Thursday, 7 May 2015

The Decision, Help!

I seem to be undecided on what to vote, can you give me any advice?

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Panda, Penguin and now Hummingbird.

What does this all mean!

Well dear reader, it means that Google have changed their secretive algorithm and added another few dozen tweaks. Google's ambition is (and they are definitely right that this is needed) to ensure when you search for a term you get the most relevant result. Unfortunately in the real world the results are e dramatically affected by what is called Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). The problem is that Googles change is affecting some sites dramatically and some sites not at all so the application of their updated algorithm is inconsistent and will take some time to stabilise.

If SEO did not exist and everything was natural it would mean you get a more relevant result but and it is a big but if your competitor is optimising their site and Google has not penalised them they may be above you in the ranking you will get less business from the web.

So for the moment the only option is to make sure your site is as optimal as possible. This means fresh content, lots of quality back links and good social media.

TCRM can use all the techniques Google agree with (White Hat) and we will always ensure our sites are built to the standard Google wants. But there is a slogan that is becoming more important and that is "Content is king".

Thursday, 13 September 2012

TCRM and Starting a Small Business

Let’s be honest. The British economy isn’t doing too well at the moment. It hasn’t been since 2008 and doesn’t look like changing anytime soon if things continue the way they are. Large companies, including banks, are laying off workers, youth unemployment is set to rise,  and household bills continue to rise as prices go up. There is no job for life anymore and people wonder whether their investments and pensions will be worth as much in a few years time. In short there is a lack of confidence in what the future holds because it is largely out of our hands for the most of us.

But things don’t have to continue this way. The failure of government and big business to provide a sustainable economy highlights the need to foster another approach. One that has worked before and one that can work again. This was once a country of shop keepers, small businesses and entrepreneurs. They worked hard to establish their own path through this country. Their effort determined their future and in doing so provided jobs and a future for others.

When running your own business, or being a vital contributor to that business, you are responsible for the success of that company and you will reap the rewards. The more people take up the challenge the more this country’s economy will be driven forward by these hard working people instead of banks and big business. Sounds good doesn’t it?

TCRM has set up a number of websites to promote small business in the County Borough of Bridgend: The Bridge Page, Welcome to Porthcawl and

And we have more in the works. If you are thinking of starting a business in today’s online economy and what to know about what’s involved, then please drop us a line and we’ll be happy to help. Starting a business could be something that changes your life, and the life of others, forever.


Monday, 10 October 2011

TCRM and the Ecommerce Website

I was tempted to call this blog ‘TCRM and the Dragons’., as it sounded a bit more fun and exciting, but sadly not as SEO friendly (see, we know what we’re doing).

Anyway, after many months of development the new TCRM ecommerce system has been rolled out. You can give it a go here. Kevin’s brief for the system was that it had to be flexible enough to sell a sandwich or an engine. A bit random but it was a philosophy that served us well in the development phase. By considering how to build a custom sandwich or choose the specs of an engine  the system caters for any sort of product and business model from off the shelf choices, such as DVDs and books, to businesses offering custom made products where a large number of choices need to be made by the customer. Sandwiches, custom built PCs and made to measure clothes like Elvis Jumpsuits are just a few examples which spring to mind.

Okay, you’ve seen the product, what’s our angle? We are living through one of the worst recessions in living memory. Large and small companies alike are shedding employees at an alarming rate and don’t want to hire again anytime soon. People can’t rely on the fact big companies might start hiring hundreds or thousands of people. They need to go out and create opportunities for themselves. They need to start their own businesses and create new employment opportunities. A couple of hundred small businesses employing between three and twelve people each would make a big difference to thousands of families. Yes. we’re a fan of small business and want to take further the interest stoked by popular programmes such as The Apprentice and Dragon’s Den.

Luckily in this wired age the capital outlay to get businesses off the ground can be reduced. You no longer need a physical store and all the problems that come with it. A good ecommerce website and suddenly the whole world is your potential customer base. That’s where we come in. We want to help promote small business and help them grow. Allow them to reach out to a wider customer base and bring in those sales and contracts.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

TCRM and the Website Refresh

Web design companies like TCRM face the same problem that any other type of business faces- that we are so busy looking after our customers that we have no time to take care of matters closer to home. In our case we have been trying to update our website for about six months, but other sites always came first. Well finally last week we launched the new look TCRM site (take a look here), but it was not a smooth process. From a technical standpoint it was straight forward, as we have the process of building a website down to a fine art, but this time we were also responsible for deciding what content to include in the site. This is something that the customer normally decides upon but it fell on us this time. The time taken arguing over which pictures to include and the wording of every piece of text on every page was quite amazing. Just the way the websites were arranged in the collage image on the web design page tested a few nerves to their limits. I was just glad there were no heavy objects around. It’s hard to tweet with both your arms broken.

What the site refresh highlighted was the amount of time taken over the content of a page, compared to putting the structure of the page together.  Yet this step is out of our hands as the customer provides the text and images. But much can be done to  help your customers. Try and provide as many examples and possible and don’t be afraid to ask if they would like any advice. Putting a website together can be a daunting process, especially if you don’t have much IT experience, so it would be a painless a process as possible. We are experienced developers and we were getting quite fired up about the content involved. It could be down to the fact that you look at the coding and structure of a site in a very calm, logical and methodical way, yet can’t approach the content in the same way. It’s always a good exercise to put yourself in the shoes of the customer and we hope we’re able to offer a better service because of it. Please let us know if you have any questions or queries about the way websites are put together.

Friday, 15 April 2011

TCRM and the Magic Bullet

A website, even the fanciest and well constructed website, is not a magic bullet. Shortly after it goes live people will not be beating a path to your door by the thousand and begging you to take their money. They will not be instantly heralding you as the best thing since Facebook and nor will they will be carrying you aloft through the streets of your home town.

The truth is that a website (even a web design from TCRM) is not something that instantly makes your business successful from the word go. And this is especially true for new business. Good small business is a mixture of word of mouth, a good network of contacts, a reputation for good service, value for money & professionalism, and good advertising. Apologies for the grossly over simplified overview, but I think it’s clear from this list that these aspects will probably not be present for new businesses the moment your website goes live, but take time and effort to build up.

So why have a website? Well a website is one of the most important tools in the 21st century for helping you achieve those aspects of a successful business I listed above. For example, a search engine optimized website works in conjunction with traditional networking techniques to help promote your business, while a good looking and well written website projects a professional image. And a clear pricing policy detailing the services provided will help satisfy the customer that they are getting value for money.

So a website can do a lot, but it cannot do it all, nor do it instantly. A reputation for quality of service, for example, is something that can only be built up over time (but a testimonial page will help you make the most of that good feedback). And all the professional sheen of the shiny new website can be blotted out instantly by poor customer service from the staff. People remember bad service more than a good website.

A good website is just one tool in creating a successful business, but our aim is to make that tool the best it can be and help you get your businesses off the ground, just don’t pin your hopes on a miracle. It will be hard with sweat, tears and long hours, but we’ll be there to support you in every way we can.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

TCRM and Social Media

The last few weeks and months have seen a bewildering number of dramas played out on the world stage. The revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, the protests in Yemen, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, the violent uprising in Libya and, most recently the devastating earthquake in Japan. What has struck me is the big role that social networks have played in all of these events. In the case of the revolutions about the middle east and northern Africa social media sites such as Facebook allowed opposition groups to come together and communicate with each other, while in the case of the Japanese earthquake we are seeing far more information come out of the region from the ground level than we would have seen previously. And one could argue that the success, or at least strength, of the opposition movements was down to the various groups being able to organise themselves through the social networks.

It is hard then to deny the impact that social networking has had on the world. It has become a standard way that many people now communicate their ideas. Instead of writing a letter, a newspaper article or phoning a friend, people write a blog, create a web page or update their various statuses (seems a more appropriate word than states). When Stephen Fry updates his Twitter status, over 2.3 million people get the information. This could seem pointless when he tweets about what he had for breakfast, but when a person with a potential audience of 2.3 million states his preference for one opinion/policy/product or another, all of a sudden this is not trivial or pointless.

If a business wants to grow and reach a new audience then through the social media is the way to do it. It needs to be a part of your marketing strategy with the same amount of planning and effort as would go into your print, conference or television advertising. You may not like it, but social media is here to stay. Much of it is trivial or banal, but so are many telephone conversations, and think how vital the telephone is to business.