Don’t believe the hype..

Does having a snazzy website really help?

I have been involved with countless web projects over the years and one thing is certain about online marketing and the huge opportunities that are talked about across many reputable organisations, and that is it’s a really tough environment where only the best make any real money. Many I meet have spent a lot of money on their website but when you look at them whilst they might look fantastic they are not delivering the clients expectations in terms of ROI.

The stark reality is they miss two major points:

1. People don’t hang around on a website that doesn’t deliver what they are looking for.

To see if this could be you, check out your Google analytics to see how long on average people are staying for and what pages they are looking at. Most local websites are at best an online CV with content that are full of cliches and have little or no thought to what visitors are actually coming to them for.

As an exercise read your copy and think does it sound real or is it full of phrases and words like highly experienced, award winning, honest, reliable you may be all of these but how many people actually believe this without proof. Think stories and anecdotes to prove these claims you don’t have to tell people show them its far more believable.

2. A website with no ongoing strategy (SEO) is like buying a car with no engine.

The reality is if you want to be found for what you do and not what you are called you need to create content and a strategy to allow people to find you. If you do not commit real resources to this it will at best take an eternity to see any progress and at worse leave you scratching your head as to why you are not seeing  sales coming from your website.

Content needs to be constantly changes and like any good marketing campaign you will need to monitor and tweak your campaign to ensure you get the results you deserve.

Get rich quick…yeh right!

Do a Google search on getting results online and you will be dazzled by a massive array of get rich quick schemes and amazing offers for getting you to the front page of Google but alas it is all nonsense. Nonsense may be a bit harsh, short term you may indeed see some improvements after all they are “guaranteed” but beware short term gain long term pain! The reality to get there organically and properly is a tough slog and will take some time to achieve any measurable results unless you are extremely lucky, whats more even with traffic flow improvement it doesn’t necessarily mean a better return on your investment. Once they are coming, getting them to buy is a whole other topic and one that will keep me blogging for a while!

Online marketing has seen an online explosion of really good services that have been infected by low level, poorly trained “experts” that have little understanding of the field but are using powerful software with the ability to create the equivilent of an online apocalypse on your website. But who cares, you can always start again, can’t you? Its worth the $35 for the chance to see what they can do surely, well the reality is you are paying someone to damage your website and the domain it is on for the foreseeable future. Google hates SEO and link building and has devised a plethora of ways to combat this assault on natural results and provides justice in the form of the equivilent to a nuclear bomb being dropped on your website, banishing you from search engine heaven for a very long time indeed.

The problem in this marketplace is the opportunities are huge and everyone has a little bit of knowledge and a rough grasp of things but this leads to customers being giving poor information and ultimately a terrible service. The world of SEO is a very competitive one, there is a huge amount of information online about doing it yourself but the reality as in most cases is it is a disapline that needs to be learnt and will take up a huge amount of time. This world is ever changing and what works today may not tomorrow as its a constant game of cat and mouse played between Google and people who want to manipulate the search results. Both want to gain the upper hand and its all got incredibly complicated with updates like Penguin and Panda causing an online storm with everyone guessing how to get around and carry on manipulating and Google counter attacking with more robust algorithms to throw SEO bods off the front page scent. But what does this all mean for you?

Give them what they are looking for

Content is king always has been always will be if you focus on giving your potential online audience what they want they will find you. Be helpful and engaging and make sure your social media efforts match by growing and engaging with your followers. Get them to spread the word for you and your online visibility will grow. Like any field make sure you employ experts to take care of the things you cant’ or have no time for and trust them to get the job done but be patient it will always take time if you are going to do this properly.

I am going to be posting my guide to SEO results over the next few weeks so if by chance your are a DIY enthusiast it should prove useful. My advice as always is though take up one of our free consultations before you start to ensure you have a good handle on what you need to do and the potential pitfalls surrounding this topic.


It’s good to be back!

<h1>It’s been a while but I’m back on the blog!</h1>

After a long stint trading with my old company a major change happened before Christmas. In a strange and disappointing period I was out of the business I had loved. I had put everything on the line for it and helped grow it but whilst the timing wasn’t great maybe it was the kick up the behind I needed to take stock and move forward although it didn’t feel that way for a little while!

I have always been a driven individual but to be honest I think I got carried away with myself, caught up in the moment and in some way forgetting why I did this all in the first place. I was making life difficult for everyone around me including my family and for what?

We all know that running your own business is a fairly stressful occupation and you need the support of those around you but as sometimes happens I could not see the wood for the trees for a while and needed some shock treatment to get me back on track.

I got into all this as I wanted to be my on boss and run things how I felt they should be, deal with my clients in my own way and give them the service I felt was lacking from the big companies I had worked for. In the end though it all got very serious and clients were the first to suffer. I had fallen into the same trap that I had hated whilst working for the big corporates, only thinking about the bottom line and forgetting what had got us to where we were, so something had to change.

<h2>Is all change good?</h2>

Sometimes you need things to happen to make you change or make something change. I had been kicked and didn’t feel great but with Christmas break looming and a family to think about I needed to act quickly and almost instinctively. With a reasonably clear head the last couple of months have been manic, setting up on my own was a bit daunting and at times scary but when push comes to shove you have to back yourself and get on with it so with that in mind I have, the new business will offer similar services but less of them. Online will form the vast majority of what we will be doing with website creation and search engine visability at the heart of the new business mantra.

Whilst the business is new it is still run and operated with old heads to provide clients with top end work at a fraction of the price of a larger mainstream agency. We are and always will be a boutique agency with no delusions of grandure, we don’t want or need to be the biggest but will aim to be the best. It will be all about the end product and the results that we achieve for our clients. It may be another rocky journey but we think it will be worth it and hope to see some of you along the way.

The blog will be a few rants, some interesting stuff and a whole host of free stuff and links to cool stuff to help you gain the knowledge needed to make the most of online marketing and make informed decisions on what you are buying. See you again soon I hope and yes it’s good to be back!