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How to SEO Your Website

How to SEO Your Website

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the work that’s required on your website to get it to rank high the search results. This article is going to tell you a little about how to SEO your website.

What does that mean?
Lets start with the basics… Most of us know Google. Google is the largest search engine for searching the web for information. We often talk about ‘googling’ for the answer to a question. We’ll ‘Google it’!

(side story – but did you realise that some brand names become household terms for the action that you take? Like the example above – we talk about googling for some information or an answer. We’ve also talked about doing the hoovering at home…. ever wonder why in America they vacuum, while we hoover? Hoover was actually the big brand name in vacuum cleaners 30 years ago – right up until they offered to give away free flights to New York when you bought a hoover and couldn’t fulfil on that promise…)

So now you know what a search engine is. Google are not the only one. You Tube is the second largest (also part of Google), then you have Bing, DuckDuckGo and many other minnows…

How to SEO Your Website

When I talk about ranking on the search engine – I mean specifically having your website appear on the first pages of Google. and lets be honest – if you’re not appearing on page 1, you can forget about it. No-one will go to page 2 to see if there are better results there. Everyone expects that the most relevant, and best search results will appear on page 1. That is exactly what Google tries to ensure. they want to serve up the most relevant and authoritative search results to their customer – the searcher.

How to SEO Your Website – Step 2

So now you understand what the search engine is and you know what is meant be ranking. What next?

The next step is to understand what search terms are being used to search for the services or products that you offer. In other words – what words or phrases are your potential customers entering into google when they are looking for the services that you provide?

This is important. You’ll need to do some research for this. The research can be tedious and time consuming – but there are a few ways to make it easier for yourself.
1. Look at your competitors first. the ones who are getting more business from the internet than you. In other words – the competition who are appearing higher up in the search results that your business. You can use some keyword tools to reverse engineer their website to see what words and terms that the are ranking for. These tools require a paid subscription of $100 or more per month, and they have a bit of a learning curve – so probably not something that the business owner will for themselves. If they rank high in the search results – they have someone who knows how to SEO your website.

2. Use Google Adwords to get suggestions for key words and phrases. You can use the keyword planner tool in adwords to have it suggest a list of potential words and phrases. This was once very accurate, but recently, it’s become less valuable – probably because it’s not in Google’s best interest to make this information freely available.

3. You could ask past customers what words or phrases that they have used to find your website on the web. This is a useful exercise to do, as there’s often a difference between what you think that people search for, and what they actually search for. You’ll want to note this information down as a reference.

How to SEO Your Website – Step 3

Making use of this new found information. How do you go about it? Here’s how to SEO your website.

Ready for it?

You’re going to write content. Lots of it.

Content is king in SEO. And links are Queen.
You’ll need lots of articles or blog posts on your site that are written to include your key words and phrases.

Google will read your content and will recognise the placement of your key words and phrases – but only if you’v create the content with them in mind.

This may not be what you wanted to hear – but that’s how to SEO your website to have it found.

Of course there are lots of other things to do also – but creating relevant content is always the starting point.

 

 

Effective Search Engine Optimisation in Belfast

Effective Search Engine Optimisation in Belfast

Who in their right mind would want Effective Search Engine Optimisation in Belfast? Serioulsy... as a business owner, you have much bigger fish to fry.

You've Got Bigger Fish To Fry!
I now you have way more on your mind than taking calls from some guy who wants to talk about your website and where you rank on Google. Right? You have bills to pay. Customers to service. Products to get delivered. Orders to fulfil. Employees to manage. The VAT man coming. the rates bill.... and a million other things.

With all that - it's no wonder you have no interest in SEO. You haven't even got time to listen to what it means.

I know. I've been in your shoes. You're doing your best to juggle all the 101 priorities - this SEO stuff is just noise in the background.

Or is it?

What if you could make one of your problems go away? What if getting new business enquiries happened more often and in higher numbers? What would it mean to you if the number of new leads (by phone or by email) doubled in a few months? Or if they even increased by 50%??? Would that take some of the worry away?

For me, when I had employees, I had one eye on the work in hand - making sure it was getting done properly, that the customers were always happy - and that we were getting paid. The other eye I had on the new business enquiries coming in. Getting the leads and converting them to sales. My business was very profitable, but it work slowed down - it wouldn't take long to burn my cash with the overheads that still had to be paid - busy or not.

How Effective Search Engine Optimisation in Belfast Can Make Your Life Easier

I'm not gonna claim that I can change your business overnight - that would be stupid. Some people make stupid claims.

I won't. I'm not stupid...

But what if I could help by getting you more new business enquiries? Let's err on the conservative side - and say I could only get you 10-15% more leads....
(lets assume you currently get 100 enquiries a month)

And what if I could help increase your conversion rate (new enquiries into sales) - lets sale only by 10-15% - again being conservative...
(lets assume your conversion is currently 1 in 4)

What about repeat business or referrals? What If I could help increase those too? Maybe 10% or so?
(for the example - lets assume you get 1 in 10 customers repeat or refer)

Think about the effect that would have on your business - or just you... Yes, it would make the business a lot bigger.

Just using these conservative numbers - you'd see a 33% increase in sales. This is the effect that Effective Search Engine Optimisation in Belfast could have on your business.

We do more than Effective Search Engine Optimisation in Belfast

We don't only offer Effective Search Engine Optimisation in Belfast. We do Search Engine Optimisation for businesses across Ireland, the UK, and the U.S. at the moment. And we're very good at it to. Adrian can get you on page 1 of google within a few days for most businesses that he's worked with. Sometimes the competition is tougher and it takes a bit longer - but not often...

However - we look at the big picture. SEO is not the only way to get customers. We run Facebook advertising campaigns for local businesses. These are really effective for bringing in new enquiries - and cost effective too. We develop and implement marketing funnels - to help you convert more of your enquiries into customers. We build re-marketing systems and referrals systems - to get more of your customers coming back and referring you to their friends, family and co-workers.

If you're interested in reducing your work load - getting some help with the marketing of your business - get in touch. Even if it's only for a chat and some ideas.

Just fill out the form below and hit SEND. We'll be in touch to set up a call. Cheers. Adrian

Effective Search Engine Optimisation in Newry

Effective Search Engine Optimisation in Newry

Who in their right mind would want Effective Search Engine Optimisation in Newry? Serioulsy... as a business owner, you have much bigger fish to fry.

You've Got Bigger Fish To Fry!
I now you have way more on your mind than taking calls from some guy who wants to talk about your website and where you rank on Google. Right? You have bills to pay. Customers to service. Products to get delivered. Orders to fulfil. Employees to manage. The VAT man coming. the rates bill.... and a million other things.

With all that - it's no wonder you have no interest in SEO. You haven't even got time to listen to what it means.

I know. I've been in your shoes. You're doing your best to juggle all the 101 priorities - this SEO stuff is just noise in the background.

Or is it?

What if you could make one of your problems go away? What if getting new business enquiries happened more often and in higher numbers? What would it mean to you if the number of new leads (by phone or by email) doubled in a few months? Or if they even increased by 50%??? Would that take some of the worry away?

For me, when I had employees, I had one eye on the work in hand - making sure it was getting done properly, that the customers were always happy - and that we were getting paid. The other eye I had on the new business enquiries coming in. Getting the leads and converting them to sales. My business was very profitable, but it work slowed down - it wouldn't take long to burn my cash with the overheads that still had to be paid - busy or not.

How Effective Search Engine Optimisation in Newry Can Make Your Life Easier

I'm not gonna claim that I can change your business overnight - that would be stupid. Some people make stupid claims.

I won't. I'm not stupid...

But what if I could help by getting you more new business enquiries? Let's err on the conservative side - and say I could only get you 10-15% more leads....
(lets assume you currently get 100 enquiries a month)

And what if I could help increase your conversion rate (new enquiries into sales) - lets sale only by 10-15% - again being conservative...
(lets assume your conversion is currently 1 in 4)

What about repeat business or referrals? What If I could help increase those too? Maybe 10% or so?
(for the example - lets assume you get 1 in 10 customers repeat or refer)

Think about the effect that would have on your business - or just you... Yes, it would make the business a lot bigger.

Just using these conservative numbers - you'd see a 33% increase in sales. This is the effect that Effective Search Engine Optimisation in Newry could have on your business.

We do more than Effective Search Engine Optimisation in Newry

We don't only offer Effective Search Engine Optimisation in Newry. We do Search Engine Optimisation for businesses across Ireland, the UK, and the U.S. at the moment. And we're very good at it to. Adrian can get you on page 1 of google within a few days for most businesses that he's worked with. Sometimes the competition is tougher and it takes a bit longer - but not often...

However - we look at the big picture. SEO is not the only way to get customers. We run Facebook advertising campaigns for local businesses. These are really effective for bringing in new enquiries - and cost effective too. We develop and implement marketing funnels - to help you convert more of your enquiries into customers. We build re-marketing systems and referrals systems - to get more of your customers coming back and referring you to their friends, family and co-workers.

If you're interested in reducing your work load - getting some help with the marketing of your business - get in touch. Even if it's only for a chat and some ideas.

Just fill out the form below and hit SEND. We'll be in touch to set up a call. Cheers. Adrian

Effective Search Engine Optimisation in Lisburn

Effective Search Engine Optimisation in Lisburn

Who in their right mind would want Effective Search Engine Optimisation in Lisburn? Serioulsy... as a business owner, you have much bigger fish to fry.

You've Got Bigger Fish To Fry!
I now you have way more on your mind than taking calls from some guy who wants to talk about your website and where you rank on Google. Right? You have bills to pay. Customers to service. Products to get delivered. Orders to fulfil. Employees to manage. The VAT man coming. the rates bill.... and a million other things.

With all that - it's no wonder you have no interest in SEO. You haven't even got time to listen to what it means.

I know. I've been in your shoes. You're doing your best to juggle all the 101 priorities - this SEO stuff is just noise in the background.

Or is it?

What if you could make one of your problems go away? What if getting new business enquiries happened more often and in higher numbers? What would it mean to you if the number of new leads (by phone or by email) doubled in a few months? Or if they even increased by 50%??? Would that take some of the worry away?

For me, when I had employees, I had one eye on the work in hand - making sure it was getting done properly, that the customers were always happy - and that we were getting paid. The other eye I had on the new business enquiries coming in. Getting the leads and converting them to sales. My business was very profitable, but it work slowed down - it wouldn't take long to burn my cash with the overheads that still had to be paid - busy or not.

How Effective Search Engine Optimisation in Lisburn Can Make Your Life Easier

I'm not gonna claim that I can change your business overnight - that would be stupid. Some people make stupid claims.

I won't. I'm not stupid...

But what if I could help by getting you more new business enquiries? Let's err on the conservative side - and say I could only get you 10-15% more leads....
(lets assume you currently get 100 enquiries a month)

And what if I could help increase your conversion rate (new enquiries into sales) - lets sale only by 10-15% - again being conservative...
(lets assume your conversion is currently 1 in 4)

What about repeat business or referrals? What If I could help increase those too? Maybe 10% or so?
(for the example - lets assume you get 1 in 10 customers repeat or refer)

Think about the effect that would have on your business - or just you... Yes, it would make the business a lot bigger.

Just using these conservative numbers - you'd see a 33% increase in sales. This is the effect that Effective Search Engine Optimisation in Lisburn could have on your business.

We do more than Effective Search Engine Optimisation in Lisburn

We don't only offer Effective Search Engine Optimisation in Lisburn. We do Search Engine Optimisation for businesses across Ireland, the UK, and the U.S. at the moment. And we're very good at it to. Adrian can get you on page 1 of google within a few days for most businesses that he's worked with. Sometimes the competition is tougher and it takes a bit longer - but not often...

However - we look at the big picture. SEO is not the only way to get customers. We run Facebook advertising campaigns for local businesses. These are really effective for bringing in new enquiries - and cost effective too. We develop and implement marketing funnels - to help you convert more of your enquiries into customers. We build re-marketing systems and referrals systems - to get more of your customers coming back and referring you to their friends, family and co-workers.

If you're interested in reducing your work load - getting some help with the marketing of your business - get in touch. Even if it's only for a chat and some ideas.

Just fill out the form below and hit SEND. We'll be in touch to set up a call. Cheers. Adrian

An easy way to grow your business

Looking for an easy way to grow your business?

Are you looking for an easy way to grow your business? Many businesses think they need more enquiries - get more leads into the pipeline! However - in many businesses this just puts more pressure on resources that are often under strain already.

What they are better doing is focusing on getting better at the sales conversion.

Are you familiar with the idea of a sales funnel? If not, just imagine funnel that you would use to put petrol into a lawnmower - its wide at the top and narrow at the bottom. 

the idea of the sales funnel is that your leads/ prospects/ enquiries go in the top of the funnel and your sales process turns some of those enquiries into sales at the bottom. That's the theory - and for many businesses - that where it ends.

Many small businesses don't have a planned and designed sales process. Their sales funnel looks more like a leaking bucket - full of holes. They loose prospective customers all over the place. Sometimes due to carelessness - often just due to a lack of a process.

Many just don't know that there should be a sales process in place. 

If you are looking for an easy way to grow your business - i would start by taking a good look at how you or your staff handle new enquiries. What are the steps in the sales process​ - to take them from cold prospect - to warm lead - to sold customer. Do you drop the ball and loose prospects in the system? Do you follow up?

If you are looking for an easy way to grow your business fast - give me a shout for a more detailed chat about what you could do to convert more of your enquiries into paying customers.​

Is Small Business Marketing Just Hype?

Is Small Business Marketing Just a Load of Hype?

It's hardly surprising that many people switch off at the very mention of Small Business Marketing. There are hundreds and thousands of self professed "small business marketing experts", many of them spouting complete B.S. about what you should and shouldn't do.

It really annoys me that there is so much bad information. Especially being directed at small business owners. They can least afford to waste their money on the latest social media fad... The one that 's "gonna make customers fall from the sky" and land in your order book!

Most of these guys (and gals) have never ran a real business of their own​. they have no idea what it's like to struggle along in a small business and try to make the books balance at the end of the month. It pisses me off that they tempt you with false, empty promises of lots of new customers, without any guarantee of success.

That's exactly why I guarantee my results. I'll help get you leads or it's free.​

Why are small business owners the target of all the bs marketing guru's?
Simple. Because they have little understanding of what small business marketing ​is, and can't tell the good from the bad. And that's not their fault.

Most small business owners didn't have any formal training in sales, or accounting, marketing or customer service. They almost always start a business because they are good at "doing their thing", delivering their product or service, and they see an opportunity.

Small business marketing

Just think, the kitchen manufacturer was once an apprentice kitchen fitter. the plumbing contractor started out as an apprentice plumber. The florist loved flower arranging and took a night classes or worked for another florist​. The same goes for most small businesses. The now owner was once a trainee in their skill or trade and became a do'er.

At some point they decided that they wanted to "do it" for themselves instead of for someone else. They had learned the technical skill, but no-one had taught them the business skills that go along with running a business (sales, marketing, Customer service, accounting, people management etc). Those pieces you just have to pick up as you go. Learn on the job, so to speak.

Well, some of them.... some of them ye' kinda learned. some ye' didn't.

Time for a bit of self honesty. Me included.

I hate accounting and book-keeping. I detest it. but it's a necessary evil. If you don't invoice, you don't get paid. Simple as. You may be the same?

People management. I'm not so good at that either. I probably expect too much from people and get annoyed when they don't work as hard as I do - even when I'm paying them very well. ​In my own businesses, that's why I didn't like employing directly and prefferred to subcontract. That way I didn't have to deal with employment issues and personal problems. I suck at managing people - but at least I'm honest with myself.

My background is engineering (years ago) and I also qualified as an electrician (years after qualifying as an engineer - and only because I wanted to)​. I never learned people management or accounting in my degree or in my 'employed' years. 

Eleven years ago, I completed my MBA. Part of that was marketing and finance (accounting). But it was all tailored to big business and corporate. ​I loved the marketing, but hardly anything was applicable to small business marketing.

A few years before that, I had been bitten by the marketing bug. Purely by accident (through a friend in the UK) I discovered the difference that marketing made in my own businesses. I started to read everything I could find on small business marketing - and sales. Took courses and joined a franchise in the UK to work with business owners to get big results. Stupidly, I did an expensive MBA to validate my experience. What a waste... I was a small business owner who had self-educated in sales and marketing.

How do you feel about sales and selling?

I'll hazard a guess that you ​feel the same about sales as you do about marketing? Most people squirm at the mention of doing sales. Kinda makes your skin crawl??

Many of us have had a bad experience with a pushy or slimy salesman at some point. That experience sticks in your mind and you just always associate sales with slimy. You don't want to be associated with slimy or pushy, do you? That's what puts you off.

I felt the same - for a while. But here's what changed. And it changed a loooong time ago for me. I was a student in Belfast. A friend had an evening job selling subscriptions to the Belfast Telegraph, selling it door-to-door in housing estates. she was making great money, and as a poor student in need of 'beer vouchers', I was interested. She got me a start, and after a week or so, I was making fantastic money for very little effort. Knock on a door, tell them what the offer was and you'd sign up about one in three. Better than that once you figured out how to sell the appeal!

Anyway, a few years later, I was back knocking on doors, this time selling home security systems. I'd take an evening and canvass maybe 30-40 houses and make 3-4 sales - probably two grand or more in sales. Then I'd work two evenings and a Saturday doing the installs​. I soon figured out that the sales was the easy bit. Easy money for easy work.

I can't tell you the number of sales books I read and CD's and cassettes I listened to. But I got pretty damn good at it​. Not because I had to, because I wanted to. It's the best paying job in the world!

Zig Ziglar once said that "Nothing happens until someone makes a sale". True that! The wheels of business don't turn without sales.

Here's another truth. Marketing makes the selling easy. Especially if you can't knock on doors for customers!​

So why do you need small business marketing?

If you're potential customers know that they have a need for your product or service, then it's good marketing that will get you found ahead of, or with, your competition​. Lets say you sell kitchens. The old way of marketing was the Yellow/Golden Pages. Lots of competition in there - so the bigger the ad, the better chance you had of standing out. Expensive that!

Today, you should have a website. Not just any website, but a very good lead generation site, with great SEO that gets you ranked on page one of Google (because that's where people go when they're looking for anything!). You could use Adwords or Facebook ads. You could advertise in kitchen magazines or local papers, and that's expensive too. There are in fact lots of ways to do it, but the goal is to get people to call or email you.​

​Good marketing attracts potential customers to your business. No marketing equals no customer attraction. Many small businesses really do struggle - and all because there's no marketing being done.

You can be the best kitchen fitter in the world, and you might even be a great salesperson too, but if the phone don't ring or the door don't swing - you have no-one to sell to.​

​So what should you do to get the phone ringing? I'd suggest starting with deciding on who it is you want to market too. Don't fall into the trap of saying 'everyone'. You can't market to everyone. Your not Coca Cola. There is an ideal customer for every small business. You need to start with the who and create a marketing and sales strategy around that - before you start thinking about tactics - like advertising or websites.

If this has got you started thinking, and you'd like to have a chat​ about it, drop me a line. email me at [email protected] or hop over to the contact page and fill out the form. I'm gonna start doing some free Small Business Marketing workshops around the country in a few weeks. Let me know if your interested?

Cheery Bye for now.
Adrian

What? No Website?

Why don't you have a website?

It's amazing that in 2017 there are still thousands of small businesses in Ireland (north and south) that don't have a website. Why is that?

20 years ago, if we were looking for a new service provider (e.g. painter, plumber, electrician, florist), we'd take out the trusty yellow/golden pages and let our fingers do the walking. Those days are gone. I know in our house, the new phone book makes the short journey from the gate to the recycling bin.

I don't thing the yellow pages even run the TV adverts any more either. They can't avoid the fact that hardly anyone uses the phone book anymore - yet they still sell advertising space to unsuspecting businesses....

So if we don't use the phone books to find businesses anymore, where do we go to look for them?? No prizes for shouting the right answer - "Google". Not only is google the biggest search engine in the world (over 70% of searches worldwide are carried out on Google) - but the very act of searching online is just known as googling! Remember when vacuums were called Hoovers - even though Hoover was just the brand name?

So being found on Google is the way forward, right? Even my 70 year old father turns to Google if he's looking for something, and he's only had a PC for the past 2-3 years. That should tell you something!

​Then the next logical thought should be, how does my business get found on Google? Well the most important part and the absolute starting point is having a website. You have zero chance of ever being found on Google, or any other search engine if you don't have a website.

I've spoken to several business owners who tell me that they have a facebook page, and that will get them found. No it won't. Facebook pages are not indexed in Google or any search engine. Only websites​ are indexed, and just because your site is indexed, doesn't mean you'll be found easily. I'll write another article soon on what you need to have to be found and link to it here.

That last statement is almost a justification ​for those who think having a site is a waste of time and money. The fact that just having a site doesn't guarantee that it's found.

Well here's my counter argument. ​Your add in the golden pages won't be found either when the book goes straight to the bin! Or the beautiful brochures that you had printed, don't get looked at when they're in a box in your office. You have to get you brochure in the hands of the people who are interested in your services (or products). 

And the same goes for your website. You have to do some work​ (or have someone do it for you) to get your website in front of the eyes of the people who need what you offer.

So why don't you have a website? You think it's a waste of money? Definitely not. It's a 24x7 sales person​ who could easily double your business in the next 12 months - if it's done right. 

Don't waste your money on a bad site - or one that has no hope of ever seeing the light of day (like those brochures you've had under your desk). Here's a few things to avoid. The free or £1 websites that you see advertised on TV​. What do you really expect to get for a £1?? Sites built on 'Wix' or 'Weebly'. These are two systems that you can use to "churn out" a quick and simple site on a template. It will probably look ok, but it will never be found on Google. These are the type of sites that you can usually buy for between €300 and €600. Just think shiny brochure under the desk again!

What you do want to look for is a site that is built on a content management system. WordPress is excellent - though a little bit complicated to use for someone looking to build their own site. If you had 3-4 weeks of idle time on your hands, and you spend 40 hours a week on it, you could probably end up with a half functional site - if you tried. but why would you? Do you cut your own hair to save money? Or would you do your own dentistry?​

If you would like to learn more about what a great, lead generation website should have, drop me a line at [email protected] or fill out the form below and I'll send you a 12-page guide on how to get more business from your website.

Cheers for now Chat soon.​

The truth about small business advertising

The Truth about Small Business Advertising

And what the Newspapers don't want you to know!

Yesterday morning I was listening to the Sunday Business show on Today FM while out walking my dogs. One of the topics being discusses was Small Business Advertising and the trends for the coming year.

I haven't listened to the radio for 6 months months or more. I spend my "listening time" with podcasts that I can learn from, rather than being distracted by other people's problems and opinions - most of it negative anyway.

Small business advertising

Anyway, the show had an advertising expert on to give his opinion on what small business advertising should look like for us owners. He was an ad agency owner or CEO and his take was that small business owners are doing too much digital marketing and not enough newspaper and radio advertising. 

That annoyed me more than a little bit - but given it was being played out on radio - there is an obvious adjenda... They were hardly going to bring someone like me on to make the case for going digital/online?? Or should they? Just to give a balanced view!

His argument was that if you want to build a brand name, that you should be placing regular ads in the print media (newspapers and magazines) and making use of radio.

Do you want to build a brand name for your business? If you listened to this guy, you may think that you should. However, building a brand takes deep pockets because to get brand recognition you need to repeat your brand ad over, and over, and over. And if you do that, there's still no guarantee that you'll make any money.

Brand advertising and marketing is fine for big companies with deep pockets. They have huge marketing budgets for brad advertising in the print media, radio and television. They can afford to throw money at it. To keep shareholders happy and engaged, sometimes they have to do it.

Small Businesses should not waste money on brand advertising​

It's why many small business owners feel advertising is a waste of money. ​Brand advertising is not measurable. I don't know many small businesses who run an ad in a newspaper and can honestly say that they made a profit from the ad. Most just feel that they have to do it to keep their competitors out. They think that they'll stay in their customers minds by repeating the ads. There is an element of truth, but it's expensive and more often than not - unprofitable. "It's just a cost of doing business"!

There is a type of advertising that you can do in the "old media" that works. Most people don't know what it is or how to use it. Most newspapers don't know - and those that do - would prefer that you didn't know either.

It's called Direct Response Advertising. It used to be very common in the 60's through to the 80's. It has all but disappeared from view and I'll tell you why in a minute.

What is Direct Response Advertising?​

Direct response is a form of advertising that ​calls the reader, listener or viewer to TAKE ACTION NOW! It's immediately measurable which is important for us small business owners, because we can quickly decide if it's profitable or not. You can run one ad and get a response. An example is the 'cut-out' ads that you use to fill in your details and post back, or call a phone number to get a voucher or free booklet, etc.

Modern newspaper and magazines don't like this type of ad. Neither do advertising agencies. ​They don't want their results to be measurable. They'd prefer the very vague idea of brand recognition.

Online or digital marketing is the modern equivalent of the old cut-out ad. It is Direct Response advertising at it's very best. It's way better than the old print form because you can put up an ad through Google, Facebook and other forms - and get an immediate response - ​within minutes or hours at worse.

Should all Small Business Advertising be Online Advertising?​

​Hell No!
If you have an advert that you run in the local paper (or radio, or magazine, etc) and it works, keep doing it. Any advert that brings in more business than the cost of running the ad should be continued until it stops being profitable.

N.B. A little side not is required ​at this point. Lets say you run an ad at a cost of €500 per week, and each week you get a customer from that ad to pay you €500 - is this ad profitable?... The right answer is NO. At best, depending on your business it is break-even. If you supply a service and the customer comes to you - then it might be considered almost break-even. If you have to provide materials, put diesel in your van to travel to the customer - then you are at a loss. Keep this up and you go broke and out of business slowly!

If you run an ad at €500 and it brings one customer​ that results in a gross profit of €500 then it was just about worthy.

My Kinda advertising!​

The small business advertising that I prefer, is digital marketing (that I can test and adjust immediately to improve response)​ that I can track directly to a sale. It's direct response advertising in it's very best form. You'll know within hours if you're targeting the right market, if you've got your message right and if your offer is appealing. 

Take Google Adwords for example. I can place an ad that targets my customers geographically, use the keywords and phrases that I know my customers are searching for and put my message and offer right in front of them.

It's a simple process - though not just as easy as I've laid out. You need a landing page on your website to send your potential customers to, you need content that describes the problem and your solution. And you need to give the visitor a reason to either call you immediately or fill out a a form on the landing page.

There's also Facebook advertising, YouTube and Instragram, among others. I've written another article on Facebook advertising that you can read by going here.

The principle of online advertising is pretty simple. The mechanics of doing it right are much more difficult​. Do it wrong and it gets expensive really fast and you may not end up with any customers to show for it - just like the newspaper and radio ads!

If you'd like to have a chat about how you could get customers through online marketing, or small business advertising in general,​ drop me an email at [email protected] or click here to fill out the contact form and we'll set up a time for a chat.

Until the next time, cheery bye. Adrian​

What is the best way to get new customers?

What is the best way to get new customers?

That's the question that I'm asked most often. And for most businesses, it's the first question that comes to mind when they hear marketing or sales. So what is your best way to get more customers?

The straight answer is to use as many ways as you can. And there are lots of ways. But before you decide on which tactic or method, you should start to think through your strategy first. 

Strategy... that sounds serious??

It isn't as scary as it sounds. Creating a strategy simply gets you to define who your target customer is, what message and offer you'd make that would be of interest to them and how you're going to get that message seen by your target customer.

Only when you've decided who you want to attract to your business, can you decide on the message that will best attract them. You want to attract as many of the right customers, but try not to attract the time wasters or 'tyre kickers'.

After that, it's a question of media. Will you use offline newspaper ads, leaflets, word-of-mouth? Or is online better with Google Adwords,Facebook Ads, or organic search (getting your website found in search). These are only a few examples, there's a much bigger list to choose from. But some methods will be better than others for you. You need to think through the "Who" and the "What" before you select the "How's".

Many of us are guilty of hopping around from one marketing method (tactic) to another. Always chasing the lowest cost way or the latest fad. So many times I've been told that "Google Adwords doesn't work" or "I tried Facebook ads and I didn't get anything".... That's because we can all be guilty of "throwing something together" without thinking through the whole process of getting an enquiry. It take more than just trying a few words on an advert and entering your credit card number.

Same applies to newspaper adverts. I'd hazard a guess that 90% of the people placing newspaper adverts don't get a return on them. With good reason. You can't attract a customer by putting your name, logo and a phone number in the paper and expect customers to fall from the sky. You have to give them a reason. 

whatis the best way to get new customers

Lots of people who try Adwords fail to get enough business to cover the cost of their ads. They try it because it looks easy (which is kinda true but in Google's favour), they've been told that there is loads of business to be had on the internet (which is very true) but they don't generate much or any business from it.

Why your adverts don't work​

Here's a few reasons why Adwords are not working for you: Poor or no geographic targeting; poor choice of search keywords; not using negative keywords; pointing your ad at a generic home page on your site; no dedicated landing page; poor copy on the landing page; no data capture; failing to use analytics; not tagging visitors; failing to make use of re-marketing... and there are many more reasons but these are the main.

There's no way that the average or even better than average business owner can do all of the above. Those that do, ​get all the best enquiries and leads. And with a good follow-up process, you'd suck up more business than you could manage.

So back to the original question.. what's the best way to get new customers? In my opinion, and I've tested this thoroughly over the past 15 plus years, the best way to get new customers is using online marketing. That goes for just about any business too. There are a few exceptions, but not many.

If you'd like more information or just to have a chat about what is the best way to get new customers for your business, you can email me directly at [email protected] or click here to fill out the contact form and book a free consultation to talk about your business​

How to get an unfair advantage in business.

How to get an unfair advantage in busness

​When you were at school, did you play basketball? I did. Wasn't very good at it, but I tried. I really liked playing, but would never get picked for the competition teams. 

I was just average height and average ability. There were 15 or 16 really tall lads in my year, and as sods law would have it, most were very good basketball players too. There was no hope for a short-ass like me.

These tall guys had a big advantage over me. One I didn't like. An unfair advantage as I thought.​ There wasn't much I could d about it - just suck it up.

Give your business an unfair advantage

An unfair advantage in business​

You know how you hate it when someone has something better to offer your potential customers. Very often that something is a lower price. 
Or equally, that something may be a better product, thought we tend not to notice these as much, but they are there as much as we don't like to admit it.

When price is the problem, the temptation is to reduce our price to compete.
And that is a very dangerous game to play!

You see, there can only ever be one lowest price. If you decide to play the lowest price game, you and your business end up in a death spiral.
You lower your price, then one of your competitors lower theirs, and on and on.

I have watched this happen so many times. If you decide to compete on low price - there is always someone willing to go out of business faster. and they drag all the other players down with them.

Many people feel they have no alternative but to chase business on low price, but there are lots of alternatives. Service, quality and product range being the key ones that you might think off. 

But there are many more. The big one for me is Marketing. I always like to play my games on marketing. I'll use better marketing and more of it than any of my competitors know about. That way, I'll always get more customers, and generally better customers.

Think of it as being like fishing. Most businesses fish only with one line. The bait that they put on the hook is not usually very good either. Now imagine you are fishing with 5 or 6 lines, and your using a really tasty bait. That's what good marketing does for your business. The more lines you cast and the better the bait, the more you'll catch.

Marketing is an unfair advantage in business

It's very often overlooked as an expensive luxury in most small businesses. And that's probably because it's misunderstood. Most people confuse ​marketing with advertising.

Marketing done right includes a strategy​. Sounds too fancy for your business?? Wrong!

A marketing strategy states clearly who your customer is, the products or services that they look for, what they're prepared to spend and how your gonna get in front of them​. Lots more too, but that's enough to get started.

Having a defined marketing strategy makes getting customers easier - because you're clear on what type of customer you want to work with., what you will offer them and at what price.

If you'd like to find out more about how a marketing strategy and what tools and tactics could bring you more enquiries and customers, click here to fill out the contact form and get in touch.​