Romantic canal barge cruises in Cheshire and Lancashire

Posted by Chris on February 20th, 2010

If you are looking for a canal barge holiday or cruise in Cheshire or Lancashire then

Welcome to Miss Molly Cruises, your first port of call for canal boat holidays and hire in Cheshire & Lancashire.

A new way to learn about narrow boats and the canals with a special taster weekend. Please feel free to browse around thier web site to discover a real canal time experience.

Miss Molly Cruises are specially arranged to provide you with a relaxing and worthwhile weekend canal experience. A Taster weekend cruise will be on board Miss Molly, a top quality 60ft long narrow boat. It is a Charter hire with your captain on board and it can be on any of the canals in Cheshire or Lancashire. You can assist with the cruise, learn the ropes or just relax on board and enjoy the scenery. There will usually be locks, bridges and tunnels to negotiate and several canal side pubs to stop at as you choose.

The accommodation and interior design of Miss Molly is first class and she has all of the live on board facilities you could wish for. Miss Molly has full central heating and a cosy fire to toast your toes on. Why not try a special Romantic weekend away for you and your partner so that you can relax together in some of the most beautiful and peaceful surroundings of the English countryside?

For more details please go to

U.S. Venture Capital Fund gets Susan Boyle !!

Posted by Chris on January 21st, 2010

They can’t sing but I like it !!

Social Networks are the key to High Google Rankings ??

Posted by Chris on December 30th, 2009

If I Google myself it’s mainly the social network entries that come to the top – LinkedIn, Facebook etc etc

Someone sent me this link today

to people who reckon that they can SEO your LinkedIn profile page so that you come to the top of Google. ( Of course we all know that there are no guarantees on this front !! ).

I just thought that it was interesting and a sign of the times !!

Achieving a high ranking website

Posted by Chris on November 13th, 2009
The main reason that I am interested in high ranking websites is because I think it adds value to a business that is exiting. Not that this is much of a factor in valuing companies but I think that Internet presence will become more of a tangible value factor.
One of my investee companies director’s asked me to give him some help with the latest ways of achieving a high ranking website and as this was a subject that I have been discussing here and elsewhere it seemed like a great opportunity to pull some of my thoughts together. ( I speak not as an SEO or website design expert but as an Internet Marketing Strategist ).
Q. How does a high ranking website get to be so ?? ( He asked )
I was reading some books about Google a while back and I remember them talking about how one of the founding ideas for internet search was based on the practice of referencing papers written by ( mainly ) intellectuals. That is ” good ” information is ” referenced ” or ” linked to ” by
” referrers “. So, I write a paper and I put a list of the references that I have used at the end. The more times that a paper is referenced ( linked to ) the better that paper is likely to be.
I noted that Googles spiders ( that crawl through all the websites on the Internet )  are looking for good, relevant information that other people have both visited and referenced ( linked to ).
Good content and information obviously tends to lead to lots of visitors and references ( links ) which creates more  visitors and references and so on.
Clear and correct “classification ” and ” indexing ” and ease of navigation through the website enables people and spiders to find information easily and leads to more visitors and links.
It is a case of ” If you build it ( correctly ) they will come ” and they will remember and reference you. ( Assuming they are interested in what you have to say ).
So, important factors are:
1. Relevant content ( updated and added to regularly )

2. Correct ” classification “, ” indexing ” and construction ( ie coding and website structure/ease of navigation )

3. Traffic ( Number of visitors )
4. References ( links )
Points 1 and 2 relate to what you are trying to rank for.
Points 3 and 4 are achieved with good, interesting and valuable content.
( There may be shortcut ways to the top but Google may well work out that you are trying to shortcut the system and going  against the basic tenet of providing the best, most relevant information to the searcher and penalise you for it ).
Understanding what you are trying to rank for is KEY.
This will lead to you having a number of ” straplines “, words and phrases that ARE WHAT YOU WANT TO BE FOUND FOR.
N.B. You MUST put yourself in the mind of the person who is searching for what you provide ( NOT who you are ). People will search for products and services generally not company names. ( Unless they know you and what you do already ). 
So someone might search on a pub by name e.g. The Glan Yr Afon Inn but they are more likely to search on ” Pubs in Holywell ” or ” Pubs in North Wales “.
There are ( as I view it ) various tiers of relevant words and phrases.The name of the company and it’s main products and services are Tier 1 and Tier 2. We then get down to lower tiers where someone may search on ” Bird watching in North Wales ” for instance. This may not seem immediately relevant until you understand that there is a bird sanctuary just down the road from The Glan Yr Afon Inn and realise that people who may want to watch birds may also want to eat, drink and sleep somewhere.
Understanding clearly what you rank for ( and the various tiers ) is the subject of a Strategic Marketing Review which we have talked about elsewhere in the Marketing section of this blog.
This covers:
  • Strategic marketing objectives
  • Tactical marketing objectives
  • Messages
  • Offerings
  • Target markets
  • How to get to target markets
  • How we will support our proposition
  • What the competition is doing

This needs doing whether we are thinking about Traditional Marketing, Word of Mouth Marketing or Internet Marketing – all of which we will do in a co-ordinated way.

From this review we will obtain some key messages, straplines, words and phrases.

We will create a website that has:

  • Our brand
  • Our message(s) – relevant ones
  • Our culture
  • Our content – relevant

and always – in the back of our mind – will be the fact that we want to be found for certain searches. We integrate these terms into our content and we also ” code ” them in where we can ( in website names, titles,  metatags etc )

 What we are doing is that we are taking care of the relevant content and correct classification aspects referred to earlier. THEN we need to go about increasing traffic and creating links ( ideally from other high ranking websites ).

To achieve this we ” promote ” ourselves.

N.B. Whilst we will concentrate on Internet promotion clearly Traditional marketing and Word of Mouth marketing will lead to an increase in Internet activity alongside a return fom that particular activity e.g. a mailshot may get a return in it’s own right but it will also add to Internet marketing  return .

When we talk about Internet promotion I am thinking that we have already established a website which has everything we have talked about so far in it. It looks great, has the right content, has the right coding and construction.

It will get direct visitors ( because people will see the url somewhere and type this in to the browser ).

It will get visitors via Google and other search engines because when people search for your products and services they are very likely to find you because your website has the right content and coding.

It will get more visitors because you will promote it on and you will create links from what I call referrer sites:

  1. Feeder websites. These are small, perhaps niche focussed websites that you establish.
  2. Social Networking sites eg Facebook, Twitter, Ecademy, LinkedIn.
  3. Photo/Video sites eg Flickr and YouTube
  4. Your blogsite.
  5. Other people’s web and blogsites.
  6. Information sites eg Digg, Stumbleapon,Delicious,Social Median
  7. Directory sites.
  8. Google Adwords.
  9. Press Release websites.
  10. Others sites.

Promotion does a number of things:

  • People see you on that medium/site eg on YouTube and further promotion may occur there
  • They link through to your website ( ie you get more traffic and links )
  • It adds to the number of visitors to your website 

To give you an example of how I have used ” referrer sites ” to boost visitors and links to a main website – here is one of the pubs websites

here’s it’s blogsite
here’s it’s Facebook page
here’s it’s Twitter page
here’s it YouTube video
If you look at this search on Glan Yr Afon Inn ( I have searched on the name to show you where it appears rather than as a ranking example – as you know it is hardly of any interest for the name to come up on google ) you will see that The Glan ( like myself ) is all over the place on Google.
Review sites, directory sites, press release sites etc etc
all of this are providing traffic and links to the main website as I described to you.
If you search on eg ” pubs in Holywell “
you will see that we come up top of Google Maps ( which comes top of Google )
and then in the main natural listings number 4 and 5.

“I want a blog that’s at the top of Google before I do any work on it – and I want it to be free”

Posted by Chris on November 2nd, 2009

The person that helped me create this blogsite ( Nikki Pilkington ) recently posted a blog herself about an email that she received from someone ( who will be getting famous soon ) here

The email asked

” I am looking to start a blog that is free (or very cheap) to run, is easy to edit and write on and add photos etc.


I want this blog to be fully search engine optimised, so it comes up close to the top of google for all relevant search terms as well.  I also want some ad space on the site so I can start earning straight away.


How much would you charge for this?  I just want to be handed a blog that is at the top of google and is ready to go when you are finished… “
Nikki’s response to wanting this for free cannot be printed 🙂
This got me thinking though…
I am not a website designer or an S.E.O. ( I leave all that to Nikki and her team ) but I am in part a sales and marketing strategist and as such I like to take a helicopter view on these sorts of things.
My overall view ( explained here ) is that Internet Marketing is one part of marketing these days and alongside Word of Mouth Marketing and Traditional Marketing it should feed your database of customer and prospect information and drive your business engine along.
When it comes to Internet Marketing of course the thing that we all want to be is at the top of Google ( for particular search terms ) and ideally for the least money possible !!
Now, getting to the top quickly is one matter but getting to the top quickly for FREE is entirely another !
I am not going to tell you how to get to the top of Google for free ( I don’t think that it can be done – especially since nobody’s time is for free ) but I am going to tell you about some things that you can do to get yourself to the top of Google.
Some of these I am simply going to say Y.N.T.S.T.N.P.A.T. ( You need to speak to Nikki Pilkington about that ) or STN ( Speak to Nikki ) for short !!
What you have to understand in simple terms ( STN for the longer, more detailed version ) is that Google ranking is about Traffic ( to your site ), Relevant ( and changing and updated  regularly ) content and links ( from other high ranking sites ).
The websites that get good rankings have loads of visitors and great content and therefore lots of other ( good ) websites refer to them. 
Now, the other thing that you really need to understand is what words and phrases you want to get ranked for. There is nothing ( other than asking for it for free ) that riles SEO people more than dealing with people who do not understand what they want to get ranked for – in detail. by the way – what you think you want to get ranked for may not be the best thing to get ranked for ( STN for more ). What you think people will type into Google to find your products and services may not be what you think. ( Want to bet ?? )
Also the words and phrases that you want to get ranked for may just be too damned hard to achieve ( in any reasonably quick timeframe and reasonable cost ).
My advice to you is to think about the thing that you want people to find you for e.g. Pubs in Holywell and things that will lead them to that e.g. Accommodation in Holywell and things that will lead them to that e.g. Fishing in North Wales ( Lost ?? then STN ).
It’s basically because there are more ways than one of skinning this ole’ cat.
ok. Now lets start with your website. It has to be relevant, easy to read and look at ( N.B. Google’s layout ) and SEO’d etc etc etc ( STN )
To drive traffic to your website you need to use some or all of the following:
Google Adwords ( can be expensive – STN )
A Blogsite ( STN )
The use of Press Release sites ( Free or otherwise )
Inclusion in other people’s websites ( eg Newspaper sites, Blogsites, PR sites,Directories )
Information sites like Digg ( STN )
Directories ( Yeah I know I said that above aswell )
Social Networking sites ( Facebook, Twitter etc )
SOME of these sites will be very high ranking referrers or links to your site ( eg Facebook is )
ALL of them will drive traffic to your website.
Can you visualise this ?? You have all these seperate Internet based elements that are referring back to your website and driving it higher.
Have you realised how much work this involves yet ?? How long it takes ???
Yes my friend nothing comes for FREE and nothing comes easy. However I hope that this has helped you with the big picture and for more detail STN !!!!

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