At the beginning of October we were seeing a lot of people download our ebook and it was getting some great reviews. However I'm never satisfied with that; I want facts and when someone invites me to read an ebook I view it with skepticism. Very often those peddling information are just looking for methods of making money because the techniques they've written about don't work. If they did, why write a book?!
OK, ours was free, but it does come loaded with ideas and promises that many will assume are wrong or just plain inaccurate. I don't blame you. On the face of it, it was a piece of marketing that has resulted in us receiving a lot of calls and so we are now helping even more people with their websites, it worked.
But I wasn't happy. I'm guessing that many of you having read the ebook and laughed out loud at the amazing humour, simply closed it down and didn't do any of the things it suggested. I reckon you thought ‘Hmmm, interesting', maybe sent it on to your IT friend who said “it's rubbish” and the consigned it to the recycle bin.
Go on, admit it. Who actually did everything in the book?
Well, I did.
On the 5th of October I bought a domain name : “www.birminghamlaundry.co.uk”
In my planning stage, I put together a list of words that I wanted to be found for. Now, this was a quick experiment and I didn't want to go crazy so I referred to ‘Calloways Law' (it's in the SEO book), and decided on “Laundry Service Birmingham“.
I then created a *really* basic web page. So basic that I didn't tell anyone in the office because they'd just laugh at me and I'd be embarrassed. For the sake of disclosure, if you haven't already guessed, I don't do the graphics in the company.
On the 8th of October I uploaded the site and then got to work using the techniques talked about in the ebook. I used a number of websites and tools to make the process easier, but the basic techniques are all there in full.
I checked this week and would you believe it, it's number three on the front page of Google!
Well, I'd believe it actually because I know these techniques work. I also know why we don't use them on your sites and why if you asked, we'd never guarantee to get such results in such a short amount of time for such a new domain.
Good question, let me give you the answer…
First of all, a brand new domain name will have trouble competing with those that have been round for a while. One of the key things that Google looks at when analysing a site is the age of it. We've only been around for a month and so we've got little chance of succeeding against those that have been around for years. Granted, in the example above I've beaten some really old sites, but my mom says I'm special.
Secondly, until we've done a lot of research, we really don't know who or what we're up against. It's really difficult to give advice and we certainly don't give promises.
Lastly : longevity. My new site probably won't stick on the front page for long. Give it a couple of weeks and those companies I've just knocked off the front page will get all annoyed and start beefing up their own SEO campaign. As they've been around longer, they'll probably beat me pretty quickly and it will take another couple of months before I'm up there again.
That last one is the biggest problem. You are a demanding lot and you want to be top of Google tomorrow! I'm being kind, you probably want it yesterday. So you read all these spam emails you get sent saying “48 hours to the top of Google” and away you go with your PayPal account and fifty quid and buy some guys service and voila he does it. And then you're not on Google at all.
How SEO should be done
SEO is a dish best served like tapas. A bit at a time, giving customers a little bit at a time without letting them engorge themselves with number one positions straight away.
SEO rankings can go down as well as up. You will *NEVER* be in the top three forever. You will very often dance around a bit and sometimes go on to page two. But the longer you keep at it with subtle changes and constant work, the higher you will get and the longer you will stay there.
If you want to be on the first page of Google consistently, making sales and getting more customers then you need to start now. Want to get sales next Christmas? You need to be planning your SEO before this Christmas.
Marketing companies have known this for decades. Traditional industry has been planning ahead since the industrial revolution, yet in the Internet age there is a belief that you can just press a button and fix everything tomorrow.
Ask Cadbury's today when they're planning for next Easter – they'll show you the storyboards for their advertising campaign. They've been planning for months.