helping businesses hoover up the local search traffic

I feel your pain...

we're not ranking when people search for what we provide

You sell kitchens in Bristol, when someone Googles 'Kitchen showroom in Bristol' you don't rank on page one. 

This is so common (well, maybe not the specific example). I can help you rank for all the terms relevant to your business and teach you how to do it yourself.

From Ford dealers Manchester to Precision Engineers Glasgow to dental surgery London, I have created pages that rank high on page one of Google.

Our pages don't convert

A common problem is to have web pages that succeed in ranking but then don't actually lead to anything. You are an accountant in Ipswich, you rank for accountants Ipswich, people click on the result but then they never get in touch. Why?

Often the problem is that pages are written purely to rank, but at the expense of the copy being compelling and enticing.  A good web page appeals to both Google and potential customers. 

I know how to write a page that ranks, but as a former BBC journalist I also know how to write for an audience.  

We don't know what to write for our site

Every page on your site should have a purpose and, as a business, often that purpose will be to generate leads or create sales and enquiries.

Some pages such as an About Page,  FAQs, or Contact Page serve an obvious purpose.  A page such as Accountancy Services in Ipswich would be written if that was a term of value to the business, they wanted business from anyone looking for a local accountant.

Why, though, have a blog? Why write articles that give expert advice for free, or lists of tips and tricks? What good does this content do?

The key lies in site authority. It is beneficial to have content that marks your site out as being an authority in its area, this tells search engines that you are experts, you don't just have a collection of pages written somewhat cynically to rank for niche terms. 

Get in touch to discuss a suitable content plan for your site and business.

we don't like the look of our site

Did you know that the bulk of website traffic is now on mobile devices, this has huge implications for web design. Typically, people build sites on desktops, clients assess how they look on desktop and yet most actual users are looking at the site on their phone.

Elements made to look great on an HD monitor can go badly wrong on mobile - images get cropped in just the wrong place, text goes out of alignment, nothing flows quite as it should. With everyone on theor phones, site design actually has to be simple - it has to work as one column, flowing straight down the screen.

Often, what business need, rather than a flash design, is something that is functional, doing the job on the smallest screens. If someone in your locality Googles for your services while out and about, they need a nice looking web page, not something that scales down badly.

If you need a new site or site revamp, please get in touch. Don't get charged thousands for a simple site, often a new site is only two or three days' work, costing a few hundred pounds. 

Free content plan

Wondering what content to produce for your site?

Got a few ideas, but not sure of the tone or length of copy?

Do you find that anything you create for your website has little impact, it takes too long to write for no discernible benefit?

Get in touch with a few details about your site and business and I will create a free basic content plan for you.

You are then completely free to enact this yourself, simply get writing - the plan will include what I would do if looking to boost your website.

A bit about me

20 Years' Experience

I have been creating online content for almost 20 years, initially helping small sites to achieve enormous growth before working for the BBC for a decade.
I have written for the web, edited, devised concepts to achieve high traffic growth and also worked in editorial development and editorial analytics.

Working to your goals

Tell me the aims of your site and I can bring new focus that helps you achieve these goals. My suggestions, tailored to your individual company and needs, do not require additional staff or a website rebuild. My aim is to take what you already have – the staff, the site, the resources and make them work that not more efficiently.

Understanding website behaviour

I have had the luxury of time and resource to study content in depth and ponder big questions such as 'how are people using websites, what do they want and how do we attract, and keep visitors.' The BBC has a lot of employees, it can afford to have people in development roles. Most companies can't. That's where I come in - I can provide the insights it took me years to research for the BBC in a matter of days, tailored to your specific needs.

Imparting Knowledge

My work is never a criticism of existing practices. I have had the luxury of time to study websites, user behaviour and web analytics – most don’t get this opportunity. My approach works for anywhere that produces web content with a purpose – whether that is to get more local business, to attract a certain type of user to the site, or to rank high for searches. The advice I provide can then be continued, ideas taken on by existing staff members. In a few days, I can make a radical difference to how you see your website.

my career to date..

Positions Held

BBC - Senior Editorial Analyst Leading a team within BBC Sport to study website behaviour and analyse trends, then using this information to help inform editorial decisions. Work produced led to a large jump in audience retention on site. Editorial teams gained insight into types of content that worked for different audiences and also the best times to promote different styles (for example different content for a Monday morning vs a Sunday lunchtime).

BBC - Senior Development Journalist Working as a senior member of BBC Sport's Editorial Development Team, I helped ensure the site remained the UK's most successful sport website. Projects included forward planning for Olympic Games and World Cups, developing new content formats and interactive tools, and ensuring the site reflected ongoing trends such as the switch to mobile and changing patterns of entry to sites - search and social replacing direct entry.

BBC - Senior Journalist Chief sub editor and front page editor for BBC Sport. As chief sub editor, I would manage the production desk, ensuring the highest standards of copy editing and index management were maintained. The front page editor left me responsible for prioritising content on site.

BBC - Content Producer Producing content for the BBC Homepage and deciding what to promote on the page and when. A prominent slot on the BBC Homepage could send hundreds of thousands of browsers to another part of the site, for example a page with information about a new TV or radio show.

Manchester Evening News - Online Journalist Established the sport section of the newspaper's website, with > 1,000% traffic growth inside a year. Also worked as liaison between web and print colleagues, helping establish positive relationship between the two departments.

Business Lobbying Organisation Revamping the online presence for a business lobbying organisation, making it customer focussed rather than being built with the needs of internal staff to the fore. Also enabled online membership subscription.

Client Examples

Sport Governing Bodies & Sport Teams and Leagues Helping sport bodies to achieve more from their website without resorting to extra expense on staff, or a site rebuild. By focussing on editorial aims, analysising existing content and approaches and then suggesting new approaches it is possible to get more users, target specific demographics, and achieve any other aim. A short period of consultancy can lead to huge, ongoing gains - the organisation or team getting bespoke advice and plans that are based on a decade observing best practice on leading sites.

Local Businesses & Start-ups Working with a wide range of small, medium and local businesses - for example locksmiths, water jet cutters, dental surgeries, accountants, lawyers, builders and many, many more. Some have required a site building (if you want a basic Wordpress site for a few hundred quid I'm your man), other clients need an ongoing content plan. The aim might be to suck up traffic for local search terms - Accountants Bury, Accountants Manchester, Accountants Stockport etc etc... Adding page or two a month can lead to sustainable growth.

Large UK Businesses Bringing focus to their web content, ensuring it works to bring in business and bolster their reputation. Often this is through an ongoing programme of blog writing and pages created to target specific locations or potential client types. Contact me for blog examples.

Publishers / Sport & News Sites Most sites are naturally caught in the day-to-day, the never ending churn of news and content to produce. I take a more detached view, coming up with an editorial plan that helps you achieve your aims and stay relevant as web usage patterns continue to change.

Autism: Free Web Marketing Help

Our eldest son is autistic and has PDA. I appreciate the efforts of any organisation promoting autism awareness and acceptance, or doing their bit to help through schemes such as autism friendly hours.

If you want any help to make your site or content more visible or just general web advice, get in touch and I’ll help for free. This is offered as a personal thank you for the work you’re doing

Get in touch