I spoke with a client today re the SEO work we have recently done for one of their sites. Whilst doing the research I had come across a .co.uk version of their company that linked to a local directory site (name withheld!) which they had forgotten about.

I enquired as to when it was purchased and how much it cost. Apparently it is costing £30 a month and they are signed up for a year, it actually has been of no benefit at all so far and I think I can explain why:

1. The directory purchased the .co.uk extension in order to put up the site, so first mistake is a new domain name with no Search Engine history.
2. The website is a 2 page site – quite heavily stuffed with keywords for one particular town (not even the town where the company is based I might add!)
3. The targetted keywords for the site (from the meta tags) are all longtail 3 and 4 keywords and again focus on one town (not the town of the business!)
4. Looking at the keyword phrases I determined that the site ranks on page 1 for 22 of the 30 phrases – Great!! you’d think, sadly very little or no potential customers search for these phrases. Although the directory will use these results to hook you up for another year.

In conclusion the charges of approximately £360 a year could have been better spent on the Client having their site optimised in the first instance. It is not a large site and there are plenty of free direcotry listings that will bring in qualified and useful traffic from potential customers. We are confident that within the next few months the site will rank for some of the more generic terms that will result in sales and referrals.

UPDATE: This post was originally written over a year ago – I’m happy to say the Client is still a Client and got enough enquiries in January and February this year to keep them busy until July! (Bathroom Installations, with a peak period of the first three months of the year).

Don’t fall for the directories clever salesmen who prey on the ignorance of small business owners. The majority of the time they don’t even know what they are talking about and are reading from a script. Our service is bespoke and designed to help YOU and not to line our pockets. Our SEO is affordable because it is about small business owners like you and we aim to keep it that way.