Some people are not afraid to use HubSpot Marketing Grader!

Posted by Chris on May 17th, 2012

A year or two ago I started using HubSpot’s Website Grader to evaluate the performance of client’s and suppliers ( potential and actual ) websites. HubSpot’s Website Grader has since evolved into Marketing Grader which looks at the wider picture of a companies Internet Marketing efforts including it’s website, blogsite and social networks, automation software, analytics and internet influence ( Klout ).

Having put quite a few websites and internet marketing efforts through the HubSpot Grader I now know that there are a lot of companies in the 30/40 out of a 100 range, quite a few in the 50/60 range and only a few in the 70/80 range.

Nikki Pilkington ( who designed this blogsite ) has a grade of 85/100. see and This is a very rare score. Nikki’s website is based on WordPress and she has large networks on e.g. Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Google + and Pinterest. She blog’s regularly.

Nikki’s Marketing efforts are a great implementation of what I call an “Internet Marketing Ecosystem “.

One of the companies that has most impressed me is Staffordshire IT. . The reason that I am impressed is because often, when I show people the HubSpot Marketing Grade, they go into denial. Many of them have not heard of HubSpot ( which I am not totally surprised at but you would think that Internet Marketing professionals would be aware of a company that has created a whole new way of looking at Internet Marketing – known as Inbound Marketing ) and whether they have or have not they often have a ” who are they to grade my internet marketing efforts ” ? sort of attitude. John Bryan, M.D. of Staffordshire I.T. was not like that – he took the report in his stride and actually grasped the points that were highlighted in the report and worked on them. .

When I first met John his score was around 75/100, Since he has worked on it he has reached 84/100 and has a stated ambition of reaching 90/100 which would be an amazing achievement.

Staffordshire I.T.’s website is also based on WordPress and they have a blog, Twitter and Facebook accounts and use Google Analytics.

Some sceptics say that the only way that you can get a high score with HubSpot’s grader is when you use HubSpot software for your website. This is clearly not the case as we have two website’s in this example that are WordPress based and which have high scores.

HubSpot partners in the U.K. fight for HubSpot U.K. Google rank

Posted by Chris on January 29th, 2011

Which HubSpot partners in the U.K. will achieve a high ranking position in Google searches ??

HubSpot partners in the U.K. should now consider the Six Figure Mentors system being promoted via the Digital Experts Academy global network

I am finding it quite interesting watching old and new HubSpot partners fighting for a top ranking position in a ” HubSpot U.K. ” or ” HubSpot in the U.K. ” Google.

As HubSpot  expands it’s business globally beyond the U.S.   getting more direct customers and partners, the HubSpot partners themselves are making a ” land grab ” for prominence.

How are they doing this ??


STOP PRESS !!! January 2013 – The Internet Marketing Ecosystem ( mentioned below ) has now been incorporated into Centripetal Network Consultings’ Digital Marketing Ecosystem. Watch this video >>>> HERE <<<< to see how a system that provides all of the functionality of a HubSpot system at a much lower cost has evolved over the last couple of years.



The first three organic search positions are, perhaps unsurprisingly, held by HubSpot themselves with posts on the site

and posts on the website.

The comes for the next couple of entries who, typically for a PR company, reckon that they are HubSpot’s ( only ) U.K. partner.  A quick look at ” Page Source ” for their website pages shows that Titles and Metatags reflect the content and that ” HubSpot ” and ” U.K. ” are liberally scattered throughout the content, titles and metatags.

Next comes Advanced Marketing Concept’s Blog page

Admarco appears to have a presence in the U.S.  ( San Francisco Bay Area. ) and the U.K.

The next entry is from Wired Magazine and promotes HubSpot itself rather than a partner.

Then you have the HubSpot User Group post from GMIG

I understand that someone at HubSpot made a conscious decision to allow this new partner to set up a U.K. HubSpot User Group. It’s a great way to get prominence !

The actual user group is on Linkedin:

Next we have a Slideshare presentation from Kpi Insight Consulting

and then a TrafficTroop ( Ireland ) website entry

to finish off Page 1 of Google.

On Page 2 of the search for ” HubSpot U.K. ” you have GMIG again and then Strong Marketing’s entry:

and then…….. ooooh ! it’s me 😉 – posting here on the M&A Rainmaker blogsite.

So lets stop there shall we – except for a quick comment that it is rather dissapointing ( at least to me ) to see a HubSpot U.K. partner paying for Pay per Click in order to provide discounted HubSpot pricing !! Really ???? Already ???

We can assume that the websites and blogsites being used have a relatively high Google rank which is giving them thier ” authority “.

So congratulations to those HubSpot U.K. partners who are ranking high and good luck for the future !!

Note: February 2012

This blog continues to rank high for searches on ” HubSpot U.K. ” and ” HubSpot Partners U.K. ” which shows the power of a WordPress based blog. It looks to me like there is going to be a big fight soon between HubSpot and WordPress based alternatives – if this is not already happening. HubSpot appears to have moved it’s focus upmarket by increasing the minimum monthly fee and this will increase the opportunity for WordPress based options. For U.K. customers HubSpot’s service appears to be taking a dive. Watch this space.

Note: January 2013

After putting development effort into the ” Internet Marketing Ecosystem ” last year we adopted the Six Figure Mentors WordPress based  Digital Marketing System in August/September of 2012 . More information can be obtained on this by going to my WordPress based personal website >>>>HERE  <<<<. The S.F.M. Digital Marketing System is being promoted globally by the Digital Experts Academy.

Potential HubSpot partners in the U.K. may also like to consider the S.F.M. / D.E.A. system as an alternative.


Driving Internet Leads for UK SMB FutureLine using HubSpot – Part 3

Posted by Chris on December 23rd, 2010

Following the last blog

we got the 2 landing pages done as discussed earlier.

The visit/lead tracking system is working and we can see recent visitors details. These can be transferred to a CRM system and is probably the easiest one to do this with although other are possible. We will address this shortly but for now the visit and lead records will be held within HubSpot ( they are always held in both places anyway ).

We had done some work around keywords/phrases – looking for words/phrases that were relevant but not too competitive – and we input these to the HubSpot system. We also had the HubSpot system look at the keywords/phrases being used by typical competitors. The HubSpot system identified which keywords/phrases were ” stronger ” than others.

The HubSpot system will show where the visits/leads are coming from in terms whether they are direct ( someone types in the FutureLine url ) via a Google search or from e.g. The FutureLine Blog, Social Media or Press Releases.

Typical Social Media sources would include:

– Delicious

– Digg

– LinkedIn

– Reddit

– Sphin

– Twitter

– Yahoo Answers

– Yahoo Buzz

– YouTube


We set up the FutureLine Blog and discussed the type and composition of beneficial blogs. It was noted that there should be ” Call to Action ” pieces at the end of each blog. HubSpot gets many of its leads via the HubSpot blog.

We also discussed what defined ” strong ” links and noted examples of these. They include e.g. links from high ranking blog sites; links from Press Release sites.

We also discussed the fact that we could ” buy ” traffic using Pay Per Click or Media buying ( CPM ).

We determined to get the ” Call to Actions ” set up on the website together with the landing pages that we had built.

We would also do more work on keywords and phrases and when we had arrived at the best words and phrases give consideration to including these words and phrases on the website and in blogs.

We would also do more research on the ” Top 10 questions ” asked by FutureLine’s customers and prospects.

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 !!

The Great Internet & Social Media Marketing Experiment – Day Three

Posted by Chris on December 19th, 2009

Yes, well it may APPEAR as though nothing has happened but actually – in the background it has.

I have been talking to Howard at Seventh Wave Media ( ) and Nikki at Nikki ( ) about what we are doing and I have one more ” adviser ” that I want to involve in the experiment.

Obviously the companies that we are working with have loads of other things to do other than this.

The main tasks that we have set have been for them to produce initial lists of what they want to be found on the Internet for. We have also given them an appreciation of the fact that when we try and get them found for these things ( and any others that we come up with after discussion ) some of them will be harder to do than others. So we are looking for some flexibility and lateral thinking. We also asked then to think about thier main products and services and then prioritise the keywords/phrases in line with what is most important to them.

Nikki made a great point which was that we not only need to look at what they want to be found for but also what it is worth putting the effort into being found for  ( effort/reward ratio ?? ). This made me think about a Cisco chart I once saw where they plotted all the things that they wanted to do from an Internet presence perspective on a graph of ” How difficult to do and how costly ” to ” What benefit would be derived from it ” and then picked off all the easy to do and derived great benefit points first and then left the harder more expensive and lower return ones until last.

This went well with the fact that we gave advice on the fact that some things are much harder to rank for than others and we have various ways of finding out how easy it will be to rank for different things.  If we can find relevant, less competitive keywords it will be much easier to be found and rank for these than it will be  for competitive ones.

Anyway we have initial lists back from both companies now and we are looking at these. I did have a bit of a test yesterday using Ecademy posts to see if I could get a ranking for a couple of the terms and I did get a number one listing for one of the terms within an hour and a middle of page one ranking for another within 12 hours. So, both of these terms look doable.

We have also asked the companies to get Google Webmaster Tools ( ) and Google Analytics ( )    installed on thier websites so that we can look at the effect that all of our effort has on traffic to thier website.

Remember, at the end of the day we are interested in how much business they get out of all this but first we will look to improve visibility, findability and then visitors to them and thier websites. We will be looking for all forms of inbound enquiries – emails, posts, phone calls etc etc

We also had a discussion about email-shots with one of the companies and I have put up a few comments about this both here on this blog and elsewhere. It was quite interesting looking at various email-shot companies and looking at what other people were doing with thier own email-shots. This led to an emphasis on the fact that email-shots are connected into the New Media Marketing Whirlpool in a number of ways eg the email-shot will refer people back to the website, offer links to eg Twitter,Facebook etc pages and needs a url with a relevant decsription so that the email can be posted on various Social Network and Information sites.


Posted by Chris on December 18th, 2009

It’s a bit techie but I have just been thinking about this area quite a bit. It’s fully explained in the link above.

So, simply we are talking about finding “achievable” keywords where achievable means that you have a chance of ranking high in Google for those keywords.

A simple way of finding keywords that are achievable is compiling a list of relevant keywords and then typing some of those keywords into Google and seeing how many results you get

The other day when I was very grateful to BMW Sytner High Wycombe ( for fixing my car )  I thought that I would say so publicly in a few places. I Googled ” BMW Sytner High Wycombe ” and saw that I got the following results:

  Results 110 of about 2,570 for bmw sytner high wycombe. (0.14 seconds)

Oh, ok I thought, so not that many then { ” BMW sytner ” gives Results 110 of about 30,600 for bmw sytner. (0.42 seconds) and ” BMW ” gives   Results 110 of about 183,000,000 for bmw. (0.21 seconds) }.

I wonder if I can get something to rank on the front page pretty quickly ???

I know ( because I have done it loads of times before and because it is a pretty highly ranked website to Google ) that I can post something on Ecademy and it will sometimes appear within 20 minutes or so ( Google index’s every 20 minutes ).

So ( at the time of writing ) this Google

has this post

In the middle of the front page. Hopefully BMW Sytner will appreciate the thought !!

As you will find out in a following post we are asking a couple of companies that we are working with to write a list of all the keywords that they want to be found for and then we are going to prioritise those and look at what we think we can rank high for pretty quickly.

SEO is not important any more !!

Posted by Chris on December 17th, 2009

How very interesting !!

The Great Internet & Social Media Marketing Experiment – Day Zero

Posted by Chris on December 17th, 2009

ok – so a big decision was made today by some friends and I but I have some more people to talk to that I would like to participate in this with us.

We have decided to work with a couple of companies to help them develop thier Internet & Social Media Marketing presence.We will tell you more about them as and when we and they are ready.

Ultimately our objective is going to be to increase thier sales. Initially we will focus on raising thier profile on Google for selected search terms and increasing the number of visitors and traffic to thier main website. ( We will do this in many and various ways ). Then we will be looking for actual conversations, enquiries and leads and then how many of those leads we can convert into sales.

Here is an interesting presentation about social media return on investment that will be relevant:

I have had a number of conversations with the parties that we are working with at the moment and the same view was coming out from them.

” Chris, all of this is very interesting but WHERE DO WE START ?? ”

Now THAT is a very good question !!!!

Indeed where DO you start ??? Well of course where you start depends on where you are….

We have decided that the Day Zero tasks for them are as follows:

First, they must decide what terms they want to be found for. What would a customer put into Google’s search box that would result in them being found ??? We have caveated this with an understanding that some search terms are much harder to rank for than others. For example if someone is searching for ” computer systems ” Google says ( on my search this time ) that there were 141 Million results. However, if someone searches for ” computer systems in Dorset ” there were ( this time ) 162 Thousand results. Therefore this is one way of saying that the first search term is much more “competitive” than the second. i.e. it is likely to be much harder to rank high on Google for the first term than the second. This leads to the idea of being flexible ( lateral thinking ) in terms of what you want to be found for and also to being ” niche ” and ” specific “. How about ” HP computer systems in Dorset ” ? – 17,100 results i.e. more niche and specific and probably easier to rank high for.

( There are considerable numbers of other ways of finding other, related search terms or keywords including the fact that as you start to type
” HP computer….. ” Google gives you suggestions as to what you might be looking for  e.g. ” HP computers for sale ” it suggests. You can also use sophisticated keyword analysis tools like Wordtracker – ).

We have also suggested that our companies consider all the potential products and services that they offer as possible search terms eg
”  asterisk based telephone systems “.

The companies that we are talking to have websites and we have looked at these.

We have asked that the companies ensure that Google Analytics and Google Webmaster tools are installed on thier websites and if they are not installed the we will install them.

This is going to give us historical ( hopefully ) and baseline information that will guide us on things like correct structure of the website, keywords being used, inbound links, number of hits, traffic etc etc etc

We will be using our keyword analysis to guide us going forward on things like content and appropriate metatags and titles.

We have already looked at the websites source code and so we know that there are things that need addressing. We have also looked briefly at competitor sites and where they appear in the searches and how they are constructed. We think that even for some of the very competitive terms we have a chance of getting a good ranking.

We will also do our own list of keywords and phrases to compare with the lists  and  ( probably ) add to  what they have.

So, that’s Day Zero !!!

It was chatting to people today because the whole subject area kept coming up. I liked a couple of the comments that were made today:

A friend ” My daughter is the Twitter and Facebook expert for ( a very big computer company ). I don’t have a clue what she does “.

One of the companies ” xyz says we should have a YouTube channel. What ??? ”

It’s a very fast changing area that we are in and as I also discussed with someone today the one thing to realise is that it is never totally finished. There is always something else to do to ensure that you are found before someone else. It’s sort of scary but also sort of comforting as is the fact that you are not the only one to have a website that you don’t totally like and certainly has not been optimised. There are loads of people in the same boat !!

Internet Video Marketing Journey

Posted by Chris on December 15th, 2009

If you have read a couple of my Marketing related posts here you will know that I consider Internet Video to be one of the  ” referrers ” of people and links back to your website and you.

My interest in Internet Video Marketing goes back some way. In fact I realised that I had a couple of timelines for this that I could check and I’ve surprised myself with how the time has flown by !!

In  December 2006 I produced ( or had produced ) a video for the Glan Yr Afon Inn. Here it is:

and it comes up on Google alongside it’s Google Video version when you search on The Glan here:

Now, I think that the thing that sparked me off then was that I noticed how simple and high quality online videos had become. ( not all of them were simple and high quality but some were ).

I came across Mike Koenigs ( who I will talk about later as it is he that has sparked off the recent renewed interest ) and his ” Internet Video Marketing with Internet Infomercials “( )  and also came across Guy Massey of The Internet Video Company ( see examples of thier work here ) . There were other people and companies that influenced me at the time – I just don’t remember them all. 

I guess that it was probably Mike who made me decide to produce a video myself and get it online. Fortunately for me I had access to a professional filming and editing team that had been recommended to me and I hired them, gave them a brief and sent them up to The Glan for a couple of days.  A couple of weeks later I went to thier offices and they showed me the demo. of the film. We made a few tweaks, added some ( not expecially brilliant ) music and I had my film on a disc. One of the children ( young adults now ! ) ” ripped ” it off the cd and  put it up on YouTube  and Google ( before Google bought YouTube ) and the other integrated it into The Glan website. So, we had videos on YouTube,Google and the website. Hey!! – I was pretty proud of the whole team !! Although I did not do it all myself it was great to know that we had started from nothing and got to a video on the Internet.

Then we started on our ” biking videos ” , with a new filming and production team. Aberdare Park was our first video:

which we all thought was great and then we moved on to our ” bike upgrade videos ” e.g.


and here

What exactly were we doing – Hey !! we were just exploring and having fun – ok ??

By this stage I had experience of working with three filming and production crews !!!

Now to put it simply you could say that The Glan video was just about improving the experience of looking at The Glan website and nothing to do with search. Hopefully if people looked at the video they would be even more interested in visiting The Glan. 

The Aberdare Park video was about us starting to produce a programme or a channel of bike related films and the upgrade videos were about educating people as part of the channel content and also some product placement ( Mikuni Carbs and Kuryakyn Hypercharger ). Again not about search.

However, I knew that Mike Koenigs was focussed on using internet videos to get good search rankings. In many ways he worried less about content and quality of the video and more about getting it up there  to generate more traffic and leads.

I also knew that Mike was developing a product called Traffic Geyser whose basic purpose was to upload videos across multiple video platforms. I also knew that Google was ( apparently ) going to start taking more notice of pictures and video. 

Fast forward 4 years ( yes 4 years !!!! ). What’s changed ?? What happened ???

Well I signed up for Traffic Geyser for about 18 months but I didn’t use it ( I was not producing any videos and I did not need to upload them to one video site never mind multiple video sites ) so I let the license fee lapse. I was also off exploring various other way of getting good rankings on the Internet. Oh !! and of course I was busy learning about Social Networks. That’s how I have at this point thousands of connections on Facebook, Twitter, Ecademy and LinkedIn ( not as many as some but more than most ! ).

I was also developing my ideas for the equivalent of the ” great universal connection theory ” or something, latterly known as the ” Marketing Whirlpool ” !! So, I have just expounded my theory when this

lands in my inbox. Now Mike is also very good at email marketing and obviously tends his database with loving care 🙂 so, despite the fact that I let my Traffic Geyser account lapse I am still on his mailing list. ( I just have not taken any notice of his emails for the last couple of years I guess ! )

After viewing his first videos and having a bit of ( very interesting ) email discussion with him he ends up sending out another email and video here

Now, what you’ll notice here ( and Mike pointed this out ) is that in the first video case study Brian was clearly not very experienced but managed to pull in some good business really quickly whereas Valerie was clearly a pretty switched on and experienced lady ( let’s ignore the ” stay at home mom ” disguise shall we 😉  ) who had developed her business out of another business. Really focussed and niche.

Ok – so what’s the issue here then ??

Well, it’s sort of the old quality versus quantity debate:

Is it better to produce high quality videos and content that are distributed in single or small numbers and are optimised carefully OR is it sufficient and indeed effective to produce loads of  mediocre videos that rank highly in Google – at least for a while ???

Stay tuned while I explore – and please let me have your thoughts !!

Inbound links to your website

Posted by Chris on December 12th, 2009

Alexa tells you how many inbound links you have to your website and how you rank in the UK and US here

Copyright © 2007 M & A Rainmaker. All rights reserved.