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Matt Bailey – Social Commerce – A Lesson in Media Logic

June 28th, 2022

There are just some articles that catch my eye when either trawling through the various Search Marketing Journals, or I get sent to me insights from my colleagues and friends on the internet marketing circuit. One of those valued friends who can talk the numbers is Matt Bailey at Sitelogic Marketing in Canton Ohio. Shared below is an extract from a blog he wrote where his analysis of an article published by Business of Apps really puts things into perspective when considering Social Commerce

A Lesson in Media Logic
I have my own misgivings about social commerce – the direct purchasing of products through social channels. Sure, I’ve done it, but it is minuscule compared to my other shopping channels.

However, this has been hyped as the next big thing for more than the last decade, but it has never materialized as predicted. Being early in 2022, the predictions are rolling out for social commerce, as they have every year.

On this subject, I want to show you an example of clickbait, bias, and logical fallacies that are so prevalent in our industry, especially when writing about popular new trends.

This statistic and infographic were recently highlighted in a popular newsletter: 82% of shoppers use social media to make a purchase.

Social Commerce

Immediately, there should be warning lights and alarms sounding in your head. For starters, the headline is a bold statement. Anyone familiar with eCommerce marketing analytics will question this dubious claim.

The Logical Fallacy
Here’s the big problem. The data charts and headlines present a syllogistic fallacy. The data does not match, but it is used in a way to make the initial claim of 82% of shoppers using social commerce valid.

Here is what is being presented in the data:
Statement 1: 82% of survey respondents discovered and purchased a product on social media through their phone – at least once.
Statement 2: The majority of people prefer a combination of online shopping and in-store shopping.
Conclusion (Headline): Therefore, 82% of shoppers use social media to make a purchase

Do you see how statement 2 does not follow statement 1?

It is deliberate misdirection. It is associating two different activities in attempting to support the conclusion. The second dataset does not mention social commerce, it only asks about in-store, online, or both. This is called a non sequitur, as it does not logically follow from the previous data.

The Problem with Percentages
Now, we move to the article, where we receive some interesting statistics:

“Some 57% of the 1,000 customers surveyed said they previously bought something while watching a livestream on a social media app with 72% rating the experience highly.
A whopping 29% purchase items on social media at least once a week while 24% purchase more than once a week.”

This is the problem with percentages. Without real numbers as an anchor, percentages are abstract concepts. This is why decision-makers don’t get excited about percentages. Unless you show the real economic impact by moving away from the percentage and into real currency, it won’t move a data-driven organization.

Another signal that you might be reading propaganda instead of news is the choice of sensationalized adjectives. Regardless of this as a news article, blog, or otherwise, using “whopping,” “booming,” etc. to describe only 29% should clue the reader into the sensationalizing of this information.

Social Commerce Needs China’s numbers to be legitimate, but even then…
The article concludes with the statement that “Accenture predicts that social commerce could triple by 2025.” That is a very bold claim. Looking at the article cited, it is another article on the website, and the headline reads, “Social commerce to triple to 1.2 trillion by 2025.”

Wow. How will this happen? Well, of course, it can only happen if we include the entire planet!

You see, you can’t have a social commerce conversation without including China, the leaders in social commerce, however, the Chinese social media ecosystem is dramatically different than that in the US. In China, there is a single app, WeChat, which accounts for more than 30% of China’s GDP. It is the primary app for payments, delivery, food, travel, shopping, library books, bicycles, taxis, and more.

Even then, social commerce in China, which is a decade (or more) ahead of the US, generated $363 billion in 2021, but this impressive number is only 11% of the total retail eCommerce in the country.

By including China, India, and Brazil in these calculations, this engages in the logical fallacies of Incomplete Comparison (comparing two things that are not really related) and Argumentum ad Populum (appealing to the people) which presumes that something must be true because it is believed by many people to be true.

The Myth of Millennial Spending
One thing that comes up often in these types of articles is the emphasis on age and generational labels. This becomes a bandwagon effect (using popularity – everyone is doing this – as validation), but it also presents a loaded question fallacy to the reader.

A loaded question presupposes a claim so that it can’t be answered without sounding guilty, such as “have you stopped stealing from the company yet?” In this case, we are told that social commerce is growing, and it is growing among Millennials and Gen Z – who are spending the most. The loaded question puts the reader in the uncomfortable position of feeling guilty for not acting on this data, even though it is incomplete.

Why is it incomplete?
Here’s are a few facts that might blow your mind:
• Gen Z has $143 billion in spending power.
• People over 50 have $7.6 Trillion in spending power
Gen Z has less than 2% of spending power than people over 50

The survey does not include people over the age of 54
There were only 1,000 respondents to this survey. No data is provided about the survey respondents: no age, socio-economic status, location, employment, gender, or race. The reports that break down response by age have a maximum age of 54. Do they realize that more than a third of the US population is over 50?

This is the Fallacy of Composition and Division; It assumes that one part applies to the whole. By citing statistics of younger generations, it attempts to apply the conclusions in a blanket generalization.

In addition, by completely ignoring the shopping habits (and spending power) of older adults, these studies and articles do not communicate the entire picture of the eCommerce landscape. This is the Fallacy of Exclusion and Suppressed Evidence.

Consider the Source
This entire article summarizes the findings of the Social Commerce 2022 Report created by The Influencer Marketing Factory. That should raise an eyebrow. Could there be a potential conflict of interest or cherry-picked data? An influencer marketing company presenting information in a way that promotes their best interests? Then the “data” is presented as hard facts in articles, headlines, and industry newsletters.
Welcome to the modern news cycle in marketing media.

Social Commerce: The Smallest Slice of the Commerce Pie
Here’s why I chose this article and “data” to analyze. When evaluated through the lens of the entire market, this is promoting one of the smallest channels in the eCommerce market! When you exclude traditional online or in-store, older demographics, spending power, and focus exclusively on a method of commerce through social channels, you’ve drastically reduced your potential for reaching the largest, and most wealthy market on the planet. Even compared with China, the leader in this space, it shows a limited ceiling on this channel.

Develop your Media Literacy and Analysis Skills
Every headline, article, or promoted data is competing for your attention. The best thing that you can do is to educate yourself on how these fallacies work and insulate yourself from their claims. More than ever, all media needs to be evaluated with a critical and skeptical view. We live in an age of fake news, sensationalized headlines, emotionally-driven content.

Protect yourself by developing your data, logic, and literacy skills. You’ll find yourself to be more informed, unshaken by illogical conclusions, and happier. Happier because you will be more confident in your decisions and able to point to the logic behind them.

Matt Bailey his goal is to teach businesses how to make marketing logical, measurable and predictable (plan-able), so they can be profitable.

Are You Ready to Choose Your Web Design Company?

March 28th, 2021

So, let us be honest – there are hundreds of freelance website designers and small agencies all around Scotland and England that are still likely to be operating from home, especially with the presence of Covid-19 being around for some time to come. And it has been proven that with everyone being able to work from wherever they are located all that matters to you when choosing either a web designer or web design company is are these people any good?

Before lock down there was all your bigger agencies sitting in glass office tower blocks in the city with possibly hundreds of people employed by that website agency. Now, right away there is a big overhead – that glass building has to be paid for. So, what is the most important thing to you as a business owner when its time to decide to choose your web design company. Will a small well formed web design team with two or three people who can be very talented be your choice, or regardless cost you just want to go with those residing in that big glass city centre office? Well, you think its a nice building and you fancy seeing yourself walking in and out there because it looks important.

Lots of business owners, especially those in the micro small medium business sector, don’t really know what to ask or look for when it comes down to which type of web design business they should engage with? It is not really about – oh I must go with those in the big city centre glass office. There is a more important question once you look beyond the aesthetics of any web developers location or the websites they build. And that is can they prove they can help your business make money? There are lots of agencies and freelancers showcasing their design talents, and so a website could look nice and shiny, but does it make money. Why not ask the owners of the website? Find out how long the website has been live and whether the business is willing to share when it actually began breaking even then making a profit through marketing and making full use of their website platform.

We are not in a glass office, we have proven we don’t need to be. For us its like being a band. We love playing together, we have much more freedom for creativeness because we came together knowing we could compliment each other no matter where the graphic designer was in relation to where the full stacker coder was located. And its been like that here for 20years. If you are thinking about looking for website design services? Chat to us and hear our story as to how we work and who we have helped and why we have stuck together as a team. We have delivered lots of successful Website Projects in Fife, Edinburgh, Glasgow, the highlands and borders across Scotland and in England – and customers found them affordable and eye catching. We are jealous that our client websites look better than our own. But that’s because our clients come first and those who have been around for 10 years or more are still with us.

Website Price Comparison Costs – Which Way to Go?

June 12th, 2020


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.


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


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.