Just somewhere I waffle
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I've been helping a guy out recently who sells Wine Coolers
He has been running a Google AdWords campaign for some time but having problems with the main keywords Wine Cooler and Wine Coolers.
The big problem is that this is one of the main target phrases but people using the phrase may not be looking for the type of wine cooler he sells.
The type of wine cooler he sells are luxury wine storage cabinet which have bottle capacities ranging from 43 bottles to 176 bottles and ranging in price from £999 to £1800.
When people search for a wine cooler they may be looking for his type of product, but could equally be looking for the cheap under counter wine fridges that appear everywhere at the moment for the £300 mark, they may be looking for a simple ice bucket type of wine cooler used for keeping a single bottle of wine cool or even looking for the drink called a wine cooler.
He can't not target the phrase but could be wasting a lot of money on clicks from people not interested in his products.
We've set numerous negative keywords and have the wording of the ads set up to make it obvious what the products are before people have to click to see them but are still getting a lot of traffic just landing on the page and leaving again, which suggests they are not finding what they are looking for.
We have the same problem with the phrase wine cabinets as again people could be looking for nice wooden wine cabinets or similar pieces of furniture.
Just one of the dilemmas of using AdWords for phrases with multiple meanings :-(
To see how observant people are here, and whether these blogs ever get read, I am offering a free Silver upgraded listing in my business directory (normaly £50.00) to the first 3 people who comment here.
Must be UK based business and I reserve the right not to list.
Must also be an established UKBF member for at least 6 months with a minimum of 30 posts.
Comment away ;-)
Edit to add: If you cannot comment to this post send me a PM instead
Edit to add: If you already have a listing, let me know your reference number and I will upgrade your existing listing
Edit to add: It looks like only members with 100+ posts are allowed to comment on blog posts now
Edit to add: last week of tis little experiment, offer ends this Friday 30th
How Exciting! - A special registration page on UK Small Business Directory for UKBF Members. Nov 20, 2018
Yes, you did read that right!
A special registration page has been set up on UK Small Business Directory for UK Business Forums members
Use this page to bypass the invite system and use a far simpler form for registering.
I said about 4 or 5 years ago I would never do SEO for anyone else ever again.
I help quite a few people out and have a dozen or so people who if I was doing SEO would probably have as clients, but I've always made it clear to them that I don't mind helping them out a bit, pointing them in the right direction, tweeking things a little, etc. but no more than that.
Just recently though I have been approached far more regularly by business who want me to do proper SEO for them, but have always declined.
The main reason for this is expectations, knowing I wouldn't be happy with mediocre results and knowing that if I charged properly for the hours I would put in to it the business owner could still lose out even with the good rankings.
This was really emphasized to me recently when a guy who I help out wanted to do more but I just didn't have the time.
I recommended a couple of SEO companies to him and they quoted £800 a month once he was top 10 for his main keyword.
He was seriously thinking about it when I thought this is crazy, I had been giving him a bit of help over the past 18 months, he was ranked about 15 and some SEO company was going to come in and take £800 a month of him basically from the solid foundations I had laid down.
I told him the price was crazy and said I would give him a few more hours and that he had to give me more of a free reign though.
A few weeks later he was top 10 and has been there for the past 6 - 8 months (now top 5)
Had I beem more ruthless I could easily of said, they quoted £800 I'll do it for £700 and been £4k up.
The thing is though, I know that even being top 5 wouldn't earn him that £4k and the only people who would have profited would have been the SEO company.
So here's the dilemna, do I stop being so conscientous, stop turning work away and start acting like most SEO companies?
Do I start taking on work, start quoting fees for rankings despite thinking it will cost them more to rank than they will make in profit?
Do I pass the enquiries on to the highest payer?
Or do I keep being honest and upfront and turn the work away?
Do I assess the requests and then decide to do SEO for the businesses who I think will benefit?
Are fluffy rabbits required?
I've been playing with woocommerce again over the past few days
My original test site - https://www.podline.co.uk/ was based on my version of the default twentyfourteen but I thought I would see how it worked using twentyseventeen as the starting point.
Rather than messing up my podline site I set it up on a little site I have set up for glig glis control in a separate area used for glis glis traps
I've just added 2 products for now and haven't really bothered with descriptions yet as the main purpose at this stage is to see how it works with my theme and plugins.
Hopefully I won't get any enquiries for the glis glis traps as I haven't even got a supplier.
It's all a bit of fun though
I have a few systems set up on my directory site https://www.uksmallbusinessdirectory.co.uk/ which monitors when the same IP address is visiting certain pagers too often.
When this happens the visitor is directed to certain pages which look very similar to the pages they are visiting so that they don't notice.
I currently have it set up so that when the same IP hits the individual business listings pages too often they get redirected to honeypot business listing pages instead.
Sometimes they notice after a few visits or after ringing my honeypot listings a few times, sometimes they waste hours or days even visiting fake listings pages without even knowing.
Occasionally I get what are probably scrapers trying to scrape the content of the individual business listings page, and as long as they aren't causing my server any problems I just leave them to scrape the pages that are deliberately set up to be of no use to them.
In the last 3 or 4 days I have had a Bangladesh IP visiting my site 30,000 odd times a day.
I wonder how long it will take them to realise they have just been scraping the content from the same 50 pages in the last few days
I will probably block them from the whole server soon, but doing it this way makes it easier to keep an eye on them.
The Problem With Running a Business Directory
I updated the search facility on one of my business directory sites this morning - https://www.uksmallbusinessdirectory.co.uk/
Although it is still a 2 step process - Select Category Then Select Location - it still works a lot better than the old system.
The problem with small business directories like this though is that after selecting the business category, if there are not many businesses listed in it, the location search can be almost non existent
As a business owner I would think it was great if someone searched for what I did, selected my location, and mine was the only business listed.
As a general searcher though I want to search for a category, narrow the search down by location and find at least 20 businesses providing the service I am looking for.
That's the problem business directories have, balancing what is best for the business owner with what is best for the person using the directory.
Other Problems in Running a Business Directory
Another problem business directories have is that if they make it too simple for the end user to find what they are looking for, they fly through the site and leave straight away having found what they need.
That may be good for the end user, may be good for the business listed but gives little benefit to the business directory owner.
Where as if it is too hard for the end user to find what they are looking for they leave and never come back.
If the directory gets the balance right where the end user doesn't find what he wants straight away, but is prepared to search more the end user sees more of the directories features, sees ads, still finds what he wants and as the experience isn't too bad he uses the directory again.
The Major Problem with Running a Business Directory
The biggest problem with running a directory though is very few people use them anymore to find a business they just use Google.
What the small business owner needs to realise is everyone is trying to rank high in Google and it's just going to get more and more competitive.
You may think directories are a waste of time if everyone's using Google but does that mean if you don't rank high in Google you don't advertise anywhere else?
Why not, for the sake of 5 minutes adding a listing, advertise in a directory too?
Depending on the service you provide, just 1 enquiry from it in a year will more than make that 5 minutes worthwhile.
Also, if you are a web based business the citations and links provided by the directory may even boost your own online presence.
One thing to be aware of though don't get pressurised in to upgrading if you don't want to and be prepared for numerous marketing cold calls once you start advertising Online.
I created a new system the other month that creates niche directories.
After a bit of playing around I've now got it set up so it runs of less than half a dozen files and I can set a new site up for any category in minutes and either use the data from one central database or quickly create, and fill, a new database for it.
Question I ask myself now is, will it be worth creating niche directories and if so what to create them for?
The 1st one I created was for Bookkeepers https://www.spotthedot.co.uk/ and yesterday afternoon I created one for florists - https://www.countysearch.co.uk/florists/
With over 100 categories in my main directory having over 500 entries I've got to decide what to create niche directories for, whether to have one per website, put a few on each website or just not bother.
What category would you like to see a niche directory for?
It was over 15 years ago that I 1st registered wheelchair-ramps.co.uk which was the catalyst for me forming my company.
The direction of the business has changed a lot since then, but as this was the baby that started everything, I've always kept the ramp sales ticking along almost as a sideline.
Unfortunately, with competition getting a lot tougher over recent years and with manufacturers selling direct, I now find it impossible to even get close to what others are selling ramps for.
Fortunately, there are virtually zero running costs involved which means I could just carry on knowing I'll only sell the occasional ramp, but with the website getting more and more neglected and Google rankings slowly getting worse, I have to decide if it's even worth spending any time trying to improve things.
If not, the alternatives are just leave the site as it is, or completely change direction and look for another way of using it, and the 500+ visitors it generates a day.
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It looks like Old Kent Road - Old Thatch Tavern was a bit of a red herring.
Instead, Holy Trinity Church Gets the Old Kent Road Square on Stratford Monopoly
“It would have been unthinkable for Holy Trinity not to be on either Mayfair or Old Kent Road, our two most talked about and high cachet squares,” says WINNING MOVES UK representative Natasha Rebuck. Winning Moves UK are the developers of the new game under official licence from Monopoly owners Hasbro.
The Revd. Patrick Taylor, said:
“We are delighted to be Stratford-upon-Avon’s very own Old Kent Road! Whilst Mayfair or Park Lane might sound more prestigious, the brown square ticks all the boxes for us, reflecting both our history – Old Kent Road was once part of a Celtic ancient trackway – and our values in being a Church that strives to be inclusive, accessible and welcoming to all.
We are very pleased to have received so much support and look forward to seeing Holy Trinity’s iconic image on the new MONOPOLY board.”
Stratford-upon-Avon Monopoly Old Thatch Tavern Old Kent Road
I made a blog post a few months ago wondering where would have the Old Kent Road on Stratford-upon-Avon Monopoly and suggested it might not exactly be very welcome having where you live classed as the Old Kent Road area of Stratford - Please don’t make us the Old Kent Road of the Stratford-upon-Avon Monopoly Edition
It's now looking like the producers of the Stratford Monopoly edition - Winning Moves UK have got around the problem by giving the Old Kent Road square to Old Thatch Tavern
Not officially announced yet, but Winning Moves UK's Natasha Rebuck said:
“We don’t comment on speculation. But what we can confirm is that the Old Kent Road equivalent will be going to a very old location in keeping with the spirit of the square.”
With Old Thatch Tavern being the oldest pub in Stratford, this appears to give a nod to the rumour that Old Thatch Tavern is to get Old Kent Road square
Not only that, but The White Swan Hotel being just a stones throw away from Old Thatch Tavern so looks a strong possibility of getting the Whitechapel Road square.
I updated my Google Reviews Creator a couple of hours ago to include more information about How to get more Google reviews
Whist doing this I put something on the results pages to see how often it was being used and to capture the names of the businesses being reviewed.
Just had a quick look to see if anyone had actually used it yet, to find it has been used 9 times in the last 2 hours.
I knew from my stats it was getting a few visits a day, but never expected it to be used as often as it appears to be.
Maybe it's time I set it up a bit better and actually started promoting it.
Tradesmen Gallery - Free Tradesmen Advertising
If there is one bit of advice when talking to local tradesmen about websites it's, get a nice photo of yourself stood next to your van on your home page or about page.
It's always nice to see what a tradesman looks/dresses like and seeing what he/she drives before having them around to your home to provide a quote.
With this in mind I have created a new section on UK Small Business Directory which allows tradesmen to submit a photo of themselves stood next to their van (or their van on its own) and not only do they features in our Tradesmen Gallery, they also receive a free upgraded listing in the main directory.
Further information can be found here - Tradesmen Gallery
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