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A large company in the UK has suddenly appeared 2nd in the SERPS for our two main key phrases (they weren’t even ranked before this week). The thing that has got me confused is this:- say the phrase is ‘banana monkey’…this page that is #2 in the SERPS does not feature ‘banana’ anywhere on the page (I’ve checked the source code and everything.

So how did that happen?

By the way – the page has no inward links (internal or external) and has no PR

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Writing in blogs, writing landing pages, link building and analysing Analytics data….and keyword info just to make sure we aren’t missing anything.

Our competitors have launched a new product line – looks like they are backing away from competing directly with us which is always good news. They have great timing as we have won exclusivity from the supplier.

The PR didn’t work – they got back to me and just didn’t get what I was saying at all. I explained it further and still they didn’t get it. I guess my level of understanding isn’t the only barrier to entering the PR world.

Our rankings have been up and down a lot just lately. Our 2 main KW in particular dropped about 6 places (both at the same time interestingly).

Yesterday I spent some time writing in blogs and one of those KW is back where it was. There’s no way that the work I did yesterday has pulled through that quickly yet but it’s a nice feeling when you see them flick straight back up there. I also spent some time fishing for links, although the response has been far from overwhelming – as per usual I guess.

Ok so it sounds really corny and I know that but you can’t do these things enough. Unfortunately I have learnt this the hard way – but I guess at least I’m learning.

This week we have been screwed because of another company not doing there half a project properly, what gets me is that I should have been prepared for them to make the mistake, expected it and pushed their hand so that they couldn’t make said mistake. In short, it’s my error for not seeing the possibility of theirs.

What other companies do has a huge impact in what we do on a day to day level as well as a crisis management point of view, whether they be competitors, suppliers or service providers. I need to prepare for other people to mess up, expect their worst and push for their best.

Our rankings are starting to creep up now although my secondary KW seemed to have stumbled for some reason. I am laying the second site to one side for the next couple of weeks and really get some focus on the original – ready for the gift giving season. Traffic is starting to stall now and I would love to get some growth before the holiday season. Historically our natural traffic has grown 700% since September last year. That makes me smile.

I finally had a bit of a PR breakthrough! I was so excited on the way into work thinking of all the things that we could make out of this new angle. We have made the initial contact now to see if the other party can see some benefit in working together, now it’s just wait and see I guess. Hopefully they will come back soon, even if it’s a negative response.

Then something bad happened. Basically I spotted a mistake a few weeks ago – asked for more information and when they didn’t respond I forgot about it, rather than following it up like I should have done. Today it came back and bit me on the ass. That sucks. Lesson well learnt for sure.

The trade fair yesterday was dead. The halls were half full and there was loads of free seating in all the restaurants where last year even the floor space was being fought after. Either people didn’t have the spare capital to invest in seeing next season’s products or loads of people have already gone bust. Last week was a real tough week for us, pretty much the worst week of the year so far.

I’ve been having a look at the SERPS over a longer timescale this week too and I’m impressed with the improvement listings wise but not with the traffic that we are getting. Given the improvement I really would have hoped for a more noticable increase. This may have something to do with the seasonality of some of our products. Actually that’s not true. We get slightly more traffic than we did this time last year but that is impressive as that traffic is 100% natural whereas this time last year we were spending £500 a year on PPC. Maybe I should be a little more impressed. My next goal is to get to page one for some of our periphery terms, we are hovering in the top few of page 2 at the minute for my favourite one.

I’m going to get more focus on to the second site this week – there’s loads more product that I could uploads and with new pricing from pretty much all of our suppliers I need to have a look through that too. One of our departments is called ‘things’ and we are now on page 9 of Google for the keyword ‘things’ 🙂 I don’t think that’s so bad for saying it’s not been live for long.

We are finally feeling it.

We probably felt it before today but this week it has been really noticable. Interestingly the fall in sales and enquiries has not been matched by our traffic – which has remaned constant (although not growing). Personally I think this reflects that people will still buy, but they are being much more careful where they place their money – and so doing a lot more research into the market.

Times like these really make you consider other opportunities and ventures that otherwise would have been cast away to one side, we are certainly trying to be more creative in how we are meeting the market and what value our offering might hold. In particular we are putting more time into generating B2B relationships, by working together with other companies that might be feeling the pinch we can create something new (or better value) for the consumer.

That’s always a nice thing to do.

We have come such a long way, when I started we didn’t even have the respect of a small time eBay seller – now we have online exclusivity for our key brand (a brand that now delivers 90% of our sales). Why I’m so happy I could do a lil jig.

We have also had some very positive contact with another supplier of a variation of our product (helped mainly by the progress we have made with our main brand).

I’m still feeling frustrated…I know what I want to acheive but I can’t see clearly how to get there yet. Patience isn’t one of my main assets. I feel like I should be achieving more (although my boss is happy with what I’m doing at the minute)….my tension headaches seem to have backed off since I had a day off last week.

So the Best Awards are meant to acknowledge the ‘best’ ideas that take ‘integrated communications into tomorrow’….but it’s not is it. It’s meant to promote Marketing agencies. As I don’t work for a marketing agency I can’t enter. I’m not saying that I have done anything particularly worthy of said prize (maybe there are others that deserve it more) but why should my work go un-noticed just because I happen to be in-house?

Had the awards included non-agency marketing departments then I would have most certainly put forward my company for development of talent as I feel they have supported my development over and above what many large corporations would have. As I am part of a smaller company my development has been tailored personally to me from when I start work to my breaks, time away from work to study etc. They have also allowed me to really take a hold of my own learning and grow myself (letting me visit fairs etc that I suggested rather then being forced to attend).

I feel rather bitter….can you tell?

We went to a trade fair yesterday, which was not a complete waste of time but not as good as I was hoping. There is another one in a few weeks that should prive more fruitful. More importantly I did get to have a really good day with my boss and chatted about really random things like glass ceilings and MBAs right through to family and friends. It’s so important to have a positive relationship with the people that you work with, while I work hard for me and for the business I do it for them too – it’s not that I don’t want to let the team DOWN, I want to be driving the team forward and into new things.

We did have a duplication scare on Friday which our technical guy managed to sort out in the end (when we got hold of him). I was petrified that all the new text I had put into the new site was a complete waste of time…it doesn’t look like Google has seen it yet though. Everything that I had added to the secind site was also added to our original site – I was SO not impressed.