Category Archives: Expert SEO

The Quiet Achievers-Real Expert SEOs

Everyday, all of us at work receive many telemarketing calls from companies trying to push their services. If its not phone calls, then its emails. We have a big problem with that. We understand these people have a job to do but the problem lies in their ‘cookie cutter’ approach and their regimented marketing script. They tell you that:

  • you are not ranking for “competitive keywords
  • they can get you to the top of Google in 3 months or less
  • they can get you more business/leads

All of which sounds great! But, when they tell you this, they have not done any research on your website or your industry. It’s just a generic script they have to read. For this reason, SEO companies that are really good at what they do, do not need to use telemarketing companies or email list companies to get their business. Its all based on referrals from happy and satisfied clients who are happy to recommend them to other businesses.

The SEO companies that have to rely on cold calling methods really do not know SEO at all. If they did, then their own websites and other forms of digital marketing should be generating all of their leads. After all, isn’t that what they do? Think about that the next time you answer a call from a telemarketer or read an email from someone representing a local SEO company.

In this video, Andrew Radics and Ian Hopkinson discuss why SEO companies should not rely on telemarketing or spammy emails to generate business.


Outsourcing and SEO Rip-offs

Turnover isn’t a measure of SEO expertise, nor are awards. Many digital marketing companies outsource their SEO.

Beware SEO Outsourcing.

Find out how they do their work — do they outsource to other countries? The vast majority of outsourced work goes to “SEO chop shops” in countries with huge populations and low wages. SEO work outsourced to “chop shops” go from a model of “one solution fits all” where they pursue simplistic strategies that can be executed by subsistence-wage, minimum capability office workers working 50-60 hours per week.

What is delivered will probably match what’s promised — in terms of directory submissions, backlinks, etc. — but do the arithmetic and you can work out that they will end up doing 5 hours/week for you. That amount of time WON’T buy you quality.

Worse, the techniques they’re applying are out-of-date. They won’t get you better Google results – they’re a waste of time and — even worse — could end up earning you LESS trust with Google, not more.

You don’t need to be able to DO Search Engine Optimisation in order to understand how to determine its quality, but you do need to be a savvy purchaser. If your SEO provider outsources your work – dig a bit deeper and make sure you’re getting a service worth paying for.

In this video, Andrew Radics and Ian Hopkinson discuss ways in which a lot of SEO companies rip people off.


SEO Myths Debunked – Google Algorithm updates don’t happen often

Each year, Google alters its search algorithm around 500 times. While the majority of these changes are small, Google sometimes rolls out a “significant” algorithmic upgrade (such as Google Panda and Google Penguin) that affects search results in a huge way.

In this video, Andrew Radics and Ian Hopkinson discuss Google Algorithm Updates and what they mean.







Ian: SEO myths debunked! Google Algorithm updates don’t happen very often Andrew do they?

Andrew: Heck no! Course not…

Ian: There’s only about 500 or 600 a year. Well there’s the main updates and then there’s the minor updates.

Andrew: Absolutely, this sort of conversation I can imagine about all these algorithm updates is all the SEO geeks having a chat around the water cooler.

Ian: Is that why that’s there?

Andrew: That’s why that’s there? Not to mention I’m freezing, but yes!

Ian: Well I’ve got a water cooler of my own. It’s a lot more portable. It’s called ice. Well there you go that’s my water cooler.

Andrew: You know what the use for ice is? There we go.

Ian: There you go. What have we got today?

Andrew: I don’t think this is ice.

Ian: Oh dear!

Andrew: I don’t know what these guys in the lab are doing to us.

Ian: They’re experimenting on us constantly that’s the whole point.

Andrew: They’re melting… Anyway.

Ian: So, updates, there’s major updates.

Andrew: Yeah, alright so far this year believe it or not there’s been about 4 major updates.

Ian: This year? We’re only half way.

Andrew: We’re more than halfway through already.. And just for those people who were wondering what they were, the most recent one is called Panda 4.0, the one before that was Payday Loan 2.0. The next one was Unnamed Update and the first one for this year was Page Layout #3.

Ian: Unnamed Update is my favourite one, that’s very creative Google.

Andrew: I think they ran out of animals to name these updates after. Well all those updates obviously target something whether it be spam or blog networks, all these sorts of things.

Ian: That’s right. It’s the cat and mouse game.

Andrew: Pretty much, a nice frightening statistic there is like you mentioned before, last year alone there were between 500 and 600 updates, well that’s close to two a day.

Ian: Yes that’s right. And these are sort of the little tinkering updates. I’d love to know whether Google plans these updates out ahead or time or whether they just have a whole lab of propeller heads just sitting there doing what they see needs to be addressed on that particular week or day.

Andrew: I’d say for the major ones they have them plans whereas the minor ones, they’re just that they’re constantly trying to improve and test etc. You always know when an update has happened by the chatter on Twitter, SEO blogs, SEO forums, digital marketing forums and all these sort of things. People just go crazy saying: “Oh my sites been hit I’m losing traffic! Bloody Google has screwed me up again!” And all that sort of nonsense! As I’ve always said, if you do the right thing in Google’s eyes, whether or not you agree with it is irrelevant, you should be fine. Your website should not be hit. If it does, it will be a minor thing, you may go down just a few spots but then eventually you’ll get back up there.

Ian: You’ll ride through the changes if you’re doing the right things.

Andrew: Yeah, all these people who moan and groan about it all are the ones that are doing the stupid things anyway.

Ian: Yeah and as we’ve spoken about in the past, when these changes do happen there is sometimes a little bit of panic. There’s a readjustment period, the Google dance, is that part of that terminology? So yeah, don’t panic if this does happen to you don’t worry, after a day or two it will readjust.

Andrew: But the myth of Google doesn’t update very often is debunked basically.

Ian: Totally debunked!

Andrew: There’s only quite a few major ones but then there are a lot of minor ones.

Ian: Yeah that’s right. It makes you wonder, who says this kind of stuff? But a lot of people do, I don’t know if there’s many excuses to be ignorant these days with just all this information a search away. I suppose it’s really about finding trusted sources of information.

Andrew: Absolutely! Just on this, I was looking up to see how many updates there were last year, there was one blog that said ‘Google does 200 a day’. 200 a day?! And another one said “Oh, they did a few hundred last year!” and I thought: oh my god, there are so many people chiming in on this, whether its 500, 600 or even 10 000, who the hell cares! It’s the way it is! It’s just Google in their great wisdom trying to make things better for users with their searches, and that’s all it is.

Ian: Alright, debunked! Thanks for joining us.

Andrew: Absolutely.

Ian: We’ve just got to say thank you very much to the water cooler for providing us with pleasant conversation. It’s a matter of a opinion really, depending on which chair you’re sitting in.

Andrew: It’s going back in the office.

Ian: Thanks for listening, or [email protected], if you want to email us hit us up with any question whatsoever, we might even address it on the show.

Andrew: Criticisms and complaints are also welcome!  Address them to Ian.

Ian: All of those things: If you don’t like what Andrew is wearing, or if you like what he’s wearing, if you’ve got some reactions to some of the Google authorship comments that we’ve made in yesterday’s video.

Andrew: We got a few comments about that didn’t we.

Ian: You should go and watch that if you haven’t seen it because it basically fell into nothingness. It fell into disarray because we were laughing so much we didn’t really get to finish what we wanted to.

Andrew: Didn’t somebody say that we should put the recipes up for the drinks on the website?

Ian: They did. I don’t know whether that’s a good idea it’s a bit of a ‘don’t try this at home’. Speak soon! Thanks for that.

Andrew: Bye!

Cheap SEO

Cheap SEO is generally a bad option. You get what you pay for with SEO, in some cases you end up paying a fortune for an expert SEO company fixing the problems a cheap SEO company has created. We’ve all got them, you know those annoying emails – offering you the world for $99/month. If it sounds too good to be true, chances are it is, delete delete delete.

Episodes in this playlist:

Why are we ranking on the first page for cheap SEO?

We’ve been talking about cheap SEO companies a lot lately. The plain truth is they can cost you an arm and a leg with their our of date tactics and strategies. We’re clearly not one of these companies, but why are we ranking on the first few pages for this in Google? Here’s why…

How effective is cheap SEO?

The cost of SEO services vary from SEO company to SEO company. But, if you have ever sat down and worked out what it costs a cheap SEO company per hour to perform the services they claim are being done on your website, most people will start wonder if they are being performed at all. The figures just do not add up!

What have the great SEO Companies allowed the cheap SEO guys to reposition themselves in the marketplace?

This question comes from an SEO buddy of mine in Texas. “Why have the great SEO Companies allowed the cheap SEO guys to reposition them in the market place?” In this video we discuss the role bigger SEO companies have played in the rise of spammy cheap SEO companies.

Cheap SEO companies WILL cost you a fortune

A client recently received an email from a cheap SEO company offering 17 or so different SEO tasks for $150/month. Half of it you don’t need, the other half will cost you a fortune if you lose your standing with Google and close traffic and revenue as a result! Here’s why cheap SEO companies will cost you a fortune.

Don’t get burned by cheap SEO

Don’t Get Burned By Cheap SEO sounds like a rather dramatic title, but very often we hear stories related to us about websites being dropped from the searches because of cheap and nasty SEO practices. The question you could ask is what are some of these cheap SEO tactics and how can you safeguard your web site against them?

Why cheap SEO companies are bad

Cheap SEO companies employ dirty tactics in attempt to increase rankings. In doing so your site may end up with thousands of irrelevant links that can damage both your rankings and your brand, all of which are costly to repair. Here, we highlight some of their nasty practices and the potential associated damages and costs.

Cheap SEO is bad for you site

Don’t get confused and ripped off by inefficient, inadequate, and untrustworthy SEO companies.The mysteries of getting on page 1 of Google are easily explained but when ‘experts’ throw in acronyms like SEM, SEO, SMM, & ORM – you can literally see the smoke coming out of people’s ears!

Cheap SEO clogs up Joe the plumber

Here’s a real example of what we’ve been preaching lately – cheap SEO will cost you a fortune! As Joe the plumber found out…

12 deadly sins or signs of cheap SEO

SEO (search engine optimisation) is much more than just naming pages and creating generic keyword phrases. Out of the hundreds if not thousands of people offering SEO services, a very small percentage have the real skills necessary to SEO a website. In this video, we present 12 ‘deadly signs’ of a cheap SEO company and the reasons to avoid them.

Cheap SEO and the bad alternatives to PPC ads

Not all web traffic is good traffic, especially when it’s 3000 visits generated by bots. This is just another dirty tactic practised by those cheap and nasty SEO companies.

The hidden cost of cheap SEO

Why do businesses take the cheap route with their online strategy and are then dumbfounded when they get spammed, receive poor results or get blocked by Google? Today we’re discussing SEO horror stories.

Especially With SEO You Dont Know What You Dont Know

This is an old phrase “You don’t know what you don’t know” some say it comes from Socrates but it’s just so relevant to SEO. People don’t understand this highly specialised area of digital marketing so they switch off and are in many cases, not willing to learn about it, even when they see it in action, it gets dismissed as hocus pocus. I just came from a networking event and this is a real phenomena, if there’s anything that short-circuits peoples’ synapses, SEO is it.

In this video, Andrew Radics and Ian Hopkinson discuss why people switch off when the words ‘digital marketing’ are mentioned.



Ian: Good afternoon, how are we all?

Andrew: How are you going?

Ian: How are you Andrew?

Andrew: I’m well.

Ian: It’s cold here today.

Andrew: I think someone’s turned the heating down.

Ian: Oh I know who that is.

Andrew: Yeah I bet.

Ian: It’s probably the barman, he didn’t sound very happy today.

Andrew: Speaking of the barman – where are our drinks? Hang on a sec…

Ian: He’s probably on strike. Well while Andrew is doing that, today’s topic as you can see  there is “you don’t know what you don’t know especially with SEO”. Now originally this phrase you don’t know what you don’t know, we’ve all heard this and it sounds like satiric rubbish, but it’s not. It really is kind of a truism, and the only way that you can find out and learn about things is to actually have a curious mind and be willing to listen and be open minded… What? This is no, what is that?

Andrew: This is what he gave me. I’m thinking they’re just glasses of milk.

Ian: I think we might have to tone down our commentary about how bad the last couple of drinks have been. It looks like skim milk.

Andrew: Probably is, it’s very white though.

Ian: Great, I think we might need to…

Andrew: Sack?

Ian: I was going to say we might need to apologise!

Andrew: Hell no! We’ll just sack him!

Ian: Oh dear, anyway I was just explaining that you don’t know what you don’t know when it comes to SEO and we should have more of an open mind and be willing to learn.

Andrew: Yep.

Ian: I was just at a networking event, which was where I won this little guy here.

Andrew: When you brought it back I thought you were going to start promoting a casino or something.

Ian: Oh right, yeah. Well, it’s more of this tactic of making things feel a bit warmer, you know? Some animals, some scenery and drinks.

Andrew: It’s very pretty.

Ian: I’m pretty happy with it actually. So, this is a bit of a pep talk because we want people to be interested and curious as to what SEO is. Not just to be dismissive and just to say that’s a bunch of hocus pocus. It gets a bit tiring to hear people doubting that it actually works; because it does work, and we show that time and time again. This is a real thing, SEO actually makes people money.

Andrew: I had a conversation not even an hour ago, you had one last night; people asking us what do you do? We explain what we do and they go, “what the hell are you talking about?”

Ian: Yeah, the brain short circuits and they just can’t fathom…

Andrew: The term SEO or search engine optimisation, they just think what is that? You try to explain it and they still don’t get it. But then when you say, okay we’re the guys who try to get your website to the top of Google. “Oh… How do you do that?” They just don’t seem to understand, but just because you don’t understand something it doesn’t mean to say that it doesn’t work, it does work!

Ian:  I think like we’ve done with some of the seminars we’ve had in here is we’ve brought up some statistics and we’re actually said, these devices when you’re out and about and searching, how do you think these listings come up? They don’t just magically appear, people actually have to work to get them placed there, whether that’s setting up a Google Places page, or putting them in directories, or working on their website to have it optimised. It just doesn’t magically happen. I suppose in a practical sense we have to make people aware that it does work. And it just seems to be the terminology, there’s a lot of confusing terminology, and because it is changing quite a lot and it is one of the most confusing areas of digital marketing it’s too much for them to take in. These aren’t people who are lacking in intelligence or understanding of just about anything, I mean these are smart people. You’ve got to be passionate about it I guess, and you’ve really got to be open minded and willing to learn. This is a pep talk; be open minded. There is a lot of rubbish that’s been written about SEO out there, and there is a lot of dodgy tactics and other companies that have tarnished the image, so that causes a bit of jadedness there too.

Andrew: Absolutely.

Ian: Is jadedness a word?

Andrew: No.

Ian: So that’s what we’re up against, but when you start to show people practical examples of it then they start to get a bit more curious about it.

Andrew: So I think the bottom line is that just because you don’t understand how it works, just know that it actually does work if it’s done right. That’s the key.

Ian:  That is the key. I think just in finishing, we can’t stress the importance of how SEO is really, it should be the focus of your energies in digital marketing at the moment. Any other promotions or platforms that you’re using in the case of social media, or your website, or articles, press releases or things like that, anything like that, these are all very complimentary. (Phone rings) Oh here’s someone calling me right now

Andrew: Probably complaining?

Ian: Mad Scientist Digital, can I help you? Ha no. I didn’t plan that by the way, that wasn’t set up.

Andrew: Yeah okay, fair enough.

Ian: It’s probably these guys from the conference this morning ringing to ask for their flamingo back.

Andrew: Yeah, they awarded it to the wrong person.

Ian: Anyway the point is, SEO – don’t be afraid of it, don’t switch off, please be open minded and learn about it. There are a lot of tools that are confusing, but they do work and they will show a return for the money that you’re putting into it.

Andrew: Absolutely.

Ian: We have a lot of content on our website and in our Google Hangouts and on our social media about SEO, so please feel free to go and read anything that’s there and come back with any questions.

Andrew: Definately.

Ian: Andrew, thank you very much.

Andrew: You’re welcome.

Ian: Can we turn the heating up next time, or do I have to wear a suit?

Andrew:  You should, the things you wear at the snow…What do you call it?

Ian: Like a bear suit or something like what the mascots wear?

Andrew: Yes.

Ian: Because they’re always overheating.

Andrew: This barman got to get the sack.

Ian: I think we should sack him and maybe he should go and get a job as a mascot?

Andrew: Yeah…


Why I Do Not Like SEO

Why do people hate or dislike SEO? Mainly because they don’t really know what it is. SEO is a very specialised aspect of digital marketing and in our opinion commands more respect. Take the time to do your research before you make ignorant statements about it online.



Ian: Andrew Radics and Ian Hopkinson, “It’s 1 o’clock good afternoon.” You’re on the air.

Andrew: I thought we were just goofing around a bit.

Ian: No we’re on the air. We’re going to talk to you today about reasons why I dislike or I hate SEO.

Andrew: You can say the word hate.

Ian: It’s not I or I, or as in we, there’s just a  lot of stuff online about people who hate or dislike SEO. Tell us about these people?

Andrew: The thing is since we did that video last night, or yesterday, about why people hate SEO we’ve had quite a big response so I thought okay well let’s see what else is out there because at the moment SEO bashing seems to be the in thing.

Ian: Indeed.

Andrew: Just did a bit of a search and some of the titles that came up, for example, one article was titled “Your SEO sucks and you need some friends part 1”. Another one is “SEO sucks and here is why!”. This one was rather odd: “Why females suck at SEO writing”, “Why SEO sucks and adwords can save your business”, “12 signs your SEO guru sucks”, “21 warning signs your SEO sucks”. Well that’s ridiculous you only really need one warning sign, not 21. And 6 sure fire signs your SEO company sucks. Wonderful!

Ian: I know.

Andrew: It sort of made me think well why is there so much negativity surrounding SEO and really about the only thing I can think of is the fact that people are very very ignorant about what SEO is and what SEO is not.

Ian: Yeah that’s the point isn’t it.

Andrew: It is, like one article here I found I won’t actually mention where it’s from.

Ian: Is this the one written by the guy who’s actually working at the company?

Andrew: He’s actually working at the company.

Ian: And he’s saying that…?

Andrew: Well the title is, you can look it up, “I hate the f***ing SEO service industry”. I thought god okay I’ve got the read this one. Well basically what he’s saying is that his company does web development and they do SEO as well which is good. However, he seems to constantly be getting into arguments with the SEO guys saying okay we need keywords here, we need key words there, we need keyword keyword keyword keyword. Forgetting that content all that sort of stuff. Everything with this particular SEO person or section or division or whatever it is, they’re always on about keywords. And of course web developers are always on about how the site looks and functions. SEO people have the sites looked upon by the search engines. So the two just seem to be, at odds with each other.

Ian: Yeah and they don’t need to be.

Andrew: Of course they don’t need to be.

Ian: It’s a lack of knowledge, by the sounds of it.

Andrew: It’s a very big lack of knowledge either on the part of the SEO people of this particular company and by the web developers as well.You know because web developers don’t need to know SEO. They need to understand a website has to be found by the search engines. So there are a lot of things that web developers can do to actually screw that up. You know not intentionally of course because that’s not their thing.

Ian: Yeah, it’s a specialized thing.

Andrew: It is.

Ian: And we don’t expect web developers to know a whole lot about SEO but it sounds like in this case there needs to be a bit more respect.

Andrew: Yes.

Ian: For the science of SEO.

Andrew: Absolutely.

Ian: Sure its not an exact science. Sure we could admit that because nobody knows the rules.Yeah what can you do Google is the only one that knows.

Andrew: Exactly.

Ian: But it needs to be more respected and more understood rather than dismissed.

Andrew: Absolutely and look SEO is not about spamming the search engines, it is not about automated software. SEO simply is all the other methods that are used, that Google and the other search engines approve of, so that people can find your website online. That is the whole purpose of SEO. It is not about focusing all your attention on keywords, it’s not about focusing all your attention on just content, keyword rich titles and all that sort of stuff. I mean that’s all part of it but it’s not the main focus of SEO.

Ian: No it’s not. That’s why it’s called “Search Engine Optimisation” not “Search Engine Manipulation”. SEO not SEM. Although that could be confused by “Search Engine Marketing”.

Andrew: Well I can mention this one, a guy named Dan O’Sullivan from, he actually makes some good points, you know going on about why people hate SEO and people who really hate SEO don’t know the difference between what SEO really is, what search engine spam is and what SEO, what we call snake oil promises.

Ian: Yes.

Andrew: There’s a big difference between the three.

Ian: Yes, there is.

Andrew: Absolutely and of course it’s no wonder, generally people hate SEO and there’s all these sales people saying “i’ll get you to be number one within 48 hours and we can do this we can do that for you” and all these well promises. All these emails people get, we even get.

Ian: And love.

Andrew: You know there’s one that he mentions here that he recently got, just to paraphrase it a bit “my SEO company sent me this, we’ve saved the best promotion for the end of the year only $50 hurry up, take a trial for $50 and we get you linked with one hundred employed websites having PageRank up to 5.” Well you know PagePank up to 5 is lovely but generally you find when they talk about one hundred links with page rank up to 5, one of them will be 5 the rest of the will be crap.

Ian: Right. But regardless of that they have to be quality and relevant links as well. You know it’s not just about the amount you have.

Andrew: Yep.

Ian: And so for someone to say one hundred… I mean it doesn’t work that way anymore. You don’t just say one hundred links and bam. You know 1 + 1 = 2. No, it doesn’t work that way.

Andrew: 100 links from those type of sites is not going to get you anywhere. For a budget of $50 what is that going to buy you. Someone will be sitting there for two minutes putting all this stuff into an automated system that will just spam a search engine with those hundred links and it’ll mean bupkis, it means nothing, it just won’t work. So with a budget of 50 bucks what are you getting?

Ian: Sweet F A.

Andrew: Even as a trial you know. They charge you $50 for a trial, how much do they charge you for an ongoing campaign? $200? Even for $200 what the hell are you going to get. Nothing.

Ian: Are you wound up about this Andrew?

Andrew: I am. I’m sick of reading stuff like this and all this stuff comes from people who don’t know what the hell SEO is. They’re ignorant and then they push this stuff out onto the net and have stupid titles like this, there’s thousands of them.

Ian: Yes and I suppose the scary thing about some of these titles is that it’s not even people that are writing sensational titles to get more traffic or get more ranking, this is just pure ignorance.

Andrew: Yep.

Ian: This is just people who don’t understand it, they’re frustrated because of that and they go to the internet for some sort of feedback or somebody to console them or more to agree with them and what do they get? Us.

Andrew: This stuff just goes around and around in a giant loop, people want to educate themselves about SEO, what’s the first thing they find? They find crap like that.

Ian: Yeah.

Andrew: It goes round and around and around and instead of going to authoritative sources, without blowing anyone else’s trumpet, you know Search Engine Land, one of the best ones out there you’ve got Moz which is also a fairly big optimisation website that gives you factual things about what SEO is and what to do and what not to do or simply go to Google guidelines, Google webmaster guidelines, that’ll tell you everything even though it might be a little biased towards Google if you like, but still it will tell you how it is and what it is and what to do and what not to do, what works and what doesn’t work.  Unlike this crap you know this is just rubbish, it is ignorant people educating ignorant people.

Ian: Yeah well it’s been ongoing. Like if people aren’t already jaded enough about those three letters S E O then people go and push this sort of propaganda if you like.

Andrew: And yes people have had bad experiences with these so called “SEO companies” yes of course. Educate yourself, move on to a bigger firm who hopefully knows what they are doing and don’t go for price. Whatever you do don’t go for price. If somebodys charging you $50 you’re going to get crap.

Ian: You’re going to get absolutely nothing.

Andrew: Then again none of the guys who charge you $20,000 either.

Ian: You can get a decent bottle of scotch for $50. I’d rather do that.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah. Anyway that’s my rant.

Ian: Excellent.

Andrew: Education is the key for this sort of crap and hopefully one day… and by the way SEO is not dead, it will never die. That’s another thing, that’s a new title.

Ian: That’s another one yeah “Google SEO is dead”

Andrew: Or “Google has killed SEO”

Ian: Can we do a hangout on that one because that’s entertaining some of those ones. Alright obviously a little wound up about this one. There is a lot and we’ve been saying this until we’re blue in the face and I‘ve been saying  I’m blue in the face till I’m blue in the face but we know there’s a lot of ignorance out there, these are obviously just written by people out there who don’t understand SEO. Now SEO is a specialised area and it deserves 100% attention it’s a full time job. It’s ever changing and you need an SEO company as well that’s going to explain to you in plain english what they are actually doing for you. You don’t have to know all the ins and outs of it because quite frankly you probably don’t want to but you have to have some idea of what you’re actually getting and they have to create some sort of value in your mind. If they’re not doing that then they’re not worth while and they’re unprofessional and that’s my rant on this subject.

Thanks very much for watching once again we can give Andrew a little clap because he was really wound up. All these effects by the way are on your right hand side on the Google hangout on your panel. Here’s another one…I’m not sure about that one.

Andrew: It’s supposed to be a cash register.

Ian: I like this one… Andrew Radics! Alright enough of that we’ll see you very soon.

Andrew: Bye.

Signs your Web Designer Knows Nothing About SEO

Web Designers and Web Developers are specialists in 1 or 2 things. It’s very rare they will have a full understanding of SEO, there’s just too much to keep up with — you have to be doing this full time and be a fanatic in this one area to be an ‘expert’.

In this video, Andrew Radics and Ian Hopkinson discuss some of the reasons why it is important as a web designer to keep SEO in mind when building a site. Not only that, but if you are having a site built, ask your web designer if they work in conjunction with an SEO expert.



Ian: Looking very green today isn’t it?

Andrew: It is.

Ian: What is that?

Andrew: It’s metho for the whiteboard.

Ian: Oh that’s for our serious whiteboard, oh and its leaking!

Andrew: Ah, anyway.

Ian: Excellent. Anyway, we’re on the air. Signs your web designer knows nothing about SEO. Now web designer could mean web developer as well

Andrew: Same thing.

Ian: They’re not the same thing.

Andrew: Shows you how much I know about web designing then.

Ian: Yes. The point of this hangout is that neither Andrew nor I are web designers or web developers. Our experience is in project managing, well my experience from a web point of you is in project managing web design, but I am not a skilled photoshop person or a skilled web design person. However, I understand brand and I understand the creative components that need to go together for a campaign, I understand some PHP/ HTML code but I do not claim to be a web developer. However I do understand functionality and I can go into great detail with clients about that but I am not a guy that sits behind a computer and writes code. Why I’m saying all this is because I know what I’m good at, I know where the bleeding edge is of my skills and my limitations and thats why I partner with people that are more skilled in that area, people who write code, people who actually have a great command of photoshop and indesign, these programs that we use and I know that I have to partner with those people, beside those people and in some cases subcontract although that’s a whole other story.  It shouldn’t be any different for SEO for how either web designers or web developers treat SEO and in fact in the case of SEO, it is more important now than ever for you to have an SEO person working in partnership with you, beside you, in contact with the client because it is such a confusing area. We could go into lots of stories as to how doing SEo in a subcontracting sense for an agency, various different digital agencies or branding agencies, we could go into lots of examples of why and how that doesn’t work. This is because it is a lot about client expectations, it’s a complicated area and it’s one that needs to be very carefully managed from before a contract starts, through that sort of planning process, right through to doing the setup of the website or whatever the particular goals of the campaign are. But essentially, it needs to be very carefully managed.

Andrew: So. What you’re trying to say is?

Ian: So what I am trying to get at, what I’d like to think is that the shoe needs to be also on the other foot. That’s probably the wrong analogy. But what I’m trying to say is that if you’re a web designer or web developer, for god’s sake don’t pretend to be an SEO person if you’re not. If you know what a metatag or a meta title and description is that doesn’t mean you’re an SEO expert. If you know what an alt tag is or any of these other SEO components thats okay, but that doesn’t make you an SEO person. SEO is a specialised area a lot like a lot of these other areas in IT or online or web. The industry had matured to the point where your SEO person is the equivalent of like your brain surgeon. Now, you don’t get a brain surgeon to work on your heart and you don’t get a heart surgeon to work on your brain, I mean, the human body is a complex instrument and the knowledge of the human body has developed to the point  where people have to be specialists in the various different parts of the body, the IT and web industry has got to the point where these area are getting so specialised that you do have to have an expert. I don’t know whether I can make it any clearer.

Andrew: So yeah, if you’re having your website built or if you’re building a website for someone else, keep the SEO side of it in mind and if you don’t understand the SEO side of it work with someone who does because it’s easier while you’re building your website to set it up for proper SEO rather than doing it after the fact because it’s not just about tags, it’s also about URL structure. I know for a fact that web designers or web developers, whatever the difference is I still don’t know, who just make up a string of numbers and stuff and that’s the actual URL for a certain page, well from an SEO perspective, that is absolute rubbish, that doesn’t mean anything. It should have whatever keywords that are being targeted for what the site is about, I mean not overly, just so it’s a clearly structured URL. You cannot go back and fix it after because if you’ve linked all your pages together, well then if we come in later and change the URL structure of a certain page, well that means that any links you’ve made will be dead links, so then we’ve got to go through the whole thing and figure out where these links are that you’ve actually created. So it’s easier just to do it while you’re building the website.

Ian: It is, and there’s so many different circumstances where you need the expert advice of an SEO person. If you’re starting the website from scratch, if you’re starting the brand from scratch, you definitely need an  SEO person. If you’ve got an old website and you want to relaunch a new site, even more importantly you need an SEO person. There’s multiplications on how your old site is indexed by google and how new site is going to be indexed, multiple implications, and these sorts of things you shouldn’t pretend to know how these things work. I would suggest yes, learn the basics and learn enough to be able to explain it to a client but I would make it very clear to them that this is not your area and that you will be working beside, or you’ll have an SEO company working beside you on this. We’re actually so adamant about this that we’ve now built on-page optimisation, or on-site some people call it, built that into a web development package. So you say to a client up front in the proposal process, SEO is really important and here is the offering as part of your website development package. Because otherwise there’s no point building a website in the first place if they can’t be found by Google. Don’t build a website, there is no more built it and they will come, in fact I don’t think there ever was, there might have been in the nineties when there were hardly any websites. This has got to integrated part of launching or relaunching a website.

Andrew: What you hear a lot of times, people who have just built a website come to us through whatever channel that might be and they say that the web designer/developer told us that SEO is not important or I’ve already done SEO on your website. We go through it and say well here’s all the problems with your site and here’s the client thinking that was all taken care of because that’s what they were told. Now whether or not  the actual web developer was ignorant or if they were just plain lying to the client to get the business we don’t know.

Ian: And then we’re put in a very difficult position, and we have been a few times. We’ve learnt to delicately manage that, we don’t want to get the web designer and web developer in the poo so we have to actually say to the client well look, this is a specialised area, maybe they did say that that was under control but sorry it’s not being done the way it should’ve been done. We have to sort of be sensitive about it because we don’t want to get the web designer or the web developer into trouble. It much easier for you to just be upfront about that with the client if you’re in web development, be transparent, and we’ll help you with that if you’re a web developer and you’re watching this this, we’ll help you. Call us or email us and say I’m doing this project it’s launching at this time, I haven’t explained this to the client yet, how do I approach it. One thing that we do and have a lot of experience with is that sort of strategic approach to things whether that’s the rolling out of an actual project or that is how do I approach a client and how do I canvas this with them in a way that they understand the importance.

Andrew: Or on the other hand, if you’re someone who is having a website build by a web person make sure you ask them all the right questions, make sure you ask them ‘what about SEO?’, ‘do you part with somebody that knows what they’re talking about and knows what they’re doing?’ or ‘do I have to start all this again once my website is built?’ If they say no, no, no we’ll take care of it, well then get them to qualify, get them to show somehow that they actually know what they’re talking about and SEO is more than just metatags. It’s simple. If they say we’ll fill in all the tags, well that’s good but what are they going to put in there? It’s not just a matter of putting any words in there that they possibly want.

Ian: Well like you’ve said in the past, there’s a reason why it’s called Search Engine Optimisation it’s not search engine fill in the blanks – you’re not truly optimising unless you’re doing the right things with the words that you have.

Andrew: So possibly, the best thing to do is to ask them to get their SEO person or department to call you and tell you what they’re going to do as far as the SEO side of things go.

Ian: Yep, and you can smell a rat. You can ask them a few qualifying questions and see if they know what they’re talking about. Now again, this is where it comes back to web developers being put in an uncomfortable situation, if we’re advising clients to ask these kinds of questions and you know that you’re going to be asked these and you don’t know the answer, then just be honest upfront and say I’m not an SEO person. It’s actually better to say ‘I’m not sure’, ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I’ll find out’. It’s better to say that then to say a bunch of rubbish that you can’t follow through with and a lot of information is available online, I’d like to think that clients will go away and actually do a bit of research and go through an education process and qualify you in return. It’s only fair. Do you have an example of things you might ask them?

Andrew: Just very quickly yeah.

Ian: We’ve looked up quite a few articles on this and this is actually a quite amusing one.

Andrew: It’s from LunaMetrics I can tell you that much. Hang on, here. Christina Keffer, this is a few years ago but the points are still relevant.

Ian: It’s very amusing Christina.

Andrew: One of the questions you should ask your web guy is during the website designers pitch say to them, ‘I’m concerned about search engines and their ability to index my site properly.’ If they start talking to you about things like putting flash on there or javascript on there or search engines don’t really matter, or if they say to you ‘I am be coding very well, it’s ok.’ Then you know they don’t know what they’re talking about.

Ian: And their grammar isn’t too good either.

Andrew: Their grammar is very bad. Just another quick one which I mentioned before ‘what will my URLs look like?’ and if they reply ‘Well it depends on how the user got to the page (I don’t even get that and how that changes), they’re dynamically generated and the search engines won’t care because lots of sites have dynamically generated URLs (that’s not a good thing) and look at this cool session (I don’t know what that means)’. But yeah, that’s some of their replies.

Ian: I like the equivalent of ‘hey look, there’s a squirrel!’ in order to distract the client and hope they forget this conversation happened.

Andrew: Well that’s the whole idea and another very quick funny one, ‘what’s the difference between a 301 redirect and a 302 redirect?’ If they answer you ‘nothing’ or if they ask you ‘is this some sort of crappy SEO CPR?’ or ‘ever heard of meta refresh redirect? duh! everyone’s using them now,’ ‘I am seeing no need to worry about redirecting, we’ll take care of it.’ Well any of those answers, consider yourself educated now, should make you think twice about using that web developer because he’s obviously has no knowledge of SEo or is not working with anybody in conjunction with doing SEo on your site while your site is being built.

Ian: I do sympathise with the client point of view and I do get part of the reason why, look, if you’re a web developer or a web designer just be honest and upfront and say you’re not an SEO person. Don’t even try and come up with any of those rubbish answers because clients aren’t really going to necessarily realise that you’re full of crap but they see enough signs of it and hopefully if they’re educated enough they’ll smell a rat. It almost doesn’t matter what the rubbish answers are even though they’re using examples, just don’t say you know when you don’t. It’s pretty easy. Pretty basic.

Andrew: Very.

Ian: So, having said all that, if you’re a client and you’re wanting SEO done on your website just realise that it’s a specialised thing and you do need to educate yourself as to the kinds of questions that you need to be asking. If you’re a web designer or a web developer then hey, we’re surrendering, we’re staying. I’m not a coder, I’m not a designer, and yet I’ve been heavily involved in website projects for many, many years. I still say to clients upfront that I’m not the one that’s actually doing it, we’re working with partners. So people know that this is the way the world works and it’s a bit of straightforward honesty.

Andrew: It’s like that old expression, you don’t want to be a jack of all trades, you want to be a master of one. So if you’re a web developer, be a good web developer and don’t worry so much about SEO unless you’ve got an SEO vision in your company, or if you don’t, find one.

Ian: We’ll work with you. When we say work with you it won’t be in a way that we will demean you in front of the client, we want you to be successful and we want the client to be successful. So we’ll work beside you in a way that we’ll make sure the outcomes are strong and the results are positive. That’s what partnerships are about. Anyway thank you very much for watching, thank you Andrew once again.

Andrew: No worries.

Ian: Andrew Radics as always.

Andrew: As always.

Ian: For lustrous and stimulating commentary.

Andrew: Yeah I need to shave so I’ll do that.

Ian: You need to shave? Well I probably need to shave as well. I had a haircut yesterday so I lost a bit of hair. What’s wrong?
Andrew: Nothing, it’s just kind of sticking up Looks like you’ve just gotten out of bed that’s all. Ah well, it must be the style.

Ian: Must be the stylist. There you go, I’m not a hairdresser either, not a hair designer either – just another thing I’m not. All good, won’t be wearing as much green next time.
Andrew: I dunno why we did green. It must be our green drinks, cheers! Not that we’re gonna drink this but yeah. OMG you drank it? you drank the prop?!


How to Sell Without Selling-Content Marketing

At Mad Scentist Digital, we talk a lot about content marketing. It has become the new normal and the best way for brands to gain a loyal following. It is focused entirely on offering valuable content to users and not just on plugging  their companies products.

In this video, Andrew Radics and Ian Hopkinson discuss how to sell without selling with content marketing.



Ian: Good evening

Andrew: How are you going?

Ian: I am Ian Hopkinson and this is Andrew Radics. What’s your name?

Andrew: Certainly not the same as yours, my name is Andrew of course.

Ian: Do you like this new look?

Andrew: No.

Ian: No?

Andrew: You look like an absolute stud.

Ian: Maybe I could sing an Eminem cover for everybody today.

Andrew: Please don’t.

Ian: Screw that. Today we’re going to be talking about how to sell without selling-content marketing. Are you drinking coffee?

Andrew: Oh, I forgot my coffee!

Ian: Oh, well do you want to go and grab it?

Andrew: No, it’s fine.

Ian: How long does it take you to make one.

Andrew: About ten minutes.

Ian: About ten minutes?

Andrew: Yeah.

Ian: How do we sell without selling Andrew? It sounds like a crazy concept.

Andrew: Well, last time we were talking about content marketing, and how content marketing is not just about article writing and all that sort of stuff, syndicating them to a thousand different article sites or whatever. There are many ways to do this, obviously one of them is through your blog or through your website, if you have a website, it should have a blog attached where you write relevant articles to do with your business, tell people what your business is about and to very subtly talk about the things that you do, like any products that you might have that are new without being pushy. That’s the thing. Once you set that up, naturally people will sit up and take notice of who you are and what you do.

Ian: So by providing good information and providing original, relevant material to your customers.

Andrew: Yeah, pretty much. The other way to sell without actually selling is through social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and whatever else, as well as some of the overlooked ones such as Tumblr, Delicious, Reddit, StumbleUpon. There’s lots and lots of them where you can put up links to your website with some sort of an article.

Ian: So social bookmarking sites?

Andrew: Yeah social bookmarking but its still social so.

Ian: Yeah, yeah.

Andrew: It does generate a truckload of traffic if you do it right, so put your message out there, don’t be pushy and people will listen.

Ian: Yeah that’s a good tip, and the other thing actually, we’ve had a great example of it today. We’re putting out a regular newsletter and having e-marketing in alignment with that, it’s very handy. So if you’ve got a database you’ve been building up, and the best way to build that up obviously is through asking people lightly if you can send them regular information. But don’t grab a database from goodness knows where and start blasting information out to people.

Andrew: Don’t buy email lists whatever you do.

Ian: We actually had someone come in today who said they had ten thousand emails that they had acquired. That set off a whole lot of alarm bells in my head, I thought oh no please don’t do that. Don’t do that for a myriad of reasons, you’ll be blacklisted forever.

Andrew: They just don’t work.

Ian: They don’t. So yeah, classic example today of that. We had a client that a thousand people in their database which doesn’t sound like a lot but after a couple of hours they’ve just hit four hundred opens. So almost fifty percent of people have opened their email and they’ve got to think, half the world is asleep so that’s pretty good going.

Andrew: Yeah well we’ll wait and see what the figures are tomorrow .

Ian: In their newsletter was excerpts of their blog, connecting through to their website so it should have fully integrated with their other content marketing initiatives. So what are the other aspects of content marketing?

Andrew: Well there’s the classic, and that’s SEO. What more can I say on that one.

Ian: Well, we’ve said a lot on that one. But again, it has to be integrated doesn’t it.

Andrew: It does. But then again you don’t need to be pushy with what you’re trying to get across. I think when you’re talking about selling without selling you know if you talk about content marketing, in sales we’re always taught, always close, always close, always close, be closing all the time and all that sort of stuff. Well that’s great in some industries but when you’re talking about content marketing don’t always be closing.

Ian: Well everyone talks about the ‘call to action’ where to the point that ‘call to action’ quite frankly is like ‘call to leave the room.’ It’s been used so much and just about every call to action has been used and abused in ways that are just ridiculous. My favourite one is click here and download my PDF for all the great information. That’s good in theory but it’s getting a little bit tiring. We need to come up with something else to stimulate people’s interest.

Andrew: Absolutely.

Ian: So, thats actually my call to action for today! Send some suggestions for calls to action! The first person to do it will get our free PDF! About content marketing!

Andrew: You don’t have any PDF’s what are you talking about?!

Ian: We don’t have PDF’s, we keep making videos which is obviously more powerful than a PDF. So what else should small businesses be thinking about in relation to content?

Andrew: Well, we’ve got marketing, emailing which is something you just mentioned. Newsletters. I know it’s old fashioned, it’s old hat but the one we just did for these guys has done really, really well. You can put in subtle things about what you do and what you sell even without being pushy once again, that’s the key. Don’t be pushy because it will go straight over people’s heads.

Ian: That’s it. I think the key thing to this particular example, the emailing thing today is that there was a human face to it, we had the boss of the company up there, a photo we had taken of him, and there were some excerpts of blogs of interesting articles and things that are happening in the industry that could affect their customers and clients. It was short and sweet, it didn’t go into elaborate details. We could make it even better by putting a video on there but we’ll get to that. So they obviously have a large following and they’ve taken the time to fill up their database and you’ve got to make use of it. It makes sense. Are we leaving anything out?

Andrew: Nah, I think that’s about all I can think of.

Ian: I think there’s something we’re leaving out.

Andrew: What’s that?

Ian: Video.

Andrew: True. Video is another very effective way providing of course, that it is done correctly. You can still talk about your products and services or whatever but without being pushy.

Ian: Well again, providing people with information and advice, kind of like what we’re doing right now I guess in a way.

Andrew: Pretty much, well you can click on the links below if you want, if you don’t you don’t and if you do you do, terrific.

Ian: That’s right, choosy calls to action. That’s the thing. What we’ve found with some of the videos that we’ve put up, when they’ve gone up on Twitter, people who are interested in content marketing, marketing or SEO have said thank you very much, here’s some information that I can provide to my clients quite happily because they know the information is put together quite well and they trust it. Things like that which is good feedback to have.

Andrew: They seem to think we know what we are talking about so that’s a good thing.

Ian: Well, ultimately we’re just doing what we’re advising people. That’s really what you should be doing. It’s a little bit frustrating when we’ve had an SEO company say that they are doing amazing things for their clients. But when you go onto their website, it’s the most neglected thing on the internet. In fact one that we did a digital health check on recently was the worst optimised website we’ve ever seen based on our own internal rating system that we use for our digital health check. It was the worst we had ever seen and that’s an SEO company.

Andrew: It’s funny, because when you ask them why is your website so neglected, their response is “oh, we’re too busy doing other people’s websites.”

Ian: It’s not a good enough excuse I’m sorry.

Andrew: It’s like a landscape gardener with overgrown weeds a metre tall.

Ian: “Oh but we’re too busy doing other people’s.” I don’t think that’s right. In digital you essentially are what you do. If you want people to have confidence in your services you really have to have your act together.

Andrew: Your website now is kind of like your business card. It’s the first place people go when they find out about you and they check you out there. If that looks like absolute rubbish then what are they going to think about your work.

Ian: Having said that, when we first started the business I think we went through two or three websites very quickly. But we were getting our ducks in a row and working things out. It was all typical start-up stuff when you’ve got a lot of things happening at once. That’s understandable, but really you need to be getting the right presence. So content marketing is obviously very important, it’s very topical at the moment. I think one of the illusions that we’ve touched on previously is that the big point about content marketing is that there is a whole lot of stuff about a whole lot of things that can line up with your keyword ‘strategy’ but as we’ve said, don’t get caught up in that. Be the best brand that you can be with the right strategy and the right content marketing and you will be found. Be more focused, don’t span across everything, it is just a waste of time and resources.

Andrew: If you’re going to push anything, push your brand. That’ll get you noticed.

Ian: Well there you go, hopefully that’s some sort of insight into how to sell without selling.

Andrew: I hope so.

Ian: Well it’s really to move product without being in your face. I find it quite remarkable just in wrapping up, that infomercials are still happening on television. Do they still work?

Andrew: Well they must if they’re still around.

Ian: Our next hangout is going to be along the lines of infomercials versus content marketing. WHO WINS?!

Andrew: You can research that.

Ian: Well I won’t have to research that much because so much of that stuff is just in the public domain or online so I can get that very quickly. Thank you very much once again, thanks for listening to us carrying on about content marketing. Nice shirt today by the way.

Andrew: It’s pretty old.

Ian: Texas?

Andrew: I dunno, never been.

Ian: Right. If anyone has a spare ten grand for an around the world trip for Andrew, if you want to sponsor the program for a week then we’ll be happy to do that and get Andrew over to Texas, and the rest of the state for that matter because it’s an awesome place. That’s all from us we’ll see you next time.