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Has your web developer covered all the SEO bases?

Search Engine Optimisation

Search Engine Optimisation

We’re all trying to make sure our web pages are best placed in the search results on the key search engines such as Google or Bing and these days it is much more of a meritocracy than ever before; the genuinely good websites rising to the top for their sphere of authority.

That’s not to say that they can’t be influenced. Please dispel any ideas of the black hat techniques of the past and concentrate on writing quality websites that are genuinely better than their compatriots, better content, better written, better composed, better liked, better coded, basically fundamentally better by any real measure.

Today we’ll consider ten key on-page items that make websites perform better in the search results. In other editions we’ll go deeper into this as well as looking at other off page factors. Follow us @Toucan_Group for later editions of the SEO Checklist.

Let’s now look at the on-page items that we consider mandatory for good SEO in this session. There are hundreds of items to consider but here is a snap shot of ten very important on-page items. Don’t shoot the web developer if these are not implemented exactly as prescribed here in your site as it can depend on the brief you’ve given them and the mission for the site.

To check many of these you’ll need to see the code that makes up your pages. This is browser dependent but is normally under a term such as “view page source”. In Chrome on PC, right click and you get that option.

  1. Keywords in the Title Tag
    The title tag is the webpage’s second most important piece of SEO content and it therefore provides the search engine a high SEO ranking.
  2. Title Tag Starts with Keyword
    Title tags that start with a keyword invariably perform better than title tags with the keyword elsewhere in the word order.
  3. Keywords in Description Tag
    This is a less relevant tag than in the past however these still make a difference to ranking with some search engines.
  4. Keyword Appears in H1 Tag
    H1 tags are the next most important item to get right after the title tag. These send another relevancy signal to Google as they reinforce the title tag.
  5. Word Count
    The extent of the content on your page with more words expanding on the relevant topic is a ranking signal and will affect the Search Engine Results Position. A bare minimum of 100 words is a fair rule however 300 words of more will give better results.
  6. Cross linking within the site using Keywords
    In the text within the site use links on the keywords to navigate to other sections of the site. Google picks up on these as items that are of high relevance within the site.
  7. Page Loading Speed in a browser
    Google and Bing monitor page loading speed as a ranking factor. Poorly built sites with no code minification, bloated code, badly compressed images and alike all increase page load time. For an impartial test of your site go to
  8. Duplicate Content
    Never use identical content anywhere in a site, it will be spotted and the site penalised in the search results as it is a negative indicator of quality. This includes all tags, meta and image except the keyword tag.
  9. Image Optimisation
    Images with a page provide search engines relevancy signals and usability factors. Use the file name to be descriptive, use alt text to describe the image so that text readers for partially sighted get an explanation and consider adding title, description and caption.
  10. Page html errors
    Poorly coded web pages are indicative of a poor website. If the code doesn’t comply with standards then there’s a chance the search engine spiders may even baulk at indexing it altogether and not all browsers will render it properly. The standards book is W3C and they provide a validation tool at Once again don’t cane your web developer too much if there is the odd Warning however if there are many Errors, then you should delve further.

Further publications will deliver further manageable bit-sized advice on this enormous topic. All announced @toucan_group.


This information has been written and collated by Simon Thomas, active in commercial web development and online marketing since 1996, who understands the need to stay current with standards and methods almost week by week.
01279 871 694T Bird 72ppi

Mobilegeddon – The Aftermath

When HLNM-July-webAL asked “what are you doing Dave” in Stanley Kubrick’s film rendition of Arthur C Clarke’s classic “2001, a Space Odyssey”, it epitomised our distrust of autonomous processes that we allow to impact our lives. Pre-programmed devices and services fed from the data we leave in our wake steer our lives more than ever and none more than Google providing answers to your questions on which we all rely to make “informed” decisions.

We all understand that Google chooses answers according to a set of over 200 rules or The Algorithm, and this is continually updated to improve the search results in a fair manner. This will improve some companies’ search results and penalise others. Google, as this Information Age’s big player, is the one we must influence to improve our outcome, but we must play by the rules. Fortunately the rule writer in the Google inner sanctum manages this with responsibility, humanity and common sense.

Deciding on the facts from the hype in the search arena and then seeing how this will affect your presence on the web is the job of the search marketer.

If your presence doesn’t depend on Google search results then just consider your users’ needs when putting your website together, if they use smartphones to see your site it makes sense to provide them a site they can use with near equal benefit as someone on a wider screen device like a tablet or desktop.

If your commercial performance does however depend on the search engine result position then the latest Google algorithm update means you do need to have a website that is properly optimised and that now includes having a properly responsive site; that is one that automatically adapts to the device screen on which it’s displayed. There is considerably more paranoia in the SEO market than with previous Google updates suggesting that its impact will tear the very fabric of the Internet apart especially as it’s given the Hollywood blockbusteresque name of Mobilegeddon, implying that if your site doesn’t work on a mobile device you’re out of business on line. The reality however, some weeks since the release on 21st April, is somewhat mixed. Anyone having lived through and planned for digital Armageddon 15 years ago with the Millennium Bug will tend to be a touch more reflective when it comes to such cataclysmic pronouncements.

The real crux of this is how has this update actually affected websites’ search engine result positions (SERPS) since the Mobilegeddon day. The truth appears to be that the sites without responsive pages are suffering significantly poorer search engine traffic for generic search results, however brand specific searches are affected the least as Google will still naturally refer to the best search result to the brand site, be that a responsive webpage or not.

Some facts:

  • This update only affects search results from mobile devices. It does not affect results on searches from Tablets or PC’s.
  • It is a page level change and not site wide.
  • Quality non-responsive pages may still appear high in the mobile search results if there is superior content.
  • If your audience is predominantly desktop you still need to consider that your mobile audience is only going to grow.

Ultimately we should always come back to the simple fact that a good website that best meets the intended audience demands is going to be the winner. So write it well, keep up with and even lead in your market with regards layouts and facilities, keep it relevant, interesting and engaging, and take on board the right expert advice from time to time to stay ahead; then your site will remain in the limelight and return commercially.

Further reading:

Article by Simon Thomas of Toucan Internet LLP

Simon has been developing websites since 1995 and has a wealth of experience in commercial website development.

T Bird 72ppi

April 21 ‪#‎Mobilegeddon‬

HiRes-Advert600Google’s new mobile-friendly algorithm arrives today. This change is to make it easier for users to find web content formatted for mobile devices. Dubbed #Mobilegeddon the change is bad news for websites that aren’t mobile ready, so prepare to see this impact your Google search results.

The rise of mobile browsing means that for you to reach everyone in your audience effectively you need to deliver the webpages in a way that works irrespective of the device, be that a wide PC screen or a small smartphone screen.

The issue is that mobile screens are smaller than desktop screens and websites that are designed for desktop are too wide for mobile, and can be difficult to see and navigate. The solution is to either have a mobile version of the website designed separately, or to update your current website to automatically resize/reformat the web pages when they’re loaded on a mobile. Toucan Internet favours the latter for most developments as it keeps the costs down as there is only one website to develop and maintain.

If your website is important to your business and not yet mobile-friendly, you need to act.

You can test your site here –

Don’t panic, but do act on this and talk to your web developer to plan the best solution for your particular site. Most modern well-built sites can be modified so you’ll likely not have to start from scratch, but there is a commitment to further development.

Talk to us if you need more on this.

Are quality keywords alone sufficient for good search engine placement?

Search engine performance has always been a predominant part of the specification of most website projects, even before Google had reached the consciousness of the masses; a time when Yahoo was the ascendant search engine.


Is good keyword selection important? Absolutely yes, however it’s the start of your optimisation journey, not the end. We frequently come across website owners who have commissioned an excellent website for their business; all the keywords are in place, the navigation is intuitive and the calls to action expertly implemented, but it just not drawing either the traffic or the business despite the serious cash injection. Sitting around for the return on investment could be a long wait.


Assuming you have professionally researched the keywords and they are correct for your marketing message then you’re ready to start the search engine marketing and monitoring. This is a basket of activities that will turn your website from a cobweb to a proactive marketing tool; a sales team ready to close new business.


The online marketing part of the process is primarily aimed at increasing your inbound referrers – the external links to your site. Apart from other search engines and directories, the world of social media offers a vast number of channels where this can be done to great effect with minimal cost and a small amount of dedicated time applied regularly on a weekly schedule.  Assuming your overall objective is to build business and drive people to the calls to action in your website, then the focus needs to be to deliver new people to the website. The social media will allow them to get to know you and see peer recommendations. Ultimately it will deliver them to your website where the convincers and calls to action should deliver you the new business you wanted.


The great thing about this is these potential customers arrive at your website voluntarily from peer recommendations, all orchestrated without the loth’able sales emails or other pushy sales techniques.

The monitoring part of the process is to ensure that you keep your nose clean and obey all the rules that make for a quality web presence rather than something that just looks good, but is effectively lame. Spotting build code errors is important as the Google spider may baulk at code it doesn’t understand and therefore stops indexing your site. You don’t want that as you’ll be largely invisible in Google searches. There are a raft of other crucial items to monitor and an ongoing marketing and monitoring program will do this, ensuring a site is truly “fully search engine optimised”.


Once other people like your site and link to it using relevant keywords then your site will start to gain prominence. Better still if they are very relevant referrers in the same field as yours; then the Google “love” increases ever more.


It’s far from rocket science; develop a good website that is relevant to your message and appealing to both people and Google, get liked by other quality online referrers, feed the referral channels to keep the whole marketing machine oiled with new posts that link back to the website and encourage relevant others to link to you.


If you do it well your market will respond, but just play with it and you’ll be joining the masses who tried and failed to maximise their potential and return on investment.


In answer to the question “Are quality keywords alone sufficient for good search engine placement“, the answer is a resounding “no”. They are however the crucial start to the foundation of your website and online marketing.


About the Author

Simon Thomas of Toucan Internet LLP has been involved in the development hosting and marketing of websites since 1995. He is passionate about his client’s online success and will welcome any approach for web development or consultative engagements.

t: 01279 871 694




Copyright Toucan Internet LLP 2014©. All rights reserved.

Are your SEO practices in line with Google Hummingbird?

Hummingbird, Google’s search algorithm overhaul

Customers earnest about getting and maintaining a quality online success have consistently invested time and effort in selecting the right keywords for their website and inbound marketing channels. Why? Because Google will recognise these and will index your site accordingly; done well and consistently, Google will give your site the rewards you seek with higher search engine results positions.

If you thought you’d grasped what needed to be done, Google changes the rules and in flies Hummingbird. It’s probably the most significant change to Google’s search rules in 13 years, reportedly affecting a massive 90% of all searches. Now it’s more important than ever that you have quality inbound organic referrers to your website, i.e. visitors referred to your site by other websites.

The Hummingbird change means that searches are now totally secure, suggesting that keyword analytics data could well be a thing of the past! Basically Google has switched all of its searches over to encrypted searches using HTTPS. This means no more keyword data will be passed to site owners and website owners will no longer have the ability to track users by their keyword searches.  Other search engines will still send keyword data through to help with your analytics and keyword development.

The exact way the Hummingbird algorithm works is not 100% clear, however it appears Hummingbird looks at over 200 different components when determining the search rank for a site much like previous releases.  However previously Google would focus on the specific keywords where as now, with Hummingbird, the focus is on the context of the words entered and the matching of that meaning to web pages to which it relates; web pages matching the meaning do better than pages matching just a few keywords. This is a good thing overall and will kill the trend of content writers damaging the copy of their content trying to achieve “the right level” of keyword stuffing.

What is clear is that if you are to maintain leading positions in Google search engine results your emphasis now needs to shift to the breadth of your website and to answering of specific questions for your audience. As has always been advocated by search engine marketing professionals, quality content remains key, it is that that your customers have and will continue to want to see irrespective of Hummingbird, but now the more the content aligns with answering specific customer questions, the more likely your page positions will prosper under Google Hummingbird.

In short, the new Hummingbird algorithm is trying to measure the quality and how valuable and helpful your website is in answering customers’ questions. The key is therefore having as many unique entrance pages on your website as possible offering breadth, help and expertise on many relevant topics, plus of course relevant peer backlinks.

So how do you grow the number and breadth of entrance pages? One answer could be simply by adding new content regularly to both your website and blog. The need for a blog becomes even greater if you don’t already operate one on your site. The more energy you place into the content on your site the higher you are likely to appear on Google search. It is clear that Google wants useful and relevant content to be king, and any future changes to its algorithms are likely to reflect this also. This may require many companies to examine their content strategies and look at how they can use as many forms of content to maintain the desired energy and diversity (e.g. Videos, PPC promotion of best content, info-graphics, re-blog on industry hot stories, etc.)

Are your SEO practices in line with Hummingbird? If you review your Google Analytics since Hummingbird was introduced in late August you will be able to see if there has been any decline in your website visitors. However, if you are to maintain and improve your search position you will need to reflect upon your whole online content strategy and the links to your site/content both on site and backlinks from other website and your inbound marketing from your social media. Make sure you focus on growing the number of relevant links and the quality, breadth, depth, frequency and value of your content if you are to maintain and improve your search position.

About the Author.

This article was written by Simon Thomas of Toucan Internet LLP, developing high performance websites on the Internet since 1995.  Passionate about his clients’ success, you’re invited to get in touch to see if you too could benefit:

For more information.
t: 01279 871 694



Copyright Toucan Internet LLP 2014©. All rights reserved.

Home of the world’s smallest PC has a new Website

When WSPC the “home of the world’s smallest pc” needed a new website they had no hesitation in putting this important project to the incumbent web development company Toucan Internet.

WSPC build small, robust PCs that have the power and performance of desktop computers but take up minimal space making them ideal where space is at a premium and perfect for marine, automobile and other niche applications. Details at

Toucan Internet has looked after WSPC for many years and by consistent online marketing have secured good footfall to the site of relevant visitors looking to purchase, be they individuals or, more the norm, organisations looking for multiple purchases.

The website creative design immediately shows the visitor applications for the small PC’s so putting the product in context visually as soon as it’s glimpsed. This is very powerful for convincing relevant visitors to stay on site when they arrive from a search result.

Understanding buyers’ needs, we grouped the products into subcategories so that only the correct products are shown that meet the customers’ needs. This therefore makes it easy to select the most appropriate PC before buying through the onsite checkout.

The whole site is managed by WSPC using the Toucan Control Panel that makes complex updates to content and the shop a simple task.

Heavily optimised for continued search engine success, coding is in place to trap anyone following a link to the old site so they are seamlessly delivered to the new site; it’s all too easy to forget the quality links old sites have when developing new.

Toucan Internet is pleased to continue to contribute to the success of this long-established and well-regarded specialist pc supplier.


To find out more about how Toucan Internet LLP can improve your online success, please feel free to contact Simon at the contact points below.

t: 01279 871 694




New coach hire website finds top Google success within weeks

Coach Hire Herts

Toucan Internet was delighted to collaborate once again with local coach hire company St Margarets.  St Margarets provide affordable and luxury coach hire for group travel.

In order to publicise this travel service, St Margarets commissioned Toucan Internet to construct a commercially successful website that increased their web exposure and assisted them with their business goals.

The key objectives for St Margarets coach hire website – along with intuitive aesthetics and functionality – was that the website was well optimised and Toucan’s approach has certainly borne fruit; after only a few weeks the website now appears on the first page of Google following typical and generic local searches.

Toucan Internet is pleased to be able to contribute positively to success of this long-established and well-regarded professional coach hire company.

To find out more about how Toucan Internet LLP can improve your online success, please feel free to contact Simon at the contact points below.

t: 01279 871 694



Have your social media managed and content provided.

Online Word of mouth marketing with peer recommendations – Toucan Internet Social Media

We all know that one of the most effective forms of marketing is via word of mouth.  Well, in the last few years with the advent of ‘social media’, word of mouth has gone digital.  You can’t go far today without coming across a web address, QR code, an email, a blog, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Youtube and a whole host of other digital formats.

The challenge that today’s business owners face is being able to use these formats effectively and to their advantage.  There are a multitude of different ‘channels’ and the majority have the ability to be tremendously advantageous for your business.

What cannot be questioned is the value of participating in some form of social networking or marketing.  Simply put, in this digital age; appropriate digital interaction is a must if the business is to thrive.  It doesn’t matter if you’re B2B or B2C, these channels can offer significant value to your business and should be ignored at your peril.

At Toucan Internet LLP we offer a bespoke social media service. We have a diverse range of clients participating in a diverse range of activities and this allows us to truly appreciate that there quite simply is not just one global solution for everyone.  Consequently we offer a range of social media solutions that can be tailored specifically to your varied requirements, expectations and budget, as well as being designed specifically with your target audience in mind.

What we do

Whatever stage your business is at, Toucan can help.  Whether you are looking to build an entire online presence from scratch and see social media as an important branch of that; or you are looking to add social media to what you are already implementing; we can work with you to help you achieve your goals.

If you already possess a digital presence and ideas regarding your marketing focus, we can work with you in deciding how best to grow your online presence and social media activity, whilst maintaining everything that your company and brand stands for.  We understand the importance of a homogenous digital presence and consequently we believe that everything published must be in line with your business goals and character in order that your business reputation is only enhanced.

In terms of the differing channels we can offer you; Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are good places to start, whilst Google+ is also emerging as one of the key players in social media marketing.  If you are looking to share lengthier news items or other information, then a blog is a perfect place to showcase these and this can also be implemented by us at Toucan.

The programme

We understand that there will be differing levels of expectation, and it’s important to set your ambitions in line with your ability to manage this new marketing.  Regular and worthwhile posts are integral to the success of this kind of marketing and this is where Toucan can help you to achieve your goals.  We can take a brief from you and use it to create a bespoke programme for you.

After ascertaining precisely what you require, we can set up a schedule for each social media platform in order to maximize your online presence.  This can be done with a varied level of input from you; we can either source the content from you, or you can commission us to research and garner relevant content.  We also offer an interactive service whereby we will respond to your followers on the various platforms in order to encourage positive social media interaction and increase your profile on the world wide web.

The value to you is that Toucan take this on for you and run it to your brief and budget.

  • You are safe in the knowledge that your social media engagement is being professionally managed
  • You are free to run your business and interact with your social media program only when you want



About the Author.

This article was written by Simon Thomas of Toucan Internet LLP who has been active on the Internet since 1995 and runs a number of commercially successful Internet projects. Toucan supports client’s bespoke web development with online marketing and hosting services, and other components that make for high value high performance websites.

For more information.

t: 01279 871 694

Copyright Toucan Internet LLP 2013©. All rights reserved.


Sky Installer Website supports installation sales to domestic and communal buildings

AVUK, ( Sky’s approved installer in the South East for communal dwellings and domestic properties, new website was recently launched.

Designed, developed and hosted by Toucan Internet, this bespoke site is fully content managed by the client. Search engine optimised to deliver the right visitors from the search engines, this visually appealing the site leads the visitors to the information they seek and presents them with clear and easy to use “calls to action”. Visitors can search the site, make quick contact via a simple field from and sign up for news and offers.

The Toucan Control panel not only enables the management of the site content, it gives AVUK control over the newsletter subscription and provides a mass emailing function.

The bespoke control panel facilities are all designed to increase business efficiency and integrate web activity with the routine business activity.

See and recommend AVUK –

How much web page text is required to please Google?

Having been optimising websites for greater search engine performance, whilst giving a quality visitor experience since the turn of the millennium, Toucan Internet has always favoured including text of reasonable quality and in modest quantity.

Reasonable quality in that it must be well written English, relevant to the subject, contain the researched keywords to an adequate frequency and be cross-linked within the whole website, or websites should the enterprise operate multiple websites.

Quantity is always an interesting balance between satisfying two masters:

  • the human master needs to be provided sufficient text so that the reader gets adequate information but without presenting them with a wall of words and without flooding the creative design underpinning the visual attractiveness of your site.
  • the search engines and Internet directories master that will drive large numbers of relevant visitors and customers to your site if it’s done properly. When developing websites that need good search engine returns we’ve always considered minimal text content to be a poor choice; after all Google and the other search engines read the words to classify your site so that they can recommend it to others and if you provide either too little content, or content with insufficient focus for that matter, the search engines will not be able to adequately index your site. As a consequence it will not rate or perform highly.

The big question is “what is the right amount of content”. The simple answer is that from page to page in your website there really is no hard and fast rule as some pages will require masses of content and others quite a minimal amount to be fit for purpose. However we’ve found from many years of online marketing experience that the bare minimum to get noticed to any sensible degree is 100 words, however if it’s practical get this above 300 words.

This recently published article lends weight to the argument that it’s good practice to give Google as much relevant content as you can practically include –


About the Author.

This article was written by Simon Thomas of Toucan Internet LLP who has been active on the Internet since 1995 and runs a number of commercially successful Internet projects. Toucan supports client’s web build to the correct standards, not just SEO, and maintains on-going search engine marketing for clients that value high performing websites.

For more information.

t: 01279 871 694

Copyright Toucan Internet LLP 2013©. All rights reserved.