Local Business SEO, Marketing and Growth Tips (New Free Podcast)

Aug 2, 2017 by

Exciting news! We just launched our new podcast! In it, we’ll be discussing all sorts of strategies for small to medium sized local businesses. From ranking on Google to unusual ways to get new customers and more.


Vortex Local Marketing


Now, we know time is precious so our aim with these podcasts is to:


  • Keep them super short and value packed (2 to 3 minutes each)
  • We wont get bogged down with nitty gritty details – but will provide more than enough info for you to run with
  • This won’t be a re-hash of all the usual marketing strategies you’re used to hearing


The podcast is on our local digital marketing siteVortex Local. You can stream it there and also subscribe at any one of the following:









Yep, we like syndicating content we produce everywhere (and so should you!)


So you get a taster, here’s what our first two episodes are about:


The first: “1 Change That Increased Our Lawyer’s Leads by 25% (Improving Trust)” – we share a real life case study on a simple change that led to a massive uplift in conversion rates. Often people go mad trying to get more traffic whereas they should work on converting more of the traffic they already get!


Episode 2 is “Getting Press To Your Small & Boring Local Business”. Think no one would want to write about a plumber? Think again! These solid strategies will get you some press, SEO benefits and more.


So – scroll back up and listen, subscribe to our podcast wherever it suits you best. And if you have ideas for future episodes, let us know!



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The Best WordPress Developers: Now for Hire!

Aug 9, 2016 by

During my 6 years as an Internet entrepreneur, I’ve worked with over 50 different developers. Most were poor, some were great and only a handful were truly exceptional.


I learned the hard way that in order to have an exceptional online business, you need exceptional developers. Anything less is a false economy.





Initially, I would hire under $10 developers on Freelancer.com or oDesk (now UpWork) that seemed to be up-and-coming or that just promised they could do it all. I took a gamble in order to save money in the short term. The result: servers crashing in the middle of the night because of un-optimized code. Key features not working and forcing customers to go elsewhere. Time wasted going back and forth, hoping developers would understand what I needed and just do it!


Thankfully, that is now a pretty distant memory.


I believe in my ‘chosen few’ developers so much that I now work with them as their relationship manager. I look for the right clients and present my developers with the most exciting web development opportunities.


These developers previously worked full-time on my online businesses which have now matured and no longer need such intense development. Here are a few examples of what they created for me:


1) GoGetFunding.com – handles over 100k visitors a day

 Online fundraising website



2) BeautifulTribute.com – An online memorial site with a multi-site setup. Has attracted charity partner sub-sites across the world


Fundraise in memory


3) CastleSmart.com – A pioneering online estate agency in the UK


 CastleSmart: Online Estate Agents


In addition to the websites above, my developers have crazy good feedback from hundreds of clients. Just take a look at this snippet from one of my developer’s UpWork profiles:


WordPress Expert


We are moving away from UpWork but of course this feedback can all be independently reviewed. Part of the reason for this feedback is because we don’t just take on a project and rush to complete it. We take serious care of your actual business. We think about things like scalability, user-experience, future-proofing and more.


My team’s key skills include everything WordPress (including WordPress Multisite, HTML5, MySQL admin, PSD conversions and more.


If you want to explore whether my developers have the availability and are right for your job, get in touch.

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Online Estate Agents Disrupting the Industry – My Predictions

Jun 28, 2015 by

I believe that in 2015, the online estate agents industry will gain more market share than ever before. Online estate agents continue to report record levels of business. But lets put that aside and look at some independent data.


This chart shows Google search volume for the brand names of some of the most popular online estate agents. We can see that from 2015, interest has started to rise dramatically:

My team and I, having recently launched our own online estate agents – CastleSmart.com – have benefited from seeing the customer demand and sheer need for this service first hand – despite at the time of posting being relatively new to the market.
Several things have aligned that makes now the right time for estate agents to really boom. Most notably, Gen Y (digital natives born after 1981) now have the power to buy and sell property. I’ve discussed other key reasons for the factors behind the boom here.


In this post, I want to discuss my predictions on exactly how this disruption will look, and its effect on traditional estate agents.


2014: Statistics showed that online estate agents were only responsible for 5.5% of house sales. Although small, it’s risen from almost zero a few years earlier.
2015: Online estate agents will continue to grab the headlines and be looked at with some novelty factor. As per the innovation bell curve below, innovators and early adopters have tried out the service and driven the early growth, laying foundations for more mainstream adoption.


Through word-of-mouth and mainstream advertising campaigns that are already being observed, the market share should rise to 10%.


Estate Agents Growth - Bell Curve
Although traditional industries typically observe growth as shown above, Internet driven applications have often seen much more accelerated growth as this illustrates:


big bang estate agents adptionSource: HBR


Although I believe that this big bang type growth is unlikely, there’s certainly the possibility.


2016 > 2018: I forecast that these years will see some of the strongest growth, with market share climbing between 20% and 40%. At this stage, traditional estate agents will reluctantly start changing their business model to offer better value to consumers. For example, through lower-cost fixed rate packages.


2018 > 2020: I believe forecasts of online estate agent market share growing to 70% are ambitious. Although I think that online estate agents will now be a mainstream option and will comfortably handle at least 50% of property sales and lettings.
This growth will cause newer estate agents, and some that have failed to adapt, to close shop. Although the biggest estate agents – particularly those which have positioned themselves as premium and built their brand over many years, will continue to thrive but profits will be impacted.


For those that struggle to see these or similar growth forecasts materialise, look at other industries that seemed stubborn to e-growth. When the ‘online equivalent’ eventually gained traction, the new industry boomed. Think of e-books, Internet banking, movie rental and more.


Many notable figures are for the first time investing heavily in online estate agents. The number of platforms is growing and the reviews are glowing. With all of these factors combined, I believe we’re set for an online estate agent boom!


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Track Attendance & Fees With THIS iPhone App (now on Android and Desktop too)

Nov 6, 2014 by

Update Oct 2016: The attendance tracking app is no longer available. A few reasons for that: it was too costly to update for new versions of iPhone, it started slowing down once over 100 students and by nature – I could only use this on an iOS whereas I decided to switch to Android.


That prompted me to create something even better!


Introducing, the Attendance & Fees tracking Google sheet. Here are the benefits of it:


  • Anyone that needs to track attendance & fees for a class can all collaborate on your Google sheet – they just need the link to the sheet.
  • It works offline as well as online
  • It wont slow down and Google safely store all of the info
  • Can work on any device – PC, Mac, tablet, iOS, Android – anything!


Here’s a quick video that also shows how to use the sheet:



And here are the steps on preparing to use the sheet with a bit more info to ensure you track payments correctly:


1. Download the Google Sheets app if you’re using a phone or tablet. If on desktop you’ll be prompted to login to Google Drive


2. Sign in to the Google Sheet with a Gmail address. The sheet that I share with you will be saved on the Google Drive (free) associated with your Gmail address. Make it available offline too by enabling the option on the sheet. Here’s Google’s quick guide to it if you’re not sure how to enable that.


3. If you want anyone else to collaborate on your fee tracking sheet, click the ‘Share’ button and give them the link that Google generates


4. Add your class and the fee for that class in the ‘Class Type’ tab. That will automatically create a new tab for tracking fees for that class. Go back to ‘Class Type’ and add the fee for that class.


5. When you’re ready to track, go to the class tab and enter the amount paid in the ‘Paid’ column for a student. It will automatically update according to the class fee. If there’s a new student that isn’t in the list, just add them in the same tab.


Note: If you’re offline, the balance will automatically update when you get an Internet connection.


There’s a one-off cost for this sheet of $37. A tiny investment when considering how much you’ll save in lost fees, or the cost of developing this sheet yourself. If you need additional customization to the sheet, we can also handle that and we’ll provide a quote beforehand.


To purchase, please checkout using the button below. I also need your Gmail address so that I can share the sheet with you – this is usually done within 24 hours of payment.


Your Gmail Address:



Original post:

My online projects have so far all been web based. However, I’m all to aware that an increasing number eyeballs are focused on mobile and there’s undoubtedly massive growth in this space.


So, when I needed a better way to track and attendance and cash fees from the martial arts classes that I help run, I knew an app was the way to go.



Introducing: Attendance & Fees!



Attendance & Fees on the App Store

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A Mentor: Your Shortcut To Success

Oct 28, 2014 by

Learning anything new can often be a challenge. So, to aid our learning we often go on courses, read up on the Internet and just battle through to work things out. However, an often neglected method and more effective method of learning is to get a mentor.


The benefits of having a mentor are clear. You’ll get proven information, tailored to suit you. A mentor can also help you avoid common pitfalls and essentially put you on the fast track to success.




I hear you ask….


Why would someone spend their valuable time and expertise helping a stranger like me?

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