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 February 11, 2011 by Jexley
Back in my college days I was a bit of an outsider as a Montana Mountain Boy at Texas A&M. I didn’t have a lot of friends and my interests almost solely resided in an altiude > sea level. I loved hockey though and even though I’d only mucked about on a frozen pond, I got some cheap inline skates, a cheap plastic stick and fashioned a net out of leftover plumbing from the junkyard.
I went out, found a parking lot, and played. I wasn’t out to make friends or find like-minded folks, I just wanted to play. But the other stuff happened anyway. One day a couple of guys, who were from up North too, pulled over and asked me to come and play with them on Sundays. A great group got bigger and bigger and soon they built a league. Those two guys graduated and got married and I took over the league, filling my days with the thing I loved most.
Fast forward more years than I’m happy to count out loud, and those two guys are still at it, doing what they love and inviting others in on it. Through the magic of Facebook they’ve found me again, and have "pulled over" on this Interwebs Highway and said, "Hey, you’re doing something we like doing too!"
They like web stuff, I like web stuff, and we’re all good at it.
They’ve recently launched Cherry Tree and here’s a few of Tay’s words on it:
Our vision is to create a web product that helps parents change the child’s behavior through two mechanisms; 1) positive reinforcement by the parents and other key figures in the child’s life and 2) an incentive based gaming mechanism that keeps the child engaged and habitualizes the behavior. Or put more simply, think of it as a super duper sticker chart combined with a Facebook-ish status and messaging system that is private to a family.
So, bless ‘em, here’s my two old friends, getting their skates on, grabbing their sticks, and setting a game alongside a busy street.
If you get a chance, pull over and check ‘em out. You never know how it’ll turn out.
Category: Around the Web, State of the Web | No Comments
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
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 22, 2009 by Jexley
Jill Whalen’s article titled, "85 Reasons Why Website Designers/Developers Keep SEOs in Business" actually had me laughing quite heartily, but some of my laughter was in that slightly sad way that wonders why people can’t just learn some simple lessons that will ultimately improve their business.
Meh, we all live and learn and will eventually figure it out when it becomes a deal-breaker I suppose. HA, or the deal gets broken!
Hope you enjoy it though, especially when you either A) look at one and go "Hey, I have a client that thinks that!" or 2) look at one and go, "Hey, *I* used to do that!"