The Budget 2010 Key Points

5 07 2010

Economy

  • Growth is forecast to be 1.2% this year, taking into account the budget measures. It is forecast to be 2.3% next year, 2.8% in 2012, 2.9% in 2013 and 2.7% in both 2014 and 2015.
  • Debt will be falling, and structural current deficit should be balanced by 2014.
  • Unemployment rate forecast to peak at 8.1% this year, and then fall for each of the next four years to reach 6.1% in 2015
  • 77% of total consolidation to be achieved through spending reductions, and 23% through tax increases.
  • Public sector net borrowing will be £149bn this year, £116bn next year, £89bn in 2012-13, £37bn in 2014-15, falling to £20bn in 2015-16.
  • Additional current expenditure reductions of £30bn a year by 2014-15.

Public Sector

  • People earning less than £21,000 will each receive a flat pay rise worth £250 in each of the two years.
  • Operational allowance for troops in Afghanistan doubled to £4,800.
  • Will Hutton will draw up plane for fairer pay across the public sector, without increasing the overall pay bill, so that those at the top of the organisation are paid no more than 20 times the salaries of those at the bottom.
  • An independent commission chaired by John Hutton will review public sector pensions. There will also be consultation on scrapping default retirement age.
  • Rise in the state pension age to 66 will be accelerated.
  • Government will seek private capital injection into the Royal Mail Group

Welfare

  • Child benefit to be frozen for the next three years
  • Caps on housing benefits to be introduced – from £280 a week for a one-bedroom property to £400 a week for a four-bedroom or larger. Together with other measures, this will reduce the costs of housing benefit by £1.8bn a year by the end of parliament.
  • Sure start maternity grant will go to the first child only.
  • Eligibility for child tax credits to be reduced for families with a household income of more than £40,000 from April 2011.
  • The baby element of the child tax credit will be abolished from April next year.
  • Child element of the child tax credit to increase by £150 above indexation next year.

Taxes

  • Corporation Tax, currently 28%, to fall by 1p in the pound a year for four consecutive years until it reaches 24%.
  • New firms outside south-east/east to be let off employer nation insurance contributions, up to £5,000, for each of the first 10 employees recruited.
  • Government to work with local authorities to freeze council tax for one year from April next year.
  • Capital Gains Tax, currently 18%, to increase for higher earners to 28% from midnight. Low and middle-income savers will continue to pay 18%.
  • Higher rate income tax threshold frozen until 2013.
  • The standard rate of insurance premium tax to rise from 5% to 6% and the higher rate to increase from 17.5% to 20%.
  • 50p-a-month levy on phone lines to pay for the rollout of superfast broadband scrapped.
  • Planned tax relief for video games industry to be scrapped.

Banking and Savings

  • Bank levy to be introduced in January next year, to apply to the balance sheets of UK banks and building societies, and to the UK operations of banks from abroad. Expected to raise over £2bn of annual revenues.

Drinks, cigarettes and fuel

  • No increase in duties.
  • Reversal of government decision to increase duties on cider by 10% above inflation confirmed.

Pensions

  • From April next year the basic state pension will be re-linked with earnings.
  • Basic state pension will increase every year by highest of earnings, inflation or 2.5%.

Businesses

  • Regional Growth Fund to provide finance for regional capital projects over the next two years.
  • The 10% Capital Gains Tax rate for entrepreneurs, which currently applies to the first £2m of qualifying gains made over a lifetime, will be extended to the first £5m of lifetime gains.
  • Capital allowances for the majority of plant and machinery assets to fall from 20% to 18%, while the allowance for longer-lived assets will fall from 10% to 8% from April 2012.

Contact Us, or Get a free Quote, to see how we can help you deal with these changes. Tax Accountant.

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The SEO Series – Everything you need to know about Links

14 06 2010

Most people implementing SEO have a love/hate relationship with links. We love a good link but we hate what it takes to get them. At best, link building is time consuming and tedious. At worst, it’s the thing that drives good SEOs to ‘Black Hat SEO’. Building links is the one thing most SEOs don’t want to do, and very few can do it well. Show me a link builder that can get 100 PR4+ one-way links and I’ll show you 100 barely readable blog posts on 100 barely readable blogs. Read the rest of this entry »





The SEO Series – Everything you need to know about Keyword Core Terms

2 06 2010

Research Takes Time

The process of researching your keywords isn’t one that you want to rush. Each phase of the research process needs to be performed deliberately, ensuring that you take tSEO, Keywordshe time to find all relevant terms and discard the irrelevant. An attempt to rush the research process will, more than likely, result in you being lead down the wrong path; which could mean that you have to start the research process all over again.

Unfortunately, the research process isn’t always linear. You can often be working on several phases of the research process at any one time, depending on what your focus is on. There is a lot of overlap and moving backward and forward through the processes, but care needs to be taken to ensure that you don’t skip over, or leave out, and of the keyword phrases.

Brainstorming

You can start the keyword research process anywhere, but it’s usually best to start from scratch. What keywords do you start the research process with? Do some brainstorming.

Brainstorming allows you to get a list of keywords from an unbiased perspective. The brainstorming process doesn’t mean just sitting around and thinking up phrases, although this can be a part of it. Good brainstorming starts with asking questions that lead to answers. More often than not, these answers will be your keywords.

So; first, think of questions that are relevant for you. Don’t try to answer them yet; you’ll have time for that later, but compile your list of questions that will help you find the keywords you are looking for.

Once you have a good, comprehensive list of questions, do whatever research is necessary to find the answers. Those answers give you a base of keywords that you can then take to the online research tools to look for related phrases. These related phrases produce a wide range of variations in how your topic is searched. Some relevant, others not so much.

Find core terms first

Without a doubt, during the brainstorming and research processes, you’ll amass a list of hundreds of phrases. You want to keep the process as simplified as possible, so we’ll start by eliminating everything that is not a core term.

A core term is a keyword phrase boiled down to the essentials. It’s specific enough to produce a relevant result, but broad enough to cover a wide range of much more targeted phrases. Generally, a good core term is two, maybe three words. On the rare occasions, a core term could be a single word, but only where there is no room for alternate interpretations.

Only use qualifiers on a core term when it is necessary to ensure that the searcher will be led to a relevant page. For example, the word bag could mean anything from a from a travel bag to a sleeping bag. This is a core term that needs a qualifier in order to be relevant to the searcher. If it’s not relevant, then it isn’t a core term.

Each page of your website should have a single core term associated with it. You may find several pages on your site that are a good fit for a single term. That’s fine during the research process, but later you’ll want to make sure you select only the most appropriate page for any single core term. The others will have to find their own core terms.

Don’t stop your core term research until you are certain that there are no more possible variations that produce measurable traffic. Using keyword suggestion tools available in most keyword research programs, find all relevant variations on each of your core terms. For example, a travel bag can also be a back pack, or luggage (one of the rare cases of one-word core terms). Each of these can be searched to find even more possible core term variants.

Core Term Site Mapping

After you have put together an exhaustive list of core terms, and before you start performing deeper research into finding specific phrases, you want to map out where your core terms will be integrated into your site. For some industries, it’s as easy as looking at the content and assigning core terms to pages. For others, where there are a lot of core term variations that mean the exact same thing, it can be more difficult.SEO

Assigning core terms to pages must be done very carefully. You need to ensure that the content of each page is either a 100% natural fit, or the content can easily be adapted to fit that core term. A good example is ‘cost segregation’ vs. ‘cost segmentation’. Both, essentially, mean the same thing, but both are frequently searched. The content of a page about ‘cost segregation’ can easily be adapted for ‘cost segmentation’ without altering the meaning or focus of the page.

If you can’t make a keyword fit without significantly altering the message of a page, then find another core term; or another page for that core term.

I recommend prioritising your core terms before assigning them to pages. Figure out which terms get more search volume, are most relevant, bring in targeted audiences and produce the best sales. These are all important factors of determining which core terms are more important than others.

By prioritising your core terms, you can research and optimise those that are most important first, before moving on to lower priority terms. The optimisation of your high priority terms can take some time, so leaving the secondary terms for later is a good optimisation strategy.

Before you move into the next phase of the keyword research process, you have enough information to start optimising your website. With the core terms and the map of where each core term will be implemented, you can begin to perform a very broad and quick optimisation of the website. Going a page at a time, optimise title tags, Meta description tags, headings and even a bit of content.

I wouldn’t spend a lot of time on each page, as you can go do a more in-depth optimisation later, once you have more keywords to work with.

Why not check out the Best Accountants in Sussex?Tax Accountant





Tips for Using Static Facebook Markup Language (FBML)

21 05 2010

I have already explained to you what Static FBML is and how to use it, but in this post, I’m going to give you 5 tips to help you make the most out of Static FBML. If you haven’t already read the posts that explain what Static FBML is, and how to use FBML, click either of those links, and they will take you to them.

Read the rest of this entry »





The SEO Series – Everything you need to know about Keywords

13 05 2010

Keywords are the foundation from which all of your marketing efforts are built upon. Keyword research tools provide invaluable insight into what words people are searching for on the major search engines. But what these research tools don’t tell you is the intention of each search; however, that information can be deduced with a bit of analysis and keyword organisation. Read the rest of this entry »





The SEO Series – Site Architecture & Internal Linking

4 05 2010

So, our last post in the SEO Series was about creating Search Engine Friendly URLs. In this post, we’ll be covering your Site Architecture and Internal Linking.

If you want to move up in the search engine rankings, you have to be able to get your optimised content to the search engines in the most streamlined way possible. There are, however, some common problems that often stand in the way of this. These problems, while they may not stop the search engines from finding and indexing that content, they can greatly affect the performance of that content, in terms of how well it ranks in search results. Read the rest of this entry »





The SEO Series – Search Engine Friendly URLs

28 04 2010

When you are developing a website, you can save yourself a lot of time, effort and problems by planning ahead before going full throttle into the development process.

One of the first architectural issues you need to address is how your URLs are going to be structured. Read the rest of this entry »