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The Apprentice 2014 – Was It Really a Winning Business Idea?


Did you catch the 2014 series of The Apprentice? Here at Giraffe we were particularly enthralled to see contestants taking part whose business ideas involved digital marketing – to some degree.

The victor – who won a £250,000 investment to go in to business with Lord Sugar – was an Australian fellow called Mark Wright. He is a digital marketer with ambitions of helping small/medium sized businesses get their websites higher up search rankings.

Aha we thought!

So while the majority of the country was sat there thinking, ‘okay, so what the hell does that mean,’ we’re here to cast a light on to a modern industry that is still unknown to many.

Why is search ranking important?

In an ever-increasing online world, position is everything as it’s estimated 93% of all buying decisions now start with an online search. For example, if you want to find a plumber in your area, you’d type ‘plumber’ into Google and automatically you’ll be provided with the information of a number of plumbers from where you live. Out of this list, the company you’ll choose will be within the top three search results. The first ranked position in the search results receives 42.25% of all click-through traffic. The second position receives 11.94%, with the third obtaining 8.47%. This means that getting found online is everything because God forbid ever looking to page 2 of the Google results.

So how can this be achieved?

You might remember from The Apprentice Mark mentioning the term SEO. This is short for Search Engine Optimisation, which is the art – and we do mean art – of moving a website up in search ranking results. This can be done in two different ways, through pay-per-click (PPC) advertising or more organically.

  • PPC – This translates to actually paying for traffic to your website through PPC advertising programmes. They enable you to display ads in the sponsored results section of each search engine’s results page. Then, you pay a fee – based on how competitive your chosen keyword is – whenever a viewer clicks through from your ad to your website. PPC can also operate through social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter
  • Organically – Alternatively, you can achieve a high Google ranking through natural results. This will take time, but is the approach we recommend here at Giraffe. It means building up a targeted, engaged audience through the strength of your online personality. This is achieved through social media and content marketing.

Holes in Mark’s business plan

Why Mark said his digital marketing service would be different to the hundreds of others out there is because he is to focus on providing a personal service. However, how can a service be personal if he is to outsource the company’s technical – and most important – work? The short answer is, it can’t and many holes began to surface the more the winner spoke about his business idea. In essence, Mark is a salesman; therefore while his understanding of the digital marketing landscape is there, the actual practice of implementing any kind of strategy is not.

The solution

The solution is simple. If you want to achieve a higher ranking in a search engines as well as this personalised service so that your efforts as a business owner and the expertise of digital marketers are in alignment, choose a company who can achieve this. It’s not enough to simply have a good website anymore. Google has moved on and so have your customers. It’s essential now to have social media in order to promote content that you have created. Social media has changed everything, so if you’re a small to medium business owner who wants results, we are the company who have a proven track record in succeeding.

Photo Source: Damien Everett [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Written by Matt Barker – Content Marketer

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