We're going on the road with the Business Advice Roadshow

Giving advice to small businesses is second nature to us here at Measured Brilliance, as anyone who attends our monthly sessions at SIMS - Digital Skills for Small Businesses will know, so when we were asked to take part in a new initiative, the  Business Advice Roadshow, we were happy to help. 

A team of local business professionals who have the success of Suffolk at heart will be travelling around the county offering a supportive ear, advice and guidance to businesses. 

This is an opportunity to ask about business growth, funding, grants, commercial banking, accountancy, tax, legal queries or workforce development as well as website development, SEO and social media.

You can find us at:

THU 17 MAR, 09.00 – 11.00 – MILDENHALL
THU 14 APR, 09.00 – 11.00 – LION BARN, NEEDHAM MKT
THU 12 MAY, 09.00 – 11.00 – BOSS HALL, IPSWICH
WED 8 JUN, 12.00 – 14.00 – MILDENHALL
WED 6 JUL, 12.00 – 14.00 – LION BARN, NEEDHAM MKT
WED 3 AUG, 12.00 – 14.00 – BOSS HALL, IPSWICH
TUE 30 AUG, 09.00 – 11.00 – MILDENHALL
TUE 27 SEP, 09.00 – 11.00 – LION BARN, NEEDHAM MKT
TUE 25 OCT, 09.00 – 11.00 – BOSS HALL, IPSWICH

For venues email sam@measuredbrilliance.com

SEO Blackhats with Daniel Somers

December's SIMS will be about Blackhat SEO. ‘Blackhat SEO’ is the term for actions that violate Google's Webmaster Guidelines. This SEO antic is used by businesses to try and stimulate traffic to their websites in the easiest way possible.  Blackhat is bad in SEO terms, it can kill your business, brand and website overnight if (or when) you get caught.

Knowing about Blackhat SEO is relevant to your business if you are looking to hire a third party company to optimise your SEO campaigns, or if you already pay someone to do it. You should know what Google is looking out for that would blacklist your website, and what questions you should be asking.

But some website owners are making an absolute killing out of Blackhat and they stay in business for a very long time. A lot of the well-known brands still play in the naughty world of Internet marketing but the truth is you simply don’t know about it. Companies make a lot of money out of the term ‘rank and tank’…. You may think that Blackhat is about flooding the Internet with spam, but quite frankly some of it is genius although it will destroy your company when you get caught.

This talk will cover:

  • How Blackhat is more than just a few spammy links
  • You may already be Blackhat, you just don’t know it
  • How you can rank nearly anything within a very short time period
  • How affiliates are taking your sales
  • Amazon & eBay are even in on it
  • Social Blackhats – lots of them

Find out more about SEO blackhats and how they affect your business in December's SIMS (15th December, 7pm at UCS) with our guest speaker Daniel Somers.

If you'd like to see more details for this event, here's a link to our SIMS Meetup page and SIMS website

We hope to see you there! 

Podcasting by Professionals

Award-winning UK podcasters, Kathryn Bryant and Julian Illman from the Changeability Podcast took the stage at last night’s SIMS as they enthusiastically discussed the basic and complex aspects of Podcasting in a night filled with ideas and valuable information for small businesses. 

We heard it from the best

We heard it from the best

We hope that Kathryn and Julian inspired you to take on Podcasting and discover how it can positively impact your business. As they mentioned, the podcast industry is still growing and there are definitely more topics to be covered. A quick run-through some of last night's notes:

  • Having a podcast helps you "develop your personal brand"
  • Podcasting can help you create networks and build a good relationship with you audience
  • Podcasting is useful for content marketing
  • Your listeners willingly choose to listen to your podcast.
  • Your podcast can reach places you wouldn't even imagine.
  • Easy to start up and can be monetised long term. 

If you'd like to get in touch with the speakers or ask about anything about podcasting, you can visit www.brilliantlivinghq.com. We'd like to thank everyone for another successful and enjoyable SIMS event. Get news and updates about SIMS at our newly-launched website, www.simsdigitalskills.co.uk, where you can also find Max's round-up for this month's SIMS.

Here are some photos from last night's SIMS, you all look great!

May's SIMS- Brand Authenticity with Helen Oldfield

Another amazing meetup this month and we have to say a huge thank you to Helen Oldfield from Affinity PR for her talk. Helen's talk was about “Brand Authenticity”; the business case for conveying your genuine values and personality online. Helen told some hilarious tales from her years of experience (none of which were to leave the room), and generally shared tips with an enthusiastic audience. 

Have a look at some of the lovely comments at SIMS - Suffolk Internet Marketing Specialists meetup.com account.

Next month we have Linda Rumbold from Linda Rumbold Marketing coming to talk about Social Media.

April's SIMS - Website Building, How to Avoid the Horror Stories

April’s SIMS meetup saw our very own Max Shelley giving the SIMS the value of his many years of experience and helping the audience bypass all the usual pitfalls to make the most of their online presence. Max’s talk got some amazing feedback, sadly I think some people spotted the mistakes as ones they had made but, as Max pointed out, knowing about it means you can make it right.

Max’s main advice was to make sure you have clear, easy to read contracts and project agreements which explore any likely outcomes, including the bad ones. He also explained how important it is that you, or your business own the rights to your website and all the ensuing data.

As always with SIMS, if you have a question about your own website please feel free to come along and ask one of our experts. 

Up Periscope!

We also Persiscoped (is that the right verb?) Max’s talk and got some love hearts from the audience. It was also recorded by the lovely people at Red Cliff Productions and will be available to view soon.

Next month's at SIMS we'll have Helen Oldfield from Affinity PR talking about Brand Authenticity, sign up and RSVP here.

March's SIMS - Largest Audience to Date!

If you run a business in Suffolk and have ANYTHING to do with Facebook, it's highly likely you've heard of Daniel Somers from SEOmers. Daniel is a highly respected SEO expert and is renowned for giving great advice to businesses of all sizes who want to know more. 

Dan kindly came to give a talk at our March Meetup, we thought it would be popular but we didn't realise quite how many people would be drawn to hear from Dan. His talk was informative, concise and most importantly spoke to all of our audience, from novices to experts. Dan is passionate about helping businesses get the most from their websites and his enthusiasm shone through. Thank you Dan, we really appreciate it.

Redcliff Films kindly filmed Dan's talk and here's a small segment (more to come soon).

Topics covered by Daniel are:
* What SEO is and should have always been. * Why you must understand the basics of SEO. * Why Google hates you. * Why Google loves your competitors. * Why you can do better than the number #1 spot.

February's SIMS - Sucessful Email Marketing with Justin Bowser

At February's SIMS we were happy to welcome Justin Bowser, Chief Operating Officer at Ipswich based HTK, giving his insightful talk about email marketing. Sam first heard Justin talk at a Digital Drive talk and knew he was a perfect match to talk at a SIMS meetup, and she was 100% right!

Justin's funny and relaxed talk was not only entertaining but contained some marketing gems. The feedback from Justin's talk was amazing and we will pester him to come back again soon.

SIMS sponsor, Carol Gant, arranged for Redcliff Studios to film Justin, which will follow soon.

Max gave his usual SEO round up, you can find his list of helpful links here. Max also gave the 10 minute takeaway talk about SSL encryption. This is all second nature to Max he explained what online security means to Suffolk online businesses.

If you'd like to know more about SIMS, visit our page and join our meetup.com group for updates.



SIMS Industry Round-Up, February

Each month Max gives his industry round up at our SIMS Meetup and posts the links to interesting articles and must reads for Suffolk Businesses who want to stay a head online.

Here is February's list:

I mentioned it a couple of months ago, now Google has finally brought the ability to send money via GMail to the UK. Could be useful to provide customers and clients a new way to pay their bills.

Web push notifications are now a real thing, get in early if you have a valid way to use them.

It's been a long time since Tweets showed in Google, but they're back. Will be interesting to see how they handle this.

Tweetdeck has been an official Twitter tool for quite some time and if paying for Sprout Social, Hootsuite, Buffer etc. isn't for you, then this new feature could be ideal.

This could be great for clients that don't sell online and only want leads via the phone.

If you're Webmaster Tools data has been slow to update lately, it looks like you're not the only one.

Google now let you specify which photos appear for your business listing. Change your presences in Google My Business.

SIMS Industry Round-Up, January

Every month after Max has given his industry round up to the SIMS - Suffolk Internet Marketing Specialist's Meetup we post the list here so you can go through the articles at your leisure. Since we didn't meet in December it's a long list, but still worth a read if you want to stay ahead.

Windows 10 is here. If you're interested in search then it's worth looking at how deep the Cortana integration runs through the entire operating system on all devices. If you're interested in the web, then it's worth paying attention to Spartan (http://www.theverge.c...­) the new web browser they announced.

Group DM's come to Twitter along with Vine-esque 30 second videos direct from the app).

Analytics implements a way to recover things you've deleted like filters. Very handy!

An official chrome plugin to help you pull data out of Google Analytics and into Google Spreadsheets. There are some videos of how to use it at: http://analytics.blog...­

Technical, but if you're more technical, here is a guide to microdata/rich snippets.

They buried it in a generic blog post, but enhanced eCommerce is now out of beta.


Shopify now have a podcast. Their range of resources for store-owners is growing and it's available to all, even if you don't run your shop on their platform (although obviously all their content is somewhat pro-Shopify).

Facebook's tutorial videos are either awesome or weird. This one shows how to block someone.

Typecast, a tool to help design fonts, spacings, colours and more is now free.

Wordpress 4.1 is here. As usual, you should update for security as well as the new features they are offering (which are listed in this blog post).

Someone asked Sam on Facebook about Beacons (iBeacons if you're using Apple's terminology). This manufacturers site has some good examples of how they could be used, and a short video showing the setup procedure at https://www.youtube.c...­ - Note: these are for developers rather than plug-n-play devices, but they give you an idea of usage as more consumer-ready versions will appear.

ETC (Estimated Total Conversions) is US-only but worth watching, they're helping track phone calls, visits (yes, using location data of your customers) and more for AdWords customers.

Pinterest are customising their search results by gender.

For the larger (200+ orders per month), or more technical eCommerce sites that use Adwords. Google Trusted Sites is now apparently easier to sign up for. This article -https://econsultancy....­ - runs through some of the pro's and con's (athough Google do claim to have simplified the process since then).

Google added more filters to restaurant searches in Google maps. Make sure your details are up-to-date in Google My Business.

Following on from me recently saying that Google are pushing mobile-friendly sites as a high priroty, here's a tweet clarifying what they mean by ‘mobile friendly’

Many of the services that Google are linking to make it really easy to get clients up-and-running with a pretty great web experience (we use Squarespace and Shopify and love them both). Whatever you think of Google, there are some pretty not-great domain name providers out there, so having another company in the mix that has the resources to provide the service without ripping customers off is not the worst thing.

Google have re-written their reCaptcha service and for many visitors the new version will simply involve clicking one checkbox rather than deciphering some weird squiggly words. Details of how to implement are linked on that page.

New structured data testing tool.

The Analytics team are dropping support for IE9, so for those of you with clients that are running old Windows Vista machines and you're trying to get them to look at their stats, they may experience issues.

A technical list, but this site audit a good starting point for working with your developers.

January's SIMS - Anne Gould, Vlogging for Business

January's SIMS meetup saw Anne Gould from Workingwordz Media giving an introduction to her training session 'Vlogging for Business'. Anne explained why having a video presence matters to your online profile. She told us how easy it can be with just a smartphone and some relatively inexpensive tools.

We can't thank Anne enough for taking the time to come and share her knowledge with the SIMS, the feedback was great and a number of people told me it had inspired them to pick up their phones and get talking!

If you'd like to know more about SIMS, visit our page and join our meetup.com group for updates.