• What will blogging do for your SEO?

    How many of you can say that you have a blog on your website and it’s used correctly on a regular basis?

    Do you know just how important blogging is for your SEO? It is proven to make a huge difference and massively improve search results.

    In this post, we’re going to give you a more detailed explanation of how important blogging is for your SEO.

    Blogging is all about keywords

    In case you weren’t aware, keywords in general, are massively important for SEO. While link-building and on-page SEO are monumentally important for earning higher ranks on your desired keywords, content still can’t be overlooked. In fact, some sites may only achieve the search results they want if they regularly blog on topics based around their core keywords.

    Once your blog pages have been indexed by Google, they can potentially bring additional traffic and increase SEO on your website, based on the keywords you use in your blog post that enhance your SEO campaign.

    Giving your target market shareworthy, relevant information and another chance to boost your organic keywords… it’s a win-win situation!

    Content = Traffic

    There’s no two ways about it, Google likes a busy site that is refreshed and updated on a regular basis. The more people visiting your website, the better, especially if you have a low bounce rate.

    To put it simply, a bounce rate is the percentage of visitors to your website who navigate away from the site after only viewing one page. A low bounce rate comes from visitors who visit your website and explore it. Engaging, useful content with internal links to other pages on your site will help to secure a low bounce rate.

    Blogging collects links

    Once you start getting into the hang of blogging and your posts become more popular and get seen by other third parties, you have the chance to earn inbound links!

    Imagine writing a piece of content that other people in your industry want their fans to see? Or perhaps a relevant blogger or journalist picks up your content and wants a piece of it… this can happen! The way to build up your fan base is to contact relevant bloggers, journalists, online magazines and ask them if you can do a guest post for their website – this will help get your name out there!

    You should also include internal links in your content, Google likes seeing that your site is tight and interconnected. Linking to other pages on your site, where appropriate, is also a great way of driving engaged viewers to relevant content and services that your business offers.

    It has been said that relevant, trustworthy inbound links influence your search rankings more than any other SEO factor. So yes… they’re pretty important!

    Blog, Blog, Blog!

    The actual size of an individual blog post doesn’t seem to have a huge impact on improving rankings, however the amount of blog posts does!

    The more pages you have, the more useful content on your site will likely to be picked up by your audience. The more relevant, keyword rich content you have and share, the more information you’ll have to hand, the more internal links you build, the more content to consumer, the more inbound links you’ll potentially achieve!

    All of the above contribute to something that greatly matters in the SEO world… engagement and loyalty.


    Our top tip… if you’re struggling to find something relevant to write about, BuzzSumo is a great website to inspire you and see what other people are writing about in your industry.

    If there’s just one thing you take away from this, please let it be this… Blogging is vitally important for SEO, as long as you create relevant, keyword rich and share-worthy content!

  • Facebook... Is organic read dead?

    Facebook are constantly changing the way they prioritise posts on Facebook, especially for business pages. It’s now harder than ever to get a good reach and following organically.

    Unless you have a large advertising budget or you have a dedicated team of social media professionals, paying for likes on Facebook can be pretty tough.

    There are other reasons to be active on Facebook, even if you’re not getting the following you’d hope for. Brand awareness is one of the main reasons businesses use social media. When used correctly, it can be a great free tool to spread the word about your services/products. Facebook also has a large hold over search engines. If you’re constantly active on social media and promoting relevant, share-worthy posts, search engines such as Google will pick up on this, in turn helping to improve your search engine ranking.

    Followers and post reach work hand in hand. The more followers you have on Facebook, the more likely you are to receive a better organic post reach. Due to another recent update from Facebook, there is only a very small percentage (under 3%) of your followers that will actually see your posts so it’s a bit of common sense really, the more people who like your page and interact with it, the more likely your posts will be seen.


    Now, here comes the interesting part, for all of the small businesses who perhaps don’t have the budget for expensive Facebook ads or designated social media managers, I want to share a little secret with you!

    There is a way you can increase your Facebook following without paying a penny!

    Facebook has a hidden invite button, which they obviously don’t promote as, like any other business, they want to increase their profits. Now, this button isn’t available to all accounts, it’s something that Facebook is testing.

    If you simply find a post that you’ve shared which has some engagement (i.e. people have liked/commented on the post) and click on the people who have engaged, you’ll see an ‘invite/liked/invited’ option. If any of the names have a ‘invite’ option next to them, this means that they have liked/commented on your Facebook post but don’t currently ‘like’ your Facebook page. If you simply click ‘invite’ then that person will receive a notification inviting them to like your page.


    Before you get ahead of yourself, there does seem to be a limit on the number of invites you can send per day, which seems to be around 500-1000 (Facebook will notify you once you’ve reached that limit).


    After testing this feature, we have seen an acceptance rate between 15-20%!

    The best thing about it, they’re very likely to accept as they have already shown interest in your page, therefore making them organic, true, relevant followers.


    Go ahead, try this feature and please let us know your results!


    Graph from 

  • How Long Does SEO Take To Work?

    This is one of the most common questions within the digital marketing world and the hardest to answer. Hopefully this blog post will give you a better understanding of today’s SEO practices.

    Old SEO used to purely focus on a small amount of ‘golden keywords’. These were the sole focus for SEO at one point, where everyone was fixated on if your business was ranking #1 for your most popular key phrase. Don’t get us wrong, this is important but with SEO changing at the speed it is, it’s not the only factor to focus on. If you are only focusing on a small group of generic keywords, the chances are that isn’t what people are searching for, therefore you’re not being found for what really matters. The emphasis should be on a much larger number of natural language search terms, especially with the use of Siri and Google Now becoming so popular.

    If by asking ‘How long does SEO take to work?’ you mean ‘How long will it be before I get top rankings?’ then you’re mistaking outputs for outcomes. Selling ‘top rankings’ is easy because it’s what every business wants to hear, but what good is a number #1 ranking in Google when your business doesn’t generate any sales or leads? SEO is focussed on optimising your website to ensure that people find your products/services and they convert.

    There are so many other factors to think about when trying to give someone an answer to ‘How long will the SEO take to work’ including

    • how long the site has been around for.
    • how much (if any) SEO you’ve had done on it previously.
    • what shape the website is in.
    • how much content is on it.
    • its link profile and a number of other SEO factors.

    No two websites are the same and that’s why it’s so important to get a unique review and audit of your site before starting any SEO service.

    Many experts, including ourselves, will tell you that it takes 4-6 months minimum to start seeing results from a good SEO practice. This is generally the case, however, like stated previously, every website is different and this figure can be more or less depending on the initial audit and review of your website.

    Many people expect to see all of their dreams come true within a week. With SEO, this isn’t the case. Studies have also shown that most companies underestimate the time and money that goes into good SEO services and unfortunately, a lot of them drop off after just a few short months or less as they weren’t getting the results they thought they would. If we could just ask you to take into consideration everything we’ve said here and give SEO a very bare minimum of 6 months before you expect to see good results.

    SEO, when properly invested in and done correctly is one of the best ROI’s (return on investments) out there. Just make sure you get all the information you need before making your decision.

    If you’d like to take a look around our SEO services, please visit and contact us today for your website review.

  • Facebook's Latest News Feed Update

    So Facebook have released yet another news feed update and this time, a lot of people will feel the effects. Facebook have revealed that their latest update will be to prioritise updates from your friends and family on your news feed, above those from pages and publishers.


    Facebook states “Our top priority is keeping you connected to the people, places and things you want to be connected to — starting with the people you are friends with on Facebook. That’s why today, we’re announcing an upcoming change to News Feed ranking to help make sure you don’t miss stories from your friends.”


    Facebook claim that they’re going back to their roots and giving people the stories that matter to them first. The effect this update will have on businesses, mainly ones with a lower social media following, is huge! Effectively, Facebook is pushing all page and publisher updates to the bottom of the list. This is certainly going to impact page reach negatively.


    Facebook states: "Overall, we anticipate that this update may cause reach and referral traffic to decline for some Pages. The specific impact on your Page’s distribution and other metrics may vary depending on the composition of your audience. For example, if a lot of your referral traffic is the result of people sharing your content and their friends liking and commenting on it, there will be less of an impact than if the majority of your traffic comes directly through Page posts."


    So you’re reading this article and probably think that this is the end of the road for your business on Facebook, that you should just give up? Wrong! There are still some ways to help ensure that your business is still seen on Facebook and here are a few of them;


    • Focus on video posts
    • Use Facebook Live – as much as possible!
    • Always include imagery
    • Pay to amplify reach
    • Monitor insights daily


    These few tips should help you with this latest update. The most important two are focussing on video posts and paying to amplifying reach. Here at Design365, we can help you with Facebook paid ads, boosts and more, all to help you get through this latest social media update.


    Facebook's also released a new “News Feed Values” document which outlines the driving logic behind their decisions as to how they refine and improve the News Feed algorithm. If you get a few moments, please take a look through the News Feed Values, there are some very important and helpful hints on there to help your business stay visible on Facebook.


    If you have any questions about how this may affect your business on social media or for any other related enquiries, please contact us.

  • Middlesbrough Football Club Foundation


    Here at Design365, we take charity very seriously and recently we have been raising money for MFC Foundation.

    Every Friday, in the Design365 towers, we give everybody the opportunity to dress down and be casual for the day. By participating in the 'casual Friday', we ask that staff donate to the MFC foundation box. We will be having cake bakes and other fund raising ideas like fancy dress and sponsored challenges, we will keep you updated on these!

    "MFC Foundation was set up by Chairman Steve Gibson as the independent charitable arm of Middlesbrough FC. Though it uses the official Boro brand to engage with various members of the community, MFC Foundation exists as a separate entity from the football club."

    If you want to read more about MFC Foundation, please visit their website here -

    MFC Foundation Charity Box

    Every 3 months the staff will select a new charity to fund raise for so stay tune for updates!

  • Responsive Web Design... Reasons to upgrade!


    Is your website in danger of dropping off the search engine results pages?

    Google launched an update last year stating that they were going to start to favour websites which were mobile friendly. According to, the number of mobile-friendly web pages in mobile search results increased by two percentage points (from 70% to 72%) after the original update rolled out.

    Responsive Web Design can also improve SEO (search engine optimisation) and increase conversion rates. Local search is becoming increasingly popular (on mobile phones) so having a responsive website will increase the ability of your website to be found by local users.

    Responsive Web Design (RWD) is simply an approach of laying-out and coding a website so that the website provides an optimal viewing experience, ease of reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling across a wide range of devices (including desktop computer monitors, tablets and mobile phones).

    Having a responsive site can benefit you in a few ways:

    Google Factor:

    Google recommends a responsive approach for SEO. Managing the SEO for multiple mobile and desktop sites can be difficult and has been proven to be less effective compared to a responsive site. Responsive sites avoid duplicate content. Webmasters who create mobile versions of their website usually just duplicate the content from the main website. By doing so, this immediately removes all the credibility of the mobile site from an SEO perspective.

    Note from MD: There are also whisperings from Google that they will be creating a mobile only search engine for mobile devices which will have a massive effect on non-mobile friendly businesses.

    Better, faster, smarter user experience:

    Putting your customer first is key and ensuring that their experience on your site is the best it can possibly be. Having a responsive and mobile friendly site means that the user can enjoy the site to its full potential regardless of what device they're using to view it on.

    Cost effective:

    Even though initially responsive sites take a little longer to put together, they survive a lot longer and future management, support and upgrades only need to be applied to one place which saves time and money.

    Improve conversion rates:

    An optimised and consistent site, no matter what platform it’s viewed on, provides a better experience for the user which is more likely to lead to them engaging with you.

    If you want to see some of our recently launched responsive sites please visit our portfolio

    If you think it's time you finally made the change to your website, please contact us!

  • Al Forno - New Site

    We've just created a new site for the lovely Al Forno restaurant in Darlington.

    "Al Forno Italian Restaurant is a fantastic place to meet and eat. Choose from a range of superb, fresh Italian food, beautiful wine and excellent service. Pop in for a cappuccino or a glass of wine, tuck into a fresh summer salad, grab a sandwich or sit down to a home cooked Italian dinner cooked by one of our award winning chefs."

    Take a look at the site and let us know what you think!

    al forno1 al forno2 al forno3
  • What are the benefits of Social Media Marketing?

    Over the past few years, social media has grown enormously, and more and more people are using it to benefit their business. To show how quickly social media has grown; Facebook was founded back in 2004 and now has over 44 billion monthly active users and 936 million active daily users. Twitter was founded in 2006 and currently has over 270 million active monthly users. Instagram launched in 2010 and now has over 300 million active monthly users. It has grown over 50% in a year and is now bigger than Twitter!


    Here are some benefits of social media for your business: 


    - An easy way to learn about your audience

    The key to success in any business is knowing your audience. Using social media makes this possible and very easy to do, with the use of Twitter Analytics and Facebook Insights. You have access to useful information right at your fingertips. You can learn dominant languages spoken by your social media audience as well as their age, gender and popular interests. By knowing this information it allows you to cater your campaigns and product offers to your target audience which will provide you a better return on investment.

    - Higher conversion rates

    It’s a very common fact that people like doing business with other people, not with companies. Having various social media networks for your business and being active and engaging on them humanizes your brand. In addition, studies have shown that “Social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing. (State of Inbound Marketing, 2012)”. Having a higher number of social media followers tends to improve trust and credibility in your brand, representing social proof.

    - Increases brand recognition

    Using social media for business has allowed companies to increase their brand awareness and the reach of their brand for a long time. Every tweet, post and image you send is just another opportunity for someone new to hear about your amazing brand and the products or service that you sell. Once your social followers grow and people start to share your content is when your brand awareness really grows. As soon as your post is seen by someone who does not currently follow you on the social network is when your post becomes ‘viral’… Cool hey!

    - Improved SEO

    SEO is the best way to capture relevant traffic from search engines, but the requirements for success are always changing. Social media helps you easily direct people to your site as well as acting as a “brand signal” to search engines that your brand is legitimate, credible, and trustworthy. Having a strong social media presence is almost mandatory as Google now takes your social media networks into consideration when calculation their rankings.

    - Customer service platform

    It’s a proven fact that the majority of customers will turn to social media when they’re had a really positive or a really negative experience with a company. Once a complaint is on their social media, you can’t delete it. The best thing you can do is respond to it in the best possible way and try to rectify the initial complaint. Whenever you receive positive feedback, we’d suggest that you try to engage with as many as you can, thank them for their positive feedback and possible suggest another similar product/service which you think they would also like!

    - Expand your audience

    Social networks allow you to engage with your current customers as well as seeking out potential customers. Twitter, for example, allows you to search or specific keywords and will pull up every single tweet with those keywords in. You can then choose to only see the tweets that were sent near to your location. Let’s say for instance that you’ve just opened a new coffee shop in a town centre, you could search in Twitter for people tweeting ‘I need a coffee’ and filter the results for your location. This allows you to then interact with all the people near you who are wanting what you sell – what more do you need?

    If you want more information or would like to jump on the Social Media band-wagon, Please contact us and we will see how we can help boost your enquiries and sales through the power of social media marketing!
  • NBSL Funding

    XqozvHS5_400x400Great news… Funding is back!

    Would your business benefit from a new responsive website, or maybe some marketing? Or perhaps you don’t currently have a website but looking towards becoming a part of the online world?

    With NBSL, you may be entitled to a grant to help support your business. If you’re an established business, trading for over 12 months, you could receive a grant up to £2800 towards a project worth up to £8000. Alternatively, if you’re a new business, trading for less than 12 months, you could receive a grant of up to £500 towards a project worth up to £2000.

    Design365 have helped many clients get the funding they deserve and have a strong reputation with the funders and can assist with the application process and claims process.

    If you are looking to update your website to a mobile friendly responsive site, upgrading to e-commerce to sell online, wanting to develop your own mobile app or improve your digital marketing then please feel free to get in touch.

    Funding is available to businesses in Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, Teesside or County Durham.

    During the last NBSL funding, we helped a lot of clients access the funding they deserve so we're more than happy to support you every step of the way to ensure that your application is successful.

    For more information on the North East Business Support Fund, please visit their website at or give us a call on 01325 311909.
  • Torus Logistical Soltuions - New Responsive Site

    Torus Logistical Solutions is a well-established and successful recruitment agency, their head office is in Stockton on Tees.

    Torus was initially established in 2012 and since then, we have expanded throughout the UK to allow us to support our blue chip client portfolio.”


    We have recently created a fully responsive site for Torus which is sophisticated and very user friendly!

    Check out the full site here >




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