Practical Ideas to Boost Conversion – 2 Case Studies

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As we end our series on conversion, I want to reinforce that a low conversion rate will cripple everything else you do online. You can’t afford to bid in PPC, your efforts in SEO will yield small results and affiliates won’t promote you.

In today’s increasingly competitive online space you need to focus attention on boosting your conversion rate.

The good news is, there are systematic processes for boosting your conversion. Today, we’ll take some of these processes and look at two case studies looking at sites submitted by Market Samurai users.

Case Studies

A quick recap on our conversion maximisation series

Hopefully you got some good ideas from our four part series on conversion. If you missed some of it, here’s a summary:

Part 1 – Why testing is critical to maximising your income online, the benefits you’ll get by becoming an active tester and our free conversion checklist for maximising the profit from your website.
Part 2 – How and where to test as well as the “Big” reason why folks don’t test.
Part 3 – Seven techniques you can apply immediately to boost sales and conversions.
Part 4 – Overcoming logistical problems & how to be your own highly paid conversion consultant.

Don’t forget our free conversion checklist.

So back to the case studies…

An Expert Blogger Without an Income stream – Case Study #1

Market: Teaching children with learning disabilities


Our first case study was submitted by Rachel, an expert in teaching children with learning disabilities. Clearly passionate about her topic, the content quality on her site is first class. However, the site has a weak call to action and isn’t yet being monetized at all, so we take a look at:

  • Beefing up your call to action response rates – we look at how Rachel can raise opt-in rates, and get more leverage from the brilliant free report she offers. We suggest she’ll do this by changing visual layouts, ‘benfitizing’ the call to action (hmm – that’s not a real word…) and ‘objectifying’ it, e.g. making it appear tangible.We also make reference to a great post by James Dyson showing some brilliant opt-in layouts).
  • Orientating visitors to reduce bounce rates – this is a content rich site, written by a passionate author, but it fails to quickly orientate and connect with its target audience. The outcome is we expect Rachel’s site will likely suffer from a high bounce rate.We discuss some simple structural changes that she could use to address this.
  • Quick and easy ways to boost reader engagement by making her content “Sell” – Eugene insightfully walks through two simple techniques that Rachel can use to better engage visitors.
    • Firstly, he tells us how rearrange headlines and and bullet points by moving away from ‘feature’ lists and instead ‘leading with benefits’. The trick is that we can greatly increase the impact of our copy when we engage the right hand side of the brain first with a juicy benefit and then justify it (for the left side of our brain) with a solid feature to back it up.
    • Secondly, he looks at the way users often skim read rather than read in full, and how to arrange our content to maximise response from visitors who do this.
  • Techniques for testing profitability before creating your product – Rachel is an active and expert blogger, but yet to publish her own paid information product, Eugene gives a number of techniques she can use to test the commercial viability of her market (and likely make a few dollars) before she writes her own product.

So check out the review with this video:

An SEO Consultant “Doing Most Things Right” but Crippled by a “Message to Market” Mismatch – Case Study #2

Market: SEO Consulting

Site review done on
(Adarsh, the owner has now moved his site to

Our second case study was submitted by a Adarsh, an SEO consultant. Adarsh gives us a great opportunity to work down our conversion checklist [link2] as his site contains a commercial call to action (he’s giving out free SEO consultations as a lead generation activity).

At first glance, Ardash’s site seems to tick all the boxes. It’s got a clear call to action and some solid design elements. However, if we are correct, and Ardash’s major income stream is through SEO consulting and SEO services, then a number of key issues exist:

  • Boosting response by matching your message to your market – Adarsh gives away a guide to ‘starting your online business’. Typically this kind of offer might appeal to non-business owners looking to start an online business out of hours.However, as an SEO consultant, it’s been my experience that the money is in targeting people who already run successful businesses (either offline or with a hybrid online / offline model).So the free offer may be poorly matched to the target market, and an offer around boosting business through SEO might make more sense.
  • Stand out in a tough market with strong niche focus – Selling SEO services online is a very competitive space. Your offer must stand out to cut through the clutter and so we look at ways Adarsh could specialise or select a niche market to improve his offer.
  • Increase conversion by testing soft vs hard offers – He can try offering a free report, a non-threatening ‘soft’ offer which is great for building lists; or doing ‘two step’ marketing where you ask for money later. But if we’re correct then Adarsh will make money when prospects book in a free consultation (what I call a ‘hard’ offer, because folks know they’ll get a phone call). If so, then Ardash may want to look at more aggressively selling the free consults both by increasing the profile of the free consult offer (it’s currently buried and obscure) and by highlighting the benefits (tell people what they’ll learn).
  • Boost sales by creating service widgets – Clearly Adarsh offers a range of SEO services, but these would be overwhelming to most prospects. By grouping the service offerings into bundles Ardash could remove confusion and boost sales.
    Finally, I should say, Adarsh is very clever. He’s an SEO consultant and managed to get himself a site review on this website – a high traffic site with lots of visitors looking for help with SEO! Hope you win a few jobs Adarsh :-)

    So check out the review by video:

    Would you like to see more site reviews?

    Do you like the site review format? Is this something you’d like us to do more of? I’m thinking of occasionally taking users’ websites (with their permission of course) and reviewing the SEO and link building that’s being applied and pointing out growth opportunities. Is this something you’d find interesting?

    Are there other topics you’d like us to focus on? We’d love your suggestions in the comments below.

    All the best with boosting your website conversion!


    Ben (& Euge!)

Ben has written 10 post(s) for Noble Samurai

65 Responses to “Practical Ideas to Boost Conversion – 2 Case Studies”

  1. Hi, nice post. If I may add, in the second case: Ardash should make his homepage a static one, definitely. He should put more focus on creating a page with a good CTA instead of all those blog post dancing on his homepage. :)

    In the end, it’s the landing page that sells best, right?

  2. Excellent Post, i really do love case studies.

    “Orientating visitors to reduce bounce rates”
    I feel one of the biggest mistakes people make is when using banner advertising and do not tie the image seen on the banner to the landing page. I have noted a 50% bouncerate was reduced to only 15% when showing the same image they saw on the banner on the landing page above the fold.

    Conversion rates are so critical!!! please do more like this.


  3. Real-world case studies are just about my favorite kind of information. When the case study is on one of the most important subjects there is – conversion – I’d watch every single video or read every single post you did.

    So…just wanted to quickly give a big thumbs up for more of these in the future, in addition to thanking you for the great content – as always.

    By the way, we have the “cobbler’s children” syndrome right now – we do this stuff for a living, and are fairly busy with clients…but our website was hacked up pretty quickly, and we have about 30 improvements on our to-do list which we haven’t gotten to yet. So we can tell other people what to do to make their sites perform better, we just can’t do that for our own ;)

    But my point of that ramble is…once we’ve done some of the things we know we need to do and we aren’t embarrassed of the site any more, I’d love to see what you thought of our efforts.

    Thanks again, and keep up the great work.


  4. I can’t tell you how useful I’m finding this series.

    And especially the reviews… would love to see more!

    jules replied:

    and I have a massive conversion issue..
    so if you need another guinea pig to review.. I’m your girl!

  5. My first though when watching these two videos was, “How brave these two people are!”, so I want to thank both Ben and Eugene for being gentle :-)

    Excellent techniques, tips and suggestions, I made copious notes and need to review your Checklist again – this is so beneficial to see real sites being reviewed, I had a couple of “Aha!” moments and will be working on tweaking my own sites a.s.a.p.

    Thanks possums, loved this type of blog post!


  6. Nice post, the first case study in particular gave me some great ideas for a project that I’m currently working on.

    Remember that all your pages are conversations with real people. If you can understand who your target audience are, what their needs, and the needs of their businesses are then it makes it so much easier to target the benefits of your offering.

    Unfortunately, not all potential customers really understand their needs…

  7. 7

    Yes love real case studies. Pick me Pick me please!

    Might be interesting to others in that I had the site built before buying MS and currently it’s very hodge podge with a 72% bounce plus a low average time on site.

    Just yesterday set a home page Ab test as per your series.
    Anyone else with comments can send to me on
    All tough love welcome.


  8. 8
    On July 21st, 2011 at 8:44 pm
    dnbproduction said:

    Hey, loving the website reviews guys! Great work! Definitely keep them coming. I’m a visual learner and I love absolutely live videos so these reviews are right up my alley.

    You guys rock!

    dnbproductionʼs last blog post… Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio Review

  9. I hang on every words you guys say and thank you for great advise and a great tool in Market Samurai. You have put me in a position where I feel I am challenging with the big boys in a small niche of a very big pond.

    I produce my own product for my niche and at times find it hard to translate your advice in to my niche. I would love you guys to review my site (blog) and get your advise on how I move this on to the next level

  10. Excellent article and videos Ben & Euge.
    Getting traffic to your site is only one piece of the puzzle, being able to convert visitors and get them to come back is another. I’ve picked up many great tips from your videos on how I can improve my conversion on my own sites.

    I like the site review concept, I am part of a Mastermind group who regularly review each others sites, and its sure is a greatway to improve your sites and brainstorm new ideas.

    Thanks for sharing,

    Ps. I love MS, keep up the great work :-)

  11. Hey guys,

    Thanks for the critique.

    Actually there are two mistakes in the critique.

    1. My main business model is NOT selling SEO services
    2. My name is Adarsh and not Ardash ;-)

    SEO “was” one of my business models earlier. But right now, my main aim to to generate leads for starting a business. I do SEO consultancy on a very limited basis as I am full with most of my personal projects.

    You can see that the entire theme of the blog is geared towards helping people start an online business.

    I guess I am giving the wrong message because you have focused on my SEO page. But that was a great advice. I have been reading social triggers and guessed the page was too wide. But, since it wasn’t my main aim with my blog, I couldn’t find time to “fix” the issue.

    Now, why I stopped providing SEO services mostly is because people prefer US or UK based providers. I cant argue because there are tons of SEO providers from India who don’t know a thing about SEO but claim to provide top 10 rankings. Some of my clients had such a bad experience in the past.

    Your suggestions for the tweak in the headline was at the correct time. I was thinking whether it was worthwhile or not. In fact, I have a separate landing page for my offer at

    I’ll go ahead and try to implement some of the strategies you mentioned (Especially the picture. It’s a bit outdated. I mean, it was taken 4 years back!!!)

    I modified my about page after reading an article on social triggers by Derek to optimize the about me page.

    Thank you guys. It was an awesome review!!!

    Ben Stickland replied:

    Hey Adarsh.

    We did worry that we might have misinterpreted the focus of your business, so my apologies for that. Given the focus of your business then our suggestion that you ‘bring your SEO services’ to the frong is obviously wrong.

    Hopefully some of the other suggestions will still be of value.

    In terms of selling SEO services, it’s a competitive space and I can understand that there’s probably more money in running your own projects than selling the service.

    I can say however, that the outsourcing we’ve done of link building and content writing has been mostly been done through providers in India, so I think ‘Western’ companies will go to India.

    If it is something you’d still like to pursue (assuming you could win the business), then I have a few thoughts for you. Firstly, I must confess, before I started using outsourcers like you, I heard stories of Indians being hard to communicate with (e.g. they’d always tell you what you wanted to hear, rather than the truth) and generally working with an overseas provider was just ‘to hard’.

    The experience for me was very different, after a few recommendations, I found myself some providers that are on the end of a skype call most of the time I want them. They’re also honest and hard working and apart from us each getting used to the others accent, they’ve been easy to communicate with.

    The challenge for an Indian SEO’er is to cut through the clutter, when dev firms (like ours) are getting hit every day with spam emails from link builders.

    If I were you, I’d pick 20 firms I wanted to work with, and I’d put together a physical (e.g. offline) mail campaign (probably with a DVD in it) that was an honest statement that says “We’re great, but understand you get hit all day with spam, and we really want a chance to prove ourselves. We want to win your long term business, so we’ve taken all the risk out of ‘testing’ us, and we’ve put together an amazing deal…”.

    I know in our case, once we found a good supplier we’ve put heaps of work through them and passed them onto other dev firms we work with.

    Finally, apologies for screwing up your name (my surname “Stickland” always gets changed to “Strickland”, so I understand it’s annoying).

    All the best with your business and hope this post sends a little traffic your way (despite us misunderstanding your primary business focus).



    Adarsh replied:

    Hey Ben,

    Thanks for your reply.

    I am looking to target small business owners if I am to get serious with SEO services.

    TO be honest, most of the clients I had was small website owners who wanted to build 100′s of links for, say, 10$.

    I did manage to get some decent high paying clients as well. But they are hard to come by. Looking at the past 3 years of providing SEO services, I believe focusing on the smaller number of high paying clients was more worth it.

    The consumer space is really competitive. I am not going into the space for money. I dont believe that I need to create yet another product to sell. There are lot of high quality products out there.

    Thanks for your suggestions.

    P.S: I wrote an extremely long review of Market Saumrai at my blog some time back.

  12. This serie on improving conversions is really interesting…
    I already applied some of your advices to my main sites, and plan to apply more.

    I would really like to see other Case Studies like these.
    And if you can review one of my websites, I’m in! :)

    Thanks for your great stuff.

  13. Great Ben – this actually come in a timely matter for me as I am struggling with the same questions and concerns. So this training speaks to me very strongly.

    This is great training and I would love to see more of them and even participate at some point. I am looking at totally revamping my site so that would be great, but this also helps me help my clients so thanks!

  14. Hi and thanks again for these video,s I have personally learned a lot from them, and I do have some improvements to do on my site. I agree with the comment above that both of these people are very brave to let you show everybody the improvements that can be made to their sites, and I thank them for it.
    Keep the videos flowing.

  15. I’d absolutely LOVE to see more site reviews!!! I’ve struggled for 2 years with the whole link building process and hope you do a series on this next!!

    Terrific articles, love your products.

  16. Probably the best 2 videos of yours that I’ve watched. Some really great tips there.


  17. 17

    Yes, appreciate the case studies

  18. Do you work with education sites? We would be happy to have help with attracting more students into a small niche graduate school market.

    Ben Stickland replied:

    Hi Charlotte

    We’re not really looking for clients as such, but in the future, should we do more site reviews (and the feedback has been very positive, so I expect we probably will), a site like yours would be an interesting one to look at.



  19. Couldn’t be more perfect timing. I haven’t been happy with my conversion rates but haven’t known what to do to improve them. These videos will definitely help!

  20. Enjoyed that. Both video reviews provided great insights and inspiration for a thorough site review.

    Impressed, Steve

  21. As I am just 2 weeks from a complete revamp of my website, throw the old one out and a complete new one has been created. I have become a huge fan of Noble Si. This is an extremly great way to teach and my hats off to the people that submitted to this review. The amount of help you give these people is great. I always get lots of direction from everyone of your posts.

    Tks a bunch

  22. 22

    Great insights, I love seeing case studies. I’d like to see more businesses that don’t sell online business-related services (like Case #1) instead of SEO/make money online type businesses.

  23. Very few people can put up their hand or website to be publicly review, so hats off to you.

    Main takeaway from videos: Your pages need to show benefits so visitors can understand why they should invest their time with you.

    I will definitely like to see more videos.

  24. Great idea to review different websites to show what these people are doing wrong and your comments on how to improve is easily transfered to help,improve any ones website. The way you explain is easy to understand and easily remembered.
    I think its a great way to help any business whether large or small.
    Keep going you on a winner.


  25. I would LOVE to see critiques on more sites like Rachel’s — people who are selling something other than small business information products.

    I’ve been delaying the revision of my own site due to some muddled thinking about what is possible for it to accomplish (I’ve changed direction slightly in the last three months)and could sure use your help.


  26. Ben & Eugene,

    You guys have outdone yourselves on this conversion series! As a Market Samurai customer, I really appreciate your interest and investment in my success. It’s nice to know that you have my best interests in mind “beyond the sale”.

    Love the site reviews…I find them to be very informative.


  27. You ask if we’d like to see more such reviews? I say, keep them coming! Superb stuff and so desperately needed.

    Many thanks,

  28. Thanks for a couple of well explained videos on conversion and the structure needed to get there..

  29. Thanks guys. This has been super helpful. Would love to keep getting these reviews. Thanks, much appreciated.

  30. Great information as always Noble Samurai. I will be first in line at the Dojo when you do another website review.

  31. I absolutely love your site reviews! I learn so much more by watching these videos than reading a “how-to” blog post. I got plenty of good ideas from these 2 videos on how to improve my own sites.

    I hope you will do more reviews in the future. Try to review different types of websites offering services as well as sites that sell products and maybe even affiliate sites.

    Thanks for this series of posts!

  32. 2 great videos guys. I would be interested in submitting this site for a review any suggestions I can get from you gurus can only be good.



  33. I think that it is one of the best strategies to do in order to understand better what works and does not than just discussing the concepts. Love the idea of the reviews. I also hereby volunteer my site as well. Thanks for the infos!


  34. Thanks Ben and Eugene-

    Your suggestions were fantastic, and spot-on. I’ve been struggling with low conversion rates and high-bounce rates, and couldn’t figure out why.I see I’ll be busy for the next few days!

    I do have one question about a product: I actually have one, but I’ve been reluctant to put it up because of the high price ($200). Do you think I can, especially if my readers haven’t been “trained” to see offers from me?

  35. The Noble Samurai team makes the best SEO videos!
    Thanks for posting these.

    I’ve been making changes to my site about mountain laurel handrails and would love to hear your opinion.

  36. I have to echo everyone else who has commented – Great videos guys. Helpful, informative, not too technical. Keep them coming, I’ll be eagerly watching for more great tips.

  37. Hey Guys,

    Yes I LOVE your website reviews. Of all the mailing lists I have got on… Yours is the only one I’ve stayed on, after purchasing market samurai (which has consistently brought me traffic).

    I’m quickly learning where I made mistakes and how to correct them. And the site reviews are very effective in communicating the more abstract concepts so that I can clearly understand them.

    As always thanks much for the help! I got way more than my small investment in Market Samurai and greatly appreciate it!

  38. Over the years I’ve learned most of what is discussed here, and yet time and time again I fail to implement many of the items found in the Website Conversion Cheat Sheet.

    The 2 videos on this post were shocking reminders of gross oversights on my part to include elements that by now should be common sense.

    Please keep those reviews-type posts coming. Love ‘em!

  39. I find your website reviews really helpful and hope that you continue doing them. I particularly like to see websites of people selling real, physical products rather than just information.

    I have learnt so much through your videos and would be happy for you to review my site at any time. Keep up the great work!

  40. Enjoyed the reviews. I find it very helpful to hear what other successful marketers have to say. I got lots of good tips from those two videos. I’m going to be busy this weekend updating my sites to incorporate those ideas.

    I would love to see more videos like this. Thanks for your thoughts.

  41. Hi Ben and Eugene,

    The word GUTTED comes to mind. I watched these videos last night at what was way past my bed time, but I couldn’t stop. They were brilliant.

    Thank you for taking the time to make them. I am a big fan, Market Samurai member and fellow Aussie. So it’s great to see fellow Australian’s doing so well in such a crowded market.

    So why am I gutted? Well back when you released Part 3 of the Traffic Obsession series I entered a comment saying how great the series was so far and that I too was reading Cialdini. I also asked a question about his Contrast theory in relation to pricing. Everything in the comment was adding to the discussion and not spammy in any way.

    Yet my comment didn’t make it onto the blog. At first I thought it was stuck in moderation, but eventually a comment posted after mine appeared (only one though). What was also odd was that there were only 5 comments on that post yet part 1 got 133 comments and part 2 got 24. What happened to the rest of them? I doubt part 2 and 3 got so few comments. Plus at the time of writing there’s only 12 comments on this post which is one of the most valuable in the series…where’s the rest? Are there really so few or are they stuck in moderation like mine?

    Anyway after the first post I studiously downloaded the checklist and got to work. I made a load of changes to my site, for what I thought were the better, but unfortunately sales have decreased! Doh. I need to do some more work clearly.

    I was going to submit my site for your review (which has a free optin, and a sales letter upgrade offer) but when my comment didn’t appear I was discouraged to spend the time to write such a comprehensive analysis of my site for what could be a waste of time.

    Of course none of this is your fault. I should have taken the risk with my time and submitted my site for your review despite my first comment not being approved. And I am still grateful for the effort you’ve put into teaching this topic. I’ve learned a lot. Thanks.

    However, I am wondering if your services are available for a critique of my site, at a fee of course? I’d be grateful if you contact me to discuss.

    Kind regards,


  42. Weird. I just posted a comment. It appeared, then when I refreshed the page it was gone. Same as the last time. Where is it gone? Is it in the moderation queue?

  43. I am not a professional at all but the first site (kids with learning difficulties) is clearly way too unfriendly. Is the advice of consultants going to be implementing at some point in time?
    I am saying that because I have a difficult child myself but the site did not persuade me to trust the content on it..

  44. Love your articles, I have just put up my health site and trying very hard to follow your guides and teachings. i have purchased Market Samurai and hope the research pays off.

  45. I have a number of blogs and affiliate sites. I found real value with your reviews. Do more of them.

  46. Very useful information! Keep on doing this. I’ll be waiting for a new posts with training lessons.

  47. Great videos Ben and Eugene, informative and entertaining. They have taken your blog to a new level.

    Yes to more reviews. It’s obvious your viewers can all relate to the many points you have brought up.

    I’v been online for 6 years and do well but have spent heaps of $$$ on would be experts who have not delivered either SEO or traffic. Your videos explain clearly many simple strategies we can all take for little cost.

    Thanks heaps.

  48. Great videos! They are very helpful. Like others have said you can check out my site. We are an eCommerce site, but we offer a free service were we mail a box and have been trying to figure out how to covert more customers with is.

    Ben Stickland replied:

    Hey Brandon
    I’ve seen this kind of offer work really well for eCommerce retailers. If you’re not already, just trial making it really obvious (we put a banner on the home page for two customers with similar offers and it made a major impact on the home page).


  49. I think the whole series on conversion has been very useful to alot of people and the site reviews are the icing on the cake. Even though the sites reviewed were totally different from my online shop, I picked up some things I should be looking at. More reviews please.

  50. Thank you Ben and Eugene for the reviews and my thanks to the people who submitted their sites. I can see a lot of the same mistakes in my own site and would be happy to offer it for a review. I’m ranking well for my main keyword (thanks Ed Dale) but I know my site is just really scattered. I think one of the mistakes many people make is just assuming that a visitor to your site already has an idea what the site is about because they were searching for that information.

  51. I have a somewhat unrelated question. A lot of what I see reviewed is on creating a opt in & building a list. Unfortunately, I never did that lol (shame on me I should do that tomorrow).

    I have a simple single page sales copy to sell a training program on there though… It’s the middle of the night here and I’m completely stumped by my data from Google Analytics for the sales copy.

    According to the data in terms of time on site my absolute best content is the sales copy. It’s engaging even the most fickle traffic sources (StumbleUpon) and getting some pretty decent searches from Google for the product name (fitlish feet). 7 minutes on page from stumbleUpon and 5 minutes on page from google.

    Since launching the product my site traffic has shot up over 150% from an average of 800 visitors to 1300 visitors this month (with almost all the hits on the product page).

    Here’s what confuses me though. Nobody has bought anything. I do see a fair amount click the buy now button but no orders have been processed. Sorry for the long winded comment but I knew if anybody had answers it would be you guys :)


  52. 52


    Yes! Abandon all other blog posts for 12 months – just do site reviewed:-)


  53. Thanks to both of you for helping us!
    Great learning tool seeing sites reviewed and hope to see more.
    Would love to see an actual example of a site that implements your strategies – would that be possible?

    Thanks a bunch


    Ben Stickland replied:

    Hey Liz

    Agreed – we’re working on this. For many of the cases we do for clients they want the info confidential, although I’ve started making it a condition of working on sites that I can show off results, so I’m starting to collect sites. Our own sites we can show off too, so that helps.


  54. More reviews please! I would love to volunteer for a review. :)

  55. Ben, this is great. I have been looking for a write up like this simple and straight forward. I think I have something up my sleeve to work in my site in line with these Practical Ideas. thanks men1

  56. great comments you 2 have on these sites and look forward to more “real” siterewievs

  57. Yes, please share more case studies or site reviews. Your product is great, and seeing how it and your advanced positioning ideas can be applied in the real world is a great value add for us. Kudos!

  58. Hi guys, loved the reviews, keep them coming if you get the time. I must admit, I learnt a bit about conversions. My site is a conversion disaster and to my surprise it is the same niche (well nearly the same as I have to be kind to myself because it is my first site after all and I know the’re a lot of improvements to be done. If you like you can do a review of it although it could be a bit embarrasing but I’m sure I’ll get over it. Regards…Grant

  59. Another great post.

    I purachsed Noble Samurai about a month ago and managed to get one of the 500 Article Samurai. What made me go with you is the quality of the support and training. It is obvious you want to help people improve their web site’s so that they get the traffic they deserve.

    Thank you

    Colchester, UK