It was a moment of truth; a leap of faith; a belief in the skills of our team and a total confidence that we would succeed.
A short 8 1/2 months ago, on October 31st, our team of seasoned communications professionals launched www.kayakcreative.ca.
We very much wanted to prove that small businesses could successfully compete online. We felt this so strongly in fact, that we set out to compete against the toughest competition of all: established online marketing firms.
In the beginning, we dreamt of some day reaching Google’s page 1 for our primary keywords; we hoped our site would gather steam and get noticed just a wee bit; and we worked very hard to secure the first few clients.
On Jan 30th, we discovered ourselves on page 1 – only 3 months from launch. Everything we’d heard and read said it would take 6 months to a year to accomplish – if we worked hard at it every day. But given we were competing with the big guys, we initially found our page 1 positioning hard to believe. That was until we reviewed how we’d gotten there.
I’d like to share with you what it took and some of our key learnings. Take these to heart – they work.
#1 Google Truly Rules
Google believes that people should discover what they are searching for. If your website is about wine tasting, tilt-up construction or interior design, people searching for those things should be able to find you – not some website that had their keywords typed out on a page 40 times. Key learning: Follow search engine optimization (SEO) best practices.
#2 You Really DO Need Friends
External links are extremely important. Consider them popularity votes. Without those votes, you won’t win any pageants. Read and honestly comment on related blogs and use the opportunity to create a link back to your website. Register with free directories and forums. Use your keywords in those places. Key learning: Submit a handful of links each week. Grow this over time.
#3 Content Relevance is Everything
If your website is about wine tasting, talk only about that topic. That doesn’t mean you can’t discuss cheese or corks – they are related – just keep those topics on their own pages. Google needs to be able to identify what your page content is about. Key learning: Link internal content. Your wine tasting article will undoubtedly talk about cheese. Link keywords between articles for internal support.
#4 Integrate Social Media and Blogging
If your website is static, it’s dead. Nobody will take notice of a static website. One of the simplest ways to keep your site moving is to participate in Twitter (tweet), Facebook (share) and LinkedIn (connect). If your website software allows, automatically share your blog articles each time they get published. If it doens’t, change your website software. Key learning: Spend 30 minutes a day sharing and communicating in social media. It’s networking, pure and simple (and you can do it in your pajamas.)
#5 Incorporate Lead Capture
Even the inexperienced marketer knows that if you don’t have a call-to-action, you simply won’t get any. Key learning: When a visitor gets to your marketing landing pages and fills out a form, they are a highly qualified lead – respond immediately.
Following these strategies and more, we’ve not only been able to reach page 1 for several of our keywords, we’ve also signed on a long list of remarkable clients from all sectors, local firms like Wharton Interiors and national leaders like Rogers Communications, Black Earth Humic, Matco Financial, LOGIQ3, AG Scientific and ELRUS Aggregate Systems to name just a few.
On a final note for this email, I thought I’d share one more success story around page rank, as KAYAK reached a significant page rank milestone last Thursday, reaching a score of 502,495 – a full 21 million steps closer to the top – which (for sports fans) is akin to announcing a new hockey team and then taking that team to the Stanley Cup in the first season. This isn’t the first time we’ve eclipsed our peer online marketing firms, and it won’t be the last. Our success is the result of ethical linking, smart marketing strategies and social media integration along with a lot of hard work by some very talented people.
Side note: With roughly 1.6 billion websites globally, it’s a wonder anyone can find you. Alexa scores page rank for web sites based on the factors above. Check out yours and let us know in the comments section below.
As always, we share everything with our clients, but at the core of it all is still our 3-point strategy of education, marketing and automation for website success. These strategies work and we look forward to deploying them with you.
Should you have any questions about your own page rank, our success strategies or to learn where we kayak, I invite you to connect.
PS – I hope you enjoy my dawn of a new day photograph, taken last summer while kayaking in BC.