This week's episode of Dragons' Den featured Gloucestershire jeweller Clive Billing asking for a £255,000 investment in his website

diamondgeezer homepage

Billing received an offer from three of the Dragons (the highest ever in the programme's history) but backed away due to the 40% equity the VCs were demanding. See him here via the iPlayer.

Have the Dragons missed out on a golden opportunity? Or has Billing? We have taken a look at the site to find out...


First of all, there seem to be some discrepancies around the website's search engine rankings. Asked by Peter Jones, Billing replied that his site ranked at 12 in Google for 'diamond' and nine for 'diamond engagement ring'.

I had a look, but the site is not in the top ten pages for 'diamond' while, for the supposedly higher ranking term 'diamond engagement ring' I got tired of looking after the first ten pages. Most shoppers would give up after two or three.

Perhaps he could have used some of that investment to hire an SEO agency...


Trust is crucial for online shoppers, even more so in the case of high value items like diamond rings, and people need to be reassured that their money is in good hands.

With high value items such as rings, many people would be more likely to shop from a brand they have heard of, so is already at a disadvantage there, but what does the site do to ease shoppers' security fears?

One thing it does do correctly is to provide 3rd party logos to indicate server security:

diamondgeezer - server security

However, these are only accessible via links at the bottom of the page, not provided on product or order pages where this reassurance would be most effective.


With the navigation has not gone along with normal e-commerce convention, placing many of the links on the right hand side of the page.

Meanwhile, the main navigation at the top of the page is easily missed, with the links being the least visible on the page. The drop down menu isn't too impressive either:

diamondgeezer navigation

Impulse purchases

Billing told the Dragons that he wanted to attract more impulse sales through the site, of between £25 and £500. For this the site should be as user friendly as possible, making it easy to find items and purchase them without too much friction.

diamondgeezer contact form  

For instance, the site has an 'intelligent diamond search' to help you choose the stone you want according to shape and budget. I entered £500, as this is the price range for impulse purchases, but it won't allow me to search for anything below £800.

To attract impulse purchases, the site needs to make it easy for customers to find items they want within a couple of clicks from the homepage. This is very difficult to do on


I could go on and find more faults with the site, but it's clear that there are plenty of improvements that need to be made, especially to the site's usability and SEO.

It's not all bad; there is a good level of detail on the site, suggesting that Billing has a good knowledge of the jewellery market.

The prominent positioning of contact numbers is also useful, and diamondgeezer may get plenty of sales in this way, rather than via the site.

I was also impressed by the fact that I was emailed soon after abandoning the checkout process, something many other firms are not doing.

I'm not sure that the Dragons have missed out too much, but Billing may come to regret not taking the £255,000 which was offered.

This could have enabled him to spend some money on increasing visibility on the Google, as well as on designing a more usable website which would be more likely to attract online shoppers.

Update: Luke from Diamond Geezer tells me that when the programme was filmed 6 months ago, those Google rankings given by Clive were correct. Since then, the website has been penalised by the search engine.

Diamondgeezer had hired an agency  (It's Cold Outside) to deal with its SEO but since then it is not even listed on Google for the terms mentioned in the programme.

We have sent them a complimentary copy of our Search Engine Marketing Buyer's Guide to help them choose a search agency.... 

Related research:
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): A Beginner's Guide
Usability and User Experience: A Beginner's Guide

Related articles:
Q&A: Shane Lake, co-founder of
Affiliates bag Dragons' Den funding
Hitwise looks at the Dragons' Den effect 

Graham Charlton

Published 31 July, 2008 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is editor in chief at SaleCycle, and former editor at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin.

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Comments (6)

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Clive Billing

Hi Graham, this IS DiamondGeezer as seen on Dragons' Den July 28th 2008.

A fair critic and overview, thank you, we know we have SEO issues at this time.
What follows is a generic response which I hope brings clarity to a few issues raised in like articles and blogs.

First an appeal - come on guys: just because we have consistently failed to identify good SEO consultants DOES NOT make us bad people or dodgy dealers. What exactly has an SEO problem got to do with quality of product or service? Our walls are dripping with DTI awards for excellence, staff training awards, website design awards, jewellery design awards and our customer testimonials sparkle. Sadly no SEO award - the only service we buy in. I'm confused, surely as we have paid for all this work over the years, your industry has so far failed us: not the reverse.

Can I also point out that Dragons' Den wasn’t live, a minor point that seems to have been missed by some less polite and accusing SEO people on various blogs. It was recorded months ago and as I stated very clearly on screen, the positions quoted were ‘yesterday’ I.E the day before recording. Please do remember that we are DIAMOND experts not SEO experts and we do spend and waste it seems, a lot of money within your industry in our quest that our SEO matches our quality of product and service. That means of course that if you have any criticisms about the SEO work on our site then please don't forget it was done by one of your gang and in return we promise not to slag-off your jewellery ;-).

Remember the Dragons wanted in, they respected that the business was doing well and going places, INSPITE OF RUBBISH SEO. Your saw 13 minutes of pure TV, I had a very full on, fun but hard, 2 hour 10 minute business meeting surrounded by cameras and production crew.

Here's where we are.....
In position terms we did well last year [2007] and were holding top 5 positions by Christmas on important search words and phrases. Early into the New Year [2008] we started to tumble and by the time of the recording of Dragon’s Den were slipping onto second and third pages as is now well documented in the on screen reply to Dragon Peter Jones during the program. However as at the 30th July 2008, although we are holding positions on search engines other than Google, we have temporarily dropped off the Google radar, we’re being soft filtered. We now know that this was down to inappropriate actions by our last and now ex-SEO contractor and is being rectified by our current SEO experts. Even we accept that it will take some time to reverse, so now is not the time to judge their work. Dare I say........... 'Watch-this-Space'?

I would like to share one small point of commercialism, a competitor with TWO sites that dominated the top Google positions through 2007 [no longer] turned over 1/3rd of the business that we did. Its not all about SEO and I hope our growth says a lot about the quality of our jewellery, service and brand reputation. I know, I know 'just think what will happen when our SEO problem is resolved'.

NOW if you feel that you, the reader, have some skill or expertise that we could benefit from, great, we invite you to contact us professionally at however it’s probably not a good idea to start your pitch by insulting or berating a potential client or their website with liberal use of Anglo Saxon, as so many of your brethren have.

about 10 years ago



Word of warning - Its Cold Outside are complete cowboys - I have had a lot of dealings with them and they promise the earth and deliver, well, soil.

about 10 years ago


Mark Higgins

3. another word of warning Its cold Outside took over my adwords
campaign and they are absoloutley crap they couldnt even get the
click rates and quality of cliks as a none profestional i had been acheiving

These guys need reporting to trading standards they are a complete
con and should be avoided at all costs

about 10 years ago


Ernie Pallas

We had a web site designed by a company to replace our current three online businesses.

I realised my web designer was strugling with the SEO and pay for click transfer and after being contacted by Its Cold outside I appointed them to copy existing key words and apply them to the new business, what a disaster.

They turned the existing campaing off on our business and orders stopped,they set the new ones up at the wrong rates it cost us a fortune.

The worst was yet to come two months in to the 3 month agreement I cancelled the direct debit I received a phone call from them stating if I give them their final payment they would give me 3 free months because they dont like un - happy customers.

guess what,,,,,,They did nothing it was a ploy to get the final payment from me.

almost 10 years ago


rudd crux

Frankly speaking i Liked Browsing through the site and was also impressed with the designing of the site. Color combination are also beautifully selected to get the best out os the Jewelry displayed. still if u want u can compare it with different site in the same domain. Like,

about 9 years ago


Steve H

I just searched Google and is number 4 for "diamond" and number 1 for "diamond engagement ring". Their current SEO company must be pretty good. :)

On the other hand, I am currently in dispute with It's Cold Outside over their attempts to rip off a friend of mine. He's paid half the money and they've done some "work". His site is dropping in the Google rankings.

These people need to be stopped and if necessary, I will take them to court myself and have them investigated by the OFT.

almost 9 years ago

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