Pete Everitt Helping businesses and business owners discover their potential online. Tue, 07 May 2019 20:59:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Demystifying White Hat SEO Tue, 07 May 2019 20:48:48 +0000 We all know the score – our clients or our employers get a new website and think that the enquiries and/or sales will just start pouring in. But they don’t. A Google or two later and there’s this realisation that just having a website isn’t enough – this website needs work and optimisation to actually generate traffic. But where do you start? Why does demystifying SEO seem so hard?


Where to start demystifying SEO?

There is SO MUCH of SEO that is about doing the basics correctly and consistently. The truth is that technical SEO actually isn’t that hard and with the right tools and a few hours of dedicated work, you can easily clean the technicalities of your website and see some improvements.

This is only half the story, however.

Google’s algorithm is essentially split into two parts – authority and user experience.  Fixing all those technical errors sits firmly in the “user experience” side of things, but what are you actually getting found for?

In my 15 or so years experience of working with websites and worrying about performance, it has become clear that SEO needs a few ground rules in order to start actually demonstrating results. These are:

  • A firm foundation
  • A measure of success
  • A clear audience
  • Consistent application

Without these ground rules in place, the results and efforts of your labours can produce some really weird results, that probably won’t mean a lot to you.

For example, by technically cleaning your website, you may fix the Missing H1 tag errors by adding H1’s to all pages of your website – simple. But what do you actually put in the H1s? Do they resonate with what your target audience is actually looking for? Or are they going to rank you for terms that aren’t applicable to your buyer’s journey?


A Firm Foundation

The best advice isn’t always the easiest advice – and don’t I know this from personal experience! The purpose of good SEO is not only to gain you rankings, and therefore enquiries (traffic, in my opinion, is a vanity metric – I don’t care how much traffic you get overall, it’s about your enquiries and sales!), but also to grow your business. Therefore the RIGHT ADVICE is to make sure your business is ready to service and delight the new customers you will obtain BEFORE we start to scale your SEO.

The theory is simple – if we get you 100 new customers tomorrow, can you service them?

If you can – great, let’s crack on. If not, then we need to look at why not…

The reason for this is for your own protection. If we increase your sales/enquiries tomorrow and the nett result is 99% dissatisfied customers – your reputation will go down the pan EXTREMELY QUICKLY! If, however, we spend some time making sure your sales process and delivery mechanism is suitable and capable for the job, then your reputation can shoot through the roof and everyone is a winner.

This foundation means we do need to consider your internal processes, your delivery, your ideal customer, your nightmare customer, your marketing and your current position in the market. From here decisions can then be made about increases in sales, customer value, repeat order rates, etc…

Then, and only then, are we in a place to actually start delivering SEO.


A measure of success

Just as with everything, SEO works best if it has a finite target. This target can always be revisited, adjusted and even obliterated for something else, but without a measure to say “Yes – this SEO is working” anyone working on your SEO will essentially be doing so blindfolded.

In reality, there is so much search traffic and so many different ways things can be optimised, that if you are not careful, one can become data-blind very quickly. The answer is simply to have a measure for what success looks like over a particular timeframe. This could be annually, semi-annually or quarterly – any more frequent than this and you will struggle to collect enough data against your goals.

You measure could be anything – double your online enquiries in 12 months, for example. But it just needs to be there.


A clear audience

Just like the point above, understand your audience is essential for good SEO, and it makes decision making throughout your SEO delivery so much easier.

In my experience, it’s best to have audience profiles. Most companies will have more than one profile – anywhere between three and six is a good mix – but these need to be definitive and refined. Your profiles (or personas) also need to have a personal level to them too, not just a professional capacity.

In our agency, we give our personal names, ages, an address, a car, a family – you get the idea. Make them into a real person and then your content, keyword research, citations, etc all become processed through this mindset. “Where would Joe Bloggs search for this?”, “What would he search for?”, “What is the problem Joe is actually trying to solve?”. These are the question your personas need to answer.

With this wealth of data, it is easy to put a plan of content in place, and then even look at your retargeting, social media content, the types of content you create, and ask if they are suitable for your target audience.


Consistent application

As with any type of outreach online, consistency is key. And maybe for more reasons than you think…

Firstly, your website isn’t simply a group of individual pages that just happen to have the same domain name. Rather it is an ecosystem of content that, optimised correctly, sets you up to be THE authority in your niche or service area.

Building and optimising your website isn’t just about tags and errors. Instead, it’s about proving to the search engines and at the world that you are THE go-to person / company / authority on a particular subject and that those people who are paying for ads need to up their game because you have everything lined up to take them on.

The first part of this is getting your on-page SEO sorted and working correctly. This demonstrates to the search engines that by playing with their rules, you are serious about search traffic and giving the user a high-quality experience as well as high-quality content.

Then it is about growing your ecosystem. I’m sure you have the same thing with your website, or that of your clients or employer – your business, or their business, changes over time. In exactly the same way your website should change.

It should regularly have new content, new media associated with it, etc, etc, etc.

Many companies that struggle with this employ an agency or marketing consultant to help with this… Sound familiar?


Introducing Demystifying ‘White Hat’ SEO

Since launching the Marketing Development Podcast in 2018, it has become clear that there is a need for marketing consultants and people working in marketing departments to skill up on the SEO provision and demonstrate both results and their own value to their clients and employers.

To address this, I launched the Demystifying SEO Course that contains six modules covering:

  • The Foundation – creating and preparing for an SEO strategy
  • All About Keywords – taking keyword research to the next level and applying it to your website
  • Starting with Content – what does a content marketing strategy really look like and how to get started
  • Making your content work for you – taking the step above and putting it on steroids
  • Maximising Exposure – surely that’s not all?! Here are some more tips and tricks to try!
  • Measuring success – how to measure track and report on your results for client or employer

The purpose of the course is to give you all the skills, tools and methods needed to demonstrate a positive return on a time investment into SEO.

The course is designed for anyone who actually does hands-on work on any website – be it your own, a client site or the website of your employer – and the principles and methodology work for lead generation, brochure and ecommerce websites alike.

You can find out more about Demystifying SEO on the Marketing Development Academy website.

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How secure is WordPress? Sat, 24 Mar 2018 21:00:18 +0000

With WordPress now powering 28% (at the time of writing) of all websites on the internet, the platform has established itself as undoubtedly the most popular content management system available today.  From small hobbyist / personal websites to massive corporates: it seems everyone now is choosing WordPress.

But the public feeling isn’t entirely positive. Look past the eager adopters and you’ll undoubtedly hear naysayers warning about WordPress’s lack of security. Fairly or unfairly, WordPress seems to have picked up an unwanted reputation for not being safe.

Should we be listening? How secure is WordPress?

Here are some of the truths and myths surrounding the real picture of WordPress’s security.


No website is ever 100% secure – TRUTH

The simple reality is that absolutely no computer system (and that includes a website) is ever 100% secure and the reality is that at some point during every businesses online presence they will experience some form of hacking.  Hackers are a determined bunch and will always find a way through eventually if it is worth their while. This may be directly against your website, or against your web host.



It doesn’t matter. No-one would bother hacking a website as small as mine – MYTH

Sadly, nothing could be further from the truth. While some hacks focus on the big players (partly for status rather than reward), the vast majority of hacks are performed on small websites, just like yours. Why? Because they’re easy to access, can be attacked en masse, and are an easy way to gain server power and / or access – which is what the hackers really want.

Hackers will commonly target thousands of small websites with one of the following common aims:

  • To gain access to your underlying hosting to send spam email. Millions Billions of emails are sent every day, 90% of which are spam and sent from websites/servers like yours.
  • To place links to other sites within your pages to increase the Google ranking of the hacker’s own
  • To program your site to attack another website, or force your visitors to install malware.


WordPress is a goldmine – TRUTH

The fact that WordPress is so popular makes it a potential goldmine for hackers and spammers. As a hacker, you want to inflict maximum damage with minimal effort. Why focus your efforts on finding weaknesses in rarely-used content management systems when you could focus on WordPress and potentially have 25% of the world’s websites at your mercy?


WordPress simply isn’t secure enough and should be avoided – MYTH

So why bother with WordPress at all? After reading this far, you’re probably feeling that WordPress isn’t worth the risk and another content management system might be a safer bet.

But hold fire. It’s true that WordPress isn’t 100% secure, but neither will any other system you choose.

By dismissing WordPress altogether, you miss out on the reason why 28% of all website owners now use it. The WordPress core system is one of the best designed and coded content management systems the web has ever seen – many would argue the best. The WordPress team continually test the system, identify new threats quickly, and roll out easily installed updates regularly. Not to mention the flexibility and optimisation possibilities when it comes to site content, search engine optimisation and conversion tracking.

When you start to compare it to other systems, you realise that it’s not integral security that’s the problem, simply that the threat to it is a bit bigger. And from everything we can see, the WordPress team are tackling this as proactively and skilfully as is possible.


WordPress is just like any other system; it takes ongoing work to keep it as secure as possible – TRUTH

Whatever content management system you use, whether it’s WordPress or something else, you need to give your website constant care and attention.

We have covered the topic of why WordPress maintenance is important before. But here are some of the most common issues to think about, that apply to your WordPress website or any other system.

Installing third party plugins, extensions and themes from unknown developers

One of the appeals of a system like WordPress is that you can extend it with thousands of themes, plugins, and additional functionality. The problem is, anyone can make a WordPress theme or plugin, and they aren’t automatically secure, and of course the skill level / intention of the developer is not always consistent. Therefore, the more you add to your website, the greater the chance a risky or unsafe piece of code will be introduced.

Not installing the latest updates

Security problems are found all the time. Developers then promptly fix them and release updates. It’s obvious, then, that you should apply these updates to your website as soon as they’re released. Hackers will often have tools which can scan the internet for websites that have not applied specific updates, making your website an easy target.

The potential risk here is that as you update, some of your functionality breaks as code becomes older. This is why it is dangerous to simply hit the “update all” button and hope for the best.

Using weak passwords

It is surprising to think that in 2017, the most commonly used passwords are still ‘123456’, ‘password’ and ‘12345678’ and the most common username is ‘admin’.

Don’t make it easy for a hacker to guess your WordPress account credentials. As a minimum, use six random characters with two numbers and two special characters. Yes, you may need to write it down, but a hacker is much more likely to hack your computer remotely than break into your office!

Not using security plugins or software

Well-respected WordPress security plugins can help protect your website from common attacks. One of the most well-known is Wordfence, which can detect malicious changes to your website code and other common exploitations. Don’t rely completely on these, however. They won’t do everything.

Not having a disaster recovery plan

Many websites still do not have an established backup routine. If your web hosting provider does not provide daily offsite backup, then it’s worth considering a new provider. Hacking does happen; mistakes happen. It’s vital to have a strong backup and maintenance plan in place.


In conclusion

WordPress probably does attract more attention from hackers and spammers than any other system, but that’s not because the system is poorly designed, merely it is more attractive prospect for them.

It is simple and possible to improve the security of WordPress, like any other system. The key is never to think of your website as a completed task – there are always updates, checks, and enhancements that need to be performed to keep your website as secure as possible.

WordPress is a top-notch platform, one we’re happy to use and recommend. While its popularity may attract unwanted attention, it’s widely used for good reason, and can undoubtedly deliver first-class websites.

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Is SEO Dead? Sat, 17 Feb 2018 14:06:34 +0000 Is SEO dead? Well no, but that wouldn’t be a particularly interesting post…

Back in the day, search engine optimisation was merely a size game… The bigger you made yourself seem to Google, with the more links you had, the higher you ranked. This very quickly led on to the practice of buying links for your website, give it a week or so and hey presto – there you were page one (if not position one) of Google. Simples.

Thankfully underhand techniques such as the above – now named “black hat SEO” no longer work, and a user has to concentrate far more on their content, user experience, relevance and authority to rank well in the SERPs (search engine results pages). Yes links are still important, but they are taken in context and don’t have the same power over the search engines as they used to.

So the crux of this post is this – SEO is not dead, it is simply changing. As such our techniques for optimising for the search engines need to change too.


Technical SEO – on-the-page

Technical SEO (or on-the-page SEO) is still as important as it always was. If your website isn’t presented to the search engines in the right format, if there are errors in the code / structure, missing meta information, etc… then your site simply won’t rank as well as sites that have all these points correct.

During 2016 / 17 we have also seen the importance of having a responsive website, and running your site on https (through an SSL Certificate) upon search engine position too. These areas of user experience are really the bear minimum that the search engines consider…

To be clear, I’m not referring to conversion optimisation here – that’s another subject in it’s own right.

The simple fact here is that the technicalities of on-the-page SEO are still important, and not optimising these first leaves you fighting an uphill battle with any other SEO / digital marketing activities.

Read our other posts: the importance of website maintenance and website security.


Content Marketing

The creation of content is the new work horse for SEOs. Once your website is clean from errors, the production of high quality content that speaks to the decision makers in your audience becomes the next highest priority.

From this content can hang a multitude of other digital media, but all of which can lead back to informative, authoritative pieces of content.

For example, lets take this post as a case in point. Upon publishing, this post will (of course) be submitted to Google, but it will then get pushed out to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – and should it do well organically on those platforms, then some marketing budget will be assigned to it and it will be boosted on those platforms too. The inception of this post came from an interview on Lee Jackson’s WP Innovator podcast released earlier in the year.

The reason I’m mentioning this is to show the power of quality content. The simple litmus test is this – the best content can be repurposed over and over again with ease. If you’re struggling to repurpose, then a deeper look into your content strategy is probably required.

If you’re struggling for content ideas, head on over to and pop in the keywords most closely connected to your company… You’ve very quickly have some content titles that have SEO value to start your content strategy with.


Becoming an authority

There is no quick fix to this – and thats the joy of the way SEO is changing. In the past SEO was a checklist for SEOs to complete… “If you fulfil all these predetermined points, you will rank well.” Now, however, SEOs can be creative.

Authority isn’t built by a checklist, but by consistent quality content, released regularly. This may be on your own blog, but also as guests posts across the internet. It will include some form of links back to the best pieces of content on your website, but also the sharing of other authority pieces from other sources.

All the above creates an ecosystem of content both on and through your website, social media, personal brand, etc. and with perseverance in all these areas sites will eventually rank well for the most sought after keywords.


In conclusion SEO is not dead – and as the sections above have very briefly touched upon, there is a whole plethora of ways and means to rank successfully. Quality, authority and perseverance are the new order of the day.  SEO is now about the thrill of chase just as much as the result…

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How we manage monthly accounts to keep momentum and prove our worth Tue, 06 Feb 2018 22:51:37 +0000 Managing (monthly) retained clients can be a challenge for all of us. The pressure to keep things fresh and consistently demonstrate results can hinder the creativity needed for the consistent “churn” of work.

Following on from a prospective client meeting where I was asked to explain our processes, I recorded an anchor to explain how we keep on top of this process.

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Why repurpose content? Mon, 22 Jan 2018 00:00:39 +0000

Repurposing content is a theme that is widely covered online, but why is it important to spread your content out around different media?

To put it simply, different people consume content in different ways. At the moment you’re reading this. You may have come through a google search, or through a social media post, but you’re consuming this content as a blog post.

Video is the second biggest medium for content on the internet (after written content), and as a result YouTube is the second biggest search engine on the internet! Not everyone relishes the thought of standing in front of camera, but its benefits for SEO, traffic generation and brand awareness are incredibly powerful.

Podcasting is another medium for content that is vastly increasing in popularity. In 2017, the BBC commented that 9% of the adult UK population downloaded a podcast weekly, and in the US that figure was 15% of the adult population. With figures such as these, and the fact that you’re not “on camera” it is easy to see why it’s such a popular means of delivering content. It’s also easy for the end user that can consume the content on the move, or whilst doing something else.

Written content also doesn’t have to be limited to blogs – you could also write natively on different social platforms, comment on Quora topics, even forum content…

With all of these different media, it makes sense to repurpose your most successful content into different media to extend the reach of that content to the greatest number of people. The other things that’s great about this is that you don’t have to keep on coming up with different ideas – the states tell you want your best content is, and you simply take that and mix up the format a little!

“So why do you just write content on your blog?” I hear you ask…

Well, thats a good question and the simple answer is that we all have to start somewhere… I do have plans for a podcast (launching in March 2018) and releasing some online courses (released throughout 2018) which will include elements of video in too… If you’d like to be kept up-to-date with these, please sign up to the mailing list, or like my facebook page.

I chose blogging as my starting platform because it fitted in with everything else I was doing, I was able to commit to a schedule for regular blogging (once a week – on a Monday), and it allowed me to easily generate some value, but at the same time gather some data about how that content performs online.

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Is Facebook’s feed update really going to be bad for business? Wed, 17 Jan 2018 09:25:49 +0000 Is Facebook’s feed update really going to be bad for business?

You’ve probably already heard by now that Facebook is rolling out an update to its news feed that will prioritise content from real people – family and friends – over content from pages, brands and businesses.

The move that has split opinion, is the first of a number of algorithm changes for Facebook in 2018. Whilst most of these updates will go unnoticed, this one has hit the press with a bang.

Whilst the move seems to be fairly rash, it has been relatively well documented that Facebook has been trialling a split news feed in six different countries (including some in Europe) where personal and “branded” content were split. In these tests, it was noted that traffic from Facebook for this branded content fell by up to 80% – this is probably an extreme anomaly figure, but does highlight that a drop in “commercial” traffic is inevitable as part of the upcoming changes.

What hasn’t been said…

At the moment, as with any release like this, there are more questions than answers! For example, as yet!ni definitive guide has been given for the affects of the updates on Facebook advertising vs organically shared posts. Also, there has been little (or no!) comment regarding content generated by groups and their position within the feed.

The main concern here is advertising. Whilst Facebook isn’t the most expensive platform on the internet for advertising, their platform does carry the industry leading demographic profiling tools. It is not too far out of the realms of possibility, therefore, that as advertising space goes down, costs go up. This could have a huge impact on those who use these means to drive quality traffic to their websites and online products – be it for solopreneurs or conglomerates alike.

Other options

Whilst it’s hard to remember a world before Facebook, it is possible that this move could lead to many reconsidering other forms of traffic generation both from an organic and paid point of view. Joined up remarketing platforms are well established and may offer a quick solution to the immediate affects of the news feed updates – especially for those who are already paying Facebook for traffic.

Then, of course, that are more “old school” techniques such as organic SEO – whilst this wouldn’t have such a quick affect on maintaining traffic levels, for those ready to invest in the long game, the changes Facebook are making could persuade some companies to spread their risk and invest in sustainable long term SEO strategies.

Finally, it does need to be noted, that whilst these changes will affect written content, it still remains to be seen how the emergence and support for video content (that is becoming so much more of a priority across the board) will be affected, or whether it will simply,y drive those people who would have invested in Facebook video, to turn to YouTube and source traffic from there instead.

Either way, change is afoot and one would be foolish to think that their Facebook marketing can remain the same, but with a holistic approach, damage limitation is more than possible and who knows – Zuckerberg’s personally driven campaign may be good for all of us in the long run!

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How hard is Link building? Mon, 08 Jan 2018 22:28:30 +0000

Link building is one of those funny things that seems really unnatural at the time but it is the way that the Internet works.

Back in the day companies used to sell links to anybody who was willing to pay the appropriate price. This technique is now one of the really well documented black hat techniques of old school SEO.

Nowadays, link building seems to be far harder to accomplish for every day Internet users. The really sad thing is that marketers today seem to be scared of link building. This doesn’t need to be the case and whilst the rules of link building have changed, the end result is still the same. In order to increase search rankings quickly and to make Google aware of your content, link building is still one of the key activities of SEO.

What exactly is a link?

Basically the link is a piece of HTML code that points are user from one webpage to another – this could be on the same website or on a different website. The link is made up of two parts the first of which is the you are URL (or the destination address) that you want to user it to visit. The second part of the link is the anchor text which is the actual text visible on the screen to the user.

The value of links is based upon the authority of the donor website and the anchor text placed within the link.

Types of links.

There are basically three different types of links that you can build. The first are self controlled (or a natural) links. These are the links that you build yourself why you are in full control of both link destination and the anchor text. These links carry the least value for your website, however for new websites or websites that don’t generally generate a lot of content, these links can still help you kick off and SEO strategy.

The second type of link you can build are earned (or natural) links. These links that influences and your audience generate naturally for you. In other words you have had no input in the generation of these links whatsoever. Contrary to self-controlled links, and links carry the most value (or link juice) for your website. In terms of link building strategy, these links provide a very natural backlink profile. Whilst this may not be as targeted as many marketers would like, the end result is far better for your organic search rankings and really this should be the target for all content distributors.

The final type of links you can build our outreach links. These are links that you have actively sought from a website owner. Sometimes these links take the form of email outreach whereby you notify a site owner of your content, and they deem it is valuable to their own audience so they therefore provide you with a link. Alternatively you may be asked to write a guest blog for their website in which you are given the opportunity to link back to your own website. There is a high failure rate with outreach link building, but it does have its rewards.

The rules of good link building.

Although Google’s algorithm has changed to make link building more controlled, by following these basic guidelines link building can still be a key part of your strategy.


#1 – Actively link build

Especially when you start it is difficult to generate high value links, this shouldn’t put you off trying to generate links through other means. We have enough data to show that Google follows even the lowest value links for crawling and some indexing tasks. Therefore to get going, any white hat link building is good link building (as long as you are not purchasing them from a questionable source)!

#2 – Focus on content distribution

We need to ask what is the purpose of driving traffic? Ultimately the end goal is to get people to see your content. It is not important whether this content is viewed on your own website or through another medium – the key is that is seen, digested and accepted by your target audience. By making this your focus you change the game from solely building links, to providing value, information and service to your target audience / readership. The ultimate result is the same – your audience will inevitably visit your website more frequently.

#3 – Quality vs Quantity

With all developments in digital marketing and the means by which we can now profile our target audience, it is far more beneficial to look at the quality of both your links and your traffic rather than the quantity that you have achieved. This is the key to truly data driven marketing whereby the aim is to drive the cost per acquisition of each customer down and the lifetime value of a new customer or lead up.


#1 – Don’t worry about nofollow

The nofollow attribute is a piece of code that website owner can add to any link on their website. This code notifies the search engines that the owner does not want to pass any pagerank or authority through the link to the destination website. Over the past 18 months or so, the use of nofollow links has been responsible for a large part of the demise of link building as a valid SEO strategy. However, There is plenty of evidence to show that Google still uses nofollow links within its algorithms even though it doesn’t have a direct correlation to search engine results page position.

#2 – Don’t try to control the anchor text

Whilst we all want to rank for our primary keywords, the reality is that by controlling anchor text we start to over analyse and over optimise our link building and the result is an unnatural backlink profile. Evidence shows this that these artificial backlink profiles lead to a higher examination rate by Google and therefore a higher chance of being penalised or even blacklisted completely. As noted above, whilst a natural backlink profile may not be as desirable to an SEO strategy, an unnatural profiles is by far a better reflection of site authority and long-term gains.

#3 – Don’t use sitewide links

Other than your navigation and footer, sitewide links are links that appear on every page of your website. If you are trying to build links through your own website or you have generated a link from another source and it appears in either the website footer or sidebar (the point is that it appears on multiple pages) then research shows that this can actually have a detrimental effect to your SEO. It is far more valuable to have a single link on a single page which has been earned naturally than a single link but on multiple pages that has been put there artificially.

Hopefully you have found this breakdown informative and you now feel more confident to go and build links to your content and distributed more widely across the Internet. Please see our other resources regarding how to monitor the quality of your content and of your traffic rather than simply looking at the quantity figures.

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Lessons learnt from the #12BlogsOfChristmas Fri, 05 Jan 2018 15:38:12 +0000

For those of you whole have been following my #12BlogsOfChristmas everyday since Christmas Day, thank you for your support – it has been noted.


Why did I do the #12BlogsOfChristmas?

Well, the deeper question is “Why did you set up this website?”…

2017 was a pivotal year for me – after leaving full time employment in late 2016, last year was THE year I set up my own business, looked at streams of income and re-established the lifestyle I wanted. Throughout the year, it became apparent that whilst marketing a business was good for, well, business, there was also a need to market myself… And this is the start of that journey.

The #12BlogsOfChristmas seemed to be a good way to start – to generate a groundswell of content over a short period – nothing is more depressing than a half complete website, right?


Lessons learnt

1. Creating content every day is HARD! 

… as you can tell by the fact that the #12BlogsOfChristmas, actually only has 9 blogs in it!


2. Planning is key 

I did have a plan for the #12BlgosOfChristmas insofar as I had an evernote list with potential topics on. I did have the intention of batch writing the blogs, but this didn’t actually pan out. I also tried to stay a couple of days ahead of myself, but that didn’t pan out either… Still, there’s a lesson in there and I’ll certainly be changing my content creation methods sharpish! There’s another resource in here that will appear very soon!


3. Consistency shows results

Looking at the analytics from the site, it is clear to see that even after only 12 days, there is has been an uplift in traffic at a steady rate since starting. I haven’t boosted any posts on social media or used any form of paid for advertising to massage the results. The only think I have done is social posting (I’ll come to that in a moment) and I’ve included this website within some profiles / forums etc…


4. Social Posting

Zapier is a godsend…! Also, ensuring all the social posts are written at the time of writing seriously speeds up process 🙂


5. There’s nothing like simply getting on with it! 

There’s no substitute for getting you hands dirty and simply cracking on with whatever idea it is that you have. I’m not talking here about a scatter gun approach – there is a reason why I’m doing this and I have a plan of what is to come from this website, however I don’t have all the pieces of that jigsaw figured out – instead I’m using this as a platform to explore the idea and the rabbit holes it will lead me down, and the end product will probably look completely different to how I envisaged it at the start – but thats no bad thing.

This is about the journey and the discovery, and that doesn’t need to be a lonely process.

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Happy New Year! Mon, 01 Jan 2018 00:00:01 +0000

When I think back to where I was this time last year, I’d just left a full time job and tried to start a business 4 weeks before Christmas! Needless to say the first couple of months turnover didn’t break any records, but there you go…

12 months later and I run an agency that supports itself on recurring income, I’m building a persona brand, (trying to) generate content consistently and have the blueprint for some new courses (and a podcast) that will launch in 2018 – the difference couldn’t be more stark.

Whilst the #12BlogsOfChristmas is about providing valuable content, New Year is also a time to be with family and friends.

Normal service will resume tomorrow, but for now please let me wish you all a very Happy New Year and a prosperous 2018. It will be a delight to share it with you…

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Is video really important for SEO? Sun, 31 Dec 2017 00:00:35 +0000 Is video really important for SEO?

If you’re asked which is the top search engine, almost everyone would answer, “Google”. If you were asked about the top two search engines, however, would you put a video platform second place?

Not as many people be aware that YouTube, which is owned by Google, ranks as a close second (even above other search engines, such as Bing).

As far back as 2009 (it’s hard to believe that was nearly 9 years ago!), a Forrester study found that “pages with video are 53-times more likely to rank on the first page of Google search results.” This means that video is key to an SEO strategy and has been for nearly a decade!

With the applications such as Vine, Instagram and Snapchat, video marketing is gaining a tremendous amount of traction. To begin with, it keeps content relevant, fresh and, most importantly, relatable. It also offers a great opportunity to show a glimpse inside your business — providing your potential audience with a personal insight which helps build trust, and breaks down many of the barriers to “conversion”.

You don’t need a huge production, nor spend thousands  to produce effective videos. Most of the time a simple video using your computer webcam or personal camera will work just as well.

To break things down a little further, some of the additional reasons of including video in your digital marketing are:


  • In reality, not everyone enjoys or has time for a good read. With short video clips, you’re offering your content to your audience that some may find more consumable.
  • Mobile devices now make up more than half of internet traffic. Having videos that play on social media platforms on smartphones / tablets / etc, simply increases your brand awareness.
  • Videos are easy to consume and easy to share on social media.
  • Videos “personalize” your company. It shows your audience and potential customers there are actual people behind the brand.
  • The barriers to entry are relatively low to creating a great video. You can simply use a smartphone or tablet, or a DSLR that you already own, and you’re ready to go!

Types of videos

So now you’ve decided video is a good idea, where do you go from here. Well the good news is that by including video in your content creation, you are also adding a means to create more interesting content, but also repurpose content that you’ve already produced (so you already know its good!) in a new way.


Corporate Videos

Corporate videos work really well in humanizing your brand. However, starting as a novice with a video that’s going to be your flagship piece of video content may not be the best idea. Therefore I’d recommend starting with some content you’re familiar with – maybe a blog post or product demonstration, and making a video version of this. Ideally if you can produce half a dozen or so videos with established content, you will soon start to get into the swing of things.

Another reason for this advice is that if you choose content that you know should rank higher than it currently is, you can then monitor the affect the video has on the search engine results page (SERP) position over the come days / weeks, and see for yourself the benefit of using video. Diving straight in with new content doesn’t give you this opportunity.



Another way to include video on your website is to turn the camera on your clients. Some may already have video marketing experience themselves, so these are the ones to go to first, and ask for some testimonials. These can be uploaded straight onto your website, but also shared on Social Media – I mean, who wouldn’t share a good video of themselves to their own networks?!


Product Demonstrations

Product videos have proven themselves to improve sales. For lower ticket items, many retailers have taken to uploading product videos to their product pages so they are viewable for all customers. For higher ticket items, it is more common to have a brief video on the web page itself, and then to film a personalised video sent directly to the user upon receipt of an email address. This adds another personalised dimension to your service.


How To’s / Tutorials

This works exceptionally well for lead generation, either through simple videos, or through webinars which are more live and interactive. Either way, if you’ve got any blog content that would work well in these forums, then you’re already on to a winner!


We’d love to see how you’re using video in your business, or if you want any more advice, feel free to get in touch and we can take the conversation from there.

View the full series of the #12BlogsOfChristmas.

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