It’s a great tongue-in-cheek comment from our clients Cads of Fossgate in York, and in many ways is welcomed as far as we at The Soapy Group are concerned. The comment comes at the end of a 15 month project to get this well respected men’s barbers back in the digital game. 

The Back Story

Established in 1979 by David Smith on Church Street, York. David went on to win over 30 national awards in men’s hairdressing including the Yorkshire championships. They moved to their current site on Fossgate in 2006. Although David still works selected days the mantle of running the barbers has been passed to his son James Smith. Who has served his time at Cads from his apprenticeship in 1999 to the present day.

The middle of 2017 I was approached by James, who has cut my hair since the early 00’s, to help raise the profile of the salon. The business had plateaued for a while as they were relying purely on their very loyal existing customers. Although they are in the centre of what is an upcoming and popular part of the centre of York, the footfall of new ‘walk-in’ customers had noticeably declined over a few years. Their website was vastly outdated and not what Google wanted to see. In fact, you couldn’t find them at all on Google searches for the relevant keywords you would expect like Men’s Barbers, or Men’s Grooming in York. The website wasn’t mobile friendly, with no updates for 5 years. From design and accessibility it wasn’t friendly either, it simply didn’t reflect this business and its 40 year heritage.

The Action Sequence

We immediately set about removing them from the only search promotion they were doing which was on YELL, and set about building a new website. Explaining that the commitment to rebuilding the brand would be at least a 18 month project with ongoing support through SEO and marketing support. The new website was launched in October 2017 and we set about working on their Search Engine Optimisation to raise the profile of the website on local searches. The branded keywords are the easiest to work with first getting then to position one on Google only took a few weeks. We knew that the more local generic keywords would be harder working on with ’York’ as the local focus. 

SEO is a real bar brawl and we are fighting with every other Men’s Barbers in the York area to get them as high up on page 1 and if we are lucky the holy grail of position 1. The more generic the search term the harder it is to get Cads to the highest position. So the ultimate goal is to get the Barbers on page 1 for the most generic of search terms like ‘Barbers’ or Mens Grooming’ without the local (York) tag. Relying on Google to automatically find them at a local level search.

Back to the start..

This week at our catch up meeting I presented James with his latest SEO report, of which I was able to show him that for all but the most generic of search terms the word ‘Barbers’ without a local tag. Every other generic and local tagged generic search they were in the number 1 position. This has been achieved and turned around in 15 months, from no presence to the coveted first spot. Of course this can only be measured by getting bums on seats. The increase in new clients through walk-in appointments has increased by 70% compared to 2014 leading them to employing 2 additional staff. Which leads me back to the comment made by David Smith to both myself and his son James, “We don’t want to be any busier!”.

You can’t have effective SEO without a great looking and accessible website and vice versa. And although we have got Cads to the number 1 spot for most keywords we have to fight hard to keep them there. We compare it to retaining your boxing champions belts by making sure you are constantly in the ring and winning your fights. Like boxing it is a long term commitment to make sure you are in that fit shape for the fight.

If you fancy entering the ring and getting your website higher on Google: get in touch today!

Cads for Men Website