The Day I Interviewed Steve Wright

By Richard Boyd

So sorry to read that Steve Wright has died at such a relatively young age of 69.

I interviewed him in the summer of 1993 when he brought his afternoon show and his ‘posse’ to sunny Southport when I was a journalist on the Lancashire Evening Post (now Lancashire Post) at the time.

Like so many people, I grew up listening to his show pretty much every day. His BBC1 show used to get millions of listeners.

He would say some things that presenters and DJs wouldn’t get away with in this age – especially someone on the BBC – poking fun at some pop stars, particularly ‘Prince’ and his ‘you need therapy’ catchphrase amongst many others, but he was naturally funny and there was no malice to him. His show was legendary.

I remember trying to ask him some serious questions at the start of the interview but he and his team started cracking jokes amongst themselves and it turned into chaos pretty quickly.

(As a side note, I took a young lady that I was interested in along to the interview in order to try to impress her but it didn’t improve my chances. She didn’t return my calls after that!). RIP Steve. 

Essential Stats and Data on Cash Usage and Spending Habits Around the World

The article in the link above has lots of valuable information such as:

  • Worldwide stats showing how COVID-19 has affected spending – the UK alone saw a 60% drop in cash usage and a 42% drop in ATM withdrawals in 2020.
  • How fintech trends and technologies such as hyper-personalisation and AI are driving our spending habits.
  • Predictions for a cashless future and who will get there first (Finland, China and the UK are all quickly moving towards becoming cashless societies)
  • Useful statistics, data sources, and other data-driven insights showing us how the world is moving away from cash.

Staying Safe on UK Roads This Winter

Great article on how to stay safe on UK roads this winter.

5 Key Reasons Why Small Businesses Can’t Succeed in 2020 without SEO

Why Businesses Can't Succeed Without Doing SEO | Red Flame Marketing | Search Engine Optimisation

It’s 2020 and ecommerce shops are walking over every business in the industry. The reason why they are doing this is because building a strong online brand that customers will love and trust is what Google is all about.

This will leave small businesses in the back if they don’t start building an online strategy for success. The truth is, small businesses have limited finances and resources to pay for expensive ads to have Google push them higher on the search page results and in front of the potential customers. So, how can they catch up in the game. The answer is with SEO.

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of optimising the website to rank higher on the search page results organically.

This means that with a powerful SEO strategy and optimising the website (on-page SEO) as well as building references from authoritative sites (off-page SEO) any business will have the chance to rank high. Even small business.  And here are 5 key reasons why small business desperately need SEO to succeed.

1.  Organic Web Traffic is the Most Important and Profitable Traffic

Lately, paid ads on social media as well on Google seem to have occupied the central spots on the screen when we get the search results for what we are looking for. However, how convincing are they? Statistically, the majority of people will skip the paid ad and check out the top organic positions of the results. That is why ending up among the top positions is utterly important. By being there, it means that your website provides relevant info or answers for the things they were searching for. And that is why they are most likely to click on the link.

On the other hand, the paid ad is carefully written and powerful set of words that target the audience for what the audience wants to see and offer them something they need. Still, the fact that this is a paid advertisement throws a great deal of doubt in the eyes of the audience since of course the ad will say that the company is the best and offer the most quality service or products.

2. Trustworthy and Reliable Website

The second reason is tightly connected to the first one. What happens when you have a strong SEO strategy is organically ranking to the first ten positions (the first page) of Google Search Page Results which leads to building a trustworthy and reliable brand of your website. Plus, an SEO optimised website is fully functional, easy to navigate and creates engaging and pleasant user experience. Once the customer completes a purchase from the website and is satisfied with the whole shopping experience, they will return again and again – which is how a trustworthy and reliable website is made.

3. Local SEO for Small Businesses Targets the Audience More Precisely

When you come to think about it, if you are a small business competing with huge businesses online you will probably be walked over and end up on irrelevant. After all, the huge companies have the money and the team to work out every single detail and because of that, they have a head start.

However, if your small business has an SEO strategy that is designed to impact locally, then you have the chance to get to your targeted audience and offer the right service and products for them. Local SEO not only means better target but also increased engagement, traffic and eventually conversions.

By locally optimising the strategy, your small business gets the chance to offer its services to an audience from a specific town, city, region or country. This is done in a way that the content is optimised to include geographical search terms and local listings are filled out that help you become visible to relevant locations and business sectors.

4. Long-Term Results

SEO is not a one time thing. It takes time to give results but the best of all is that these results are also long-term. There are so called “SEO specialists” who manage to achieve great results in a very short time but unfortunately, the formula for success is always against Google rules. This is called Black Hat SEO and even though you can see your website at the top position on Google, you will eventually be noticed by Google and penalised. Worst case scenario, your website might even be banned.

Turning to White Hat SEO, which is the total opposite of Black Hat SEO, you can rest assured that the results will come with quality work on the website and off-page and these results will last.

5. SEO is Cheap

All things considered, SEO is cheap. It is certainly cheaper than paid ads on social media or Google. Plus, the credibility your brand receives with a good strategic SEO plan pays off every single penny that is spent. The bottom line is that your business will have return of investment in the long run and keep the results and great ranking even longer.


GDPR – What’s That All About, Then?

Here’s a guest blog from John Miller, of Smarter Technologies, based in Heywood, about GDPR and a series of seminars aimed at helping businesses understand and comply with this new legislation that comes into effect in 2018: 

I know that the introduction of the GDPR has made many organisations view it as more of a threat than an opportunity. Many organisations focus on the heavy penalties and the overall effort. However, I believe that organisations will gain a competitive advantage in being fully GDPR compliant. With many data breaches in the last few years, customers have become more concerned about the handling of their personal information than ever before. By complying with the GDPR, your organisation is safeguarding personal information and building relationships with customers based on transparency and trust – now that has to be good for your customers and for your organisation, doesn’t it?

Our 2 hour seminar will help you, as you take your first steps towards compliance by sharing practical insights about implementing a data security based approach in line with the GDPR. You will learn about:

  • Why you have to comply with the GDPR and what might happen if you don’t.
  • The GDPR’s direct effect on your business and the transition timelines.
  • The steps to take in preparing for compliance.
  • The technical and organisational measures your business will need to adopt to comply with the Regulation.
  • A key assessment toolkit you can use to help you to achieve compliance.

The seminar will be held at The Birch Hotel, Heywood with easy access to the M60, M62 and M66 on:

  • Wednesday, 27th September 2017, 14:00 to 16:15 – SOLD OUT
  • Wednesday, 25th October 2017, 14:00 to 16:15
  • Wednesday, 29th November 2017, 14:00 to 16:15

Tickets are £15.00

Contact us on 0345 319 4887 to book or book online with Eventbrite.

I hope to see you there.


Don’t Call Me Frank

It’s always great when clients say nice things about you.

Here’s one client that took to video to say a few words about how we’ve helped him grow his business.

Don’t call me Frank, though, eh?

Click here to watch the short video testimonial.

Have You Tried Google Apps For Work?

It’s not that well known in the UK, but we love it.

What are we talking about? Google Apps For Work.

It has so many benefits – for businesses of all sizes.

From working better and more efficiently with colleagues, to saving on the cost of licences for MS Office and the ‘obligatory’ server for your emails or documents, to integrating a whole host of other applications to make your working life and business run and perform better, we think it’s the next ‘garlic bread’. Did we mention it makes protecting your data – such as information about your customers – easier too?

Check out all the benefits and features .


17 Reasons To Send A Press Release

Have you ever thought of using press releases to promote your business to your customers and prospects?


Using press releases is a form of PR or public relations.

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations says: “Public relations is about reputation – the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you.”

It adds: “Public Relations is the discipline which looks after reputation, with the aim of earning understanding and support and influencing opinion and behaviour.

“It is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics.”


So, why should YOU send a press release?


Here’s 17 reasons to do so:


  1. Media coverage from a press release can drive valuable traffic to your website
  2. It can position your company and its products and services in the minds of your customers and potential new customers more easily than traditional advertising (or online advertising)
  3. It is much cheaper than advertising
  4. It helps to build your brand
  5. You can say things in a press release that you can’t say in an advertisement
  6. Appearing in a local newspaper, business magazine or trade publication (or even on radio or television) gives your business massive credibility amongst your customers and potential new customers
  7. It can help to position you, a member of staff, or your company as ‘the expert’ in your field and give you a competitive advantage. Likewise, it can showcase your products as the ‘best in the market’
  8. It can help generate sales enquiries and new customers
  9. It can help your business get more coverage online
  10. You can use the content of a press release for 1 or more posts on social media
  11. Brainstorming ideas for news stories can highlight successes internally within a business (and even make staff feel better)
  12. A press release can help to create goodwill between your company and your customers, potential new customers, employees, shareholders, and even suppliers
  13. It can help to protect your corporate reputation in case of negative media coverage
  14. It can help to influence buying behaviour of your customers and potential new customers
  15. It can help your company to earn understanding and support from customers, potential new customers, employees, suppliers and even shareholders
  16. It can help tell the world what your business is good at, how your products and services can help your customers and why customers and potential customers should buy from you rather than your competitors (but you have to careful how you do this!)
  17. The content of a press release in a news stories in a newspaper, magazine or online is viewed as far more credible (i.e. true) than anything you can say in an advertisement



Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year!

We’d like to wish our clients, partners, suppliers and business contacts a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


SEO is on the move as search goes mobile

Few people would argue – particularly within the online marketing industry itself – that mobile search is growing in importance at present.

An ever-increasing array of mobile devices, from smartphones (Android, iOS, Windows Phone and BlackBerry among them) to tablets including Apple’s iPad and the Microsoft Surface, are putting search at the fingertips of a new generation.

It’s probably the single fastest shift in search habits since the creation of search engines themselves – and certainly the biggest non-Google impact on search in recent years.

And that means you need to be ready to react – or even to proact, if you want to lead the charge towards truly search-optimised mobile sites.

What does mobile mean?

You might think you know what mobile search means for common metrics like average query length – searching while on the move, on a tiny touchscreen keyboard, probably means shorter search queries on average, right?

If you think that, you’re wrong, according to figures published by Yahoo! and based on usage trends on Yahoo! Search for Mobile.

Between 2007 and 2010, the average mobile search query overall grew in length from 3.05 words to 3.6 words, and from 18.48 characters to 22.16.

There are plenty of reasons why this might be the case, but an obvious one is voice recognition – in many cases, searches are no longer manually typed in, but simply spoken into the handset, making it much easier to search for a longer sequence of words, or even for a full phrase in the form of a question.

How long is the tail?

In the same report, Yahoo! revealed that mobile search is still in its infancy, relatively speaking, and that despite the figures above, short-tail search queries are more common than their longer-tail counterparts.

“There are more head queries – queries with high frequency of repetitions, with small number of words,” reported Yahoo!, “while long queries are also increasing on torso and tail queries.”

Mobile search is still coming up, but is very nearly there, making it important to have a comprehensive SEO agency in place to target these more competitive short-tail key terms, and the more relevant long-tail phrases.

But if 2010 seems like a lifetime ago in this fast-moving market, a separate Yahoo! report puts all of this into a much more contemporary context.

Mobile search in 2013

In a one-sheet update on mobile search – covering both Yahoo! Search for Mobile and Bing Mobile – the company predicts that 2013 will be the year in which mobile searches “eclipse” desktop search.

“Mobile search is no longer ‘coming on’; its time has arrived,” Yahoo! states, adding that Android and iPhone searches account for more than 50% of the mobile queries it receives, and that it and Bing together share over a third of the mobile search market.

This last point is worth remembering, because perhaps more than in the desktop and laptop markets, smartphone users are often tied to the search engine provided by default on their handset.

While this may still be Google for Android users, it’s likely to lead to a sustained and substantial share in the mobile search market for Bing, if Windows Phone sales reach relatively high figures.

As such, any mobile SEO campaign would be wise to span not only the appropriate range of query lengths, but also to take into account non-Google search engine optimisation, ensuring strong performance on Yahoo! and Bing, and tapping into this sizeable but arguably less competitive search market for mobile devices.

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