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One of our members Mike Hall of ThinkSmart Marketing organised a webinar for our members and guests about how to make the most of your digital investment. Much of the seminar was delivered by Andrew Firth of Ascensor, who has signed up to also be a member of Connect Yorkshire.

I will try to summarise the key points of the talk but my digital knowledge is limited.

Keyword Planner

This is a great Google tool that Andrew has been using for over 15 years. The keyword planner allows you to search for keyword variations and get an indication of the typical advertising cost per click if you were to use Google Ads. He also mentioned other free Google tools, including ‘Trends’ and ‘Insights’ for gathering information as to marketing opportunities, seasonal patterns and new content. Website owners should do what they can with their content in terms of adding unique metadata, content with internal links and calls to action to name a few. Does your website give a visitor a chance to click onto another page from the page they are on? Users interacting with content, clicking links and engaging with your site, demonstrates that your website gives value and therefore Google credibility. 

Agencies etc

If you’re going to use an agency, learn as much as you can about what they are doing so you can hold them to account. Don’t spend loads of money with agencies, especially paid for advertising, without knowing how they are working, what they are bidding on and how they are going to report to you. With agencies you must understand their plan and to help ensure  you get a return on your investment at every stage.

Ask them what changes they have made in the last month. Sometimes there are no quick wins. Embrace new marketing channels, it helps to have a marketing team (agency or inhouse) that is using the new social media avenues in their daily lives, to best generate value from these channels in a business context.


Phil Fraser – What is the minimum budget? – You should aim for a 20% of cost return. So what is the margin on your product/service? If you are selling a service you can usually sacrifice more of the margin. Spending too little can get no return and doesn’t often demonstrate the value of the channel. The bigger the pool of competitors generally the more you need to spend per click. 90% of your visitors don’t buy on the first visit, so use retargeting to bring down your average cost per conversion.

Rather than rebuilding websites all the time we recommend a process of ongoing evolution. WordPress websites are cheap but must be maintained on a monthly basis to protect them from vulnerabilities. Making wholesale changes will not be necessary if it’s working for you, but use website monitoring software such as Hotjar to gain insights into your user behaviour. Conversion rate optimisation is a great way to test new website ideas and this can be done cost effectively using Google Optimise – it allows you to understand the likely impact of a change before the cost of development work, and the risk of making a bad decision.


Nick Butler