Internet marketing performance of Lichfield based businesses

Posted by Chris on January 31st, 2012

Lichfield in Staffordshire has a very Internet aware local government ( e.g. Lichfield District Council uses Twitter for Planning Applications ) and local business population. I thought it would be interesting to use HubSpot’s Marketing Grader software to grade the Internet Marketing Performance of a random selection of Lichfield based businesses.

I chose my random selection not so randomly, mainly from HubSpot’s Twitter Grader for Lichfield on the basis that if people were on Twitter then they were likely to be pretty Internet savvy and social media aware. Hence my selection was ( in order of best performing ) Lichfield Live  , Lichfield District Council , Executives on the Web ( our ” web ” company ) , InterVallum ( Paul Hooper-Keeley has the most Twitter followers in the area ) Hellmann ( Logistics ) and finally Framework Gallery ( who I spoke about in an earlier blog and who performed well in a local search on ” oil paintings “.

Stylised seahorse


I wanted to get a bit of a ” spread ” of results i.e. from high end results like Lichfield Live ( who you would sort of expect to have a comprehensive Internet presence ) , through Lichfield D.C. ( who probably have a team of website specialists and as mentioned before are very pro. social media and the Internet ) to Executives on the Web ( who again, as a web based business, you would expect to be pretty high ranking )  to Hellmann’s ( who arguably don’t need a particularly strong web presence ? ) to Framework Gallery who, as I say performed well in some earlier searches.

I don’t propose to go into any detail on each of the reports ( they are all listed below if you want to take a look at them ) but you probably need to understand that these grades are relative to thousands of other websites around the world i.e. 78/100 means that the Lichfield Live website in conjunction with it’s associated blog and social media memberships  has a better internet marketing performance than 78% of the web presences reviewed by HubSpot. That’s pretty good !!


Millefiori stud

You also need to understand that HubSpot takes a pretty ” salesy ” view of life. Terms like Top of the Funnel and Middle of the Funnel may not mean much to some business people but they will be familiar to most salespeople. HubSpot’s mantra is ” Get Found ( on the Internet ), Convert ( Visitors to leads ) and Analyse ( how you did it and how you could do it better ).

To achieve this HubSpot recommends the establishment of what I call an ” Internet Ecosystem ” i.e. a combination of a website, a blogsite and various social media memberships and other sites that essentially drive visitors back to your website. ”


Sword pyramid

Marketing Grader Reports  – 78/100 – 68/100 – 60/100 – 39/100  – 31/100 – 12/100


How NOT to start a new website – 365 ITMS Limited shows how!

Posted by Chris on October 13th, 2011

The recent launch of 365 ITMS’s website ( and limited company ) takes me back to the blogs that I did a while ago on the Boiler room scammers. ( I will try and remember to put some links to these articles about share fraud and boiler rooms at the bottom of this article.)

The old company, 365iT plc, never had much idea about Internet marketing ( which always made me wonder how much the company really understood about what was going on in the modern world of high technology ). I think it was a case of the old boys network that had really got – well – one foot in the grave ??

What’s the best we can say about this launch of a new company and website/Internet presence ??

Well – they have a website and they did some press releases. This is actually about the sum total of the Internet repetoire of 365iT’s and 365 ITMS’s Internet marketing team.

Oh – and if you “view source” there’s a few ( hopefully ) relevant keywords in the tags and titles.

If you remember the share fraud scammers blogs then this is about what they did – create a relevant website, makes sure that it’s got the right content and relevant titles and tags and then stick a press release out to ( mostly ) free press release sites that syndicate to others.

If you are a bit of a blagger then you can say to your client – there you go – a fully SEO’d website with full traditional ( if you send it to the
” traditional ” media ) and internet media PR.

What’s the fundamental problem here ??

Well a new website has no ” authority “. It is new to Google ( if it has been submitted that is ) and has relatively low amounts of relevant content. It will not have backlinks. Getting it to attain ” authority ” is going to take time and effort.

The Internet Press Release sites are typically SEO friendly and since PR sites are always getting new content they will probably get Google’s attention. Of course they are filled up with content that is not necessarily relevant to you and over time most of these Press Releases will fade in their authority.

If we  Google ” Web Design Basingstoke ” then we begin to see the problem.

Actually the real problem is this:

Marketing has moved on light years from the old traditional ways and Internet Marketing has really got a bit beyond ” brochure websites ” ! If the only social media site that you understand is Linkedin then ( much though I love Linkedin ) you are really in trouble.

Arguably the failure of 365iT plc has a lot to do with the failure to understand the shift in buyer mentality and the way that customers find you ( particularly using the Internet ).

One of the great lessons to understand is the use of what I call ” Internet platforms ” – more on this in a later article – but WordPress is one of them.

HubSpot webinar to U.K. sparks location,location,location analogy

Posted by Chris on January 25th, 2011

I was listening to  a HubSpot Inbound Marketing webinar, that was being transmitted to the U.K. and other countries around the world, the other day when the statement was made ” people spend loads of money and time on the look and design of their website when what they should be spending money on  is being found AND converting people that find the website into leads “.

As I was driving from North Wales to the Midlands today I was thinking how true that was and how pointless it was to have a great looking website that nobody found!

It was, I thought, a bit like having a great looking house in a very undesirable neighbourhood.

Which led me to that well known saying of Estate Agents and property developers ” Location, location, location “.

A definition of which might be :

” identical homes can increase or decrease in value due to location “

which I found here

and we might translate that into:

” identical websites may be more or less valuable ( productive ? ) depending on their location ( position ) in search engine searches ”  .

Yes, if two websites were designed or looked exactly the same but one got found and converted visitors into leads whilst the other did not get found or even got found but did not convert visitors into leads then that would make the same website much more valuable.

Furthermore if we add this property view:

” Generally, buyers will get the best return for their money if they buy the worst house in the best neighborhood. ”

We might even say that if there were two websites and one had a much ” worse ” design/look than the other but that website got found in ( relevant ) searches and converted customers into leads it too would be more valuable than the other.

One of the reasons I had been thinking about an analogy was because I have to give my first HubSpot presentation shortly to people who are not Internet Marketing aware or probably not even very Internet aware.

There are probably more aspects of the property analogy that I could develop. e.g. that once you have got the right location for a property ( the right search position for a website ) one of the next most important things is that the key rooms are there and are right e.g. the kitchen, bathrooms etc etc.

more later ….

Analysing where customers come from.

Posted by Chris on April 5th, 2010

I have been staying at The Glan Yr Afon Inn ( ) over Easter and thought that I would do a periodic analysis of where our customers are coming from.

One of the challanges here is getting the staff to remember to get the customers to fill in the bit of the form, that we give people when they book in for rooms, which says ” Where did you hear about us ?? ”

It is something that you have to remember to do when you are busy doing other things and you have to remember to look at that specific part of the form and make sure that it is answered.

Sometimes you just have to remind the customer gently and help them to fill it in – not that it is complicated it’s just that they often skip it. ( Note to self – maybe put it at the top of the form and maybe add an incentive !! ).

So anyway, now to the results:

Approximately 30% of our room bookings are unknown for the reasons outlined above but I suspect that a lot of them are internet based bookings.

Approx. 30% definately come from the Internet.

Approx. 30% definately are Word of Mouth.

Approx. 10% are repeat customers.

We definately get the odd few people who see the roadsigns and come up ( or down ) the lane to find us. We also get a few bookings from The Good Pub Guide.

In short the efforts that we put into Internet Marketing and ensuring that people have a great experience when they visit The Glan pay off.

Inbound Internet Marketing Assessment

Posted by Chris on January 15th, 2010

Perhaps you should consider having an Inbound ( Internet ) Marketing Assessment

as I did yesterday if you are a website owner.

However, if you don’t believe that effort put into ensuring that your website is found, designed for qualified traffic and able to convert leads is worthwhile then maybe you should not bother !!

It’s one of those situations where the early adopters and open minded people only need apply.

Hubspot ( who provide the Inbound Internet Marketing Assessment ) say that in 2009 2 million people visited thier website which generated 160,000 sales leads which converted into 1,000 customers.

Visitors, leads,customers. That’s what we are after really isn’t it ??

One of the problems that some companies have at the moment is that they don’t actually believe that a website can deliver real leads and customers.

Now, I am the first to say that not everyone is on the Internet and therefore influenced by it and certainly not all of those people are avid social networkers so you have to keep your traditional marketing, word of mouth marketing and database marketing going however you also have to fully embrace the fact that websites DO provide leads and customers IF they are designed correctly and promoted using blogs and social media.

You can find Hubspot here

and you can get an Inbound Marketing Assessment by clicking on the button that you will see there.

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