Access Loft Storage was a full site rewrite, triggered mainly by the fact that the owner was unhappy with his current web designers. The brief for this one was short and to the point: make it very search engine friendly – it needs to sell loft storage!
Dodgy SEO practices
The site owner came to me after losing his patience with his current web designers and SEO consultants, who had set his site up for a very low cost, but were then charging him more and more money every few months to get a good search engine ranking. The odd thing was that every time he paid them (£100, then £200, then £400 – all within the space of a few months), his ranking would shoot back up. My suspicion was that they were using some dodgy SEO practices.
Make sure you always check your designer’s terms and conditions
An added complication to this site was that his designer’s terms and conditions stipulated that everything belonged to them – the domain name, the content, the photos, and the site design – and that if ever anyone wanted to move away from them they would charge a full year’s hosting (and of course the price of their hosting wasn’t publicised anywhere on their site).
Use Nominet to get ownership of your domain
I’m sure that none of that would have stood up in court, but we decided to just rewrite the site and reclaim the domain name through Nominet’s dispute resolution service, at a cost of just £12, rather than pursue them through the courts.
Good on-page SEO practices
So although the layout and styling changed, in order for us to get that page 1 ranking the main focus on this one had to be the words, and as you’ll see the content is full of search engine-friendly keywords, yet without any keyword-stuffing (which loses you search engine points).
So did we get that elusive page 1 ranking? Almost – he ranks on page 1 for ‘loft storage Durham’ and on page 2 for ‘loft storage Newcastle’, and it won’t cost him any more than the cost of a website build. Plus he has a much prettier website to play with. And it all belongs to him!
Update 2020: unfortunately Access Loft Storage was taken over by new management last year and they decided they didn’t want to renew the website.