Lanetech’s blog includes short articles on website design and development, Internet services, SEO and social media. Some of the articles are based around common questions that our clients ask us, and some are just for fun. We hope you find the blog helpful!

Tips for marketing your business with Instagram

Screen grab of National Geographic Instagram page

National Geographic on Instagram

Instagram is an online photo- and video- sharing social networking service. It’s a fun (and free!) platform to generate customer engagement and build brand awareness. Like any other social network, Instagram is based around finding people to follow and having people follow you. I’m following bunnymama – check it out – so cute! Instagram has been around for over 3 years and is very popular: over 150 million users. For this reason, businesses are increasingly using Instagram. Here are 5 quick tips to get started:

  1. Tag posts with hashtags. A hashtags is a word or phrase prefixed by a # sign. Posting content that is appealing to your target market tagged with relevant hashtags can greatly increase awareness of your business – think of hashtags as keywords for SEO. — According to Instagram, the top hashtag of 2013 was #love … yawn.
  2. Mix photos and videos. Don’t make all your posts about business! Balance fun/beautiful/highly personal photos and videos with pictures related to your business. This gives followers insight into life outside of work and an element of human connection.
  3. Connect your account to Facebook. Facebook owns Instagram, so not surprisingly the two platforms are very connected; it is easy to pull in or share your Instagram posts on Facebook to grow exposure.
  4. Foster relationships. Engagement and communication is key to a successful social media presence. So, if a follower has a genuine question or comment, reply to them. Likewise, follow back those that are interesting or relevant etc. and ‘like’ or comment on their posts.
  5. Analyse key metrics. Statigram is an analytics tool for measuring total number of likes received, most liked photos, follower growth charts and more. As with Google Analytics, the insights can help you optimise Instagram for business.

For detailed information, see the Instagram for Business blog! Please do get in touch if you would like to discuss social media marketing.

4 quick tips for optimising images for the Web and better SEO

Our clients sometimes ask us to update images on their website, as part of our web hosting service. More often that not, we need to optimise the image for the web and for SEO. However, the majority of our clients update images on their website themselves using our content management system (CMS) and so we thought these quick tips might be helpful:

  1. Change the image resolution to 72dpi: page-loading time is an important factor in search rankings, as providers want searchers (especially mobile searchers) to have the best experience possible. This means that a slow site may be penalised. Optimising your images can therefore improve performance. While high definition displays are becoming more common, web-ready images are normally 72dpi (not 300dpi!). However, very soon you will want to…
  2. Cater for high-resolution displays: images at 72dpi will look blurry on high-resolution devices, such as a Retina display. You may have noticed that images on your website aren’t as sharp as other elements when viewed on the latest Apple devices. There are several approaches to this issue: if you are a Lanetech client, please do get in touch to find out if one of these solutions is right for you!
  3. Use keywords in the file name: search engines see images by looking at file names, among other factors, so try to be descriptive and reflective of keywords when you name your images (don’t go overboard though! 3 to 4 words max) and use dashes to separate each word in the phrase. The image name my-new-rabbit.jpg is much more useful to Google than DSC5709.jpg.
  4. Use the correct file extension: the two most popular image formats for the web are JPG and PNG. Generally speaking, use a JPG for photographic images and a PNG for less complex images or where you need transparency. Remember to crop out excess white space to help make your web images load faster. You may need to experiment a little to get the best trade off between quality and file size.

Please do get in touch if you would like to discuss SEO with us. Our websites are built to the latest standards using the latest techniques and with SEO in mind.

Marketing your business online with

Yell logoWe recently updated our listing on – one of the UK’s local business search engines – after noticing the prominence of Yell in search results on Google. Which we think is the result of Google providing easier access to other local search providers in its own search results after complaints it was blocking competitors. The link to Yell brings up relevant search results on You can opt for a free advert or a paid (Prominence) advert. A paid advert should ensure that you appear higher up search results and includes monitoring where calls and clicks are coming from. According to, potential customers looking for local businesses and services visit Yell online 10.7 million times a month. This pales in comparison to the billions of searches per day on Google; we will let you know if our investment to advertise on was worth it!

Also, a reminder that we strongly recommend setting up Google Places for Business, which is free and in our opinion an essential part of any local campaign – see our earlier blog! Please do get in touch if you would like to discuss local search engine optimisation (SEO) services.

david powell in myeloma charity t-shirt

Lanetech’s director to run for Myeloma UK

We are delighted to announce that the Director of Lanetech, David Powell, and his family will be running in the Baxters River Ness 10K on Sunday, 29 September. David and co. will be running for Myeloma UK  and hope to raise valuable funds for the Charity. Myeloma is a bone marrow cancer and Myeloma UK is the only organisation in the UK that deals exclusively with this type of cancer, providing support to patients and families when they need it most. David has been getting in shape over the summer 🙂 and hopes to complete the course in well under 1 hour. If you would like to support David and his family in their run for the Myeloma UK charity, you can do this online via Just Giving. All donations will be most gratefully received! Go David!

lanetech website screen grab

Our new responsive website design!

Lanetech is pleased to announce that we have revamped our website 🙂 using a Responsive Design, in recognition that almost a third of our website visitors use mobile devices (measured using Google Analytics).

Responsive Design is an approach to web design and development that uses fluid layouts, resizable images and different CSS style rules to automatically adjust to the device that the user is accessing the website on. — E.g., the image above shows how our portfolio section looks on a laptop computer and on a smartphone. Responsive design is not new, but it is becoming increasingly popular as more and more people use their mobile phones and tablets to access the Internet. Rather than tiny text and tiny buttons, responsive design helps websites look great across devices and eliminates the need for users to constantly zoom in and out of content.

An alternative approach to Responsive Design is to create a separate mobile website. Mobile websites are usually a simpler (stripped down) version of the standard website that reads better on small screens and is optimized to load quickly. As we recently blogged, website usability guru Jakob Nielsen thinks that you should make separate mobile websites. However, many people in the Industry disagree, not least because the full content is available with Responsive Design.

For anyone considering a new website or a redesign, we recommend that you think responsive! Please do get in touch if you would like to discuss a responsive website design.

edinbane pottery google map custom Street View panorama

Create a virtual tour using Google Street View

We thought you might be interested to learn how one of our clients, Edinbane Pottery, has created a Google Map custom Street View panorama to allow virtual visitors to ‘walk’ off the street and explore inside the Pottery. Many people are familiar with StreetView, the technology featured in Google Maps that provides panoramic views from positions along many streets in the world, and many websites incorporate a Google Map, but we don’t see many custom Street Views (or virtual tours). It’s by no means a cinch to create, you will need to create or commission your own 360 degree panorama photographs and add some code to your website. However, as you can see the overall effect is very impressive!

Please do get in touch if you would like to discuss adding a Google Map custom Street View panorama to your website.

Google Penguin update: has your search traffic dropped?

PenguinGoogle are constantly working to improve the quality of their search results. As such, they are committed to fighting spammy websites — websites that use aggressive SEO tactics in order to get their website ranking higher in search results, such as keywords repeated again and again (keyword stuffing), excessive use of advertisements, hidden text, and buying lots of inbound links. Such tactics focus on search engines and not the user experience.

Google’s latest release of their anti-web spam algorithm named Penguin 2.0 has caused a stir by hurting some SEO firms and business owners while helping others. Lanetech websites are built using best practices to help Google find, index, and rank sites, meaning that our customers probably won’t be impacted by the update at all. But, as a general comment regards websites not built by us, we recommend that you use Google Analytics to compare your organic search traffic from Google a few days before and in the days after Google Penguin launched on April 24; if you notice a drop in traffic, you may have a Penguin problem.

As always, please do get in touch if you would like to discuss options for optimising your website.

e-availability introduces follow up emails for online ticket sales

Today, people assume that it should be possible to purchase tickets for any event online, ideally from the event organiser’s website. Our partner business, e-availability, provides a wide range of online booking systems. The Ticketing system is the most popular, which is ideal for any ticketing- or events- based business. Working with some of our clients, we have recently added a Customer Feedback feature to the system that can help to build positive customer relationships. If activated, emails can be created according to each event and automatically delivered to customers the day after the event. For example, you could request feedback by return email, a review on Facebook or TripAdvisor, or offer discounts/coupons.

Please do get in touch if you would like to discuss our range of online booking and ticketing systems or to see a demo!

The importance of designing a good mobile user experience

Jakob Nielsen photo

I’m fresh back from The ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. The highlight for me was an invited talk by Jakob Nielsen, principle of the Nielsen Norman Group, a user experience firm. Nielsen has been described as “knowing more about what makes Web sites work than anyone else on the planet”. — For anyone interested in website usability and design, I recommend his Alertbox newsletter!

One point he made that struck a chord was the parallel between the early years of website design and the here and now. In the early years, many websites were simple reproductions of printed brochures that did not take into consideration the dynamic qualities of the Web and offered a suboptimal user experience. Today, many websites designed for desktop computers are being accessed on mobile devices, and don’t work because they fail to take into account a range of factors including small screen sizes and reduced bandwidth. Nielsens’s point was that the desktop user interface platform differs from the mobile user interface platform and consequently a good mobile user experience requires a different design than for desktop users.

For those with Google Analytics, we recommend tracking the number of visits to your website using mobile devices – you might be surprised. As always, please do get in touch if you would like to discuss options for optimising your website.

Show up across the Web with Google Places for Business

Google Places iconAccording to Google, 97% of consumers search for local businesses online. We wanted to remind our customers of a free tool to make sure your business stands out: Google Places for Business. Sign-up is quick, easy and free. Simply sign in to your Google Account at (or Sign Up if you don’t yet have an Account). You will then be able to add your listing to Google Places for Business. This includes your business contact details, hours, photos and a Google map. Your business should then show up on Google Maps and in organic search results – if you check, remember to add your City/Town (e.g., e-availability Forres). You can visit Google Places anytime to edit your information or see how many people have seen and clicked on your listing. Once up and running, our tip would be to ask real customers over time to add a review, as reviews with a 4 or 5 star rating will boost your search engine optimisation (SEO) for the Google Places page. As always, please do get in touch if you would like to discuss SEO options.

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