How much is a Page 1 position on Google really worth?

search Engine OptimisationAlmost every week I am approached by clients who need more traffic to their website from the major search engines.

Quite often they have been approached by (or have approached) consultants offering to this but have baulked at the fees. Now, I know that the fundamentals are pretty east to achieve if you have the knowledge, experience, inclination and time but many small businesses rarely have any of these and yet some many feel that good search engine optimisation [SEO] can be delivered quickly and cheaply.

Let’s look at this scientifically, around 49m people use the web in the UK (77% of the population apparently). Of these about 80% use search engines to find what they are looking for, which equates to 39.2m people and approximately 95% of them use Google as their search engine of choice – 37.2m people.

Now, let me ask the question, how much is it worth to expose your brand to a potential audience of this size?

Lets look at TV first. There is the cost associated with the production of the advert, script writing, casting, production, filming and editing. According to the Televisual magazine, the average cost of producing a 30 second advert for TV is around £140,000. Then there is the cost of your slot. This will vary based on your target channel, whether you want a regional or national ad, the time of day, the product to be advertised and the show (s) that are on either side of the ad break targeted so something at 9pm is going to cost much much more than a slot at 2am when the audiences will be far lower.

For a 30 second national ad on ITV1 between 7pm and 10pm a 30 second slot will cost from £60,000 and £75,000 rising to £250,000 for peak time Saturday and Sunday evenings [think X-Factor and Downton Abbey] and this is likely to reach between 5m and 9m viewers depending on the popularity of the show.

Too much? Then think about radio or the print media, both of which have lower costs (both production and media costs) but also have significantly lower audience figures.

In all of these cases, the costs will be for a one-off and most people with any experience of advertising know that one-off adverts simply do not work, so you have to pay for a campaign.

All of a sudden fees quoted by Search Engine Optimisers actually begin to actually look like pretty good value for money bearing in mind that if they succeed, then your site will be in front of the largest possible audience 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

To understand how effective search engine optimisation can help your business please give me a call on 01793 238020 or drop me an email to

Posted in SEO

New Domain Name Dilemas

Are new domains worth it for businesses?

Domain name dilemasMore than 1,000 new domain names could soon be available.

I was watching TV the other night when up popped an advert for a large and well know web hosting company advertising the forthcoming availability of more than 700 new domain name extensions, known as gTLDs or global Top Level Domains.

Most of us are familiar with the likes of .com, and, you’re probably familiar with and .eu but ICAAN, the association charged with managing domain names, is currently evaluating over 1,000 new options – how does .accountant, .book or even .zip strike you? They are just 3 under consideration. Have a look at the complete list over on my website.

When visiting websites it will mean that we will all have to pay more attention to domain extensions to make sure we get to the sites we want, the search engines will face a challenge to deal with this potential explosion in domain extensions whilst domain registration agencies, ruthless marketing companies, consultancies and cybersquatters may feel that their .ship is about to sail in because it’s unlikely that these new gTLDs will be policed.

Very few domain extensions are policed. As an example .org was always meant to be used by charities and not-for-profit organisations but was quickly hijacked by businesses when the more common .com and options had already been registered. There are a small number that car actively policed, which means that you can only register them if you can prove your eligibility. .ltd, .AC and .gov can only be registered if you are a Limited company, an education establishment or a genuine government department but these controlled domains are in the minority.

Businesses may be sold more domains than they actually need by being told they MUST  protect their brand to block their competition and to prevent cybersquatting – where  cybersquatters may jump on the opportunity to make a quick buck by registering the domain names of well-known companies in the hope of holding them to ransom, expecting a large payoff to sell the domains on to them.

Although legislation was passed to outlaw some of the more ruthless scams, again, it’s not actively policed and this explosion in new domains may make Cybersquatting too tempting to resist and could bring the Cybersquatters back in droves as they look to capitalise on these new opportunities and confusion.

To protect your business against cybersquatting you need to make sure your company name is properly registered and trademarked. This will mean that you can use the law to claim what is yours should you fall victim to cybersquatting but it still leaves one question unanswered, which domain names should you register?

Simply put and .com are the ones uppermost in people minds so you should always register these and then choose carefully from the new ones and only register those that are really relevant to your business and sector that you trade in.

If you want to talk more help with domain names, websites and online marketing in more detail please email me, or give me a call on 01793 238020