doncharisma, don charisma, Website Maintenance

Getting A Failing Website Back On Top

The Beginning

new-beginning-smallI have a good old friend of more than 20 years back home in London, England. The UK economy according to the politicians is doing great, but ask most people on the street and you’ll hear a different story. My friend has a property maintenance company and the tough economic conditions have really put a strain on his business. People are more reluctant to spend their money on anything that isn’t absolutely necessary, because they aren’t all that confident in the future.

I could write reams on the whys and hows and the whats that have caused this, but I’ll leave that for you to decipher on Google with words like “Lehman Brothers”, “Outsourcing”, “Ciprus, Greece, Spain”, “Quantative Easing” etc. Mainly I wanted to write about what I’m doing to help my friend, which is to help him find customers and get his business back on track.

empty-wallet-smallObviously my friend doesn’t have a lot of available cash, so I’m helping him on mates rates and being very generous with the timesheets. Which means long hours for virtually no pay! He’s not a University graduate nor has he spent millions of hours in front of a computer screen learning how to make them work. He’s a hand’s on skilled craftsman, that’s his business and what he’s good at. He needs customers and work, but doesn’t have the skills to promote himself in the high speed and quickly changing world of internet. So that’s where I come in.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’ve had a varied career. I used to own a plumbing and heating business in London, going back a few years now. I at the time developed my own website, promoted it on search engines such as Google, aka SEO. Did my own marketing. Did everything that the business needed myself in fact.
One of my first tasks is to get his website back on track and people finding him again. He had a friend setup his website initially with Squarespace, and for quite a while it was working well as a marketing tool. But as with all things, they change, and now he’s not getting found and views aren’t turning into leads or sales.

Maintenance for the website

website-maintenance-smallSo what’s wrong with his website ? Well it’s been hacked around, bits added and taken away, bits lost, as I said before my friend isn’t a graphic designer, a coder or even that much of a writer. He told me that the website had been attacked by hackers, and this had mean’t that some of his content had gone missing, which has had an adverse affect on his search engine rankings.

Visual Aesthetics

typographic-design-1-crop-smallAlso I look at the text on the website, it’s difficult to read, paragraphs merge into one another, long boring lists, grammatical errors, no big surprise that visitors are not picking up the phone to book work. I reckon usually less is more with websites, but the less needs to be quality less if that makes sense! So there’s an exercise in getting the presentation appealing and attractive, pleasing to the eye.


key-words-smallThe keywords he’s using aren’t personally what I’d type in Google if I was looking for a carpenter, handyman, decorator, landscape gardener, plaster, tiler, builder etc. Sometimes Google is clever enough to know that someone looking for “decorating in london” is looking for a “decorator in london” sometimes not, depends on which keywords. So there’s a keywords exercise, the key to getting found on Google.

Unique content

unique-content-smallThe website had been partly reliant on customer comments for unique content. This is quite a clever way to get unique content on a website. Unfortunately we can’t get the missing comments back onto the website, the web hosting company was rather unhelpful when we thought we’d found a solution, sign of the times really. So there’s an exercise in getting unique content back onto his website.

Promoting the website

promoting-the-website-smallThe website has a few high ranking websites that link back to it, this helps in getting found in Google. However there are many other possible opportunities to get links back to the website, which would enhance his chances of getting found. He doesn’t at the moment have a blog, or facebook page, which could help. So there’s an exercise in promoting.

Put all this together and it’s a massive job to do it properly and get him found highly ranked on Google. Obviously I’ll do the best I can for him within the limited budget and constraints on my own time.

The order of things

So here’s the order of things to be done in order to get him back on top :

1-one-crop-smallSort out the aesthetics, the grammar, make the website look like that of a business a customer would want to hire. Add some more well chosen pictures. Add some more content.

2-two-crop-smallGet the keywords organised and make sure they are present throughout the website. Keywords have various places to go including meta tags and things like descriptions on images, titles of pages. All this helps in terms of getting found.

3-three-cropped-smallGet the unique content back on the website, make a page for the old customer comments and include it in the website. Do a page or pages with previous jobs that he’s done with before and after photos.

4-four-cropped-small4. Promote the website on relevant directories and try to get backlinks. He has already requested a promo video, that will end up on youtube, so this will help, but still needs a voice script and before and after photos joined together.


I’ve already started work on the website whilst I’ve been writing this article. I’ve managed to make the website look a lot more presentable, corrected grammar, added some nice pictures and links, some additional pages and added some new content. I have managed to recover most of the lost customer comments and added them back on a new page. I’ve simplified the commenting system for guests.

All of this has taken quite a few hours, well days really, as it’s amazing how long some of those “little jobs” actually take. Even just adding an image and getting it nicely spaced on the page, adding keywords and a link, can take a lot of time. On the upside all of this effort does start to make things look very slick and hopefully my friend’s customers will think so too.

Oh and I’ve done some “before and after” videos for a YouTube promo video he’s having made.

I will write more later as things progress.


The “Bad” Website –

36 thoughts on “Getting A Failing Website Back On Top

  1. Hi Don! Your blog is very informative! When did you start blogging? I am just starting…thanks for the “follow”.

    1. Hey thank you and my pleasure 🙂

      I’m an old hand with IT and internet, but only started blogging a couple of months ago … it mainly seems to be a matter of persistence mixed with a lot of passion !

      Keep in touch, Don Charisma

  2. doncharisma the blog post is about my company in London.

    We have been friends since we were young.

    At the moment I have put adds on directorys and gum tree. Made a video you can find this all out by looking up London home maintenance.

    I made the name up after living in London in my home and always doing maintenance since I my first job on YTS.

    What I have notice since my site when up over 10 years ago. How other company’s which do not have the same company name have now pay per click with google adwords. London home maintenance does not need to do that.

    But even with all the help from doncharisma business is slow one month has past.

    I have two opinions now go back to college or go on unemployed benefits

    So I enrolled into college to be come a engineer in plumbing NVQ 1

    I’m looking forward it start in September this year 2013.

    But still need money to pay my way and live in London.

    I don’t want to go sign on I just want some business before I go down that avenue.

    So if anyone in London would like some work please send me an email.

    I’m very cheap on charge £10 per hour that’s cheap for London

    Fix price per day £100

    Or depends on age if older person then a lot less.

    Please contact richard @ London Home Maintenance
    Tel: 0207 1834 4567)

  3. This info is great to know. I find myself in a similar place as your friend, no technical or webdesign training. A writer at heart but lost in this new world of blogging.

    What I do have is PASSION and a strong DESIRE to inspire others. It is hard to put a price on wisdom and insight to earn money, especially if you don’t have sought after credentials. Anyway, great post and def. worth re-reading!

    1. Thanks:)

      It’s a bit like, wow I’ve got this great little website by no visitors … don’t worry it’s the same for anyone who ever did a website, now it’s case of getting the word out and promoting your website … I will do a post later on that and also see the comment I replied to about the lady asking the same question, might help:)

      I’ve added you on my links –> friends, you doing the same helps people find our blogs 🙂

      Keep in touch …


      Don Charisma

    1. Hey Adam, thanks for your kind words.

      I’m doing my best for this project with the available tools and my own skill levels. Squarespace is a glorified CMS which makes it relatively simple for my friend to edit pages and add new content, manage the site etc. The downside is limited scope for blank canvass website and lack of flexibility. Next project I’ll do is my own website so will have more scope with that, I’ll certainly blog about it so you should get updates – appraisal from experienced people is always useful 😉

      I’ve added you on my links –> friends, you doing the same helps people find our blogs 🙂

      Keep in touch …


      Don Charisma

    1. Hi Lorraine, I have taken a few moments to look at your website and you blog. The website is fairly much what you need for an artists website, it’s about the art, not reams of writing I think. One minor issue is that personally I would make links for “Gallery”, “Major Shows”, “About” so visitors don’t have to direcly select from the little dropdown menus … it took me a few moments to figure this out and something that might put people off.

      Today’s internet is a challenging place with people having to learn new skills, and for some artists this will be writing. Google works by processing text, so websites, blogs etc need content as well as pictures to get found. Reverse engineer the situation and think about it from the perspective of what would someone put into the search box on goolge if they were looking for a site like yours ? “Lorraine Fossi”?, “oil painting sea scape”? make a list of all the things you can think of, use the reader on worpress to do those searches and then look for what other keywords people are using on the same topic. Once you have a list then these are the tags you need to use on your blog pages, the words you want to include in any articles you write, they are how you will get found.

      Personally I don’t like facebook, it’s too clicky and bitchy and too much ego on there. It’s great for friends and family, I applaud that use, but for any other purpose it’s just a bunch of “aquantances” who at best ignore each other at worst spam each other for their own person gain. Within that you can setup a facebook “page” specifically for your art. There are tools on the internet that allow you to post one article on worpress and have it distributed out to twitter, facebook, blogger and other social/blog sites … might be useful.

      Twitter I’ve not used much, so you’ll have to figure that one yourself.

      WordPress I like because it gives me a forum to express myself, it’s popular and works very well etc etc. First thing is getting content onto your blog, you have some beautiful painting, why not write a bit about your inspirations behind the painting. I’m not very knowledgeable on art so forgive my ignorance if I’ve got it wrong, but when I’m at Tate Modern or wherever, if I like a painting first question that comes into my mind is that I’d like to connect with the creator and find out what they were thinking…anyway, a way to get content, you have lot’s of amazing paintings, but today’s world is competitive so you need to think of innovative ways to adapt and promote what you’re doing.

      For wordpress, be friendly, like other people’s blogs and follow them, there are many other posters who get zero likes and no one follows them, so do for others what you’d like for yourself. Ignore the idiots and the spam, and concentrate on the nice and helpful people.

      Write some articles on your blog which are close to your heart and stir up emotions in others, but don’t get too personally involved. For instance I wrote an article on a scammers page I found this has had the most hits out on any that I’ve written. People have reblogged it, shared it, liked it and praised for me doing the expose. People like drama, think of how newspapers get people to buy ! But try and keep it matter of fact, and if you were writing about scams for instance, be 100% sure it’s a scam before you write. I’m sure you’ve got the idea by now. Personally I’m interested in scams as learning about them helps protect me from them.

      People have fairly short attention spans, so use images to keep their interest and the flow going. There are many millions of images on google images. MS Paint or Photoshop you can resize, make adjustment, add text, plenty of possibilities there.

      Reblog other’s articles from time to time, but don’t rely on it, a blog full of reblogs isn’t really a blog.

      Search for your keywords, articles and people and blogs that you like, visit their about page, leave positive comments for them, like them. A lot of success I feel at this is “How to win friends and influence people”, be nice, be positive and people will like you and what you’re doing. Obviously there are plenty of haters and dumb people, but there are some people who’d great a great deal of enjoyment from your work, so spend the time to reach out.

      If you have money there are many many options out there for getting traffic into your website. So if you have consider things like Pay-Per-Click, adwords, professional SEO and marketing companies. But be warned it’s possible to waste a lot of money for very little gain, and people who are actually good at these things tend not to be short of customers.

      Hope this helps, please let me know if you’ve any more questions. I’ve added your website and you blog to my links->friends, you doing the same helps people find our blogs 🙂

      Keep in touch …


      Don Charisma

    1. Ah thanks, my pleasure … what a great site you have, really great for on-a-budget interiors !

      I’ve added you on my links –> friends, you doing the same helps people find our blogs 🙂

      Keep in touch …


      Don Charisma

  4. WOW! they don’t make friends like you anymore buddy 🙂 you are a great mate! Now where were yo 5 years ago when me and hubby went under,huh? lol
    You are right, they say business is picked up and economy recovering but for many,its dire in the U.K. especially London. The work you did with your friend is remarkable and I can attest to the internet being a great clientele builder.

    In our time,60% of ours was internet based. I really wish your friend success which I believe he’ll have,you’ve done more than half the job already 🙂
    Now don’t forget to keep up with him though, if he’s not great on the computer as you say, he’s still going to need you to hover just a little longer .

    1. Hey Dotta, thanks for your kind words:) Sorry to hear about your business, not sure if I’d have been much use 5 years ago, I was having some troubles of my own then, thankfully things have improved in the positivity realm of my life!

      There’s still a lot for my friend to do for his business, in the current climate he has to compete and compete hard, so I reckon most of his spare time should be tied up in marketing.

      This is not without reward for me, aside from satisfaction of doing something creative and helping my friend, it’s useful experience for future business that I’m planning – along the same kind of lines helping businesses compete in a competitive market.

      I’ll be hovering like you say but do believe in the old saying – “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” …

      Good luck with you blog and I hope positivity graces you with her presence:)

      I’ve added you to my links->friends

      Keep in touch …


      Don Charisma

  5. The site has several typos!

    In the very first paragraph, the word their is mis-spelled as “there.” The sidebar with customers’ feedback is mis-spelled customer’s…in the sidebar on the right hand side, the word save is capitalized (?).

    It looks good but you need to have a copy editor review it.

    1. Hey Caitlin, doh ! Ok thanks, at least one of those I’m responsible for – “customer” plural belongs to ! Our budget is virtually zero, so I’ve asked my friend to see if he can enlist family and friends to look it over for errors and help with some of the missing content… thanks for your help, I’ve added you to my links->friends:)

      Keep in touch …


      Don Charisma

    1. Hey Karyl, my pleasure … like the way you’re sharing the simple things in life and making them fun, amazing effort … good luck with your blog …

      I’ve added you on my links –> friends, you doing the same helps people find our blogs 🙂

      Keep in touch …


      Don Charisma

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