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Monday, 28 February 2011

Find Out If Your Site Exists

This chap is a ‘Googlebot’. At the moment, he really does control Earth. That’s because Google is by far the most widely used search engine at this point in time, and unless something drastic happens, will be for the foreseeable future. Google’s market share in the UK is 90.68% (Measured Jan 2011)

Have you ever wondered how Google knows which websites to place on Page 1 above all others, based just on one search phrase of just one word? How does that happen? How do they know what are the most relevant sites? And how do they deliver the search result pages (SeRPs) so quickly given that there must be billions of sites to look at ?

Quite simply, googlebots  crawl the web. Constantly. They crawl all over the pages of every website, looking at the wording, the description of the pictures, keywords, and a hundred other things. Then they ‘index’ you under a suitable relevant category (e.g. (We, Google, have decided that Bob is a) decorator, interior, blackpool, speciality restaurants, hotels ).

Then,  when a search is initiated, the search engine only has to look at the ‘relatively few’ sites that meet the search criteria. Sometimes ‘relatively few’ can mean over a million or just a few hundred; but that’s basically how Google can access results quickly.

There are literally millions of sites being created daily, so it may be quite some time, perhaps months, before a new site gets crawled and indexed. Some may not get crawled at all (eventually they all will, but I do mean EVENTUALLY). The top and bottom of this, is that if your site hasn’t yet been indexed by Google; your site will not be considered for display on results pages. Quite simply you don’t exist.

To find out if your site has been indexed, go to to get Google’s Homepage.

In the search bar type
Site:{your site}
So for example for my own HW Marketing site, I would type
Don’t forget the colon after ‘site’.

If the site has been indexed, you will get results that display each of your site’s pages.

You can see that each of my site’s pages are indexed if you type it in in. If your results return something similar, then your site has been indexed; and that’s the first step on reaching Page 1

However, if your results are blank, then your site hasn’t been indexed and you don’t exist.

To get your site indexed use the link below to SUBMIT your site to Google.

Submitting your site to Google is a request to be crawled and indexed (or re-crawled and re-indexed). It’s the quickest way to get indexed. Your webmaster should have done this as a matter of course, but if you built your own site, you may not have done it yet. You can submit your site more than once. Consensus says only submit once a month otherwise Google may view it as spam and not only ignore the request but mark your site down a notch. Some SEO experts say even once a month is too much. What we all agree on is that a new site MUST be submitted asap.

HW Marketing UK are the Affordable Website Design Company of choice for Small or Startup Businesses in the area. Easily understandable pricing packages start at £250. 

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

HW Marketing UK - Creating Visibility, Sales and Success: ONE is the worst number in business

HW Marketing UK - Creating Visibility, Sales and Success: ONE is the worst number in business

ONE is the worst number in business

ONE supplier, ONE key employee, ONE key customer, ONE source of leads, and I could go on and on and on....each of these risky scenarios has impending financial disaster written all over them.

I was speaking to a potential client some months ago now, a conservatory manufacturer and installer, and he was advising me to use radio advertising. Now the reason he was advising me to spend thousands on radio advertising is that he said that it was working for his company, and they relied on it. In fact, they relied on it so much, that they had scrapped any other form of advertising and lead generation in favour of it.

Well that’s great if it’s working, and it certainly appeared to be working… “but”, I asked “what if a competitor comes along with a better advert, better radio slot times, more coverage, and offers something you don’t, what have you got in place to fall back on immediately?” He couldn’t answer.

Amazingly, some small businesses rely on one lead source, for example directories like Yellow pages or Thomson Local, and I’m sure many of them are doing great. But this is so dangerous, what happens if next time the directory is printed and there are 3 other businesses doing exactly what you do and their adverts are better than yours, or worse, what if there was a mistake and your number was printed wrong or you were omitted completely?  Your trusted source of leads has now GONE. Put simply, every business should be propped up by multiple sources of ‘Lead Generation’, or ‘Pillars’.

This is known as the ‘Parthenon Plan’. Bear with me ! The Parthenon of Greece was created over 2 millenia ago and was built on more than 60 pillars to withstand unknown challenges. In the late 17th century, it was used as an ammunition store and suffered a direct hit exploding the munitions inside. However, most of the building and columns are still standing.
It’s about realizing that in order to grow, or even survive, you must use 8, 10 or even more pillars of lead generation so that if one or three start to perform badly, then you still have strong foundations propping up your business.

But isn’t cost restrictive? Most businesses have a marketing budget and it just won’t run to adverts here and there, leaflet drops, internet advertising etc etc ; and anyway what else is there?

Ok here’s a list of what you can employ as lead generation pillars.

  • ·         Direct Mail
  • ·         Pay Per Click Advertising
  • ·         Search Engine Optimisation
  • ·         Leaflet Drops
  • ·         Telephone Marketing
  • ·         Email capture
  • ·         Autoresponder
  • ·         Direct Sales
  • ·         Joint Ventures
  • ·         Online Public Relations
  • ·         Run Competitions
  • ·         Open Days
  • ·         Systematic Referrals
  • ·         Internet Advertising
  • ·         Offline Public Relations
  • ·         Shows, Events
  • ·         Affiliate Programs
  • ·         Networking
  • ·         Teleseminar
  • ·         Print Advertising
  • ·         Radio and TV
  • ·         Newsletters
  • ·         Sponsorship
  • ·         Mini Courses
And on and on and on. I could fill this list with a HUNDRED ideas.
Action Steps –     

  1. Make a list of your existing lead generation strategies
  2. How much business do you generate as a percentage on each strategy ?

If you have less than 8 strategies (pillars) and any one of them (or two or three) add up to more than 40% to 50%, you don’t have a Parthenon, you have a Leaning Tower of Pisa, and you may have to prop it up.

The ideal spread would be to have 10 strategies, each bringing in 10% of your leads, but any spread is better than relying on one or even two key strategies.

HW Marketing UK are the Affordable Website Design Company of choice for Small or Startup Businesses in the area. Easily understandable pricing packages start at £250. 

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Getting a 100% profit increase is easier than you think

There are only 3 ways to grow your business
1.       Increase your customer base
2.       Increase the value of each transaction
3.       Increase the frequency with which your customers buy from you
Most businesses think that doubling your turnover means having to double your customer numbers, but if you take each one of the 3 ways above, and start to apply some numbers; you get very interesting results.
What these results mean is that you can concentrate on smaller targets in each of the areas above, or even use a phased approach, improving one area after the other, to increase your turnover much more than you thought easily possible.
Let’s take a hypothetical business.  So you have a business, and in that business, let’s say you have 500 customers, and each of those customers spends an average of £10 per transaction and they buy from you at a frequency of let’s say 10 times a year, or week, or 2 years. The time frame really doesn’t matter.
500 x £10 x 10 = £50,000.
Let’s see what happens if we increase our customer base by just 10%, the value of each transaction by just 10% and the frequency by which those people buy, by just 10%.
550 x £11 x 11 = £66,550
That’s an increase of 33.1% and all you have done is make small improvements in the three main areas of growing your business
At this stage, don’t worry about how you will be able to make those improvements, stick with me, and I’ll give you everything you need.
How about this;
Again, using our hypothetical business, let’s see what happens if we increase our customer base by 30%, the value of each transaction by just 20% and the frequency by which those people buy, by just 30%. Slightly harder targets, but still very achievable over time. What happens to our numbers then?
650 x £12 x 13 = £101,400
That’s an increase of 102.8%. You will have doubled your turnover.
Now, you might be saying, that’s all very well but my business doesn’t work like that, I’m a roofer, newsagent, computer repair guy whatever, and I just can’t increase the frequency with which people buy, or my business doesn’t have regular customers, and how the hell do I raise my prices, and all this in a double dip scary economy  etc etc ?
I promise you that in the weeks and months to come, I will show you how you can influence these numbers no matter what business you are in.

HW Marketing UK are the Affordable Website Design Company of choice for Small or Startup Businesses in the area. Easily understandable pricing packages start at £250. 

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Boy, are your customers selfish !

You may have heard all this before, but understanding how to communicate benefits and how your customer will benefit from what you have to offer, is crucial to your marketing efforts.

When a prospect looks at your web site or any sales literature for that matter, they are tuned firmly into Radio “WII FM”.

That's Radio, "What's In It For Me?”

Your prospect wants to immediately see just what it is you can do for them. Your prospect has a problem that he or she, wants YOU to solve, and they want to know if you can solve it.

Here’s an example of some ‘features’ being advertised in the local press and on the web.

“Our pans are professional grade cast iron”
“I do Home Conveyance”
“24hr Domestic Plumber”
“uPVC Doors”

You can see adverts with lists of features everywhere in the Yellow Pages in any town in the UK.

For example;
Tree Work
·         Hedge Cutting
·         Pruning
·         Stump Removal
·         Felling

None of these adverts stick out and there are pages and pages of them saying exactly the same thing, and it’s a safe bet that the marketing materials of these companies are exactly the same.

It's all too easy for you to reel off a string of features about your products, but your prospect really doesn't care at this point, because they can't see the immediate benefit for them; they want to know what YOU are going to do for THEM.

If you don't tell them straight away, they'll move on and find someone else who will.

So how do you decide on what the benefits of your product features are? Use the ‘Drill Down’ method

Start off with a feature of your company and ask yourself "Why does that matter to me?" If you can keep drilling down and asking "Why does that matter to me?", you haven't yet reached the benefit of that feature.

Interrogate yourself:

1. Name a feature.

2. Then ask yourself, "What's important about that?" Then,

3. "Which means that I get____"

4. "Which means that I no longer have to______"

5. "This means that now I get to______."

Demonstrate to your prospect how your product or service delivers the benefit. Here's an example;

“Our pans are professional grade cast iron” (So why does professional grade cast iron matter to me?)

No matter how uneven the type of surface on which it is placed, on a stove top, an open grill or over a barbecue, it will cook food evenly. (So why does evenly cooked food matter to me?)

“It prevents burning or sticking without constant attention” (So why does that matter to me?)

“You will produce beautifully cooked mouthwatering food, easily, every time for your family/customers.”

There’s the benefit.

Here’s another example:

“We sell running vests made from cutting edge textile technology materials” (So why should that matter to me?)

“Because the clothes are made of hi tech, soft, breathable fibres” (So why do hi tech, soft, breathable fibres matter to me?)

“Because you can move more freely and comfortably in the clothes, and they wick perspiration away” (So why does that matter to me?)

“You can get more health benefits from your running regime if you have comfortable clothes that enable you to exercise comfortably.”

That's the benefit.

People do not buy on features, they buy benefits.

It’s important that you translate your features to benefits in order to convince your prospective buyer they will benefit from buying from you.

People reach a point when they decide to buy. It’s just a momentary decision, and your task is to get people to the point of making that decision. You must understand that people will not get to that stage until they understand just how they are going to benefit from what it is you are offering them.

You could have the best product or service in the world, but unless you make people understand the benefits to them, they will not reach this decision point.

So here’s an action point for you. Gather up all your marketing materials, leaflets, brochures, website, letters, e-mails, everything; and examine them.

Do they convey benefits or features? If they are feature rich, then use the ‘drill’ down method I described earlier to get at least 3 or 4 of the benefits of doing business with you.

Then TEST your benefits on a small scale within your materials. Don’t immediately change tack with all of your marketing. Test it. So for example if you normally send out 500 leaflets by direct mail, send out 400 of your normal leaflet and 100 of your new ‘benefits rich’ copy; and see what happens.

HW Marketing UK are the Affordable Website Design Company of choice for Small or Startup Businesses in the area. Easily understandable pricing packages start at £250.  

Monday, 7 February 2011

What on EARTH are you in business for ?

Over the next few months, and hopefully for as long as you decide you want to stay with me, I will blog specific examples of how you can increase your turnover. I’ll go into these in some detail so that you can set about using them easily.

However, first I’d like to challenge you to make one cataclysmic, fundamental, generic change to the way you and the people in your business, do business.

If you can embrace this concept, and maybe some of you have already, in which case this is affirmation you have it right; then this ONE change alone can change the way you do business from this day forward, and it won’t cost you a penny. It’s about a change in your state of mind, it is really, really easy to grasp

So then, let me ask, why are you in business, what is your purpose?

The answer I would usually expect to this question is “To make money”; and of course that’s an excellent answer. To make money.  Absolutely nothing wrong with money and all that accompanies it. We love money.

But I want to get you to think about something else.

I heard a story the other day from a marketing genius called Chris Cardell which illustrates perfectly what I’m driving at, so I’ll start with that.

“At one point in time, Microsoft had over 40 BILLION dollars liquid just sitting around in a bank account earning interest. So what drove Bill Gates to get up in the mornings?  Was it that he wanted to make more cash?

Clearly not. He loves his cash, don’t we all….. and the more of it the better.

Bill Gates is driven by the belief that by continuing to do business and to drive development of his products, that he is MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE’S LIVES. He is bringing REAL BENEFIT to people with his products.”

I spoke to a website customer of mine a few months ago, while we were designing his site; I asked him how he would describe what it was he did.

“I cure stress”, he said. “I cure stress”.

So what was he this bringer of immediate relief? A doctor ? Hypnotherapist? Did he sell herbal remedies? No. He was a packaging machine engineer. He’s the guy that visits a packing plant when the packaging machinery breaks down, and he fixes it. Now in the fast moving consumer goods industry where the packing company has deadlines and quotas to meet, and is being kicked by the manufacturers of the stuff he’s packaging, crisps, biscuits or whatever; my customer really does “cure stress”. He fixes the machine and makes sure that the quotas can be met.[1]

This mind shift, if you can adopt it in your own thinking and introduce it around your company, will make you PASSIONATE about what it is you do, and why you are doing it. The best thing is, this will NOT COST you ONE PENNY. Change the way you think about what you are providing and why you are providing it, and you are half way to winning the war.

If you can start to make this make this shift and become passionate about what you sell, you will be the best ever salesperson for your products and services, and it works for every business. You will be proud of what you do for a living. Proud of your products and services.  

A Hairdresser could say “I’m in business to make people feel great”
Cosmetic Dentist “I’m in business to make people smile more”
Health Club “We re-charge people” or “we prolong people’s lives”

On a business card I was given today by another local web design company, it said “Hello, I’m Clive. I want to help your business grow.”

Why am I in business ? “To improve your turnover and hopefully improve your standard of life”

You may even get to the point, like me, that if I fail to convince someone that they need my products or services, and they walk away, I FEEL as though I’ve let THEM down by not being able to convince them that I can improve their lives.

So, I’ll ask YOU the question again. What are you in business for? What is the purpose of your business?

When you figure it out, write it in big letters and stick it all over your place of work…. and put it on your stationery and cards.

It can instantly change the way your customers look at you and will change the way you look at your purpose in business.

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HW Marketing UK are the Affordable Website Design Company of choice for Small or Startup Businesses in the area. Easily understandable pricing packages start at £250. The Company was established in 2009 by Neil Holley-Williams who worked for 25 years as a Freelance Consultant for IBM, Skandia Life, Invesco Perpetual and Carnival UK. Neil is also a trained Life Coach

[1] The packaging man is at