SEO Part 3 – Good Website Design

Good Website DesignSEO Part 3 Good Website Design

Clear Navigation

Try and predict the information your customers will immediately want to see and make sure this is visible when they first visit your site. This information might include:

  • The services you provide,
  • Your business name and location
  • Your contact details and/or a contact form
  • An easy-to-use site menu

Flashy graphics and pop-ups may seem attention grabbing, but they can easily confuse and frustrate your visitors. Similarly, you should only decide to add a fashionable “carousel” or image slider if you can still fit the most important information at the top of your homepage where it is easy to find. If your carousel is able to include text and links to useful pages of your site it can be a useful tool to guide people to where they want to go.

Site Speed

Slower websites will be crawled slower by search engines, which means that any changes you make to your site will take longer to appear in search results.

Additionally, a slower website means your visitors need to wait longer for the information they are looking for, especially if they are using a poor internet connection. There will also be a higher chance that they will leave your site if it is not a pleasant experience to navigate.

Mobile Compatibillity

Google announced at some point in 2018 they will start to index search results giving preference to “mobile first” websites, which are responsive to mobile devices like phones and tablets. These websites will have a better chance at being listed before similar sites which do not react to different screen sizes.

There are plenty of other ways to improve your site’s design; you can get a report of how your website is successful and how it is failing by using tools such as http://nibbler.silktide.com/en_US which you can send to your web developer.

Here are the links to our previous SEO Guides:

Part 1 | Part 2

Industry News

Around the Industry

We know you will all be busy with the heating season in full swing so here is our regular roundup of everything going on around the industry.

Hunter Stoves joining Woodland Trust

As part of their ongoing commitment to preserving the natural environment, Hunter Stoves has announced that they have joined the Woodland Trust, the UK’s leading woodland conservation charity, as a Rowan member for 2017/18.

The Woodland Trust work tirelessly to protect, restore and create woodland across the UK. Their vision is clear – a UK rich in native woods and trees, for people and wildlife. Together with the help of over 500,000 members, they campaign to save threatened woodland, fight to breathe new life into ancient woods, and aim to enrich local landscapes by planting thousands of hectares of new woodland.

It’s great to see organisations like Hunter Stoves demonstrating their commitment to our natural environment. Read the full article on the hunter Stoves website.

On 6 November 2017, on the 800th anniversary of the 1217 Charter of the Forest, the new Charter for Trees, Woods and People was launched by The Woodland Trust at Lincoln Castle – home to one of the two remaining 1217 Charters of the Forest. It now rests in the Lincolnshire Archives.

During 2017 The Woodland Trust reached out to all sections of UK society to define this new charter, and to build a people-powered movement for trees. More than 70 organisations and 300 local community groups answered the call and helped to collect over 60,000 tree stories from people across the UK, demonstrating the important role that trees play in their lives. These stories were read and shared, and helped to define the 10 Principles of the Tree Charter, ensuring that it stands for every tree and every person in the UK.

You can sign the charter by clicking here.

BEIS SAP Survey

BEIS has published a response to their consultation on proposed changes to Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP). You can view the response in the following link.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/660478/Government_Response_-_Changes_to_SAP_FINAL-v2.pdf?dm_i=1UMB,5AE2L,NMDJ7K,KEBX7,1

Ready to Burn Update

The Ready to Burn initiative is gathering momentum and putting Woodsure and its members at the front end in driving woodfuel standards and contributing to improved air quality. The number of suppliers signing up is increasing and the scheme has even received press coverage in the United States, courtesy of Biomass Magazine and across Europe.

Following the recent announcement from the Mayor of London’s Office the team at Woodsure was keen to meet with the air quality team to discuss how the Ready to Burn initiative could be part of the solution. Discussions are ongoing at this stage and we are finding ways that we can work with them to promote quality firewood to those legally burning wood in London.

Following communications from Defra, Woodsure is pleased to see Local Authorities starting to promote the importance of fuel quality. The team has received calls from consumers on the Isle of Wight looking for Ready to Burn suppliers following a mailshot by the council. Havant Council and Dudley Environmental Health have also been promoting the initiative. We continue to work with Defra to engage a variety of stakeholders to promote Ready to Burn.

Our design team has been busy working on Point of Sale materials to help further promote the Ready to Burn initiative; and Defra will be contacting major retailers to encourage them to sell Ready to Burn wood rather than wet logs.

Some of you have enquired about use of the Defra logo and the Ministers video message about Ready to Burn fuel. We have permission for you to link to the video but not to host it on your sites. https://www.readytoburn.org.

Finally, here is a sample of the recent press coverage relating to Ready to Burn, please feel free to share these articles on your websites and social media channels. Remember to tag Woodsure in your posts and use the hashtag #ReadytoBurn.

Biomass Magazine (USA)

Air Quality News

Fireplace Specialist

Heating & Plumbing Monthly

Business Lancashire  – thanks to Logs Direct for this article.

If you have an article feature in press or online, let us know on hello@woodsure.co.uk.

For information on becoming a Ready to Burn supplier click here.

Renewable Heat Incentive Update

In March 2016, the Government published a consultation on changes to the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme. After taking account of the feedback it received, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) published its consultation response on 14 December 2016. You can read the consultation response, The Renewable Heat Incentive: A Reformed Scheme in full on the BEIS website. Subject to Parliamentary approval, the changes to the scheme Regulations that were announced in the consultation response are planned to be introduced in two stages.

The first stage of proposed changes to the Domestic Scheme came into effect on 20 September 2017.

These changes include: tariff uplifts for air source heat pumps (ASHP), ground source heat pumps (GSHP), and biomass plants; and the introduction of annual heat demand limits for ASHPs, GSHPs, and biomass plants. The amendments will also extend the scheme’s budget management mechanisms until July 2018.

Subject to Parliamentary approval, the second stage of regulation amendments are planned to follow later in 2017/2018 – these will extend the RHI’s budget management mechanism until the end of 2020/21 as well as introduce the rest of the RHI reform package that was announced in December 2016.

You can view a handy summary of the changes on the Ofgem website.

Win a Christmas Hamper

Schiedel and Specflue are giving installers the opportunity to win a fantastic Christmas hamper that will certainly get the festive season started. To be in with a chance of winning head over to the Schiedel and Specflue Facebook pages and find the ‘Christmas Hamper’ promotion!

T Panel for the future

T Panel for the future

Department for Education logoMike Harvey, HETAS Training & Technical Manager, has been appointed on to the Building Services T-Level Panel; one of the first three new T-Levels announced recently by the Education Secretary, Justine Greening.

T level panel’s role is to co-create technical education programmes with the Department for Education. Each panel will bring together the expertise of industry professionals and employers to provide the outline ‘core’ content of the knowledge, skills and behaviours and ‘specialist’ content, in sufficient detail, for awarding organisations to develop the full qualification content.

First announced in 2016 and backed by £500 million every year in additional funding, the qualifications are seen as a key milestone in transforming technical education in the UK and they extend the offer for young people to study a technical qualification at Level 3 – equivalent to A-Levels.

T level qualifications will provide students with the knowledge, skills and behaviours they need to get skilled jobs. It is intended that all T level programmes will also include a substantial, high quality work placement‎ so that students can apply their learning in a real workplace environment. The first of the new technical qualifications will be taught from 2020, with the full set of T-Levels introduced by 2022.

Training and ongoing development are key priorities for HETAS. The current suite of HETAS training courses meet and exceed the Minimum Technical Competence standards for our industry. In order to be registered with a competent person scheme, installers need to demonstrate that they meet the relevant minimum technical competence requirements. HETAS is keen to see these Minimum Technical Competence standards raised and will continue to work on behalf of our registrants to raise standards in training and professional competence.

To find out more about the range of HETAS training courses please click here.

Bruce’s Newsletter Welcome December 2017

Bruce’s Newsletter Welcome December 2017

As we move closer to the Christmas break everyone at HETAS passes on our very best wishes to you and yours. We hope you have a peaceful and happy break.

Its always nice to reflect back on the year as it comes to a close. This year HETAS staff have had a number of charity fund raising events and HETAS tops up the donations to national and local charities wherever we can. This year we have given donations to Children in Need, St Richards HospiceMacmillan Cancer Support and Save The Children.

This winter is the busiest we have experienced since the industry boom leading up to 2014/15 and we hope this means that the reduction in activity since the boom is levelling out and returning to normal levels. Certainly, the number of jobs being notified to HETAS suggests that the stove market in particular has picked up lately despite press attention on air quality and wood-burning.

HETAS and Woodsure have been working with Defra on the air quality issues and we can report that there is no plan to ban stoves or any of those drastic measures suggested by some news reporters. The move is definitely towards better modern clean burning appliances and dry wood fuels like good quality logs and wood briquetted “fire logs”. We are in close contact with scientists at Leeds and Manchester Universities where extensive testing is going on.

Early reports show that dryer wood reduces particulate emissions and Woodsure has taken on board the scientific evidence in setting the maximum moisture content for logs at 20% wet basis. The average kiln dried wood that is sampled from suppliers is 12.8% and for seasoned wood it is around 18%. It is also worth knowing that stoves are designed and tested on wood that is 16% + or – 4% and wood log fuel burns at its best in these parameters.

We are in the process of writing an Air Quality issue of our regular technical bulletin. It will contain the information you need when talking to your customers about appliance and fuels. The good news is that Defra supports the Woodsure Ready to Burn scheme and the drive to advise customers to buy new clean burn appliances, replacing open fires and old stoves where possible.

Click here to view our latest news.

Seasons Greetings

Season’s Greetings

Seasons GreetingsIt’s a little over three weeks until Christmas! We want to make sure your business needs are covered over the festive period before we close the office for our annual Christmas break.

The HETAS office will be closing at midday on Friday 22nd December and will be open for business as usual on Tuesday 2nd January 2018. We will endeavour to post out orders made via HETAS to arrive with you ahead of Christmas.

Clothing Orders

If you’d like to place a clothing order to arrive for Christmas, our clothing supplier has advised that orders will need to be placed by the 5th December. We will of course do our very best to complete as many orders as possible for everyone.

The Royal Mail website has guidance on last recommended posting dates, but to be safe get your orders in early via the HETAS Shop.

The HETAS team is on hand over the coming weeks to help out with all your enquiries, get in touch on 01684 278170 or email hello@hetas.co.uk.

The whole team at HETAS would like to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

 

Bruce’s Newsletter Welcome November 2017

Bruce’s Newsletter Welcome November 2017

As with last year there will be newspaper stories about smoke and in particular about emissions from wood burning across the UK, with a particular focus on London. Some customers may be nervous about these issues but this is an innovative industry and we have good reason to say that we are part of the air quality solution not the problem.

The next HETAS Technical Bulletin will be shared between HETAS and Woodsure and will give more in-depth information about the technical aspects of reducing particulate emissions through the right choice of appliances and fuel. We already know that using the right “Ready to Burn” dry fuel in great clean burning appliances can reduce particulate emissions by 80% over the emissions from burning wet wood in old open fires and stoves. The scientists working at Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle Universities have been studying emissions from wood and their data  has helped Woodsure in making a decision that logs for domestic fuel must have a moisture content no greater than 20% (wet basis) for the Ready to Burn firewood scheme. High quality wood pellets and clean wood briquettes have moisture contents of 8% to 12% and the European standard for stove manufacturer requires appliance testing at 16% plus or minus 4% (so 12% to 20%). The science confirms these moisture contents as clean and efficient as well as being effective in reducing particulate emissions. There is interesting work asking if logs can be too dry for effective, efficient and clean combustion and we hope to have the results ready for the technical document that we are writing.

Keep a close eye on your inbox for the next HETAS Technical Bulletin or give the team a call to discuss further.

In this edition we also update you on a new guidance document for solid fuel fired catering equipment, the approaching deadline date for the Energy Labelling Directive for roomheater stoves and much more. You can access this newsletter along with all our archives in the HETAS Technical Area.

CEDA and HETAS collaborate on new guidance

CEDA and HETAS collaborate on new guidance

CEDA and HETAS collaborate on new guidanceSolid fuel fired catering equipment has seen a huge increase in popularity in the last couple of years. HETAS has spent the last 18 months in close collaboration with ceda to produce some much-needed industry guidelines. These guidelines are in harmony with the latest version of DW172, the specification for commercial kitchen ventilation systems.

About ceda

CEDA Ltd is the premier Trade Association representing the most professional Catering Equipment Distributors and Service companies in the UK. Click here to find out more about ceda.

With no “ready-made” document available, Peter Kay from ceda has spent the last 18 months in close collaboration with HETAS to produce some much-needed industry guidelines.

Understanding the risk

There are a number of risks associated with this type of equipment including:

  • Production of carbon monoxide
  • Sparks from the fuels being burned
  • Very high temperature exhaust fumes

Aimed at a broad cross section of the industry, the guide is recommended for foodservice operators, kitchen design teams, equipment suppliers and installers, ventilation designers and engineers, maintenance engineers and ventilation cleaning specialists.

Topics covered include all aspects of equipment selection and positioning, ventilation, fire suppression, equipment operation, fuel types plus storage and handling, cleaning equipment and ductwork and maintenance issues.

HETAS and ceda expect the guide to become the go to document for the industry.

DownloadTasty Steak Image

HETAS Registrants can access a free to download pdf version of the guidance document in the HETAS Technical Area. Alternatively, contact the HETAS Technical Helpline for advice.

Purchase

The document entitled “Guidance on best practice for the safe installation, operation and maintenance of solid fuel fired catering equipment in commercial premises” is available from ceda for a cost of £50. To order a copy please visit the website www.ceda.co.uk/contact-us/ or contact ceda directly on 01386 793911 or by email at info@ceda.co.uk.

 

 

Need to Vent?

Need to Vent?

Rytons Ventilation | Need to VentThe heating season is here and hopefully your books are already pretty full and business is looking healthy. To help with your preparations, the team at Rytons has provided a quick reminder of some of their most popular vents you’re sure to need during the next few months.

Rytons, Established in 1972, began manufacturing just two products; the Rytons Slim Vent Minor and Slim Vent Major. Their aim was to educate architects and builders on the benefits of specifying and installing cavity ventilation in new build cavity walls. The concept grew steadily and eventually became part of UK regulations and standards. Today the number of products Rytons manufacture and distribute has expanded to over three hundred, but it still contains those first two products.

The products are well-designed, made of good quality materials and will last! To support these claims and offer peace of mind when buying or specifying, Rytons have products approved by two of the most well respected bodies in the industry – HETAS and the British Board of Agrément (BBA).

The Rytons website also has ventilation calculators for stoves, open fires and gas appliances. They are there to save you time and a headache – give them a try.
Video

A full range of useful videos can be found on the Rytons Vimeo channel.

With Rytons celebrating 45 years of manufacturing, they have also produced a timeline of the business. Click here to view the history of Rytons.

Got a technical ventilation question? Contact the HETAS Technical team on technical@hetas.co.uk or call 01684 278170.

Cyber risks in the construction industry

Cyber risks in the construction industry

cyber risks in the construction industryConstruction output in the UK is more than £110 billion per annum and contributes 7% of GDP [1]. It’s a hands on industry; building infrastructures, mining, quarrying, forestry, supply of products, as well as maintenance and disposal, for both business and individual clients. So you might be surprised to hear that an industry that constructs so much offline, faces significant risks online.

According to UK government statistics, in 2015, 15% of construction business premises were affected by online crime. That means 1 in 6 constructions firms [2].  A study from The Home Office from that same year shows there were 77,000 incidents of online crime against construction companies, in which 71% were computer viruses and 10% were hackers [3].

Construction industry data is more valuable than you think.

Think about your company client base, the current, past and future projects, and all the information you hold. ‘The leaking of market-sensitive information, intellectual property or other confidential information could have serious financial consequences for your business.’ [4]

One of the most publicised and embarrassing security breaches came back in 2013, when hackers believed to be working from China stole a construction company’s blueprints for the building of the new Australian Security Intelligence Headquarters. [5]

It isn’t just hackers you need to be protecting yourself against either, multiple sets of employees, consultants and contractors, could all provide an element of risk when it comes to a data breach. Don’t forget, it is a legal requirement to ensure that all data is held securely and is used in the correct way.

GDPR and Construction

It is important to understand the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and what it means to your business. As the construction industry faces a migration towards more digitalised, integrated and complex systems, the potential impact and risk to the data being held by companies is increasing.

GDPR is coming. In an effort to make sure companies are doing everything they can to protect their data – this EU legislation is coming in to force from May 2018 and companies need to be ready. Bringing penalties of up to €20 million, or, if higher 4% of total revenues for those who don’t comply.

Building a safer cyber environment

Keeping systems up-to-date, having back-ups, secure Wi-Fi, installing anti-virus and building an internal policy to educate staff all helps to reduce risk. Perhaps start by having a frank discussion with your IT support provider to ensure you are doing everything you can.

Here are a few more tips to help protect your business:

  • Consider getting the ISO 27001 certification, which proves you are following the necessary security policies and procedures. [6]
  • Make sure your finance team are well trained and on the lookout for phishing scams.
  • If you have multiple connected users, make sure you install a privileged account security solution on each device. It will help to reduce your chances of sensitive data being accessed. It also makes it easier to control should a device be mislaid or stolen.
  • Install software that provides real-time protection and automatically receives the most up-to-date malware definitions. [7]
  • Prepare a plan for how the business will respond to an incident.’ [8]

Why not get in touch with your HETAS Insurance team on 08455 085 734 to see how they can help you.

 

HETAS Ltd is an introducer appointed representative of Jelf Insurance Brokers Limited. Hetas Insurance Services is a trading name of Jelf Insurance Brokers Ltd (Reg No. 0837227), which is part of Jelf Group plc (Reg No. 2975376) and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).  Registered address: Hillside Court, Bowling Hill, Chipping Sodbury, Bristol BS37 6JX (Registered in England and Wales). Not all products and services offered are regulated by the FCA. JIB226.09.17

 

[1] https://www.designingbuildings.co.uk/wiki/UK_construction_industry

[2] http://www.infrastructure-intelligence.com/article/may-2016/one-six-construction-firms-affected-cyber-crime

[3] http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/cyber-criminals-target-construction

[4] http://constructionblog.practicallaw.com/it-is-not-a-matter-of-if-but-when-cyber-security-in-the-construction-industry/ 

[5] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/australasia/chinese-hackers-steal-blueprints-for-australian-spy-hq-8633757.html

[6] https://www.itgovernance.co.uk/blog/how-iso-27001-can-help-to-achieve-gdpr-compliance/

[7] http://www.isqft.com/start/blog-data-breaches-cyber-security-and-the-construction-industry/

[8] http://www.isqft.com/start/blog-data-breaches-cyber-security-and-the-construction-industry/ 

 

 


 

SEO Masterclass | Part 2 | Building Trust

SEO Masterclass | Part 2 | Building Trust

Building Trust ImageWhen potential customers search for local businesses in their area you will need to make sure your website stands out from the crowd. The best way to do this is by proving the integrity and trustworthiness of your company. In part 2 of our SEO masterclass the HETAS marketing team talk about creating trust through your website.

Building Trust

HETAS Registered Businesses – Adding a HETAS registration mark to your website proves your operatives or sales staff have been HETAS trained, possess in-depth industry knowledge and will provide a professional service. HETAS is a well-established brand, and many consumers will be specifically searching for a HETAS registered business.

Always use the relevant HETAS registration mark for your type of business:

  • Registered Installer
  • Approved Servicing
  • HETAS Approved Chimney Sweep
  • Approved Retailer

Contact our friendly HETAS staff on 01684 278170 or email info@hetas.co.uk for your quality copy of the HETAS mark. We will need your name, HETAS ID and roughly what you would like to use the logo image for so we can send you the correct version of the file.

Please note that the corporate three tick logo is only used by HETAS itself for internal and marketing purposes – it will not be what the customer is looking for to prove that you are registered.

Remember to add your other accreditations too!

You can even link to your listing on the HETAS website. Head over to the ‘Find Installer‘ search, enter your four digit business in the ‘Check Business’ tab and then copy the URL.

Which? Trusted Trader

HETAS offers a reduced cost membership to Which? Trusted Trader. Unlike most other Trade comparison sites, Which? will assess tradespeople to ensure they have achieved high quality targets. Additionally, Which? holds its own industry awards that as a member you would have a chance of winning. The Which? Trusted Traders Logo alongside the HETAS logo on your website are a great combination to give visitors confidence in your services.

*In-bound links from well-known sites with good reputations like hetas.co.uk and Which? to your website will improve your search engine ranking. Try to limit the number of links that go from your site to other websites.*

Customer Feedback

Positive customer feedback is a great way to show the service you provide is of a high standard. However, be aware that you can also be given negative reviews, including fake comments which could have a negative impact on your business.

There are several ways in which your customers can provide feedback. These include:

  • Google reviews
  • Reviews/trade review sites
  • Allowing people to leave reviews directly on your website – be aware that due to the possibility of negative or fake reviews this may only suit certain large businesses who receive enough positive reviews to counter this.
  • Adding hand-picked testimonials to your own website will ensure visitors will only see positive feedback, but keep in mind that many visitors may not trust content that you have added yourself, rather than directly by a customer.

Keep us informed

Have you got a website or recently changed to a new website? Make sure you keep us informed so your listing with HETAS is up to date.

Part 3 of this Masterclass will be available in December.