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About brendan

brendan has been a member since August 25th 2011, and has created 15 posts from scratch.

brendan's Bio

brendan's Websites

This Author's Website is http://bmseo-consulting.com/

brendan's Recent Articles

Social Landscape for Business 2014

Social Landscape for Business 2014:

Author: Brendan Smith

There has never been a more important time to be aware of social media statistics than now. It has been well documented that users are shifting to mobile, but how are the demographics matching up in each platform?

Well Google + still hasn’t released any data, and if they did it, the number of users would be diluted with all the Youtube, Google+ and One Account ‘All of Google’ sign-ins. Surely if Google + was a big player they would have released confirmation in some way, shape or form to us by now?

Facebook released their figures for growth from January 2011 to January 2014 for the USA and it makes for an interesting read. I have tried to put some form of personal cause and effect in place to explain the changes and the figures.

Here are the figures:

Facebook Usage Statistics

Facebook Usage statistics 2

Source: Facebook Social Ads Platform.

The obvious data are the teens using the platform which has dropped off by 25% over 3 years. Why would 25% of youngsters drop off* Facebook? Maybe the answer is in the growth of 35-54 and 55+ categories?

Here is my reasoning:

With parents of 13-17 year olds signing up to Facebook, it’s lost its ‘cool’ tag and more importantly its privacy for teens to be stereotypical teenagers.

I’m not proud of what I’m about to tell you, but I do still laugh at my mother’s response. In 2006 (I would have been 25); my mother joined Facebook and tried to add me as a friend. I’m not a hell raiser, in fact my actions, profile and timeline is pretty safe. I replied saying “I can’t add you as I can’t control what my friends put on my timeline which might upset you” my Mother’s response when she read this; “When are you going to grow up and get some new friends?!!”.

Using that conversation as a general position of most teens and young adults, it would explain the drop off* of the teens to mid twenty year olds from the period 2011 to 2014.

Before people judge me, I did add her the following year.

*drop off – From January 2011 to 2014, 13-17 year olds would shift into the 18-24 category. Although the growth of the 18-24 year old category is also down. A revised position on the 25% drop off from 13-17 year olds is leaning more towards Facebook is not attractive to join up to if their parents are on it, rather than them joining and leaving.

UK Facebook:

Is it hard to believe that almost 1 in 2 people in the UK have a Facebook account? There are 31 million users as of December 2013 which is down 1.5m from the previous year. So regardless of demographic losses and gains; this remains the largest group of social media consumers. It will be around for a long time.

UK Twitter:

Twitter reported 15m users in 2013 which was up from 10m in 2012. Twitter have stated that almost half of the users only use it for reading up to date information and don’t actively take part in tweeting and a whopping 80% of the users are on mobile!


LinkedIn passed 10m users in 2013.

The most important statistic to come out of research by Econsultancy suggests that 64% of business websites social media visits come from LinkedIn! This for me is the stand out statistic for businesses to embrace in 2014. When collating an Online Strategy or Content Marketing strategy for 2014, make sure you have LinkedIn included. If there is a limited budget or limited resources within the company, pro rata efforts to LinkedIn.

Notes: Some markets will perform better in some social media platforms more than others, for example visual businesses may get more traction on Pinterest than LinkedIn due to its ability to house graphics and images. The 64% is an average across all niches and verticals. If you require training on LinkedIn, try out James Potter on LinkedIn here.


I blogged about the benefits of Pinterest a couple of years ago and it seems to be going from strength to strength and has a clear vision of where they’re taking it. Tech companies have been acquired and top end developers and engineers recruited to work on the various functional aspects of Pinterest. It doesn’t take a genius to work out by improving and expanding their search tool, they’ll be able to monetise the site through advertisers more.

They’ve already launched place pins for locations  and they’re looking into photo recognition, recipe search (type in your ingredients which returns potential recipes) and more.

Where Facebook may be at saturation point, Pinterest is on the move with (Source Marketingcharts.com) content sharing to Pinterest up by 58% surpassing even email!!


How to Prevent Competitors or Staff from Clicking on Your Paid Advertising Adverts

How to Prevent Competitors or Staff from Clicking on Your Paid Advertising Adverts:

This blog is inspired by comments posted on my BMSEO Consulting Facebook page yesterday.

Adwords Facebook Blog Comment

Firstly, thanks for the ‘click, click, click’ comment, but it made me think, if this was one of my clients, how would I protect their budget and advertising campaign from being blown to pieces by a competitor, or even by my own staff who might see a company advert and click on it? How do you stop Mr ‘Click, Click, Click’ above?!

This is something that everyone can implement on their own respective Adwords Campaigns to ensure that you ARE reaching your targeted market, and not some eejits trying to waste your advertising budget. To scale this, in the worst instance, using a budget from yesterdays startling post where I came across a CPC of $45.76. I could probably click on an advert 10 times in a minute including returning to the search engine. This would equate to $450 a minute (if the budget isn’t capped). More than enough to put at risk any business if this happened regularly. Please note that adverts will stop at limited budgets set up on direct debits which are mandatory.

Google also have a way of detecting and filtering invalid clicks. http://support.google.com/adwords/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=6114

I’m not one to say it works or whether it will spot individual instances though, I would suggest managing the risk by blocking IP addresses or excluding areas.


Either block ip addresses that show up unusually large amounts of clicks, or exclude an area where a rival company is based (easier if you operate nationally, difficult if its local search). Google do not give out the ip addresses of the people/computers/networks clicking on your adverts due to privacy policy so you have to get the information from your server. Long winded, but worth it if you’re intending on running a Campaign for an extended period of time.

Instructions to Exclude IP Addresses:

You can remove computers and network ip addresses in the settings tab within your Adwords Campaign.

This will work on the following types of Campaigns

–          Search and Display Networks

–          Search Network Only

–          Display Network Only

–          Display Network Remarketing


  1. In the campaign click on settings:

Adwords settings

  1. Select the Campaign you wish to make the changes to.
  2. Scroll to the bottom and click on Advanced settings, then the ip exclusion link.

Select Edit to ‘Manage IP Exclusions’.

Manage IP Exclusions

Add in the IP addresses you wish to block in the box that opens up.

IP address exclusion in Adwords

  1. Save the settings.

To remove any of the exclusions, just go to the same box pictured above and delete them and save the settings.

Exclude Locations in Adwords Campaign:

I have a OEM in the UK that I run a Campaign for. They have 1 specific competitor, rather than take run the risk of letting them see the Campaign and my optimised adverts freely, I have blocked their location, which loses 68,000 people which could be a loss of targeted customers, but as a consequence of 87,000,000 in the UK, it’s a managed sacrifice. See screen shot of ‘Choose locations’ below, type in the area, then click exclude.

Exclude locations in Adwords

Author: Brendan Smith


Screenshot Instructions to Get Your Business Listed on Apple Maps

Author: Brendan Smith

Step by Step screenshots of how to update or add your business listing to Apple Maps. It only takes a couple of minutes to do.
Apple Maps Business Screenshots
Apple Maps Business Listing

How to Get Your Apple Maps Business Listed

As promised, please find below step by step information on how to get your business listed on the new Apple Maps. If you think this doesn’t apply to your business, you’re clouded. I’ve just updated to the iOS6 so I’m all in for Apple Maps now regardless of the poor press they’re receiving, and if there is nothing I can do about it, then it’s time to embrace it.

Google Maps Business Listing

Apple is a major player in mobile marketing, so this does need to be taken seriously. If you don’t have an iphone to check your listing, borrow one to see if its visible. If the information is incorrect, poorly located or if it doesn’t show up at all, follow the simple steps below to get yourself ahead of your competition.




Apple Maps Business Listing:

1. Go into the Apple Maps application.

2. Do a standard search for your business name. If it doesn’t show, try a few search keywords to double check that it isn’t showing.

3. On the bottom right of the screen is a page fold, select this.

4. Go to ‘Report a Problem’.

5. Go to ‘location is missing’, then select next.

6. Move the pin to the correct position for the business, then select ‘next’.

7. Fill in all of the business information.

8. Select a suitable category

9. The send the information to Apple.


This is 2 minutes of effort

Author: Brendan Smith



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