Should I become a digital expert?

It is probably inevitable that in the long run you will gain substantial expertise with Digital. It is also perfectly feasible to develop a team to match any digital team anywhere. Many of the top digital businesses like Amazon and Facebook are already leading the way and teaching us what works as they use their greater clout and investment power to test and learn.
Some things remain fairly constant because they are rooted in human nature, but many aspects of Digital change without notice and we find out later. This is a stark reality driven but the dominance of Google and other top level Digital businesses who govern who finds our stuff and when.

For this reason it will always be wise to retain a strategic level whether in house or at a consulting firm whose role it is to stay abreast for these changes, learn for  the community and retain the ability to react quickly.

Our experience is that more and more of our clients are partnering with us to provide strategic planning, some of the more expensive and specialised tools and some of the capabilities they don’t have in house, while they do the remainder themselves.

This can be a very sound approach for many growing businesses. Others, however achieve tremendous value through outsourcing the entire thing including site, hosting content and all promotion allowing them to focus entirely on what they are good at. This also a very good proposition for many small businesses in particular

It is a matter of deciding where your strengths are and focusing on what you do best


How long to see significant listing improvement on Google

Is a page one listing guaranteed?

No it can sometimes be borderline whether a page one listing can be realistically expected and certainly to maintain that level can be even harder to guarantee in some circumstances.

It’s all down to how competitive that Keyword phrase is.

Non competitive sector:

  • Worst case scenario within 9 months
  • Average within 6 months
  • With a bit of luck, under a month

Competitive sector:

  • Worst case 9 months
  • average  6 months
  • In unlucky situation a year


It is also important whether the site is already ranked or just starting on the journey.


Poorly Optimised and average competition:

  • longer than 3 months to rank well
  • Average 3-9 months
  • Worst case 9 months
  1. NAP issues take longer because even if you update all the directories, it takes additional time for Google to recognize this.
  2. It’s not uncommon for us to see very little movement after 3 months’ hard work, but normally we expect to be seeing a move in the right direction.
  3. Recovery from low quality link issues often take a year or more.
  4. Penalties take 6 months plus to recover from
  5. It’s easier to boost rankings in local maps results, but rarely instant.

The only way to approach SEO is to accept that it is a long term strategy, but that once a good ranking is achieved the level of work and investment can be reduced unless a major change occurs such as significant algorithm changes or a penalty due to Red hat activity etc.

Good agencies know what needs to be done to achieve your goals, but nobody can predict exactly when the move will occur or what moves your competitors will be making either as a response to or unconnected to your activities.
What we can rely on is that f we put in the agreed amount of effort each month, follow the plan and review it regularly in light of any changes in our environment then we will get there.

The thing to monitor is improvement on the contributing factors: Reputation, Citations, Trust, reviews, Back links, etc. Rankings will then take care of themselves.

Anything that seeks to get around this simple state of affairs is “Black hat” and certain to get your site in deep trouble sooner or later.

What communications and reporting can I expect?

All our clients can expect Monthly feedback with detailed dashboards and reports against agreed indicators and backed up of course, by explanation and discussion.
The monthly report is seen as a way to not only keep our client informed but to surface new plans or ideas as early as possible and encourage joint working and planning. The format of this reporting can evolve to fit the need and can encompass video meetings where appropriate.
Additionally, if you are carrying out any changes to your website, content or otherwise, we ask for prior notice and ideally some design input and we always try to establish a QA workflow so we can ensure that the messages and the keywords and on-page SEO elements retain their integrity and are maximised

What does a Strategy Consultant look like?

PPC creating adverts and landing pages

The consultant is mainly someone who understands the importance of strategy and knows a few tricks to overcome short term road blocks, but most important of all, the Strategy Consultant is a facilitator, not a teacher.  Even if you are not aware of it, you do have a strategy and you do use it though maybe not as well as you might. This about dragging out of the team, writing it down and sharing it so the whole team is navigating with the same map and able to make key decisions alone with confidence.

Why develop, follow and revise Business Strategy


Funnels the same as UX right?

On a good day an experienced person could make a small tweak that doubled revenue overnight. This I have seen more than once, but more often it is  a gradual thing with improvements beginning fairly soon and then growing steadily








Above are four very simplified steps that in one form or anther are crucial to every converting journey in-store, on your website, or anywhere else. Online there is no eye contact and no personal interaction, things which the bulk of buyers instinctively use to help with their decisions. This is why online selling requires even more effort.


Ever had to escape that over zealous salesman who thinks he is amazing, we all have and only their mothers want to buy from them. It’s not about volume of information its about accuracy and timeliness and above all it’s about trust. Lots of common-sense exists and all of it is useful, but it also requires legitimate testing and consulting to perfect the process.

Only when you have a good combination of asking the customer what they did and why and analysing what they actually did, often its different to what they say they did, will you be able to really get under the skin of the product and the customer segment and start to achieve top results.

Testing too, can be dangerous if the samples are too small. Every amateur statistician and plenty of pros also are willing to wade into a river with  an average depth of two feet only to sink out of sight. The reason we have averages is because distributions randomly wander quite a bit without explanation, that means you must not assume that the results of a short test are representative any more than the depth of the river right in front of you today is uniform, it is definitely not.

Furthermore, testing single items without looking at the process as a whole is pointless because several elements often play together in unexpected ways. You must have common-sense hypotheses and rigorous testing routines or you will at best go around in circles wasting an awful lot of time.

Finally, it is important to understand how all the channels play together and fully understand the role each plays in the conversion journey.


Creating conversion funnels, setting the observation and measurement points and then gradually discovering and validating which approach works best can’t be done without specialist equipment and specialist knowledge, thought it can and should be learned by anyone serious about eCommerce

We can get you up and running with a strategy and a tool set and while refining your conversion funnels we can teach your team how to do this themselves.

SEO is working why do PPC?

If your website and proposition are able to drive good revenue via SEO, then there is a powerful chance that you can drive significantly more traffic and revenue from an intelligently managed PPC campaign.

One of the best aspects of PPC is that you can test your strategies very quickly and very cheaply and instantly and you can hone in on the optimum approach. Doing this also informs your SEO strategy about new opportunities, tells you which keywords are more fruitful and much more.
Organic traffic comes with its own risks such as Google penalties that shut numerous businesses in recent times. Having a second and extra source of new business makes perfect sense and finally, there is no alternative when you want to test an idea, take advantage of a short term opportunity, or level out revenue during a slow season.

PPC is working why do SEO?

PPC has a lot going for it and many businesses have built there business model with a heavy reliance on this approach.

If you fit into the latter category, there is nothing at all wrong with that. In fact, if you get a large a proportion of your business form the Internet, Seach Engine Marketing (SEM) or Social Media Marketing another form of Pay-Per-Click (PPC) are near enough a necessity.
Over the years you have probably improved your skills and grown your Click Through Rates (CTR) and been largely blinded form the steady decline in conversions. That was always going to happen as the Internet became more mainstream as indeed was Google maximising their potential take form the world’s businesses.
Today, any Competitive Niche that focuses on internet traffic is already forced by the increased Costs of Customer Acquisition (CAC) and declining CLV, or Customer Lifetime Value. The ones winning this game right now are wining customers across many channels such as  Organic,email engagement, bots, local advertising, events, etc and most important of all, they are joining up the Omni-channel experience to maintain a salient conversation as the potential customer moves between, store, call-centre, re-marketing, mail-shot, website etc.

Here is an important fact you may not have fully appreciated: The cost of your CTR with Google gets lower when a: you spend more, b. you have a better reputation, c. your SEO ranking is higher.
What this means to you is that not only are all those organic enquiries costing you  a lot less than paid visitors, but they are substantially reducing the cost of your paid for traffic.

2019 why s this year critical for SEO

The Internet revolutionised business, wiping out chunks of the value chain and demolishing global borders and Google dominates the Internet for most of us.  In just twenty years many bookshops, video stores and even taxi ranks were pushed aside and the momentum is only just gathering strength.
New services arrive daily to keep us all on our toes, comparing prices and reminding customers to shop around or trying to lock them into subscriptions. Winning new customers and replacing lost customers is more important than ever and Google in particular plus Social Media are essential to that effort.

  • 91% of all purchases involve Google at some point in the decision, whether it is the starting point for search, a place to compare prices, or to find reviews, it is ubiquitous.
  • 33% on average of all purchasing visitors come from the top 3 listings on Page One of the results (SERP) making ranking a critically important tool or serious marketers.
  • 82% of all buyers look for reviews before buying, even when in a store or looking in a store window, they use their phones. But it gets worse, Google is also checking the reviews when it calculates where to rank your website . A handful of reviews this way or that can make all the difference. Bad reviews can be good if handed right
  • Position one on Google can drive 8 to 15 times more revenue than position 10. This is no game.
  • A visitor from Search is 2-5 times more likely to buy than a visitor from Adverts.
  • 60% of all local searches result in a purchase.
  • 85% of local searches result in a same day phone call or visit.

When a travelling businessman in Manchester decides to stay overnight, he uses his phone to ask a company in California to recommend the best value hotel. If you own a hotel in Manchester you are not going to make it by painting a bigger louder sign or placing an advert in Yellow pages.

You need Google Ranking, Reputation, Local presence, Social scores, a convincing website a great deal and a very easy to use conversion funnel. Not much really, but not one scrap of that can be omitted or messed up.
To achieve and maintain this will take a bare minimum of 4/5 man-days per month and a good portion of this by people with specific skills and tools and the right strategy. That’s where a professional digital marketing company comes in.

For locally focused businesses, you MUST be on the TOP3 of local search.


Why do I need Reputation Management?

After your local customer has found you on Local search, probably on his phone or maybe his PC, the next thing he wants to know is whether you have a good reputation.
If you have sufficient positive reviews, your Google entry may display the five stars. That is very valuable and should massively improve your click through rate and conversion rate too. You may also have reviews on many other sites, where the customer might look and of course there is banter on Social Media such as Facebook. All of this has the potential to make or break your business overnight unless it is carefully managed.
Unless you are encouraging customers to leave reviews you won’t receive enough. Unless you are watching for negative comments and reviews, they will sit there and do you lots of damage. Well-handled negative reviews can be turned to your advantage,
It gets worse, Google are also reading and analysing your reviews to decide how high they rank your site.
There is an increasing practice among less reputable SEO to attack competitors by placing negative reviews and damaging links. If this is not monitored and managed, it can shut off your traffic overnight. We have seen this many times over.

In addition to all that, behind the scenes, search algorithms grade your website reputation according to the number of citations and approved listings and most of all how accurate they are.  We are all familiar with computers that have a silly fit over some small thing that shouldn’t matter, well see what happens to your website ranking if your address says “22 Grantham Street” on one site and “Classical House, 22 Grantham Street” on another. You will be heavily penalised over such a trivial error and it gets worse; you can spot this problem on Monday, fix it and on Wednesday, a data-aggregator you know nothing about will change it back to the wrong format.

This is why a reputation management strategy is an absolute must for everyone whether a local or a global business.
PR is another higher level of the same process, but it requires a different background and skill-set, both for Online PR and traditional PR, where the aim is to maintain a good perception of your brand and  your products through doing and saying things and being seen in the company of people that make subtle ,but telling statements about you, your business and your products.
We don’t provide PR services, but we can make recommendations.



What is different about Local SEO?

If your business relies and local customers finding your premises or service, then LOCAL SEO is by far the most important thing for you
and it might just still be possible to dominate Local before everyone catches on.
Because in the US SEO people have already been gaming Google to get an advantage, there are now strict rules about how you can get listed and what it takes to gain the coveted top 3 rankings. Nevertheless, we have been able to drive a local business to position one within a week on more than one occasion.
Local SEO can have significant impact on your revenues not least because:

  • 60% of all local searches result in a purchase.
  • 85% of local searches result in a same day phone call or visit.
  • Dominating Local is probably 5000 times more feasible than domination a global or country ranking

When a travelling businessman in Manchester decides to stay overnight, he uses his phone to ask a company in California to recommend the best value hotel. If you own a hotel in Manchester you are not going to make it by painting a bigger louder sign or placing an advert in Yellow pages.
people are using their phones to look for restaurants, dentists, Doctors, Lawyers, Garages, Builders, Plumbers, White goods, hairdressers, nobody reads a directory any more and every expects a good answer from their phone. If you are listed and especially if you have a good local reputation, then you are in great position and you should be seeing a lot of revenue form this source