It’s sometimes better to trust your instinct even when logic tells you otherwise.
The scenario – you’re looking to get a website developed. You’ve approached three website developers and got three quotes on the table. They’re all offering what you think you need but they all have different costs. So do you go for the cheapest? If you do, are you going to receive a worse service from the developer than if you went for the most expensive? It’s a dilema.
When you’re faced with a decision like this and can’t decide what to do – which web design proposal to accept for example or whether to invest in a particular marketing campaign – it’s sometimes better to trust your instinct even when logic tells you otherwise.
This was brought home to me, quite poignantly, many years ago on return from a business trip.Read More
We all find ourselves in situations, from time to time, where we have to trust other people - doctors, dentists, accountants, even your website developer, and many others who offer services that we are not skilled or qualified to perform ourselves. But too frequently we simply assume that, because they have a diploma hanging on the wall or letters after their names, they are fully competent and capable of delivering what we want without being monitored.
The folly of this kind of assumption was quite shockingly brought home to me recently after I had collected my car from a body repairer.Read More
That’s usually when the subject of Google Adwords is raised as a way of getting the sites listed in Google quickly. So, I thought is would be a good ideas to explain what it is, together with some of the pluses and minuses, if you are contemplating using it.Read More
Content marketing – the latest buzzword in Internet marketing.
What is content marketing? In summary, it involves providing content via your website, or blog; content that will be of interest to potential customers and cause them to treat your website as a rich source of information. The idea is that they will see you as an authority in your field and be more inclined come to you rather that your competitors. Content can take the form of text, image, video or audio.Read More
How does your website capture people’s attention?
Many years ago I played guitar in a band. No you won’t have heard of us so I won’t even tell you what we were called. We played very local gigs around our hometown in Yorkshire, England.
I specifically remember one gig we played, in a small mining town near Doncaster. I remember it because it was the gig where we learned how to connect with an audience.
The gig was in a local village hall with an audience of local teenagers. We played the first set of about 40 minutes and after each number, got no reaction at all. It was as if those teenagers were either brain dead or deaf. Some of them probably were. It was that bad.Read More
Interestingly that is a question that I rarely get asked after I’ve completed a website for a small business. But it is a question that everyone with a new website should be asking.
Why? A website in itself will not do anything for your business because it is a marketing tool and like all tools it has to be applied in order to be effective. As such, that website that you’ve just had built and launched has to be used as part of your marketing efforts.Read More
I recently had a conversation about a website with a local business owner here in Tenbury Wells. When I pointed out that he hadn’t got a website his response was that he didn’t think he needed one because it wouldn’t bring in any additional business, most of which came from local referrals.
You know what, he was right on that! But he had missed the point. I think he was sticking his head in the sand!Read More
So you’ve decided that you want a website? What’s the first thing you’re going to do? Look at the websites of similar companies to yours and get an idea of the design you’d like? Approach a number of web designers and get a bunch of quotes? Start designing it yourself? Sign up for one of the self-build services such as 1&1 My Website?
Pick any one of these and you’d be on the fast track to throwing away your money and effort.
The first thing you need to do is to decide what you want the website to do for you; decide what the purpose of it is in other words. What do I mean by this?
There are a number of different types of website and the results you should expect from each vary. For the purpose of simplicity, here are three of the most popular types.
A recent article in the Daily Telegraph “Internet ‘fuels procrastination and lowers productivity‘” started me thinking about my own experiences (I’ve been developing and using internet technology in business for over 30 years), so I thought I would post my guidelines for using email.Read More
Traditional, or “outbound marketing”, involves sending out messages about your products or services to potential customers. Outbound marketing uses methods such as advertisements in newspapers, periodicals, radio, television, telemarketing and cold calling. The key characteristics of outbound marketing are an advert and an audience. You effectively push that advert in from of the audience.
But people are now becoming immune to this kind of marketing. Do you watch TV adverts and get a message about the product or company? Or, like me, switch off and ignore it? What do you do when you get a cold call about mobile phones or anything else? You probably find them irritating or down right annoying. I do.
Outbound marketing is becoming increasingly ineffective. So what can you do? Enter inbound marketing.Read More
“Britain’s small businesses could be losing more than £800m of sales a year by not taking credit and debit card payments”.
So says a news story that is currently doing the rounds. Whether or not you believe the figure of £800m, the fact does remain that many small businesses such as, corner shops, local tradesmen, market traders, and numerous mobile businesses, can’t take card payments.
These businesses an only accept payment in cash or cheque. I don’t know about you but I rarely carry much cash around and I never carry a cheque book so, no card payment, no sale.
On the other side of the fence, I hate it when customers give me a cheque. They put a cheque in the post, which can take who know how long to arrive, given the vagaries of the Royal Mail, and then it takes another 5 days to arrive in my account after I’ve paid it into the bank.
The excuse for not accepting cards has been that card payments are expensive. But that’s not true any more.Read More
Recently Google announced, what it described, as a “complete overhaul of its search algorithm”. Codeworded “Hummingbird”, the update is aimed at making search results much more relevant to users. Hummingbird seems to have created quite a stir so I though I would give you my take on it together with some practical advice.Read More
I recently came across this amazing story about a 16-year old , Jack Andraka, who recently devised a revolutionary medical test for detecting the almost always fatal disease, pancreatic cancer. I urge you to watch the 10 minute video below. It will blow you away.
The reason I want to share this with you is because Jack, having no previous medical training and not even knowing what a pancreas is, managed to produce the test by extensive research on the Internet.
I’ve previously expounded, in this blog, about the power of the Internet but Jack’s story illustrates this to a tee. A mere thirty years ago it would have been almost impossible for a layman such as Jack to achieve such a feat.
If the internet can do this and enable Jack to produce such a result, just think what it can do for your business.Read More
Clients often ask me what they should write about in their blogs.
- Don’t write sales pitches. A blog should be informative not a platform for sales pitches. So stay away from blog posts that try to pitch your products. The purpose of your blog is to attract interest and, whilst you might be interested in the latest variant of your xyz widget, most of you blog readers won’t. The only exception is if you’ve just brought out something so different, or even revolutionary, that it will immediately attract interest.
Are you bewildered by some of the terminology that computer geeks like me use? If so, read on.
As someone who has been in the IT industry for many years I tend to use words that, to me, are commonplace. However, for many people who have only got to grips with technology recently, or who are still trying, many of these terms are baffling.
So I thought I would start a series of posts to try and explain some of this terminology in layman’s terms. This first post in the series is really just an introduction. Future posts will go into more detail.Read More
As I posted on this blog back in March this year, Google reader is being withdrawn by Google after 1/7/13. Google’s announcement claimed that the number of people using the product has declined and Google wants to focus its efforts on fewer product offerings. Despite protests from users of the product, it seems that Google is still going ahead with the closure. So what’s the alternative?
I looked around and finally settled on InoReader (https://www.inoreader.com/).Read More
Do you wear the same things that you wore 10 years ago?
The answer is probably not because, the fact is, that fashions change. Not just in clothes or movies of TV programmes; fashions change in website design too; and changes in the online world tend to happen a lot faster than in the offline one. To give an example, I came across this interesting site to show how some popular websites have evolved over the years.
But the change is not just down to fashion. With web design, technology plays a largepart.Read More
Most websites are useless, a complete waste of money and don’t do a thing for the businesses they serve. But it needn’t be like that.
You may think that, as someone who develops websites for clients, I’m shooting myself in the head by coming out with this statement. But the fact is that I hate to see my clients wasting their money and that’s exactly what I see when I look around the web at many of the websites out there.
The simple fact is that a website is a tool that will enable you to communicate your marketing messages to existing and potential customers in a way that, if done properly, can be extremely effective in terms of results and cost saving. But to do this involves investment in terms of money and time.
I’m continually contacted by potential clients asking for minimal sites (I’ve even been asked for one page websites) in the belief that this will give them a presence on the Internet on the cheap and magically start bringing in business. Well I’ve got news for all the people who think like that. Don’t bother.Read More
I see this all the time even with some of my own clients; even after I have explained to them how to use their blogs,
You see, the problem is that, these days, people are inundated with sales messages to the point where they are immune to them, and even where they are turned off by them. Your website pages should advertise the products and services that you provide. What’s point of writing a blog if it’s going to contain more of the same?
What should your blog be used for? It should be used to demonstrate your expertise. Post articles about trends in your field of business; your opinions about what’s going on in your field; educational posts about your field; results that you’ve obtained for your clients. All these things will demonstrate your expertise.
Your aim should be to establish yourself as an authority and expert in your field of business so that potential customers will trust you. If your blog makes you come across like a pushy sales person, then it will simply push people away.
I’m not saying you can’t talk about the occasional special offer or promotion that you’re running. But the main thrust of your blog should be informative content.
How do you use your blog? Are you pushing people away?
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A client calls you to ask why he hasn’t received the quote he requested last week. You pause, try to remember and then think “Oh s**t”. You remember opening his letter and throwing it in your in tray so you realize that it must be somewhere under the stack of paper that’s in there.
Sound familiar? We’ve all been in this situation at sometime or other. But in today’s fast moving world, “stuff” (i.e. all the things that come at us such as letter, emails, texts, telephone requests etc.) comes at us so fast that keeping up with it con become a nightmare. How can we handle it? …..Read More