Sass is awesome and so is SEO.

I want to talk about 2 things today.  I’ve had a busy old today today in which I’ve been grappling with 2 new things.  One less so but the other completely new.

Sass

The absolute new thing I’ve been doing today is Sass. Sass is a pre compiler, that inputs CSS, and outputs, CSS. Pretty confusing I know and I’m sure there are better ways of explaining what Sass is all about. All I know is after 2 days of trying to wrap my head around the basics, it is a pretty awesome thing.  The main purpose (and I’m sure there are other purposes to touch on) is that it lets you write nested CSS selectors and lets you cut through all the repetition that can sometimes make for CSS development.

So you could write in a Sass input file. 

body {
    background: #eee; }

.blog .entry {

h1 {
    font-size: 20px;
    color: blue;
}

p {
    font-size: 12px;
    margin: 20px;
}

a {
    color: red;
}

}

html.csscolumns {
    .blog .entry p {
    column-count: 2;
    column-gap: 10px;
    margin: 10pc;
    }
}

And end up with something more complicated like this. 

body {
background: #eee; }

.blog .entry h1 {
font-size: 20px;
color: blue; }
.blog .entry p {
font-size: 12px;
margin: 20px; }
.blog .entry a {
color: red; }

html.csscolumns .blog .entry p {
column-count: 2;
column-gap: 10px;
margin: 10pc; }

All code coming out of one of the wonderful courses at Team Treehouse but written in Sass from Ruby’s Sass compiler. Today was a big breakthrough in my understanding of this system. It was built in Ruby for Mac, Windows and Linux. and once you get used to it you feel right at home.

Does anyone remember the days of MS-DOS command line system?  Yes I’m old enough to remember those days, and as a Windows User I had to go back to Ruby’s compiler which is a wonderful imitation of the DOS command line system.  It has been too long, and to have to remember how to navigate with keywords and a keyboard rather than Windows Explorer and a Mouse was actually quite daunting.  But on Saturday, I didn’t know where to go to look for help.  I didn’t pay enough attention to the Treehouse video, which (albeit a little fast) laid out everything I needed to know to create a little project in Sass.

But today was different. And it was nice to be able to do something so familiar and yet so new. Suddenly I was navigating around the compiler feeling like a pro.  

At University, before I did my degree, I was thrust upon having to learn command line languages like C.  I couldn’t understand it well enough.  I had to understand the language and how to access it using command line environments like secure shell (SSH).  I used to look around at people doing so with ease and think…  “I wish I could do that”.   

Thankfully I’ve got a little taste of it now. There’s more to learn but it feels cool   🙂

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

I spent the first half of my day today answering an enquiry, a genuine enquiry (despite my best attempts to sabotage a genuine opportunity – don’t ask) regarding my services as an SEO provider.  Well, not so much a provider but a person who can be contacted to help a person gain leads through their website through natural and organic SEO and at a fraction of the cost. 

I don’t make any claims to be an internet marketing specialist. But there aren’t many companies out there who will offer SEO at a price most people could afford. Sadly there are companies out there who promise the earth but don’t get results.  I don’t promise the earth, sadly at the moment I can’t even promise results but I know I have history in helping to generate some enquiries for my client websites and I believe I have the know-how now, to help turn enquiries; interest into sales. 

SEO is something I do as standard anyway, as I prep any site as best I can for the search engines. The thing is, you don’t have to be a specialist to be able to do SEO. Anyone can do it. And all I want to offer is a little time to prove to potential clients that if we work together, something wonderful can happen for both parties. 

Thanks again for reading  🙂

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Jonnie Grieve Digital Media and the Mission of SEO

Thanks to Treehouse, I like to think I know a bit more about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) than I did even a couple of days ago (at the time of writing this).  The videos are short, but concise and tell you so much about what web/digital agencies and internet marketers are up against when it comes to making sure that the websites they create or manage get to the top of Google and stay there.
 
It sounds like a daunting task, but folks, anyone can do it. Anyone can do SEO and that is a fantastic thing. If you like marketing than SEO is not only a neccesary thing to learn but it can also be fun.
 

What is SEO?

My definition?  SEO is the process of preparing your website, your brand so it can be found on the search engines.  

The internet is a huge place with millions of web pages being added or updated to it every day.  If your website is not being found on a search engine, then to the world it doesn’t exist.  SEO gives your website life and good SEO will get you traffic is more likely to lead to customer conversions. 

 

Is SEO Truly for everyone?

 
I said that it is, and I truly do believe that. I believe that businesses are an individual thing and it is the same with SEO.  Some businesses are more placed than others to sell themselves and have more of a niche to bring in the customers on the search engines.  Any business can be found but can your business attract customers to act on your website goals and call to action.
 

That’s great Jonnie Grieve Digital Media, but how can you help me?

 
Treehouse raises lots of good points about raising the profile of your business in order to make your life easier for link building; getting links not just from any site, but like minded sites with authority and influence in the eyes of Google. 
 
It forces me to think of myself and my own situation. I think of my business and I know that I work completely on my own and I know that it’s me, just me, against against the world, with big web design companies with financial muscle to stay ahead of me in the SEO race. That is what I find daunting
 
I’m saying this here because I believe in being honest with my customers.  
 
I’m not an internet marketer and I don’t have a track record with getting my sites to number 1 on Google. If anyone has the answer to that conundrum I invite them to get in touch.  But no, I do know that websites I have created HAVE been found by people looking for the products and services I have created for. People have generated business from the websites I have designed.  
 
It’s a hard sell, I admit but SEO is a hard process. My advice to anyone in the web world is this.  Be wary of people who offer you what seems like a miracle solution for oceans of money. They could very well be using black hat SEO practices that could easily be penalised by Google.   As a web designer I get into SEO  as an automatic prerequisite and I don’t guarantee success for a fee that’ll burn a hole in your pocket but I do offer you a website that people will see, through natural, organic search queries with engaging quality content.
 
Thanks for reading. Please check out my website and the awesome Treehouse website but for now, see you next time.   🙂