Do you remember Jackanory? Most of us will I'm sure......but did you know that you can still enjoy stories of total fantasy like we heard when we were children?
Because Once Upon a Time the internet was invented, and story tellers finally had a platform to make themselves heard.
And even better, it was a safe place where they could hide behind a keyboard or change identity when they got found out. So let's recap some of the best "wondrous stories" from recent years.....predictably most relate to SEO!
We will get you the number one position on Google.
Nobody can guarantee anything......all you can do is influence.
We will get you ranked on the first page of Google.
As above.....though this could be possible by getting you found for some ludicrous search string that nobody would ever use. In which case it's of no use to you whatsoever. For example, if you're an Estate Agent on the Costa del Sol, do you think getting a high ranking for a term such as "Pink villa in Calle Centro Marbella with a rock garden of gnomes holding fishing rods" is really going to be a game changer?
(Within an hour of posting that ludicrous search string I had the Google number one position for it. So do you see how easy it is to get high rankings for ridiculous terms? Getting them for key search phrases is a different matter of course).
Your website can't be found on search engines!
So how did they find you? Crystal Ball? Ouija Board? The Voices in their Head?
We know Google’s Algorithims.
Nobody does.....not even the senior executives at Google.
We know people at Google, so we can get you to the top of the list.
I know somebody in the RAF.....but that doesn't get me a free plane.
The more pages of content you have, the better.
Content is critical, but it's the quality that counts not the quantity.
We'll build 10,000 backlinks to your site!
Backlinks are still relevant today......but not quantity of links, only quality of links! So 10,000 backlinks on things like Bolivian jock strap repairers or seedy Korean link farms are actually going to harm you.....because you'll be seen to be keeping bad company. Be very careful when it comes to sites that link to you.
We've tested your site, it has thousands of errors, so you're doomed unless we fix it!
If your site had thousands of errors it wouldn't even load. What these people do is run an automated program that analyses all the processes within the site.....then send you a report that everything is wrong. Run one of these tests on Wikipedia and you'll get a similar result.....so why is it they end up on virtually every internet search that you make? One reason only......and that's content.
We'll optimise your MetaTags to get good positioning!
Meta keyword tags are hidden key words contained at the top of web pages. Years ago they were part of the evaluation because search engine algorithms were very basic. This is no longer the case, and Google doesn't even look at Meta keyword tags in it's indexing process. We still include them out of habit, but their relevance is now zero.
We have 250 in-house experts ready to work on your project.
Basically this can be translated to "We'll take any old job.....irrespective of whether we can do it. Then we'll sub-contract it out to somebody else....who hopefully knows a bit more than we do". This happens a lot....particularly with agencies who claim to do everything. We don't sub-contract anything out to third parties because we only work within our specialist area.
A bloke in the pub said........
I lose the will to live hearing this one! If you're going to recount what somebody has said then I need to see what prior accreditation they bring to the table. Are they world renowned industry influencers? Larry Page or Sergey Brin at Google perhaps? Mark Zuckerberg at FaceBook maybe? No.....he's more likely to be the bloke who cleans your swimming pool. Now I'm sure he does a good job of that, but he's no more qualified to offer advice in my field than I am in his.
Show me a verifiable track record of success in web technologies and I'm all ears. Heresay and verbal claims of prior greatness carry as much weight with me as they would with a court of law.
Your website will never need upgrading or updating!
This one is the most ludicrous of the lot. Really, words fail me on this.....it's totally surreal that people could be so gullible and naive! OK.....try and get your head around the concept of buying something that never ages. Because what they're claiming is that you could buy some software today that will somehow morph itself into different entities to take advantage of new technology that gets introduced as the years go on. Presumably it will automatically patch itself to close security loopholes as well.....before those vulnerabilities even exist.
If you feel there may be some merit in the statements that they're making then you need to go to your nearest car dealer and ask to buy a model that will never age or deteriorate. One that will run on any fuel source that's ever going to be introduced in the future! But just make sure that if hover cars are ever introduced then it already has the capacity to float through the air. After all.....you wouldn't want to be caught out would you?
So the message here is just be aware that not everything is what it seems to be on the internet! Talk is cheap! Some "businesses" tend to make everything as technical and complicated as possible in order to put up a smokescreen around the actual reality of the situation. Blinding you with science in effect.
We've always taken the reverse approach where we advise and then give a real world analogy to illustrate what we mean. We're totally transparent, and more often than not, what we say differs greatly from what others say. But we deal in reality, nothing else. Reality may not be what you want to face, because many people still believe in this mythical "Magic Bullet" of SEO, but reality is what it is.
So when you come across spurious claims regarding anything that is web related, just stop and think whether you would invest in any other product or service in the real world based on some of the assertions that these people are making? Evaluate internet based activity as a related aspect of your everyday life where the same rules apply.....not as some parallel universe where logic and common sense have been completely thrown overboard.
As 2016 goes on, keep your eye out for more "Wondrous Stories" appearing. And if you want to Live Happily Ever After......don't waste your time with fantasy!
Every business wants favourable positioning on search engines. While it isn't the life or death situation that many people believe it to be, it does help.
However, I want to debunk a myth that still exists, because there is a gross lack of understanding about SEO related practices. These have been fuelled by a mountain of misinformation, generated by various self appointed SEO experts over many years!
While it's true that certain unscrupulous practices could have got you prime positioning in the past.......these loopholes have now been closed! To the extent that some of the sites that went down this dubious path have now been blitzed by Google, simply because they were caught cheating. This has resulted in an explosion of reputation management companies turning up to clean up the mess. At a price!
Businesses fell for the myth that SEO was all about pieces of secret code that could be put on the site, which would bring untold riches and an immediate promotion to the lifestyle of the rich and famous! Well the truth is, there never has been a magic bullet, and there never will be......and this is what I've been telling people for years! If businesses had focussed on providing users and search engines with what they wanted instead of trying to figure out ways to cheat the system, they wouldn't be in this mess now.
While it's true that onsite SEO optimisation to deliver the content in the right way is very important, just bear one phrase in mind....you can't polish garbage! You may try to enhance it somewhat by rolling it in glitter, but it's still garbage! So your content has to be grammatically correct, relevant, and deliver value.
So what can you do?
Generate unique content of value to the user and search engines! Never copy content from other websites.....you will be penalised!
Quality is more important than quantity. So you should try to deliver information that informs the user clearly and effectively, and whenever possible, delivers solutions. Internet searches are much more complex now....gone are the days of one and two word searches. People are putting in specific questions and your content should provide the answers in a clear, concise, and grammatically correct manner.
Stop talking about me, me, me! Deliver the information, and demonstrate the benefits of the product or service to the user. People want to know what you're going to do for them.....they don't want to hear your self promotion speech.
Make sure you include a related image.....images are important, especially for Social Media display to attract attention.
Use one or two (no more) long tail keywords within the content.....for example "web design for British businesses in Spain".
When you've got content on your site, then keep distributing it on Social Media. A little and often is the key! But try to engage with users on Social Media.....encourage people to share, reply and interact.
You don't need the literary prowess of an Oscar Wilde to be able to do this effectively. You know your business, and you should know your customers' needs and requirements. If your spelling and grammar is lacking, then get a friend to check it over. Be aware that professional content writers do not come cheap....and really good ones are hard to find. So employing somebody to do this is not going to be an option unless you have a very generous budget.
Remember that you can make a difference! Be organised, be disciplined, and aim to provide content that people will want to read and share! Build yourself into an authority figure within your industry, and then users and search engines will sit up and listen.
All I've done is just tell you what I do.......in fact, it's what I've always done. No secret code or hidden mysteries to it whatsoever, just plain common sense! But does it work? Just search for "Web Design Spain" on Google and draw your own conclusion.
World Wide Catamarans Ltd owe a huge amount of our success entirely down to Pete at WebSpain.
In 2009, we had quotes to get a site done for us that were up to six times more than Pete asked for, so this is one of the only exceptions to the statement that “You get what you pay for”.
In fact with Pete you get much more than what you pay for, and that is an understatement.
We were initially worried that Pete did not live nearby and if he could understand our business. But these worries soon went away, when we realised how much he knows his business. He also cares about the results which is important to us and everything was done remotely.
As far as our site www.worldwidecatamarans.com is concerned we are more than happy, in fact ecstatic at the results.
The fact is that you may have the best site in the world, but unless someone sees it, it is a big waste of money. But Pete knows all the tricks to give maximum exposure within his hosting package, and will design your site to achieve maximum results and get your site in front of your competition.
Believe me when I say, contact Pete and talk to him about your site, before you make a big, expensive mistake which it will take you a long time to put right!
Graham Stimson www.worldwidecatamarans.com
Jose and I started On Foot in Spain Walking & Hiking Educational Adventures in 1999. Our backgrounds are very different but fate often works strange twists into our lives to create unusual encounters and unions.
Back in 1994 he, a disenchanted lawyer from Santiago de Compostela, found himself walking 700K across the across northern Spain following the medieval pilgrimage trail, the Camino de Santiago.
On his first day he had the luck of finding me – an American anthropologist doing research on the contemporary resurgence of this pilgrimage. I was trying to find out why people from all over the world, who were not necessarily religious, walkers or masochists, were undertaking this oftentimes arduous, though unquestionably magnificent, once-in-a-lifetime journey.
Jose and I kept in contact after he finished his pilgrimage and after I finished my dissertation which became the book Pilgrim Stories. On and Off the Road to Santiago (UC Press, 1998). As our paths somehow seemed to keep crossing, we decided to combine our skills and background to create our joint venture – a walking tours company.
We also wrote for Lonely Planet for several of their walking guides (Walking in Spain and Walking in Scotland) and this was one of the ways we started our business. We asked ourselves: wouldn’t it be great to bring people to these breath-taking, and little-known parts of northern Spain?
Our timing was very good. Back in 1999 people were trusting the internet sufficiently to go online to book a vacation but there wasn’t so much competition that we couldn’t make a niche for ourselves. We figured that our best way to advertise was with a website. We found a friend who knew how to do websites and he put together with us www.onfootinspain.com. At the beginning we also did magazine and newspaper advertising but relied mainly on the website. As the years went by, we discontinued the media advertising and focused solely on the website.
After about six years our friend was not able to make the changes as quickly or as efficiently as we would have liked. We wanted more photos, more control over the site and to be able to upload more content when we wanted. But since the website was our joint venture it was a complicated relationship and we didn’t make any changes.
In the last three years we had noticed that competition had stiffened tremendously as many companies now use the internet to advertise their services and our website was becoming rapidly obsolete.
We finally came to the hard decision that we must make a change. The simple truth is that if clients can’t find you on the internet, then you don’t have any business. And with the economic crisis upon us, when people are tightening their belts, travel is one of the first things to be eliminated.
I dreaded looking for a new webmaster but we definitely needed to bring our website out of the dinosaur days (only 10 years had passed but that’s eternity in the cyber age!). I sent out requests for estimates. I put into the browser: web design Spain. I wanted a content management site so I could control the site as much as possible and to bring it up to speed. I chose the companies that came back on my top 10 lists in my browser. Several offers came back. Many companies never even responded (where’s the crisis?).
One company that I got a quick response from was WebSpain. I had read on the site that they would get back to me within a few hours. I thought, What a joke! Sure enough, there was a message from Pete a few hours later. He could do it all and more very reasonably.
It all sounded too good to be true so I called him on the phone. We chatted not once but several times. Everything that he said spoke of integrity, deep knowledge and a very easy to work with, no-nonsense attitude. But, I am a hard nut to crack. My mother always told me: If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. I told him that too. But as there is always an exception to every rule, I have learned that Pete is THE exception to the rule!
Every single day I count my lucky stars that I came across him and WebSpain (he has not paid me to write this!). Everything that he promised me (and more!) he has come through on. He got my new website developed, uploaded in record speed and all at a very reasonable price.
Every single time I contact him with a query, he always responds with infinite patience and speed.
Pete is one of those rare jewels that, if you’re lucky, you’ll come across once in your life! He knows his stuff, he’s good at it and he gets the job done. I can’t speak highly enough of Pete and his family business WebSpain.
Nancy Frey www.onfootinspain.com
My Name is Nick Aylieff and I am the owner of Classic Motor Sales. It all started back in December of 2008 when I was living in Spain and I stumbled across the idea of online advertising for the Classic Car Business. The UK was reeling in the turmoil of the now famous Credit Crisis and after extensive research I discovered that two types of business were flourishing - on line advertising and the Classic Car business.
Wealthy business men were investing their hard earned cash in Classic Cars instead of the ever changing world of the stock markets and I decided this would be a good time to take advantage of the situation.
I decided that I would start a website dedicated to the sales of Classic Cars, I started getting quotes from various web design companies on the Costa Blanca and to my dismay all the quotes that came back were far too high for my budget.
I then found a guy that offered to build me a site for 500 euros, he even went as far to build me a dummy site so I could see what it could look like. It turned out to be a very poor impression of a site and not one I could consider launching my business with.
All went quiet for a while, then after a relaxed conversation with a client and friend I was given the contact details of Pete from WebSpain. He came highly recommended with value for money, web design knowledge and dedication high on the list.
It was at this time that my ideas for my business really came alive, from the very first conversation with Pete I felt safe that my plans were in good hands. I gave him a brief specification, with style and ease of use a priority, and he quickly delivered a dummy website to whet my appetite.
From the very first moment Pete was clear and precise on what could and could not be delivered and we struck up a great working relationship which remains to this day. After a few weeks of work on the site, with a few tweaks here and there on the design I was delivered a site that far out reached my expectation. Pete had provided me a great platform to begin launching my business.
I am now living back in the UK and my website and business is flourishing, this would not have been possible without the support from Pete, he has provided me with 24 hour cover and is always at the end of the phone offering invaluable advice. We speak most days where I run new ideas past him regarding the evolution of the site. The nature of the business is such that we have to implement changes to the site quickly to satisfy the requirements of my clients and Pete never fails to deliver on this.
There will be a Classic Motor Sales 2 and there are other ideas regarding website businesses that I will be contracting Pete to do in the future. I can highly recommend Pete and WebSpain.
Nick Aylieff www.classicmotorsforsale.com
WebSpain build a range of user friendly content management websites that give your business the edge that it needs in today's competitive marketplace. We ensure that you are well prepared for the future, by building a platform that gives you the credibility and presence that you need to drive your business forward online. All sites come with responsive frameworks giving full mobile compatibility across all devices.
WebSpain are a second generation family business with a track record going back to 1988 in IT, and 1998 in Web Development. We offer clients a dynamic, cost effective and professional Spain Web Design service.....with a straightforward no-nonsense approach.
Plus, we don't talk in technical jargon, or try to present a relatively simple procedure as an operation of mammoth proportions purely to inflate the price to the unknowing client. And unlike many others, we ask for zero payment before commencing work on your project.
Only when the client is presented with the site that they want, within the timeframe and budget discussed, do we ask for payment. If we are unable for whatever reason to deliver the site that you want.....then you owe us nothing!
Essentially, no commitment is required from you whatsoever until you've seen a demo of the site and it meets your expectations. That's the way we've always done business.....and it's never going to change. We are always totally honest and upfront about everything, and you can be assured that whatever we promise......we deliver! So if you're serious about business, then you need the services of somebody who will take your business as seriously as you do. You need WebSpain!
We're trusted by over 500 clients across 10 countries. Those include NATO affiliated military divisions, international travel agencies, medical professionals, media companies, online stores, retail stores, property agents, yacht brokers, vehicle rental agencies, haulage companies, building contractors, community groups and many more!