Google says Scottish businesses need to get their sh*t together.

Chris Dunkerley
October 27, 2016
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Google says Scottish businesses need to get their sh*t together.

Chris Dunkerley
April 24, 2018
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When the king of internet search tells Scotland to up their game, we really need to sit up and ‘take heed’.

Google rules. That is something we just need to accept. They are the ones who decide where you will be listed when people search for your stuff. They look at around 200 things on your website and determine how valuable you are to the person searching - using their algorithm they then rank you accordingly.

Speaking about Scottish businesses, Google's head of communications in Europe says:

‘Too many companies are relying on badly designed websites...’

‘There’s an urgent need to improve right across the board...’

‘There are thousands of small businesses across Scotland that are not taking full advantage of digital opportunities.’

‘We see when a business becomes web enabled, it grows at twice the speed and hires twice as many people as it competitors.’

So on consumption of this article, I was left with mixed emotions - feeling angered and pleased at the same time.

Why did this anger me?

I am a patriot at heart and I love my country. We are a very capable country and we are technology enthusiasts. Cities like Dundee, Glasgow and Edinburgh are recognised throughout the UK as tech capital cities. I do not like some hot-shot from ‘outside’ bad mouthing us. However, I quickly swallowed my pride and remembered we are a global society nowadays, there is no ‘outside’ anymore and if I was being truly honest with myself, this Google ‘hot-shot’ was right.  

Why did this please me?

I own a business that guides people through the digital landscape and I have been trying to tell Scottish businesses to embrace web and tech for over 10 years. We are miles behind where we should be as a country and most small businesses are certainly not taking advantage of the current technology available to them. We must open our eyes and take a chance with technology.

Why are Scottish businesses falling so far behind our international cousins?

I think there are two main reasons;

  1. Trust in Web – The industry has, quite frankly, evolved into a new one in recent years. The reputation is at an all time low. The hard sell of the all encompassing concept of SEO and a focus on getting to the top of Google has not worked for most small businesses. A lot of businesses have had their fingers scorched by quick-buck-fly-by-nights and they are sceptical to the actual value that can be drawn from it. Thus they have now lost all faith and confidence in the idea of online marketing. However, this is a two way street, the provider has to trust the client also. This does not always happen. I found that out the hard way.

  2. Hard-Work – This is going to hurt but I must be honest with myself and you. If I wasn't honest, I wouldn't be helpful and I wouldn't be doing my job. From my experience, the following is true, although it certainly does not apply to everyone. When small business owners are presented with a solid strategic plan to transform a business through developing a much improved online presence, most  owners want it all to be done for them. When they realise that they have to do a lot of the work themselves, they lose interest and shirk away from the task at hand. Western society has become accustomed to convenience and in my experience we are actually pretty lazy. Harsh? We all want the best results, with no effort, in as short a time period as possible. We are sold this dream day in and day out on the internet and on our televisions. It is not a surprise that we feel this way. I should mention that there is an argument that providers should ‘do it all’ for their clients. But that is an article for another day. So, to have a successful online presence that truly transforms your small business you must be willing (at least initially) to get your hands dirty and work with a partner to achieve the results you are after.
So is it all doom and gloom for Scottish businesses?

No. That's not the case at all.

Over the last decade, I have worked with some of Scotland’s finest businesses to improve their online presence and in-turn improve their return on investment from the internet.

I can tell you for certain that when the two ingredients of TRUST and HARD WORK come together, really special things happen. This is the truth - I have seen it happen and proudly been involved in the process. I appreciate there needs to be many more ingredients to achieve success but if you don't have these two then you have nothing.

So Scotland, it’s time we took a long hard look in the mirror and asked, 'Do we want something better than what we currently have?'. If the answer is yes, then we must trust in others and work hard with them in partnership to achieve the desired results.

It is very possible - I promise you. Tell me about your challenges and your desired result - I think I can help.


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