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SEO - Stupidly Expensive Obfuscation!
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SEO - Stupidly Expensive Obfuscation!

SEO - Stupidly Expensive Obfuscation!

Yes I know. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation but I decided the above definition was more appropriate in many circumstances! Just in case you are not entirely sure what it actually is about, let me explain:

"SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results."

Thanks to https://moz.com for the above definition.

Why this article?

I'm writing this article now because of the experiences some of our clients have had previously. I suspect these stories will sound familiar to many of you and, as 2020 has just started, you may well be thinking of investing in some marketing to grow your business. You might think about getting someone to help you get more visitors to your website. If so then I hope these words will prove to be a helpful guide to you.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin...

Once upon a time, not so long ago, there was a barbers called Razor and Trim Barbers. It was owned by a chap called Dazza. They were based in Chelmsford. They weren't getting much business and decided to hire a SEO Company, who went by the convincing name of Honest Joe SEO.

Promised to deliver!

Honest Joe SEO promised Dazza that they would get them to Page 1 of Google within 12 months for only £500 per month. At some point during that year, if you typed "Razor and Trim Barbers Chelmsford", they they were, top of Google! If fact, if you also typed in "Razor and Trim Barbers in Chelmsford", "Razor and Trim Barbers in Essex", "Razor Trim Barbers Essex" there they also were, top of Google. 

Dazza was of course delighted and happily kept sending £500 to Honest Joe SEO every month.

Doubts begin to creep in

He did begin to notice that they weren't getting much in the way of new customers though and Dazza expressed his concerns to Honest Joe SEO. Honest Joe SEO assured him that all was well, they were top of Google and hundreds of new customers were only a mouse-click away, so they carried on. For 3 years in fact.

£500 x 12 months x 3 years = £18,000. This was considerably more than the cost of their website, which was built with a template bought from Theme Forest for $59. This is a sizeable investment for many small businesses but if it was bringing in lots of business, it would certainly be worth it. Your website, after all, is your shop window, 24/7 and it makes sense to invest money regularly to get more people to come to it.

The unvarnished truth

One day Dazza was round at a friends house chatting about the situation. The friend picked up his tablet and typed the following phrase into Google: "Barbers in Chelmsford". This is what you would type if you didn't know the name of any barbers in Chelmsford and you wanted a haircut. 

Razor and Trim's website was not on Page 1 of Google. Or Page 2 for that matter. It was actually on Page 3. It wasn't on Page 1 for "Barbers Chelmsford" either, or "haircut Chelmsford" or any other combination that didn't have the name of their business in it!

Dazza stopped using Honest Joe SEO. 

This isn't an uncommon tale, I'm afraid. The names may be fictitious but the figures involved are accurate. Dazza had no comeback, Honest Joe had delivered on his promise, the Razor and Trim website was top of Google but not for any phrases that their potential clients might actually be searching for!

What next?

So Dazza was feeling despondent and flat broke but still needed to get more people to his website, what on earth could he do? He asked other business owners that he knew if they had any ideas and one of them had heard of some chap who seemed to know a lot about Google and was putting on a free seminar about it. Dazza went along, hoping to pick something up and he learnt more in that one seminar than he had in last 3 years!

He understood that the Google looked for an awful lot of different things when it came to ranking websites and that, whilst it would be very challenging to do them all, most of them would cost no money and all he had to do was more of them than the other barbers in Chelmsford did. 

Taking it into his own hands!

Most business owners are short on time or money (usually both but one is always in shorter supply than the other!) and Dazza was no exception. He rebuilt his website himself using a cost-effective solution he had heard about at the seminar and started putting into practice what he had learnt, every single day.

Progress was slow at first, learning new skills is never easy but he kept at it and, once his website was live, he started adding new content regularly, using techniques he had picked up from the seminar. He kept remembering that all he needed to do was more than the other barbers in the area and eventually he noticed that his website started to go up higher on Google for search terms such as "barbers in Chelmsford"!

Happy ending!

Within a matter of a few months he was on Page 1 of Google for all the generic search phrases he should have been on for in the first place, all for a low initial outlay and no ongoing monthly fees!

All the information that you need is out there, you just need to be willing to work at it!

If you would like to come along to a presentation about Google, why not follow this link to find out more information and get yourself booked in! Information overload guaranteed!

Remember, I don't sell SEO myself, so there's no hidden agenda here!

Clive Loseby

Access by Design and Run Your Own Website

Award winning web design, Chichester.