above ideas are merely suggestions as a way to get started. The important thing is that each school makes their Facebook Page an extension of the amazing things they are doing every day in the classroom.

While Facebook is at times a bit daunting, when used effectively it can provide schools with an excellent opportunity to engage the communities they serve and act as a key component in a school’s online presence.

Backlinks are king

Posted on July 17, 2021August 5, 2021Categories SEO

It turns out that the Google bot is a clever piece of engineering. Since January of 2011 Google has been placing less and less merit on insubstantial one sentence backlinks as a method to combat search engine spam pollution.

Google’s Search Engine Algorithm isn’t as Blind as you Think

If your website has a natural SEO optimized layout such as unique content and a valid XHTML with proper meta tag usage, sure 200 or so automatically generated backlinks wouldn’t hurt.

So why do your website pages briefly reach the top of the SERPs after you commence generating thousands of backlinks for them?  Well that stems from the fact that Google must take into account emerging and legitimate popularity of certain pages.  Wikileaks.org is a good example of this.  A fairly unknown website for much of its life.  However, in the summer of 2010 Google bot started crawling more backlinks to Wikileaks.org than most other websites.  How does Google bot distinguish these organic backlinks over the more common auto-generated backlinks?  The answer is a form of trial period where as Google bot finds more and more it likes about your pages, the more likely the Google search engine will be to provide you a semi-permanent position at the top of the SERPs.

Article Backlinks Are Superior

Along with the changes to text backlinks, Google has also made changes to place more relevance on article based backlinks.  Even more relevance is given to a particular backlink and thus a web page that it promotes should the article meet the Google criteria for uniqueness and structure.  I should also say that you shouldn’t only use articles when you are generating backlinks but, rather a combination of text and article backlinks. 

This looks more organic to the Google bot and it is obvious it takes something like this into consideration when the competitiveness of the keywords and their saturation are a factor.  As of January of this year most who specialize in SEO have found that 100 quality and unique article based backlinks along with a couple hundred text backlinks and the obvious natural SEO of the web page, will get you ranked very high in the SERPs for almost any keyword.

It is also important that I stress Google’s most recent announcement that unique content will be weighed more heavily in terms of SEO for the foreseeable future.