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What's your New Year business resolution for 2024?


Update of article first published in January 2019

Q. What have stopping smoking, losing weight, getting fit…… and increasing business leads got in common?

A. They're the sorts of things more searched for in Google in January than in most other months of the year.

This time of year not only provides a trigger for bettering our bodies and our lives, but our businesses, too.

Some time back, I wrote about ‘intent’ – meaning the reasons and motivations behind why someone searches for ('googles') such-and-such a subject, and some of the things that marketers and business-owners can do to their websites to help their business gets found when googlers are googling.

This time round, we’re talking about intention.

Now, I’m not great when it comes to talking about failure, but when it comes to the subject of ‘intentions’, we’ve all heard the adage about how the road to hell is paved with good intentions...

Believed to have originated with Benedictine monk, St. Bernard of Clairvaux in the 12th Century, a common interpretation of this is that good intentions often fail because they’re not backed up with actions. In the world of psychology, these actions are known as implementation intentions (Gollwitzer, P. M. 1999).

In short, implementation intentions are the things we need to actually do to make achieving our goals (our good intentions) a reality – in this case, growing our business, getting more customers, generating more leads, and attracting more visitors to our website. (But applies just as much to stopping smoking, losing weight and improving whatever it is you want to improve 👀)

Without these actions – these implementation intentions – our good intentions are likely to fall by the wayside… and a lot sooner than we might expect.

When we consider most New Year resolutions fail by the time February comes round – depending on which source you go with, 80 to 90 per cent – there is a compelling case for immediate and urgent action!

BTW, known as 'Quitter's Day' the real danger-day is the second Friday in January - in 2024, that's Friday 12th - so, whatever you do, do what you have to do to get past that one! (Much respect if you’re reading this after 12th January and you’re still actively pursuing your goals!)

Okay, that’s us done with the talk of failure.

On to growing our business, getting more customers, generating more leads, and attracting more traffic to our website…

HubSpot’s ‘State of Marketing Trends Report 2022’ report revealed ‘generating traffic and leads’ as the Number 1 challenge among businesses worldwide.

Unfortunately, however, as the Content Marketing Institute points out, the actions needed to support these priorities aren’t always followed through.

Why is that?

One of the best (and most tried and tested) ways to get more website visitors and generate more leads is through Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

First, though, just what is Search Engine Optimisation?

SEO specialist, define it as ‘the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic (non-paid) search engine results.’

‘One of the best ways to get more website visitors and generate more leads’, you say?

Yup. And proof abounds...

Exhibit A

In their 122 SEO Statistics For 2024 (Trends & Insights), demandsage talk about how 93% of web experiences begin on a search engine... and that SEO-generated leads have a 15% closing rate.

And to bring it closer to home, may I produce some evidence from my own work with businesses in the UK and Ireland…

Exhibits B, C, D and E

  • The client in the services sector who saw a 64% uplift in web visitors following implementation of my SEO recommendations.
  • Another client in the services sector who went from being all but invisible in Google search to ranking #1 for all the things he wanted to rank for... and outranking some serious big-hitters in his sector at the same time!
  • The B2C online retailer who quickly increased visitor traffic and grew online sales through some very straightforward fixes.
  • The e-commerce business that saw significant increases in visitor numbers and, crucially, conversion rates by acting on some clear, concise guidance and advice.

In each of these examples (I’ve loads more where these came from), the business-owner was surprised at how relatively simple (and logical) it was to do the things that generated the sorts of results they were now seeing.

For many of them, they didn’t know what they didn’t know – something they were happy to admit, by the way.

And this is perfectly normal: many small business owners lack awareness and understanding of exactly what is meant by SEO and what it can do for their business.

There’s no shame in this. I don't know much about industrial abrasives, double-glazing for listed buildings, or Krav Maga (google it!) - just some of the many types of businesses I've helped get more business from their online presence.

Other barriers are confusion and fear. For this I lay a lot of the blame at the door of the marketing industry: far too much mystique (hocus-pocus) has been created around the subject of SEO (and digital marketing in general). Stop it, will you – not only are you putting people off, you're impressing no-one.

Another reason – though very much a subject for another day – is that many businesses believe that their web designer/developer has “taken care of their SEO”. The reality here is some may well have, but most certainly haven’t.

All this gets in the way of you knowing and doing what you need to do – the implementation intentions – to achieve your grand and good intentions to achieve what you need to achieve.

In my experience, very often all that’s needed is some good guidance and advice.

Advice that will help you know what you don’t know; that will cut through the crap you might have heard or read goodness knows where.

If you’re serious about succeeding in your resolution, I can help…

You’re already still reading this article, so that’s a good first step! 😇

What next?

Call me or email me! (My contact details are at the bottom of this article.)

I offer in-house training, coaching and consultancy. I also offer website reviews.

A phone-call or email will cost you nothing!

A quote from author, John Burroughs to finish:

“The smallest deed is better than the greatest intention.”

Thank you for reading.


About the author

I’m Damian Donnelly, Principal at Ad_Man Digital Marketing. I'm a marketing and communications professional with some 30 years’ experience in the business.

During this time I have worked with everybody from senior government officials and marketing managers for international brands, to owners of start-ups and micro-businesses… and everybody in between.

I have delivered many 000s of hours of marketing, digital marketing and social media consultancy, training, coaching and mentoring to many, many 00s of businesses and organisations across Ireland, north and south.

I also develop and deliver master-classes and workshops on a range of digital marketing subjects, including social media, digital marketing planning, content marketing, copywriting, search engine optimisation, and web and social media analytics.

I hold a CAM Diploma in Digital Marketing, am an InterTradeIreland approved digital marketing consultant, and a Chartered Institute of Marketing approved tutor.

You can get in touch with me at 00447891 672009 or


Damian Donnelly

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