"Sensible, solid, practical advice for anybody, marketing anything, to anyone. All delivered with a European twist."

Please Can I Just Speak To A Person?

In 1984:

“Hello, XYZ Global, how can I help you?”

“I’d like to speak to someone about your ABC service please.”

“Certainly, I’ll put you through now.”

“Hello, it’s John speaking, what can I do for you?”

18 seconds  read more »

Understanding Google Anayltics - Part Two

Sessions And Page Views

In the last post we talked about referral traffic, which is the screen I go to first when I’m checking analytics.

But the first screen you actually come to when you open it up is the one shown in this image, so let’s find out what each part of it means.


But first, let’s dispel a myth and talk about:

“Hits”  read more »

Understanding Google Anayltics - Part One

Referral Traffic

If you have a website for your business, then either install Google Analytics or ask your web person to do so for you.

It’s a free service from Google, and it will tell you so much more than any of the basic web traffic programs that are standard with your web hosting.

The information that can be gleaned is incredible, but it’s also quite complex. So over the next few weeks, we’ll take an elements at a time and explore it in some detail.

FB  read more »

Road Test - Toyota Rav 4

The original Rav 4 was the first of the so called “Soft roaders” – cars that look like they are designed to go off road, but were created to spend their time on tarmac. The idea was a good one - people love the additional space and high driving position afforded by this type of car, and every volume manufacturer now sports at least one such model in its range.  read more »

Life In The Cloud With Google Apps

Like many people, I’ve been using various cloud services for a few years. But recently I moved my whole life into the cloud, and I thought it would be worth sharing the experience here.

My previous situation was that my files were spread all over the place – the majority on the hard drive of my PC, many on my laptop, a few on my phone and iPad, and anything I needed to share was split between Google Drive and Dropbox. It was a mess! And as someone who travels a lot, I was often in the situation where I had the wrong piece of equipment for whatever I needed to access.

Google_Drive  read more »

Stop Giving Away Free Advertising!

We’ve been selling advertising on our large websites since 2008. Over those six years, I’ve seen dozens of other websites, a couple of radio stations and a few magazines set up in business. Typically, they’ll trade for a few months and then quietly disappear.


Why? Because they didn’t work out before they started that it takes a long time and a lot of hard work to build a loyal, engaged audience. Basically, they either ran out of money or patience.

The latest example is a new website which has launched with a “Two months free advertising” offer.

From their point of view:  read more »

Helping Businesses Market Themselves Online

For years, those of us in business have focused on advertising our businesses in magazines and newspapers. Let me give you an example. Let’s imagine I run a restaurant here in Lanzarote called “Mike’s Place.” In the old world all my focus would be on getting the name and logo of Mike’s Place “out there.” Flick through any magazine, and almost all the adverts will feature the name and logo prominently and usually at the top of the advert. It’s effective, because the idea is that when people need a great restaurant, the hope is that their mind will conjure up an image of my logo and that they will remember that we’re called Mike’s Place.


With me so far?

Now let’s  read more »

Accidents Will Happen

The book I’m currently reading is set in the 19th Century and is based around The Royal Navy of that time. In those days ships would carry a dozen or so “Boys” – youngsters of between 10 and 16, who were rated Midshipmen and were essentially gaining sea time and experience before being commissioned as Lieutenants.  On “Make and mend” days, the boys would “Skylark” in the ship’s rigging and masts, racing up and down them and leaping from spar to spar. It was a chance for them to let off steam, and to learn the skill of being able to climb aloft in all weathers. In the passage I’ve just read, one of the leading characters has fallen to his death during a skylarking session, and it came as quite a shock to me. As with any sailor killed at sea, his body was sown into his hammock with a canon ball to weigh it down and he was put over the side.


Reflecting on this, I realised that it’s the kind of accident that couldn’t happen today. No doubt skylarking was stopped in The RN years ago when someone did a risk assessment and decided it could only take place with a full harness and nearby helicopter support.  read more »

Driving A Classic car

I had the chance to drive a classic car over the weekend – a 1970’s Ford Cortina 2000GT. I’d really been looking forward to it as I haven’t driven anything that could be described as a classic before, and because the Cortina is a car I once owned. It was going to be interesting to see how different it felt after 36 years of getting used to modern motoring. I also wanted to answer a question:

Could I live with one of these now as my every day car, in the same way I had done in 1979?

Cortina 1  Cortina 2

Let’s start with a bit of history. The Mark 3 Cortina was a pretty radical step for Ford, replacing the boxy Mark 2 with a sexy and very curvy design. It was to prove to be a winner,  read more »

You HAVE To Make Your Website Faster

I’ve done it at least a dozen times this week, and I bet you have too: I searched for something on Google, clicked a likely looking link and then sat looking at a white screen for 5 seconds.

Then I hit the back button and found another link.


I just won’t wait for slow websites to load anymore – I can’t afford the time!

If your website is loading slowly, you’re probably losing hundreds, maybe even thousands of visitors.  read more »