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My Article on .net Magazine’s Website

An article of mine was recently published on .net magazine’s website. The title is “Does every business need a Facebook fan page?” and if this is something you’re thinking about for your business I would (obviously!!) highly recommend having a read.

Domain Name Purchases

I’ve recently been purchasing some domains names to build up my portfolio from which I can generate income over time. This could be from selling domains on for a profit, selling advertising or generating income after I have optimised them, pushed them up the search engines and they are then receiving traffic.

I have been using Godaddy Auctions to buy my domain names and have also been using the excellent tool, Domainface, to study potential domain names to buy.

Does anyone have experiences in the buying/selling of domain names that they want to share?

Nibble.101/Tipple.101 This Tuesday at Cosmo Oriental Restaurant in Chatham

This Tuesday evening, 26th April, Tipple.101 will be happening at Cosmo Oriental Restaurant, Chatham, Kent ME4 4DS.

Please don’t hesitate to invite likeminds along for social drinks, conversation and an £11.99 buffet (price excludes drinks and we will be paying seperately)! So that we can plan in advance, please confirm your your attendance via email.

For those that would like to join us for a drink only, we will be moving onto The Britannia Bar Cafe (Rochester, ME1 1DJ) at 9:30pm.

We hope to see you there. Please email with any questions.

The Importance of Keyword Research Before Starting a Web Project

This article is inspired by my experience of seeing so many websites and coming across so many web-based projects that have obviously failed to properly analyse a search engine market and/or examine how people might actually discover a site’s relevance whilst searching.

For years, business people and marketers had to spend large sums of money in order to determine the size of a particular market and the feasibility of a project. Now, with research tools such as Google’s Keyword Tool, businesses, entrepreneurs and web teams can confidently examine the online search engine market quickly and for free – e.g. the number of searches per month, the trends of such searches and the associated competition.

Today, with tools so freely and readily available, the thing that most surprises me is how seemingly savvy businesses can often fail to recognise the importance of this and thus spend large sums of money without performing this fundamental market research.

Designing a website that targets keywords in search engines often requires careful consideration and use of such things as H1 tags in the code, copywriting of a sufficient amount and quality and the internal linking structure, to name but a few.

Realistically, being able to target three or four competitive keywords per page means that targeting further keywords inevitably requires the creation of other pages. In short, it can have a huge impact on the whole sitemap of a website.

Spotting an online market for a project through keywords often means that it is crucial to allocate a sufficient amount of budget to Google Adwords advertising and raising the position of the website in the organic search engine results. Essentially, keyword research can define the whole advertising model of an online project or business.

Keyword research doesn’t just come from within a team. It’s important to find out from your target market the words they would use to find whatever you are offering from your website. In my experience, the most crucial benefit of asking your target market directly is that they often suggest keywords that the team working on the project may not have even considered.

Only when keyword research has been performed can the size of a market be identified, competitors analysed and plans made to try and capture a share of this market. Performing this research at the start of a web project allows you to be aware of this information before dedicating your valuable resources and budget to a project.

Why Don’t You Tell Clients They Won’t Receive Search Engine Traffic?

Web design freelancers and companies out there, do you agree to create a website for clients full in the knowledge that they have no chance of getting traffic from search engines without it being optimised in any way? Have they told you, or do you at least sense from them, that they expect traffic from search engines? If your client expects traffic from search engines and you haven’t told them this will not happen unless the site is at least optimised during development, why not?! Surely this is the responsible and professional thing to do?

Have you created an online shop for a client without any keyword research and on-site SEO? If so, why?

To those that are or have been a web design client and haven’t considered keywords from which people will find your website in the search engines, why not? How do you expect your website to receive visitors?

I see so many website owners complaining that they are not ranked for keywords in search engines that they would like to be and the most basic SEO work, research and on-site optimisation, has not been done.

Before you ask, Yes, I am promoting a service of mine, it’s a small, SEO keyword research and online marketing report. I think all websites that need to get found under keywords, either in the short or long term, have to do this.

Why should web design freelancers and companies use this service of mine? Because I am experienced at things such as keyword research and recommending page titles I can do it quicker and to a higher standard and you can get on with what you’re good at whilst making a profit on this report that provides extremely good information to both you and your client.

Contact me and find out more about this.

Idea: Blog Which Gathers Together Videos From Which People Can Learn Songs

I’m currently learning to play the drums and have been looking online on a regular basis for videos from which I can break down how the various parts of song  are played. A frustration I’ve had from this being that with some videos it is tough to see how every part of a song is played. However, the great thing I’ve discovered is that there are lots of amateurs playing songs they love on various instruments and from these it is relatively easy to break down the various parts and play it.

Another frustration I’ve had with these videos is actually finding them! When searching on websites such as YouTube the results usually bring back the official music video and so the instruments can’t be seen. Due to this, I’ve had the idea of simply putting a blog together which gathers any videos, from video websites such as YouTube, which would help people learn their favourite songs being played or taught to others in one place.

I wouldn’t necessarily be creating the videos myself but would be embedding various videos from elsewhere so that people have one place to find them all. I would also plan on creating a YouTube channel, Twitter account and a Facebook fan page as ways to inform people on these communities of this site/videos as and when new ones are placed on the site.

A somewhat clumsy explanation and, at the moment, far from solid idea but I’m just getting ideas together at the moment.

The questions I have are would this type of site be popular enough to be worth doing and does anything like this already exist?

Learning the Drums

I’ve always been interested in music and felt that I would someday be able to play an instrument to some degree. I had some guitar lessons around the age of 14 but always felt frustrated in getting it right and practice felt like a chore. As these things are generally about the quality and quantity of practice, I didn’t get very far although have gone back to the guitar now and again to mess around and whilst have a little bit of skill, I certainly couldn’t play in a band or in front of anyone and have them enjoy what they were listening to!

I’ve always wanted to have a go at drumming and recently started with some lessons with Gregory Hills to get the desire to try drumming out of my system and to find out if I enjoyed it. You never know if you could be amazing (or at least enjoy it) at something without trying, right!? Having lessons has been great fun and the nature of drumming seems to be a different experience for me as it feels much easier to ‘get into’ than guitar playing as its easier to create a fun beat to play and doing so is a great feeling!

I’ve been enjoying it so much and the desire to practice away from lessons led me to buying an electronic drum kit. I used the Art Council’s Take It Away scheme which meant I only had to pay a deposit and the rest is monthly 0% payments. I got the Alesis DM6 which was £369 and, for the novice drummer, seems to have everything I need and is a relatively cheap way to have something to practice on.

I’ve been looking for songs to learn and have learnt a few already (all be it my simple versions of them!) such as In The Air Tonight, Clocks, Honky Tonk Women, Supersonic and a couple of others. I’m planning on making some YouTube videos soon with me playing so that’s something for everyone to look forward to!

Learning an instrument lets you listen to familiar songs in a slightly different way as it means you’re concentrating on a particular instrument within it. Its always great to listen and watch how others play and breakdown how they do it to try and replicate they’re playing.

I’ve been looking around at other people’s videos and here are some drummers I’ve been impressed by:

Tipple.101 – Tuesday 20th April, 7pm to 10pm, George Vaults, Rochester

In February, Carl Jeffrey organised Tipple.101 as a reponse to people saying that they couldn’t make Monday mornings for tuttle.101. I think we should do this again so am arranging a tipple.101 get together next Tuesday 20th April at George Vaults in Rochester.

If you have a blog, Twitter account or any other web presence and think people who read it will be interested in a get together of creative and interesting people to talk about inspiring things, please tell them!

Also, if you are planning on attending, it would be great if you could post a comment on this blog so we have an idea on the numbers who will be attending.

Thanks and am looking forward to it!!

My Skip Hire Prices Website is on Page One of Google

The Skip Hire Prices website I’ve recently been working on yesterday went to page one of Google yesterday for the keyword “skip hire prices”. It is currently at the bottom of page one and after I write this blog post it could drop back to page two! However, I thought it was worth mentioning as not only is it a good example of a website getting to page one for a niche keyword quite quickly but also demonstrated the effect of being on page one of Google instead of page two as the traffic from Google increased by 300%!

New Websites Rising up the Rankings

My new website, skip hire prices, went onto page 2 for the keyword “skip hire prices” after 7 days and is slowly moving up this page as I get the chance to perform more link building to it over time. It’ll be interesting to watch how this performs and how certain methods I use to obtain links to this site affect its positioning in the search engines.

A couple of weeks ago I also started another website which is targeting the keyword “ladies golf clothes”. This website is moving up the search engine rankings a bit more slowly but moved from page 22 to page 16 yesterday so, again, it will be interesting to note how this continues to perform in the search engines.

I have some other website projects that I’m working on (one being based around cheap candles and another on 40th birthday ideas) and will provide more updates on these when there is something to report!