Archive for the ‘Online Business Growth’ Category

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

Tuesday, 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 www.domain.com/my-top-product
  • 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.

TOP SEO EXPERT MATT BAILEY RETURNS TO SCOTLAND

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Top global Internet Marketing Expert Matt Bailey one of the top speakers at SES (Search Engine Strategies) conferences at locations around the world returned to Scotland during the 10-15 October 2011 to meet with Scottish website owners from all over Scotland.

Matt, was last in Scotland during February 2011 when he visited Glasgow and from this visit decided he wanted to return and meet with more business owners from different business industries from across all of Scotland who have either a brochure website or ecommerce website and are serious about making money with their website online.
Matt is going to be working more closely with us here at OnlineXcellence and is looking to deliver some Masterclass events during 2012 to those who may seek a career as a website author and being trained by use here at OnlineXcellence.

If you are running a website and you want to be trained to a high standard by Internet Marketing Professionals then look no further than the engaging with the website marketing experts at OnlineXcellence to help you.

If you want to know how to make your website successful and have never attended a Search Engine Strategies conference in locations such as London or New York, you don’t want to miss hearing Matt Bailey speak about Internet Marketing.

Every year in London, New York, Chicago, Amsterdam, Singapore, Hong Kong, Toronto and San Francisco business owners come to hear from high profile speakers such as Google Evangelist Matt Bailey. So you don’t miss out on what Matt has to say listen watch the presentation he delivered at Google.

Matt’s presentations are in a language that everyone can understand from his conversational, entertaining speaking style and his ability to explain high-level search marketing concepts in a way that even “non-techies” understand. So if you are a Scottish business owner frustrated with your website not making you enough money you want to work with Matt Bailey and the internet marketing and seo experts here at OnlineXcellence then  othen why not consider working with Matt Bailey and the other Internet Marketing  and SEO experts here at OnlineXcellence where you can be guaranteed the knowledge you gain will help you achieve improved sales and profitability from your website.

Getting British Business Online

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

The headline of this post grabbed our attention too, but it was found tucked away in the Mail On Sunday ‘Enterprise Zone’ edition (28/2/2010) at the foot of the page. OnlineXcellence were curious, would such an initiative bring the level of expectation that is being offered to business owners who are not yet online with a website?.

The people behind OnlineXcellence have been helping businesses launch websites since 1998. Over the years we have seen a number of funded campaigns launched to help the UK business owner be ‘trading online’. The headlines and marketing messages offered by such campaigns were all too familiar, ‘Be Online in 5 days’ or ‘Set up a Website in One Day’. It is known that in the past such schemes have been doomed to failure as successful websites need proper planning if they are to survive.

Get British Business Online was launched in April 2010 to help create an internet presence for 100,000 firms. It is a partnership between the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, BT, the British Library Business and IP centre, Google and a number of support partners UK wide.

The Getting British Business Online initiative will allow firms that sign up to be given a free web site which will be registered in Google’s search engine. And here is the interesting part, a tool to help businesses create a website in 20 minutes.

Can this really be done? Without doubt if you have sufficient web design skills and have an idea about best practice website design you probalby can build a website in this time frame. But, what was important to us was how many novice business owners who never set out to build their own website, could do this task in 20 minutes and months later find out they had built a website that has not really worked for them.

BT offers free telephone support, but admittedly its limited support.

So, this was a reason OnlineXcellence became a support partner in Scotland for businesses who want to begin by having a GBBO website.

Our website training courses hand hold the business owner to achieve having a successful website, whether its a starter website offered via the GBBO scheme, or you want to create a more complex website.

OnlineXcellence training courses provide important advice and guidance through a number of workshops that starts by helping the business owner understand search engine marketing, best practice website design, and the best approach towards website marketing that includes Search Engine Optimisation, so you end up with a successful websites.

It is excellent that Google is involved, because when you build a website and launch it you do need to ensure that Google can start building relationships with your website domain name.

To get your FREE website Google provides a domain name address.

It would still be recommended once your website is built you go to Google and ‘ADD YOUR URL’.

The Getting British Business Online website has an area that provides details on other Google products.

An important product you need to put in place is a Google Account.

Once you have signed up to a Google Account you need to ‘import’ other important Google tools needed to support your website;s marketing strategy.

These tools contribute to ‘search engine optimise’ your website.

How much time do we need to train the people to use these tools effectively?

We have devised 8 training modules to assist businesses in Scotland who have either signed up to a GBBO website or already have another website platform type in place, and need to improve the websites performance.

We cover all sorts of topics in the marketing training courses from Search Engine Optimisation to where to host your website.

You would be amazed the amount of businesses who thought there website was hosted in the UK only to find there website was on a cheap hosting solution in Minnesota or some other off-shore location.

OnlineXcellence has carried out a number of website audits for businesses and we can include this when you attend an OnlineXcellence marketing training course. 

You can learn more about Google tools such as a tool that helps you do ‘Geo Specific Targeting’ with your website. We can teach you how effective this tool is.

In order to deliver our website marketing training courses hailed by business owners as excellent we regular attend the Search Engine Strategies Conferences the next being in London during Feb 21-25 2011, where all the industry thought leaders and real world practitioners in the world of search gather once a year.

Here we meet and exchange information with some of the best online marketing people in the world and bring this valuable marketing tips back to business owners in Scotland via our well attended courses.

Paypal are also participating in this ‘Getting British Business Online’ campaign. This means you can turn the free ’20 minute website’ on offer into an e-commerce website.

Be in no doubt that this ecommerce add-on comes with some limitations. You can learn from attending our workshops what these are and whether adding this ecommerce module will be right for your business.

If you need a  more complex website, we can introduce you to a number of website design companies in Scotland that build successful ecommerce websites

A website project cost can vary from, £2k to £12k to £24k or more.

We can guide you through this price minefield to ensure your budget meets its objective. Why this service is important? Well take a quote that crossed our desk recently indicating it would be around £92k for a website. That included the website platform and all associated marketing for this new website where the company’s brand was not yet known across the UK. Don’t fall into this trap, come and do our training courses.

The government backed GET BRITISH BUSINESS ONLINE initiative will deliver a series of activities run throughout the country by partners such as OnlineXcellence. These events will promote the benefits to business owners why they should have an online presence and why they should go a step further and gain further marketing skills and learn more about making use of Google products.

The presenters are knowledgeable at internet marketing and best practice website design.
At times well known search engine marketing professionals will come to Scotland and give incredible insight into website marketing.
Our workshop presenters have a track record of showing they have helped businesses to be profitable from either having a brochure website or an ecommerce website.

The OnlineXcellence program launched in Scotland helps small businesses be successful online with the aid of a website. The training program will help your business achieve putting place competent staff members to manage your website towards achieving ROI for the business.

Larger websites can take longer to plan, build and launch.

The OnlineXcellence program helps and trains either a new start business or one that is already established, with a website presence that not only provides a fit for purpose website platform being put in place, but more importantly providing the necessary skills to manage the website day in day out. This day to day website managing task is always seriously overlooked, and yet its the most important to both the website owner and the person who is given this very important task to do. That person is who we up skill and then becomes known as the website author or champion.

Having a website is one thing but understanding search marketing and knowing what to do in order for the website to achieve getting visitors and sales, well that is at the heart of having a successful online presence.

‘Getting British Business Online’ , aims to provide positive results and meet with business owners expectations. We hope the scheme is successful and that is why we have become a partner to help deliver  your business expectations.

GBBO is just about 1 year old. If you want to us to review your website, then get in contact with us through this website.

We would also welcome any comments about whether you think the GBBO scheme can or is working with you.

We would particularly like to hear from website owners who are actively in the thick of things trying to keep their website ahead of the competitor curve everyday.

National Statistics Omnibus Survey’s could be valuable to the small business website owner

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

When it comes to marketing a website you need to decide where your cash rich target market audience is located.

It does not matter whether you have an ecommerce website selling products or a brochure website just promoting services, any website page has the ability to bring revenue into a business.

The information provided by the National Statistics office said in 2009 that 18.3 million households in the UK (70 per cent) had Internet access in that year. This was an increase of 28 per cent since 2006.

What was interesting about the statistics provided was that the region with the highest level of access was London, with 80 per cent, and the region with the lowest access level was Scotland, with 62 per cent.

Now that gets you thinking when considering to launch a website and, especially an ecommerce website. What businesses fail to do is tactical marketing. Where to aim your website pages in order to capture the cash rich and the large audiences that are in buying mode.

With any new website, the first year is tough if you are trying to grow your website organically. We say tough because we are referring to the smaller businesses who have great ambitions and high expectations to do well online. Especially if they are intent on selling products online. But depending on what marketing budget has been laid aside, will depend on how quickly that large footprint across the major search engines will take to develop.

And there are many small businesses out there who are spending very little or in some cases nothing at all on marketing their website and just hoping that traffic will come.

Organic search engine marketing takes time to mature, it could be 9 months or more depending on the marketing activities you apply to ‘fuel inject’ your website.
So flicking the turbo switch that is Pay Per Click advertising might be in your strategy to increase your websites awareness.

But many businesses jump into this with little or no knowledge of say, how Google Adwords actually works. If no training is sought and no PPC professional is hired, it is usually inevitable that the campaigns set up will lose the business owner money and the website not achieving a page conversion to sale or gaining an enquiry.

So, whilst the UK as a whole has seen an increase of 69 per cent since 2006 of households getting internet access, just how much sales would an ecommerce website achieve if only targeting Scotland?

And for those business owners spending less than £10-£20 a day on Pay Per Click Advertising are there any Scottish businesses out there right now who can say hand on heart that they are achieving excellent conversion ratios and high volumes of sales from such a small budget, and just getting there traffic from Scotland?

Or lets open this debate out more and ask of a Scottish business who can boast that for this small daily marketing budget they are achieving global reach into new markets and there PPC Ad landing page is a real revenue generator for their business.

And, one final question to the Scottish Business Community with websites, how many of you feel you are being successful and getting a reasonable slice of the £4billion a month being spent in the UK online?

The OnlineXcellence team would like to hear from you

OnlineXcellence Helping The SME Market their Website

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

In Feb 2010 Scotland was honoured to be graced with the presence of the most influential and leading expert in search engine optimisation Rand Fishkin, who gave Scottish Business Owners an insight in to the power of Search Marketing Tools that have been developed by his company SEOMOZ

If your a business in Scotland and cannot afford the pilgrimage to the big Search Marketing events in London, New York, Chicago and other fine locations around the world, then stay tuned to both the  OnlineXcellence Website and the SEO Professionals In Scotland Website. There are plans for the future to bring back the likes of Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz.org and other well known trusted voices in our industry such as author of Internet Marketing An Hour a Day Matt Bailey of SiteLogicMarketing.

Having a range of SEO tools at your finger tips is important and that is why in order to promote best practice search marketing to the small business community the OnlineXcellence team are alwasy keen to bring to your attention those we consider are the trusted voices of respect in the search marketing community.

Another partner we work with in order to assist our clients in keyword research is our friends over at Wordtracker who are always producing interesting articles that we pass onto our clients when assisting them with online growth. One of their great article writers is their guest blogger Judith Lewis. Judith is often found doing public speaking events and has appeared at the London Search Engine Strategies conference.  When it comes to search marketing standards and what OnlineXcellence is trying to do in helping its customers achieve best practice with their website, it is people like Judith who is one of the trusted voices in our industry when it comes to raising the issue about SEO standards, getting accreditation and qualifications in this subject that is really important.

Having someone manage your website with suitable credentials is of paramount importantance, but we also believe in keeping the business owner abreast of search strategies without saddling him or her with too much information. All the business website owner wants is results that achieve sales, ranking simply for a keyword is not enough in today’s market place. The website page that is of value to the business owner must convert. And it is here where we all have to help the business owner manage their expectations and have them understand how long that might take by giving them understanding of the process.

We once came across a website agency that said SEO was dead. But take what Judith Lewis is trying to say and quite simply today SEO has changed, it is still a popular acronym but the approach to doing SEO is very different. And of course for the business owner, how do you know you are getting a good SEO Service? How much SEO knowledge do you think you could you achieve by doing the job yourself?

There are those website designers out there that add in their website build quote to the business owner ‘SEO Services’. And a lot of the time the business owner doesn’t really know what that added service entails. The business owner might not know the first thing about online marketing, but, would you as that business owner drive a car not knowing where to put the oil, fuel and water? How far would the car go without such ingredients? So, there are things you should know about how to manage a website, even though you might leave it in the hands of others.

A business owner does want their website to succeed, they have expectations, and usually high ones. There is no point paying good money for this glitzy looking platform if its not going to bring what is important to the business owner seeking online success.

We are of course referring to traffic, visitors, sales, profitability and wealth. A website is only going to achieve those things if the person driving the website everyday is knowledgeable enough to know what gear to put the website pages into.

And therefore OnlineXcellence and Judith Lewis in the opinion of this article are very much on the same frequency because it is true what we both agree on, SEO can make or break a website.

The job of the OnlineXcellence team when delivering marketing services and working in conjunction with your chosen web developer is to ensure you have a good level of understanding to know what is going on in the delivery of Search Marketing Services as there is more to it than just ranking for some keywords or getting a few links.

We love the website design community, without them there are no websites to market. But this is an unregulated community. When the OnlineXcellence team engage with a business owner who may already have a website or considering to build one, either way there will be a website company in the project either already in position or of course we can bring in our teams delivering best practice design principles.

There are times when there is a web design team already supporting a client site, that as soon as we are hired, the shutters come down at the website agency, because they think we are going to upset their kitchen by being another additional cook.

They could not be more wrong. OnlineXcellence is looking for a win win situation. If a website agency would freely admit they might not have all the skills or are willing to work with us so they can deliver on best practice and be even better at what they do, what is going to happen? Of course, more people will want to do business with that website agency and the OnlineXcellence Marketing Team.

So, OnlineXcellence is not just an Internet Marketing Company offering SEO, but has an aim of delivering on best practice principles. OnlineXcellence can be with you from the start of your website project through to launch and beyond. We are there to ensure you don’t just end up with a ‘nice website design’ but a website that will in the long term bring client traffic, sales, profits, wealth and return on investment. Everyone’s a winner when you are working collaboratively on a website project.

Find out how the OnlineXcellence Web Marketing Team can help grow your business online.