An Introduction to Keyword Research | SEO 101

Keywords and SEO 101

Keyword research

Keyword research:

The most important part of SEO!

A lame excuse for people who don’t know about ranking for everything!

There are generally 2 opinions of keyword research: The Good and the bad. But there is an ugly side and Google doesn’t help us with it!

The keyword planner is a tool created by Google to utilise keywords for people to bid on Adwords. See what people are searching and then bid on the most competitive or most highly searched terms. Great idea right? WRONG!

The problem lies in a very true statement written by Tom Buckland of Ghost Marketing:

Google’s primary aim is to generate ad revenue. If they state a keyword gets XXXX amount of searches, businesses will bid on this keyword, driving up the cost per click. In reality the keyword may only get XX number of searches, meaning that the individuals with the highest bids will appear every-time, because the search term is not frequent enough to allow more bidders to be shown. And hence, Google makes more money by inflating the numbers.

This is evident in a term that we have been trying to rank our agency for, for about 6 months now, the keyword is SEO Cardiff and although we are in the top 5 results most of the time, we haven’t had 1 visitor from the traffic! That’s a 0% conversion rate! Yet when you look in Google keyword planner you can see that the search volume is 820 and yet people continue to “search” but yet no one that ranks for this term gets any traffic or leads…. Strange.

The inflated search data is due to 2 points. The first is pretty obvious and annoyingly TRUE!

SEO’s checking ranking. If you have 30 SEO companies all trying to rank for “seo Cardiff” then you now have 30 people that are searching in Google for this term to check their rankings. Chances are they do this incredibly frequently if the average person searches 4 times a month, this has just added 120 searches per month, that is 100% inaccurate and not useful to anyone!

The second point goes back to Google being money hungry nazis. And the fact they will do anything (including making the algorithm less effective) as shown in the 2015 update with local results which was probably the worst update I’ve seen Google do since well, ever! But they did this for 1 primary reason: To increase ad revenue! And what makes you think they won’t hyper inflate their numbers to get people bidding more and more importantly bidding higher on search terms.

SEO testing

SEO testing

But the kicker comes when people have actually tested a search volume. Jerry West of webmarketingnow ran a test to rank a site in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd position for a keyword that allegedly got around 4000 searches per month.

Anyway Jerry being awesome, did this and reported on the monthly traffic across the 1st site: It was about 400 visits per month from the keyword. The site in 2nd had about 100 and the site in 3rd had an average of 40 a month. Which meant that this 4000 searched term actually was getting probably nearer 700…. Tut tut tut Google! Long live Bing!

Thanks for listening to my rant.


An Introduction to Business Branding

How to Brand your business?

Branding whether this be graphic design, logos, brand management, social, website or anything has a huge role on what your potential clients and customers think of you. Whether you have 10 or 10000 staff, how your business looks will effect the buying decisions of the people who look for your business.

If you have the budget I’d recommend hiring a corporate branding agency but if you don’t have the budget for professional brand management then there are a few tips you can use to boost your businesses brand image.

Colour schemes are king

Don’t go over-board using too many fancy colours and metrics. Simply stick to a theme and run with it. Most brands that are extremely successful have 1 colour, in most cases 1-2 line logos. Think of the 5 biggest brands in the world and their logos and so extremely simple that its almost painful. Have a look at the famous logos below and you will see that its not just 1-2 logos is most of them that have an extremely simple colour scheme or shape. Create a definitive brand by owning a colour or number or shape. If I say the tick you will instantly think of the brand “Nike” if I say orange you will either think of the phone company Orange or the fruit. If I say Purple about 50% of the people instantly know that the brand is cadburys. Imagine having that power, its free advertising! You can even do this on a hyper-local level. A solar panel installation company in Worcester called 2020SolarPV have great branding and are extremely memorable to the people in their small surrounding areas. You can be a LOCAL brand super-power, it just takes work.

Famous Logos

Famous Logos

Websites Don’t matter

There is a shocker from a web designer but the truth is that websites seriously just don’t make a difference. If someone is coming to find you, they are 99% likely to contact you for your service. There are a few industries that websites do make a difference, for example if you are a web design company and your website is a mess then obviously this is going to lower conversions, but for 95% of industries it simply doesn’t make a difference!

Websites Don't Matter

Websites Don’t Matter

Print Marketing is Dead

Print marketing is dead, or at least dying. Multiple new businesses set up and go straight into this and its the most expensive mistake they make. Back to our point about how many start ups fail, this is a big reason. Too many companies try to copy the huge brands and as a result end up messing up their entire network. Don’t do random print marketing. If you own a local business and there is a local AND industry specific publication then sure by all means place an advert, this makes sense! But don’t set up your business and rush to advertise in the local newspaper, this is the easiest way to burn marketing money and get your business into financial trouble super-fast!

Long live direct marketing

In a book named Permission marketing by Seth Godin, the kind of marketing, he talks about how interruption marketing is dying. Unless you’ve been around for 50 years and your brand is instantly recognised, you should never be doing print marketing or interruption marketing! It’s a death wish for your brand and business. Direct marketing involves sourcing the right people for your product or service and reaching out to them. The most old school way of doing this used to be direct mailings, this is now quite expensive and time consuming but still a million times more effective and ROI effective than print or interruption marketing. Make sure you love the direct marketing and utilise it to your brand advantage. This not only gets your sales message in front of the decision makers but it also allows people to see your brand. Although they might not buy from you today, if they need a similar product or service in the future, why would they not go back to you? No reason!

Thanks for coming along!

How To Start a Fitness Company

Ghost FitnessThe below video will give you a good introduction into starting a fitness company. The video is by Ghost Fitness a UK based gym accessories company. The key to starting a fitness company is to create a popular brand from day 1. Utilise whatever platform you are most comfortable with. If this is social media/online then have super-active social profiles. Or if you’re more of an old school marketer you can utilise targeted direct mail. This is still one of the most popular and EFFECTIVE methods to reach new prospects and customers for start-ups.

The Golden Rules:

  1. Start Small – Order 1 item in a small amount of stock.
  2. Quality over Quantity – Always order a small amount to start with but focus on design and customer service. If you can create a positive brand, you will gain loyal followers that you can sell to multiple times and hence increase your effort to ROI number.
  3. Re-invest Everything – Reinvesting your sales into your business as early as possible will let you grow and take on more and more products whilst keeping stock levels steady. If you take a profit from your business too early you will prevent it from growing rapidly and will slow the growth of the business drastically.
  4. Online Marketing – Start by marketing correctly to an online market – For example utilising the delivery network of Amazon. Amazon acts as an extremely easy to use marketing platform, utilise this for your business and even consider FBA (Furfilled by Amazon).
  5. Local Direct Mail – Market to your local gyms and fitness centres. Anyone within 1 hour will prefer to do business with someone local than someone corporate (all other things equal.)
  6. AIMs / Plan: Have a rock solid marketing plan. Also ensure that you have reachable business goals. You can have these set up as business sales figures, aims on where to be in 3-6-12 months time and also remember your end game. If you want to eventually sell your business remember you need to create processes and assets that are easily understood and transferable.

Top places to find business leads

Top Places to Find UK Business Leads

Finding new business leads is one of the keys to a successful business. However, locating them can be another story. However, there are some effective sources that are excellent for locating new UK business leads. They include:

1. Sales Letter

This is an excellent way to get new business leads. It’s an old-school method but can definitely be effective. Simply write a business letter including details about your company, its products and services, etc. Then distribute out to prospective buyers, such as via e-mails lists and social networking contacts. One of the main problems that companies have in terms of advertising is getting the word out about their products. A sales letter cover can help to introduce your company’s products and services to potential customers, which could eventually lead to increased sales.

2. Website

One of the easiest ways to get leads is through visitors to your website. It’s quite easy yet effective to request that all visitors provide you with their e-mail address. Of course, you should consider giving them this option, so they don’t feel obligated to provide their e-mail. However, this is definitely one of the most effective ways to get new leads. Even if you don’t have a website, you can get a good web design from a number of companies and also graphic design from HQ SEO. Besides that, it’s quite simple since it just requires adding a new feature to your website. In addition, it’s quite a transparent method, as it doesn’t involve getting information from cookies and such. If a visitor to your website doesn’t want to provide their e-mail address, they have that option. You can also promote your site on business directories like MyLocalServices or with and co.

3. Affiliate Scheme campaign

This allows you to share leads with other small businesses. When they’re in the same industry but don’t have some of the products and services that your company does, they might be willing to share some of their leads with you. The way the system works you do for the same for them. The bottom line is that both parties are able to get useful leads that are related to their niche products and services. One option is to sign a Partnership Agreement, to ensure that the partnership is more permanent and long-lasting. However, be cautious, as this will lock you in to a business relationship.

4. Canvassing

This is an old-school yet effective way of collecting leads. Typically it involves hiring someone to get leads, and then paying them an hourly wage or per-lead salary. One of the main benefits of this method is that it frees up your company’s time and resources. While securing leads is important, it can be quite a meticulous and stressful process. Today there are tons of methods for canvassing such as landlines, e-mail, social networking, etc. However, all of the methods can be effective in securing more leads for your company. You can even find services that specialise in canvassing, which will likely help you to save money.

5. Personal Referrals

This is one of the most effective ways to get leads, because they’re given from people who have already tried your company’s products/services. Typically, people you know wouldn’t give your company an inaccurate or untruthful review of your company.

Financing Renewable Energy & Solar Panels

In early 2012 the UK government allowed grants and reduced taxes for business, both commercial and domestic who utilised renewable energy. We have gone out and interviewed 3 business owners who use solar panels or wind energy in their business.

This is what they had to say;

It’s all well and good allowing people to get a solar panel on their roof for free or with 80-90% reduced rates, but what happens when everyone starts doing it? Or what happens when a huge company gets the funds to utilise this method and suddenly the goverment is covering bills in the millions? I’m worried that it will end up being a ploy that then just turns to increased taxes. Tom Buckland of Ghost Marketing Financial SEO.

We believe that Tom might have a point. The money being covered by the Governments Green programmes has to come from somewhere, and if it doesn’t come from the UK tax payer then where does it come from? George below has a slightly different approach.

Hi, I think its a really good thing. We all know we need to be more careful about what we consume and how much energy we use, but unless there is a financial reward or something we get at the end of it, then we aren’t going to get anywhere! I know I wouldn’t be that bothered about getting solar panels if they cost 10 times what we are currently paying for them. But as they are pretty cheap and in fact have a positive ROI for our business in the long run anyway, its worth the additional cost upfront simply due to the amount your business will save in the long run. We saved over £10,000 in our first few months at

Again its difficult not to agree with what George was talking about there. They run a huge forex trading opporation and the computers alone kill most of their electricity, but 1 solar panel = 1 CPU unit, I know if they could have 1000 on their roof they would. I’ve also heard they are looking into wind, but as you know if you’ve spent anytime on our renewable energy blog, we don’t care for wind over solar. Finally we are going to hear from Peter, whose in the solar business himself

Personally I think solar energy is a great investment aside from the obvious environmental benefits. We’ve been installing solar panels for close to 20 years now and have never heard of anyone who hasn’t had a great reaction to our services from a purely financial or return on investment point of view. We believe that if you have the intial money to invest in a 100% safe investment it really is the easiest decision you have to make. Peter from 2020 Solar PV.


An Introduction to Solar Energy

5 Advantages of Solar Energy

Below is a video that perfectly sums up what we are going to talk about in this article. We aim to provide easy to understand information about renewable energy, and why its incredibly important (aside from the save the world) point of view. We aim to show you the profitable and ROI benefits of renewable energy, and how you can actually make money from solar, wind. hydro & the others. Another good source of solar energy intro info can be seen here.

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