Google Shortened Meta Descriptions Again

Google Shortened Meta Descriptions Again

Google Shortened Meta Descriptions Again 

I thought Google just expanded meta descriptions to around 320 characters last December? They did but they changed it again back to their old length of between 150-170 characters.

Crazy!

For a website designer this is more drama than I would like in my business. SEO is something I stay on top of because I want all my websites that I design to be found on Google and I want them to look good when they show up on organic and paid searches.

In December I went back to many of the websites and expanded the meta descriptions to double what it was and was thankful because it would give us a chance to explain more fully what the website was all about.

You had to do this with each and every website page that was in the website itself or you would lose the visual advantage that extra text provided to potential clients. If you had a website that had a lot of pages, it caused lots more work but was worth it in the end.

But now??

Website Meta Descriptions Shorter

Google Shortened Meta Descriptions Again

I use a pro version of Yoast SEO plugin on all my WordPress websites including my own, so it makes it easy to do SEO and meta descriptions.

They have a free version that works well but the pro version gives you much more functionality that really helps in a number other area’s such as website backups and 301 and 401 redirects (which can be a real pain to do manually) as well as adding more focus keywords instead of just one. Here is what Yoast says about this Google change.

If you do not fix the meta description, it’s not a big deal with Google I am told but it will look like you forgot half of what information was. When the description gets to the end of 150 characters it will be followed by three dots

When I see the three dots on the end of the meta descriptions it always makes me think someone lost their train of thought on what they were trying to say plus you lose half of the information.

Think of your meta description as a descriptive ad on who or what your business is. Would you want half your ad that you paid a lot money for missing? You need to go back and condense the meta description to 150-170 characters so potential customers do not think badly about you or your business.    

Here is more information to read up on what is happening. Search Engine

How to write Meta Descriptions: How To Write Meta Descriptions In a Changing World. I hope that information helps.

I just wished Google would stay consistent so they would not cause us website designers and SEO guys so much extra work. O well, what else do I have to do with my time. Ummm, let me see 

Google Shortened Meta Descriptions Again

Meta Descriptions Smaller Now

Focus Keywords Meta Descriptions

Website Meta Descriptions Shorter

SEO Meta Descriptions Smaller

WordPress Plugins: The Good The Bad and The Ugly

WordPress Plugins: The Good The Bad and The Ugly

WordPress Plugins: The Good The Bad and The Ugly

I feel like I should have the music from the movie Clint Eastwood stared in called “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” playing in the background as you read this blog article.

One of the added features of designing websites on WordPress are something called plugins. Plugins add features to a website without having to write code. I am a photographer and graphic designer at heart, but I also build custom WordPress websites. The last thing I want to do was build a website from scratch with code. I learned to do that in a few classes when I when back to school to study for my graphic arts degree. It was interesting, and I learned to navigate around the back end of a website, but it was not something I wanted to with the rest of my life.

I discovered WordPress about 10 years ago and my digital universe changed. WordPress is an open platform where around 25% of all business websites are designed on today. I load up a premium theme that has a page builder installed and much my work is drop and drag so my world as a graphic designer becomes much more visually creative.

Understanding WordPress Plugins

WordPress Plugins: The Good The Bad and The Ugly

 

Plugins allow me to bring new added functions that do not come with WordPress right out of the box. These plugins will give a website security, SEO, image and page compression, website data tracking devices and so much more. Some plugins you install and activate, and they do what they were designed to do and other plugins you have to set up for them to function correctly.

Think of Plugins as little blocks of pre built code that will allow you to ad more custom code that is unique to your website. 

Since WordPress is an open source platform there are thousands of code programmers and millions of users involved. There are thousands of themes to choose from that are free but many have a premium price. The same hold true with plugins. Over the years I have learned which plugins are the ones to be trusted and many which are not. This is where The Good The Bad and The Ugly come into play.

Good plugins…

…far out way the bad and the ugly plugins. You just have to be careful of the ones you use. You can also have to many good plugins because the more plugins you have the slower the website runs. Websites can get bloated with to much code which in turn can slow them down from loading on a browser. You will want to make sure that the good plugins that are installed are serving a useful purpose. Deactivate and then delete those that are not being used so this will not happen. When it comes to a website, the less baggage the better. 

Bad plugins…

… can slow down a website, not work as intended or have a conflict with other plugins that will shut down parts of your website. This happens many times when the website does updates to the theme or plugins. I have even had a conflict so bad that I could not log into the back-end of my website to make any changes. I would then have to resort to connecting to the back-end of my hosting provider and work in the cPanel and disconnect all the plugins until my website opened up again and then turn each plugin back on one at a time to find out which plugin is causing the trouble.

What do WordPress Plugins Do?

Added Functions with WordPress Plugins

 

Ugly plugins…

… can cause security breaches to your website and allow the site to be hacked which will cause major headaches to fix. In the website maintenance part of our business these are issues we keep an eye on and fix when the need arises.

Plugin conflicts happen many times when the WordPress platform, themes and plugins are updated. They worked great when they are first installed but when the update occurred something broke or some code was missing. Remember, websites are nothing but a mass of code so it does not take much to cause a problem. Sometimes plugins do not play well together and that is where the conflict comes in. You see this all the time in other technologies when we update our computer programs, cell phones or other software.That is what software patches are all about. It can drive you crazy, but it is just part of the technical world we live in.

To learn more…

…about WordPress Plugins, go right to the source right here at WordPress Codex.

If you have any questions on WordPress plugins or anything else related to websites or the internet, please drop me a email with your questions.

If this blog article has been helpful to your understanding of website design, please sign up to the right to receive a email every time we post a new article. 

WordPress Plugins: The Good The Bad and The Ugly

Understanding WordPress Plugins. What do WordPress Plugins Do?

Conflicts with WordPress Plugins

Added Functions with WordPress Plugins

7 Tips for Building a Small Business Websites

7 Tips for Building a Small Business Websites

7 Tips Building Small Business Websites

Do not become overwhelmed by the idea of having a business website. If it’s your first time, be sure you talk with a number of web designers, so you can see if their personality is a good fit with yours. A website is a collaboration between two people and a lot of information will have to be exchanged between the business owner and the website designer.

When you hire them, the website designer will give you a list of things he or she will need from you to design this digital store front for you, so you will have to do some homework to make this happen. You will need to write out the verbiage for each page and make sure all the grammar is correct.

Website Design Tips

If you want them to use some of your own photography, you will need to supply them in a timely fashion, so adjustments can be made in Photoshop. Many people do not have their own photos, so I suggest using a photo stock agency to find good solid images to help promote the website. Images are critical. A good web designer will know where to go for these unless you are familiar with the process.  

Building Small Business Website

1.) Start Small

Many small-business owners want too much too soon especially when it’s their first website. Start out small and build into something bigger that you can grow into. You want to have a good quality website instead of something too big too soon. This will also help you to keep the cost down. As your business grows so will your website.

2.) Make Sure It Loads Quickly

People have become impatient when it has come to slow loading websites. There are a number of reasons why website load slowly and a good designer will know how to speed it up. One of the biggest reasons is to have your images optimized correctly. Nothing slows down a site more than to have images that are too big and bloated. Correct sizing and DPI size is a huge factor.

3.) Mobile Optimization

Is it responsive? How does the website look on a cell phone? Things have changed drastically in this respect and more people than ever before are using their cell phones to use the internet. You want your website to look good on desk and laptops but also on the much smaller devices like iPads and cell phones.

4.) Easy to Navigate

You want the experience for the user to be as friendly as possible and this means being able to navigate your website easily and find what their looking for as hassle free as possible.

Make this clear by having a menu bar and other factors help them to get around your beautiful storefront or information center.

7 Tips Building Small Business Websites

Small Business Website Design Ideas

5.) Call to Action

Make that clear right from the start. Your website is a salesman and its job is to generate leads for you and your business. Have a strong Call To Action (CTA) is essential for this to happen.

  • Free price quote or free consultation
  • 10% off for new customers
  • $75 off your purchase if you bring in this printable coupon

Make it easy for your leads to contact you. It could be a contact form or clearly visible phone number on every page. Make your CTA stand out by using a highlighted menu bar, center of page when loaded or floating side bar.

6.) Photos are Worth a Thousand Words

Content and media will tell the story of your business.

Content is the verbiage or words you will use to explain who and what your business is. But media, be it photo’s or video will give a great visual story as well. Sometimes an image can sell your business much better than anything that is written. We have become a very visual oriented society, so we need to use this media as much as possible on the website.

Small Business Website Design Ideas

7.) Become Your Customer

We all have options on what we like and dislike, but you should not design your website solely on that. You want to have it designed with your customer in mind. Why is my customer here? What information do they want from it? That is a good foundation to build your website on. Put yourself in the mind of your customer at all times.

In Conclusion

If you keep these 7 Tips for Building a Small Business Website in mind you will not only have a great looking website but one that brings you more customers.

If you would like to know more about our New Website Design or graphic arts business, please give us a call our email us. 

We would love to help grow your business through digital and print media.

Building Small Business Website

Website Design Tips Small Business

Small Business Website Design Ideas

Business Website Design Tips

7 Tips Building Small Business Websites

Text Plus Photo Equals Powerful Visual Story

Text Plus Photo Equals Powerful Visual Story

Text Plus Photo Equals Powerful Visual Story

One of the most satisfying things I do as a graphic artist is design small visual blurbs that combine a photograph or graphics with text. It is like a neat little visual package that can convey a message like nothing else can.

They can be very powerful with its message and does not take much time to get its point across to the viewer. People do not have a lot of patience to read a lot anymore because of how much information we all have to digest on a daily basses.

These little visual blurbs are perfect.

Text Plus Photo Equals Powerful Visual Story
Text Plus Photo Equals Powerful Visual Story
Text Plus Photo Equals Powerful Visual Story

Do not take me wrong. I still love designing websites, newsletters and writing blogs like this one but there is something about these little morsels of graphic design that is on a different independent level.

They are much harder than they look.

Text Plus Photo Equals Powerful Visual Story
Text Plus Photo Equals Powerful Visual Story
Font Plus Image Equals Powerful Visual Story
Font Plus Image Equals Powerful Visual Story

This is a selfe I took of me, my son and grandson. Cell phones do a great job of capturing images for these graphics. I used a filter on the image in Photoshop to blur the photo and give it a different feel to warm it up to match the quote and red text.

Text Plus Photo Equals Powerful Visual Story
Text Plus Photo Equals Powerful Visual Story
Text Plus Photo Equals Powerful Visual Story

Many times I use a photograph that I took sometime in the past. I was a photographer for more than 40 years so had built up a library of images that I can use but more often than not, I use a great image from a photostock agency.

Sometimes, my inspiration will come from a photograph itself and then look for a quote, or I might just save that image until I run across something suitable to match. Other times, I find a great quote or even scripture and then hunt for just the right image.

I love this hunting phase because it takes me on a journey of discovery within my own self.

Social Media Graphics
Social Media Graphics
Graphics For Websites
Graphics For Websites

Social Media Graphics

When it comes to the text, the quote is a big deal but so is the type of font that is being used. Do I use something modern (san serif) or something more gothic or traditional (sarif).

Fonts also tell a story and will either help the story line or make it less effective. This is where my graphic arts schooling has come in handy.

Color combinations are also very important and how they relate to one another. Element placement can also make or break the message.

Graphic Design For Websites
Graphic Design For Websites

A selfe my son took of him and his son so I could use it for this graphic. 

Text Plus Photo Equals Powerful Visual Story
Text Plus Photo Equals Powerful Visual Story

I use a number of different software programs that Adobe makes. For these little blurbs I use both Photoshop and Illustrator.

I use Photoshop to get the image just right and Illustrator to use text and fonts in very creative ways.

Small, compact and full of zip is what these blurbs are and perfect for social media messages.

Illustrator Graphic Design
Illustrator Graphic Design

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Text Plus Photo Equals Powerful Visual Story. Font Plus Image Equals Powerful Visual Story

Best Website.Solutions is a custom Website and Graphic Art design company located in the Phoenix, Arizona area.

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John@BestWebsite.Solutions

Social Media Graphics

Graphic Design For Websites

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