Sell Me This Pen – The Wolf of Wall Street

We watched The Wolf of Wall Street last week. The story of Jordan Belfort’s rise and fall as a stockbroker in the 1980s… and then his rise again as a result of his sales training program and the film itself.

Sell me this pen

One of the highlights of the film were two scenes in which he encouraged sales people to “sell me this pen”.

The first of those scenes showed Leo DiCaprio playing Jordan as he tried to encourage a disparate group of less than competent individuals to become his sales team. I warn you now, there is a lot of swearing!

But each of them fails until the last one takes the pen from Jordan’s hand. He then says: “Write down your email address” to the response “I haven’t got a pen!”

At the end of the film, you see Jordan running his sales training programme. He gets down off the stage and approaches an individual in the front row, holds out a biro and asks him to “Sell me this pen”. The man starts to praise the pen’s quality. Jordan moves on to the next man. “Sell me this pen”. He hears a similar response. Three more times… and the camera pans out.

People just don’t know how to sell him that pen in a way that is likely to make him want to buy.

Certainly our own experience of trying to sell SEO and Social Media is that you can talk about these services until you are blue in the face but, unless you can identify what the client actually needs and show how those services can provide a solution, you are wasting your time.

It’s not about the qualities of the pen.

It’s about how it can solve a problem or scratch an itch that has been troubling the client for a long time.

How Jordan Belfort would really sell me this pen

Cut to Piers Morgan interviewing the real Jordan Belfort, who reveals that if he was selling the pen, he would first ask a few questions of the

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Posted in SEO

Blocking On LinkedIn

Blocking is a new feature that was introduced by LinkedIn in February.

Blocking a connection on LinkedIn

You go to the person’s profile – this means that you can only block people who are connected to you.

Click on the drop down menu beside Send a Message

Select Block or Report from the drop down menu

You could just disconnect from them.

Blocking someone who is not a connection on LinkedIn

Fairly similarly, you go to the profile of the person concerned.

Click on the little arrow to the right of Send an Inmail.

Select Block or Report from the drop down menu.

Problems with blocking on LinkedIn

However, it does have a big downside.

You have to go to that person’s profile in order to block them. Which means that they can see that you have visited their profile.

You cannot block someone who persists in viewing your profile anonymously.

Find out more about using LinkedIn for business

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Posted in SEO

Do I Get To Keep My Domain When I Get A New Website?

Another great question after one of our training courses from Angela of Inner Body Pilates.

Here’s how it works at its simplest level:

You own your domain name and it is registered with one registrar. We can leave it there or register it with another registrar.

It currently points towards the website you have built – so when people look at your domain that’s what they see.

We build the new site on some new hosting.

When it is ready, we point the domain towards the new website so when people look at your domain that’s what they see.

You still own the domain, it is just pointing to a different website.

The old website stays on the old hosting until you stop paying for it.

Hope that helps? :)

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Posted in SEO

ITEC Social Media Apprentice Award 2014 – Sponsored by Lollipop Local

Last week we were really proud to be asked to sponsor and present the first Social Media Apprentice Award at ITEC for 2014.

There were several other categories:

Adult Learner of the Year- sponsored by The Hamelin Trust based in Billericay
Comptia Learner of the Year
Microsoft Learner of the Year
Employer of the Year – sponsored by Be Child Cancer Aware
Line Manager of the Year – sponsored by The Indee Rose Trust
Information Technology Apprentice of the Year – sponsored by RES Info-Techof Southend
Business Administration Apprentice of the Year – sponsored by Jardine Motors Group of Leigh on Sea, Basildon and other locations across Kent, Essex and the UK
Advanced Apprentice of the Year – sponsored by Corporate Mailing Solutions Ltd of Dunmow
Mentor of the Year – sponsored by Konica Minolta

ITEC Social Media Apprentice Award 2014

Here’s the actual Social Media Apprentice awards as pictured by runner up, Chloe Thornton, and winner, James White, on Twitter.


Jon has been working with the team at ITEC and giving own training for SEO and Social Media for business as part of the course.

After meeting with these amazing young people, we’re hoping to take on our own Social Media apprentice later this year.

Sadly, even though pictures were taken by both the Enquirer and the Echo, we have been unable to find them online. If anyone took pictures on the night, we’d love to hear from you and give you a credit.

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Posted in SEO

Secure Search, Rank & Finding Lost Keyword Traffic: A Conversation with gShift

Marketing is more complex today than ever. Much of this is due to the progress we’ve made in technology.

More data means more choices and more ways to interpret success. That’s why today, marketers need trusted data more than ever.

In the age of keyword “(not provided),” SEO technology companies are working hard to provide options marketers can use to bridge the gap. One such option comes from gShift.

Search Engine Watch recently chatted with Chris Adams, co-founder and CTO of gShift to talk about the state of “(not provided)” data, what SEO professionals and content marketers should be looking for in terms of data features, and how gShift is helping marketers uncover lost keyword traffic.

Today, There’s Uncertainty in Data

The unfortunate reality today as a result of secure search in terms of content marketing and SEO is that it’s hard to have meaningful conversations, Adams said, when the majority of keyword traffic data is hidden.

The “(not provided)” traffic is leading marketers to use the word “probable” all too often.

“The word ‘probable’ is bad in a sales conversation,” Adams said. “We need to arm these agencies with better information.”

Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) doesn’t provide all the answers. Adams said it’s OK to get a snapshot in GWT, but it’s not a thorough picture of what’s happening on the website. It needs additional analysis.

In fact, Adams shared 10 reason why Google Webmaster Tools isn’t a foolproof Plan B for secure search:

  1. You should be tracking multiple engines, geographic locations and local. Google Webmaster Tools doesn’t allow this and only shows average rank.
  2. You should be tracking competitors. GWT doesn’t allow this.
  3. GWT is an average rank over 90 days. New content won’t be tracked quickly nor new keyword phrases or keywords that aren’t yet ranking.
  4. GWT uses universal results. That means if your image is ranking No. 1, the data doesn’t mean that your Web page is ranking in the Top 10.
  5. GWT limits data. It doesn’t show all of your results. This would have a big impact on sites with average visitor traffic and most B2B websites.
  6. GWT doesn’t differentiate in Web presence data. Is it a video, your

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Posted in SEO

Are You Suffering From Heartbleed?

Heartbleed is the latest virus/hack issue to trend across the webisphere.

It is a security flaw which takes the form of a bug in a piece of software called OpenSSL. This software is used to encrypt communications between your computer and the web server of many of the secure sites that we log into. The BBC describes it as “a sort of secret handshake at the beginning of a secure conversation” – which made me chuckle.

But it’s a very serious business! SSL is the encryption tool used by around two-thirds of all websites on the internet and around half a million sites are believed to have been affected. You can tell by the URL which starts https rather than http or you may see a little padlock symbol in your browser.

The first advice was to change all your passwords immediately.

But then it became apparent that doing that would not solve the problem unless the site involved had actually implemented a patch to protect their system.

The advice now is to wait until you receive a notification from these sites to change your password. However, some sites still do not believe that is necessary but my judgement is that if there is an issue, you should protect yourself and make a change.

Which sites have been affected?

Mashable published a helpful list of sites that have been affected in the US

And The Telegraph gives a list for the UK.

Is my UK bank affected by Heartbleed?

From their article, it does not look as if the Government website or any of the main banks has been affected. Many UK banks have added a notification to the front page of their website to say that they have not been affected. If in doubt about your bank, you can now go check it out yourself.

Should I change my social media passwords?

Social media sites affected are Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr. Click on the relevant link to

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Posted in SEO

A Fabulous Birthday Lunch In Leigh On Sea

I had a day off today – for my birthday :)

And a late lunch at the fantastic Sand Bar and Seafood Restaurant in The Broadway, Leigh-on-Sea.

With Jon – a vegan!

The clue is in the title – it’s the Sand Bar and Seafood Restaurant. And my children and I made the most of the octopus, salt cod and pork on offer.

But the wonderful Louise made Jon a vegan starter and main course that had him almost licking both plates. He wrote about it on his own vegan blog here

That’s what you want from a restaurant. The ability to cater for anyone who comes through the doors, no matter what their food preference or whether they have an allergy to certain ingredients.

And then there was the ice cream.

Chai latte and limoncella, baileys and chocolate chip, Malibu, coconut and white chocolate. I could not decide.

So, naturally, I had a scoop of all three – and polished off the lot. It came with candles and a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday from the staff.

Starters for four, main courses for four, one large bowl of ice cream, a bottle of wine, a beer and coffee – the bill came to a very reasonable £86

I have to admit to a vested interest in this restaurant as The Sand Bar has taken some of my social media training. We were recently able to gain control of a Facebook Places page which had been created without their knowledge because customers had checked in so often on their mobile phones.

By claiming it and making it into a proper Facebook page, the owner is able to post images of their gorgeous culinary creations and the customers are now able to both check in and leave reviews. Important factors in the decision when new diners choose whether to take the plunge for an important occasion.

It’s also where we have our

Posted in SEO

Is Your Google+ Profile In The Name Of Your Business Or Product?

NO!!!! Please don’t do that!

Just as with Facebook and LinkedIn, Google’s guidelines confirm that the main profile on Google+ has to be a person with a first and last name.

I am starting to get requests to circle all sorts of things like bars, magazines and groups!

Only people can go in a circle. And you follow a business.

Rules for setting up your Google Plus profile

Your account has to be in YOUR first and last name.

You can add a nickname within your real name – *First Name* “Nickname” *Last Name*. So Jo “Lollipop” Shaer.

You can’t preface your name with a title like Dr – even if you are one! However, you can add your Ph.D to your Other names section on your Google+ profile

Break the rules and you run the risk of having your account suspended.

Can I put my Product or Business into my Personal Profile?

See the rules for setting up a Google Plus profile above.

There are dedicated Google+ Business Pages for your business or product. You create your business or product pages from your Google+ profile.

You may not set up your business page or product on a profile. Find out more here

What to do if you have set up your Google Plus profile in the name of your product or business

Done it wrong?

Here’s how to change your name in your profile.

Hover your mouse over the Home button on the top left of your Google+ account

Select Profile from the drop down menu

Find your name in the header section – it should be just underneath your profile picture.

Hover over your name and it will say ‘Click to edit your name’. Click

A pop up box will allow you to make the change.

REMEMBER – you can only do this three times in two years! So serial brides need to be aware :O

REMEMBER – it will change

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Posted in SEO

I Have 2 Twitter Accounts – Can I Merge Them Together Or Should I Delete One?

Great question from Angela at Inner-Body Pilates after one of our Tweeting 4 Twits Social Media Courses in Leigh on Sea.

One Twitter account has 147 followers and the other has 350. They both have similar names. Twitter does not mind you having more than one account but each will be viewed as a separate entity and must be accessed via a separate email address. You cannot create two Twitter accounts from the same email address.

You can only be logged in to one Twitter account on any one browser. So, if you want to manage two, you will need to have one open in Chrome and then open a window in Firefox to operate your other Twitter account. Unless you have Hootsuite Pro which will allow you to be logged in to both on the dashboard. We can give you Hootsuite training.

She could make the choice and keep one for her London classes and one for her new Leigh classes. This means that she will need to put regular content on both – although, again, that’s not necessarily a problem using an automated software like Hootsuite. This allows you to post, schedule and bulk upload your status updates to both accounts.

Can I merge two Twitter accounts together and keep my followers?

Twitter say that it is not possible to merge two Twitter accounts or multiple Twitter accounts together.

It is also not possible to migrate data (Tweets, following, or followers) from one Twitter account to another.

What can I do if I only want to use one Twitter account?

If you no longer want one of your accounts, you could stop using one account (or deactivate it altogether) and tell your followers to find you at the account you have decided to keep.

Find out more about using Twitter for business

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Posted in SEO

‘No-Links Ranking’ – The Battle for Better Organic SERPs

Is it possible that links will no longer be a ranking factor in the future? Some of the big search engines already have considered this possibility. We will analyze how some of the biggest search engines, Google and Yandex (the biggest search engine in Russia), tackled this problem.

Yandex, announced that the Russian search engine will no longer take into consideration links as a ranking factor. According to Yandex’s representatives, the “no link” algorithm was already launched, and it addresses only a set of commercial keywords and works only in some regional areas.

Yandex and Their No-Links Policy

Before saying that what happens in Russia, stays in Russia, let me tell you why this change in the Yandex algorithm might actually have an international impact. The Russian Internet industry might not interest you, but being such a big player, Yandex might indicate in which direction the search engines are heading.

Yandex Plus 55 percent

Image Credit:

To begin with, let me tell you what is Yandex and why should we care. While almost anywhere around the globe, Google is synonymous with Internet, there are some places that make an exception from this rule. And by “some places” I mean Russia, the largest country in the world.

In Russia, Google has only 25 percent market share, while Yandex holds about 60 percent of the Russian search market and is a major player in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Turkey.

Yandex implements the latest cutting-edge search engine technologies, and if they are trying a “no-links” approach, it might mean that they have something worth looking at.

Why is Yandex Dropping Links as a Ranking Factor?

The Russian commercial SERPs in Yandex and Google are some of the most spammed keywords, where black hat SEO techniques are used to quickly rank shady sites. Given the situation, Alexander Sadovsky, the head of search at Yandex, announced last December, at the Internet Business Conference in Moscow, that the Yandex’s algorithm will be a “link-free” algorithm, starting sometime this year.

The Russian representative outlined the fact that this change applies only

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Posted in SEO