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Simon Taylor | COMMENT AND OPINION


SIMON TAYLOR


OPINION


I understand what an algorithm is, I get that my website needs to be ‘on the fi rst page’, but then it all becomes a bit complicated


aving recently sold one of my businesses, I decided to dedicate time and effort into updating my Simon Taylor Furniture website. As part of this project, I have hired a PR and copywriting agency and a separate SEO (search engine optimisation) agency. One uses e-mail to communicate with me, the other uses some kind of new-fangled system where everyone shares information. One works to deadlines, the other to time-led projects. Both are very good, but while I totally comprehend what one is saying to me, the other might as well be speaking in Greek a lot of the time. I understand what an algorithm is, I get that my website needs to be ‘on the fi rst page’, but then it all becomes a bit complicated. So, here goes… I have a website promoting kitchens,


H


bedrooms and bathrooms in the main and it has a menu, like all websites. That menu, like many of the websites in


our industry, has drop-down subfolders entitled


Contemporary Kitchens or Traditional Kitchens and the same for the other room categories. From there, it unsurprisingly breaks down the details of my projects into contemporary or traditional options.


I am very happy with this situation, my team and my clients seems to like it, and until recently, so did Google, apparently. I don’t mean the people at Google, who I am sure are very charming – I mean the algorithm. Maybe it is less of a diffi cult situation if you are not working in the kitchens or interiors industries. Maybe there is a magic wand that you can wave to make it all better, but as far as I understand it, the rules of these algorithms keep changing, which means that what works one day, may not work at all the next.


My SEO agency has suggested that I break down the subcategories of the projects on my website in a different way, so that Google and other search engines will pick them up more effectively. But, that means doubling up, as a traditional shaker design might also be a wood kitchen and it may also be hand-painted, and I am sure that most


independents are all in the same boat, here. Whereas before, it would have been easier to actually attribute all these descriptors to each of the projects, it is seemingly no longer possible, as you can only have a single-word option – such as shaker, wood, hand-painted, etc. This limited option doesn’t leave much for the potential customer to go on, in my view.


I am not a mathematician, but it seems to me that SEO


is a minefi eld that is totally at the mercy of minesweeping algorithms. I also understand that the rules change all the time for Google advertising as well – but who knows why or how?


How can the many small businesses in our industry possibly keep up with all these changes? Thankfully, the SEO agency that I am working with is up to speed on all of this and they certainly seem to know what they are doing. But I don’t fully understand it, which feels strange when I am making genuine business decisions about subjects that I am not, and never will be, fully au fait with.


Sustainability isn’t just another buzzword


It was a pleasure to attend the kbbreview Retail & Design Awards in Manchester this year as a guest of Helen Lord, managing director of the Used Kitchen Exchange, which was one of the event’s sustainability partners. I really like the idea of being able


to recycle a pre-loved kitchen, as opposed to dumping it in a skip. As a bespoke kitchen specialist,


it really would hurt to see one of my custom-made designs disappear without trace when it could be


June 2019 · kbbreview


reworked in a new home. Sustainability isn’t just about using the right FSC-accredited timbers and feeling good about that. It is about the circle of life of a product and sustaining that for as long as possible, as opposed to hurling it into landfi ll. I will defi nitely be incorporating this into my business plan in the future. The subject of sustainability was a very clever subject to use as the backdrop to our most recent industry event. The themed April issue on the


same subject was a very good read and I particularly enjoyed Johnny Grey’s suggestion that a kitchen is a ‘collage of life’.


It certainly made me think that while we use a vast amount of sustainable materials in our workshop, by default as well as by choice, we don’t shout about this enough. I am in the process of updating my website, so that will defi nitely be on the agenda, because sustainability isn’t just another buzzword – it is a genuine business opportunity.


kbbr 25


Simon Taylor Furniture’s MD on the importance of making sure your website stays high up the search rankings with Google and how attending the kbbreview Retail & Design Awards made him think about the sustainability of his products and his business


Traditional or contemporary – which does Google like?


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