Measuring Your Website with Google Analytics

September 21st, 2016

We find it more challenging but more rewarding helping the small medium business owner with their website and what is often overlooked or the business has no time for or does not understand is Google Analytics. This is why the OnlineXcellence Training Programs that support our Website Project Management Services are so popular.

Of course, if you are a small business website owner you are going to be governed by what we believe are the 4 most influential factors that will impact on how well their business website will do – Time | Resource | Knowledge | Budget.

A recent article from respected marketer Dan Thies over in Dallas Fort Worth caught my attention – especially this Analytics Graph image he shared.

When you look at this graph and then find Business Owners in Scotland turning up at our door and ask for a website to be built and it should have around 6-10 pages and in their eyes that will be the website built for winning sales and enquiries and so JOB DONE!!

But the article from Dan Thies brought home the fact that many smaller businesses back here in Scotland especially those who everyday ask to have a SMALL website built for them to promote this service or that product” we can tell you now – you ain’t gonna make it with just a 6-10 page website!!

OK, today successful entrepreneur’s focus on having a successful web page, and that is true. You work hard at promoting a page within the website


But, in all the years of being involved in analysing websites the pattern as we see it is that you need to have at least 200-300 pages as a starting point to give yourself a decent start. And you need to continue creating freshness (content) to support the website if you are to promote how important you are if you want to sell products or services.

In Dan’s article he talks of having implemented a strategy that sees this website pumping out articles using an automated content marketing tool and automated marketing strategies are important but you still need to be behind the creation of great content that people will want to read

So what is the bottom line towards having a great web marketing strategy? The answer……..BIG WEBSITES do incredibly better than someone who thinks they will get online tomorrow with a 6-10 page website and think – GREAT – let the sales roll in – websites live – JOB DONE!!.

I have resonated with Dan Thies since 2003. Because, over the years I have studied and learned from people like Dan in Dallas and from other great Internet Marketing Practitioners most of whom I found in the USA, and having learned from them provide a localised support network here in Scotland with my OnlineXcellence program which has helped all different sizes of businesses achieve their objectives.

OnlineXcellence is a team of Internet Marketing Consultants, Designers and Web Builders and together we are responsible for managing business relationships and helping clients develop their businesses online that involves practicing, studying and teaching advanced search engine marketing strategies and tactics to Scotland’s business community, so then if they also have us build them a website that is fit for purpose, that platform and the ongoing marketing support and training that we will provide through the OnlineXcellence Program means your small business will get off to a head start and if you stick at it, you will grow up to become an established business.

If you want to find out more about having the OnlineXcellence team building and marketing your next website – just have a chat with us first, before you commit to anything – you will be surprised.

CALL 0141 340 9979 or REGISTER for someone to speak to you about our Website Project Management Services to help you succeed online.

Published 21 September, 2016 by Brian Mathers @OnlineXcellence
Brian Mathers is MD at ICTADVISOR. He lives in Glenrothes, Scotland. You can contact him at, Brian can be followed at @BrianMathersUK or connect via LinkedIn and Facebook. For more background information on Brian, see his full bio and disclosures, click here

Website Digital Marketing Training Courses in Glasgow Scotland

September 4th, 2016

Website Marketing Training Courses for Small Medium Business Owners in Scotland

  • Are you ready to properly learn how to market your brochure or ecommerce website?
  • Have you found out yet that the OLD SCHOOL SEO (search engine optimisation) is no longer working for your website?
  • Do you want to learn more than just SEO Training to Grow Your Website?
  • Want to attend Digital Marketing Training Courses that also look at helping you with Online Business Growth?
  • Want to attend a tailored Digital Marketing Course at  CITY OF GLASGOW COLLEGE
  • Do You want to attend a Web Marketing Course that can also provide if you want an after course Internet Marketing Package to support your business?

Remember Internet Marketing is not just about doing SEO to try and RANK No1 for your KEYWORDS!!

Digital Marketing is not just about having a Search Engine Friendly Website it is So Much More….

How do you know if you have a fit for purpose website?
When you do our Digital Marketing Courses we take a close look at the website you have or during the courses discuss with you about the website you would like to put in place. So our training courses help you and what you learn can help your web developer to, thus ensuring you are able to put in place a FIT FOR PURPOSE WEBSITE.

Get a Website and Marketing Strategy That Delivers OnlineXcellence for Your Business
Learn how to implement a Complete Digital Marketing System.

Learn Internet Marketing…..Attend Digital Marketing Courses at Affordable Prices City of Glasgow College

City of Glasgow College Digital Web Marketing Training Partners with ICTADVISORwho based in Scotland helping staff in small medium and large businesses who are responsible for Search Marketing of the company website.  This Digital Marketing Course is led by Brian Mathers and John Taylor who are behind Digital Excellence Scotland along with their collaborative partners who have been delivering successful website marketing and design solutions since 1997.

This is a Website Training Course Building Long Term Relationships with Business Website Owners

If you don’t have the time to do any online marketing of your website and even want the website built for you, learn how you can implement a COMPLETE DIGITAL MARKETING SYSTEM that is automated to help grow your business website when you just don’t have the time.

Ask us about the Complete Digital Marketing System.

Internet marketing is the vital ‘fuel’ needed to power up your business website to increase the flow of visitors and help your website pages get more traffic achieve conversion and bring more sales into your business so it MAKES YOU MONEY  – GET SIGNED UP TODAY and attend this tailored DIGITAL MARKETING TRAINING COURSE that will help you achieve what we call OnlineXcellence!

Putting the OnlineXcellence Band Back Together

July 26th, 2014

OnlineXcellence – Is your Website Singing the Write Tune?

Whilst the OnlineXcellence team have remained busy since the launch of this brand some years ago by Brian Mathers of ICTADVISOR LTD, there was little time to spend in and around our social channels, simply because we were out there in the field delivering OnlineXcellence to small, medium and large businesses.

It was about time therefore that OnlineXcellence opened up again its LINKEDIN GROUP and have everyone we know share and exchange their views on what makes a website achieve OnlineXcellence and more importantly whether it be a brochure website or an ecommerce website, what must the business owner consider when they come to purchase their first website, or have decided to redevelop their site because the one they have simply doesn’t work.

In either of these scenarios you can be guaranteed of one thing – the business owner not being sure where he should turn to get advice.

Website Advice and Guidance in Scotland

The aim of OnlineXcellence is to first of all chat through with business owners what their need is? And find out within the group who can help them achieve OnlineXcellence.

OnlineXcellence is the brand product of Internet Marketing Company ICTADVISOR LTD who work on a variety of website projects whereby in each the business being supported might have their own web developers, their own website manager, but their maybe a lack of knowledge or skill within the business trying to develop its online presence with the use of a website to promote their products or services.

The OnlineXcellence internet marketing team have helped many businesses fix their website issues. You might have issues with your site architecture, coding, the page not converting visitors, you might not even be getting visitors to your site. There can be a whole batch of reasons your website project has not got off the ground.

Whether you simply drop into the OnlineXcellence Group for a chat or pick up the phone to speak with a member of the OnlineXcellence team, you as a business owner will have the comfort of knowing that if you want a website that is to do the primary job of helping your business make money, then start your journey with OnlineXcellence so you can achieve your aims and objectives with a website supporting your business.

Google Panda 4.0 Released

May 23rd, 2014

Fourth Generation of the Panda Algorithm Released 22 May 2014

For those of you who are Website Managers in your business and monitoring your Analytics you might have noticed some shift in the SERPs if you are constantly monitoring this valuable Google tool.

Matt Cutts, Google’s Head of Webspam, did his twitter broadcast yesterday (22 May 2014) to announce the fourth generation of the Panda algorithm was being rolled out.


This Google algorithm which has continued to be updated by the World’s leading Search Engine is in place to penalise spammy sites or those with low quality content.

When these updates come along there are always going to be winners and losers. If you want to find out so far who those winners and losers are amongst the bigger brands you can  find that out HERE

The smaller businesses are always struggling to achieve high SERP visibility due to these larger competitors, but Google’s aim with Panda 4.0 is to provide a level playing field for smaller businesses whose main problem is struggling to produce quality content for their website pages.

Has Your Website Been Slapped Again by Panda?

If youtend not to look at your Google Analytics Dashboard very often, now might be the time to get more familiar with this highly valuable data intellingence source.

Please get in touch with the OnlineXcellence team if you think your website has been slapped by this latest introduction of Google’s Panda 4.0 algorithm.  Some analysis work may suggest that you need to create a revised search marketing strategy for your website with a key focus on ensuring you are delivering regular, high-quality content to your website pages. Make sure you are following Google’s Marketing Guidelines so your website achieves OnlineXcellence.

Freshen Your Website And Win Races

April 14th, 2014

Spring Has Arrived Time to Freshen Up Your Website Vehicle And Win Races

When the sun comes out it seems to bring out the best in people. All of a sudden we wake up and want to get stuck into all the jobs we tend to shelve during the winter months.
With a website, we should be working on that all the time, and some business owners do, but, there are many other mainly small business owners who don’t spend enough time inside their website.
What I have observed is that the micro and small business owner tend to have a small burst of energy so often and then they wain and the energy drains away rapidly.

I created a program back in 2009 and called it OnlineXcellence. It was aimed at the small medium business owner and was based at the time around the XFACTOR program that had arrived on our televison screens.

In the XFACTOR thousands of hopefuls come forward with a dream of stardom, and everyone believes they can sing, that is, until they come in front of those panel of judges led by Simon Cowell who knows what makes a great pop star. Here at ICTADVISOR we tend to think we know what makes a website a great website, one that will have the ability to achieve multimillion pound turnover in sales and of course make a profit.

So, through the launch of the OnlineXcellence program we selected 12 businesses who were up for the challenge of improving their website performance and the key objective being to have the business website, whether it be a brochure site or an ecommerce website, to actually make some money. The plan took each business over a 9 month program that had them attend workshops and gain 1-2-1 mentoring and training for the people at each business who had the day to day responsibility of actually driving the website. Part of the aim therefore was not just to improve the websites performance but to turn these website managers into website champions.

12 businesses came forward, that ranged from websites selling:
Car parts
Hotel accommodation
Holiday park
Organic Foods  (Juniper Fine Foods)
Pipe Laying Services
Optical Training
Organic Milk
Farm Plastics Recycling
Animal Feeders and Rearing Equipment
Foresty Equipment
Arts and Artists

The Road Towards Improving Your Website Win Races And Achieve OnlineXcellence

Just like the XFACTOR there were winners and losers out of the above list. Those of them who did go on and achieve OnlineXcellence went from having previously earned £0 online and 18 months later earning nearly £3m online. In the above list of businesses there were website managers who really wanted the success and more importantly wanted to see their business make more money and willing to pull out all the stops to achieve that aim. Whilst others just doodled along and did not put as much effort in. Every website improved, but those who dabbled saw their website not gain as many visitors and were not wallowing in increased sales. And so even today, some of those websites have only improved marginally from when they participated nearly 6 years ago. Also, in some cases, since the participating in the OnlineXcellence program, some of the businesses that took part either no longer exist, or they have had a brand change, with some of them even moving their business location to another part of Scotland. However, looking at those who did make some changes over this time period, it would appear some of them forgot to migrate their old brand to point at their new business name and so have probably lost their old customer base and website back history they built up.  A lesson learnt here is that website migration is like open heart surgery, it is very important to rejoin all the arteries that are feeding the organ that is the website – treat it like a pumping heart and don’t let it die during the migration.

And, that is probably the biggest problem still observed today – shoddy website migration projects. Small business owners just don’t know how to manage their website effectively. And, some website design agencies make for bad heart surgeons and lose website patients under their care.  It is understandable the small business is on a limited marketing budget and might not always be able to afford the best. But the unwillingness to spend at least a reasonable amount of money on a regular basis to help promote their business website and keep it alive is important. It does take time to learn how to do internet marketing instead of going down the DIY SEO route, and it will make all the difference if you learn how to choose the right team to have in your theatre of operations when constantly trying to improve your website.

It is true what was once said at a Search Engine Strategies conference, – there is lots of websites out there offering Search Marketing Services which you can get without spending hardly any money. But even those websites who offer such services are not that well optimised and don’t follow guidelines as laid down by the likes of Google. There are also many web agencies with just 1 or 2 people delivering website design but say they do internet marketing, but again there is little or no evidence of them having produced websites that actually get traffic and make money.

On the other side of the fence there is YOU the business owner, who has been witnessed facing to having to spend £25 a month to get a website, and grumbles that this is too much to spend on such a vital loud speaker to reach out to potential customers. And, then YOU the business owner cough and splutter because YOU are then asked to pay for marketing services to, and this might cost YOU another £25 – god forbid (and that is a self service product that helps you learn how to do the marketing by yourself). That is a bargain, if you know that it will work for you on both counts.

Getting Your First Website

If you are on a tight budget but want to look the part online with a professional looking website and one that will be search engine friendly, mobile friendly and have all the latest features, you can get a good website that will put you in KOMMAND for £25 a month. And, any decent website vehicle that has to win a few races needs the right fuel. So, start by learning how to mix the right fuel and learn how to become knowledgable at SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) also for £25 a month.

My Website Must Be a Ferrari

OK, let us assume you do have more money to spend on an all singing all dancing website, where you want to look like those big brand websites you have visited and where you have shopped at on the internet.
This is just like going to your 5 star diner outlet and not down the local cafe. You are tomorrow’s entreprenuer, you want style, you want great architecture, and yes, every entreprenuer should have a grown up to look after them, so you want a great real world internet marketing practitioner who can help you plan, implement and launch a website that meets with all today’s coding and marketing guideline standards.
Why? Because doing internet marketing in 2014 is not like how things were done between 2003-2012. Here you might spend £5k, £15k, £50k on a website and they same if not ten times more on marketing. Now you know how all the big brands are legally in the web space you want to be in for your HERO KEYWORDS!

Feeding the Animal in Your Website Tank

Things have changed forever. Listen to those who are real world internet marketing practitioners, Rand Fishkin, Matt Bailey, Danny Sullivan, Avinash Kaushik, Bryan Eisenberg, Will Critchlow, Dixon Jones, they are the really big names in Search today. What they are all talking about? PANDAs, PENGUINs and HUMMINGBIRDs. And yes, even here in Scotland, these words are still quite alien to the micro or small business owner, as they have no idea how these animals are affecting their website performance!

Most business owners tend not to mingle or hangout in online forums which constantly having discussions around such subjects all of which impact on YOUR search engine marketing. I know, you wouldn’t find a racing car driver on a horse trainer forum trying to get some horsepower tips! But, the message to the micro small business owner, and even larger corporates, is take some time out, learn what powers your website.

Business owners should try and find a forum that will help them with decisions on how to get advice on building a good website and then how to market it. Yes. coming to such an online forum and getting the views of a number of real world marketing practitioners who have built websites which have won races, would be like entering a car showroom for the first time and being amongst petrol heads, but you would be getting some seriously good advice before buying your first car. Well, it is the same about buying a website, it is very important as part of your website driving test to learn how to plan towards buying a website that will meet with expectations. Guaranteed, that by visiting a few forums the micro and small business owners could probably learn lots about how to approach website design and what the minimum budget needed is to achieve success at internet marketing.

How long did it take for you to pass your actual driving test, and be confident on the road?
Who was your favourite driving instructor?

Think about it, by spending some time and a little money with someone who is impartial but knowledgeable and been involved in website projects for a number of years, and helped the business plan the layout, provide the web agency with a brief, helped YOU the business owner oversee the build, and prepared YOU for when it came time to drive the website on a daily basis and have it make money for YOU – this would be a dream come true! But you just have to be willing to stick it out the learning to drive a website bit for a while as this will be a lot longer than the time you spent learning to drive a vehicle.

We were all eager to learn how to drive a car, and went to great lengths to do so. It was going to be vitally important to our way of life, to get around and more so should the business we started needed us to deliver goods and services we sold across long distances. Yet, find a business owner who is willing to take a reasonable amount of time to actually learn how to drive a website and have it get more visitors and make more money for that person’s business. It sounds great for 5 minutes to lots of business whether they are micro small business owners and even larger corporates, and then the vision to succeed fades, as many quickly lose interest and simply cannot be bothered.

If you don’t want to drive the website yourself – fine, get someone who has the knowledge to do that for you. Now how much does one pay for a Chauffer these days – and especially a good one!

But, it is recommended that if you are a business owner that wants their website to be built correctly, be search engine friendly and more importantly make you money, then take a little time to drive it yourself for a while, well at least learn what is under the hood of this website racing car you want to win races for your business. Learn your content management software (CMS) inside out. Do you know what makes for a good CMS?
Having that knowledge will help you understand what the true cost is of getting a good website built and how much it will also cost to put decent fuel in the website tank so it wins races and makes you money and so you achieve OnlineXcellence

About The AuthorBrian Mathers a pioneer Internet Marketer since 1998 and creator of OnlineXcellence helping small businesses become successful online and make money.

Need a FREE or Very Low Cost Business Website

December 11th, 2013

Build a Website for FREE or At Very Low Cost

The MICRO and SMALL Business community in their infant years of just starting out have quite a capital outlay in order to get their business idea off the ground. And so, a website can at times be seen as a luxury item that has to be put on hold until the business can afford to have one built.

We very much sympathised with those smaller business owners who would love from day one to have a professional looking website without breaking the bank and affecting the cash flow needed for other import requirements to launch their business.  Even after year 1 or 2 a website might be seen as still unaffordable, and yet the business knows it needs a website, as many of its competitors are out there online.

There are big brand names out there who consider themselves to be the saviour to the small business owner by offering them a cheap website solution. And let’s face it we all love a bargain, if what we buy works.

Over the years the OnlineXcellence Marketing Team have analysed many websites on behalf of business owners. They came to us because they said their website was not working for them. Unfortunately, many had invested in a cheap website but thinking since they got the website from a big brand then it must be good. But we, like the small business owner was disappointed with what that small business owner had bought into, and from our website performance tests found it was something that was not fit for purpose. We in turn would say to the MICRO or SME owner – you should have spent a bit more and got a decent search engine friendly and admin user friendly website. That was then.

Fast forward to summer 2013 and after nearly 3 years of development and funding from the public purse, comes KOMMAND a CMS (Content Managed Software) website that actually works and meets with coding and marketing guidelines. A CMS Website solution that is actually fit for purpose and one which a business can grow up with.

Having been part of a support framework to the public sector over the years, we got regular requests from these channels asking us to analyse the performance of a business owners website.

Delivering this website performance testing service over the last 15+ years, has therefore exposed the OnlineXcellence team to any number of CMS platforms, some of them bespoke, others built by big brand names.

After having analysed thousands of websites, you get to know what the minimum features of a good CMS should be – and especially what you would want for the small business owner, so they can manage their website with confidence and effectiveness.

So, back at the end of 2010 the OnlineXcellence Web Marketing Practitioners put the challenge out there into the community of Scotland and a Scottish Based team of programmers and designers took up the challenge to build an affordable website that would actually work.

We first met these guys in New York of all places back in 2007 (that is another great story) but suffice to say these guys wanted to know like us what is best practice website design or website marketing best practice and we had to both go all the way to the USA and find the top tier of gurus that were well known to guide us since the website industry is not regulated. These programmers and designers came back to Scotland and first developed their Rolls Royce website package, but then wanted to prove they really could build a low cost website that would be easy to use and would be an SEO friendly website. They qualified for development funding from the public sector and now 3 years on have launched what is now called KOMMAND and together through our collaborative partnership with them, we can offer a very affordable website design and marketing package that will be highly attractive to the MICRO and SME business owner with a limited budget to have their business compete online.

There are 4 VERSIONS of the KOMMAND CMS WEBSITE You Can Have

ENTRY LEVEL – FREE – called the CHIHUAHUA – you don’t need to own a domain name to have this type of website – your domain would be

ENTRY LEVEL – £15 MONTH – called the TERRIER – You can use your own domain name from this point forward such as http:///

ENTRY LEVEL – £25 MONTH – called the LABRADOR (Best Value and Recommended to Most Businesses)


The choices available above, has, for our customer base already introduced KOMMAND as being the best CMS (Content Management Software) product investment that has actually met the needs of those who are MICRO or SME (small business enterprise) owners. KOMMAND has proved itself to especially those just starting out in business having a limited budget but wanted from the beginning to look competitive and professional looking online. And there websites – even the FREE versions are actually found by search engines – because they have been built to be search engine friendly and of course end user friendly, so they are easy to build and manage.

Depending on the type of business that you own the FREE version might be ideal, especially for those who are just seeking a local presence and something to showcase their business, but still be found online.

The most popular level of the KOMMAND CMS is the LABRADOR Website to support a business.  SO, if you have read all of this article thus far, and convinced we have something to offer, then you know what the next step is


By CLICKING on the CREATE YOUR WEBSITE NOW button follow the online instructions to put in place your professional looking website.

Go through the basic sign up procedure and then progress onto choosing the LABRADOR version.

Once you have put the basics in place if you think you need more help to actually put your website together then get in contact with the OnlineXcellence Web Team.

Even if you only get as far as registering to have a website but want someone to build your website for you, then, now worries, we can take you on the rest of the journey.

The one thing we have come to understand is that apart from providing this great offer to small businesses not all MICRO or SME business owner have time to actually build their own site. Even despite the fact that the business does not need any programming or design knowledge to build their KOMMAND website.

So, we do know, that for some, just the mere thought of building a website, no matter how easy it looks, they just want us the OnlineXcellence Web Team to pull it all together for them.

The options are then, 1) Build the website yourself or 2) we can put the website in place for you.

We recommend you take time and build your website with a bit of fore thought so best to lay aside at least 4-6 hours to build your first website.

You can also ask us to deliver what some 1-2-1 training (driving lessons if you like) to show you how you can make best use of your website and be more creative with it. There are also some videos to support you on this.

Market Your Website

After you have built your website, you need to consider how you are going to market your KOMMAND website. We recommend you put in place a basic marketing strategy and you don’t need to have for it monthly if you don’t want to.

One thing you should put in place to support the marketing of your website is Google Account. In the Google Account we would recommend you import a number of important Google Products that will support your website and help it build a relationship with the search engine.

You can do this yourself or we offer a marketing support package to do that for you.

We also offer ongoing marketing support which you can have on a PAY AS YOU GO service. Contact the OnlineXcellence Web Marketing Team for details

Alternatively, you can SIGN UP to our online training courses and LEARN SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) at your own pace from £25 per month.

Did you buy a website at the New Start Scotland Event in Glasgow?

December 3rd, 2013

The New Start Scotland Event comes each year during November at the SECC in Glasgow and is a well attended annual event.

OnlineXcellence is a brand service product of ICTADVISOR LTD an Internet Marketing Company  based in Fife who during 2012 gave support to one of our Ecommerce Web Design partners who had a stand at the show and currently look after websites such as Ultimo Bra and Showerdoc both of which have become their successful flagship sites.

Every year at the New Start Scotland event you are always going to find a variety of both national and Scottish based web developers offering to build a website for your business. who are targeting those who are newbies in setting up their first business venture. With the amount of business owners who attend this event in Glasgow you are left in no doubt there is enough website design work and many seeking to engage with companies like ours who also bring the added benefit of search marketing services to the table.

There is still in evidence a lot of that old mentality though of the newbie business owner simply saying to the web designer – make a website for me please, and quite simply the web developer will oblige. But the worry and concern that we have when attending this two day event and observing the many suppliers who will step forward to offer you a website, is there are quite a lot of web agencies that were willing to offer you a website from as little as £49. Quite simply a take-away website in a box.

Established web agencies who partner with us have twitched at this type of competitor who comes forward with such a deal when you consider the larger agency is offering to build a more bespoke website that has a number of complex features build in (especially if it is an ecommerce website) and will tell you that web development project is likely to cost you anything from £14000-£25,000.

But the OnlineXcellence team got to thinking how much value is there should you consider buying a £49 website in a box and if you wanted to sell products online what would you get should you upgrade to the £89 ecommerce version?

For the business owner who needs a website, this experience is worse than buying a car. But consider for a moment your next website being that shiny new car. What do you want it to do? If you are entering it into the online race where you want to be competitive, how will you know the type of website you build will actually win races for your company with in the driving seat? Well, everybody does say I want a Content Managed Website, because they have been told that is important. But how good a journalist or news paper editor are you? Do you have an eye for design and layout that will hook in your customer when they land on your web page that has to make money for you?

So, now you can imagine, it becomes difficult for the business to choose what type of website to buy and whether it will win any races. And therefore, you have to look at the web agency like you would a car dealer.

Are you going to visit the Rolls Royce garage of websites or are you going to visit your typical Ford/Vauxhall type dealer for this shiny advertising platform that you need? £49 against say £20,000?

Let us go back in time for a second. It is the good old days of the high street and the retail parks were just beginning to take off, and here you are the newbie business owner. If you were to set up your business then, how much would it cost to advertise?  What would you do to look professional so that people will take you seriously and do business with you? For those who just needed some brochure exposure you would search till you find magazines that targeted your prospect customer hoping they would read your ad. That ad could be a one liner, or quarter page, but you may feel extravagant and go for a full page feature. Do you remember how much that cost?

Then of course there are those of you who today want to run an online ecommerce shop and think you can do it all for the pricely sum of less than a £100. Going back in time this would hardly pay for the sign above your shop door on the High Street. And even today, if you are going to run an ecommerce website, it is still a shop – just without the bricks and mortar, and you will still have a substantial financial layout even if you just want to be locally found online. If you have a grand vision of competing against major household brands, be prepared to work very hard at this to gain the support of the customers you want, and you may need even more in the budget to market your website………

So, what else should you do before you invest in a £49 website or one that is going to cost you considerably more?

For those micro and small business owners who are starting up or just been in business for a few months or so, the first thing you want to work out is whether your venture is truly viable and if so is it likely to appeal the target market you want to break into? Who is there already (your competitor) making money from this group of customers you now want? What does their website look like, would you shop there if you were an online customer? How professional does the competitors website look? What do you think is it’s unique selling point?

Now, ask yourself, will a website under £100 handle or deliver what those customers currently experience on this competitor website that might even be a much larger well known brand player?

If you are considering having a website for less than 100 bucks be prepared to accept this product will have limitations?

  • Consider where the website will be hosted?
  • How feature rich is the content management software (CMS) and does it allow you add or subtract pages, easily?
  • Can the content management software serve up user friendly URL page address names such as
  • Does the website provide you with a choice of templates and how ‘fixed’ are they leaving you little in the way of changing how they look?
  • What additional widgets can you easily add in like CALL TO ACTION buttons, bespoke forms to gather information?
  • If an ecommerce website is what you need what additional rich features does the website come with? How flexible is the all important  ADD TO BASKET process which is vital to assist with conversion and getting the sale? What about menu categorisation and having faceted navigation and the ability to narrow your product search?

Am I now painting a picture of how much more there is for you to consider when planning and building a website? So, now, you are thinking – god – I need the £20,000 website!  But what if I told you, you don’t, well not yet?

What if I told you to start with a FREE WEBSITE? A website that actually works? A website that has a fantastic user admin capability that even allows you to build the website yourself?

In answer to those questions do I hear you say – yes please? Now there is such a website offer that I never thought possible and I didn’t think I would ever find a platform that could achieve for us OnlineXcelence but there is one out there – it is called KOMMAND.

Now before you dive in and get yourself a KOMMAND WEBSITE, the OnlineXcellence team still want you to consider a few things:

  • Do you have time to plan out and build your own website?
  • Are you capable of doing some Keyword Research and Competitor Analysis before you attempt to build your website?
  • Do you think you can edit, manage and create your own online magazine?
  • Do you consider yourself a creative copywriter
  • Do you know how search engines work

Now, this is like saying “hey build your own car if you want to drive around in one…it’s easy, and then of course 3 years later I visit you again and you are wondering why you can only go in reverse? Probably because you were not an expert in building the gearbox section!

You know what we are saying here. There are people who have qualified from years at college or university to become great programmers or marketers in order to build top quality websites. Then, there are those, who spend their lives in the DIY channel. No wonder Nick Knowles will always be on Television with his DIY SOS program. Yes, you knocked down the wrong wall!!

A few years ago I would have said that you would never reach your goal of setting out on your business venture, whether to sell products or services with a cheap website. But all that changes from this article and as we head into 2014. If you have the willingness and patience to have an easy to use website maker in your business – go take a look at KOMMAND.

KOMMAND, can be FREE, or you can have it for £25 a month (best value) or £50 a month packed with features. It out strips your one time £49 website in a box. Think about a mobile phone for less than a five pounds and then think of that Apple iPhone 5 you much preferred? Why do you choose it – because it was packed with features your five pound phone would never have!

The KOMMAND Website package can also come with a supporting SEO Marketing Package that will cost you around £30 a month which will help you to then market your website.

Using KOMMAND and learning about how to market a website is going to give you some great additional skills. OK, you won’t have the knowledge that someone like me has as a web markerter of 15 years standing, nor are you going to be a top web designer or programmer….. but you will be able to manage and drive a nice looking website.

Let us leave you with one more thought

and many more, why are the successful online? Because one more skill you have to learn is – listen to the customer.

Once you have your website in place you need to learn how to monitor and measure the customers coming through the website.

We have mentored and trained many more smaller businesses that are now experiencing online success such as these types of business:

And, there are many more businesses we are helping with their website everyday. Whether you are a micro, small, medium or large website owner, let us add you to the list!

Call us and hear about the success stories of small business websites achieving £80k-£100k a month plus in sales from a website they built for less than £100.

Here about the people we have helped already that built a website with no knowledge of Website design, or having an understanding of online architecture or having any internet marketing skills.

Leave a comment or get in touch with us through the OnlineXcellence Website.

Bad SEO Services That Leaves Your Website with Duplicate Content

January 21st, 2013

I have the greatest respect for some of the SEO industries pioneers that I have come to know. There are some who I have gone on to build good solid relationships with through coming into contact with them via a variety of channels such as SES Conference meetings held in either London or New York. I tend to refer to most of those I know in this highest tier of our industry as the ‘trusted voices‘.

One of those trusted voices and a pioneer in Search Engine Optimisation who I like listening too and I follow regularly is Jill Whalen CEO of High Rankings. I first read about this lady in 1998 but Jill has been in the field since the early 1990s.

Because I am fixated on seeing people in the industry deliver on best practice ethical SEO it is always good around the end of each year in December to catch up with those who are at the top table of SEO and find out what they thought about things that took place during the year and their predictions for the year ahead.

In December 2012 Jill focused on the topic about Duplicate Content that is still very much at the forefront when it comes to doing SEO. Jill like me is still seeing many sites that show up with duplicate content when we do SEO Website Audits. One of the easiest ways to find out if duplicate content is affecting the performance of your website is by checking the HTML Improvements link in a tool from Google called Webmaster Tools. Yet it is amazing to find that many freelancers and agencies claiming to deliver SEO services have not set this product up for their client. Those that have set the product up have not done so properly. This is one of the reasons I took up the role of becoming a Google Engage Partner, especially to help the smaller businesses who just don’t seem to get educated about what tools they should be working with in order to improve the performance of their website.

Where duplicate content seems to be at its worse is within ecommerce wesbsites. One of the biggest problems small medium businesses have when commissioning an ecommerce website is not planning properly the sites categorisation. You can tell when an SME business has engaged someone who is simply a programmer or graphic designer to build their ecommerce website, it shows they did not spend time learning marketing to any great degree. You will find lots of DIY marketers who are not delivering best practice SEO but how will you the small business owner be able to identify a good person at this task from someone who does it badly?

Just this week I came across two UK websites where each freelancer responsible for promoting themselves have dedicated a page in their website to things like SEO Glenrothes (where I live).

Here you find a guy from somewhere in England who probably doesn’t even know where my town is located. But you check out his website and he has literally listed every town he can think of and has applied a list of link titles all on one page such as SEO Edinburgh, SEO Glasgow and probably even SEO Timbucktwo. What amazes me even more is, that when you land on each town or city landing page all the content is the same apart from where it mentions the location.

What I don’t understand when it comes to seeing this form of duplicate content listed in the likes of Google who has crawled this type of page and failed to identify that this is truly spamming at its worst. Yet these pages end up getting high rankings in the SERPS and the small uneducated business owner does not know they are about to click through to this persons website and engage in receiving unethical SEO services. And probably after spending their hard earned marketing budget they find out later their own website has a penalty against it from the search engines.

There is simply one word for these people promoting bad practice SEO – LUNATICS. And these are the types of agencies and individuals who say they will get you to number one in the search engines but don’t really know how to properly use or even setup some of the best search engine optimisation industry tools we have at our disposal today.

So, I encourage you to read Jill Whalen’s articles and then if you are a small medium sized business that wants to setup a website to promote what your company offers by way of products and services, then you will know where to turn and who to turn too if you want to plan for success and achieve Onlinexcellence.

About The Author: is Director of Online Marketing for ICTADVISOR Ltd. Brian is passionate about all things online marketing, including search, both paid and organic, usability,  analytics, social media and conversion optimization. You can also follow Brian on twitter, @ictadvisorltd and he continues to promote

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn

Small Business Websites – Are You Successful or Are You Failing?

October 31st, 2012

Small Business Website Design

More and more each day we continue to get the phonecall that comes from the small business owner trying hard to have their website do one simple thing – make money.

It does not matter whether you have a brochure website or an ecommerce website, either way each has its own approach to help bring much needed sales and revenue into your company.

But still, we see many a small business owner who has huge expectations, limited knowledge about the internet and website design, and for some business owners, they just don’t want involved with the website, and just leave it in the hands of others. This usually falls to the website designer.

There are many web designers who operate alone having started their own web design business. But each will have come from a different skill background. Some will be programmers, others will be graphic designers, then there are those who pursued a career in copywriting but decided – hey I can build a website with some of the tools around today. And maybe you can.

But the reality is when this phonecall arrives at OnlineXcellence in most instances the scenario is – my website is not working – I had a web designer or marketing company working on the site, but I am just not getting traffic or sales and I have spent X amount. Does this scenario sound familiar? Are thinking – yes – I am here right now in that very position.

So Why Do Websites Fail for Small Business Owners?

Most business owners will all follow the same path. Search online for a web company that builds websites, give that web design company a verbal brief and want the website delivered yesterday. And then by the end of the first month wonder why it has not got any traffic or sales. Let us take a case study I saw today.

Website built by web designer, a single one man band

Website pages cannot be changed by the business owner

Website designer admits he does not do marketing. This can reflect in the design. How do you know what type of website to build if you have not done some marketing analysis that involves keyword research and a look at who your competitors are? So, does the web designer need to understand a bit about marketing?

So, the business owner needs marketing services. Next action Google for an Internet Marketing Company.

Business owner contacts what appears to be an Internet Marketing Company talking the language of ranking for keywords. Let us put the record straight here, it is not just about ranking for a keyword that will make you money. It is not even about always having to be number one for that keyword. There is no point in ranking for a keyword if your website when the visitor gets there does not convert that visitor into a customer!

But, what the small business owner does not know, they will just go ahead and pay this internet marketing company the fee dictated. But this is where we get told more horror stories by the small business owner:

Yes, I gave the Internet Marketing Company 2 weeks but got nothing out of it

Yes I the Internet Marketing Company suggested I do some ADWORDS with Google, but – phew – lost a lot of money and got nothing out it

Is Website Success or Failure have anything to do with approach to Design and Marketing of your Website?

The answer to this I am afraid is YES IT DOES!

The small business who called today, did not know he had a WWW and NON WWW version of his website.

The small business owner did not know his website was also sporting 4 HOME PAGES that were sitting on the following addresses:  | | |

That scenario could get worse for the business owner if they also own the website domain – WHY – you want to be working with just one primary domain. So a decision shoulld have been made – do I use the .COM or the .CO.UK and one domain should point at the other. So, if you type in the domain you don’t intend to have as the primary one for day to day promoting of your website, then if someone types that into a browser it will serve up the other domain URL address. But many independent single operator web developers still overlook this issue.

TECHNICAL SEO is as important as ON-THE-PAGE SEO. Web Developers, understand how to get your website foundations in order that internet marketers can then take the site and build good relationships with it when trying to encourage search engines to love the site.

The moral of this story. There are many things for the small business owner who wants a website to consider. It can take a number of months just to get the planning right, where the Internet Marketing Company has to work closely with the Web Design Company just to get the website architecture correct. Look at a website like how you would choose a racing car. You want to win races, so you want to rank well in the search engines but more importantly you want to convert. The element highlighted above of just getting your domain name infrastructure correct is one of hundreds of tasks that the web designer may need guidance upon. In our opinion whilst we love the freelance web developer, he does have a living to make, can he really be ALL THINGS to ALL MEN in today’s demanding field that is Online Marketing. There are so many tasks you can easily end up doing a 17 hour day to keep your website alive. In order to do that every page is a CHILD, and it needs fed. Get the architecture wrong during the website build and you maybe another small business statistic that falls into the website failure camp rather than getting awards for being a succesful website.

How To Promote Your Website

November 4th, 2011

Internet Marketing Persuasionist Matt Bailey author of Internet Marketing an Hour a Day and Brian Mathers creator of OnlineXcellence a program for business owners on how to improve your website performance both conducted a tour of Scotland during October 2011. Matt and Brian met with a variety of business owners from different industry sectors all of whom were seeking to do better online with their company website.

A key event during the tour was being invited to speak with both business owners and media students at Adam Smith College in Kirkcaldy Fife. The whole event was captured by the College’s Adam Smith TV and therefore we are pleased to be able to share this video presentation delivered to a very receptive audience at Adam Smith Colleg on How to Promote Your Website.

We look forward to you enjoying the video and our thanks to Adam Smith College for hosting the event.

Please add any comments on this page or get in contact should you want to know more about how your business can achieve OnlineXcellence with your business website or learn to improve your web author skills