Posted on April 6, 2011 by Jexley
After a few months worth of thinking about it, I’ve decided that I’m not going to offer SEO any longer.
The Sisyphean adventure of trying to educate the marketplace on certain aspects of this industry while still trying to win business and convince people that I’m A) better than my competitors and B) actually good too, was just too much.
I thought I’d get smart, and create a Client Expectations Document, where I outline in precise detail each step of the project. Where I give minimum time limits to wait for results. Where I politely make it clear not to ring me, just email me because it’s so much easier for my life.
And these things all got ignored. Not by everybody, but by just enough clients that I realised I wasn’t actually happy with a new project any more, I was dreading it. I was waiting with dread for each new client to cause problems, or expect things outside of project parameters, or to simply stop returning my emails…
I started this business because I wanted to help people with their websites. I wanted to give them analysis and reports that mattered, that made sense to them, that told them important things about their websites. I started doing SEO because people were looking for it (nobody seems to search "web analtyics expert" much) and because it could pay the bills.
4 years on, and that’s all I’ve been doing… paying the bills.
Actually not quite. Little by little, I built some tools in PHP and WordPress that helped me keep up on client reporting, Google Rankings, Search Traffic, and AdWords success. They helped me with Keyword Research, Competition Research, Link Analysis and Overall Website Analysis. I put them on a website called Jex Solutions, and made it a Membership site.
I kind of figured, "Man, these tools do SO much for MY business and MY clients, I’ll make them available for all!"
Then hardly anybody signed up. Then those that DID sign up, couldn’t figure out how to use anything. It was an epic failure.
But, by that same token, it was a tremendous success. I learned more about what really makes a website successful than I ever would’ve just looking at stats and graphs.
I started a blog, open to other web folks of wonderfulness, called Stone Soup – Recipes for a Better Web. A place for web professionals to take a no-holds-barred approach to blogging about the web. A place where we could say bad words as much as we wanted and bag on clients that pissed us off… all with a lesson, of course.
I’ve registered, and have big plans for, Have a Good Website, a site that’s going to have anything from the basics of picking a web designer to the intricacies of finding the right kind of inbound linking plan for your SEO.
I also wrote a book! A romance, followed by one I’m working on that’s sci-fi futuretasticness. The books, and the wonderful people I’m involved with in my writer’s group, have inspired me to make a website for authors called Page Buoy. It’s not bulit yet, it’s in progress, but it’s going to be unique and pretty awesome for writers of just about anything. I’m stoked.
And finally, wife and I are about to have our 4th child. Little Boy Blue is due on the 20th and I’m going to take a few months off just to enjoy my last child, my baby boy.
During that time, I’m going to:
- Finish Page Buoy.
- Publish my first book.
- Finish my second book.
- Build Have a Good Website.
- Revamp this website, and have a slew of reports to choose from, that all centre around Making Google Analytics Simple.
- Revamp Jex Solutions, to showcase the Web Consulting side of my business.
- Have a kickass time with my new baby.
Sure, it’s a lot, but it’s what I want to be doing.
Wish me luck.
Category: SEO, State of the Web | 1 Comment
Posted on May 27, 2010 by Jexley
I Know! Woulda thunk it?
Search Engine Land has an article on some data that a mob called "Chikita" has run on their assorted sites.
While I am usually loathe to chime in on such a ridiculously obvious concept as "#1 in Google is better than #2 or #3" I do love me some data.
According to the data they ran, the top spot gets twice the clicks as the second spot.
To be honest, I like this kind of stat and I always, ALWAYS try for #1, but with such a hugely diaphonously amorphically ever-changing thing such as Google’s algorithm, who would honestly have the time to spend getting a client from #2 to a #1 spot for any given keyword?
Once again, maybe the folks at Search Engine Land can all hang around and play with their linkfarms and leverage their 50,000 blog posts and articles to try and boost a client for one keyword spot, but I don’t personally know anybody that plays in that kind of sandbox.
That said, the stat that hit me the hardest was where they figured out that a site at #10, the bottom of page one (but still ON page one) gets 143% more traffic than the #11 spot (the TOP of page two, but still ON page two).
That’s a pretty big deal.
And THAT’S the kind of thing a fella can chase as a goal, not something as finely sliced as going from the #2 position to #1.
Going from Page 2 to Page 1 is a much more attainable goal, and I’m pleased to say that I’m at about a 95% rate with my clients and their targeted terms. And for that 5%… I’m actually still working on that, even though they may not even know nor have paid me in months.
Bit of a pride thing, I suppose.
Later folks, and if you’re doing a #2 and want to switch to a #1, I don’t know that I can help you. I’m no urologist. HA!
But if you want to go from Page 2 to the Front Page…
Have a Good Website.
Category: SEO, State of the Web | No Comments
Posted on April 12, 2010 by Jexley
This article made me giggle: Deadly Sins Against SEO: Part 2 specifically because it mentions SEO tools and warns against them.
This on the heel’s of the launch of my own SEO Tools & Services site (grown from this site) is funny to me. Mostly because I agree with what they’re saying, just not how they’re saying it.
To be honest, you shouldn’t trust completely in ANY tool that supposedly does all the thinking for you. But, doesn’t that hold true to just about anything, anywhere? I may think so, but I may also have an overdeveloped common sense. Heh.
SEO Tools are just like anything else, a tool, not a machine, and they should only aid in your own mental machinations NOT do it for you.
I even put that in all my reports, the part about how all those numbers and fancy terms are for reference, but I wonder sometimes if anybody reads that bit… heh.
Have a Good Website.
Category: SEO | No Comments
Posted on April 12, 2010 by Jexley
It’s Official: Google Now Counts Site Speed As A Ranking Factor an article from Search Engine Land makes me genuinely wonder if they’re somehow not allowed to write articles on things that they speculate on or theorise and instead have to wait for Google to corroborate anything before they write about it.
Because personally, I’ve been telling people that Site Speed is a ranking factor for over a year now. The truth is, it’s safe to say these kinds of things because almost everything is a ranking factor! Even the fact that you link to your site from that blog post you wrote about how tired you are of picking up your dog’s poo.
It ALL gets factored in. Think about it, Googs has to find out what it can about your site from what it’s given. No magic, no guesswork, no pure fabrication (probably), they hit your webserver, download your pages and see who talks about you, and similar stuff, out there on that big ol’ web.
So take every factor you can think of involved in that process above and consider them ALL ranking factors, for they surely are whether Googs blogs about ‘em or not.
Have a Good Website!
Category: SEO, State of the Web | No Comments
Posted on May 28, 2009 by Jexley
One of my favourite’s over at Search Engine Land is Jill Whalen, a gal who’s sentiments echo my own so often that she has been known to come to my rescue in a forum or two when I haven’t communicated my point properly.
She’s done it again, with something that hits very close to home with me in an article titled, "Using Analytics To Measure SEO Success"
It has only just occurred to me that my last post was about another article written by Jill… cue the creepy stalker-esque music and I’ll get back to digging through her garbage. Thanks.
Back to it then, the reason this hits home so much is that I am in exactly the boat she’s writing about. Servicing SME’s that can’t take their eyes off a ranking report long enough to pay any attention to their analytics. That, or the fact that there are just some things that the Googs chooses not to show those of us with free accounts, asking for the world and paying nothing for it.
About a year ago, it came to the point in my business that I was so befuddled by the lack of certain functionality in analytics software that I decided to write my own.
I wanted to know the basics, because my clients want to know the basics, and most of the stuff that I want to know isn’t that different from the stuff that they want to know.
- I want to know WHO came to my site. IP can tell me where they’re from basically, so that’s what we’ve got to work with there.
- I want to know HOW they got here. What keywords did they search on to get here? Direct links from somewhere else are super too, but that has little to do with my SEO efforts, so I want to know what their search results looked like when they chose to click me.
- I want to know WHEN. Which, when it comes down to it, is really just about how long they spend on each page. Easy as.
- I want to know WHAT they did on my site. I want to know if they cruised my portfolio or if they just went straight to the contact form. I want to know if they read this somewhat dissociative tripe or if they went to the pages and pages of sales and marketing bleah that I’ve got elsewhere on the site.
- And the big one, WHY. This is the tricky bit, that is more than an analytics program can handle. But still, I want to KNOW it, and my software can help.
What’s that? "HOW" has a "W" in it, so shoosh.
So I wrote something I call SEO Success and I’ve been using it on clients’ sites whenever I can. I’m close to unleashing it upon the unsuspecting populace, so if you’re interested, drop me a line and we’ll talk.
Of course, if you’re one of the chosen few already using it. Drop me a line and tell me how I can make it better.
This one has been priceless in helping me with my business, and I bet it can help others too.
Until next time, Have a Good Website.Next »