Business Marketing Online

The only way to attract Google’s interest

When you put something new on your website, you want Google to find it quickly. Not just because you want interest from day one (although that would be nice), but because you want your page to be accredited by Google as the primary one about that product, not the page on What’s New in Widgets Online which ran your press release a few days later. Here’s how it works. Google comes to your site. It looks exactly the same as last time. A week later, Google comes to your site… Read More »The only way to attract Google’s interest

Creative thinking required

Today I’d like some ideas from you. A company I know is moving premises (halfway across the country) and is preparing a not insubstantial mailshot (postal and email) to its customers to let them know of the change. The change of premises won’t really affect customers. Here’s the question though: is it appropriate to sneak in any marketing messages with this important update? Could the news be used as a hook to offer something? What do you think? Let us know below.

When will you get your last ever magazine ad rep calling?

A contributor to a chat group for PR consultants which I run recently posted a communication from a well-known industrial magazine, which said that from now on the publication “will give editorial preference to those companies who are supporting us whether this is through display advertising or colour separation revenue”. As someone who edited industrial magazines, in print and online, for nearly twenty years, I’m not sure how to take this. If, as an editor, the companies whose news you’re allowed to cover is restricted, your magazine will be significantly… Read More »When will you get your last ever magazine ad rep calling?

The geeks will inherit the web

Woah, web search just got a whole lot more complicated. For website owners, that is. Google has wheeled out a whole new bunch of features in its search results, and I’m sure some of them will prove useful enough to eventually become mainstream. If you do a Google search such as this then click the “show options” link and you’ll see a number of new ways of exploring the data. A few have been knocking around for a while, but the new link should make them get a lot more… Read More »The geeks will inherit the web

“Better than chocolate” (it says here)

It’s a bank holiday, we shouldn’t be fretting about our websites, we should be having fun. So go and have a play with – just type in your company name, products, services or whatever. It’s quite addictive.

Everything I know, and more, for just £100.

If you missed our earlier announcement, we have a new low-cost version of our Insider Programme available, and as most people like to join at the start of the month, today would be a good day for you to give us a call and get on board. We’re offering a package of three genuinely great things to UK industrial businesses, for the incredibly low cost of £100 a month. There’s no commitment, so you really must be able to find £100 to give it a go for the first month.… Read More »Everything I know, and more, for just £100.

Why you should get us to manage Google AdWords for you

Those of you who have looked at our new home page will be aware of the range of contract and advisory services which we’re now able to offer here at Business Marketing Online. Google AdWords Management is attracting the most interest at the moment, from all of these types of clients: Companies who have looked at AdWords, but aren’t using it because it seemed like hard work (it is!) and they know they won’t have the time; Companies who are using AdWords but who know they’re not spending enough time… Read More »Why you should get us to manage Google AdWords for you

A leading-edge marketing communications solution

OK, here’s one of those things you can have a bit of fun with, although you might be peering through your fingers in embarassment at the results if you use it on your own material. Gobbledygook Grader analyses text you paste in (like your latest press release) and grades it for corporate jargon. It’s fun, and I’d recommend you read the author’s The Gobbledygook Manifesto while you’re at it. My only criticism is that it appears not to highlight use of the word “solution”, my own bete noire for many… Read More »A leading-edge marketing communications solution

Our new website launches a range of marketing services

When you spend a lot of your time advising people how to do something, it’s only natural that they’ll look at your activities with a critical eye. So as I (proudly!) announce a new home page on the Business Marketing Online website, I have a slight degree of trepidation as to what you all might think. Did I remember my title and meta description tags? Does the site fall to pieces in Internet Explorer 8, or look strange on enormous monitors? I’m sure you’re going to take great delight in… Read More »Our new website launches a range of marketing services

Finding those hidden gems on your website

I’ve been playing with a tool called Linkscape a lot recently; although it costs money, it provides some fascinating insights into your website, and it’s the sort of tool which is essential if you’re undertaking any “search engine optimisation” (aka “get my site ranking better in Google!”) programme. One of my favourite reports from this tool is a list of the Top Pages on a Domain, i.e the ones which probably carry the most clout with the search engines. Why do you need to know this? Because these are the… Read More »Finding those hidden gems on your website

Better related searches: another step towards SkyNet

Yesterday I discussed at the first of two changes from Google, the increased length of the “snippets” in the results. Today I’ll look at the other development, which is a little more vague at the moment. It’s the introduction of “a new technology that can better understand associations and concepts related to your search” – in other words, although you might have typed in one word, Google will understand that you might just as easily have typed in another related one, and so it should show you results mixing both.… Read More »Better related searches: another step towards SkyNet

Google’s snippet scissors get a little larger

Google rolled out a couple of updates last week, and here’s my take on the first of them, and how it affects you. If you’re using a search engine optimisation consultancy, make sure you ask them how their advice to you is changing as a result. The more instantly obvious of the changes concerns the description or “snippet” part of the results. Traditionally Google has served up the title of your page and then two secondary lines of text, which would be your meta description tag if that contained the… Read More »Google’s snippet scissors get a little larger

Announcement: The £100 Insider Programme is launched

I’ve got a really exciting announcement to make today. You’d be excited too, if you were relaunching your company’s main product with some great extras …and an 80% price reduction compared to its predecessor. Because that’s exactly what we’re doing today here at Business Marketing Online, with our Insider Programme. We know there are a lot of you who love the idea of being taken through every aspect of your website, email marketing and online advertising, but need it to be at a really low cost. We’re responding. The new… Read More »Announcement: The £100 Insider Programme is launched

I think that every business should have a blog

In the late nineties, as an engineering magazine editor, I would often talk to industrial companies who still didn’t have a website, and were realising that they couldn’t get away with not having one much longer. What’s more, with their competitors having had one for some time, they were already at a disadvantage which it would be hard to overcome. It had been a bad decision not to go along with this new idea, as many were having to admit. Ten years later, I’m getting the same feeling about business… Read More »I think that every business should have a blog

Why the response to most B2B advertising is so poor

Is your advertising really aimed at enticing potential customers to do something you want? It should be. Unfortunately, if you browse through any trade magazine or website, you’ll see adverts which don’t seem to have any justification for having been placed at all, unless they were just to get rid of an ad sales rep who wouldn’t go away. Those small ads, sometimes as many as 12 on a page, at the back of magazines, telling you a company’s website address – what on earth are they all about? What… Read More »Why the response to most B2B advertising is so poor

10 reasons to do AdWords for your own company name

Unless you’ve been saddled with a really unlucky company name, you’ll be top in Google for that search. This is very important, because a large proportion of the people who want to find your company website nowadays just type your company name into Google, rather than type in your website URL in the address bar at the top of their browser. That’s why, if you look at your website stats, the top “search term” for traffic coming from Google is probably your company name. So if you’re “top in Google”… Read More »10 reasons to do AdWords for your own company name

SEO straight from the horse’s mouth

I’m back on the subject of search engine optimisation consultants again today, because for many of you, it would seem they’re becoming as irritating as magazine ad space salesmen calling about their latest “colour separations” con (sorry, I mean “opportunity”). Now, I’m not against the search engine optimisation “industry”, although I do believe you can do this whole thing much better yourself, which is why we have our Insider Programme. I’ve met some people who do search engine optimisation consultancy for a living and who really know their stuff. I’ve… Read More »SEO straight from the horse’s mouth

Do the maths on your cost per enquiry. Please.

Yesterday I looked at some of the reasons why your company may not be using Google AdWords. None of these were good reasons – they were either excuses, or bad advice. But let’s say you’ve got over these. You don’t mind a bit of hard work setting up and managing an AdWords campaign; you don’t care about your advertising agency’s vested interests in dissuading you from doing so; and you don’t mind your contemporaries not being able to see where all the money’s going, if it means an increase in… Read More »Do the maths on your cost per enquiry. Please.

3 (bad) reasons why your company may not be using AdWords

Google’s AdWords system (and its far lesser used equivalents at other search engines) will rightly one day be considered the greatest development in advertising of all time. What other advertising medium has ever been able simply to present your message to people who are actively searching for your product, in a specified geographical area, with no wastage? It’s hardly surprising, then, that many companies are quietly spending huge sums on AdWords, including companies in your market sector. You would, I suspect, be amazed to find out what’s going on. Yet… Read More »3 (bad) reasons why your company may not be using AdWords

Building your own response forms

I hope you were able to read my articles on the challenge of getting name-and-address sales leads online, why you need to do so and how to convert traffic from Google and from your advertisements. The key is in having a great call to action, and getting it in front of the prospect as soon as possible. The page where people arrive on your website is called the “landing page”. For Google traffic, that’s going to be the product page, so it might be difficult to extract names-and-addresses from visitors… Read More »Building your own response forms

Making those adverts work properly

This week I’ve spent a couple of articles discussing why you need to convert your web traffic into name-and-address sales leads because your website can’t sell on its own. And yesterday I looked at converting traffic from Google into prospects. Today I’d like to cover a source of web traffic which you have a little more control over – your own advertising and promotions. With these, you can tightly control what responders do, such as “phone us for details” or “fill in the coupon”. However, we all know that most… Read More »Making those adverts work properly

Converting Google traffic into names-and-addresses

Right, in the previous two articles I’ve made the fairly obvious point that in industry, we need to capture the name-and-address details of people visiting our websites who are after a specific product or service. If we don’t, it’s exactly the same as having an exhibition stand, and just sitting there in a chair smiling politely at everyone who browses our display. Some potential customers may choose to introduce themselves and talk about their requirements, but the majority won’t. And if you don’t get talking to them, you’ll never be… Read More »Converting Google traffic into names-and-addresses

Perhaps you don’t even need salesmen any more

Yesterday I said that the biggest challenge in industrial marketing has become simply getting the name-and-address sales lead. Prospects see your magazine ad, read your direct mail or browse your exhibition stand, like they always have. But do they then contact you for further information or a sales call, like before? No. They go to your website to find out what they need to know. In theory, that’s fine. You’ve got a great website, haven’t you? All your products and services are laid out clearly, and it couldn’t be easier… Read More »Perhaps you don’t even need salesmen any more

Let’s resolve to get more sales leads in 2009

There are many differences between industrial marketing and consumer marketing, but the main one is the action we want our prospects to take. In consumer marketing, they want them to just buy stuff. In industrial marketing, the buying decision is usually further down the road; what we want the prospects to do is simply to reveal themselves. It’s all about getting the name-and-address sales lead. Unfortunately, while online marketing has made it easier than ever to get direct sales, it’s made it harder than ever to get name-and-address sales leads.… Read More »Let’s resolve to get more sales leads in 2009

Step by step in the new year

Happy New Year to all readers of Business Marketing Online’s An Article A Day. We’ve gone from 0 to 250 readers in our first few months, so who knows where we’ll be this time next year? Remember, this is a completely free blog, so if you’d like to recommend it to your colleagues, please do. The link to send them is I have loads of online marketing issues I’m planning to discuss in the next few weeks, and I hope you find them useful. Of course, if you really… Read More »Step by step in the new year

Using a PR agency? Or an ostrich?

Back in 2000 I addressed a seminar of PR consultants who were discussing the “threat” from the internet. Many of them were worried that if print magazines started to die off, relationships with editors would become less important, and many companies would just start to write their own press and PR material which would find a much easier route to publication on the web. Meanwhile, online advertising looked set to boom, and advertising agencies were going to have a great time. I argued that this wasn’t the case: the web… Read More »Using a PR agency? Or an ostrich?

Here’s what I learned this summer (4)

This is the final observation I’d like to make from seeing so many UK industrial companies’ online marketing operations this summer: my surprise at how much companies are spending on pay-per-click advertising – and my concern at how much they may be wasting. By pay-per-click advertising, effectively I mean Google AdWords, which dominates the market. If you’d asked me to have made an educated guess at how much this was being used in UK industrial marketing, I’d have probably said maybe a quarter of companies might have tried it, but… Read More »Here’s what I learned this summer (4)

Here’s what I learned this summer (3)

What else did I learn this summer, while talking to loads of UK industrial companies about their websites? I learned that many companies do not have website traffic analytics data, and even fewer are actually using it to calculate return on investment from online campaigns, or their website as a whole. At many companies, I asked what analytics data they had on their website visitors, and they pointed to some horribly crude log analysis program provided for free by their website host – something like AWStats or Webalizer. A chart… Read More »Here’s what I learned this summer (3)

Here’s what I learned this summer (2)

Here’s what I learned this summer (2)

As I mentioned yesterday, while travelling around the UK this summer introducing our Insider Programme, I’ve started to see the challenges involved in online marketing in UK industry, and have discovered some common problems and mistakes, which I thought I’d bring to you all this week. Today: the Splash Page lives! Now, you’re probably thinking: “The Splash Page? Does Chris mean those movies people used to make you watch before being able to access their websites? The ones which made half the visitors hurriedly scroll around for the “skip this”… Read More »Here’s what I learned this summer (2)

Here’s what I learned this summer (1)

This week, rather than refer you to other people’s articles, I thought I’d write about some of my own recent experiences. In the course of launching our Insider Programme this summer, I’ve visited many industrial companies around the UK, and spoken to many more at the series of seminars we held. In doing so, I’ve started to get an idea of the state of online marketing in UK industry, and it’s been most revealing – in some cases, pleasantly surprising, in others, quite shocking. While my small sample of a… Read More »Here’s what I learned this summer (1)

Your online marketing in 2009

Last week we completed a series of four seminars for marketing managers from UK engineering, scientific and construction sector suppliers. If you were one of the 60 or 70 people who attended, we hope you enjoyed your day with us and found it useful. Certainly the feedback (100% positive!) leads us to believe we got it right. We hope you found the introduction of our Insider Programme on a face-to-face basis to be revealing, and we know that many of you got quite a few ideas from my presentation on… Read More »Your online marketing in 2009

The Insider Programme launches today

It’s a big day for us, because today Business Marketing Online unveils its flagship product, the Insider Programme. This is a combined educational and consultancy service for industrial and technical companies in the UK, where we’ll show you how to increase your website traffic as well as convert a higher proportion of visitors into name-and-address sales leads. I won’t describe it in depth here, I’ll just direct you to our Insider Programme information page and our Insider Programme explanatory video which do a pretty good job of explaining it all.… Read More »The Insider Programme launches today