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Website Price Comparison Costs – Which Way to Go?

June 12th, 2020

WEBSITE PRICE COMPARISON COSTS WHEN BUYING AN ECOMMERCE WEBSITE – PRICE vs VALUE?

You have decided you need an ecommerce website. Or you find that the ecommerce website you have is out of date and is in need of some redevelopment work. But, the quotes you have just received, go from one of end of the price spectrum to the other. Website Price Comparison Costs – How do You choose when it comes to Price Vs Value?

So, your in the market to buy a website or redevelop the website you already have. This is either a brochure website or an ecommerce website. Already you are in a website purchasing minefield.

This story is going to centre around the decision you have made to buy and ecommerce website. What governs your decision? Price or Value?

You have reached out to some freelance developers or maybe a small web design agency to get a quote for your website project.

The response has brought some prices that range from a really low cost to something that is in your opinion the extreme. You are not sure what you are getting for your money.

For the purpose of this story let us assume you at least know you want a WORDPRESS/WOOCOMMERCE website.

The first developer who sends in a quote provides a cost of just £600 for your new ecommerce website. £600!! And you can have it in a couple of weeks. So right away there are some clues for you that should allow you to hear alarm bells going off in your head. It should also be indicating to you that the person or even small agency providing this quote is demonstrating that they are so far removed from reality or even fully understanding anything about ecommerce!

Another suspicion you could have on seeing this price of £600? The freelance website builder or small website agency could be using off-shore support. That could be another reason for seeing such a ridiculous low price.

Let’s be frank! Or I can just be, website developer Brian Mathers here at ICTADVISOR, and say, if I was you, I would have absolutely zero faith in a company quoting £600 for an e-commerce build regardless of the website platform…

And if all that is quoted is 10 hours of website coding time?

Now the quote indicates quite simply that for £600 this involves 10 hours of coding time……This is high-school kid stuff, and the sort of fees someone might charge as a complete beginner at building websites. Even then newbie web designer (we would hope) quote more in line with expected industry market costs for a fully-featured e-commerce site….you would hope!!

There is absolutely zero and we mean zero chance you can get anything near satisfactory for any serious e-commerce site with just 10 hours of coding and a £600 price tag.

Here is what you have to take into account to have a successful ecommerce website:

  • Do some research of your market place
  • Do some website mockups
  • UX design (this is aspects of branding, design, usability and function.
  • SEO – building a findable website
  • responsive design – mobile friendly
  • robust backend systems
  • speed optimization – achieve a 2.0 secs or less load time for pages
  • user testing – providing a positive customer journey experience
  • performance bench-marking
  • custom integrations – 3rd party software requirements if necessary
  • project management – Some who knows the whole process
  • (and much more!)

It’s clear that the majority of these tasks could not be completed to a satisfactory level for just £600 and 10 hours of coding… never mind an excellent level with such little time spent on a website project. In our opinion, our own clients have been very grateful where we have managed to step in – before – a botched migration job was put in place.

The clients we look after today, like you, are likely to be up against some serious competition online. So, the level of service and fit for purpose website we’d expect a client to be able to have/want to operate effectively in their competitive e-commerce market place, has to see a more reasonable quote. Website Price Comparison Cost decisions are therefore a huge challenge for the business owner entering into online ecommerce.

What Price an Ecommerce Website?

We are going to begin by saying around the £6k+ region.
But then again, we build serious websites for serious businesses.
Right now there is a Big Commerce project in progress that has a much bigger budget than even that. This project will take hundreds of hours of coding, research, testing and expertise to produce results that will truly let the client compete at a national level – The project burnt through £600 before we even got close to typing a line of code. 

You can take it from someone who has a team with a lead tech that built an e-commerce site that’s since turned over in excess of £5million – you need a serious budget to get serious results.
In addition, as some of you may know, we are not a big fan of multi-discipline agencies that can one minute sell printed material like business cards, then turn their hand to building e-commerce sites whilst also at the same time claiming to be SEO specialists, building Apps and making videos etc… that is jack of all trades masters of none type stuff. 

As for justifying the cost of a site – just ask a client if they would spend £600 to buy a new Audi? (the level of website we begin deliver) and then expect it to actually have it delivered with an engine, four wheels and a steering wheel! 😂 – of course, you can have a rolls-royce website but you don’t have to be that extravagant to be successful online. We certainly wouldn’t at the same time have you spend money you don’t need to.

So, we are not doing a poo poo look at other developers or agencies or having a dig here. We are simply telling a story about what you would think about doing if given a quote of £600 and 10 hours development time for your next ecommerce website?

Such quotes has to make anyone serious about being online have a good chuckle, the fact they might also come with all the strapline statements like “We are the number 1 ecommerce website builders, or we have been testing lots of other ecommerce platforms and have had encouraging results migrating data over to our own solution.”

This sort of stuff tends to make me and my team think they are perhaps not experts in the promoted platform they are suggesting a client to buy into.

We are not out to bash other companies. We all have our price levels and types of business customers we each want to target and deal with.

But, at such a low number both in terms of cost and man-hours such an agency coming forward with this deal have vastly underestimated everything that’s needed to actually build a decent ecommerce website and make the client money.

It shouldn’t be about billing out hours and going for the cheapest route to market, it should be about putting in place a solution that actually works for the client. Something that will allow the client to scale and succeed online. So when your faced with the Website Comparison Price challenge, think carefully – Price vs Value. Always ensure that your chosen website solution begins by being properly researched and then priced accordingly…but is going to bring value and not a disease we call – Feature Creep……..just our two cents today anyway!

I hope that in sharing some case studies or website client stories here at ICTADVISOR, that anyone reading this sees how much we take pride in having someone’s website in our care.

Are You the Micro Small Business Concerned about Maintaining a Successful Website Right Now?

April 3rd, 2020

The passion has always been at ICTADVISOR to provide assistance to the micro and small medium businesses across Scotland. It is a combination of services that bring both support and learning to those in your business, setting realistic timescales, budgets and transferring of knowledge to help you have a successful website.

Right now in these unprecedented times has it ever been more important to be online and visible if you are chartering these choppy seas whilst the world works together in combating Covid 19 whilst at the same time looking at how to survive in being a Digital Business.

We are concerned though about how some of the larger glass house web marketing companies are targeting smaller businesses trying to encourage them to part with large amounts of cash but not taking into account where the business is right now.

We have already heard of one story whereby the agency is happy to have the business spend around £1000 a month on paid advertising but are going to take £15k as an admin fee – to – do other things with them. And this was a micro small ecommerce business that is able to work from home with drop shipping deliveries.

There are also the agencies claiming to do wonderful things, who are quick to tell you which big brands they support and suggest they can are able to bring huge amounts of traffic to the micro small business website. But, it always seems to come at a huge cost.

A huge step that seems to be often overlooked is the micro small business first of all conducting a website audit. This is the most cost effective first step as it can analyse where you need to spend time within your website fixing things, and the priority areas where you would need to spend money on marketing site to at least stay competitive, from improved indexing and visibililty strategies in order to maintain rankings.

Website owners, especially in the micro small business community still have lots to learn. Many will attempt the DIY website marketing approach, and even have a go at building their own website using some off the shelpf software vendor products such as WIX, Weebly, Shopify and many others.

But this usually brings a limited degree of success as many micro small business owners did not set out to be graphic designers, coders and SEO specialists.

In these uncertain times over the next few months ICTADVISOR is continuing to invest in the marketing tools we work with to help the micro small businesses weather the storm and make the right decisions towards remaining competitive. We also follow closely the advice from our marketing colleagues we have built strong relations with over the years such as Matt Bailey of Sitelogic Marketing and Rand Fishkin formerly of MOZ and now the owner of Sparktoro. We have always seen both as being very successful global marketers who guide us here at ICTADVISOR in Scotland to support our passion for handholding the micro small business community as we like any professional web marketers want to see our client base websites do well.

One key take-away right for the micro small business owner now is a message that is still as important today as it was over 5 years ago.
Don’t be simply fixated on why you are not ranking top for a keyword phrase. Its not all about keywords despite keyword research being an important task to  do regularly. Take a closer look at your website’s technical SEO problems. Hence the importance of a website performance audit.

Website owners are always going to be governed by Time | Resource | Knowledge and most importantly their Marketing Budget.

What those factors require in order to work is doing things as a team. We as professional marketers need us all, the business owner/in-house website manager to make a contribution to the overall marketing strategy and work together – it is therfore a TEAM effort that equals success.

Do you still want to have or remain having a successful website?

Even if you just want a 15-30 minute chat – ITS FREE – to get some answers in laymen terms as to how you should consider the future of your busines online – The Digital Excellence Scotland Web Marketing Practitioners Team are here to try and help Scotland’s micro small business community achieve OnlineXcellence.

We look forward to speaking with you if you have some time on your hands whilst quarantined in your home.

Why Maintain a Professional Online Business during Covid-19?

March 28th, 2020

Brian’s Thought for The Last Weekend in March 2020 
I was once sinking to the seabed in my submarine approaching crush depth and I saw, my whole life, up to that moment, playing at high speed inside my head. But when life seems at its darkest moment, it is worth bearing in mind that there is hope.

Sitting in a WEBINAR last weekend I liked how someone put it – We shall reach that MORGAN FREEMAN MOMENT. Morgan Freeman always at the end of his disaster movies, sees people across the world patting each other on the back – hugging each other again and humanity comes together to plan for the future. This is what we all want as the fall out from Covid-19. Not just for us, but more importantly for our children and the next generation, so this fragile world remains in safe hands.

Even though the situation is challenging, and being contained in isolation as we all are, it gives us time to reflect, and to look at how you can plan for a brighter new future, when COVID-19 is destroyed.

We are ALL looking to our World leaders, because as the saying goes – they have the weight of the whole world on their shoulders right now.
I don’t think any of us envy the difficult task the world leaders have of looking after everyone. While we pray they all come through to turn things around for us all – Let us take this time to all think long term – and to prepare for when that MORGAN FREEMAN MOMENT arrives.

The NHS, plus all in the medical profession around the world and scientists we must APPLAUD them every day.

The Self-Employed are very much in the spotlight on the news. We are all here because we have a passion for what we want to do in life. Delivering products and services we are all proud to provide to others. Your website should and always be your primary channel to the outside world. Some clients called me in the last few days in a panic – wanting to shut their website down for the foreseeable future. THAT IS NOT THE ANSWER.

Most of us are not in a position to make any money right now.
But, we can as micro small medium business owners at least stick together and I for one want to help get us all through this.

I value all my clients and enjoy every moment in supporting you all. During this crisis, to keep my mind busy and occupied, until we settle down into a new way of working at some point in the future, I want to ensure YOU ALL what I am doing here is to ensure your most important SUPREME COMMUNICATIONS CHANNEL remains visible to the world. This means you will be ready for whatever is needed from you when the world opens for business again.

So, there are things that can and will continue doing here to help you and your business weather this storm.

STAY SAFE
BRIAN MATHERS
DIRECTOR

Is WIX SEO Friendly

August 18th, 2019

Does Wix SEO Work?

For probably more than a few years when delivering workshops to small businesses across Scotland who want to build and market a website, does this question arise – does Wix SEO work?

There are quite a number of off-the-shelf website platforms available now to the DIY Website builder. In many cases, the platform appeals to business owner looking for a low cost solution towards having a website presence online. And WIX is one of those off-the-shelf platforms that many small business owners gravitate towards.

You can understand why. It does appear to be easy to use and is supported by lots of HOW TO VIDEOS and other TEXTUAL SUPPORT MATERIAL. Business owners become quite pleased with themselves because first and foremost their creation has become aesthetically pleasing to the eye. But that is as far as things get.

Because, what I here from my audience and the business owners I see regularly is “I am not at all pleased with WIX because my SEO is not working. And, I don’t rank anywhere!!”

Immediately, I sympathise with the many micro and small medium businesses who have in most cases challenged themselves with this off-the-shelf website product. And, 9 times out of 10 it is this next step that has failed them – miserably!!

Get Rid of Wix – Really?

I myself should not just simply answer the frustrated business owner and say “you need to get rid of WIX and move to WORDPRESS or some other low cost easy to use website platform” Because, more and more I am finding that is not the answer many smaller business owners want to hear. And YES…..they shouldn’t have to move away from WIX.
But, we SEO professional practitioners are spoilt by the features built into other Content Management Software (CMS) platforms. Plus, we do know there are inherent problems that lurk inside the WIX CMS platform.

Hail The Website Tool Tester!

Right now one of the best forums online that is addressing having everyone air their frustrations with WIX, are the guys over at Website Tool Tester.

I have to say I love these guys because they are definitely on my wavelength regarding this topic of trying to make WIX work and discuss the for and against argument for the product. And what I like even more about them is that they take time to answer people’s comments. They are also open to exploring the issue like I am here at ICTADVISOR. I am spending more and more time both listening and analysing business owners experiences of those trying to manage, build and deploy a WIX website.

Year on year we keep living in HOPE that WIX will someday address all the issues that are not a barrier to these smaller businesses who are currently struggling to get found online.

Should I blame WIX for My SEO not Working?

NO, let us not simply dive in and blame WIX for the shortfalls it has right now, because not all of the problems are down to them and those that are – they are working at trying to resolve them.

I am sorry, but I have to return to those who are attempting to build their own website – and not JUST with WIX!!

Here in Scotland alone we have a huge community of small business owners who are the backbone of our community from the Borders to the Central Belt of Scotland, and right here where I am in Fife and all the way North through the Highlands and out to the Islands.

Hundreds of thousands of small business owners governed by the limited TIME | RESOURCE | KNOWLEDGE | BUDGET but all trying to get online and be found so they can promote what they offer.

The WIX SEO features inside the platform are just part of the problem the small business has to overcome? It is NOT JUST the WIX platform which is currently working hard at trying to offer the ability to provide better editing features to support the most important individual stand-alone components that should be editable for SEO!!

No, much more importantly is finding the business owners themselves finding the right information and help to educate them become competent website managers.

If you don’t have the proper website marketing skills – then as business owner trying to do all things at little cost, you are going to find things difficult if you don’t properly invest towards paying to get proper help.

Why Pay for an Accountant or Garage Mechanic to Keep Your Business buoyant!! But Not Pay for SEO?

This is where I don’t understand the small business. They hire an accountant to do their books and don’t quibble about the annual cost they could end up paying for accountancy services. They have a vehicle that must be ready at all times to deliver the goods or services they provide, and if the mechanic says the vehicle is broken, you pay for the repairs.
Yet, to make money for the business to survive and be profitable, many businesses are still very much OLD SCHOOL in their approach to doing SEO??

How long are willing to spend trying to do DIY SEO on ANY web platform?

Whether you have a WIX website or have opted for any other platform to launch your website, you either need to invest in proper training and that won’t be just some one day course.

When you learned to drive a car, how many lessons did you need? If you then wanted to be skilled at advanced driving, then again you turned to a professional to teach you tactics.

So, what is the problem when it comes to properly investing in SEO support?

If you are trying to build and launch a WIX website right now, you should take more time to learn how the product works, that is going to be important. And if WIX continues to improve its product – Happy Days!! But, for your whole digital marketing strategy to come together. You should really invest in the time you will need to get your business online – properly – SEO is a slow burn at the best of times. And its true what you will read. If you have no monetary budget for marketing then look ahead to 2-3 years before your website even begins to start to mature if you are going to do everything by yourself. You might even find 2-3 years down the line – things are still not working. Now why is that???

Small Business PPC

August 10th, 2019

Small Business PPC Paid Ads for Micro-SMEs in Scotland

Over the last 18 months I have been surprised to find whilst delivering workshops on behalf of Business Gateway via their Digital Boost Program, how many did not turn up to attend the Paid Advertising workshop. Personally, I think this is one of the most important workshops that a small business should consider attending.

I am Brian Mathers Digital Marketing Practitioner in Scotland. I have not seen as many businesses that I would like to see attend what is in my opinion a must have component in your small business digital marketing strategy. I wonder whether a large majority of micro small business owners are still of the believe that Google is a free marketing channel and so there is no need to consider rolling out a Paid Ads campaign? But the Google Search Listing Landscape has changed so much. You just need to look at where your small business organic listing might end up for that all important search term you want to rank for. More than likely it is going to be below the screenfold. Ths is because other listings that Google wants to display have become more important.

Mainly that is the 4 Textual Ad Spots at the top of the page results along with any Shopping Image Ads. This is followed by the LOCAL SEO results that show up in what we call the 3 Pack, a list of the 3 most popular sites that reside underneath Google Maps showing where these 3 businesses are located.

Let us consider that you have just built your first website or you decided to rebuild the website you had because you felt the previous version was not working.

What do you think would be the most important thing to test with an audience that is actually searching for what you offer? That’s right, the landing pages you have created inside your website. Between you and your web developer you decided what went on that page by way of content and imagery. But how do you know this page is engaging your audience? How long are you going to wait to find out? Enter Paid Ads, so that you can properly test your website with an audience who are searching every day for what you offer.

So, to help you plan for this important step. I want you to listen to a PODCAST recently put together by my colleague Matt Bailey who does regular coffee cup sessions with some of the best people that he and I work with.

Matt Bailey Endless Coffee Cup Podcast with Ashley Schweigert

Creative Writing Blogs Strategy

June 16th, 2019

Creative Writing Blogs – How often should You do this?

You have to be creative writing blogs, but are you struggling?
Do you do this frequently, daily, weekly or monthly?

Recently I was running a Digital Marketing Workshop for a closed group and one person arrived a little late.
There first words were, “I was trying to write a blog for my business and didn’t realise how difficult it was to create 300 words for YOAST SEO!!”

Let’s face it, for some small businesses, it is hard to constantly create new content, especially when you didn’t set out to be a journalist. But, having your own website has meant you have had to be creative writing blogs in order to tell your story. You don’t want to write blogs though, just for the sake it. There was a time people were doing just that. Usually writing articles for every possible keyword search term just to fill up their website with keywords. There were some folks out there writing hundreds of pages just so the page could be splattered with keywords, thinking by doing this it would help a site to rank better. One of the biggest issues still faced by micro small business owners is their ability or lack of knowledge towards doing Keyword Research.

Smart marketers now are consolidating their content into what has become a high value page. If it is interesting, people will read that content, happily working their way down the page, often referred to as following ‘Information Scent’.

There will be occasions though where you will identify a strong keyword term you want to be found for. And you will then have good reason to give a page over to that keyword topic leading your headlines etc.

If you study some of the top well-known search marketers they barely create new content on a regular basis. In a lot cases they re-purpose it. Avinash Kaushik author of Web Analytics an Hour A Day is a shining example of this. He has blogs he revisits every now and then that he first created way back years ago and tops them up with some freshness relevant content.

When you do create a blog or re-purpose a previous blog, create a ‘snippet’ of your blog article and amplify that via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. But don’t forget to have the article lead your audience back to the most important goal – your website’s landing page.

Some suggest that you totally post all the article in each social media channel. I am not such a fan of this when I think about the issues that duplicate content can create which you don’t want, just incase you incur a duplicate content penalty.

What Else Can You Do with Your Blog Content?

If your confident to go on camera then script your content and post it out on a video. Take a snippet of your content and amplify your message in Social Media Channels, but drive your traffic over to your YouTube channel. Don’t try putting your whole video on say – Facebook.

There was an article not so long back by Social Media Examiner who broadcast the message ‘Goodbye Facebook Video‘. They had found to their cost the traffic they wanted was whizzing by so fast in the feed, that their analysis showed people were shooting past their video masterpiece.  The answer was move the video to YouTube. This also helps you to promote your your YouTube video channel. This made all the difference to the Social Media Examiner crew. Ensure you also make use of all of YouTube’s optimisation features.

Depending on the popularity of your blog topic re-purpose it at least once a year. There has been lots of analysis we have seen that supports this.

So you start off with say a 300 word blog. You then return around 4-6 months later and increase that content to 500-600 words. Then after 12 months you may increase it again by another 300-400 words. Make sure of course you break it up with a reasonable image to content ratio. Creeping into year 2 and your blog reaches a known sweet spot for Google of around 1300-1600 words of content (according to the SIA – SEO Intelligence Agency – watch this myth busting video). And this observation has shown a page reaching this status ranks better.

So you have good ranking blog page. This page should include a few ‘BACKLINKS‘ that lead to your most important core landing pages within your Website. What that helps to address is what is called your internal link building.

If you are a micro small business owner you are not going to escape from not having to write any content. Your website without content is going to take much longer towards having anyone find your most important pages which you deem should be making you money. If you find you can’t write content and simply have writers block – then hire those who can help you. All they need to do is listen to what you want to say or offer, and create an article that makes your content compelling. And if they are an SEO Copywriter, then better still.

Google Analytics Training for Small Businesses

January 6th, 2019

GOOGLE ANALYTICS TRAINING IN SCOTLAND FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

We offer Website Analysis  Training either online via SKYPE or at your company’s premises.

Start by just learning or have us deliver basic Analytics and when your ready, aim to achieve doing “Advanced Website Analysis”.

We train the business website manager to understand the critical components of Google’s website analysis tool.

When you learn Google Analytics with us we help you put together a successful web analytics strategy to support your online marketing campaigns.

If you don’t want trained in how to use Google Analytics, but still want to have a successful website, we can be your Google Analytics Partner and provide a monthly website supplemental web analysis service.

CALL NOW ON 01592 745992 or Email us

Website Analysis for Small Businesses in Scotland

Google Analytics Beginner Training For both Micro and Small Business Owners in Scotland

Analytics training so you learn how to do this important task on a regular basis. We offer Google Analytics Beginner Training and it can be delivered on a 1-2-1 basis or to a group of people in your business. This is a handholding session of helping you setup and implement Google Analytics. Lots of business owners and even website developers get the setup of this product wrong. In doing so it can hurt your data analysis in the long term.

Website Analysis Services from Real World Web Marketing Practitioners

Businesses realise the web is a very effective marketing channel, but if you don’t measure each website page or carry out regular website analysis how will you know your website is really working for you? Can you confidently say right now that your website was built properly? That the website is fit for the purpose towards getting conversions from customers as they journey through your website pages. Has your website actually been properly optimised to get potential people wanting to those landing pages and actually do business with you?

Apart from keeping you informed of where your web pages might not be achieving their marketing objective, Google Analytics can do much more, such as measure your Google Adwords campaigns or any other offline marketing campaigns.

Finding Your Business in the Google Story

January 6th, 2019

Where is Your Website On Google Today?

Getting ready for another year as a self-employed business owner being online?

The challenges are big if not bigger. For the micro small medium business owner there is still a lot of learning to do in order to take advantage of everything you need to know in making your website be the go to destination. Once the audience arrives does your website pages clearly communicate WHO YOU ARE | WHAT YOU DO | HOW YOU DO IT.

ICTADVISOR reviewed and audited over 100 websites last year to provide business owners with some very detailed feedback that answered their question as to WHY they were NOT BEING FOUND ON GOOGLE!!

Some of those business owners had put all their effort into being found inside social media channels such as Facebook to raise your brand awareness, Twitter to reach out to various groups, Instagram to visually share high resolution pics of products,  and Linkedin to put themselves in front of other business owners to promote what they had to offer.

A lot of the time, for those who had websites they forgot while creating content in their social media channels to generate a backlink in order to drive people over to where it mattered – THEIR OWN WEBSITE!! And yet asking, why is my website not getting any visitors?

There is no getting away from what is the most obvious thing a business owner must do if they want to be in control of their online destiny. It will be what you say and offer on your website that will help with your prospects decision making.

And. don’t forget. The most common sentence said by all those people you are hoping to have visit your site say – I AM JUST GOING TO GO AND GOOGLE THAT! Closely followed by – I BET I CAN WATCH THIS ON YOUTUBE!! – Not – I AM JUST GOING TO FACEBOOK THAT or I WILL JUST SEE IF THAT IS ON INSTAGRAM etc…

If you are to be the GOTO website where you have something to offer, then our prediction is that it will be unlikely that you are going to achieve this task on your own.

Your Website is like a RACING CAR. You will want to win some races, but firstly at the level you are able to enter and be able to compete at.

Don’t think that right away you can compete for keywords that are being used by the BIG BRAND NAMES. Unless of course you adopt ADWORDS early into your strategy. But many small businesses just DABBLE with this product. Simply because they have had no proper training or be better off working with Digital Marketing Professionals who know how this and other Google products work so that they end up with a successful online marketing strategy.

You need to work at having a strategy that will ease you into the market. That strategy will involve TIME | RESOURCE | KNOWLEDGE | BUDGET.

Racing driver Louis Hamilton had another great year in the world of motor-sport. But he didn’t go around that track all alone to achieve what he did. He had a team of people with specialist skills behind him in order to win the race. He could not have done everything by himself.

Last year I saw hundreds of micro and small medium business owners all across Scotland. Some of those I saw was whilst delivering informational workshops on behalf of Business Gateway.

Those micro and SME businesses large and small who came to listen and learn and get help, quickly found out what they didn’t know. Many were trying to run their website single-handed. Many of these business owners without a doubt still have a very long way to go.

Being realistic many are going to need at least 3 years or more to achieve their aims.
All of them are being governed by these 4 factors TIME | RESOURCE | KNOWLEDGE | BUDGET – especially these latter two.

Let us reflect on what Google has allowed you to find during the last 12 months. WATCH THIS VIDEO LINK.

Now, consider how best you will be part of the online story during the next 12 months.

Our advice? Get together a TEAM and get geared up so that you can go out there and WIN THE RACE you need to compete in if your aim is to have your business MAKE MONEY.

Using Facebook

October 18th, 2018

Social Media Examiner Stops Posting its Videos on Facebook

Here at ICTADVISOR we are avid followers of Social Media Examiner which is a well established U.S.based media company, founded by Mike Stelzner. It publishes online magazines, blogs and podcasts about how business people can use social networks.

So, when Mike Stelzner comes online with a VERY SHORT TO THE POINT VIDEO about a decision he has taken regarding the amount of effort he and his team had been putting into promoting the business via Facebook, then you have to sit down and listen.

Social Media Examiner has taken a very difficult decision to cancel doing any more of their long form content videos for their Facebook Channel. So, for example their weekly tips and tricks show and their ask me anything shows answered by Social Media Experts are amongst those being cancelled.

If you are a micro small business reading this, what we are talking about here is a very established Social Media Company. And, they were doing what you are probably doing right now – creating long form content – but sticking it up on Facebook, and wondering why you are only seeing less than a handful of likes or shares.

Mike Stelzner at Social Media Examiner says, long form content does not necessarily have home when it comes to Facebook

Mike Stelzner said,  “when putting their video stuff up on Facebook it was like putting a TV Show on a screen at the side of the motorway, and people watch it as they went zipping by. Facebook is a motorway.” And so Social Media Examiner are not going to publish 3 out of the 4 videos they published every week on Facebook anymore for this very reason.

How Often Are You Analysing Your Marketing Efforts?

Mike Stelzner and his team came to this hard decision to stop posting their videos on Facebook after analysing their data and looking at things like;

  • Retention Time
  • How Many People are Actually Watching their Videos etc.

They came to the sad conclusion that hardly anyone is watching their videos!!

Social Media Examiner said the metrics are very deceptive.
Well, take what you will from this article Facebook’s algorithm HAS been commented upon as being so hard and cruel

What now for Social Media Examiner?

Mike Stelzner and his team at Social Media Examiner have decided to publish one of their favourite shows exclusively on………You Tube.
They are doing what is right because this is a rapidly changing world online, always has been.

What Hope for The Micro Small Business Owners here in Scotland?

Well if an organisation like Social Media Examiner is taking such important steps – bearing in mind their brand was known and established, then what hope has the micro small business owner who is yet trying to be found online and still hanging all their strategy in just being on Facebook?

There are many businesses and not just here in Scotland putting all their hard earned efforts just into the Facebook Platform. But the more you read about the facts when it comes to marketing online and being regularly involved in measuring the ever changing dynamics, there is a clear message that businesses need to rethink their digital marketing strategy.

Be ready to adapt Yoour Digital Marketing Strategy and Consider What Next?

There are still a lot of micro small businesses who are not guided from measuring data. Many still don’t use or understand any of the free Analytics dashboards that are available for them to use. But a bigger problem is, for those who have the analytical dashboards in place, they either can’t interpret the data, or simply don’t have time

So this story serves as more evidence about what leading marketers are constantly discussing re FaceBook and the use of video.

If Social Examiner is bailing, that says a lot.

So if you continue to post your 7 min, 30 min or 60 min videos up onto Facebook – think about cutting that video footage to about 2 mins or less which has always been seen as the sweet spot in amplifier channels such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.

YouTube the Number 1 Channel for Video?

It’s no surprise that YouTube is regarded the platform for longer form videos – has been for ever (despite what has been said or seen from efforts towards using FB)
When it comes to online video strategy, it becomes more and more apparent that the “blast it everywhere” technique isn’t what people think it is.
People realized years ago that there is no revenue sharing on Facebook, all you have to do is create a 30 sec or 1 min preview video and let the viewers know that the full version of the video is available on the YouTube channel.

It can be guaranteed that 90% of videos that people actually watch on Facebook it’s a YouTube Video link that was shared.

Keyword Research Standing the Test of Time

July 30th, 2018

Keyword Research Still Overlooked by Small Business Owners in Scotland

Lots of small business owners across Scotland are still not doing enough Keyword Research.

I have come across a huge amount of evidence from Edinburgh up through Fife and across the Highlands and Islands of Scotland of no keyword research being done. This is especially ubiquitous in the micro and small business communities where large swathe have not used a Keyword Research Tool. I find this absolutely astonishing.
The reason being when speaking with these micro small business owners, you ask what their biggest challenge is with their website, and they answer – I am not getting any traffic.

And when looking at the content on their pages sure enough, you find that the pages are not using any keywords that their audience is actually searching with and yet that small business could be offering the solution. The problem – keyword research, followed by no on-the-page optimisation to tune pages towards Searchers Intent.

I thought therefore that I would air here again a Video Blog by Rand Fishkin back in 2016 on the topic  titled;

A Step By Step Process for Discovering Keywords – Your Best Keywords

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In Rand’s video he shows a step by step process a step-by-step process to choose and prioritize the best possible keywords that you can use for your SEO campaigns.
What he says in the video is that a lot of people use just a single source like Google AdWords Keyword Planner. Or, they go to Ubbersuggest, which is now the very popular Neil Patel Ubbersuggest keyword tool. Rand only referred to it as UBBERSUGGEST, but since 2016 Neil has bought this tool and incorporated it into his website and spruced the tool up.
Also you should note that the reference to the ALCHEMY API tool is unfortunately no longer available. But that aside the rest of the information in this video blog is still relevant with regards the process in doing Keyword Research.
Once you have a bunch of keyword research tools in your toolbox the video blog goes onto the next important step:

Selecting Keywords that Match Searchers Intent

This involves picking which keywords from the keyword suggestion lists you have created that you are actually going to try targeting. To do that, it’s not really a tool-based thing. You will want to build up your keyword bucket list in something like Excel. You are going to want to sort your list to support what you are trying to accomplish with your SEO, and the quality content you are intent on adding to your pages. This is where Rand’s video blog comes into its own with him highlighting the process you will need to go through.
The next step that is looming is where you have to get very data-driven;

Collecting Keyword Metrics and Sort Filter Prioritise them based on Goals

What you want to do is take all the keywords in each of the lists and get the metrics for them so you can prioritize them properly. Your list of keywords will have metrics for:

  • Volume – how often each month are they searched for
  • Keyword difficulty
  • How hard will this keyword rank in the organic results
  • Does the keyword have click-through rate opportunity

Rand’s video blog provides more in-depth steps to the above process before you reach your fourth step which is;

Determine Keyword Targeting for New Content Creation – Prioritise Your List

By the time you reach this final step you will understand this is a phenomenal way to go through keyword research and keyword targeting. This will help you get the content and the optimization priorities that you need, if you are going to have any degree of success from your SEO efforts.  You will have to choose the right data and the right tools, and use multiple sources. You will have to intelligently build the right kinds of keyword lists. Then, use that metrics data to prioritize your page content etc. The morale of the story is you cannot just throw content onto a page with just pure intuition. Spend the time doing some serious  keyword research and based on what you have read here and saw in Rand’s video blog, you can have phenomenal success.

Of course if you don’t have any time to do this on your own because you are busily doing what you set out to do as a business owner, then consider hiring a professional digital marketing practitioner who has access to all the tools required for this task. And then you could also get help in crafting some quality content if you suffer from writers block!!