All posts by Mark Rushworth

With over 14 years experience in online design and marketing I, like many others, began my professional life as a web designer before realising my talent for digital marketing. This I have pursued as my primary career focus since 2007. Since then Ive worked across all sectors for clients big and small delivering the best bang for your buck.
dmoz directories

List of All Dmoz Directory Pages

If you’re a big fan of industry specific directories then you know tracking them down can be a major pain. To help and as a bit of a Christmas gift to all of the zero budget SEO’s and link builders out there I thought i’d put together a quick post listing all of the directory categories on the popular website for you to use.

Theres 100 of them.

wordpress /categories/

Solved: WordPress adding -2 to URL Slug

I’ve just been working through a new SEO clients website and tried to fix a bug with their content which was caused by a non-standard custom WordPress theme. I deleted the offending page then used the Google cache: search operator to pull back the original content and created a new page which in this case was called ‘Huddersfield’. When I created the new page i noticed that the URL slug was set to /huddersfield-2/. I tried to edit it back to just /huddersfield/ and it reverted to the -2 suffixed slug.

This is usually caused by a page existing already having the same slug however in this case I had deleted the page from within the WordPress control panel.

Needless to say it drove me nuts!

However I have the solution – although you have deleted the file is still within the WordPress Trash folder.

Simply delete this file by emptying the trash and go back to your document where you will not be able to remove -2 from the slug.

Its easy when you know how.

google synonyms

Google Synonyms in 2013 Now the Tilde is Gone

With the advent of Google Hummingbird and hints at a patent that outlines how it works based on synonyms I thought it about time I got back on the wagon and started blogging again.

What are Google Synonyms and why does Hummingbird use them?

Synonyms are a different word that means the same thing. In Google’s world this could be something as simple as prefixes or suffixes to a word i.e. ‘boxer’ and ‘boxing’ or pluralisation i.e. ‘synonym’ and ‘synonyms’ or joining words together i.e. ‘anti vibration’ and ‘antivibration’ to name but a few of the ones I’ve encountered.

Using synonyms Google can better identify webpages that provide an answer even if they don’t use the exact same language as the question.

How do I discover Google Synonyms?

In the past you used to be able to perform simple searches using the ~ symbol (tilde) in Google to reveal alternative words to the ones typing. For example you might type:

~”google synonym” -”google synonym”

to find phrases that were like ‘google synonym’ but not the same. These alternatives were displayed in Bold in the organic search results just as a keyword is highlighted in a search today.

Unfortunately Google stopped us from being able to use the tilde symbol a few months back so how can we achieve the same effect today?

The Good News

The good news is that due to Google Hummingbird synonyms are now part of every day search results. As a result you can quickly identify them by entering searches like:

“your keyword” -your -keyword

This will display a list of results with synonyms displayed in bold.

Applying Google Synonyms

When writing for the web we can now combat the classic SEO technique of keyword stuffing with more elegant texts that make use of Google synonyms to make the text appear more natural. Just don’t forget that Hummingbird is seeking answers to there will be a trick to structuring your content to best deliver an answer.

I hope that helps!

wordpress /categories/

Remove /categories/ from WordPress URL’s

I’m in the process of setting up, a website dedicated to one page website design which I believe is great for SEO and makes designers think long and hard about how information interacts as opposed to leaving a rectangular space for text content… any way i digress.

On the install of this theme using the excellent Moon Themes Post theme for WordPress, I encountered a problem. all categories were prefixed with the folder /categories/ making the url structure of the site 2 folders deep from the get go. Needless to say I wanted to find an elegant solution that wouldn’t mean hacking code or using a plugin.

The fix is simple and effective:


in Settings>Permalinks>Category Base enter /. (slash full stop) and click on save.

Voila… all categories are now presented like pages in the sites root!


How to use Twitter as a one on one sales tool

A recent visit to a client brought up the question  “what is this Twitter thing and how can we use it?” I answered “that’s a big question” and proceeded to talk about a-typical scenarios such as content aggregation, automation and campaign based community management. The conversation went on and we talked about a myriad of things. In the end the client revealed that one portion of their target market, private airline stewardesses, was proving a particularly difficult nut to crack.

I pondered on this for a minute and came up with a simple solution that amazed the client.

1. Visit

2. Click ‘search Twitter bio’s’

3. In the main search box enter ‘private air hostess’

(note: for more targeted searches you can click ‘more options’ and enter a location)

4. Click ‘Do It’

You are now presented with a list of private air hostesses on Twitter. Click on a profile to visit their Twitter page.

Having found over 70 results for the exact target market for this client the question remains “How do we use Twitter for leverage”. The answer, as it always is with social media, is that you need to schmooze the ass out of these targets to turn them into business however, I suggest treading softly at first.

1. Create a personal profile (not business) and make sure it highlights your position in the business and what it offers.

2. Follow all of the targets

3. Monitor the conversations and casually start interacting with the users.

4. Over a few months build up a personal relationship with these targets. Answer their questions but NEVER push your product or service… you haven’t earned it yet.

5. Ask them if its ok to send them samples to get feedback… again no sales at this time. You want to make them feel appreciated (which is genuine)

6. Give them feedback on their feedback and continue joining in on their conversations and be as genuine as you can.

7. Hit them with a proposition.

This technique is also great when performing your blogger outreach for link building.

Give it a try.


How to create a paypal payment or donation link

Working on, I encountered a client who wanted to give users the ability to make a donation. A simple enough task if you want to use PayPal’s button maker, but not so great if you want it to be a straight link, or a link around a custom button.

Doing this is easy if you want the donation to be a variable amount. Simply use the following code:

<a href=” ACCOUNT EMAIL HERE&item_name=ENTER%20DESCRIPTION%20HERE”>Your Link text</a>

Variables are:

  • ENTER ACCOUNT EMAIL HERE – simply swap this for your PayPal accounts email address
  • ENTER%20DESCRIPTION%20HERE – replace this with your description for the PayPal payment. It will appear in the PayPal basket as the item description. Also note the use of %20 which is used as a space character between words.

So with this quick and dirty tutorial, you should be quickly able to create custom PayPal links.

Any questions?



Law firms & SEO – How to beat the referral fee ban

There’s a massive issue on the horizon, one that will see many small law firms go out of business is action is not taken. The name of this menace is the referral fee ban which comes into place in 2013.

If you search on Google for a legal keyword i.e. ‘accident claims’ then chances are that the majority of the page one results for this phrase are claims management companies. These businesses spend thousands of pounds creating and marketing websites designed to attract legal claims which are then sold onto law firms for fees between £500 and £1000 dependent upon the type and severity of claim.

In 2013, UK legislation will be changed that stops this transaction.

Needless to say this is an issue at the forefront of many law firms minds… but what can be done to safeguard your legal practice?

All is not lost.

I’ve some experience in this field, so here’s my sure-fire guide to how your law firm can weather the storm and safeguard your future.

1. buy a claims management website.

These websites rank highly and currently generate millions in revenue for their owners. After 2013, they will be worth nothing! The website owners will be keen to squeeze every last bit of revenue from their websites before they are unable to trade. This means that many of them will be available for sale. So, pick your niches and contact the webmasters with your sales pitch. But remember that these websites will need on-going SEO and management in order to maintain and improve their search positions.

If you need help with brokering such a deal please let me know. I may be able to help ensure you get a great deal.

2. think like a claims management company with microsites

Claims management companies didn’t put all of their eggs in one basket, instead hedging their bets by creating lots of small websites targeting specific niches. These niche websites are quick to rank and convert due to the highly targeted nature of the content. In a similar manner, legal firms can maintain revenue by perusing the same strategy. These microsites can target people at all stages of the conversion process from big hitters like PPI claims through to niches such as lease extension calculators, this type of exposure safeguards the future of your law firm.

Expect to pay around £1000 per microsite (less if you order multiple sites based on the same framework) however bear in mind that having a keyword rich domain is key to its success. If has already been taken, then consider one of the other domain extensions e.g. – the extension doesn’t matter, its having the domain name that counts.

I currently own the following and am happy to donate them to a worthy client who contracts us for the design, build and SEO:


For more information and to discuss a wide range of online marketing and SEO for your law firm contact me today on 07719181166.

Web design ranges from £1000 and SEO from £1000 per month depending on complexity and competitiveness.

Buy Windows 8 Cheap – Tip wait until 26 Oct

OK so i nicked this deal off of but as seen on the official website, if you pre-order Windows 8, you’ll have to pay the full price of £39.99 however the little disclaimer accompanying this price states that if you wait until after October the 26th, you will be able to buy windows 8 at the knock down price of £24.99. that’s a massive saving!

Check the screenshot below as proof!

Amazing Cheetah Animated Infographic

Just discovered this on my fav designers hangout Its a brilliant infographic on the speedy cheetah created by Jacob Oneal. I can only assume that this is a combination of line trace, and rotoscoping with illustrator and flash to produce a stunning monochrome (which keeps the file size down) infographic on the cheetah.

cheetah infographic

Well done Jacob! Props to you!

Fix error 3194 when updating your iPhone to iOS6

iOS6 for the iPhone was released today so i fully expected to be able to update my iPhone 4s to the new operating system.

I updated iTunes to the latest version, backed up my phone, transferred purchases and did a second backup to iCloud before downloading and installing the iOS6 update.

To my dismay, after downloading and unpacking the update iTunes popped up an error 3194 message saying my phone couldn’t be updated.

I Googled error 3194 and followed a series of spurious tutorials involving changing my hosts file and blocking the Apple update servers without success.

Now at work, I remembered that you can update your iPhone from the Settings menu.

20 minutes later SUCCESS! My iPhone is now the proud platform for Apples latest mobile operating system.

If you’re in the process of updating and want more info on this update try the following resources that I have found helpful in my early iOS6 experience.

My advice is ignore the strange advice for fixing error 3194, and just let your iPhone do its thang!