Monday, 4 April 2022

Digital marketing for SMEs - 2022

Photo: Aman Pal, unsplash

I have finally updated one of my top posts on this blog... Find this series with related PowerPoint decks on my website at

I hope it makes for an interesting read. I have distilled my experience in digital marketing, including SEO, in four sections:

  1. 7 steps to digital domination 
  2. Creative content to capture customers
  3. What is SEO? Search Engine Optimization for SMEs 
  4. Social media: your launch pad for interactive engagement: B2C & B2B.
Enjoy and let me know what you think.

Extra slide deck for you... Lucky 7 steps to digital domination

Friday, 1 April 2022

It has been a while...


My holistic view of digital marketing

I have not posted for a long while... I have been so busy copywriting as part of content marketing strategies for the University of Cambridge, an academic publisher and other clients. I have been writing about criminology, academic publishing, civil engineering, digital transformation in construction and a lot of other topics...

I have even co-authored a paper, which you can download free of charge from this academic site: The paper is entitled 'The Virtuous Circle of Omnichannel CRM'. There are some SEO tips here and there, especially in the e-commerce space, but other insights are useful for all sectors.

I will soon embark on a new adventure, ranking a B2C website, using content marketing (organic and paid strategy). Thank you for visiting this blog. Some of the content has stood the test of time (very fast in digital terms).

P.S. My website has changed and it's now mobile friendly:

P.P.S. This is not an April's fool post... 

Friday, 10 January 2020

Welcome to the roaring '20s

My analytics reporting template can now be downloaded!

Hello there, I know, long time, no see. I did not get any feedback on last year's post about my analytics success. This continues as this year's analytics have confirmed the rising trend. Not as dramatic as last year's but I can work with it.

I am a strong believer that quality content helps with SEO and Google has been a bit more proactive promoting useful content (articles, images, infographics, videos...), valuable information and well-developed websites. As paid ads don't convert as highly any more, it's time to focus on organic, not new to me as I have always been organic (with a brief foray into paid social media, which was mercifully brief).

I am doing Google and social media analytics for this website: and I am keen to share my knowledge, so here is a template of my report. Download it from my home page: The link is under the heading Digital Strategy.

Happy SEO and sorry for the irregular posting. I am doing onsite contract work now so it has been a bit more hectic.

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Analytics Smash!

The website of the Research Centre I work for went from around 8,000 visitors in 2017 to over 63,000 in 2018. Would you like to know how it was achieved? Leave a comment and I will reveal all....

Thursday, 15 November 2018

SEO is not 20 years old!

So I go to an SEO event in Cambridge, nothing new here. But this time I come away with a load of personal insights... I will bullet-list them:

  • I have done technical SEO for years and I was not aware.
  • It's OK to argue with myself because SEOers and web developers have issues.
  • What I am doing now is the new SEO: digital strategy and web performance
  • It's OK to ignore crawl tools' suggestions & analytics' gloom and doom alerts.
But then comes the controversial bit: SEO is 20 years old. Excuse me? I challenged this afterwards with the most senior speaker as I had already hogged too much time in the Q&A talking about my other 'shit'. Now I don't know the age of this lady, but I guess she is younger or perhaps she is like me, a wizened baby-faced person.

I don't go around broadcasting my age as the industry is very ageist, but let's say I started working when there was no internet (OK, there was but just in academic circles, not in business, not in the UK). To the risk of sounding like some aggrieved OAP, SEO became a thing in 2008 when I was learning it. Yes, I built my first site earlier in geocities, but back then SEO was not in the horizon. It was keyword-stuffing paradise while I took pain to provide decent content, which won me a Golden Web Award from a US outfit - award, well, it was a congratulatory email. I just wonder if it was the early days of this 'monster' organisation called Golden Webby Awards. Well thank you very much, I did 0 SEO on it, just wrote nice content.

The site was called London Cheapskate, offering free things in London. I started to get emails from people wanting me to advertise their events, wanting a link, you name it. I just left it and moved on while someone copied the idea and built a business on it. I was more interested in learning digital journalism and blogging. I went into blogging in 2005 and then slowly moved into copywriting, becoming an SEOer around 2008 when I built my first professional website by altering the html of a free template. This is an approach I still follow because it's all very well to use CMSes but I want to code a bit because when the CMS does not do what it's told, it's the code you need to tinker with. I got into SEO then in 2008 and started reading Search Engine Watch. Now, the speaker I questioned used that as a proof that SEO is 20 years old. Well no, it's 22 if you consider this bit from Wikipedia:

"Search Engine Watch was started by Danny Sullivan in 1996. In 1997, Sullivan sold it for an undisclosed amount to MecklerMedia (now WebMediaBrands). In 2005 the website and related Search Engine Strategiesconference series were sold to Incisive Media for $43 million. On November 30, 2006, Danny Sullivan left Search Engine Watch, after his resignation announcement on August 29, 2006.[2] Rebecca Lieb was named editor-in-chief the following month. In 2015, Incisive Media sold SES, Search Engine Watch, and ClickZ to Blenheim Chalcot.[3]Google's Matt Cutts has called Search Engine Watch "a must read." Yahoo's Tim Mayer has said that it is the "most authoritative source on search."

I am an earlish adopter and SEO did not hit me with his stick until 2008 when I was trying to optimize my own website. I got a huge client out it, an advertising agency in Ireland because I ranked for the words they were looking for. Fancy that, all I was doing was having links of articles I was writing on parenting topics. So I was a link builder as I also had links in publications I wrote for and blogs I blog-posted on. I did start blogging in 2005, so maybe for me SEO started then, but kind of made sense in 2008 because of my website.

The agency hired me as SEO copywriter and I was with them between 2009 - 2012. Then I started this SEO blog and wrote about SEO for agencies. I was writing blogs for them, anonymously. You will find my best series in this blog. I did post it here as soon as their site went down because it was and is still pretty good. I have used it a lot and got more clients from it. They lap it up because it explains simply what SEO is, what digital strategy is... It's my 'whitepaper' really, so I have done some updates and reposted it. Here is the first of four posts: Digital Strategy for SMEs, which is still a very popular post/s. It did not age much and it's still OK today because I have always been on the quality, white side, not the dark side of SEO.

So how old is SEO really? It depends, borrowing an answer from last night. Are we talking technical SEO, content-driven SEO, strategic SEO? What SEO are we talking about? However you look at it, SEO is not 20 years old. SEO is also not monochrome: it's white, grey and black, depending on your ethics as a marketer. So if I were doing a talk on SEO, I would be wearing white gloves (I don't own a white hat). The talk would be called Pure SEO, whiter than snow.

MORAL OF THE STORY: it's funny when people younger than you tell you the history of something you lived through. SHOWING MY AGE THERE BUT honestly, are you trying to teach me to suck eggs? Now I get my white gloves and I am out.

Friday, 10 August 2018

Long time, no SEO

Hello there,
I have not been diligent updating this blog as I am looking after other people's SEO most of the time. I have now a bit of time and would like to publish a short message. I know this blog is still visited and if you are worried about the gap in posting, don't because many of the principles I have explained are still relevant. Technical SEO might have moved on but content-based SEO still holds the same principle and content is still KING. 

The picture below really reflects my thinking. Look after all these elements and you are away... The main thing that has changed is that you now need to have a secure protocol, namely the https - get the info from the horse's mouth.

I am now looking after this website (doing a lot of news writing to keep it fresh) and setting up a digital strategy so it's SEO all the way and of course social media integration. On the home front I have bought the protocol for my own website as the 'not secure' message was bugging me. It's very hard to do SEO in a saturated market.

My thinking has changed as I now have an holistic view of it all. The website is your shop front but you need to get the punters in, which is not impossible through the social media channels, but it's closing the deal that is getting harder. I am trying to use video more but of course I have a small budget so it's down to people filming events for me, often coworkers as we cannot hire a film company. On the homefront I have tried shooting a video of myself but did not like it, I have to grow confidence in talking to the camera. I am a better writer so I will still focus on that and using good images. Creative Commons stock is quite good now and if it is not yielding the goods, I take my own photos.