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A Parable for the Internet Industry

Last night’s Optimising Your Online Presence seminar brought some of Manchester’s top businesses together at Cube and sent them away with fuel for success.

Clare Johnson of Digital Marketing specialists Adoofa, spoke first and gave marketers a great overview of SEO and PPC with emphasis on tried and tested techniques and avoidance of the ‘Dark Arts.’ The message, to work with the Search Engines and you will be rewarded.

Lawrence Jones of UKFast concurred with Clare and added a couple more levels. He spoke on the importance of infrastructure: the need for speed and reliability, likening success in the industry to the ancient Parable of the Sower. “If you throw seed on stony ground it will not grow. If you place it on fertile ground it will flourish.” In this way, he highlighted the need to take your hosting solutions very seriously and used examples to show how good hosting alone can boost profitability online.

Lawrence also went into detail about putting your website at the heart of your business and backing up the promises you make with a customer experience on and offline that your competitors cannot match.

You can find out more about Lawrence’s talk on his blog today.

Lawrence was followed by Heather Hopkins of Hitwise. Heather’s data analysis gave the audience food for thought on keywords and the importance of marrying up your online and offline strategies. She also showed graphs that proved men only search for gambling when they are not searching for football and vice versa!!

Peter Cobley of Yahoo Search Marketing was the final speaker and he brought an insight into the Pay Per Click business across all the engines. Naturally, the emphasis was on Yahoo, but he also impressed the need to work with Google.

The Q+A was also a lively affair, a discussion about pushing the boundaries with the engines took centre stage. The subject brought a variety of opinions and so I have chosen to take it on in the UKFast Podcast over the next week or so. I’ll blog again and link to it when it is available.

All in all, the message was fairly clear – your online presence has never been more important and in the global market you face stiff competition. But by working with the search engines and giving your site a strong grounding, you have every chance of competing at the top level.

The big question everyone was left with was; What exactly do the search engines want?

As part of our campaign to boost the online presence of Manchester businesses, UKFast conducts a serious of focus groups. If you are interested in getting involved and sharing your online marketing experience with a network of other businesses, learning from others mistakes and successes, then please email me and I will add you to our list.

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