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PPC vs SEO – which is best for my business?

Text sign showing Ppc Vs Seo. Conceptual photo Pay per click against Search Engine Optimization strategies.Search Engine Marketing (also known as SEM) consists of two main areas, PPC (Pay per Click Advertising) and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). If you are new to these terms, they can appear to be extremely daunting prospects. Here we help to explain what they are, discuss the differences between the two of them, why they are important for increasing sales and revenue, and which one will work best for your business.

What is PPC?
PPC stands for Pay Per Click. This marketing technique allows you to show a customised advert to people who are searching for your products or services. The beauty of it is that you are only charged when someone clicks on your advert, hence the name.

Pay Per Click advertising is most effective on Google or Bing and the reason it’s so effective is that you get to choose the search terms your adverts are shown for. The ads are highly prominent as they appear at the top of search result pages and in most instances will be the first listings that clients or customers see.

The exact position your ad will appear in depends heavily on how much you are willing to spend, your resources, and skill set in the area. If there is a lot of competition for certain “keywords” (which are phrases that your potential clients or customers are typing in to the search engine), then it will cost you more per click to feature at the top of the page. You can identify which results on a page are PPC as they feature the word “Ad”.

What is SEO?
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the marketing technique used to try and influence the “organic” or “natural” search engine results, which you do not pay to appear in. By optimising your website content and digital presence by focusing on certain keywords, you can end up getting your website on to the first page of the search engine results without the need to pay every time someone clicks on the link.

Organic results appear below the PPC ads. If you create your website with the keywords that people are searching for in mind in terms of meta data (the code that sits behind each page and tells Google what your website is about), the text on those pages, the layout of the site and more, then you can create something that Google and other search engines will love and will be more likely to appear higher up in the results. Having a site that is easy to navigate, answers your customers questions and has a good overall customer experience are factors that Google likes and in turn will reward you with a higher position. But it is isn’t just enough to do this once and forget about it – Google likes to see a website that is constantly being updated and an active social media presence, so SEO is an ongoing process.

What are the differences?
Cost - The main draw to SEO is that it free - but only to a degree. Initially you will have to pay for the website and the content on it to be optimized if you want it to be done properly and in line with keyword research. You may also have to pay for someone to write ongoing content (such as a blog) or to write your social media for you, but you can do that yourself.

However, you will not have to pay each time a customer clicks, unlike PPC where you must pay for each individual click regardless of whether the customer ends up converting. Having said this, it takes investment in both time and money in order to get your SEO to a great level. The cost you end up paying for an ad depends on what keyword you are bidding for and how many people are bidding on the same keyword, among others, as PPC is effectively an online auction. Although you have to pay each time a customer clicks through, you do not have to pay every time your advert is viewed. Although SEO does not have a direct cost like PPC, you have to consider the cost of both time and money spent on your ongoing efforts to build you SEO as it is a time-consuming task.

Position in Search Results - PPC ads feature above organic results and also feature at the bottom of the search results page. The position of your advert depends on many factors. Organic results fill the middle of search engine result pages (SERPs) and the exact position, again depends on many factors. The more relevant search engines think you are, the higher up the page it will place you. Many people think that if they are positioned high up in the natural results then they don’t need to feature in PPC, but often that isn’t the case. Many people will only click the first two or three results they see, which are often PPC. To catch as many visitors as possible, you generally need to appear in both.

Time - PPC is a much quicker option and you can see results in a much shorter time period. If PPC adverts are set up effectively you can start seeing results straight away. SEO is a time-consuming task in comparison, and it can take months for the benefits to start to be felt. However, if it is carried out regularly and efficiently, you will see the benefits that can last a long time.

Visibility - PPC ads are more visible across all of Google including their partners such as YouTube. This means your ad can appear in more places than your organic result which can lead to more visits to your site.

Control - A benefit of PPC is that you are in complete control of what your ad says and how it will appear (even if you cannot completely control where). This means you can create tailored ads that are targeting specific groups of people. The more informative your ad is, the more likely a customer will click.

Amount of Traffic - Studies have suggested that PPC ads get more clicks, however this will therefore result in higher cost. SEO results will get high amounts of traffic but only if you feature high up in the results, which again can take a lot of time to achieve this, if at all.

Conclusion
In conclusion the best approach for many businesses is a combination of both PPC and SEO. Depending on the budget you have available and the type of business you own, you should start with PPC as the results can be seen faster, but team this up with an SEO strategy as soon as possible, as the sooner you start, the sooner you will start to see the benefits. This is a longer-term strategy and will require a lot of initial effort, however if you continue to carry out SEO you will hopefully appear on the first page of results which will be cheaper for your business in the long run. They also work hand in hand as if you start off with PPC ads you can use the keyword data you have created in your research to aid your SEO strategy at the same time.  Both PPC and SEO take time to completely master and will involve a lot of resources, however when they are done well, both methods make a huge impact on the visibility and success of your website and business.

If you need help with your PPC or SEO strategies, then the DBS team are happy to help. Contact us on 01522 811688 or visit www.dbsinternetmarketing.co.uk for more information.

Agree? Disagree? Do let James Hopkins know what you think by commenting below.

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DBS founder celebrates milestone birthday

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Many happy returns to DBS director and founder David Clarke who celebrated his 60th birthday on Sunday!

The DBS team celebrated in a relaxed way with David, his family and friends after work on Friday night by going to listen to some live music whilst enjoying pizza and a few beers.

David founded DBS in the USA in 1986 before returning to the UK and founding DBS in the UK in 1996. Over the years DBS evolved from being a print advertising business to being the web design and online marketing business that it is today.

In 2017 as David began to step back from the business DBS became a 100% employee owned company.  

To find out more about David and to connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, visit https://www.dbsinternetmarketing.co.uk/our-team/1/david-clarke/

Agree? Disagree? Do let James Hopkins know what you think by commenting below.

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Update on the Nepalese student DBS is helping through college

Back in 2016, one of DBS’ directors David Clarke hiked the Everest Base Camp Trail in Nepal and raised an incredible £3,400 for Cancer Research. Whilst on the trail, David learned of a Sherpa guide who sadly had died during an avalanche whilst setting our ropes on a mountain trail for climbers. He had left a wife and four children behind.
 
David was extremely moved by this devastating story and when he returned to the UK, the DBS team agreed they would fund the eldest of the guide’s daughters through college education to ensure she had a bright future. Psang Lamu Sherpa was just about to start nursing college when her father sadly passed away.

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Photo: Psang and her family

The DBS team have been eager to know how she has been getting on and we are excited to hear that she is getting on brilliantly.

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Photo: Pasang learning how to ride a bike with her brother Karma who is training to be a mountain guide

Pasang decided to go in a slightly different direction and has switched from nursing to accountancy as she realised it was a better fit for her and she is now learning accountancy management whilst working part time at a dental surgery in Kathmandu.

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Photo: Psang busy studying

Psang and her family has gone through a lot with the death of their father and before that, an earthquake hitting the area which caused their family home to collapse. We are over the moon that the help DBS could provide is helping Psang to create a great career for herself and we wish her continued success in the future.

Agree? Disagree? Do let James Hopkins know what you think by commenting below.

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National Employer of the Year Winners!

We are absolutely thrilled to announce that DBS Internet Marketing has been named as the FSB (Federation of Small Business) Employer of the Year for the whole of the UK! 

DBS Director Julie Priestley, Web Project Manager Matt Rayner and Online Marketing Manager James Hopkins were very excited to travel from Navenby in Lincolnshire down to London to attend the national UK Final of the FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards 2019 yesterday evening.

DBS was a national finalist for the UK Employer of the Year Award along with 11 other finalists from the regions and nations of the UK, having previously been named as the East Midlands Employer of the Year back in March.

We were absolutely over the moon when the FSB’s CEO, Julie Lilley, announced us as the winner of the award, and felt incredibly honoured and proud to go up on stage to be presented with the beautiful glass trophy.

A key factor in us winning this award is that we became Lincolnshire’s first 100% employee owned company in June 2017 when DBS Director David Clarke announced that members of the DBS team would now own a part of the long-established internet marketing and web design company.

David said at the time: “For me, it makes great business sense to reward the very people that have helped to build DBS. Now that the whole team has equity, we have a vested interest to grow the company even more.”

Commenting on the award, DBS Director Julie Priestley said: “Our business is service-based and so relies on our employees to give the best service to our clients.  By investing in our employees and giving them a vested interest for the business to do well our team give the best customer service to help our clients succeed. Words cannot describe how proud I am for Team DBS to receive this award, all of the congratulations and good wishes we have received from fellow businesses has been very humbling.”

The UK Final was described as a glittering event, and it didn’t disappoint! Held at Evolution Battersea, the evening started with a drinks and canapes reception, and then a speech from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, which was especially impressive considering it was the day of the EU Elections and the evening before the Prime Minister announced her resignation! We were all quite surprised that he had taken time out from the political events that were happening to attend the event!

Other high-profile politicians present included the Small Business Minister, Kelly Tolhurst MP, and the former Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, Baroness Neville-Rolfe. During the formal awards dinner there was a speech from Mike Cherry OBE, the National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, and a pre-filmed speech by the now outgoing Prime Minister, Theresa May. In total the event was surrounded by over 500 guests from across the country, including area winners, judges, sponsors, media, MPs and industry business leaders.

The evening was hosted by the actor, writer and comedian Meera Syal CBE, who found fame in the 1990s and 2000s starring in Goodness Gracious Me and The Kumars at No. 42. She hosted the evening with an appropriate mixture of humour and seriousness, making the whole event entertaining as well as interesting. There was also a very moving presentation by Sean, an ambassador for the FSB Chairman’s Charity for the last year, the Rainbow Trust, that supports families with a seriously ill child.

The FSB Awards website states that “the annual awards, run by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), celebrate and recognise a sector that makes up 99.9 per cent of all private businesses in the UK and contribute £1.9 trillion to the economy.

“The 5.6 million small businesses and the self-employed in the UK contribute so much to our economy and our communities. In 2017 FSB launched the Celebrating Small Business Awards to recognise the best, most innovative and most determined of these, from every sector, industry and background.


“Recognising the huge value that being a finalist or a winner can bring to their businesses and teams, more than 2,000 businesses entered the 2019 awards.”


Many congratulations to the winners of the nine other awards announced last night, and congratulations to all of the finalists who did fantastically to get to the national final. Huge thanks to the FSB and the sponsors of the event for an absolutely incredible evening. 

Agree? Disagree? Do let Julie Priestley know what you think by commenting below.

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Employer of the Year National Finalists


The DBS Team are very excited to be national finalists for the Federation of Small Business’s Employer of the Year Award.

Three of the DBS team – Director Julie Priestley, Web Project Manager Matt Rayner and Online Marketing Manager James Hopkins - are heading to London on Thursday 23rd May for the UK national final of the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) Celebrating Business Awards 2019.

Described as a “sparkling” event and an “incredible night of celebration and recognition”, the formal awards dinner and ceremony is taking place at Battersea Evolution, and is considered to be one of the highlights of the small business calendar. It will be attended by over 500 guests from around the UK, including area winners, judges, sponsors, media, MPs and industry business leaders. The event will be hosted by writer and actor Meera Syal CBE.

DBS is in the running for the UK Employer of the Year having previously been named as Employer of the Year for the East Midlands region back in March. We are one of 12 regional/devolved nation winners in the Employer of the Year category. Awards are being announced in 10 different categories.

According to the FSB website, “the annual awards, run by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), celebrate and recognise a sector that makes up 99.9 per cent of all private businesses in the UK and contribute £1.9 trillion to the economy.

“The 5.6 million small businesses and the self-employed in the UK contribute so much to our economy and our communities. In 2017 FSB launched the Celebrating Small Business Awards to recognise the best, most innovative and most determined of these, from every sector, industry and background.


“Recognising the huge value that being a finalist or a winner can bring to their businesses and teams, more than 2,000 businesses entered the 2019 awards.”


DBS is very proud and excited to be in the running for this award. We became an Employee Owned Business in June 2017 when Director David Clarke announced that members of the DBS team would now own a part of the long-established internet marketing and web design company. David’s decision made DBS Lincolnshire’s first 100% employee owned company.

David said at the time: “For me, it makes great business sense to reward the very people that have helped to build DBS. Now that the whole team has equity, we have a vested interest to grow the company even more.”  

DBS has been an Investors in People company since 2004, and has recently won a number of awards in addition to being Employer of the Year for the East Midlands, including the North Kesteven Community Business Award 2017, the FSB Entrepreneur Award for Innovation 2017, and the FSB East Midlands Community Business Award 2018.

Agree? Disagree? Do let James Hopkins know what you think by commenting below.

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3 big changes coming soon to Facebook

At the Facebook F8 conference which was held earlier this month, it was revealed that there would be many changes coming to the social media channel which could have a big impact on how we use Facebook going forwards. Here are some of the main changes discussed.

1.    Growing focus on community
The main focus of the keynote speech given by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was community. A lot of people now are communicating via private messages, Instagram stories and small group pages. This shift in behavior is due to the fact that people feel more included and have a sense of belonging when they are part of smaller communities.

People are turning to Facebook groups and closed communities to share their opinions and information about themselves, rather than just posting about it. There is also the opportunity for your Facebook posts to be shared on your public and private groups page, which could mean it will be easier to engage with your followers.

2.    Focus on privacy
Mark Zuckerberg stated that “the future is private” and increased privacy will be a main focus for the company moving forwards.  As users are not wanting their information to be as public anymore, privacy settings have been promised to improve. This includes Facebook private messages which will have stronger end to end encryption, meaning even Facebook will not be able to read them.

It is regularly in the press about how online safety has to improve, and Zuckerberg referred to our online safety in his speech by stating that they are working on reducing the permanence of our posts and messages. This could see more of a shift towards Instagram story style posts which have expiry dates and only appear for a certain amount of time.

3.    A new look
Finally, it was revealed that Facebook would be getting a new look.  This will be their first big redesign in five years and will include an amended logo and more prominence of Group pages. As communities and groups are becoming more visible, it will be easier to post and engage with others in your network.

Plus, it is said that Facebook Messenger will have a stand-alone app for desktop which will allow people to message others between Facebook’s different apps, such as Instagram or Whatsapp.  Having one unified platform to manage all direct messages from your laptop could be a massive time saver for businesses and individuals alike.

Agree? Disagree? Do let James Hopkins know what you think by commenting below.

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DBS launch new website for domiciliary care franchise company

DBS are delighted to have launched a new website for elderly companion care company Senior Help, a franchise company providing non-medical carers and companions to elderly people across the UK.

They offer a variety of services that help to keep loneliness and isolation at bay for elderly people, including providing companionship and conversation, preparing meals, taking people on outings, making the beds or even watching a film together, allowing the person being cared for to stay in their own home for as long as possible. Not only is this of benefit to the individual being cared for, but it also gives their families the freedom to relax and feel happy knowing that their loved one is being cared for.  

In order to create the new Senior Help website, our web team had to completely re-write our existing custom franchise management system, which allows the franchisor to administer most of the website whilst allowing franchisees to manage their specific pages. The moderation system allows the administrators (i.e. the franchisor) to review all requested changes made by the franchisees.

Their previous website hadn’t been developed with scalability in mind, but the new website allows for the easy management of hundreds of franchisees. In addition to this, multiple franchise pages can now be associated with one single user, which is ideal when a user (franchisee) has several franchise pages, as it means that they don’t have to log in and log out of each franchise page in order to make changes.

Creating the new Senior Help website also meant that our web team could also focus on speed improvements and overhauling the admin panel to improve the interface for the users.

If you would like to see the new Senior Help website for yourself, then you can check it out by visiting https://www.seniorhelp.org.uk/

Agree? Disagree? Do let Matthew Rayner know what you think by commenting below.

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The importance of Bing for Voice Search

Voice Search is an area which is rapidly growing and doesn’t look like it’s going to be slowing down anytime soon. A 2019 Microsoft study has estimated that 75% of households will have some form of smart speaker by 2020, whether this be a smart phone or smart home devices such as Alexa or Google Home.

Being fast, hands free and conveniently quicker than typing makes voice search popular, and with the advancing technology becoming more accurate, the use of voice search will probably only continue to grow.

Along with searching for quick facts and playing music, most voice searches are people looking for a product or service. This is where businesses can be proactive and benefit from voice search. For example, if a customer is looking for a solicitor or coffee shop near them, the device will search for those businesses whose business listings show they are near the customer’s location.

Although Google is the most visited website in the UK and on the planet, and is the main player for searches on mobile phones and desktop computers, when it comes to voice search it is not only Google that the results are pulled from. Google Home obviously uses Google search results, but other devices do not. In fact, Bing powers more voice technology than Google does.

So, what can your business do? The first thing is to ensure that both your Google and Bing business listings are up to date and easy to find. Searchers should be able to easily access your location, phone number, website and opening hours. If you haven’t done so yet, make sure you claim both your Places for Business listing on Bing and your My Business listing on Google. Voice search uses the person’s location to discover nearby businesses, so having your location visible is vital.

For help with setting up your Google or Bing Business listings so your company is more visible on search engines, please contact the team at DBS Internet Marketing who will be happy to help.

Agree? Disagree? Do let James Hopkins know what you think by commenting below.

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DBS launch new website for local waste management firm


DBS are pleased to have launched a new website for Mid-UK Recycling, a longstanding client of ours who have premises and processing sites in various locations across Lincolnshire and the East Midlands.

Mid-UK Recycling was established in 1997 and is an independent waste management and recycling company. They offer a wide range of services to their clients which includes skip hire, bulk waste collections, commercial and industrial waste removal, carpet recycling, plasterboard recycling, wood recycling, agricultural waste recycling, paper and cardboard recycling and glass recycling. They work with businesses and local authorities to achieve a genuine 100% landfill diversion by investing in the latest infrastructure, and specialise in sustainable resource extraction, processing and recycling.

This was a completely bespoke website that was designed and built from scratch specifically to match Mid-UK Recycling’s needs. It included creating a custom content management system which allows them to edit information on the website quickly and easily themselves, in-house, without having to involve a third party, meaning that they can add, edit or remove pages, add, change or remove page content and images, and quickly and easily update the careers section as and when vacancies arise or are filled. 

If you would like to see their new website for yourself, then you can check it out by visiting https://www.midukrecycling.co.uk/

Agree? Disagree? Do let Matthew Rayner know what you think by commenting below.

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Becky celebrates first birthday at DBS

Many Happy Returns to the newest member of the DBS team, our Internet Marketing Specialist Becky Gilpin, who only joined the DBS team last month.

Becky celebrated her birthday by going for a meal with her partner at the Butcher & Beast pub in Heighington, followed by a trip at the weekend to the beautiful and ancient city of York.

The team gathered at DBS to sing Happy Birthday to Becky and to celebrate with cake and candles, with Becky enduring the team’s singing for the first time!

Becky’s new role covers a wide range of digital marketing strategies, including content marketing and social media.

Before joining DBS, Becky spent five years working at John Greed Jewellery in Lincoln, where she mainly worked as a Marketing Campaign Coordinator. To find out more about Becky, click here to visit her profile, or here to read the announcement that she was joining DBS.

Agree? Disagree? Do let James Hopkins know what you think by commenting below.

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Google fixes bug after websites removed from search results

If you thought that your website had disappeared from Google’s search engine results this week, you didn’t imagine it and you certainly were not alone.

Google accidentally removed a large number of websites and web pages from search results (known as “de-indexing”) last week, but thankfully the problem now seems to have been fixed.

Google, unsurprisingly, hasn’t revealed exactly what went wrong or gone into detail about the extent of the issues, but the SEO software supplier Moz has estimated that 4% of indexed pages were likely to have been affected, based on their samples.

When the issue initially occurred on April 4th, it took 3 days for Google to announce that they had solved the issue, only to then go on to say a day later that there were still issues. It was not until a week later they announced the issue was completely fixed and tweeted:

“The indexing issue has now been fully resolved. We apologize for the inconvenience. We appreciate your patience as we restored normal operation”

What were the effects? 
The impact of pages being de-indexed could have led to:
  • Loss in sales 
  • Lower conversion rates 
  • Loss of website traffic
  • An overall loss of metrics, making measuring website performance difficult 
What can be done about it? 
Unfortunately, there is not a lot that can be done about it. Google have fixed the bug which mainly happened over the weekend when Google searches are typically lower than average.

On Google Analytics you could always make note of when the issue occurred, so that you can take this blip into account when comparing performance in the future.

Agree? Disagree? Do let James Hopkins know what you think by commenting below.

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Becky joins the DBS team

DBS are thrilled to welcome Becky Gilpin to the team as our new Internet Marketing Specialist. Becky joined the company on Monday 25th March, and will be covering a wide range of digital marketing strategies, including content marketing and social media.

Becky joins DBS with a strong background in marketing, including having spent five years working at John Greed Jewellery in Lincoln, where she mainly worked as a Marketing Campaign Coordinator for brands including PANDORA, Nomination Italy and Swarovski.

Becky studied Business Management at the University of Nottingham, which was when she realised that she loved marketing and wanted a career in this field. She graduated in 2013.

Born in Germany, Becky moved to the UK when she was three months old and moved around the country before finally settling in Lincolnshire in 2001. When she was six, Becky moved to Oman in the Middle East for three years, which sparked a passion for travelling and learning about different cultures. Her interests include travelling, going to live music gigs, reading and reviewing books, baking and learning French.

To find out more about Becky and to connect with her on social media, please visit: http://www.dbsinternetmarketing.co.uk/our-team/17/becky-gilpin/.

Welcome to DBS, Becky!

Agree? Disagree? Do let James Hopkins know what you think by commenting below.

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Happy Birthday Thomas!


We would like to wish a massive Happy Birthday to DBS's Web Developer, Thomas Hounsell, who is turning 27 this week.

Traditionally the team celebrates with cake, but Thomas isn't a huge fan of cake, so instead the team celebrated at the end of last week with something more to his liking … a large plate of hot sausage rolls!

Thomas has been a web developer at DBS Internet Marketing since 2011 after leaving college with a BTEC National Diploma in IT. Outside of his day job, Thomas is always looking for a new DIY project to immerse himself in.

We’d like to wish Thomas an enjoyable week off work this week visiting friends and family.

Agree? Disagree? Do let Matthew Rayner know what you think by commenting below.

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DBS Pay Per Click Expert Celebrating 4 Year Anniversary


DBS’s Dan Atkinson is celebrating having been at the company four years. Dan joined DBS at the end of March 2015, and has since played a huge role in the company by taking over running our Pay Per Click department when Julie Priestley became Director, as well as playing a key role in using Google Analytics and setting up social media campaigns for clients. 

Dan has a degree in Sound and Vision Technology, and so is a qualified videographer. He has put this to great use over the last four years making videos for a variety of clients, as using video for marketing has become increasingly popular. 

Outside of work, Dan has a strong interest in music and has founded an independent record label that supports and promotes artists as they attempt to break in to the mainstream market.

To find out more about Dan and to connect with him on social media, please visit: http://www.dbsinternetmarketing.co.uk/our-team/11/daniel-atkinson/.

Agree? Disagree? Do let James Hopkins know what you think by commenting below.

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