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Category Archives: SEO

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.

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 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.

Something that has been on my mind no end just lately – growth. We’re falling into a recession, defined by the fact that growth in the economy is zero or negative, it’s not completely illogical to see sales and business growth at the very least stall. It eases my mind to think that this is happening to everyone and so I should just sit tight and wait, I’m impatient though – I don’t want to wait.

That aside I’ve been thinking about the size of the market in the first place. I want to double the sales for our main product in the next 6 months. To do this I’m going to get us better SERPS (as a starting point anyway) but what happens if we rank #1 for all our keywords and we still don’t see an increase in sales….then I guess we’re reaching the complete market. Then what? I guess then we have to consider other types of marketing as opposed to solely online (promotion, advertising etc). By reaching #1 we capture the entire market that BROWSES for our product but what about all those people that simply search by brand name. So therefore we need to strengthen the brand and raise awareness so that more people search for us as opposed to just our product, if we can also add an intrinsic positive feeling with the awareness that would also help battle some of the ‘buying online’ demons that people still have making it even more beneficial.

Complete brain fart there, but I feel like I’m getting somewhere.

One of the main issues that we have found more recently is that we have some nice SERPS for our main product base, but we’re really struggling with the more periphery terms for the other non-related products. That’s logical I know but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. I want to be on page one for everything. Inside I know that because the terms aren’t related my task is impossible (hence the second website).

We have chosen to split out some of the less related products into the second site. Personally I think that we could tread down a dangerous path if we’re not careful. One thing we can’t do is over specialise, it’s too limiting. It would be a lot easier to optimise a website that only sold tyres to the term ‘tyres’, but what value would that hold for the shopper? Also I think it gives people less choice and there is less chance of cross-over from other products. Not the path for us anyway.

We made it to page one for our three target KW within about 6 months of me starting here (we came from page 20 so personally I don’t think we did too bad). But then our focus changed – inspired by a change in the seasons. Unfirtunately we didn’t start working on the new terms until the season was upon us and so even though our SERPs for this second batch of KW did improve drastically, it just wasn’t enough.

So now I am putting my focus back onto the original products….periphery terms if you like. See the thing is that I actually think these periphery terms hold more value to us than the original terms did (I think we got our KW research wrong). As always we won’t know for sure until we get great SERPs and then I can analyse the difference in traffic etc.

Back to the title then, this week I have mostly been updating text.

We have over 100 product pages (probably a lot more – I have never actually counted) each within categories. I am basically sorting through each product to increase the density of the specific keyword (rather than the more vague ones we were using before). At the same time I’m trying to keep in the vague terms so that we don’t slip in the SERPs for those.

Thing is – we have.

The main problem being that we made 2 or 3 relatively large changes around the same time so I don’t know what has caused the (slight but still more than I am happy with) drop. It could just be natural forces and competiton but I don’t think so…

I’m going to keep plodding on making text changes but I’m also going to keep a watchful eye on our original KWs. Hopefully it’s just a blip.