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Helping businesses increase revenue online

Legal Top Spots on Google

DBS has helped its legal services clients achieve top spots on the UK’s most popular search engine – Google.

Our clients are currently ranking in these positions on Google UK.

Solicitor Telford #1, #2
Solicitor Shropshire #3, #4
Solicitor Portsmouth #1
Solicitor Hampshire #2
Solicitor Rugby #1
Solicitor Warwickshire #3
Solicitor London #2
Solicitor Brighton #2, #3
Solicitor Surrey #1
Solicitor Liverpool #3
Solicitor Basingstoke #1
Solicitor Barking #1, #2
Solicitor Essex #3

To do this we:
  1. determined what keywords are being used for our clients services in UK search engines
  2. made abundantly clear to search engines what their web pages are all about
  3. built inbound links to their web pages
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DBS’s approach to waste paper recycling – are we barking up the right tree?

DBS’s paper waste is cross-shredded and given to a local breeder of Labrador dogs – after being used as dog litter the shredded paper is composted.

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DBS Blog is rated 8.2

We take the time and care to regularly update our blog subscribers with the latest news and views.

It's always good to receive feedback on how well we are doing.

The editors of reviewed our blog and have given it an 8.2 score out of 10 in the Business/Marketing category of This is quite an achievement! evaluated our blog based on the following criteria: Frequency of Updates, Relevance of Content, Site Design, and Writing Style.
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Junk faxes: How to block and stop unwanted, unsolicited faxes!

Unsolicited faxes clogging up your machine and wasting your time and paper? A tried and tested method to stopping unwanted faxes for good!

It’s Monday morning and you enter the office to see that your trusty fax machine is half submerged by a weekends worth of unsolicited faxes.

The “green” side of your conscience tells you that within a one year period half a tree gives its life for this pile of unwanted rubbish. The business side of you kicks and you realise that these faxes are burning ink and paper at your expense.

The good news is that you can stop unwanted faxes quite easily through the Fax Preference Service.

The government introduced legislation on May 1st 1999 that made it unlawful to send unsolicited faxes to individuals, sole traders and partnerships without prior permission.

Following the adoption of the Telecommunications Data Protection Directive in 1997 by the European Parliament, the DTI (Department of Trade & Industry) and OFTEL entered into a consultation period which resulted in The Telecommunications (Data Protection and Privacy) Regulations 1999. These regulations affect all fax-marketers and telemarketers in the United Kingdom and they came into force on May 1st 1999.

“Don’t shoot the messenger but you could have stopped your unwanted faxes over 9 years ago.”

In February 1999 OFTEL issued an Invitation to tender for the management of fax and telephone opt out schemes. The Direct marketing Association (DMA0) was successful in their tender and was awarded the contract to run the Fax Preference Service (FPS) along with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS).

Now you’ve had your history lesson here’s the nitty gritty on how to stop unwanted faxes…

It’s simple: ring the Fax Preference Service (FPS) on 0845 07 007 02.

This automated service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All you have to do is state your fax number and address when prompted.

If you are a client facing organisation then you may want to consider sharing this free service with your customers. If you see a fax machine that has spat out unwanted faxes when you are on a sales call you will earn massive kudos by asking your customer if they you would like you to make those type of nasty faxes go away with one phone call.

Within 48 hours of registering with the Fax preference Service my unwanted faxes had stopped. At most I get 3 unsolicited faxes a year which I can live with. I registered over 3 years ago.

One point worth noting is that some companies flaunt the law and still send faxes. These faxes contain an opt out number which you can ring to unsubscribe. Beware! The unsubscribe number is very often a premium rate number charging as high as £1.50 per minute.

So, if you want to be free of those unwanted faxes, just register your fax number with the FPS – it really is as easy as that.

What you might find a little irritating is leaving your fax number plus business name and address on an answering machine. Be assured this is how it works.

If you want to contact the Fax Preference Service directly then here are their details;

Facsimile Preference Service (FPS)
DMA House
70 Margaret Street

Tel: 020 7291 3330
Fax: 020 7323 4226

Web :

Complaints Department- 020 7291 3324

So, what are you waiting for? Stop your unwanted faxes and enjoy a new lease of life.
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DBS Telecoms Billing Platform

DBS launched its own state of the art billing platform in August 2008 which means DBS telecoms clients will have faster connection times for new numbers and smoother customer service.

"We are looking forward to handling every aspect of telecoms from connecting new numbers to billing all under one roof" said partner Christine Barron, "owning our own billing platform gives us the flexibility we need to improve our customer service and increase our share in a competitive marketplace."

The DBS billing platform will handle 0800, 0845, 0871 and 0844 numbers plus UK local phone numbers for 470 towns and cities and thousands of international cities.

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Product of the month: Call Whisper

Call Whisper is a neat new feature that lets you know instantly when your 0800, 0845 and 0844 numbers are being used.

When a customer rings your 0800, 0845, 0871 or 0844 number they will hear the normal ringing tone but, when you pick up the phone to answer the call you will instantly hear a brief message saying, for example, "this is call from your 0800 number."

If you have an 08 prefix number pointed at your mobile this would be a great way to distinguish between personal or business calls so that you didn't answer the phone with "hello" but a business type greeting ie "thanking you for calling ABC Limited. How may I help you?"

If you use multiple 08 prefix numbers to monitor and track each and every one of your adverts then call whisper will help too. For example we can programme a message such as “this is a call from the 0800 number in the Leeds Yellow Pages.

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Internet Marketing Secrets: domain name strategy

If you haven’t registered a domain name for a new website that you are planning then give it some thought. Although you should be spending time and effort building inbound links to your site you will find that you may naturally attract links without asking for them. The majority of people who link to you without asking will use your web address whether it’s an internal page or your home page.

This is where good domain name planning now will pay massive dividends in the future. Let me explain…..

You can select a domain name that contains your keywords. Your keywords will therefore be in any link you didn’t ask to get and act as anchor text. Use dashes in your domain names sparingly – one at most - otherwise you run the risk of having search engines believing you are trying to manipulate them. They don’t like that and you may be penalised.

Examples of keyword rich domains are:

Similarly, give some thought to the file names you give your pages. The file name is the web address of a particular page eg:

If someone gave a link to your web site from theirs using the file name above then you can see it would be rammed full of juicy keywords. The clickable text in a link is vitally important to search engines and it’s a smart idea to get your keywords in the links coming in to your site. The search engine’s spiders will love to see this structure which makes it clear to them what the particular page is all about.

This also brings us neatly to the topic of domain name ageing.
Search engines are very, very suspicious of brand new sites on brand new domains. There is a good reason for this suspicion as it is quite simple to steal the content of a well respected website and place it onto another.

You probably won’t achieve much in the way of search engine results for three to six months if you launch a brand new site on a brand new domain. In our experience if you do achieve any rankings in search engines in the first few months it normally won’t be for the hottest keyphrases you have optimised your web site for. This can be infuriating. But don’t despair - there is a painless way around this situation.

The solution is to register a domain and develop a simple one page site well in advance of your intended launch date. If you have a project in mind then register the domain and build a one page mini site. It doesn’t have to be a work of art. It needn’t contain boatloads of copy but you should include your keywords in the copy and page title.

The next step is to let search engines know about the site. To do this create a link from a site you know is frequently spidered and point the link at your mini -site pointed at it.

This will let the search engines know about the domain and your site – by the time you launch, your domain will be well aged, your site will have been crawled by spiders a few times and you will minimise the time period you are viewed with suspicion. It’s all about planning.

Remember – we aren’t trying to trick search engines – we’re trying to make it obvious to them what our web pages are all about.
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Google Adwords Keyword Tool

Google Adwords has updated their Keyword Search Tool which now returns approximate search volume statistics.

The secret of attracting traffic to a website is to carry out sound keyword research. If you build a website that reflects the actual terms that people type into search engines then you will have a massive advantage over your competition. It’s a hackneyed phrase but if you carry out the correct research you can “reverse engineer” your website.

If you sell widgets on line then an obvious keyword for you to use would be “widgets”. However, there will be a multitude of other associated search terms that you will need to know about to either include in your pay per click campaign or to optimise your web pages for. If you enter the seed word “widget” into the Google keyword tool then you will obtain a list of all associated search terms that have been typed into the Google search box.

Google’s new keyword tool will tell you approximate search statistics for the previous calendar month and an overall average.

It is slightly disappointing to have “approximate averages” from Google and not hard data, as there may be some grey areas in the results.

There are many other keyword research tools available on the internet so it would be wise to compare the results with another programme before making decisions on which keywords to use in your internet marketing campaign. Keyword tools are usually purchased on an annual subscription basis.

Google’s new keyword tool has the advantage of being free and is suitable for SEO beginners.
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Google: 5 things you didn’t know it could do…..

The Google search engine at has a few tricks up its sleeve that you may not know about. These nifty tools and features may save you time and effort that can be spent on more profitable or rewarding tasks.

Google Conversion Tool
The nifty search engine has its own in built converter. Try typing into the Google search box “4ft 6in in metres” or “23c in Fahrenheit” and you will get an instant conversion. Move your calculator to the bottom drawer of your desk or throw your slide rule out of the window. If you don’t know what a slide rule is then Google it – you will be amazed at how your ancestors worked in the old days.

Google Calculator
Similarly, your old friend Google can act as a calculator. Try typing in “43% of 92” and in the twinkle of an eye receive instant enlightenment. Where was this while I was doing my GCSE’S?

Google Currency Converter
You know what’s coming don’t you. Type “£123 in US$” and be amazed with the instant currency conversion.

Google News
Visit (you don’t need the “www” bit) to visit a bang up to date computer generated news site. The Google news site aggregates headlines from over 4,500 English language news sources on the planet. You can ask the site to group news stories together according to your particular interests. An archive section is navigable from the top of the site which lets you look back through history. I typed in “Titanic” in the archives search box and was able to instantly download a PDF of the actual front page of the New York Times from April 12th 1912.

Google Mobile
Download Google Maps for mobile from free by visiting the Google UK website at I downloaded the software straight onto the desktop of my PC and then hooked up my mobile to my PC with the bit of cable that my mobile phone manufacturer gave me in the box it came with. I think this would prove quicker and easier for most people than getting online with your mobile and downloading directly. Download times to mobiles still seem dreadfully slow to me.

Most mobile phones that are less than 3 years old will operate Google Maps. With Google Maps loaded onto your mobile you will never get lost when walking or driving in any UK city although software specifies that it should not be used when driving (who would think of such a thing?).

Many mobile phones come with GPS all ready installed. GPS stands for “global positioning system” and lets you know exactly where you are on the face of the earth through satellite technology. You can enter a start and end point for any road journey and be supplied with detailed directions. Another nifty feature is that you can specify a start and end point and find the best way to make this journey on public transport.

Going by foot in a strange city is now a breeze.

It’s clear to me that this functionality is a direct competitor to satellite navigation. The only real difference I can see is that you don’t receive verbal instructions. This doesn’t bother me – I can get those at home.

It’s possible to add your favourites to Google Maps such as home, irritating relatives in Berkshire or Big Dave’s Bar & Grill.

Hope these nifty features will help you in the office and on your travels.
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Internet Marketing Expert Supports Google Mobile Advertising as a Valid Online Strategy!

A large and potentially untapped source of Google popularity is available through mobile advertising. Internet users are increasingly choosing to access Google on the move, either via their mobile phones, palm top devices or with the hugely popular Blackberry mobile devices.

There are currently 2.5 billion mobile phone users worldwide, in comparison to just 820 million PC users. This implies mobile phones are by far the best way to impress possible clients.

Furthermore, the number of people using mobile internet is estimated to rise from the current yearly figure of 475 million to 1000 million by 2011. 17 million people accessed the internet via their mobile phone in last December alone, that's equivalent to 23 percent of all mobile users. This illustrates a large target market which is virtually untapped at present.

Reputable directory companies can build a mobile advertising campaign for your company in much the same way as they create a computer based advertising campaign, using the highly successful Google Adwords application.

Mobile searchers use on their Blackberries and PDA's in much the same way as they do online, with the mobile adverts being displayed in exactly the same bidding and format as computer based adverts.

The only differences in Google mobile facilities are the 'Click to Call' function, where the searcher can click on a link to telephone a certain business. This is particularly advantageous if you use a dedicated 0800 number to track how much business is being orchestrated through the click to call function.

Mobile results can include a link to your regular internet website; however it is advantageous to include a specialized "Mobile Web Page" which is mobile viewing friendly. This is easily made and doesn't require any huge alterations to your existing website.
Mobile listings are displayed in two line text advertisements of eighteen characters each. Each advert occupies 25% of the mobile screen. This reduced space means your listing will have less competition surrounding it on the page, increasing the likelihood of a searcher using your business.

Conversion tracking and reporting is available for mobile advertising in much the same way as it is on the regular Google page. This will allow your company to ascertain exactly how much business you are receiving through mobile advertising and structure around it.
Local businesses and product information are currently the fifth and seventh most likely things to be searched for from a mobile device, illustrating a huge market for intelligent mobile advertising.

Another advantage to advertising for mobiles is the manner in which people search through the listings. Those using the internet on their mobile tend to search for specific details rather than browse through the entire Google facility. This means those companies at the top of mobile listings are more likely to receive genuine business interest each time their name appears.

One final aspect to consider is that mobile internet is currently used overwhelmingly by young men rather than women or older people. However this dynamic is expected to be erased as more people embrace mobile internet possibilities.

Make sure your company stays abreast of the competition and invest in mobile advertising today.
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Internet Marketing & Google’s New Teleportation Search Facility!

Google have introduced a second search bar to help its users get more specific results.

The new program, known as 'teleporting', acts an additional filter for large and popular sites such as Amazon and the New York Times. Currently being issued at Google's discretion, the feature will adapt usual search procedures to focus specifically on content.

Google commented that "the feature will now occur when we detect a high probability that a user wants more refined search results within a specific site...the sites that display the site search box are chosen algorithmically based on metrics that measure how useful the search box is to users."

Consequently when searching for a site that Google believes eminently searchable - including NASA, Amazon and Wikipedia - a second search box will appear that specifically searches that site.

There are currently no plans to allow companies to pay to upgrade their listing to include this facility. However, based on the improved percentage of clicks received for those already using 'teleporting', demand for the program is expected to be high.

Teleportation came in response to changes in internet usage. Computer users are increasingly using Google to navigate to a specific website, rather than typing the company name into the internet task bar.

By using Google, consumers increase the likelihood of being directed to the correct page within two clicks, rather than being directed to an inappropriate or unavailable site due to a minor confusion or spelling mistake. This has drastically reduced the amount of .com's and's internet users need to remember.

Critics of teleporting have highlighted the program as being discriminatory to smaller companies, particularly in respect to key words.

For many, part of Google's popularity has been based on its ability to give smaller companies a chance to compete against big name brands. By allowing some sites to use the function but not others, Google has channelled an increased number of responses to larger companies capable of paying for more trademarks.

This apparent prejudice can be seen more clearly when using key words. Not only does Google determine which company is deemed most suitable when a user types in non-specific words, they will also allow some companies to include an additional search function at the expense of their competitors.

The search in search facility has also been criticised for providing poor responses compared to pay-per-click advertising and company on site search facilities. As teleporting is an extension of the regular Google pattern, it does not encourage users to take notice of a company's other offers and may direct users to an out of date or irrelevant aspect of the site based entirely on keyword recognition.

The success of the program remains to be seen, however the inclusion of teleporting at Google further cements its status as the world top internet search engine and one of the most important places to orchestrate a companies advertising campaigns. Those companies which adapt to suit Google protocol are likely to increase their popularity rather than lose business.
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Internet Marketing vs Yellow Pages!!!

To most companies, advertising in Yellow Pages is the unshakeable cornerstone of their annual marketing spend and they would no more think of cancelling it than they would hire David Brent as office manager.

Surely Yellow Pages is established, recognised everywhere and enjoys strong distribution. It’s expensive, but is there any alternative?

A moderately sized quarter of half page ad is looking at 3 -5K a year. A whole page? That can be anything from 5K to over 8K for the year. There’s no negotiation; take it or leave it - and that’s with the regulators on their back capping and indeed cutting rates by 3.4%.

How surprising is it that more and more of my clients are cutting back expenditure on Yellow Pages?

Not surprising at all really. If you think about it, search is not new and it has played a major part in marketing activity for decades in the form of phone books and directories. Effective search engine marketing simply takes this a giant step further, unlocking as is does the incredible introductory potential the web medium provides between supplier and consumer to connect and do business.

This trend is reflected in Yellow Pages own market analysis, which shows a downward trend in client retention from 78% to 75% year on year. Interestingly, it is newer customers who are leaving.

Yellow Pages ads are viewed by people who have all ready made a decision to buy. Don't emphasise why your product or service is needed but rather why it should be obtained from you. Consumers need and want two types of information from Yellow Pages adverts.

Firstly, they need to know why they should purchase from one company and not another.

Secondly, they need information that facilitates making their purchase ie they need to know how to make the purchase or have a call to action.

If you really focus and see things through your customers eyes then your Yellow Pages ad copy should virtually write itself.

The use of colour and how Yellow Pages charge for it is pretty unbelievable.

The book is now printed on white paper (think about it you can't have white ink)

Yellow Pages charge more for white in your adverts - 40% in fact.

But, Yellow Pages actually have to take an extra step to print a yellow coloured ad ie they overlay white paper with a yellow ink but this is cheaper than a white ad.

Our surveys show that colour is not the most important factor in selecting an advert. In fact, it is well down the list.

Yellow Pages sales reps often argue:

"It'll only cost you £800 a year to move up to the next largest ad size and ad colour. Don't you believe that the increased sales you'd obtain would more than offset that expense?"

This is a bad argument for a number of reasons....

It assumes that the business generated by your original ad pays for itself

It assumes that you make a 100% profit on each sale (nice work if you can get it)

It assumes that the use of £800 for additional Yellow Pages advertising would generate more business than would the use of the same £800 in another media

Nonetheless I see many of my clients putting all their eggs in one "Yellow Pages" basket without obtaining effective proof that their adverts are actually working.

The secret is to monitor the response to each and every advert you place.

If you can't measure it you can't manage it.

I know from my experience as a former Yellow Pages sales rep that one had to continually create a false sense of urgency. Typically Yellow Pages reps only work two directories ie they are in each area for six months at a time. The reps are paid a commission on signed orders so it's no surprise they go in for the kill.
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Internet Marketing Secrets: Link Building

To a large degree your success in search engine results will depend on your inbound linking strategy.

You have probably seen links in the pages of a web site. Links can take you to another page in the same web site or to a totally different web site. Links are the "blue bits" on a web page and usually look like this:

The link above is an inbound link for The Party Fairy (a very good friend of ours).

Search engines know that it takes human effort to place a link on a website and so they see links as a vote of popularity.

Someone actually has to take the time to put a special piece of code on a site so that when you click a link you are whooshed to another site. In very broad terms the more links you have the more popular you're perceived by search engines.

Search engines all have "spiders" (sometimes called "robots") whose job it is to crawl the web going from site to site to read or "index" every page they come across. That way when you ask a search engine a question it knows where to get the answer from.

The way spiders get from one site to another is via links. If you have no links into your site then search engines will find it very hard to know your site exists. How would they get to your site if you had no links? It would be like building a town with no roads to it. That's one good reason for developing inbound links.

Another good reason to develop inbound links is that they can be used to tell the search engines what your site is all about. The blue, clickable text in the link example above was:

If the clickable text (anchor text) in the link were to read:

birthday fairy party for girls

…then the search engine would have a good idea what the Party Fairy site is all about. Now multiply that by tens and hundreds of links with the clickable text all mentioning "birthday fairy party", "fairy party", "girls party" and so on. The search engine would be in no doubt of which site to bring up in its results if someone were to search for "fairy party".

That is the power of inbound linking explained in the simplest and most general terms.

However there are many pitfalls in link building which could cause your site to perform poorly or not appear in any search engine results at all.

In general you should look to add links quite gradually - usually over the course of 12 months.

Look to develop links from:

sites relevant to yours

sites in the same geographical area as you

specialist directory sites

high page ranking sites

a broad range of IP addresses – not all hosted on the same computer

sites that will let you manipulate your anchor text

get links into your internal pages - not just the home page

A good place to start is to make a list of your local customers, suppliers and business hosts.
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Internet Marketing Consultant Shares Findings about’s new Netreach Opportunity!

Netreach is an opportunity to export your business information across the network as well as a wide range of its partner sites and companies. The increased exposure can be of real benefit to your business, rapidly increasing your target market and giving you more specific and up to date client leads.

What are the benefits of advertising with Netreach by

Netreach adverts are posted across national, regional and local websites, increasing your businesses exposure to a wider target market. With Netreach your company will enjoy millions of impressions across a variety of networks every month.

Netreach ensures your adverts are served in a relevant context, increasing your number of targeted leads and ensuring each new contact is fully relevant to you.

Netreach is simple to set up and easy to maintain. After a no obligation annual fee will ensure you have an up to date, inclusive and exceptional service.

Netreach routinely optimises your site so you don't have to. This will save you time and money, ensuring your company is more competent than your competitors.

Netreach gives you monthly reports on how many times your advert has been displayed and clicked. Consequently, you will know who's interested in your products and when. is a well established and trusted brand, meaning Netreach is a product you can rely on. Trusting your provider is essential in any business situation, and the prerequisite for success.

Who is Netreach available to?

For £150 per year the Netreach feature can be applied to the following products.

* Priority Adverts with a web link feature

* Priority Adverts (with no web link)

* Priority Advert information pages

* site builders program

* Local sponsored listings

How will Netreach by work?

By simply using your business already benefits from 32 million searches each month. Converting to Netreach will give your information an even greater level of exposure within other networks. Moreover, by staying relevant to your location and context, your message is honed to the right clients and is available at the right time.

Nationwide coverage – Your advert will appear on a variety of local and national websites. However to ensure the best quality of leads for you, your advert will be shown in the same coverage area as your advert or when user searches match your business.

Fantastic exposure – are continually expanding their range of sites, aiming to give their Netreach clients carefully targeted and selected sites to give maximum benefits for advertising exposure with their online bubble capsule adverts.

Customer feedback – You receive a full account of how many times your advert has been viewed and clicked on a monthly basis throughout the year. For more frequent information you can also access a full account management page on

Netreach provides a comprehensive method of increasing the exposure of your business.
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90% Overall Satisfaction Rating

David Clarke, partner of DBS, recently ran a one day Internet Marketing Course for the Time For You Group Of Companies franchisees.

The tailor made course took place at the Bentley Hotel in Lincoln.

The delegates gave the course an overall 90% satisfaction rating.

This is some of the feedback given:

"All those who intend using the internet for business should do this training!"

"A very worthwhile day. The course was relevant and very informative with the majority of aspects very readily applied to our businesses."

"Enjoyable and extremely informative. Money well spent! Thank you DBS."
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How to block and stop junk faxes

It’s Monday morning and you enter the office to see that the fax machine is half submerged by one weekends worth unsolicited faxes.

The “green” side of your conscience tells you that half a tree gave its life for this pile of unwanted rubbish. The business side of you kicks and you realise that these faxes are burning up your ink and your paper.

So how do you stop it….

It’s simple: ring the Fax Preference Service (FPS) on 0845 07 007 07.

This automated service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All you have to do is state your fax number and address when prompted. I did this 3 years ago. Within 48 hours my unwanted faxes had stopped. At most I get 3 unsolicited faxes a year which I can live with.

It’s against the law to send unwanted faxes to individuals, sole traders and partnerships without prior permission.
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Google Pay Per Click Spoofing Emails Are On The Rise

DBS & Google have become aware of 'spoofing' emails sent to some AdWords advertisers recently. 'Spoofing' refers to the act of fraudulently altering certain properties of an email to make it appear as though it originated from a legitimate source. The email can then lead to a deceptive website which collects sensitive personal information. In this case, the email may have appeared to be from Google AdWords, asking for your account login information. Please do not respond to these emails.

Here are some steps you can take to ensure the security of your account:

1.) Be wary of unsolicited messages. Google will never send unsolicited messages asking for your password or other sensitive information. If you need to change your account information, such as your billing details or your password, always sign into your AdWords account from and make the changes directly within your account.

2.) Check the message headers. The 'From': address and the 'Return-path' should reference the same source.

3.) Make sure that the URL is legitimate. The AdWords home page URL will always be

4.) Change your Google Account password frequently. To learn how, visit

5.) Report suspicious messages to

6.) Keep your computer's antivirus and spyware protections up-to-date and regularly run system scans.

If you believe your Google AdWords account may have been compromised, please let DBS know so that we can initiate an investigation.
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DBS Client Scoops Best Online Award

DBS client Hudson Moody have won the Best Online Estate Agent Award at the prestigious Estate Agent & Letting Agent Awards for 2008 sponsored by the Property Search Group (PSG), and supported by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS.

Ben Hudson, of Hudson Moody Estate Agents in York received the award at a ceremony at the Grosvenor Park Hotel in London this week.

The stars of Location, Location, Location were on hand to present the award.

DBS have helped Ben to promote the website through search engine optimisation and pay per click advertising.
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Pay-Per-Click: 8 Measures To Take To Get The Right Company

With the advent of internet marketing there has been a rise in pay per click advertising.

With pay-per-click, your company pays a certain agreed amount to an advertising company every time someone clicks on the link to your business.

Some companies will try to generate fake clicks on your site to try and make easy money. Similarly, your competitors may click on your link and increase your bill without bringing you any genuine customers. This has given pay-per-click something of a bad name.

A good advertising company will know how to avoid these pitfalls and make sure your pay-per-click is effective.

Below are some measures which you can follow to make sure your investment brings you business rather than loses you money.

  1. Choose a company with Google certification - A Google Adwords certification indicates that a business is competent and familiar with the way the pay per click (PPC) system works. Look at testimonials for the company and use your instincts to find out whether they are genuine or fabricated by the company itself.

  2. Speak to other businesses - find out what experiences other businesses have had with pay-per-click and learn from their mistakes. Take on board the advice you receive and make sure you don't waste your investment.

  3. Ask to see other examples - Ask to look at previous work undertaken by the pay-per-click company you're using. Make sure you enquire about their other clients and the kind of results they have achieved. Use your gut instinct and make sure you are satisfied with the information you are given. It may also be sensible to check if the company is familiar with the work you do and whether they are suitable to your business.

  4. Check the professional conduct of the company - There's nothing wrong with holding the advertising company you use to a very high standard of quality and etiquette. Go through the contract and look at all the terms and conditions. If your standards are not upheld, don't be afraid to move on to another firm.

  5. Consider the competition - Always consider more than one advertising company and have a variety of options available. Avoid companies that promise fast results, this generally indicates that they are not taking the time to test whether their results are effective.

  6. Good companies lead by example - You can easily check the creditability of a company by typing their name into a search engine. Any reputable organisation's name should appear in the adwords section on the right hand side of the page or very close to the top of the organic listings.

  7. Be specific to customer requirements - Good advertising companies know how to direct your customers to the part of the site which relates to their search, not just to your homepage. You could risk losing a potential customer by not being immediately specific to their needs.

  8. Monitor your pay-per-click progress - Check back for updates from your advertising company on a regular basis. One of the benefits of pay-per-click is that every result can be measured. Your provider should be aware of this and therefore keen to adjust your listings to make them more effective.

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Mobile Phone Advertising - an Untapped Market?

Internet use on mobile phones is predicted to go from 475 million minutes in 2008 to 1000 million minutes by 2011.

So far, records in the USA show that mobile advertising spend has doubled from 2006 to 2008 and is predicted to quadruple to $16,000 million by 2011.

The UK market is following suit with mobile internet use on the increase. 17 million people in the UK accessed the internet via a mobile phone, blackberry or PDA device in December 2007 alone.

DBS has recently completed an online "webinar" on Mobile Phone Pay per Click Advertising. We can set up Google Mobile adverts for any current or new pay per click clients.

A creative new feature is “Click to Call” that allows searchers to click on a telephone number - putting the call straight through to your business.

Early indications show that conversion rates are higher from mobile phone pay per click as users search rather than browse - possibly due to the cost of mobile phone internet use.

This is a new market that has opened up in the UK and DBS are delighted to offer advice and set up Google Mobile pay per click advertising campaigns.
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There is no set price for keywords. You choose how much you are willing to pay for each click-through. Minimum bid is 20p. The more you pay the higher up the list you will appear, so, the advertiser who bids the most for a keyword will be shown first.

The pay per click listings will appear when a searcher looks UK wide (the default search) or specifies a county. The pay per click listings won’t appear if a searcher specifies a town or city.

You can set a daily budget to ensure you do not overspend and there is no minimum time or spend commitment (other than the initial payment which must exceed £50 - this will be offset against click-throughs to your site).

You need to specify a maximum price you are willing to pay for a click-through to your website. Suggest you start at minimum bid to see how you fare against your competitors.

Yell only charge you when someone clicks through to your site to find further information about your company. You are able to update your advert, keywords and maximum cost per click (bid price) as often as you like.

You can trial pay per click for 30 days and throw £50 at it to see what happens. You should duplicate the most successful keywords/adverts you have on your Google ppc campaign.

A 10% discount applies if you pre-pay the cost of your clicks through an appointed agency ie they would purchase £50 + VAT worth of clicks but invoice you for £45 + VAT.

Strongly suggest you add a tracking 0800 number to the listing. You will be able to monitor click throughs to your website via Google analytics.
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0800 Numbers - 8 Great Benefits

A free phone number allows your customers and potential customers to call you for free. For a reasonable rate, you can increase your business by allowing callers to contact you without cost. This acts as an added bonus to a client when subscribing to your service. Having a free phone 0800 number translates to having a low-cost, easy and effective marketing device which can dramatically increase your business potential.

Here are some of the benefits:

1. Increased customer response
Sales reports indicate that businesses with 0800 and similar free phone numbers enjoy an increased customer response to their advertising. Reports have shown that this can range from an impressive 50% to a hefty 300%.

2. A more professional image
0800 numbers give your business a more professional front and show that you take your customer care seriously. If you are willing to spend extra on a free call-in service it shows that you are willing to spend more time on high quality work. It also means you are less likely to leave a caller waiting in line to speak to someone.

3. A non-stop service
0800 numbers allow customers to call for free from a BT landline at any time, including evenings and weekends. Your company will also able to receive international calls for free should you wish to do so.

4. Peace of mind
Aside from business, free phone numbers can be a reassuring way of keeping in touch with friends and loved ones. Free phone numbers can be used in case of an emergency, or if people are short of money and need to contact you.

5. Value for money
If your business relies on staff members travelling throughout the country a free phone number can be an inexpensive and sensible choice. Having the opportunity to engage with your staff without worrying about the cost of a phone call can be a weight off your mind.

6. A variety of free phone packages
Companies using free phone numbers have the opportunity to decide which tariff and call package is best suited to them.

7. A free phone number stays the same
One of the great benefits of free phone numbers is that they can be transferred. If your business moves offices or has its landline phone numbers changed your free phone number will stay the same. A free phone number can also be transferred to a different number for short periods. This can be beneficial if one of your offices is empty and you need to redirect your incoming calls to an available operator.

8. Free phone numbers can be connected quickly and simply
The majority of advertising companies who offer free phone numbers are able to connect you within 24 hours. They can also provide you with a variety of number options should you wish to buy a memorable or easily recognised number.
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0800 Numbers – 10 things to look out for before buying

0800 numbers offer massive advantages to businesses but buying them can be a minefield if you are not prepared. This article examines 10 things to look out for before buying an 0800 number.

0800 numbers allow your customers to call you without being charged. This not only increases the amount of calls your business receives, it also gives you the chance to measure which of your services are most popular.

0800 number owners are charged for each call they receive. When a person dials in 0800 number owners can “point” their numbers to any landline (or mobile) that they designate.

The phone line that you use to receive the call does not necessarily have to be dedicated to 0800; it can be a standard phone that you use to make and receive normal calls.

Follow this advice before buying an 0800 number:

1. Make sure 0800 is right for you – 0800 numbers are good at linking businesses to their customers. If the majority of your work is business to business, a 0800 may not be necessary. The majority of companies contacting you will not mind paying for the cost of a phone call.

2. Work with a reputable 0800 number company - Look for an organization that has been working with 0800 numbers for a long time and can provide you with support. There may be glitches that can arise the first time you use an 0800 number so make sure you sign up to a company that can look after your best interests.

3. Get the company contact address if buying an 0800 number online - Some telecoms resellers do their best to cover up their identity on their websites. Make sure you can see a physical address and that you have a contact phone number. Better still choose a company who actually provide a real person’s contact name. Most 0800 number resellers should be able to connect your number within 24 hours.

4. Beware of 'free' numbers – If you're not being charged a set-up and rental fee for a 0800 number then the cost of the phone calls you receive will be more expensive. Nobody gives anything away so read the small print. The majority of reputable companies will charge a modest set up fee, a monthly rental of around £2 + VAT per number and call charges of around 4p per minute.

5. Get itemised bills with phone calls charged by the second – Make sure your 0800 provider doesn't round your calls up to the nearest minute. This can be an unnecessary and expensive cost. Similarly, make sure you receive frequent itemised billing for all the calls you have received. Some companies will let you access this online.

6. Be prepared to pay more for 0800 to a mobile – pointing an 0800 number at your mobile is a larger risk for telecom providers and consequently costs you more money. This is something to take into account if you expect a lot of calls.

7. Cater for your international calls – a UK 0800 number may not be free for international enquiries n some cases. If you rely on foreign customer sales set up a country specific number or international toll free number to extend your business.

8. Don't pay a fortune for a so-called memorable number - Many companies offer "Golden" numbers for extortionate rates that aren't memorable at all. Truly memorable numbers are very hard to come by. Unless your number is for a radio or TV campaign then it's not very important for it to be memorable.

9. Don't buy into 'free minutes' - No company can afford to give away free minutes. Some companies offer to sell bundles of minutes to you for a fixed price in much the same way as you would buy a text bundle for a mobile phone. The odds are you won't use exactly the amount of minutes you paid for. If there is a shortfall the 0800 company makes a profit. If you go over your minutes you pay for it anyway. Bottom line: Free minutes aren’t free – it has to be made up elsewhere in set up fees and monthly rentals. Does your business give products way for free?

10. Make sure your 0800 number is moveable - A lot of people use a landline for business and divert it to their mobile when they are out of the office. You can set up an 0800 number and point it at your landline. The 0800 will then follow any divert you set up on that landline. Should you decide to do this, check what the transfer costs will be from your landline to mobile - the charges can be hefty.
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0845 in - 0800 out??

The popularity of 0845 numbers is outstripping Free Phone 0800 numbers. Recent search engine statistics for February 2008 show that online purchases of 0845 numbers outweighed 0800 numbers by a factor of 3 to 1.

In recent years 0800 has been seen to be the way to go. Business people have known that they can attract potential customers with the lure of a free phone call so why this change in trend from 0800 to 0845?

A major advantage of 0845 numbers is that they offer one fixed annual cost to business owners. This is because business owners do not pay to receive calls on their 0845 numbers. Typically you will pay a modest set up fee to purchase an 0800 number plus an annual fee and that’s it – no nasty surprises.

This isn’t the case with 0800 numbers as businesses pay typically anywhere between 3p and 6p per minute to receive calls made on their 0800 numbers as well as a set up fee and monthly rental. If call traffic is high on an 0800 number then the monthly bills for call charges can rapidly rise to an unacceptable level.

0800 numbers can be open to fraudulent use by employees and their families as well as salespeople. If your employee’s wife finds out that she can ring her husband at work for free by using the company’s 0800 number there is not a great deal anyone can do about it. There is no great incentive for your employees and their families to use an 0845 number to ring up work as they realise that they have to pay for the call just as if they had dialled the landline number.

A common tactic for telesales people is to go through a Yellow Pages, BT Phone Book or Thomson directory and just dial business that display 0800 numbers in their adverts. Obviously this practice greatly reduces telesales costs but can be incredibly frustrating for businesses who continually receive telephone solicitations on their 0800 number. 0845 numbers come into their own again as telesales people would simply not make the effort to just ring 0845 numbers as they understand there is a cost element to the call.

In many ways the increased popularity of 0845 numbers is a self fulfilling prophecy. The more 0845 numbers that are purchased the more they appear in adverts – the more they appear in adverts the more the public accepts and understands them. Try conducting a straw poll at your office by asking your colleagues what it costs to call 0800 numbers and 0845 numbers. Most people understand that 0845 calls cost the same as a local call so they do not represent a barrier.

Both 0800 and 0845 numbers give businesses the opportunity of a great monitoring and tracking service. The concept is simple – just put a unique number in each advert that you have and make sure that it doesn’t appear anywhere else. Look at the itemised bill you receive from your telecoms provider every month and it should list the numbers of calls your advert receives. At a glance you will be able to see how well your adverts are performing.

So, if you are considering purchasing an 0800 or 0845 number you have some decisions to make as to which one you go for. 0845 is making massive strides on 0800 number yet 0800 is a double edged sword offering free calls to your customers but being open to potential abuse.
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Have your Gatineau and eat it too!

Google have offered a free web analytics package for several years now to its customers in the UK. Our American cousins have also been able to take advantage of Microsoft’s analytics package called “Gatineau”.

Microsoft announced today that it has open up Gatineau Analytics to international users as well including the UK.“Due to the overwhelming demand from customers outside the United States, we have decided to open up the web analytics beta and invite customers from international adCenter markets," expressed the official statement.

The new package promises many exciting features but will cost $5 to set up.
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eBay entrepreneurs

Nearly 180,000 people are now buying and selling for a living on eBay, the auction website.

The home-based entrepreneurs are generating an estimated £2bn - exceeding W.H. Smith eBay said yesterday.

Over the past two years people using eBay as their first or secondary source of income has more than doubled from 68,000. The site has 15m hits a month.

There is a North/South divide of eBay activity with the biggest concentration of new eBay business operating outside London. Our capital does not appear in the top 10 business centres, but Birmingham scrapes in at 10th place.

The East Midlands has been labelled the eBay ‘capital’ with the highest number of new start-ups in the Derby, Nottingham and Leicester area.
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Google in takeover rumour

Rumours are circulating regarding a possible takeover of by Google. shares recently rose 4.4% - the largest increase since December 2006.

The customer database would present a great route to market for Google's services.
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Using a Blog to promote your business in search engine results

If you don't all ready know what a blog is then it will benefit you to quickly read through my article What's A Blog?

Blogs are a very simple website that anyone can add to without any web development skills at all. If you can use Word you can easily add to a blog. Blogs can be given a "skin" so they look exactly like the exisiting pages of your website. You are probably familiar with Google's search bar and are aware that besides the basic keyword search you can look for images, maps, news etc.

The search engine ASK has recently unveiled their new search bar and it contains a search section for blogs. If you don't have a blog then you can't appear in this section of search engine results and will therefore lose out. The new search bar looks like this:

My feeling is that the other major search engines will follow this trend. Even if they don't there are major search engine benefits to having a blog incorporated within your website.

A blog can give you an extra bite at the cherry in search engine results. Search engines will generally return no more than two pages from any one site in its results. A blog can be set up to sit on a different domain which means that your web pages can appear more than the standard two times. This gives excellent page saturation and an extra result on the first page means you kick a competitor onto the second page of results.

In the example below I typed "internet marketing Lincolnshire" into Google. You will see that the first two results are pages from the DBS website but the third result is actually the DBS blog.

If this makes you glaze over don't worry - just grasp the fact that a blog can help give an extra boost in search engine results.

As ever, we are here to help you with any questions you may have on Freephone 0800 988 8366.

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Google Analytics

Google's Analytics package is an incredibly powerful tool that tells you how people got to your website and what they did when they got there. Analytics is free.

If DBS manage your inbound link building then you should have had analytics set up for free by us. If you are unsure as to how to use analytics or don't think you have this feature then please contact David Clarke on 0800 988 8366.

Happy New Year - hope it's a prosperous one for you.
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Pay Per Click Advertising: 7 Steps To Success in 2008!

When you carry out a basic search on Google you may have noticed that the top two results on the left hand side are in a beige box that has a headline of "Sponsored Links". In the right hand column there are also up to eight sponsored links. These sponsored links are pay per click adverts. If you click on these adverts then the business providing the advert pays for the cost of the click.

The ranking or order of the adverts is determined by a bidding system. The two top left adverts are ranked one and two and then the adverts that appear on the right are three, four and so on. Ideally you want to be in the top 10, so your advert will be shown on the first page of search results.

Business need to follow these 7 steps for pay per click success:

1.) Key words
Time needs to be spent in researching the actual key words and phrases that potential clients type into a Google, Yahoo or MSN search. If you don’t have a keyword associated with an advert then your advert CANNOT appear.

2.) Advert Development
Successful adverts have the keywords repeated in the title of the advert and on the landing page of the website. Searchers want to see a good match between an advert and what they typed in the search box. Multiple adverts for each key service areas of your business are better than one generic advert. For example if you are a solicitor then you need an advert for each key service area such as wills, probate, divorce etc.

3.) Landing Pages
Many pay per click beginners direct potential clients to the homepage of their website. This is usually a mistake; your visitors need to get to the part of your website that relates to their search. If a searcher is looking for an employment lawyer then they should be taken straight to the employment page.

4.) Call To Action
Once a potential client is on your page you need to give them a call to action such as "request a call back", “buy now” button or “ask a question“. You will reduce your chances of success if your landing page only says in small print "for further details call us on". Make your site interactive!

5.) Campaign Implementation
The next stage involves setting up an account with the appropriate service provider (Google, Yahoo and MSN); going through the bidding process for the key phrases / words you have identified and then initiating the campaign. Part of this will involve setting a budget - initially you may decide on a small amount - you can change this at any time.

6.) Campaign Monitoring
One of the major benefits of this form of marketing is that everything can be measured - number of times your ad gets shown, number of clicks to your website, new clients or sales resulting from enquiry etc. Thorough tracking will enable you to maximise the return on your investment.

7.) Management
If you find the prospect of setting up and managing a pay per click campaign too daunting then we offer professional assistance. DBS are “Google Adwords Professionals”.

I wish your business the best of luck in 2008!
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Google acquires Grand Central communications

Internet search engine giant Google has purchased Grand Central communications, a free phone routing service allowing you to use a free local phone number for all of your calls. The new product has just been re-launched and is now available for sign up.

The service, which is currently available in limited beta form for a small number of users, enables you to personally manage all of your correspondence. If you have multiple phone numbers (e.g., home, work and mobile), you can get one phone number that you can set to ring for all, some, or none of your phones, based on who's calling. As a consequence, your phone number is tied to you, and not to your location or job.

The service also gives you one central voice mailbox. You can listen to your voicemails online or from any phone, forward them to anybody you wish, add the caller to your address book or block a caller as spam. You can also listen to your voicemail messages from your phone whilst they are being recorded, or switch a call from your mobile phone to your desk phone and back again. The potential here for making life easier is endless, but there are also opportunities for creative misuse.

When you create a Grand Central account you can pick any area code you wish. So, if you have a colleague across the country that you are in constant conversation with, and are sick of paying long-distance rates to speak to them, you can make a Grand Central account in your local area code and stop making long-distance calls. Similarly if your mobile phone tariff lets you receive unlimited calls from a certain number, you could feasibly add your Grand Central number to that list and receive unlimited free mobile calls.

Grand Central was founded two years ago by Craig Walker and Vincent Paquet, former senior executives at VoIP firm DialPad Communications, which was itself acquired by Google's rival, Yahoo!, in 2005. The idea for the Grand Central service was borne out of Walker's frustration upon landing at a local airport and realising he needed to check three voicemail mail boxes - one for his mobile phone, another for work and one for his BlackBerry .

The company has been holding public tests on the Grand Central service for several months. Google have claimed that the services' current users will continue to enjoy an uninterrupted service. A limited number of invitations to receive Grand Central unified numbers will also be available for users who sign up at Controversially there is still some speculation as to how well the Grand Central service can be integrated into the 'Googletalk' package.

Internet-based phone services are a major growth area at the moment. Ebay-owned communications company Skype, a pioneer in the internet phone market, has signed up more than 200 million users for its free or low-cost phone services globally. Newer names in the field include venture-backed firms Jajah, Jangl, Jaxtr and Rebtel, which together have signed up millions of users in the past year.
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