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SEO

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Hackers Don’t Work 9-5 and Neither Should your Hosting Company

If your website gets hacked in the evening or weekend, will your hosting company or your website agency be there for you? Or will you get a message saying they will look at it during regular office hours?

Last night we had a luxury hotel that came under sustained attack, the result being they lost control of their website. They found themselves locked out and that their home page was now the doorway to spam downloads.
The website had a premium WordFence security Plugin already in place, but still, it was compromised. Wordfence, when contacted, said they would look at the issue in the morning for a fee of $125!
The hackers had covered their tracks well, and it looked like they had got in via another user account. They had then added additional scripts and set up a ring of protection for themselves.

With the client getting inundated with worried guests and the concern that Google could quickly blacklist them for Spam they got in touch. It was 11.30 pm.

We had a look at the log files on the server and could see suspicious activity had taken place in the previous 24 hours. We quickly decided to roll the website back seven days, including the Database and all files.
Within 30 mins we back in the website.

With this done, we quickly logged in and changed all the passwords and installed two-factor authentification protocols using separate phone apps. Our IT support team then monitored the website through the night. IP addresses were blacklisted, plugins checked and by 1.30 am; everything was fine with any website changes back in place.

By the time the client came back in this morning, everything was back online and working.

I have mentioned many times that some people are surprised that we also offer website hosting. It was never our intention in the beginning but having worked with so many client websites that were underperforming due to cheap shared hosting or had dire support. We started to offer our own.
Our dedicated servers are hosted in the UK, and our IT support is available 24/7 365 days per year. We run a dedicated high-performance server that can text us if someone even looks at it the wrong way!

Your website is at the centre of your online world, imagine what you would do if you lost it all and had to start again? With Genius Loci Media we are already ahead of you, with daily backups kept for a rolling seven days, together with monthly backups kept offsite on separate servers.

  • As you read this are all your plugins up to date?
  • Are all of your Plugins still valid?
  • Are you running the latest version of WordPress?
  • When was the last time you updated your passwords?

Do you even have time to even think about these issues?

Our solution is you won’t need to as our approach is to let you get back to what you do best, while we do the rest.

Phil Aston

Find out more about our hosting packages or call +44(0)1736 719342

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Digital Marketing Masterclass with Phil Aston

Very honoured to have been asked to be on ‘The Thaducation Podcast’ with Thad Cox

In this podcast, I tell our story about how Genius Loci Media was set up, the risks we took, the mistakes we made, how we learnt to pivot when required and then go on to become a very successful Digital Agency.

I also cover lots of tips on how to use Social Media and promote yourself using digital media.

Phil

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Get Back To What You Do Best – While We help with The Rest

Ideas are easy; it is the execution and implementation that is harder.

It is the same when creating content for your website and social media. You might type your thoughts into a Facebook or Linkedin post, but when it comes to your website, I see many people just put this off.

This approach results in a mixed message where your website seems to be behind your other online activities and can be confusing to your customers

One of our clients said “I have the ideas, but I don’t have the time to think about the SEO elements, source or resize images or worry about layout.”

We take your ideas, publish them on your website (and social media), look after the SEO, layout, and can even suggest subjects for you to write about if you need them!
Our approach is to take away the worry so you can be creative, look after your customers while we look after your online world.

Please give me a call to see how we can help you and your business.

Phil Aston

T : +44(0)1736 719342

blogging advice - website and wordpress management

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Digital Marketing Trends – During Covid-19

Trends I am Seeing

A trend I see at the moment is a lot of people and businesses starting to use Facebook Advertising for the first time. An example of this would be local food suppliers and restaurants. They are trying to run Facebook Ads for a very niche geographical area. This would make sense if you are starting to offer local home delivery. However, due to poor targeting, the Ads are being shown hundreds of miles outside their area of operation.

Targeting Is Everything

I am based near Penzance in Cornwall and I am seeing Ads for businesses that can only deliver in a few Postcodes in Manchester or Glasgow. I have even seen an Ad for a takeaway service in New York!

The result is a surge in negative feedback from people disappointed that they cannot take up the offer advertised plus poor Ad relevancy. This is also a waste of Ad spend at a time when businesses are looking to reduce costs.

It is absolutely essential that you take time to research your market, look at your competitors, spend some time targeting the potential profile of your customers and decide where your want your Ads to be shown and when.

Make Sure Your Website is Displaying the Same Message

The next step is to make sure your website is up to date and portraying the same message you are putting out. I have clicked on several Ads recently that have taken me to pages that display a totally different message than that of the Ad. For example, I clicked on a link that advertised a new take away menu only to find the landing page was showing the full restaurant menus from a few weeks back. Your customers are looking up to date information, so it is essential to ensure the news you are sharing on Social Media is also on your website.

Now is also the time to boost your SEO by improving the quality of your website content. I would also recommend monitoring your market and competitors with analytics for your website and social channels. Doing this will help you understand how your current and future customers are reacting to any situation.

Now is The Time to Build Trust and Build Brand Equity

Done correctly your marketing on Social Media with quality content and good SEO will increase your online visibility and bring in new loyal customers.

Please get in touch if you need any help or advice in putting these ideas into action

I would be delighted to help you.

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Don’t Put All Your Marketing into one Social Media Platform

Don’t Build Your Empire on Rented Land
I work with a lot of clients who have started out on several platforms and then through seeing initial success ended up putting all their efforts into one.
This is never a good idea, algorithms can change, the rules can change and the audience may go elsewhere.

It is very important to spread your content and energy across several platforms and most importantly keep your website at the centre of operations.

I am currently working with a client who has nearly 100% of their business on Instagram and has had their account blocked for a few days due to using a 3rd party App. Their engagement had dropped considerably due to changes within Instagram already and now they need to build their brand elsewhere and really focus on SEO and getting a more professional website in place.

Putting all your marketing eggs in one basket is not a good idea

The point to remember is if you lose your presence on a social media platform you lose all your content, connections and history. Remember Google Plus!
Your website should always be where your content is shared from or at least also available.

From experience, many social media posts could easily be tweaked to be Blog posts.

Don't Build Your Empire on Rented Land

Social Media Marketing Support | SEO for Your Website

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Don’t Build Your Entire Business on one Social Media Platform

In the last few weeks, I have seen and heard of various Instagram, Facebook Pages and Twitter accounts being blocked or disabled for various reasons.

The support these platforms give is next to zero so it can be very hard to get an account back online. As the platforms start to block third party Apps and any form of automation the social media platforms can easily mistake your activity as gaming the system.

For example on Instagram if you like too many posts too quickly you can have your account disabled for being spammy or get asked to change your password as it will think you are using third party Apps. In fact, even logging in form from a different device or app can trigger a warning now.

Another client came to me after their Facebook Ad Account was disabled and their page was taken down. There is no explanation when this happens and no support. The only thing we could see is that the wording on an offer was slightly different on the landing page. It could have been Facebook or a someone just reporting the Ad, that is all it takes. Facebook’s response was to delete the page and start again.
Eventually, I was able to get the account back online but it took over 3 weeks.

I see more and more business putting all their efforts into one platform, this is very dangerous as you are building your business on borrowed land. All it needs is the algorithm to change and your traffic could reduce dramatically. A good example is again Instagram who have now stopped showing posts in order and given more emphasis on paid Ads. The removal of likes will also have an effect on how people interact with you.

What Should You Do?

My advice is to keep your website updated, do not forget to share from there. If you have written a post on social media then create a blog post. It takes time but nurture your audience on several platforms, include video and ensure you invest in SEO for your website.

Do not put your eggs (revenue streams) in one basket.

Phil

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

SEO / Facebook Advertising Case Study

Client’s monthly revenues increased to £65,000 pm (up from £17,000).

Video Transcription Below

I just wanted to give an update on what we’ve been up to, and some of the successes we’ve been having. And the main one, which you can see at the top of this page is with Facebook advertising, remarketing and SEO.

We took on a tourism based client just over a year ago, and we were primarily just helping out with some social media marketing and also a few Facebook ads. But we also were offering analytics, and we always do our reports using video so we can show and share different data sources, different statistics and explain what the numbers mean.

With this particular client, although we were getting more traffic in from social media, the organic traffic was in decline and this was happening month after month. We were doing lots of research to look at whether there was something going on in the market, what their competitors were doing etc. But whichever way we looked at it, there was obviously something wrong with the SEO, which at one time must have been fine, because they had been ranking very well for some key phrases in their market.

So, we decided to spend a couple of months really reworking the SEO from the ground up, going through all the pages, looking at all the meta information, all the content and we went through every single page of the website. It took just over two months and within a few weeks after that we started to see an upturn in the organic traffic. It wasn’t that dramatic to start with, but it just started to build.

We then decided, after we’d created some different landing pages on the website from the SEO to actually look at Facebook Ad Remarketing.  Using a new Facebook pixel and we started to track people who were visiting the website, what search phrases, or what content on that web page they were looking at, we then started to create niche audiences and lookalike audiences from that again. We then set up some video ads and then from the video ads, we looked at the people who had maybe watched part of the video but hadn’t clicked through to the actual website itself.  Then we re-marketed to these people with more ads that were targeted in the clients niche audience.

Six to eight months ago the client had a monthly revenue of around £17,000 a month, we have helped taken it to over £65,000 a month which is pretty dramatic. A lot of work went into this, and we’re still experimenting, But it’s been a great success, the client is very happy.

This is something we really enjoy doing.  We have never just given loads of pie charts in a giant PDF to a client expecting them to be impressed. Our reports are always via video so I can talk things through to the client and actually give suggestions and advice on how to move their business forward.

I just wanted to share this, because it’s been a great success. The client’s very happy, and we’re investing more money now into the advertising itself.

If you want me to look at your business and see how I can help you then please get in touch.

Phil Aston

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Internet Marketing Has Changed Forever

 

Once upon a time, Your online business was your website. Now your website is part of your online business.

Here is a recent question I received from a potential client:

I want more traffic to my website, I understand you do SEO? I don’t really do Social so just want more organic visitors – thanks (client enquiry).

This question is not as uncommon as you might think so it is important to realise how the world of internet marketing has changed and how we got here.

SEO

I started in SEO in 1998. Back then it was an exciting field to be in because you could see the results of your work within hours.

Having your own website in the late 90s was quite new and web developers were seen as wizards (or webmasters at the very least).

A few changes to the title tag and keywords and you could be number one in Google within 24 hours.

Also, there were NO social media channels, internet connections were dial-up so no one watched a video and all your traffic came from search.

Social Media

Social Media arrived in 2006 but it took the next 5 years to really gain momentum. I remember being in a meeting with a very large and successful hotel and them saying ‘ Why would anyone want to be friends with a hotel?’ Also, the idea of looking at a website on your phone seemed ridiculous.

During the first years of social media, people liked pages very quickly and building a following was fairly easy and quick. This is no longer the case.

Google Ads / Facebook Ads

For a long time people ignored this, organic search and getting people to click on your links from social media seemed the way to go.

However, as every market became crowded, if you wanted to get in front of people’s eyes you needed to advertise.

In fact, on Facebook with exposure to your own following being down to less than 2% – advertising is the only real way to grow your business.

Mobile

Who could have imagined a world where everyone is on their mobile devices at work, home or out with friends? If you look at what they are doing most of them are not searching on google but communicating via social media and message apps. They are sharing their lives and interests with people they have never met.

Video

That same mobile device is now a movie camera able to stream live and share memories and thoughts with anyone in the world. Video is also the biggest growth area for consuming content.

Internet Marketing Has Changed

Back in 1998 the internet was still new, going online was exciting. People would wait for info to load because it was a new experience.

Now in late 2018, it’s not new, for many it has speeded up life beyond recognition. People are less patient, get irritated more easily and share their thoughts whether negative or positive with potentially 1000s of people.

Once upon a time, your online business was your website. Now your website is part of your online business.

Your business now also has a facebook page, twitter account, YouTube channel and Linkedin. You might also have a facebook group or other online communities. You are also available via business listings and message apps.

In fact, some clients now find you via social media and conduct all their business/communications with you without even visiting your website.

So just wanting SEO on your website is not going to cut it.

Coming Out From Behind Your Logo

In ’98 you could remain mysterious and hide behind your logo with a PO Box number. Now people what to know who you are and get in touch with you as a person. This is where video and appearing in front of the camera is so important.

Nothing builds trust faster than video and being real. So no super slick video,  just you in front of your camera can be enough.

SEO On Its Own Does Not Cut It Anymore

So to answer my client enquiry, I do offer SEO, but only now as part of an integrated approach using all the disciplines mentioned above. So your website and landing pages need to be ready as do your social channels and the targeted Ads you run on them.

You also need to be consistent, so a few days of scheduled social media posts and then nothing, because you are too busy, is not going to work either.

Get Back To What You Do Best

People come to me now because they cannot keep up with all the activities they need to do to market their business online. Plus nothing stands still and many times I have to delete a methodology because a platform or algorithm has changed.

I can do this in a moment because it’s what I do. The number of clients I have helped out after damaging their business from outdated information is huge.

My World Has Changed As Well

Back when I started there were not many people doing SEO or social media (when it started to emerge). Now the digital landscape is awash with agencies and digital marketing people. I have seen many vanish as well especially when their business was built on a specific aspect of SEO or a social platform.

I have been doing this for a long time and have a wealth of experience in what works and what does not. I will explain in plain English what you need to do and if it will actually help your business grow.

If you want any help with online marketing please get in touch. We will work with you as part of your team and take away any worry that you’re missing out or getting left behind in your marketplace.

Follow the link for more information – SEO Search Engine Optimisation with Phil Aston 

Phil Aston

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Three Top SEO Tips

3 Top SEO Tips From Phil Aston Genius Loci Media in Cornwall

1. Produce regular content that adds value and is relevant for your target audience.

2. Find out more about your target audience through Analytics and Social Media targeting.

3. Always start with benefits, not features – Your audience is permanently tuned into ‘What’s in it for me.

Phil Aston

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Pricing and Launching New Products

I offer many services to clients and sometimes find myself being hired for one particular one while other providers supply the rest.

The problem with being hired for just SEO is people do not realise what other skills you have.  I work a lot with retail and start ups.

The issue with being seen as the SEO guy is you can be brought in much later in the process.   I had a client who who was manufacturing a new range of products. It was a  great idea and they had an small team of suppliers all providing parts and services.   I asked what the price of the product was, which sounded great until I also asked how much it cost to produce.

There was very little margin left for profit and if one or more of the suppliers had put up their price, or postage prices increased, it would leave nothing.  They also had not taken into account how much budget would be required for marketing online.  Once you launch a new product online it is very hard to increase the price later on.

Having a healthy margin means you can offer bundles, special offers and still make a profit.

It also means if suppliers do increase prices you have room to breath and innovate.

Phil

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