Web Design & Local SEO for Small Businesses

Pippa Haines

Owner of Pippas Web - web design & SEO for small business. Designer, SEO, admin I do it all. A wife, mother of two, I spend my time just trying to fit it all in.

4 Things We Can Learn From A Four Year Old.

4 Things We Can Learn From A Four Year Old.

I’m playing Peter Pan. Do you want to be Jane like me?

Ok for those of you not clued into Disney, Jane is Wendy Darling’s daughter in Return to Never Land.
This was how my four year old daughter greeted her friend this very cold morning, while we waited for the teachers to open the doors and the school day to begin. This was the start of her day, how did you start yours?
The school run this morning got me thinking. They say a childs’ play is their work and sitting there watching my four year old playing with her friends, made me think about what I could learn from her and how it could that be used in business.

1) My daughter seems to make friends wherever she goes. She will confidently talk to others in the playground and ask if they want to play or if she can join in with them.

Lesson: Everyone is a potential friend, business partner or customer. Always have your business card or contact details with you, after all you never know when an opportunity will present itself. Ok not everyone you speak to is going to buy from you, but maybe they have a friend looking for your product or service. However don’t bore people with the details if they’re interested in what you do then great, if not as long they are aware they can spread the word.

Action: Carry business cards on you, tell your friends what you do, and link to your business page from your personal account. Make it easy for people to find out what you do, if they want to.

2) Rather than telling her friend to be someone else in the game she asked if she wanted the same character, giving them both a chance to be in the lime light. There’s always room for someone doing the same thing as you. It’s what you do, that makes the difference.

Lesson: There is likely to be competition in whatever field you are in. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It means that that the quality of your work, the service you give needs to be better. You need to work out your person USP (Unique Selling point). Use your USP to give yourself the edge.

Action:If you don’t already know what your USP is then, spend time today working it out. Make sure you tell others about it, is it on your website, your facebook page, if your proud of your USP let others know about it.

3) So I was told on the way to school that Peter Pan was with us, my daughter knew she was going to play with him whatever, even though “he’s just pretend and not really there” .

Lesson: Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean you can’t play or work with it. Think about your blog or facebook page, you chat to people on there, most of which you’ll never meet, or speak to in person. When you are considering how to sell your product, service or goods you need to think who needs it. Working up a profile of your customer will help you create picture in your mind of who they are, I use this picture when I write to set the level of who I am writing to.

Action: Create your own customer profile, how old, where do they live, where do they hang out? The more info you can add the more ideas about places to advertise, services to offer etc you can get to provide your customers with what they want, where they want it.

4) When your 4 you can fly, swim, be a princess and a mermaid all before school. I don’t know about you but I think we could all do with a little magic in our lives.

Lesson: day to day life can have its highs and lows, imagine how much better your day and your customers day would be if you shared a little bit of magic. Do you do something that others don’t want to, or can’t do for themselves? Then just by doing what you do best, you will be helping others think of this a magic. I create websites, people tell me I just wouldn’t know how. Ok so I learnt how but to others it’s still magic. See the magic and make your day a little brighter.
Action: find your magic, spend time with your children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, or even just spend a few mins acting the kid yourself, enjoy and have fun. Bring that feeling into your work. As Mary Poppins says, “find the fun and snap the jobs a game”.
So these were my thoughts, now to put them into action. Next time you’re watching a child playing, spend a few minutes thinking, what can they teach me?

Domain Service Notice – SCAM

Search engine registration e-mail scam

This mornings scam offering in my inbox was a new one to me. A notifcation of “Domain name search engine registration” expiration.
As you might imagine I have quite a few domain names under my control, so to find this email got me a bit confused.

Basically it starts out making out the domain name is up for renewal (it wasn’t), but then you read on and it says

“Failure to complete your Domain name search engine registration by the expiration date may result in cancellation of this offer making it difficult for your customers to locate you on the web. ”

So they’re claiming that if you don’t pay your ranking and ability to be found in search engine will be effected. DO NOT believe them.

So some pointers that should let you know you it’s a scam .

It’s sent from a hotmail email account – ok so not all hotmail email is dodgy but it’s temporary, easy to get hold of and not something I would expect a reputable company to use. This is something to consider when setting up your new business/ site most domains come with emails addresses use them, it will at least give your potential clients a little more confidence that you are who you say you are.

The facts were wrong. The domain expiry date was wrong, although adding tomorrow’s date does encourage the reader to make hasty / rash decisions.

There are no actual company details given only a fax number!!!!!! Alarm bells.

There is no company that charges for you to be registered for search engines, or at least non that can remove their services and you suddenly not be found. After all you can submit your new site to Google and bing for free.

When searching through Google, you can see that this scam has been going for years (they’ve not even updated the template for the email ha-ha.) it also looks like they take it in turns to focus on specific domain endings, so for now it looks like .com is under fire. So spread the word and don’t let anyone else parted with their cash.


Attention: Important Notice


Complete and return by fax to:

ATT: ADMINISTRATIVE CONTACT– – – – – – – – WWW.DOMAIN.COM Please ensure that your contact information is correct or make the necessary changes above  

Domain Name: DOMAIN.COMSearch Engine Submission


Requested Reply FEBRUARY 5,2013





Attn: – As a courtesy to domain name holders, we are sending you this notification for your business Domain name search engine registration. This letter is to inform you that it’s time to send in your registration and save.
Failure to complete your Domain name search engine registration by the expiration date may result in cancellation of this offer making it difficult for your customers to locate you on the web.
Privatization allows the consumer a choice when registering. Search engine subscription includes domain name search engine submission. You are under no obligation to pay the amounts stated below unless you accept this offer. Do not discard, this notice is not an invoice it is a courtesy reminder to register your domain name search engine listing so your customers can locate you on the web.
This Notice for: WWW.DOMAIN.COM will expire on February 5,2013 Act today!



Reply by Date: 02/05/2013
For Domain Name: DOMAIN.COM
Select Term Your Existing Domain Period Covered Price
[ ] 1 year 02/05/2013 – 02/05/2014 $75.00
[ ] 2 year 02/05/2013 – 02/05/2015 $119.00
[ ] 5 year 02/05/2013 – 02/05/2018 $199.00
[ ] 10 year -Most Recommended- 02/05/2013 – 02/05/2023 $295.00
[ ] Lifetime (NEW!) Limited time offer – Best value! Lifetime $499.00
Full Name: Email:
Email 2: ____________________
Phone: _____________________
Want to receive this notification for other domains you own? simply list them below: _____________________ _____________________
_____________________ _____________________
Today’s Date: _____________________ Signature: _____________________

Payment Select the term and complete the form above, then return by fax: 1-212-913-9858 (do not include your credit card details on this form, just fill the information above and fax it to us, once we receive your fax we will send you instructions on how to make a payment by credit card, also make sure you provide us with your contact phone number above)

Using Social Media To Get Better Customer Service

Getting better customer service

In the past if you wanted to contact a company with an idea or an problem, you rang then up or even wrote them a letter. For example did you see the story about the girl who had the idea to change Sainsbury’s Tiger bread to Giraffe bread. Usually a letter will only be seen by a handful of people and with luck will eventually get to someone that will deal with it.

Now with email and the Internet we expect a much faster effective responses. But what happens if you have a problem with a company, they’re ignoring you, not responding to support tickets or your email? Have you thought about using social networks to your advantage?

Recently I had some problems with several domain names and their renewal. I followed the online system and sent off the ticket. I got a response quickly, saying if I responded within 7 days they could arrange the refund. I spoke to my client and replied to the ticket, (the ticket had to be re-opened because it had automatically been closed by the companies system. Two days later I still hadn’t heard back from them. I wrote another update on the re-opened ticket – still playing by the book. But when I still hadn’t heard by the next day I was starting to get really concerned.

This particular company doesn’t have an online chat option to chat in person, but they did have a facebook business page. As I already “liked” them on Facebook I thought I’d do something I’ve seen others do but I hadn’t tried out myself. I knew that someone from the company regularly responded to posts on the their business page ( a very important thing for any page admin to do). So I wrote a polite comment asking could someone please chase this ticket as I needed it sorting urgently. Within a few minutes the problem relating to the ticket was resolved. Ace! job done. However the next day their system then started acting up and not only recreated the original issue but did it twice! So it was time to raise yet more support tickets. After a day or more I had yet again received no response. So I took it back to the the Facebook fanpage.

So why does this work. No company wants to wash it’s dirty washing in public, pages of comments on pages of Facebook or Twitter of problems with a company, a piece of software etc. give a bad impression. But if they can be seen to be responding to these problems it does at least improve the perception of a company. Now I’m NOT proposing that you need to do this for every little problem, I guess the support team would be a little put out if you did. But if you’re not getting a response or you keep getting blanked, you may find that approaching via Facebook or Twitter may be worth a try.

I know people who have complained about bad service by tagging the restaurant chain in a post, who then got vouchers back.

If this doesn’t work (it may vary on the company and how well they respond to social network queries) then Google the company, if you have had a problem then chances are someone else will have had. Join any groups, blogs, forums. If one voice isn’t being heard the voice of many will be harder to ignore.

If you have any questions or want some advice then why not contact me on Pippas Web.

Image credit – © Sqback | Stock Free Images & Stock Photos




Use Your Titles To Draw a Crowd

Did you know your page has two titles and both are very important.


The Title of each page, everyone will see, it’s the header for each page, it’s good to use your keywords but also to keep it relevant to the page in question. For example on your home page don’t just write home, why not be more creative, welcome to (add your company name) or Describe your main service for example Bright Eyes Petsitting and dog walking.

But do you know the in the code behind your site you Also have a send page title and the one here although less noticeable when you’re on the page is actually quite important.The <title> tag in the code behind the scenes

The title of the page from in the code actually shows in the tab of the browser. But did you also know that it is a primary sorce that Google uses to decide what heading to give your result when it shows in a search.

The title in Shows as the header in Google

The idea is to write relevant keyword related titles that actually describe the content of the page. But also make them unique to each page ( but then if you’re making them relevant the would be any way won’t they??)


So how to do you create the best titles for the search results?

  • Don’t just keyword stuff. (put a long list of keywords without any relevance).
  • Don’t make the title too long most people think 65 charcters is long enough. Think of it like a newspaper headline, short and snappy.
  • Make it relevant to the pages content.
  • Make it Unique, hundreds of pages with the same Title, how’s Google supposed to know what you’re about?

For more infomation

read Better page titles in search results by Google


Don’t just keyword stuff. (put a long list of keywords without any relevance).
Don’t make the title too long most people think 65 charcters is long enough. Think of it like a newspaper headline, short and snappy.
Make it relevant to the pages content.
Make it Unique, hundreds of pages with the same Title, how’s Google supposed to know what you’re about?

For more infomation

Not sure where to start then contact me.


What Do I Do With My New Website?

What should I do with my new website?

What should I do with my new website?

You have a new site, it’s listed in Google but it’s not drawing in as much business as you’d hoped. Well this is where Search Engine Optimisation comes into play. When I designed / created your site, I tried to optimise your site as much as possible for your most relevant keywords, so Google and the other search engine know what your site is about. I also added a few links to your site enough to get you listed in Google, but to improve you place in the search results you need more links. Google sees a link to a site as a vote. However not all votes are equal.

Good Links / votes

One way (no reciprocal link back to them on your site)
Dofollow (if the link is set as a nofollow site then the link doesn’t allow the search engines to follow the link or share the page rank.
Page rank (google ranks pages 0-10) depending on the number links, hits and other things. This is only updated a few times a year, the higher the page rank of the page your link is on the more sway it has with Google

Google keeps it’s formula very secret so NO-ONE knows for certain how to get to the number 1# slot every time, however there are a lot of companies out there that will tell you they can.

There are white hat techniques and black hat techniques (frowned on upon by Google), each company will have different approach depending on what they have found that works and the resources that they can throw at it.

SEO is something that anyone can do, but does take a little time to read about and learn different skills. If you have time to do it yourself then great, but if you would like some help then allow me to offer my services.

Pippas Web story – it was just the beginning

Owner of Pippa Web

When I was growing up my parents splashed out and we had our own computer (just like the ones we had at school the BBC “model B” that loaded games via a tape recorder, and you could programme with simple little codes to do draw on the screen. I loved playing with it, and tried the coding several times from codes in the odd book or magazine my Mum had found. I used the computer on and off through my school and college life, but not to any big extreme, just the basics.

Then in 1997 I moved in with my then fiancé and other than the flat one of our first big buys was a home computer. I couldn’t see the point of having a computer at home. He was the one pushing for it, he’s heard about the Internet and couldn’t wait. Me I wasn’t fussed and was just looking forward to re-learning the wordprocessor and spreadsheets. However after we got it, I spent more and more time on the Internet finding more and more things of interest to learn.

Then I found a site that let you create your own website, “ wow how exciting”, but what could I possibly do it on. Other than being on the computer and working I didn’t do much but my Hubby played cricket for his local friendly side. So I thought I’d do a site for them to share team news etc. so I created my first site. Over the next few years I found out that you could learn a code to create sites not just use the online software, but didn’t have the time or now where to start learning it. However having slipped down some steps at work and one swollen ankle later meant that I had some time one my hand so I spent the week with an online course teaching myself HTML on the computer, my foot up resting. So having worked through the course I wanted a challenge. So I decided to re-design that cricket club web site and coded every page by hand. Well that site did the trick the club loved it, and I was really proud of my achievement.

From there I created several different sites over the years for different reasons but all for either me or my family. I created a site for my Mum who had re-trained as a hypnotherapist and a year or so later for a theatre group. I got enough feedback from people that they loved the sites that I decided to do more reading to see how i could develop my own html coding. So through online courses again I learnt about CSS and JavaScript, and then turned my attention to SEO (search engine optimisation) to help my Mum’s site out.

I was working as an analyst for a utilities company when I went on maternity leave with my second child, my department was relocated 45mins down the road. So I took the opportunity to leave and decided to give Pippas Web – web design a try to see if there was a need for my work. So here I am, this is me and my story.
So what can you take from this to start out on your own.

Enjoy what you do – find something of interest , a hobby, a craft, computer coding. If you’re going to go into business for yourself, then you want to enjoy what you do.

Continue to learn – read around your chosen business, expand your knowledge, the theory and then learn new related skills things that will give you an edge.

– what do they want from you, do you need to change anything, do you need to be able to do anything different?
Make the most of your opportunities – I had a week off work, where all I could was sit there. I made good use of that time by teaching myself a new skill. You never know where that new skill might just take you.

This is my story why not share yours with me below.

6 Top Tips How To Network On Facebook

Networking on Facebook


Since Facebook changed the way it worked and allowed users to create posts from their own fan pages on other users pages it has opened up a whole new world where you can take your fan-page out to other people rather than just waiting for them to stumble across you.

This has led to a large increase in networking pages of different sizes being created.  “Send in the troops“, “Rainbow small business network” and “a little birdy told me“, link dog”  to name but a few.  All with their own sets of rules.  When you come across a new site that’s allowing you space to showcase your site,  I suggest you look for posts that tell you how the page admins want you to post.  In business or personal mode, photos, tags etc.  If you break their rules your post may be deleted anyway, or you’ll get a virtual and public scolding, so check out the rules first.

1) Identify sites where your target audience is likely to be waiting.  Check out pages of people who sell similar products and see where their new likers come from.  (Lots of new likers offer this info very useful)

2) Identify the site rules, these may be found in several places.  Possibly in the info page of the site, or the documents section or possibly in the posts that the site admin post (to see this on the top of the page wall you have two options the name of the site on the left will allow you to filter the comments so only the page admins comments are visible, the right hand option allows you return to the most popular or most recent posts.

3) Don’t just say hi from ….. post something interesting and eye catching.  Post a photo of your products or something connected to the service you provide.  People will be drawn by the photo.   If you can’t post photos (back to those rules again) then post something different that will stand out, a joke, products or service description.  Imagine at this point you’re selling in the market competing with all the other traders, show them your business and give people a reason to “like” you over others.

Ok so you’ve set the trap and someone’s taken the bait and “liked” your page now what?

4) Show some personality; if it’s your business then you “the person” will be a big part of the process.  People will come for the products but you want them to want to read the future posts too and not unlike you.  Who would you rather buy from someone who you’ve chatted to online, or someone who just posts visit my website ………. to buy XYZ.

5) Encourage people to interact with you.
Ask questions for them to answer, welcome new people to your page, and answers any questions that they have.  Most of all don’t spam people, post if you have something to say, if you have something to add, but a lot of people will get fed up if you are constantly posting to the news feed.

6) Don’t become obsessed with the numbers.
Yes it’s nice to see the number on the left hand-side increase with people liking in personal mode but would you rather 1 person who liked in business mode but chats, asks question, and promotes your site  or 100 people who “liked” purely for the like back?  and then likely hid you from their news feed anyway.  The numbers on your insight pages give a more accurate view of the number of people who “like” the site as they also include the business pages.

Do you have a fanpage?  How to do you attract new “likers”?  Do you go out a network on other sites?  Or wait for them to come to you?  Why not drop me a comment and let me know your opinion.  Or if you’re not already a fan come and visit the Pippas web fan-page

Have You Got The X-Factor

Have you got the xfactor

Have you been following stories about Cheryl Cole being sacked from the US X factor. Well to be honest I don’t know all the ins and outs but having read some of the articles on themirror.co.uk and there are several reasons being bandied around as to why she was sacked,

1) The Americans couldn’t understand her accent – (how ridiculous, the range of accents in America, and they can’t cope with her Geordie accent)

2) She wasn’t pushing herself forward enough, letting the other judges dominate the discussion.

Whatever happens I’m sure Cheryl will bounce back, and go on to many more exciting new projects.

So why am I writing about this? How does it relate to you?, your business? and more importantly your website?.

Firstly the WHY?

I’m trying to be topical. Relating things you do to recent events can help to drive traffic to your blog / site / business. You can be inspired from pretty much anywhere but some good sources check out Twitter trends see what people are searching for the most on there, news sites, as well as other blog posts might spark an idea.

So how does this relate?

Does your business / site / blog have the X-factor do you stand out from the crowd? Do you make a noise or let everyone else talk over you.

Don’t let your accent or the way you write, put people off. Although we’re working online, we still have an accent, not an audible one, but our writing style.

When you write you might want to avoid using local words like Scran=food, dual-track = dual carriageway. Keep your writing clear and simple, look at your target audience and write for them. If your target is officer worker in the city, talking about the sheep being dipped on the farms will mean very little to them . However if you are writing for a local community, then use some local language, will give your writing some character, just be aware that not everyone may understand or appreciate it.

Don’t sit back in the shadows, voice your opinion.

You are (or should be) an expert in your field, you have your OWN personal experience on which to draw. When you network either in person or online, or write for a site or blog, don’t be afraid to say your piece. You opinion is just as valuable as anyone else’s. Join forums in your niche area and offer help with issues or your opinion. Join in discussions, listen to others ideas you might just learn something but they can also learn form you. You’ll get a lot more out of these activities if you participate than if you’re a lurker.

By participating on forums blogs etc. you can get links to your site or blog, always useful to the search engines, but by drawing attention to yourself people will be interested in finding out more (so make sure your profile and signatures includes web addresses where possible).


So it’s decision time, do you have the X-factor, or should you be sacked? Are you after the limelight or happy to let others take the glory while you lurk.

Go tell someone new about your business. But don’t forget to leave a comment on here and tell us how it went.

Pippas Web design websites for start up companies and small business, check us out.


Happy Customer – Pink Personal Training

Let me introduce you to Pink Personal training run by Yvonne Grayson.

Pink Personal Training operates around the Hampshire / Surrey borders. 1-2-1 personal training, pilates classes and a Fitness Boot Camp are all on offer to get the people of Headley, Grayshott, Bordon and beyond up and on their feet.
Pippas Web was brought in originally to get this new site onto Google.  Then together we have been making changes to the site and Pippas Web is now working on some SEO to help with its rankings.

This is what Yvonne has to say.

“Thank you so much Pippas Web – you saved my life! Pippas Web helped me with SEO – AND tweaked my website into something I can now be proud of.

Efficient, friendly, and sympathetic to untechnical sorts like me. An affordable service for small businesses just starting up.

Pippas Webb – Pink Personal Training will be back – so look forward to doing business again”.


Pink Personal Trainer in Hampshire


Customer: Yvonne- Pink Personal Training.

Service: SEO and site review.

Site: http://www.pinkpersonaltraining.co.uk/

Pippas Web website design for start up companies and small business, check us out.



Who Are You Writing For?

As an avid fan if “The Apprentice” and watching the marketing tasks, where they have to work out their target audience. Is the product for the yummy mummy, or the business woman. But this still isn’t personal enough. The top marketing and advertising companies will create a full persona to describe who the are aiming their product and their campaign at.

Who are you writting for?
Who you writing for?


For example a new range of babies bibs could be aimed at Phillipa Jaynes, she is a 24yr old, new Mum, living in London, she does yoga and baby yoga with baby Matt. They’d work out her daily routine, what she does, where she shops. Why ? So they know how to interact with her, how to get their products in front of her, but mostly so that the information about the product is promoted as a product that she will like.

What’s this got to do with me and my site?

Have you noticed how if you write a letter your writing style differs if you’re writing to someone you know, rather than some nameless, faceless person.

Whenever you write something, stop and think who are you writing it for. If it’s content for a site then, who do you want to be reading this, are you writing for the ‘head CEO of some company’ or are you writing for a ‘busy new Mum’.

When I write this blog, I write for my Mum. (ahhhh how sweet, I hear you sigh), well yes and no. So why my Mum? Simple she doesn’t know or understand jargon. If I don’t explain myself clearly she’ll only be on the phone or email saying I don’t understand this, so for the easier life, I focus on straight talking for everyone to understand.

By understanding who you are writing for you can:

  • Write using the appropriate level of terminology. For example, for beginners, if you use jargon you need to explain what it means. However if you’re writing about the design of a new car, or piece of machinery, you are likely to want to use jargon to demonstrate your knowledge.
  • Understand where to look for links : if your target person for the blog post or site is a yummy Mummy, into yoga, and babies, then this is where you need to start looking for links. Parenting sites, yoga sites, baby blogs, etc. These links will help direct your targeted traffic to you site or blog.




So who do you have in mind when you start writing? Why not share your thoughts on it.


We are delighted with the website that Pippa has designed or use. Its an easy to use, informative and eye catching website.

Sue AingeBright Eyes Pet Sitting