This month, I want to share a little success story with you. As a website designer, I often get asked about the big Google and how to rank well in search engine results. Those of you that know me well will know that I’ve always had a bit of a love-hate relationship with Search Engine Optimisation (aka SEO) – mainly because of the lack of control one has over the results (I don’t know, maybe I’m a control freak!). I like to know that for a certain amount of effort, I’m going to get a certain result back.
And yet, maybe it’s time I reconsidered my stance. Although the correlation between effort and results is not always completely linear, sustained input over time does produce results.
My challenge for my own website was to rank for the term ‘Oxford web design’. Although a local term, it’s pretty competitive – over 8 million results. Even worse, the nature of the game (i.e. web design) means that most of those targeting those key words know what they’re doing… which is always a bit of a pain.
But in the past few months, I’ve moved from a position of no-where (i.e. page 3 – 5), to no. 6 on page 1. Granted, a position in the top 3 would be better, but this is a significant shift in a competitive area.
By an entirely natural process of content writing and link building. I resisted the urge to employ someone to build links for me. I did spend some time writing articles for sites such as ezine etc, but this dropped off when I got more busy with work. I believe the main reasons for this shift in rankings were a) continuing to build natural, high quality links in to my site, b) continuing to write high quality content on my blog – not as often as I’d like, admittedly, but often enough to prove to Google that I’m still around, generating unique content about my field, and not likely to disappear overnight, and c) the domain has aged – it’s no longer a complete newbie, treated with suspicion by Google.
This is an entirely non-scientific analysis, but it’s worth highlighting that it’s persistent effort over time that gets results. It’s a slow burn game… so if you’re struggling to get your site ranked, don’t give up yet! Yes, take a good look at what you’re doing, whether your site is properly constructed, and whether your keywords reflect the content of your site.
But perhaps more than anything – employ a bit of persistence – don’t give up!