Just because we have nothing better to do with our weekends, on Saturday just gone we had our monthly GT planning meeting. I know, we’re riotous.
However, as this was the first one of 2018, we set down our plans for what we all want GrowTraffic to achieve in the year ahead.
Now don’t worry, we’re not getting all preachy on you or anything – this is not one of those self-help blogs, where you have to write down your 5 year plan (although it would probably help you if you did!). No, we just like sharing, so thought you’d be interested to hear about our plans for 2018.
And if you’re not, please feel free to look away now, and pop back next week for something more interesting. We won’t mind.
Anyway, to the point…
You may or may not have heard us talk about this already, but we’re planning on branching out a little bit and forming another ‘arm’ of the business; GrowSkills, in addition to GrowTraffic.
Now there are various reasons for this, most of which I won’t bore you with, but essentially this seemed like a logical extension of the current business to us, so we’ve decided to go for it.
Since its inception, the whole purpose of GrowTraffic has been to empower businesses to manage their websites effectively themselves. SEO is an ongoing process that needs constant input if you want to reach those top ranking spots and, more importantly, keep them. The majority of SMEs can’t afford to be paying out indefinitely to a third party company to manage this process for them, so it makes sense to bring those skills in-house in the long run.
Hence, GrowTraffic has always worked on the basis that we’ll get you going with your SEO – sort out your onsite issues, improve your content, establish a useful blog etc. etc. – and then hand it over to you after a 3, 6, 9 or 12 month period. Obviously, if you want us to do your onsite SEO or provide SEO copywriting for your blog forever, then we will, but if you’d rather learn how to do it yourself, we’ll teach you how.
And so, logically, that’s where GrowSkills will come in. We recognise that companies are all different in their needs and that your employees have unique learning requirements and skill levels, so we want to be able to offer a range of practical website support services that will ensure your staff can learn the SEO and marketing skills they need to maintain your website, in the best way for them and your business.
So, if you want one-to-one sessions between GT and your admin support, so they can learn to upload a blog to WordPress, we can do it. If you’d like a lunch time seminar at your premises for the whole team, on how to do social media marketing effectively, we can provide that too. If you’d rather do a full day’s training for your entire company, away from the office, to learn the basics of onsite SEO, SEO copywriting and digital marketing, then – guess what – we can do that too.
Basically, whatever your individual requirements are and whatever your budget is, GrowSkills will have the level of support and training your company needs to succeed in business in 2018 and beyond.
We’ll be rolling out our training courses very soon, so please keep your eye on the website for further details, or get in touch with us at [email protected] if you’d like to know more, or book a specific SEO training course for your staff.
Can you see a pattern emerging here? I know, we’re marketing geniuses, aren’t we? (And very stable marketing geniuses at that!)
Anyway, I digress. GrowKnowledge is, like GrowSkills, another branch of the business that we’re looking to investigate in 2018. Now this one is not as far along as GrowSkills yet; in fact, this is still really the germ of an idea that we’re ruminating on, but we’re pretty excited about it and will certainly be pursuing it in the near future, so it deserves a mention.
These days, a lot of SEO is based on analysis of data, which we accumulate from aggregate sources, whether that be Google Analytics, SE Ranking, SEM Rush, Moz or Majestic. It’s quite costly for us to have all these subscriptions, and not one of these platforms gives us all the data we need in one single place, so we end up jumping around from location to location just to do our initial onsite SEO audits and quarterly SEO reports.
And the data is not always logically set out either; a lot of the time it takes years of experience and a good chunk of industry expertise simply to understand what all that data is telling you. It’s complex enough for us, as SEO experts, so how the average SME business owner or manager is supposed to understand it all is beyond us. Add in to the mix the fact that the algorithms are constantly evolving – so the goal posts are essentially being moved every few weeks – and it’s no wonder most people believe SEO is a dark art.
And that’s precisely why we believe that you, as a busy person trying to do your job or run your own business, need access to a platform that gives you your own data in an easy-to-understand way, and in a way that means you can make meaningful changes to your website and your marketing that will actually see results.
Having said that, whilst that is a sublimely simple idea, executing it is sublimely complex, for a vast number of reasons. Nevertheless, we believe it’s worth trying, so we’re going to give it a shot. So, watch this space, and we’ll keep you updated on how we get on.
New GT Branding & Website
This is the one that we’re all really excited about, although it’s proven to be a much harder process than we ever imagined!
Last year, we made the decision that GT’s branding, whilst we loved it, was not really up to the challenge of taking us where we wanted to go in 2018. We didn’t feel the logo was fresh enough, or that we had any coherent brand guidelines, or that it showed off our credentials enough to prospective clients. It didn’t shine, and we needed a brand that would take us places, and allow us to grow into all our new ventures.
Similarly, our website, whilst having served us well for many years, was beginning to look a little bit dated (to put it mildly!) and no longer reflected the direction the business was going in. For example, it was still very focussed on freelance SEO, and we haven’t been a random bunch of SEO freelancers for a long time!
Hence, we knew we needed to renovate everything, but finding someone who could put into practice everything we wanted was hard; in fact, it took us a long time. We had done all the branding exercises; we knew our brand pillars, we knew our market, we knew where we needed to go, we just needed someone who’s vision could turn all of that into a coherent brand, and luckily we found her.
So, for the past few months, we have been working with the incredibly talented Natalie Mills of Enso Creative Studio, whose work is both versatile and beautiful. Fortunately, thanks to being a consummate professional with boundless patience, Natalie has made the entire branding process as smooth as possible, but it’s still been an eye-opening experience!
The main difficulty has come from having 4 very different professionals, each with their own SEO or marketing speciality, each very headstrong and with a clear idea of what they wanted, all competing for their own interpretation of where the branding should be. I wanted something arty with echoes of the 1920s and art deco, Dalley wanted an evolution of the logos that have gone before, Hannah wanted something creative but techy, and Elicia wanted something that made us stand out from, yet also fit within, the creative industries.
It was a tough gig, but Natalie, miraculously, has managed to pull it all together and give us something that we all love. Well, we mostly all love…
Unfortunately though, I’m not going to reveal to you the new branding yet, as it’s not quite finished, so you’ll just have to be patient and wait. It will be here hopefully in the next couple of weeks, and I literally can’t wait to overhaul everything and have a professional, coherent, client-facing front.
As soon as the new branding is finalised, we’ll then be taking the new logo and designs, and working with our web developer friends to design a brand new website that really shows off our abilities. Again, I can’t reveal too much about this yet, so I’ll tell you more about the new website in a few weeks. (Not too many weeks though, as I can’t wait to not be ashamed when prospective clients mention our website!)
In the meantime, please take a look at the evolution of GT’s branding to date, ever since our inception in 2008, and see if you can predict where it’ll be going next?!
More Good Things To Come
So there we have it, the top 3 things that we’ve got planned for the coming year. Of course, that’s not all we’ll be doing – we’ve also got plans to grow our team further by taking on a new member of staff and expand into some bigger and better offices too – but we’ll come to those as and when they happen.
Plus, of course, it’s not all about us; we do also have great plans to improve the websites of our clients too. If you check out our previous 2 blogs on SEO Copywriting Predictions for 2018 and SEO Predictions for 2018, you’ll see that we’ve been keeping abreast of the latest developments in SEO (which, to be fair, we should be, as it’s our job!) and we’ll be making sure the latest theory and strategies are implemented for our customers.
There’s lots of good things to come this year for businesses that are active online, and we’re looking forward to improving the revenue and online profiles of our customers even more in the coming year.
If you’d like to make sure your business is kept up-to-date with all the latest SEO developments and advice, then why not sign up to our fortnightly email newsletter? It’s packed with the latest algorithm updates and tips to improve your website, plus all the latest from our blog and from around the web too. It’s your fortnightly digest of things you really need to know if you want to make sure your business is on the SEO ball in 2018.
Get In Touch
If you’d like to find out more about any of our plans for 2018, or if you’d like to see how any of our plans for the future will affect your business (or if you simply want to make sense of all that data!) then please do get in touch with us today and ask us anything.