Select Page

Jonny Ross was recognised by the Yorkshire Business Insider as a top business person in their “42 under 42”.

He actually started by retailing eyewear. In ’99, Jonny Ross set up the leading Sunglasses site on the internet. They were at the top of the Google rankings for many keywords and sales were phenomenal. For many years they maintained their leadership position.

Until 2004. When their sales dropped off like a stone. They had been pushed down to page 7 or 8 of Google. They spent lots of money with digital agencies.

This was the Google Slap. Or Google Penalty. Jonny eventually found an expert from New York who identified around 20 issues they were following, which the previous SEO agencies had not addressed. So what type of thing was he doing?

  • Hiding text. White text on a white background with loads of keywords. At the time everyone was doing it and being encouraged to do it by SEO agencies.

Digital marketing was always a passion for Jonny. He self-taught himself. He wins clients through his knowledge and experience. He used his frustration with the SEO industry in that they weren’t helping people overcome these problems. So Jonny set out to do so.

Five years ago Jonny started his own consultancy. He believed in himself. He believed he could do it. His skills came from retail experience, from bring n buy sales at age 7, to being a director of an eyewear business.

So how would Jonny Ross advise us about steps we should be taking in the next 100 days?


Jonny advises to take it back a step. There are a lot of things you can do with SEO, but for the majority of businesses, Jonny advise they start be examining the following…

  • Work out what they are trying to achieve?
  • Who are they trying to target?
  • What are your business goals and marketing goals?
  • Write down the measurable goals
    • How many clients do you need?
    • How many products do you need to sell?
    • What is the average value of those services?
    • Who are the best people to buy those services?
    • Can you look at previous clients?
    • Look at 5, 10, 100 previous clients and really describe them in detail.
    • Are they male/female, their age, where they live, their job titles
    • All this helps us to define your content you need and WHERE you need to deliver that content (Jonny notes it might not be even be Google).

Jonny advises there are 2 parts to SEO. The onsite and the offsite.

ONSITE – This is about the technical aspect. The usability of your site. Is your website easy to use? Does it have the right content for a particular keyword? Jonny stresses that keywords are still key. But it is all about context.

OFFSITE – What happens around the world-wide-web. All about links. Jonny says it’s about the type of links. It is about the relevancy and quality of those links.

ONSITE Tools – try out these tools today!

“Google Mobile Friendly Test” – 52% of websites will be accessed by mobile in 2020.
Put your website URL and google will tell you whether your site is mobile friendly.
“Google Page Speed Test” – can you increase your page speed?
“Woo Rank” – great tool to fix obvious things to fix.
and then hand these over to your developer to fix for you.


Define a list of words you want to found for. When people ring your company write down what they are asking for. Type things into Google, because it gives you suggestions. The bigger the list the better.

“Moz Keyword Tool” you get 2 free searches per day. Each will give you 1,000 ideas for keywords.

Long strings of keywords is better.

Jonny Ross advises that if you rank for say “TV” then there is a good chance you are NOT READY to buy! You are better targeting people at the buying point – so target the things they write into Google at the point they are ready to buy, such as “SONY 50inch TV Flatscreen”

It means you need to be at the top for lots of different buying options and Google will only promote your page if the context of your website supports the different keyword phrases. Such as questions – How to do X, How to do Y…

Before you apply these phrases in your content and on your website generally, then find out where you RANK for these phrases now. This will give you some mini-goals to reach. Use rank tracker.

How do you use those keywords and phrases? Introduce some into existing content, but also add new fresh content, such as a blog. Feed in these keywords – naturally – into your blogs – NOT ALL AT ONCE!

Use them in your blog titles. Don’t force them. Have the list and use them!

Social Media – What’s Hot?

Who are you trying to communicate with? Don’t just jump on a new thing? If your audience is 55+ then Snapchat isn’t for you. Snapchat is for 13-25 year olds.
Start with your LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook profiles. Jonny advises that Instagram is growing, but may not be ideal for small businesses.

Jonny Ross argues that more and more older people are gravitating to Facebook. The average age on FB is 45+. Things have changed on Facebook. The key to Facebook’s strengths is its ability to target. It can be useful for business too. Graham suggests as it is getting older maybe it should be renamed FaceLiftBook!

What about LinkedIN. Biggest problem is ‘shouting’. It should be about creating relationships and trust. Don’t shout.

On LinkedIn should you accept all requests or only those that someone knows or met? Jonny admits to being a “LinkedIn Tart”. His logic for letting people connect is that he has a vast network.

Content Marketing

What is content marketing? Writing helpful, resourceful, thought leadership content for your audiences?

The major objective is to build a list. A database of people who want your content. Your conversion then becomes comparison, costs, value etc. And ultimately, those nurtured people may become customers.

So consider downloads of white papers, video content, behind closed doors, which are opened on the exchange of an email and name.

Web Design

Start with how it will look on a mobile phone. Start with your call to actions. Think usability. What do people actually want from your website – ask them.

There is a conflict with design wanting to reduce text and SEO wanting more text. Those initial pages need to be far more visual, with deeper pages more text heavy.

Design is really about taking people on a simple journey through your website.

Jonny advises Paypal, Mailchimp and Xero are sites worth a look.

Blogging and Speaking Engagements

Jonny sees that these work really well together. Speaking helps him understand the questions people ask and blogging gives him a route to answering those questions.

Jonny gives as much as possible in his blogs. His blogs create authority and people helping people achieve their goals.

What would Jonny Ross have wanted to know 5 years ago that he knows now?

Don’t be afraid of spending money.

Jonny recognises that he can get superior value from a more expensive tool. It will make his consultancy more effective. Don’t be afraid of spending!


Twitter: @jrconsultancy