To be an excellent inbound, SEO and content professional involves greater understanding of the business, it’s branding, goals, channel alignment, plus content tracking to see if they match its objectives.

Many businesses, individuals and publications approach and prescribe SEO, content marketing and branding as separate practices. We will see why that fails and what you should do to become more efficient.

There is a dominant point of view held by employers, not professionals that SEO and content writing are separate specialisms. They are not. They are holistic disciplines demanding a wider scope and other soft skills to be effective.

An expert inbound marketing SEO content writer must:

  1. Identify the content ‘audience’ and write effectively to them. Audience is not the same as client. A digital marketer should already know these differences
  2. Be goal oriented and being able to set up measurable objectives per channel
  3. Understand every channel produces different results / goals. Time, resource and costs of production need to be monitored, justified and optimised
  4. Align all channel media to the audience, to achieve a company is, not the writer is personal goals
  5. Produce brand and channel aligned media (solutions, USPs) for all channels
  6. Have an in-depth knowledge of SEO and how to use other content channels to achieve these  

Before we carry on, content marketing means media e.g: video, images, podcasting, not just the written word.


Since 2014, both the mainstream media and industry press, misrepresent the difference between the SEO and content marketing. I do not think my point of view is as novel as Copernicus’. However, like Copernicus, changing established opinions is hard. Just view any content marketing professional job advert. In 90% you will read that an inbound marketer has to have an understanding SEO (not its application) or have a massive work portfolio, be a passionate writer etc.

Employers, not professionals are to blame for creating a job role stereotype that fails the business itself. If your employer continue to make this difference, it is likely to fail yourself in your role. Ultimately some roles are easier by legacy or short term gains that keeps the company and campaign afloat. It does not push employees or businesses to be better.

Publications like Forbes share my holistic point of view. In April 2018 they wrote that SEO and content marketing is evolving and coming together as a holistic practice.

I recently replied to a tweet from Uberflip, the world is number 1 Content Experience Platform (CEP) that content marketing has to be 360. They agreed and liked the idea. This got me thinking. If this resonated with them, I am on the right track, then there is something in it.

Let is first illustrate the differences between content marketing and SEO professionals. Then their similarities. Finally how they are actually two halves of the same fruit, not individual fruit!


SEO is a technical practice. It demands knowledge of markup languages HTML, CSS, java maybe PHP and what they can do to optimise a website is performance (navigation, UX etc).

A SEO professional has to keep up with daily search engine changes and general chatter. The role is essentially analytical of the website under their control and other websites linking to them.

It demands behind the scenes work like optimizing user experience with robots.txt, enhancing metadata (canonisation), schema markup, and a sitemap (technical SEO). That means content found on the website is what the business wants to be found. Non-relevant pages are hidden.

So where do SEO and content meet. Websites must have content. There is no SEO without content.  


Content production has a wide scope of creative and semi-technical specialisms e.g. graphic design, writing, video, PR, social media, etc. There are different content styles per sector – b2b, b2c, corporate etc.

Content is affected by its delivery media and technological advances by search engines have changed how content is delivered.

Search engines stipulate that fast experience is good, slow is bad. As a result, technological advances and mandates from search engines has given us a very impatient audience.

Written and other content styles have changed. Between 2011 to 2019 is content is consumption has shifted from the desktop, to mobile app, mobile browser and now to smart devices (assistants). Content is consumed via AR and VR devices (wearable or otherwise).

To paraphrase Oliver Twist, we have moved from wanting more, to wanting it quick, now, and don’t bore me. Front loaded content (inverted pyramid for scripts, landing pages, etc) is where it is for most vertical industries. The audience now wants to skip from the know already (foreplay), to the want to explore (interact) with a show me, not tell me experience.  

This means, content production has to be optimised to the media for an audience. The content department must have an in depth understanding of what needs to be produced, how it is done, and the expected result. That dear reader is not what you read in many job advert.


SEO needs content to be good, relevant, inspire calls to action and backlinks.

Content marketers need to comply with SEO norms, no keywords stuffing, thin / scraped content or plagiarism etc and to write for a certain media channel / technology.

To understand why they are intrinsic outside the marketing and content sphere, let us take a mundane example to demonstrate that applied holistic specialisms.

Let me ask – what abilities, skills, mindsets, knowledge does a semi professional mountain biker need?

First the obvious. They must own, ride a bike. It helps being fit. But to be ‘proficient’ they must know about mechanics, the weather: how to prepare, fix, maintain their bike and equipment: how to navigate, preparation – prior knowledge of the terrain, first aid, and nutrition, hydration and much more.   

Similarly, a successful inbound marketer, you will know:

  • Business owners want results. As an inbound expert has to plan and action and think like a business owner.

    These must be representative of the channel and campaign they are planning.

    The campaign has to represent communications through the owner is own eyes and vision – that is making content aligned to the mission statements and goals of the company.

    Applied branding to use branding to achieve a businesses ends, not selling branding as hot air.

    Many ‘content writers’ say they know how to produce branded content. If content does not achieve measurable business goals and objectives then, ‘You know nothing content writer/manager’, paraphrasing Ygritte from Game of Thrones.

  • An inbound content marketing expert must speak and think like a digital marketer

    They know the benefits and features of the product and how to get them.

    They know the niches and the buyer / audience profiles.

    They understand what strategy to apply to take a prospect to the next stage of the buying cycle.
  • An inbound expert understands social media and content media. They know how to put across solutions relevant to an audience, using the right psychological words that stimulate action.
  • An inbound expert analyzes and has the tech background of an SEO professional. They have done the keyword research and proved demand by search volume.  

Once an inbound expert appreciates this and they will produce killer content.


In the next part in this series we will go, with real business examples how to get the most from your inbound marketing activities. We will cover in greater depth solutions how to identify an audience, onboard a client / onboard in a role, agreeing business goals and measurements per channel, brand communication, confirm that passion is not the golden goose of content creation, plus choosing and creating fit for purpose distribution and content plans.

How To Opt Out Of Adverts

Easy Steps To Opt Out Of Netflix’s Adverts in the UK

In August 2018, Netflix started to trial adverts of its own products globally. As far back as 2015, the streaming provider has always denied it would play advertising. Time will tell.

Can you stop these adverts right now from ruining your night? Simply yes you can.

Here’s the simple steps to make sure you are not annoyed by adverts.

  1. Log into your account. It does not matter if it is tablet, desktop, mobile. View far right hand on the top menu bar next to the search magnifying glass with your profile icon – mine is with the dog with the blue background.Top menu bar first step to opt out of adverts from netflix
  2. Then scroll down to account and click itChoose account - next stage in opting out
  3. A new page will appear. Scroll down until you see TEST PARTICIPATION. Click test participationHow to opt out of adverts from Netflix
  4. The Netflix Test Participation page will load. You will see you have been signed up to it if you agreed or not. Slide or click the ON switch button to OFFNetflix's adverts are turned on by default
  5. To opt out you will see this screen. It says ‘off’Deny Netflix From Playing Adverts by pressing done
  6. Press the blue DONE button, and you are done.
  7. Happy Viewing.. make a cuppa, and say thanks below if it helped!

For now, this means you have opted out of the test. At the time of writing this opt out was correct. It is uncertain if Netflix will make this compulsory in the future. Until then, happy viewing folks. Thanks for stopping by

How To Avoid Common Small Business Mistakes

Business Mistakes Start Up and SME Companies Make

At the early stages of a start-up / small business the decisions and processes that you put in place will effect how profitable it will be. There are easily avoidable steps that you should establish early on with your venture. If not these mistake will end up being very costly. At worst, they could mean the end of your business.

How to avoid these common mistakes is to establish if there is a demand for your product or service. Then deal with how you are communicating it. By holding regular meetings and achieving set goals with your team, you will master how to reach and communicate effectively with your customer. What you learn here is crucial for your online marketing and SEO strategy. Finally, avoid getting distracted on what the competition is doing.


You should have anticipated demand in your business plan. You would have asked, what does my product or service answer in the market and why is it different? Why would people buy or use my product instead of someone else?

In most cases the product or service is a novel thing but how it is communicated lacks appeal. Simply, most businesses fail to communicate their solutions to the buyer’s pain – their problem.

Takeaway fix: Use Alex Osterwalder’s lean lean canvas methodology to make a business plan on one sheet of A4. Follow this methodology and ask and answer five why’s about the problem’s your product / service answers and then you will then have a solution for them.

lean canvas for helping small businesses

Once you know what and how, finding the right marketing channels and segments should be a lot easier to identify. The beauty of using this methodology means you can test out different approaches. Reaching the right people includes experimenting with marketing different channels. Some companies fail by not using the most appropriate channel, others become reliant on too few.

Takeaway fix: Never become reliant on one channel. If someone copies your approach with more resources, aggression and funding you may not be able to compete. Always experiment, surprise and find where the product fits.


  • Know Your Status

know your business status

A lot of SME owners do not know what their present status is. That is what their business is achieving or not. Your business goals is achieved by your marketing strategy. There should be key metrics in it. These  ‘incremental goals’ tell you your status. Make sure you regularly review them.

Being ‘results’ hungry always keeps you alive and in the game. Always make sure your marketing and sales team give you meaningful and tangible results from analytics programs, its conversions and multi-channel campaigns. Reviewing your status is looking at your online analytics and finding what worked and why. This will involve some off-line investigation with your team. We will come to this in a bit.

Some business goals and metrics are vacuous. Let us deal with this next.

  • Vacuous Business Goals Do Not Make Good Business

Vacuous Business Goals

Some conversion goals I have heard are to get 50,000 likes on Facebook. These goals may buy you a smile at the bar, but it will not buy your drink.

Conservative goals still mark success, even if it just covers the bottom line. If you achieve goals and your team can account for them – great. Never forget to make internal goals. These goals transmit morale. It keeps your business in the game and it identifies problems early.

  • Grow Your Knowledge Capital
    grow your knowledge capital

    At internal meetings get regular product and service feedback from your team. I have seen more profitable companies that incentivise knowledge sharing than, who did the most sales. Being the top sales person can promote competitiveness. It does not amplify profit per employee. So ask from your team, What made that sale successful? What thing nailed it? What else could you have done better? Get this knowledge, share and incentivise it for collective goals.

Product and service feedback is crucial for all to understand customer wants and their throwbacks. For throwbacks it can easily point to product or positioning flaws.

Often sales and marketing teams fail to communicate. Communication helps your marketing team react and make the ‘brands’ message consistent . If certain demographics were converted it will make your team and your product stronger and desirable when everyone is on board. Sharing information between teams is crucial and stops internal arguements.

  • Lulls Point To Vulnerabilities

lulls point to vulnerabilities
Never think you are not achieving until you understand the market. Lulls may be natural for the product. Saying this is the first stage of getting comfortable in crisis and turning a blind eye to its vulnerabilities. Worse still is promoting a slacker mentality which turn out to be expensive. If your product is seasonal then product diversity is your saviour. Look at how your core products or services may be attuned to seasonal demand. Customer throwbacks may point to what you should be selling.


business competitor envy
If you have been wholesale ripping off competitor’s marketing strategy it will come back to bite you. It might be true that being first to market does not mean success. Apple and Microsoft are great examples. Their product was essentially the same as others on the market. They identified and created a unique selling position by positioning. We covered point this earlier with Copying a competitor’s product idea is not the issue. Copying their approach is the issue.

Your business plan should have a unique selling point (USP) or unfair advantage. Your marketing team has to help position this effectively in the market.

Takeaway fix: If you cheated a little with your USP,  look at what the competition are doing wrong. In the short term you can gain market share answering those woes. If these problems are intangible make them your USP and brand it!


not using seo for your business is a disadvantage
Having a website is a prerequisite of doing business in the modern age.  Being one of the first to be noticed, that is appear when doing an internet search is very likely to get business. Many generation X business question me about its worth. Back in the 1980’s businesses used to name the business to be first in telephone directories e.g A1 Services. When is the last time you used a telephone book? Even if you do not look for something yourself, your co-worker will. You need to be in the game to play the game

  • SEO Super Simplified.
    Above we covered knowing your client and what they want. Your meetings have identified trends and what turns your clients on-to and off your product. Finally, you know what values you need to project in your marketing and content. With this you have the basis to start a correct SEO strategy.From all the points above, from the internal meetings you should have a good idea of the words, phrases and terms which connect with your buyer. These will help you identify keywords. This will help you make titles, descriptions, and title tags relevant for your clients.
  • Outsourcing Your SEO Is Probably Your Best Option For Your Business Early & Mid-Term
    Why use an agency to help you formulate a strategy? Having worked in-house and agency side, in-house  SEO pros have interference by management who want instant results. An agency with sector SEO experience vs. your competitors is invaluable. They will tell you what do for your own good if you like it or not. New hires will err on the side of not wanting to rock the boat. An in-house SEO pro compromised by management will report what the management want to hear, not what analytics is really telling them.Unless your product or service is in a very small sector niche, SEO rarely brings instant results for a start-up company. It is a long term strategy. For local SEO and if your business serves a district it is possible to make headway a little quicker. From experience, I normally see movement 3-6 months in. In highly competitive markets, I have seen years before a significant movement. Of course,


We hope to have established how to take steps to avoid very costly common mistakes. Ensuring there is demand for your product or service and how to position this correctly by motivating internal communication is the key to a start-up business. Regular meetings help a business interpret its goals and allow it to better itself in lulls. It should always be finding ways to make a profit or reinterpret the market place and how to make a win.

By being honest with your staff, clients and yourself you can form the basis of a winning online marketing and SEO strategy. Copying the competition allows you a little time for movement at the beginning of your venture but it will never allow you to take, hold and maintain your venture.

I welcome your input, comments and suggestions on the points above for future articles. Until then, have a productive day.


Google Analytics Academy Course Completion 2018

Google Analytics Academy Course Certification Completion 2018

Pleased with myself having took and passed Google’s the annual analytics academy course this Friday!  On to the recognised certification this week so wish me luck. If you wondered what they looked like here they are. Sadly there’s no PDF, I had to grab screenshots.

Google Analytics Academy 2018

Google Analytics Academy Certification 2018

Long time gone

This site is experiencing technical difficulties

My site was hacked over a year ago.

Apologies if you’ve got to my blog and some pictures do not work.

Leave a message and I will come back to you!

Using Floola? How to get the FWID for iPod Classic & Nano For Mac

How To Get The FWID in MacOS for iPod Classic & Nano

Three easy steps how to get this information. This works with OS Mavericks. All other forms printed on the net are now obsolete for the new OSes for Mac.

  1. Go to applications menu in your Mac
  2. Find utilities
  3. Open Disk Utility
  4. Click on the Apple IPod Media
  5. Look at the bottom of the screen
  6. Smile when you find iPod USB Serial Number : XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Easy… now you can use this for Floola. Good luck. If it helped you, write a comment below

Why I think Facebook should hire me

Why I think Facebook should hire me?

I got up this morning, turned on my trusty Mac and I pondered. What would be my dream job? Answer: Facebook. Why do I say this? I smell opportunity that industry experts have been either too reserved to comment on or too blind to see. In fact I am going to impart a few ideas I have which can generate at  $M’s.

I’d like to meet you in Barcelona, Spain and have lunch. Not only are my ideas highly profitable, but they easy to implement and reinforce Facebook’s number one priority – keeping its garden clean.

Facebook ‘Reach’

Let’s look at Google. They have a standard of excellence as they impart excellence. The biggest difference between your companies is that Google tries to get into your garden (through analytical products), whereas Facebook is a garden. So why doesn’t Facebook get its users to be better gardeners?

The gardeners are basically users, organisations and businesses. Facebook has a reactive policy, not a proactive policy in maintaining its garden. Is it not time to launch an official qualification in Facebook analytics and best practice? You can throw courses, workshops and maybe be able to support this once Facebook Work becomes a reality.

Let’s look at the financials from Google. In 2013, there were around 20,000 certified individuals. At $50 a pop for just the ad-words exam (not including analytics one) Google made about $1.3M. I think if you teamed up with app development companies to create apps that helped advertisers, there’s a nice profit share right there. Next, with other developers to create better UX, based on best practice (see next heading).

Facebook ‘Knows’

The strategy to win a marketing account is simply, ‘knowing‘. You have all the data to know what campaigns work and how they were employed. So why not create reports based on successful campaigns. If you approached these companies to use them in a case study – you could compete with Gartner. Now Gartner say they have 14,000 valued partners. If you sold seasonal reports – Winter / Summer $2,000, plus quarterly analysis $500 to the same base we’re talking earnings of $3.5M. With your data you could probably make a mint out of best practice / analysis per industry. I’ll get to that in a bit.

Reaching out to business is not hard. Your data identifies the individuals responsible for the campaign. Probably 7 times in 10, the individual responsible for the campaign has used their personal log-in rather than the bosses or company’s. You could reach out to a lot more ‘partners’ via Facebook and get them to write up the case study, while you inject other analysis. That’s one tasty report. I hope for lunch you buy me a tasty burger.

Ad-network / User Network Collaboration

Of course with any new update, personnel and practice becomes obsolete. Wouldn’t you prefer to incorporate all the highest ad spenders, bloggers, advocates and successful Facebook campaign running businesses into a brainstorming UX update? This means fewer reactive changes to any new cosmetic or functionality updates. In addition to saving ‘face’ you on-board these partners to be later advocates.

This means more courses, more best practice reports and it means you are ready to launch a new update with fewer hitches. Cost.. NDA’s. Revenue about $1.1M

Facebook ‘Reach’ Part 2

Have you ever reached out to advertisers directly, not through email but by chat? Don’t you think that if someone reached out proactively by saying hey, I’m reaching out to you to:

  1. Do a case study / report
  2. Offer advice on your last campaign, pop on to a free conference at our HQ
  3. Give them a darn free tshirt for being a best practice champion
  4. Tell them about the qualifications / reports
  5. Incentivise them?
  6. Offer
  7. Hey why not some free ad-spend credit, as your advice is so good try it for yourself

What Google does not do is tell its advertisers to be better advertisers proactively. This is an important thing to consider – true differentiation. If someone from Google reached out to me and said this, wouldn’t this be the talk of the office? Time to ramble on a bit. I used to contribute to WIKIPAEDIA. I loved it when a page / subject admin would pop up and have a chat. It’s something really personal. It made my day. Mark – try doing some Wikipedia yourself. It’s a right buzz!

Where’s the big money at?

Right now if we cut through to the chase your product is big data for business strategists and engagement for individuals / marketers.

Let’s look at just three golden goose industries. There are more. The point of this is to monetise  social responsibility. The adult, video game and pharmaceutical industries have tried many engagement tactics. I think its time you tidied up your garden and recognised this.

To be continued…….


How To Care For A Canvas Tote Bag

How To Care For A Canvas Tote Bag

Recently I worked in a promotional marketing printer & supplier. Here are a few hints and tips about tote bags and how to care for them.

What are tote bags?

Tote bags are literally like a shopping bag. The handles differ in length and diameter. Materials differ and should be considered when you decide to purchase them. As a marketer it is best to consider WHEN and WHERE they are going to be used. In warmer climates – just go with the usual canvas tote, if you are holding an event in winter, or during the rainy part of the year I would recommend a nylon or plastic tote. Why? Simply as they are made from unwashed cotton – meaning they will shrink and deform, plus all the contents will probably get stuck together. Basically, you’ve given away something of low value and it could hurt your brand.

A recent study suggested that promotional bags are the way to go. Basically 9 in 10 people remember tote bags vs. other giveaways. You can download a HUGE report on promotional items and their use / take up in 2014 from the Impressions Study – Advertising Specialties Institute.

So back to what I said previously, if its going to be remembered – then the experience has to be equally as good right. Now I get to meat of this blog.

These bags are cheap to buy and not too expensive to print on. Depending on the quantity, say 100 bags plus a one colour print, it’s about £1.25 a unit for a canvas bag. Now, it’s cheap and it’s unwashed cotton. What does that mean? It shrinks. A tshirt is made from cotton that’s been shrunk before. Okay tshirts do shrink, but not like unwashed / non pre-shrunk cotton will. I washed one bag and it shrunk about 2 inches. WHAT… yes.. it shrinks a lot. This means what was printed on it is going to reduce. Imagine if I had chosen transfer printing on it. A dogs dinner right? So go with screen printing or DTG.

Care Instructions: Spot Cleaning a Canvas Tote

  • Dab / blot stains and marks on the tote with a sponge
  • Wash the the sponge, scrunch up and dab the areas again
  • Let it dry

Care Instructions: Washing a Canvas Tote Bag

  • It’s best to hand wash with cold water and laundry detergent.
  • Cold water will prevent the bag from shrinking a lot.
  • Make sure you rinse the detergent out
  • Reshape the canvas tote then hang to dry
  • Do not put a canvas tote bag in a dryer
  • Iron the bag!

I hope this helps you. Please leave a comment below.