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SEO Scam?

I have recently been assisting a large UK Government department, whom I have worked for on and off since the 90's. They contacted me because they haven't got any tracking data for the website they had developed.

This is not the fault of the developers, which isn't myself. Rather it's the SEO Digital Marketing Agency that the contracted. It appears that they haven't done a lot and it and didn't even know there was a problem. I have no idea what this agency is being paid for their services, but I would suggest this needs to be reviewed.

Which brings me to my point; I have been developing websites since 1994 and I have yet to deal with an SEO or Digital marketing agency who is worth what they generally charge. In fact I would go further to say in many cases they are running a scam.

When your customer doesn't understand what you do or how you do it it is easy to get away with jargon or bamboozlement. Send out a monthly report generated by Google and await your payment. For some companies this is almost an addiction, fearing that if they stop paying they will plummet on the Google Rankings, it's almost blackmail.

The people you should talk to are the developers of your website. They are, or should be, best placed to put in place all the tools to make your website succeed as well as advise you on what will help your website suceed. If you want to involve a marketing agency go for one that provides a holistic solution for your company. That would include the likes of your branding, your print media as well as your digital presence.

No apologies for my cynicism, I have seen too many of my clients pay £1,000s to these companies for little or no benefit. Let me add, somewhere out there I would hope there was an honest Digital Marketing company that offered a genuine service.

 

A fresh look

To those who have been on this website before might have noticed something of a change. It had to be done, a redesigned, updated website for Cavespider Productions.

In our case the website had been in it's current form for some time. Due to work pressures, not complaining, it was one of those projects that kept on being put off. But it was our shop window so it really had to be current, which it was rapidly becoming less so.

It's not an easy call as you need to think how your website looks to others. Do you really need to refresh it or is it just that you're bored with it? It could still look wonderful to a new visitor. I certainly wouldn't not consider spending the money until you had done a little research. 

Cavespider, a fresh look

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash
Spam domain renewal

I would be surprised if as the owner of a domain you hadn't received a few of these. Emails purporting that your domain renewal is overdue.

Problem Solving

As I have mentioned in the past I have been developing websites since 1994, but I have been solving problems on computers since 1984.

I'm not going to give you my resume here. If you'll excuse the nostalgia before websites I had a bureau service outputting in the most part 35mm slides from computer files. There were a lot of file formats and standards were all over the place. Converting a file so that my system could read it was always a challenge.

I learnt a lot during those years and the methodology I picked up then still applies today. Everyday in my work there are problems that need solutions. You might think what a pain, but I do like developing websites because I enjoy the problem solving. It is so satisfying when you find the solution and the result is another beautiful website.

Cavespider, love a good problem

Photo by Neil Thomas on Unsplash
Nuts

There was a time you could add a contact form to your website, people would use it to respond and you would contact them back, easy! Things are changing...

Template shackles

For those of you that know me and Cavespider you'll be aware that I have a bit of a thing about off the shelf themes and templates. All the websites I create are bespoke, I create the templates for all my new websites.

I do, occasionally, take on the management of a website that was created using a ready made theme. Often from the likes of Yootheme or theme forest, there are many of them. To give them credit these templates take serious man hours to design and create. They have to be robust, flexible and hopefully reasonably easy to use. The results can look quite good and they do provide a solution though they may not save you as much as you might expect, unless you're creating the website yourself.

I have been creating websites since long before there were such things as themes, though I wasn't at the stage of tying dinosaur bones together. So creating a website from scratch is not new to me, it's the norm. I have tried using a ready made template and I found it really frustrating. I know how I want something to look and work so trying to make something pre designed do that is harder than just building it from scratch in the first place.

There is another big positive, as far as I'm concerned, are my templates will last and have lasted the years of technologic progress. Whereas I constantly have problems with the off the shelf variety because they won't work with the latest versions of the various support software the many of the hosting companies are implementing. On occasion, too many, I have gone back to the Theme producer to find the particular theme involved is no longer supported. It's not a good look to be telling a client their website is 'end of life'.

So, if you don't mind, I'll stick to creating bespoke websites. Then I don't need to ever tell a client their website has come to an end.

Cavespider, unchained

New sofa

I was speaking to a company that had been referred to me yesterday. They were not happy with their website. Not a new issue as you can imagine...

Coronavirus

The Coronavirus has made a lot of people isolated and the reasons are many, including working from home, lockdowns, self isolating and so on. Guess what? They are going to be relying to a much greater degree to finding what they need online.

So consider, what's your online presence looking like. This is the time to make sure it's right up to spec and getting your future clients picking up that phone and getting you involved.

The Covid 19 crisis really can be an opportunity as more and more are forced online you need to be there. 

 

Christmas Tree

Christmas is almost upon us, again, and most people are planning on a few days of relaxing and getting away from the day to day stress of running a business. Brilliant isn't it?

Busy

I have been so busy that I haven't been posting which is exactly the excuse my clients give me for not posting. So maybe I should be saying 'do what I say, not what I haven't been doing.

GDPR

Should you be worried about how GDPR will effect your website? Probably not for the average brochure type website because it's all about the data you collect and what you do with it.

Facebook Apps

It would be hard to miss the press coverage of the Cambridge Analytica story and how they used Facebook apps to get into your data. Well to varying degrees there are many other organisations trying a similar thing on. 

Mind reader

That thorny subject of pricing and being a mind reader. I like to compare with the difference between making a movie on a mobile phone to that made with the full film crew.

Bespoke website design

Are you a designer or someone who knows exactly what they want? Have you noticed how many web developers have a tendency to tell you what you can and can't have?

Colouring Book

Consider, if you were an artist would you pop down to the stationers to get the latest colouring book for your next masterpiece?

Writers Block

When someone asks 'What do you want for your birthday?', do you always know? When you know you need a website, do you know what it's going to say?

Brand

You may have spent a fortune developing your company brand. You have gone to some trouble to ensure your communications are correctly branded to form that continuity.

Updates

I assume when your computer software needs updating your probably excited to discover what new features might have been included. On some systems you don't get the choice.

Two Birds

There are definitely advantages to have everything on one easy to access single page. But what are the implications of using this style of presentation?

Surprise bill

If you use a lawyer, the garage, even an accountant you generally don't discover the cost until you see the bill. Wouldn't be nice to know the cost before you hire?

Big bum

The question is more likley, 'is my website out of date?'. If it's more than six months old maybe. But that is no reason to worry, really.


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Based in Merstham, Surrey

 

Telephone

Telephone:‬ 01932 506408

Mobile:‬ 07703564636

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