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

What does your email address say about you and your business?

Getting the right email addressI’ve been meaning to write about this for a while now and was reminded again about the message your email address sends when I was following a van recently. The van was sign written [good], carried a large phone number [good], web address in significantly smaller [not so good] print and an email address – not just any email but a Gmail address [awful], [names have been changed to protect my health].

This is wrong on so many levels.

First off – a Hotmail address, really! In fact any free email address – such as one from or or BTInternet or AOL to name but a few – really does send the wrong message!

Secondly, it also shouts “I don’t understand”. It’s far easier to remember an email address when the bit that goes after the @ is the same that goes after the www. – you are getting twice the chance of people remembering your contact details

Thirdly, you are missing out on so many opportunities to better manage your email, you can have multiple addresses, info@, sales@, accounts@, enquiries@, myname@ to name just a few. You can then set up folders in your email program for each address and easily create rules which automatically filter incoming emails and move them to the relevant folder.

With each part of your business having a unique email address means that everything is a little easier to prioritise and manage. As an example, you could look at sales@ first because these might be new contracts, accounts@ next because these relate to money and myname@ last because these are more likely to be personal in nature.

All of the above can be easily achieved if you have your own web address because each web address can usually have more than one email address and most email programs enable you to set up folders and create rules.

Managing your emails in this way will help you to present a more professional look to the outside world and enable you to be more effective when it comes to managing your emails and the way that you act, save, delete and back them up…….you do back up your emails don’t you?

If you have any questions about your email services, don’t hesitate to get in touch[did you see what I did there?] or give me a call on 01793 238020

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 .info, .net 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 are – for 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 although .ltd or .gov can only be registered if you are a Limited company 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 need to protect their brand and to prevent cybersquatting whilst 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 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