New Design and a Free Offer for Belfast companies

Posted on August 31, 2007 under General

If you’re a company in the Greater Belfast area and you want to find out a little bit more about the performance of your website, the number of visitors, what people are searching your site on, referring sites, time spent, favourite pages then I’m willing to help you set up a Google Account and install Google Analytics for free.
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New Logo

Posted on August 13, 2007 under General

Codefixer desperately needs a refresh as it’s been the same for the last 7 odd years.

I’ve settled on 3 logo drafts

Image 1

Draft 1

Image 2

Draft2

Image 3

Draft 3

Anyone want to give some feedback on which they prefer? I quite like draft 3.

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Google Adwords Professional Exam

Posted on July 27, 2007 under General

Just passed the Google Adwords Professional Exam with an 85% mark so I’m very happy.

I’d hoped to do slightly better than that but in mitigation I was absolutely shattered when I took the exam, and I took the exam on the spur of the moment a couple of weeks earlier than I had planned as I wanted to get it out of the way and move onto important client work.
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Time to Pay Per Click

Posted on June 13, 2007 under General

I first started using Google’s Pay Per Click system way back in 2004 to promote some of the software products that I sell. I signed up and opened an account, used the usual keyword suggestion tools, set up a few campaigns with a whole host on unrelated keywords, set a budget, URL destination and left the account to run on auto-pilot while at the same time hoping that the sales and conversion statistics would jump through the roof.
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90% of our Advertisers are Happy

Posted on June 4, 2007 under General

Well according to Yell’s advertising literature 90% of their customers considered their advert to be good value for money.

Unfortunately that’s not my experience. I may as well have rolled it up and smoked it!

It’s been at least 6 months since I took out advertising in the Yellow Pages and just to let you know that I got a second call last week. So 2 calls in 6 months for a £400+ relevant ad (designed by Yell) with the first being a service I didn’t even offer isn’t the best value for money by anybody’s standards. There has been a few other inquiries but they have all been for work experience.

Incidentally the second caller wanted a comparison quote, he was making his way through all the listings.

If it goes the way it’s been going and I don’t get a rush of unexpected calls then that’ll work out at £100+ per call. If only it had even been 3 or 4 genuine calls a month then I’d have settled for that.

In the last couple of weeks I’ve been running a Google Adwords campaigns and for a fraction of those costs have had plenty of leads. Time will tell whether they convert or not though it does seem a good advertising model for some types of businesses.

One of the motivating factors in taking out an ad was the credibility issue though next year I don’t think I’ll bother with the Yellow Pages and instead spend that revenue on online advertising. It’s been a lesson learnt but one I’m happy to share.

If anyone can give any reasons to advertise in the Yellow Pages for ‘Internet Web Design’ or has any success stories or opinions then I’m all ears.

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2bscene to be believed

Posted on May 16, 2007 under General

That’s funny, I just stumbled across the website for www.2bscene.ie a web design and internet marketing company down south and they’ve plumped for the same header graphic that my company www.CodefixerSoftware.com uses albeit in a very different style.

I’ve been on their site in the last few months so they must have just redesigned some of it.

Anyway it’s a good choice. I like their site and the layout, its very much in a style that I would use.

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It’s a great time to be an SEO consultant in N.Ireland

Posted on April 30, 2007 under General

I just read 6 reasons why ‘I’d hate to be an SEO’ by Gavin over at IrelandSEOMarketing and it got me thinking.

On the contrary I’d love to be a full time SEO consultant. I’ve spent the last eight years promoting websites and although certainly not an expert by any stretch of the imagination I do have a good deal of knowledge and an interest when it comes to ranking in Google. There are no great hidden secrets to becoming fairly proficient in SEO. Google sets out the guidelines for webmasters and like many things on the net there’s plenty of support out there from people who know better and are willing to share. If you’re willing to work incredibly hard (I’m writing this article at 5.00 am on a Monday morning before I start client work) and have a passion for what you do then the benefits definitely out do the negatives.

Making cleanly coded crawlable sites, that have been researched against their competition and analysed for their keywords, with good content and backlinks are the backbone basics to helping a website perform.

Dealing with clients is part and parcel of any job. Always set out the parameters and make sure the client has realistic expectations. Personally I would underplay what can be achieved rather than oversell it. If they want guarantees they can buy a link or banner ad.

In the North a lot of companies particularly web design companies offer SEO as a standard buzzword. Though if you do a bit of research it’s pretty easy to work out that there is very little real commitment to putting this into practice even for their own company websites. The market is ripe for a company in the North to lead the way. There’s also plenty of regional keyword pickings to be had.

If you can deliver then you can set your own professional price provided it’s within reason. Being an SEO consultant is well paid and if you get good clients and provide quality work then you’ll be worth your wait in gold.

The more successful campaigns you put together then the more word will spread and the more job offers you’ll get. It’s the same for the cowboys, the more disgruntled clients they have the more people will hopefully be aware to avoid them like the plague.

Every professional has client problems, pricing issues and competitors. Solely based on the lack of competition it’s a great time to be an SEO consultant in N.Ireland. The market is definitely growing with website owners becoming more and more aware of what search engine marketing is and how their site has been poorly promoted in the past.

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PayPal Sandbox Testing

Posted on April 21, 2007 under General

I’ve spent the last week working on what should be a fairly straightforward booking system using PayPal as the payment provider. I’ve been using the PayPal Sandbox to test the code and I’ve encountered very strange and confusing results.
There doesn’t seem to be any logic to what happens when the payment is completed and I’m returned to the confirmation page.

If I’ve selected ‘UK’ as the country I get a ‘the parameter is incorrect’ and if I select ‘Aruba’ as the country and enter the same details except I enter ‘Not sure’ for the state rather than Antrim then the confirmation page shows the correct message i.e. ‘Thank you for booking’.

If anyone can explain this then I’d be very glad to hear from you. I’ve posted this issue on the pdncommunity forum and am still waiting for a proper explanation.

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Sell your house quickly

Posted on April 16, 2007 under General

Today I’ve completed the initial design for HouseBuyers365 and the site has gone live.

If you’d like to sell your house quickly in the UK HouseBuyers365 are keen to purchase it no matter what condition it’s in.

In relation to the site any constructive criticism is always welcome. The next step is to push the site on the net, get it ranking well for it’s keywords in the search engines and get as many qualities backlinks as possible.

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SEO checklist

Posted on March 31, 2007 under General

Here’s a nice little checklist I came across for the best and worst SEO practices
http://www.webconfs.com/15-minute-seo.php

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Michael Wall

Michael Wall is an experienced web developer based in Belfast N.Ireland currently running his own web design company.

Michael Wall is available for Internet Marketing, Google Adwords PPC and SEO work. Please call Belfast 02890 923383 or use the contact form.

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