The benefits of Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to communicate with your audience and grow your business. In fact, Statista has charted the Return on Investment of Email Marketing in the UK for 2016 to 2020 and for every £1.00 spent, the ROI is over £30.

Graph of Email Marketing ROI in the UK from 2016 to 2020

In this post, I will show you some of the benefits of email marketing and how you can use it to achieve your goals.

1 . Email marketing is cost-effective.

One of the main benefits of email marketing campaigns is that they have a very high return on investment or ROI. Email marketing doesn’t cost a lot of money to start, but it can bring a lot of money in return. This makes email marketing campaigns a great opportunity to drive revenue for your business without costing you a ton of money.

2. Email marketing is personalized.

With email marketing, you can customize your campaigns and create targeted content. Personalization can be as small as including a contact’s name in the email. In fact, emails that include the first name of the recipient in their subject line have a higher clickthrough rate than those that don’t. On the other hand, you can also create individualized content based on segmenting your audience so you send the right emails to the right customers.

3. Email marketing is engaging.

Email marketing can help you engage your audience and keep them interested in your brand. You can use email marketing to share valuable information, tips, stories, news, offers, and more with your subscribers. You can also use email marketing to collect feedback and surveys from your customers and learn more about their preferences and needs.

4. Email marketing is traffic-generating.

Email marketing can help you drive more traffic to your website or online store. You can use email marketing to promote your blog posts, products, services, events, and more with links that direct your subscribers to your website. You can also use email marketing to encourage your subscribers to share your content with their friends and social networks.

5. Email marketing is measurable.

In my opinion, if you are doing marketing that you can’t measure then you should stop NOW. Email marketing allows you to track and measure the performance of your campaigns and see how they impact your business goals. You can use email marketing tools to analyse metrics such as open rates, click rates, bounce rates, conversions, revenue, and more. You can also use email marketing tools to test different variations of your emails and see what works best for your audience.


These are just some of the benefits of email marketing that you can enjoy when you use it for your business. Email marketing is a powerful and versatile tool that can help you connect with your audience and grow your business in many ways.

I hope this helps you take up Email Marketing, or to improve your current activity but if you need more help then please, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Call me on 01793 238020, email andy@enterprise-oms.co.uk or just search Chief SEO Officer

10 Essential Web Analytics Terms You Need to Know

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) graph showing visitor data

Web analytics is the process of collecting, analysing, and interpreting data about website usage. Understanding the data will help you understand how visitors are using your website, and this is information that you can feed back into the design of your website.

To make the most of your website’s data it’s important to understand key terms like bounce rate, conversion rate, and sessions. Google Analytics is the most used by SMEs. Google Analytics 3 provides a lot of information about the way visitors use, interact with and move through a website. However, GA3 is highly reliant on tracking cookies, something that the EU have taken against on privacy grounds. As a result, at the time of writing, Google is in the middle of migrating from Google Analytics 3 (GA3) to Google Analytics 4 (GA4), a migration that is due to be completed by June 2023.

To help you understand the most important GA4 metrics here are 10 essential web analytics terms to get you started.

1/ Users

This is the count of visitors to your website within a specific time frame. The count starts when a visitor enters your website and ends when they leave, or after a period of inactivity, usually 30 minutes. Users numbers are important to understand, although it’s equally important to understand what they do whilst they are on your website and how long they stay on it.

2/ Pageviews

A pageview is a count of the number of times a page on your website has been viewed. This metric is useful in measuring the popularity of your content and determining which pages on your site are the most engaging. Page Views divided by Users gives you an average number of Pages Viewed per visit, To get the full benefit of this metric you need understand what you want people to do whilst they are on your site, and how many pages they have tpo visit to complete that goal. Generally speaking, the higher the average number the better but if you have a small website it’s unlikely to be more than 2 or 3.

3/ New Users

Users is the count of the total of visitors to your website over a given period of time. A “New User” is a person who visits your website for the first time within a specific time frame. New Users are important to measure because this figure counts how many different individuals are visiting your website, which is crucial in determining the success of your marketing efforts.

4/ Engagement Rate

The Engagement Rate records the number of people who actually do something when the visit your website. In GA3 the Bounce rate was the percentage of visitors who left your website after only viewing one page, the Engagement Rate is a more positive view, looking at visitors who do something. Visit another page, watch a video, spend more than 20 seconds on your site etc.

A low Engagement rate can indicate that your website is not meeting the expectations of your visitors, and they are not finding what they are looking for.

5/ Conversion Rate

Conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who complete a specific action on your website, such as filling out a form or making a purchase. This metric is crucial in measuring the effectiveness of your website in achieving its goals. However, to be of value you must understand what it is you want your visitors to do and set the correct Goal in the “Conversions” screen.

6/ User Acquisition

This information helps you to understand how your visitors reached, or found, your website. Is your online advertising working? Are your Social Media campaigns delivering visits to your website? Is your SEO paying off?

The “User Acquisition” menu answers these questions, and more – such as which traffic source delivers the best Engagement Rate.

Core metrics include

  • Direct – Visitors who know your web address, from their “favourites”, from a business card, from a phone conversation etc.
  • Organic Search – Visits that started on a Search Engine, such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo etc.
  • Paid – Traffic from Pay-per-Click Ads, such as Google and Bing Ads, Facebook Ads etc.
  • Referral – Visitors that have arrived after clicking on a link on a third party site, such as a directory site
  • Organic Social – Visitors who come from a Social Media platform, from clicking on your profile or something in your Newsfeed not after clicking on an Ad.

7/ Average Engagement Time

Time on site is the average amount of time that a user spends on your website. This metric is important in understanding the engagement level of your visitors and how interested they are in your content. LIke a lot of the metrics here, it does mean that you have to understand your website and website goals. How long does it take to get from the Landing Page to your goal page. For a small site, with just a Home Page and a Contact Page this could be a matter of a few seconds whilst for a larger, eCommerce website for example, it could be several minutes but understanding your website is key to properly understanding the Average Engagement Time.

8/ Landing Page

Google Analytics 4 Graph detailing Landing Page information

Contrary to popular belief, not all Visitors will land on your website’s Home Page. Search Engines will want to provide searchers with a link that is most appropriate to their search, for example. This makes it easier for searchers to find what they are looking for.

A well planned Ads campaign will take people directly to the page or product that most closely relates to their search.

People may also save specific pages in their Favourites.

Understanding Landing Pages and Engagement Rates for Landing Pages will enhance your understanding of the performance of your website.

9/ Tech >Device

Google Analytics 4 circular graph showing visitors by device

These days, Google search takes a Mobile First view, which means it looks at the Mobile version of your website first. However, it’s important to understand how many visitors to your site come from mobile phones, desktops and tablets because this will guide you as to the most important format for your website. For example, if only 5% of visits come from Mobile devices then you need to focus on the Desktop/Laptop version of your website but if more than 30-40% of visits originate from mobiles then you need your prime focus to be on the small screen versions of your website.

10/ Demographics/User Location

Google Analytics 4 data showing visitors by their geographic location

It is important to understand where your visitors live. If you are an exporter you need to know that people in your target markets are finding, and visiting your website and if you only trade in the UK it’s important to ensure that the majority of your Visitors come from the UK. If you receive a lot of visits from territories that you don’t serve it might be that your marketing is being sown in countries that you don’t serve and this is wasted effort and wasted money, especially if you are using paid advertising to attract people to your site.

Conclusion

Understanding these ten essential web analytics terms is crucial in optimizing your website, measuring its effectiveness, and making data-driven decisions. By analysing these metrics, you can gain valuable insights into your website’s performance and can make changes that can lead to increased traffic, engagement, and sales.

I hope this list of terms is helpful and if you need help understanding what Google Analytics is telling you about your website, whether that’s GA3 or GA4 then please, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Call me on 01793 238020, email andy@enterprise-oms.co.uk or just search Chief SEO Officer

Help! I’ve got an invisible website, what should I do?

Person wondering how to get their website found on the World Wide Web

1/ Panic?

2/ Wait and Hope?

3/ Start Again?

4/ Call an expert?

You’ve had a website for years, you’ve just updated your website or you’ve just launched your website and are worried that your website is invisible and your customers won’t be able to find it. What can you do, what should you do and what must you do?

Don’t panic, this simple guide will take you through the steps you must take to ensure that Google can find your website in the online jungle, how to make your site visible in Google search and even point the way to creating a website that actually works, rather than just look good. And if all else fails, or you want to shortcut the process – just get in touch and I’ll step in and help out.

How does Google find your site?

A robot, but not a search engine robot
Not a Search Engine Robot

Let’s start with Google Search – used by over 90% of people who use a search engine, and that’s around 80% of web users so that’s a lot of people. Google uses software called Robots to scour websites. They send these Robots out on the World Wide Web to find as many websites as possible. They do this by following the links between websites, the Robots look at all of the pages they can find and take all of the information back to the massive Google database of websites, Google calls this database their “Index”.

If you don’t have any links (Backlinks) to your website there is a very real danger that Google will miss your site so you need to install the free Google Analytics website performance tool and sign up to the free Google Search Console. This brings your site to the attention of Google and guarantees a visit from the Robots. However, this does not guarantee that your site will feature in the search results – it needs quality, non-spammy content for that and even this does not guarantee a place ion the top pages. You need SEO for that

How does Google rate your site?

Google's logo. The target for SEO
The Google Logo

Google wants to understand the purpose of every singe page of your website. To do this, it needs to be able to visit every page. This requires good navigation links on your site AND, if you have a large site, the use of an XML Sitemap so that Google, and all the other search engines, can find all of your pages.

Then, once your pages are in the Index it’s ready to be found. When somebody searches for the services you provide or the products you sell, Google checks its Index for all the words that have been entered in the search box. It very quickly finds all of the pages in the Google Index and applies an algorithm to those results. The algorithm is a set of mathematical tools, instructions and filters that measures every page of each website by looking at more than 200 different signs and signals and the results that most closely match the search terms appear at the top of the Search Results Pages (Page 1) and the poorer the match, the farther down the results the sites appear. And remember only about 50% of search users EVER make it to Page 2 whilst just 10% make it to P3 and beyond. Making P3 a great place to bury bad news.

How do you make your website more visible

First off, make sure your website is fast (if it’s slow people won’t stay so it doesn’t matter how great, or naff, your site is you’ve already hampered your business). Then ensure that it’s full of great relevant content with positive calls to action. Your website MUST be for your site visitors and clients and “created to help users” – that’s directly from Google. This means that each page must be user centred and designed to –

  • share information about a topic
  • share personal or social information
  • share pictures, videos or other forms of media
  • express an opinion or point of view
  • entertain
  • sell products or services
  • allow users to post questions for other users to answer
  • allow users to share files or download software
  • provide something of similar quality
Google Analytics Logo, Analytics is essential for your website and SEO
Google Analytics Logo

Next up is to install the free Google Analytics tracking software that will help you understand how well your website is performing with your customers. Then authenticate with the Google Search Console, another free tool from Google that will give an insight into what Google thinks of your website.

By doing this, you bring your website to the attention of Google which means they know where to send their Robots to Spider your website and take everything back in to the Google Index.

Now it’s time to build your Google My Business (GMB) profile to help Google understand your NAP, that’s your Name, Address & Phone Number. Once you’ve completed your GMB profile you should register with a number of key web based directory websites.

In the meantime you should be adding fresh, new, relevant and search engine optimised content. That’s because people love new stuff, and so does Google – it informs Google that your website is active and your business is still trading. It also demonstrates your EAT to Google, that’s your Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. If you are in the financial sector you need to be concerned with Google’s YMYLYour Money or Your Life.

YMYL content is content that impacts on a reader’s happiness, health, safety or financial stability which, if presented incorrectly, might have a direct, negative, impact on people’s lives

Writing something new about once a month should do it – keep your eyes open for my forthcoming post that’ll be all about writing great, search optimised, content for your website and if you need any help with your content, your SEO or anything else to do with your digital marketing, you know to do.

A big Thumbs Up for Social Media
Social Likes

And not forgetting your Social Media. Every time you create new content don’t forget to share it on your Socials. That helps spread the word and the right posts, of the right content, will attract visits to your website. Google Analytics will show you which platforms are delivering the best traffic. As well as your Socials, don’t forget email and video marketing as well as podcasts.

And if you don’t have the time or need professional help, I am just a call or an email away.

Call me on 01793 238020 or 07966 547146, drop me a line, andy@enterprise-oms.co.uk or book a free 40 minute consultancy session for an informal, free chat about your issues and how I may be able to help.

Domain Name Nightmares

I was reading the news a couple of weeks ago and was delighted to learn of a mobile pizza maker. Based in South Wales, they have their van, a wood fired pizza oven and serving counters and were ready to go. Providing wonderful, freshly baked pizza at a wide variety of locations. Parties, gigs, weddings etc.

Tasty slice of pizza. Not from the Welsh Italian Pizza Company
Tasty slice of pizza

Who was it? The Welsh Italian Pizza Company, that’s who. So why were they in the news?

For a lack of thought. They simply decided to use the company name as their web domain without looking at it in print first. Say it – the Welsh Italian Pizza Company, sounds OK doesn’t it. Now look at it, as they registered it for their website – https://welshitalianpizza.co.uk

All of a sudden their pizzas look a lot less appetising.

They are not the first to have fallen in to this domain name nightmare. It’s so easy to choose a new domain name, register it, build a website and start the marketing. However, if you don’t look at your domain name in print AND talk about it first you could find your self with something as problematic as the Welsh Italian Pizza’s

Phones4U logo

Something that looks good, or cool, in print may not sound so smart and something that sounds clever may not look like a wise decision when written down. I think I first thought about it when Phones4U (remember them) started really pushing their mobile phone stores. It looked cool in print, tapping in to the shortening of words that the young had chanced on so that they could make the most of the limited characters allowed in SMS messages (maximum 140 back in the day). It tapped in to the zeitgeist of the time. But imagine trying to communicate the domain name in a phone call. “Yes, just visit our website at ‘phones’ – with a PH not an F – unlike that other giant, Vodafone. 4, that’s the number four, the digit, not the word and U, the letter U not the word, dot com”

All of a sudden, something simple has become quite a mouthful and quite challenging to communicate. Thankfully, Phones4U were able to throw a vast amount of money at advertising, which must have gone someway towards overcoming this challenge. However, it didn’t stop them from falling in to administration in 2014.

Then there’s award winning, London based video maker, producer and director. He called his business Speed of Art, so went for https://speedofart.com. Not quite so clever now, although I don’t think the owner really cares because, the last time I looked, he’d retired. Not only is there a problem with the domain name, but part of his target market was large organisations and many of them would use filters to prevent employees looking at unsuitable websites. The speedo bit would be OK but I don’t think the rest would get through the filter.

There’s a London based Cloud computing accountancy solutions provider caller XERO (pronounced Zero). Yep, looks good in print but in their radio adverts they have to say “visit us at Xero.com with an X”, and then sound out the spelling, “X.E.R.O. dot com”.

There are loads more. However probably the worst was for a Californian therapy/therapist directory because everybody in California needs a therapist, right? But how do you find one? Well, you go the therapist directory website https://therapistfinder.com don’t you? Thankfully, they spotted their error (although not until a couple of years had passed) and changed it to https://therapist-finder.com, although the site is now defunct.

Along the way there have been some excellent spoofs too. There was the Italian Electricity Generating company, PowergenItalia.com. This was claimed to be genuine for a number of years but was eventually shown up to be a spoof. And finally, for now, corporate pen company, Pen Island who sell through https://penisland.net

Pen Island Pens

Domain names like this not only distract from the marketing but also cause SEO confusion because the search engines have to guess the words from the alphabet-soup of letters and yet the solution is simple, use a hyphen or two, and the intention is immediately visible, speed-of-art.com and pen-island.net for example.

The moral of this post is simple, when thinking of a new domain name, make sure that it looks good in print and is easy to communicate verbally and if it’s not, then go back to the drawing board.

I might not be able to undo any domain names that you have registered but I can certainly help with the majority of internet marketing issues that you have, so why not give me a call on 01793 238020 or 07966 547146, drop me a line, andy@enterprise-oms.co.uk or book a free 40 minute consultancy session for an informal and free chat about your issues and how I may be able to help.

14 SEO Myths

Finger Pointing at a search bar

I started providing SEO services in 2001 and things were a lot simpler than they are now. Back then it was all about keywords. Keywords in the Keyword Meta Tag, keywords in the Meta Title and Meta Description and Keywords liberally scattered throughout the content.

Then people came up with ways to “game” the system, to effectively cheat the search engines into giving them a better result than they were probably due. If you’d like to learn about one of these Black Hat techniques you should read my post on Keyword Stuffing.

Since those early cowboy days of SEO, many things have changed. The profession has cleaned up its game (although Black Hat SEO still exists if you want to cheat the system and eventually get kicked out of the Search Engine Results Pages – SERPs) and the search engines regularly update their algorithms – the software that decided where a website deserves to sit in the Results pages.

As things have changed, the number of SEO myths has grown and these are the ones that I most frequently encounter

SEO Myth 1 – It’s no longer about keywords

This has been around for a while now. Not only does Google examine more than 200 “signals” when ranking websites it frequently tweaks theses “signals” to ensure that you and I get the most relevant results for our searches. Every time something changes, a crowd of people claim that “Keywords are dead” or “SEO is dead”. Well, I’m here to tell you keywords are NOT dead and neither is SEO.

In fact, keywords are the fundamental rock on which all SEO is based. There’s no magic or mystery about them, they are simply the words you and I enter into our web browser when searching for something and so it’s critical that these words and phrases are embedded in your website, in the places the search engines look. This enables Google, Bing, Yahoo, Duck Duck Go, etc to match searches to relevant websites

SEO Myth 2 – it’s ALL about keyword density

If you carry out a web search for “Keyword Density” you’ll find a number of sites telling you that the ideal keyword density is between 4 and 5%. This means that for every 100 words on your web pages, 4-5 of them should be keywords.

Please don’t pay ANY attention to this. If you do, you’ll fall foul of one of the cardinal rules of web development, that your website is for the visitors to your site and search engines are simply a tool to deliver those clients and prospects to your site.

If you focus on keyword density, and other SEO focused metrics, you’ll have switched content focus from creating great content for site visitors to creating content for the search engines and your content will suffer. I have worked with many sites that have fallen down this particular rabbit hole. Their site has ranked really well in the search results, the search results have delivered many visits but those visitors have left the site very quickly (Bounced in Google Analytics terms) because the content wasn’t focused on their needs.

Back-links, hyperlinks published on third party websites that bring people to your website are the foundations on which Google was built. Originally called “Back Rub”, Google originally ONLY ranked sites based on the volume of backlinks. The thinking was pretty simple. If I link from my site to yours then I must believe that something on your site will be of interest/value to visitors to my site and, like any good democracy, the more votes (backlinks) your website has, the more popular and better it must be.

When Google was launched, backlinks remained a fundamental way that it ranked websites (and it remains so today). As a consequence, a whole industry built up around providing backlinks, including “Link Farms”. Web pages that just looked like phone directories, with each page simply featuring hundreds of links to websites. In the early days, this was quite successful and you could buy thousands of links for a few hundred dollars.

That was until Google realised that quality was far more important than quantity and started analysing where the backlinks originated. From then on, purchased backlinks became a major no-no. Backlinks MUST be relevant, so a link from your local butchers to a website providing marketing services is not relevant, for example.

For the butcher’s example above, it’s not likely to attract a direct penalty but will probably just be ignored by Google so the effort expended on acquiring that link will have been wasted.

If you take it to the next level and start purchasing links, Google WILL find out and your website will be penalised by being pushed DOWN in the results pages. This could be critical, with only 50% of search engine users ever going beyond the first page of results and just 10% making it to page 3 and beyond, a demotion to page 5 is almost as bad as being deleted.

Myth 4 – posting the same content on many different sites will boost your ranking

“Back in the day” it was common for a blog article to be posted on a number of websites that claimed to be regularly visited by journalists, and so promised a lot of “eyes on” fresh articles. The publisher’s dream was that they’d be contacted by journalists for more information. The goal being to be mentioned in an article that gets published by the national, mainstream, media amplifying the visibility of the business. The reality was than no journalists visited these sites and the actual goal was to simply build backlinks.

As Google improved its technology it recognised these for what they were, backlink building opportunities, and woe betide your website if you had had the temerity to pay to have your post published.

From here, another myth developed, that multiple placements of identical content will be penalised. Myth 14 explains this one in more details

SEO Myth 5 – You have to write at least 1,200 words on every page for optimum SEO

If you read enough posts about SEO you will ultimately come across one that talks about the number of words contained on pages that come up in Position 1 on Page 1 of Google’s search results pages. (The holy grail of SEO if you like).

Typically they’ll tell you that top pages contain 1,200, 1,600, or even 2,000 words. That’s a LOT of writing, but don’t despair. You don’t have to write so many, or you can write many more. The reality is that there is no magic “ideal” word count that will get you on the first page of the search results. It’s much more about relevance and quality.

Look at it this way. If I tell you, or you read, that your page has to contain 1,200 words, you’re going to write 1,200 words no matter what. And if you only need 600 then your page is going to be so full of padding and filler that even were your page to feature highly in the search results and attract loads of visits, no one is going to read it.

And at the other end of the scale, if you actually need 3,000 words to get your message across and you’ve heard that the ideal page is 1,200 you’re going to edit the heck out of your content and you’ll probably remove most of the value. So, again, even if your page features highly in the results and you get loads of visits, most won’t stay because the content doesn’t make a great read.

What’s the solution?
The simple solution is to write as many (or as few) words as you need to communicate your message and sell your idea. My only caveat, if you have to write a lot of words you either need to be a very good and persuasive writer OR hire a copywriter to do the work for you.

SEO Myth 6 – SEO is dead

At least once a year someone pontificates that “SEO is dead” and I worry about my future. Then I relax and realise that SEO has quite a few years to go yet. it’s a long way from being an Ex-SEO, left this mortal coil, kicking up the daisies and every other quote from Monty Python’s “Dead Parrot” sketch.

Work is required, and will always be required, to ensure that your website is as #SEOFriendly as possible so that it appears as high in the search listings as possible and drives sufficient traffic to your website

Headstone with the words "RIP SEO"

SEO Myth 7 – It’s all about Social Media these days

It’s really easy to believe, that with over 2.3Bn active users, Facebook has removed the need for a website and so SEO is no longer required.

If you follow this path, you’ll be missing out. In the UK about 32m people use Facebook. With about 90% of the UK population using the internet, ( that’s about 58.5m people) you’ll be missing 26.5m people.

And that’s just the people who don’t use Facebook Lots of Facebook users (about 70%) still turn to search engines when looking for the things they want or need. So, it’s not all about Social Media, if you just do Social, then you are missing a huge audience.

SEO Myth 8 – Pictures don’t do anything to help your SEO

Although the search engines are slowly rolling out Artificial Intelligence to help then understand the content of a picture, your images contribute greatly to the optimisation of a web page.

However, you need to optimise your pictures properly. The file size has to be small enough so as not to slow your pages down, need to have SEO optimised image names, AND have optimised Alt Tags. Sign up for my newsletter and you’ll receive my free e-Guide to image optimisation.

#UseMorePictures

SEO Myth 9 – SEO is a secret magic masked by smoke and mirrors

When SEO was growing in awareness, a lot of people delivering the service hid their actions behind smoke and mirrors, making it appear as if it was something mystical, something that could only be implemented by members of some deeply secret inner circle.

I think the main reason for this was to mask their techniques (some of which may have been gaming the system for quick results but which would lead to penalties being applied) AND so that these cowboys could charge more for their services.

The reality is that EVERYTHING you need to know is “out there” on the internet if you know where to look and who to trust. But do you want to spend time learning about SEO, sorting the wheat from the chaff and then learning how to implement it on your website AND keep it up to date or would you rather bring in someone who knows what they are doing, leaving you to do what you’re good at? Running your business, converting leads into sales, and making a profit?

SEO Myth 10 – It’s not a problem if your website is slow to load

Website Speed Test Results

It’s a HUGE problem if your website is slow to load. 3 seconds is the goal – why?

The internet has robbed people of their attention span. Most people simply won’t wait any more than 3 seconds for a web page to open. If it’s slow, they’ll simply go elsewhere.

And it’s worse than that. You have about 2/10s of a second for people to “Get” what your site offers and if they don’t “get” it almost straight away, they will head off elsewhere.

Because of this, Google will push slow sites down the results pages. After all, thee’s no point sending people to a website if all they are going to do is come back to their search results to go somewhere else.

A slow website is one of the reasons behind a high Bounce Rate in Google Analytics

SEO Myth 11 – You Must have perfect SEO to rank on Page 1

With Google examining more than 200 “signals” to determine where your site comes up in the search results pages, and the majority of those being known ONLY by Google thee is no way that your SEO can ever be perfect.

And you don’t have to be perfect, you just have to be better than your competitors. That’s why I’ll look at your competitors if I am working on your SEO to see what can be done to beat them.

And if you strive for perfection, you might never get anything completed. remember, perfection is the enemy of good.

SEO Myth 12 – Running a Google Ads campaign will boost your SEO

Google Ads and Google Search are two totally separate parts of Google and there is NO interlinking at all so running a large (or small) Google Ads campaign is NOT going to improve your SEO.

It will, however, give you a quick opportunity to get your business to the top if the first page of search results (In the Ads section) if you need quick traffic to your website

SEO Myth 13 – SEO is a one-time thing

No, no, and thrice no. SEO is constantly changing and you (or your search optimiser) should constantly be looking for ways to improve your SEO. After all, if you started out and were better than your competitors (See Myth 11) and they improve their SEO, they will outrank you so you need to stay on top of things.

SEO Myth 14 – Google will penalise your site for duplicate content

Myth 4 looked at the posting of content on a variety of websites with the aim of building backlinks to your website.

From this came conversations that if Google caught you doing this then they would penalise your website. This simply isn’t true. However, a very real danger of having multiple copies of the same thing is that it will dilute your search results because Google won’t know which is the most important page.

So, examine your content, and if you have more than one copy of the same thing then you need to let Google know which is the most important and the Canonical tag is the way to do this.

A canonical tag (aka “rel canonical”) is a way of telling search engines that a specific URL represents the master copy of a page. Using the canonical tag prevents problems caused by identical or “duplicate” content appearing on multiple URLs

Thanks for reading and remember, if you have any problems with your SEO please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I’ll be only too happy to answer any questions that you might have

Find me:         https://www.seo.enterprise-oms.uk/  |  andy@enterprise-oms.co.uk
Follow me:     Twitter ¦ Linkedin
Phone me:      01793 238020 ¦ 07966 547146

What does your Phone Number tell people about your business

For years and years the Americans have been very clever with phone numbers, using words to make them memorable, 1-800-468 3647* is quite tough to remember, but using the letters on a phone pad it instantly becomes 1-800 Hot Dogs, which is far more memorable. I also reckon that it made for quite a fight between businesses and telephone companies for the best numbers. The best we seemed to manage in the UK was the fight for “special” numbers – such as 0800 123123

And then came the mobile phone explosion, and the numbers you used were the ones handed out by your mobile phone company, there was no choice. Well, there was, but you had to hunt it down and “special” mobile phone numbers were expensive, because the providers knew the value.

For a long time, companies would display both landline and mobile numbers – and quite a few still do. However, for the last 5 years (maybe more) I have noticed that a lot of companies only use their mobile number. This is possibly sole traders and other businesses who work from home, or a home office. It enables them to easily keep business telephony separate from private. I’ve worked with many people who have 2 mobile phones, 1 for business and the other for personal calls.

A sign written van with just a mobile phone number

I’ve noticed that more and more sign written vans only have a mobile number on them, and in my opinion, this is a missed opportunity. And there are still people who won’t trust a company that only uses a mobile number simply because it used to shout “rogue trader” or similar, a company lacking any form of physical base.

Why should a mobile only number be a missed opportunity?

Simply put, a mobile phone is harder to remember than a geographic number. Mainly because we are familiar with geographic numbers, the one for our region for example. We might also be familiar with surrounding regional numbers and those from the major cities too, 020 for London and 0117 for Bristol for example). This familiarity makes a landline number easier to remember because all you have to do is remember the region and a 6 or 7 digit number (Swindon 123456 for example).

And this is the next benefit. If I see a tradespersons’ sign written van and it has a landline and mobile number, I’ll instantly know whether they are local to me, or “just visiting” and I’ll be far more likely to contact a local trade than one based elsewhere.

But landlines have their own issues too. If you change phone providers, move from one exchange region to another or move from one office to another you may not be able to “take” your landline number with you. This means you’ll have to update websites, your Socials, letter heads, compliment slips, business cards etc. Which is a very good reason for just using a mobile number.

Is there a better way to use phone numbers?

Get an IP (Internet Protocol) phone number. An IP number is a virtual phone number. It’s not associated with any telephone exchange but is based in the Internet. You can have a physical desk phone (but you need one that’s IP Phone capable, not a cheap £10 phone from Amazon). You can use your PC/Laptop/tablet instead. Simply set up an IP Phone App and configure it correctly, have a headset and microphone (Bluetooth is great) and your “good to go”. You can even take IP calls on your mobile phone, yes really. I’ve used a Sipgate number for more than 10 years now. 01793 238020. It’s moved with me from an office, to working from home and then when I got a different office it “came” with me too. I could have gone with Vonage, who offer a similar service. If you are a larger business, you might need something more sophisticated, and there are plenty to choose from and now the Video Conference provider, Zoom, has launched a very competitively priced IP Phone service too. Read about IP telephony on the Money Supermarket website.

And, best of all, when you move location you don’t have to do anything at all. Your phone number comes with you, wherever you choose to go. All you need is an internet connection.

You could even get an IP phone number for the next town/city that you want to expand in to, giving you a virtual presence there and making it even easier for potential clients to contact you.

If you need help with your telephony then I probably know enough to be able to point you in the right direction and if you need assistance with your SEO, Email Marketing, Social media or any other type of online marketing activities then I can definitely help you so you really should get in touch – even if it’s just for a free consult. You can call me on 01793 238020 or 07966 547146, email andy@enterprise-oms.co.uk or book a slot using my calendar and we’ll take it from there

*(1-800 being the US equivalent of a free phone number, known in the States as a Toll Free Number)

The 7Ps that make a great marketing strategy

Back in the early 80s, when I was undertaking quite a bit of management training I became familiar with 7Ps. Proper Preparation & Planning Prevents Pretty Poor Performance*.

When I moved from IT Support Engineer and Consultant in to Internet Marketing I learned about a different 7Ps, the 7Ps of Marketing:

Hand pressing a quality button - yu MUST have quality in your marketing
  • Product/Service
  • Price
  • Place
  • People
  • Process
  • Physical Evidence
  • Promotion



Sometimes, when I introduce myself as a marketing professional, some conclude that I work with “advertising”. As you’ll see as you read on, you’ll see that advertising is just one part of marketing communications, which is one of the 7 Ps of marketing.  

I’ve touched really briefly on the various elements of the marketing mix – but please get in touch if I can help you work through anything in particular, email andy@enterprise-oms.co.uk or give me a call on 01793 238020.

This is just a snapshot of the breakdown of marketing.  But it is good to sit back from your business and challenge yourself with some of these questions.

Product/Service: 

  • Is there a market for what you do? How do you know?
  • Why should people buy what you offer at all and why should they buy from you?
  • What makes you different from your competition?
  • Who is your competition – when did you last do a competitive SWOT?
  • What are the overall growth trends in your sector?
  • What is your sales pattern? What area of your sales is strongest and why and can you harness this strength elsewhere?
  • And what area is weakest? What are you doing about it?
  • How well do you treat your customers?
  • Which profitable customers can you win from whom? Who? How? Why? Where? When?

Price

  • Have you built value into your pricing?
  • Are you competitive?
  • Is your cost enough for you to work with profit?
  • How do you set your price?
  • Will you discount?
  • How will you avoid being always known for discounting?
  • What do your competitors do?
  • Keep It simple

Place

  • How easy/convenient is it for your customers to buy from you?
  • Where and how are you currently selling your products and services?
  • What are the opportunities to extend these?

If you are selling a service on the web, are you supporting with testimonials and case studies?

People

  • Are your people one of your main strengths of your business?
  • Or are you the bottle neck in your company? Are you better than everyone else and does everything have to come through you first?
  • What type of leader are you?
  • What is the path for your team to voice their concerns other than coming through you?
  • Are your people your best ambassadors or are they whinging about you/the business as soon as they are out of the door?
  • Are they as well trained as they can possibly be?
  • Did you involve your team when you last undertook a company SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) –really powerful.

Process

One of the vital Ps but often overlooked and often designed for the company’s benefit rather than the customer’s. Ask yourself:

  • Can your team deliver a consistent level of service to all customers and at all times?
  • Customer retention is critical.. how failsafe is your process to ensure you don’t lose any?
  • How effective is your sales process?
  • What processes have you in place for telephone answering/billing/communication with your clients/recommendations/operations/

Physical Evidence (Brand)

Your brand is defined as

  • Signs by which you are known and remembered
  • A bundle of explicit/implicit promises
  • A reflection of personality
  • A statement of position.

Have you thought about/discussed what does your company stand for? What’s its personality and philosophy? What’s your one key brand promise to your customers?

Your brand is so much more than your logo.  Think about a new visitor’s journey to your web site – does this reflect the look and feel of any communication they have had from you hitherto?  Will they recognise this as being part of the same business?  Have you had your website made mobile friendly?  Really important.

A few hours spent on this are far from fluffy nonsense. 

Promotion (Communication)

Just a few from the hundreds of options

  • Off line
    • Face to face
    • Word of Mouth referral
    • Networking
    • Telesales as part of a process
    • PR
    • Exhibitions and events
    • Direct marketing and sales letters with appropriate follow up driving to the web
    • Postcards
    • Events and seminars
    • Advertising but think carefully before you embark here. One off random ads are a waste of time and money! Is it the right target market?  Don’t be dazzled by offers…

On line

  • Website and how are you pushing your web? Does your copy talk about ‘you’, ie the reader?  Are you  making regular blog posts and updates?  Have you considered more SEO, more PPC,  back links, etc
  • Online videos on YouTube – how to/ about/testimonials – so many options.
  • Social media – which platforms should you invest time in?
  • Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest advertising.
  • Email news and updates

So then, back to the management version:
Just think how powerful your marketing strategy will be when you combine the planning from my original 7Ps with the focus provided by the 7Ps of marketing.

Combining your marketing knowledge to create a good strategy/plan using the 7Ps of Marketing coupled with the the 7Ps of Management managing implementation will surely lead to improved business performance.

But there are few quick wins when it comes to marketing, the more you work at it, the better it becomes. So, remember to take time away from working IN your business, (doing the business stuff) to work ON your business, doing the stuff that makes your business better. Set aside time on a weekly basis – little and often on a regular basis.

Remember though, I’m an Internet Marketing specialist although I’ll be more than happy to talk over other elements of your marketing activities and help where I can, Digital Marketing is where my skill set lies. If you have any questions, call me on 01793 238020, email andy@enterprise-oms.co.uk or just search Chief SEO Officer

*Oh, and of course we didn’t learn “pretty poor performance” we used a far more pithy term than “pretty”

There’s Google and then there’s the others

A lot of the work that I do for my clients is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). This involves working on websites to move them higher in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Most of the time, when talking about SEO, I talk about Google because Google is, by far and away, the most used search engine on the internet. Notice I say “used” rather than “loved” simply because a lot of people use it because it’s Number 1 but they don’t trust Google due to the amount of data it grabs and the huge power it wields.

But enough of the pre-amble, I want to tell you that there are other search engines available and there may be excellent reasons for using them. If you regularly check Google Analytics, or other web analytics applications, you may already be wondering about the traffic sources that appear.

And if you are not regularly checking a web analytics program to understand how your website is performing, the see me after class.

From my perspective, the work that I do on SEO actually works for ALL of the search engines out there so, without further ado, and in strict alphabetical order, here are the world’s top search engines

Ask.com – Founded 1996

Ask.com, started out as Ask Jeeves, a butler style service to help you find the answers to your important questions. Ask Jeeves has quite some history. It was founded in 1996 but in 2006 dropped “Jeeves”. Ask uses a unique algorithm to help you find the answers that you are looking for. It is designed to answer questions (hence the name) and favours expertise on a topic – instead of popularity

Baidu – Founded 2000

Baidu was founded in 2000 and is the dominant search engine in its country of origin, China. They have a market share of 75% in China whilst Google comes in with 3.76% – which is surprisingly high seeing as Google is banned in China. As with most Chinese entities, they are heavily policed which means certain images are censored and pro-democracy websites are blocked. Even so, if you are looking to break in to the Asian market, Baidu is were you have to be.

Like Google, they are investing heavily in Artificial Intelligence and self-driving cars. Sound familiar?

Bing – Launched 2009

Bing is Microsoft’s search engine, it was launched in 2009, which was when it replaced MSN Search. Later that year they also started providing search results to Yahoo, added AOL and Ecosia to the list of sites they support and Bing accounts for around 10% of US searches.

They are competitive in the Ads market too, although their total share of the market is small, compared to Google, so the impact is a lot less

DuckDuckGo – Founded 2008

DuckDuckGo is the search engine that looks after your privacy, touting itself as “the search engine that doesn’t track you”. DuckDuckGo doesn’t track you, and it doesn’t collect or store any information about you either.You’ll still see Ads (powered by Microsoft) but they won’t be personalised, based on your browsing history.

Ecosia – Founded 2009

Ecosia was launched in 2009 and it’s the first environmentally friendly search engine, and is actually CO2 negative. To achieve this Ecosia donates 80% of profits to tree-planting projects which means that for around every 50 searches carried out on Ecosia, a tree is planted.

Ecosia have also built a solar power generation facility so that it can run its servers on clean, eco-friendly, energy.

Ecosia buys search results in from Bing and tweaks them with their own, unique, algorithms.

Google – Founded 1996

Founded in 1996 Google is the search engine of choice for millions around the world and has over 86% of the search engine market globally. As well as powering Google itself, the company also provides search results to a range of smaller search engines, such as ASK

Google has tremendous computing power but it comes at a cost to the environment.

Huge data centres dotted around the world use huge amounts of electricity and although Google is working hard to mitigate their environmental impact a lot of CO2 is generated by every single search.

Search-Wise – First Seen 2005

EastEnders viewers left confused over Dot Cotton's hilarious X-rated  technical gaffe | TV & Radio | Showbiz & TV | Express.co.uk

If you watch a lot of TV, particularly Dr Who and EastEnders, when actors are using a search engine they’ll use Search-Wise to carry out their internet searches.

Search-Wise is actually non-existent. It has a “home” page that has been mocked up and that’s all you ever see – there’s no technology behind it. Search-Wise is a digital prop, that’s all.

Start Page – Founded 1998

StartPage may just be the perfect search engine. It was launched in 1998 and is based in the Netherlands.

What makes it the almost perfect search engine is that, like others in this list, it buys in its results from elsewhere. StartPage actually buy their results from Google but StartPage’s USP is that it doesn’t track you, doesn’t pass your IP address to Google and doesn’t use trackers to gather data about you.

This means that you get the benefits of access to all of Google’s search nous but none of the privacy threatening downsides. See what I mean when I said that StartPage might just be the perfect search engine

Yahoo – Founded 1994

Older than Google, once upon a time, Yahoo was the Number One search engine and was a mighty company. How things change. Yahoo now buys results from Bing and has about 3% of the global search market. Although a small percentage, that 3% translates in to 1 billion users, 600m of whom use Yahoo on their phones and tablets.

In a cross business deal, Microsoft makes use of Yahoo’s Ad engine

Yandex – Founded 1997

Yandex is a Russian search engine, Yandex standing for Yet Another iNDEXer and the domain Yandex.ru was launched in 1997. Yandex is where you need to be if you are targeting Russia for business.

Yandex is also popular in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Turkey and Belarus. It’s available in both English and Cyrillic.

In 2011 Yandex went public on the New York Stock Exchange and the search engine currently powers 42.35% of Russian searches

What can you learn from this

The reality is that no single search engine covers 100% of the World Wide Web although Google probably has the most comprehensive index. However, it’s a trade off between depth of coverage and the value you place on your privacy.

What I can say, though, is that if you are looking at targeting China or Russia you really need to focus your efforts on the search engines that cover these territories, Yandex and Baidu, for maximum visibility

Pie Chart of Search Engine Market Share, Globally and UK

If you need help with making your website more visible in the search results, increase visits to your website AND increase your profits then all you have to do is get in touch.

Call me on 01793 238020 or email andy@enterprise-oms.co.uk. We can even schedule an introductory, FREE, 40 min call over Zoom, or Teams or any other platform.

Is having a Responsive website enough?

When I started using the internet to access the world wide web, back in the early 90s I had a 14″ monitor with a 640×480 resolution. That’s 640 pixels (dots) wide and 480 pixels high, smartphones did not exist and connection was made via a modem (US Robotics) and a dial-up (phone line) connection.

Then I started working for an IT company and moved up to a 15″ screen with a 800×600 resolution and could get more on my screen. I was really excited when I moved to a 17″ screen with a 1024×768 resolution. Not only could I be more productive but we moved to an ISDN (digital connection) and the world was a better place.

Although I had been using a smartphone for a while (I am a bit of a geek) the adoption of a phone with a screen really took off in 2007, when after 2 years of development, Steve Jobs announced the very first iPhone.

This introduced a problem for web designers and developers. Screen resolution was 420 x 480 and sites developed for traditional monitors tended to not work very well on Smartphone screens. Monitors were wider than they they were taller – SmartPhones were taller than they were wider and so a lot of horizontal scrolling was required. And this was just horrible.

As a consequence, web developers started to design mobile only websites. A bit of code on the home page would identify whether the site was being visited by a desktop (or laptop) PC or by a mobile device and the visitor would be seamlessly forwarded to the relevant site. The mobile site would commonly be identified by an m. so the regular site would be www.website.com and the mobile version would be m.website.com.

However, this meant that web developers had to build two different sites, which took time and money so wasn’t an ideal solution.

The very first iPhone
The very first iPhone

By 2008 work was well underway developing a technology that would overcome this and allow a single site to be developed. One that would automatically change its size depending on the device being used to access it. Initially these were called by a variety of names, “flexible”, “fluid”, “elastic” and “liquid” being the main terms used. In May 2010 the word “responsive” was used for the first time, by 2012 “Responsive” was #2 in Top web Design Trends by .Net magazine and 2013 became the Year of Responsive Web Design according to Mashable. In the same year Google announced that it was going to reward responsive designs with improved rankings and the flood gates opened.

By 2014 mobile web access exceeded desktop access for the first time and in 2019 Google switched focus from desktop first when evaluating websites to taking a mobile first approach.

Now, barely a website is built unless it’s “responsive” but this brings it’s own set of problems.

In my experience, most companies who request a Responsive site rarely take a detailed look as to how quickly the responsive site loads, how it looks and how easy it is to use. They quickly check on their phones and, provided the site looks OK, they accept the design they have been given.

And that’s where the problems start. It’s very easy to build a Responsive website, especially in WordPress, and even easier to make it slow to load (remember, you have less than 3 seconds to get your site open and just 2/10ths of a second for the visitor to understand what’s on offer)

Lots of sites still use carousels, those scrolling images that feature at the top of web pages (you can read about my dislike of carousels here). This means that all carousel images have to load first and the worst responsive sites with a carousel simply display all the carousel images, stacked one above the other.

Although people can scroll easily on a phone, they have to understand what they are scrolling for and a lot of people simply won’t bother, especially when faced with 2 or more images.

How good is your website when viewed on a smartphone?

How do you know that people don’t like the Responsive version of your website? It simple, log in to your Google Analytics account and look at the initial “quality” metrics for the three device types, desktop/laptop, mobile and tablet.

Three Quality Metrics

For a quick site performance overview I always look at the average length of each visit to a website, at the average number of pages per visit and the Bounce Rate – the number of visitors who reach your website but leave without clicking on anything. By navigating in Google Analytics to Audience/Mobile/Overview you’ll see a chart, similar to the one below,

Bounce Rate Mobile Vs Desktop Vs Tablet
Bounce Rate Mobile Vs Desktop Vs Tablet

Remember my simple Bounce Rate scale
0 – 20% = Excellent (and very rare)
21% – 50% = Average
+51% – Investigate

In the above example you can see where the problem lies, Desktop and Tablet Bounce Rates are comfortable, around the 40% mark whereas visits from Mobile devices have a Bounce Rate of nearly 64%. That means that 2/3rds of ALL visits from users using their phones leave without doing anything. Totally wasted opportunity and even if the company increases it’s marketing to attract more visits, this will only continue unless action is taken.

What should the site owner be doing

It’s really simple.

You need to fully understand the goal of your website. I know that sounds simplistic but so many people have a website because they feel they need one but don’t really have any specific goals.

Your site should have clear goals and it should be immediately obvious what those goals are. Do you want visitor to your website to

  • Buy Something
  • Place an order
  • Subscribe to a newsletter
  • Make contact to ask a question
  • etc

Now all you have to do is open your site on your phone and take a good look. How fast does the site open? How quickly can it be used? How obvious is the primary goal? How easy is it for a visitor to carry out the primary goal.

Make notes about the performance and have a conversation with your web designer to sort everything out and if you need help, you can always get in touch for a chat (no cost, no obligation) or you can leap straight in and book a website review – I have some great deals on website audits, take a look .

I can provide advice, help, and support. Just give me a call on 01793 238020 or email andy@enterprise-oms.co.uk and we’ll take it from there

Podcasting, what is it? Should you do it? How do you do it?

Podcast  -spelled out using Scrabble letters

Podcasting is simply the audio equivalent of blogging. It’s where you create an audio recording and share it across the internet

Why should you podcast

There are many reasons to podcast. Let’s start with learning types. We all have differing ways in which we acquire knowledge and information but the three primary ways are through the written word, through pictures and video and through listening. All three are equally valid and have their own, unique, benefits and co-exist comfortably alongside each other.

There’s been a huge increase in the range of podcasts over recent years, both the number of pods that you can find and the wide range of platforms that you can listen to them on. You can find Podcasts on Spotify, Apple platforms, Google and elsewhere – they are a simple way to reach a wider, different audience to those who may not receive your email newsletters, watch your videos or tune in to your social media.

How to podcast

You don’t need a sophisticated recording studio. Just a quiet room, a recording device and a decent microphone.

The easiest way to record a podcast is to simply use your phone with some audio recording software – there’ll be loads to choose from in your App Store.

It’s worth remembering that your phone’s microphone is optimised for phone calls and so may not give you the best quality. To overcome this it’s a good idea to invest in a better quality microphone – even more so if you are planning on including other people in your podcast. Tie clip, also known as lavalier microphones are a good place to start. Just make sure to buy one that has the right connection for your phone.

The one on the right costs around £20.00 from Amazon, for example.

Although a phone is great for recording when you are out and about it’s not the easiest platform on which to edit your audio and my preferred route is to do the majority of recording on my PC and I use free software that’s called Audacity

If you have a laptop, you have a device with a microphone. If you use a webcam on a PC you have a microphone. However, these may not be the best microphones available simply because your recording quality will be heavily influenced by the room that you record in, and in a lot of cases your recording will sound as though it was recorded in a cave. Have a listen to the following clips to hear the difference a decent microphone makes to recording quality.

Short audio clip using a laptop microphone
Short audio clip using an inexpensive Lavalier (Tie Clip) microphone
Short audio clip using a quality microphone

Once you have recorded, and edited, your Podcast you need to find a way to make it available on the internet.

There are many sites that you could consider. I use Podomatic – it has a free account that’s a good place to start. It also provides an RSS feed.

Click on the link if you want to understand more about RSS feeds but the reason why one is important is that it makes it relatively easy to get your podcast published on all the major podcasting platforms that include

Apple/ iTunes
Google Play Music
Spotify
Amazon & Audible
Pocketcasts

And best of all, there’s no cost. It’s all FREE so all you have to do is market your podcast through your website, Social Media and every other platform that you use to reach your clients.

If you need help recording your Podcast – just get in touch. I can provide advice, help, support and even have a small Podcast studio. Just give me a call on 01793 238020 or email andy@enterprise-oms.co.uk and we’ll take it from there