The paid-ad market in our industry had become a race to the bottom, with acquisition costs skyrocketing. The only winner seemed to be google. So we could compete with our limited budget, we turned our attention to the promised land of SEO marketing.
This is how we achieved it;
*Note. Any SEO experts, we would love to hear your views/criticisms on our approach to SEO I’ll put on a brave face and take action on those suggestions, but be sure to know I’ll be crying in my bed singing Celine Dion.
In September 2021, we had no idea how to spell SEO; fast forward seven months, and we’re dominating the business water terms. Here’s how we did it (with actual results).
Disclaimer: This article is long; if you can’t be bothered or want to know the end results use this menu here:
- The beginnings
- Google – what are you judging us on?
- Basic technical SEO
- Starting from the beginning – the foundation
- The results!
- What didn’t work
- What the future holds!
We were starting from scratch; we had bought the domain aquaswitch.co.uk that had no historical value, with absolutely no domain authority and little to no organic traffic, we were the 2015-2016 Leicester City in the Premier League; there was no hope.
We were overlooked; the squad was thread-bare, but we had a plan and great structure to get us there.
In the words of Claudio Ranieri,
“Dilly ding dilly dong”.
And it was time to begin our venture into the world of organic search.
This is how we approached our SEO strategy and executed it in a successful manner. There were a lot of steep learning curves and barriers for novices like ourselves. But we adapted and improved every time we hit a roadblock.
We switched our focus to adapt to an increasingly competitive market where the CPA increased to an unaffordable level for a small start-up like AquaSwitch.
Anyway, the best place to start is looking at who we’re optimizing for. What does Google actually look for?
Google – what are you judging us on?
In this article, we’ll take you through each of the steps we took to achieve success. But first, let’s look at what google is actually looking for when it ranks websites, so you understand why we did what we did.
The things google looks for are ‘ranking factors’. Some of these are officially confirmed, and others are pure “speculation”. A little bit of reverse engineering by ‘experts’ has confirmed they are considered a ranking factor.
There are hundreds of minor ranking factors that Google crawls for, all automated by algorithms. Interestingly google did apply for a patent for “manual review” – this hasn’t been implemented as far as we know.
If it has, stop reading!
Here are a few of the key ranking factors that we considered when starting out SEO, which was the focus of our attempts to improve SEO performance.
The ranking factors we focussed on
Here are some key ranking factors we assigned to our strategy; we’ve moved on to the next phase since, emphasising the technical and off-page SEO strategy.
However, these will allow you to build solid groundwork ready to take on your competitors. This is all about building great foundations and then improving them consistently.
Content quality and uniqueness
This is a key focus for any SEO strategist; the quality must be of the highest standard because it’s one of the most significant factors that we have control over in the short term.
You have to build helpful, well-structured content that is easy to understand. Especially for Google to crawl and understand what you are writing about.
This includes a strong page structure, in-depth keyword research, enticing page titles, meta descriptions, and well-written paragraphs that educate the reader. Well-researched keywords and frequently asked questions are imperative.
This, paired with a fast, optimised site, will help you go a long way to achieving organic success.
Is the content you’re creating for your business matching the search intent of the potential customer?
For example, if they’re looking for the term “comparing”, and your page has the intent of just being informational, google won’t like it.
A term like “compare” would suggest that the searcher wants to action something, not learn about something.
If your page doesn’t match the search intent, a user will quickly click off your page. When Google notices all your clicks are bouncing straight off your site, it will assume your page is garbage.
Ensure each page is optimised for the search intent of the user.
Poor search intent = poor page performance.
Is your site mobile optimised?
If it’s not, then you’re screwed.
Anyone who ran a business or as part of a marketing team in early 2015 most likely had heart palpitations and sleepless nights as Mobilegeddon kicked off and destroyed many a marketing manager.
Your website has to be responsive. If it isn’t, that is something you need to fix immediately. If you’re a small business starting out, look to use a WordPress template or similar.
These are all fully responsive and look great; it allows all non-technical founders to have a template that looks great on all devices.
If you’re unsure whether your website is fully responsive?, Google has provided a fun (well, not fun, but useful) tool to check your site’s performance on mobile devices.
If it’s not, this is the first thing to address.
Can it be crawled fully?
Hopefully. if your page isn’t fully crawlable and all your pages are not indexed, there’s a good chance your site will not rank as search engines can’t access the pages easily.
On a side note, if you’re asking yourself, “what the camel is crawlability?!” – I can assure you it’s real and not just (Silicon Valley jargon) random verb used to make people seem smart.
When your site is ‘crawlable’, all sub-pages can be easily accessed through a coherent network of internal links, facilitating Google’s algorithm job of understanding the structure of your website.
To check if your site or any other page is fully ‘crawlable’, use the URL Inspection function in Google Search Console.
If the search engines’ crawlers are prevented from accessing your page (i.e. using Robots.txt), they won’t be able to index the page at all, and your page will simply not appear on the results page.
The bottom line is that if your website has compromised coverage, fix it!
Keep content fresh
Refreshing content was key during our initial months.
Google’s the boss, and it doesn’t tolerate stagnated content. So keep it fresh. There’s always new news; rates go up and down, the world order changes, and nothing stays constant. (Apart from my anxiety, which I assure you, is at alarming levels 24 hours a day.)
Freshness is a ranking factor. For example, if you post a guide on Mac OS, you will need to keep your content up to date with the new updates they release; or your “Everything you need to know about Mac OS” will become out of date quickly.
You need to update pages to keep the content accurate and relevant. If not, your exit and bounce rate will increase, signalling to Google that you’re no longer relevant and demoting you in the rankings.
Why are backlinks important? Backlinks are an important part of a company’s SEO strategy.
Backlinks are essentially a trust mechanism. If a high authority, the trustworthy website is linking back to your website domain is a vote of confidence and signals to Google the legitimacy of the website.
It’s also quality over quantity; more backlinks aren’t necessarily a good thing.
Website A: 50x paid link referrals from spammyspamspam.com
Although Website A has 25x more referring links to its website – they’re all terrible. It will, in fact, have a negative impact on your site and more than likely will lose positions.
The better the DA and lower the spam/toxicity score (depending on the tools you use), the better the link. Industry links are also valued higher.
*Oh, by the way, if this is genuinely helpful – please share this with your friends and maybe even link it on your website; we need those backlinks so we can compete. No hidden agenda here, just blatant baiting for some backlinks.
Domain authority is simply the strength of your domain. The higher the links pointing to that page and the higher the referring page, essentially the higher DA your page will have.
Remember: Domain Authority is a metric that was created by Moz. It’s a prediction of how likely a domain is to appear in search engine results vs competitors.
It’s important to note that:
“Google does not use domain authority as a ranking factor”.
But it does have value. It can be a measurable metric to compare page performance to competitors.
Here’s an overview of how you can improve your domain authority in the short term:
- Quality backlinks over quantity. As mentioned above: 2x high-quality backlinks > 50 s*&tmuncher links.
- Generate focused content that educates and caters to your primary audience.
- Quality content encourages natural backlinks. Make it work for you.
- Research places to procure backlinks using paired content, partnered research, and interesting case studies.
- Gain exposure through social channels and newsletters. Build an engaged following, and they’ll share your work and link to you via their sites.
You can’t cheat domain authority, it’s a long-term strategy but one you must build from the beginning. It’s not the late 2000s anymore; if it was, here’s how you could have ranked:
- Mention your keyword 500 times on a 501-worded page.
- Buy 5000 backlinks from Mr Spammy Spam.
- Stuff with paid ads.
- Publish, and watch the traffic (and dollar roll in).
Would it be actionable? No. Would you have ranked no.1? Yes. Would you still be ranking high? – Absolutely not.
Building authority is a long, hard process – start by nailing the basics and never cutting corners.
Anyway, I’m off to buy 500 black-hat links. See you at the top (lol, just kidding).
It was actually mentioned by big John in 2020 that site speed on mobile is a ranking factor. So if big John says it’s true, it bloody is.
But even if it wasn’t, and your site is as slow as snails, your traffic will flee the scene. Our brains are now unable to wait more than 2 seconds for anything to load.
So if you want people to exit your site immediately, signalling to the Google overlords that your site is irrelevant, leave it loading like an old dial-up connection.
If not, optimise it. Reduce your 301s and use quick-loading HTML. The easiest way to achieve this is using a simple WordPress template with a simple structure.
For more in-depth tips, our friends at Moz can sort you out.
E-A-T is Expertise-Authorativeness-Trustworthiness.
Google states this is an important factor.
Google uses E-A-T to promote content written by experts. For example, in the field of medicine, they’d prefer an actual medical expert to rank highest in providing help and valid information to others.
If someone who’s a magician in the dark arts of SEO starts ranking first with their medical blog, even though they know nothing about medicine, it will cause lots of issues.
That’s why Google has introduced “Authority”, and it’s a huge ranking factor in the medical space. Articles are fact-checked by medical experts to ensure David isn’t trying to fix his acne by rubbing spent nuclear waste because some wizard on the internet said so.
Special mention to Google’s Rankbrain.
To be honest, we didn’t try and work out what their ever-changing Rankbrain algorithm was looking for. When starting out, stick to the basics above; you’ll be surprised at how many websites don’t get that far.
That being said, the RankBrain is everchanging, so we keep an eye out on the information surrounding it, but it adapts query to query, so we tend to stick to the basic factors and stay true to the E-A-T philosophy.
Basic technical SEO
Before we move onto the foundation of content creation, we implemented the basic technical elements to ensure we were starting correctly with our SEO function. We were able to implement these with absolutely no issues, and I have 0 experience as a developer – so it bodes well for everyone.
Set up an XML sitemap!
A sitemap allows Google and other search engines to understand what your website is about. It tells Google where the pages are, essentially a web of your site.
The sitemap will also provide useful information on the priority of your site, when a page was last modified and how frequently your website is updated.
When building a sitemap, you have two options;
You build one manually, or you use a simple sitemap plugin.
If you’re using WordPress, I highly recommend the Simple Sitemap plugin or; use Yoast’s integrated one.
Why? Google actually states it’s a big ranking factor.
SSL is a security technology that creates an encrypted link between web server and browser.
To sum it up simply, it is keeping internet connections secure between the user and the website. SSL prevents criminals from accessing information transferred between the two systems.
No SSL will have an adverse effect on your site. It’s simple to set up; I followed this guide here.
When you’ve successfully done so, “https” will appear before your URL instead of “http”, and you’ll know that you’re now SSL certified.
Your site MUST be mobile friendly
We touched upon Mobilegeddon earlier.
Your website must be mobile-friendly and responsive. This means it adjusts correctly to the device your website is being displayed on.
Google confirms this as a ranking factor here. Ensure your website is built either on a custom build that’s responsive or uses a template that’s responsive from your CMS’s library.
Ensure your site is fast
Site speed is incredibly important. It is a ranking factor, not a huge one – but large enough to take notice. Here are a couple of things to ensure your site runs at a decent speed.
- Use a decent domain name server.
- Ensure you have fast, reliable hosting.
- Use a single CSS sheet – instead of multiples. This way, the browser displays the page quickly and correctly.
- Compress webpages. You can do this with plugins like “Fastest Cache”.
- Minimal image sizes. If you’re using images, ensure they’re compressed and use a web-friendly file type.
Register and set up Google Search Console
This is a must. Google Search Console is important as you want to submit your website to their platform and a sitemap to help with indexing. This will also allow you to monitor your site’s performance and organic growth. You can also use Google Search Console for a variety of measurements, including:
- Disavowing toxic links (*get rid of those spammy sites that will have a negative effect on your site’s positioning).
- Site speed
- Site performance
- Planning your SEO strategy
- Search and keyword analytics
- Mobile usability
Starting from the beginning – the foundation
Firstly to start with, we needed to figure out the key terms to focus on and implement a research strategy. We used this as our starting point and built from there.
Let’s take a look at each aspect of our keyword analysis:
To begin with, we used the following tools to research keywords. This would allow us to work out which terms we would target and how we would approach them.
Keyword tools we used:
All of these tools were free – we had no budget to spend on SEO, so we made use of the free tools out there, and they didn’t disappoint.
We used Google Ads and Ubersuggest for the keyword research (Short-tail keyword research), and then we used Answer the public for the long-tail keywords to understand frequently asked questions around each term to help build out the structure of the article.
Here’s how we used each tool in detail:
As we were already bidding on Google to acquire new customers, we had a history of which keywords were converting. We honed in on a shortlist of highly converting search terms.
From here, we collected the data on all our water terms by looking at search volumes.
We filtered further by only considering the highest volume keywords and added them to a spreadsheet. Once we collated enough keywords, we used the free version of Ubersuggest to review the levels of difficulty and begin mapping out the page structure.
Ubersuggest allows you three free searches a day per sign-up, so use them wisely (Hint: If you stick incognito on or use a VPN, you can usually double this to 6).
*We signed up for a free trial to have unlimited searches and cancelled the trial immediately so we didn’t incur any charges and could use as many searches as possible as we looked to build the key pages.
Once completing the searches, we compiled a spreadsheet of the data with each search term and key details around them. The focus was to look for high converting keywords with a decent volume but not excessive keyword difficulty. We decided which ones to target so that a near-new site could compete over time.
**Spoiler alert. We decided to go for the biggest terms in the market, and it worked!
Answer the public
Answer the public is essentially a tool that collates all the questions asked by the public that relate to your search term.
If you search “business water suppliers” on Answer the public, you will get questions surrounding the key search term, for example:
Now sift through them and ensure its relevance to your target audience, and apply them to your keyword document to help build out the structure of the page.
Once the initial keyword research has been completed, it’s time to move on to the page build.
Reviewing competitors’ content and making it 10x better
As part of the content build, we also looked at competitors’ pages and assessed what we thought they do well and what they do terribly.
Once we’ve established the good and the bad, we look at how we can make the great even greater and the bad better.
This isn’t just content. This is UX too. We establish what is useful to the reader and is going to help them make an informed decision.
This goes deeper than a single page; this is the site as a whole. We find improvements on our site on a weekly basis, reviewing content and recording behaviour on the site to get it as close as possible to perfect.
And there’s always room for improvement.
Look at the structure of the content, the way it’s written, what’s included, what’s not included and most importantly the order of information.
You want to captivate and inform, to get the reader to make a decision, or at least stay on the page.
Page structure and build
Now the initial keyword research has been completed; it’s time to build the page.
We already had our site built on WordPress as it’s easy to navigate and the general technical aspects of it are sound, so there was no need to start from scratch.
Before building the page, we use a Google Doc to build the basic structure, write the content and review the page before setting it live.
Page structure is incredibly important when it comes to on-page SEO. Google crawls each page to understand it completely, and the layout of the page, from the headings to your meta description, every small piece adds value to your SEO strategy.
Firstly we start with the basics of the page. The page title, meta description, URL, focus and secondary keyword – the focus and secondary keywords have already been established and are added to the document for reference to the writer. However, there’s no keyword stuffing here, semantic content only!
The page title
The main purpose of the title is to entice people to click it and therefore receive the relevant information. It’s often so easy to bluntly put the keyword relating to the page or even forget to add a title, leaving a generic title.
You want to optimise the title and get people to click on it. Click-through rates are a ranking factor and indicate to Google that your page is relevant to the search (as long as they don’t leave immediately).
Our formula for writing these is to describe the page as concisely as possible and to stand out from the competition. But, never, NEVER ever use a clickbait title!
Why? Well, it may increase clicks, but people will realise suddenly that you’ve just screwed them over and exit the page immediately.
This will happen a handful of times, and Google will recognise this as the clicks will be high, the time spent on the page will be low, and the exit rate will be extortionate. 10 seconds of fame is not worth the long-term negative impact this will have on your page.
Here’s an example of our compare business water suppliers page:
Funnily enough, Google doesn’t even show your specified title and meta description all the time anymore. They try to match it to the search term entered by the user, crawl your page, including your title and meta description and decide what it will show.
AIOSEO delve a little deeper into this here.
It has an indirect effect. It’s not a direct ranking factor. However, you want your meta description to read well, so the user clicks through onto your page, receives relevant information and engages with the page.
A meta description signals to Google that your page is relevant and therefore ranks you higher.
For proof, John Mueller (Google’s Search Advocate) states here that:
“The meta description is primarily used as a snippet in the search results page”.
And that’s not something that we would use for ranking.
But obviously, having a good snippet on a search results page can make it more interesting for people to actually visit your page when they see your page ranking in the search results”.
Oh, and here’s our current meta for our top performing “Compare business water suppliers page”.
Title: Compare Business Water Rates & Suppliers | AquaSwitch
Meta: We compare business water suppliers and rates from across the market. Get competitive water quotes for your business today.
I’ve done all this, yet Google’s not displaying it?! Unfortunately, Google doesn’t always display the meta description you’ve associated with that page all the time.
Sometimes the right page has the wrong intention for the search, or the title or meta description you added isn’t relevant to the search query.
Also, this occurs when the title or meta description is too short or too long.
Why is the URL important? It doesn’t hold any weight at all when it comes to SEO performance directly. It does signal to the user what your page is about and, therefore, indirectly affects your positioning.
The weight of a URL directly affecting SEO performance is minimal; even big John stated this back in 2017:
Keywords in URLs are overrated for Google SEO. Make URLs for users. Also, on mobile you usually don’t even see them.
— 🐝 johnmu.csv (personal) weighs more than 15MB 🐝 (@JohnMu) March 8, 2017
One quick tip: If your blog or page is time-sensitive, don’t add the date or time in the URL. Leave this to the page itself, especially if you’re looking to update the page regularly. There’s nothing worse than adding multiple redirects to the page; it slows the correct page opening.
Once in-depth keyword research has been completed and the article has been laid out with the correct H1, H2 and H3 (sometimes H4 headings) with notes in each section. It’s time to write the article.
At first, this appears a daunting process, and you’ll feel like you’d prefer to eat paint and listen to One Direction. But with a clear-cut structure, the idea of writing becomes far more exciting (I promise I’m not being sarcastic).
It’s time to write the article. Sometimes we overthink the smallest of details and really can’t get started. We fear it won’t be perfect, and being perfect gets in the way of great work.
Getting the first draft out is the hardest part. But write it, give it a few hours before you self-review or ask a colleague to review it.
All of a sudden, your article is now much closer to perfection.
First review and draft upload into our CMS
Next, we review internally; the person reviews the work and makes amendments across a range of aspects:
- Internal /external link opportunities
Once the first review has taken place, we then upload it onto the CMS (CMS = Content management system -> In our case, this is WordPress).
Once uploaded, we move on to the next phase:
Internal linking and final review
The finish line is pretty close.
Finally, we have someone review the latest draft within the CMS and look at the internal and external links, as well as have a final review of the content and tweak anything that makes sense; it’s then time to schedule the post!
Let’s set this mother live!
Keeping a consistent content schedule is key; it doesn’t matter if it’s 1 a week or five a week, stick to that amount and post regularly – this allows Google’s algorithms to pick up your posting times and ensure your pages are indexed accordingly.
It also signals to your readers when you will post. They will always know that on a Friday they’ll get a fresh hit of the good stuff.
*Unless it’s a crypto blog. then Fridays are a sad, sad day. So Crypto.com, try not to post too often.
And a quick live review
Double-check that you haven’t included anything unwanted like your shopping list in by accident. Our readers don’t need to know why I’m buying five cucumbers on a lonely Friday night.
On a serious note, a quick live review helps you pick up any typos that may have slipped through.
Now the blogs are out; what’s next?
After we began releasing a consistent stream of interesting guides and helpful blogs, we decided to focus on tweaking the current setup to improve performance and get those water terms to the golden no.1 spot!
Here are a few changes and processes we started:
- Rebuilding the pages
- Consolidating failed pages
- Creating new URLs
- Changing the site build
- Building out a full content schedule
- Building out page refreshes on a consistent basis
- Posting to industry publications (Smart water magazine etc.)
- Focusing on meta descriptions
- Title tags improvements
We will delve into these in much more detail when we discuss the results and how we achieved the no.1 spot!
Let’s take this month by month so you can ride the wave of pent-up anxiety we experienced as we tried to break into the top 10 and, finally, the relief when we hit that no. 1 spot.
It certainly was a journey, one that had similarities to a Ryan Air flight:
- An uncertain take off
- A turbulent ascent
- Stability at cruising altitude, no volatility
- Turbulence sets in
- We’re nearly there, sweat dripping from the back of our knees during the approach.
- A very rough landing
- And! Relief as we taxi into our designated no.01 bridge at the terminal! we can enjoy the holiday.
I’m joking, Mr O’Leary – please don’t ban me from your airline.
We will delve into the top 3 keywords we targetted and look at the progression over the months and what we did each step.
Disclaimer: To be honest, we had no intent at all in going for SEO rankings during the first quarter. We had our bets on paid ads – until that market got saturated, asserting our focus on SEO.
It’s worth making reference to the results and the big changes we made to achieve it.
So, let’s look at the cold, hard facts (Or, just bloody take me to the final results; I wanna see that graph!)
Month 1 – 3 No SEO focus at all – June 2021 – August 2021
We only had a standalone page for all water keywords and were bobbing along, nothing special – they were all linked to a single URL:
We were not focusing on SEO one bit as the cost to acquire a lead was still affordable (If only we started sooner!).
Month 4-5 – The big shake-up. September 2021 – October 2021
This is where we implemented a lot of changes and focused solely on SEO performance.
Firstly, we decided to make the following changes to the site setup:
- New 4-step postcode function to improve conversions (A good conversion rate keeps Google happy).
- Rebuilding the pages, creating a toggle builder – faster page load speed.
- Consolidating failed pages – to avoid any keyword cannibalisation (When two pages compete for the same keyword).
- Creating new URLs and redirections to match what the page is about to help improve Click Through Rates.
We moved from https://www.aquaswitch.co.uk/switch-water-supply/ to
We felt the keywords being picked up in the singular “Switch-water-supply” had a different intent. Some were to “inform,” for example: “list of business water suppliers”, and others had a commercial intent “compare business water suppliers”.
After pondering for all but an hour, we decided to make the rash decision to split the pages up.
As you can tell by the redirects on two of the links, that wasn’t the end of it. But we continued into the forbidden land in our quest to get the no.1 spot off of Simon Cowell.
The other big change we made was to the site build. Our website beforehand was visually appealing but had faults in the backend that needed to be fixed.
A bit like Man United (Sorry, Oli).
We needed to get a new engine in the centre of the park and become more reliable, and Inoxoft were the guys!
They were our N’golo Kante.
Our rankings bombed initially, but then over a period of a few weeks, they recovered rapidly, just like when Jurgen Klopp took over Liverpool)!
It was a huge change, and we moved to a new setup of the site that was better, faster, and stronger. (faster and easy to update),
The future’s bright, the future’s organic.
Month 6 – November 2021
Month six was nerve-wracking as it followed monumental changes. We thoroughly reviewed our performance to ensure the pages were performing while picking up the targetted keywords.
Here are the key changes to our approach:
- Solid content schedule. We militantly stuck to a content schedule to build the best content for our readers and customers. We unwaveringly decided on becoming the Wikipedia of the water world.
- Page refreshes. We diligently kept on top of the ever-evolving markets by consistently updating our core pages to be as accurate and relevant as possible, improving our standing on Google’s ranking factor of “freshness”.
- Implemented Microsoft Clarity to an advanced level. This allowed us to hone our focus on the key pages and were able to measure how people interacted with the website.
Here’s the average performance of our key search terms from each page:
|Top 5 Keywords||Volume||Position by month (May 21)||Current Nov 21|
|Compare business water suppliers||210||22||4|
|Business water suppliers||1000||24||18|
|Business water supplier||1000||28||16|
|Business water comparison||110||24||7|
|Compare water suppliers for business||210||25||5|
Please see reference to the results here:
Month 7 – December 2021
Massive changes; we consolidated one of our failed pages to great success, ramped up our guide creation and introduced a couple more elements to our strategy. Here’s what we did:
- Consolidated failed pages. We were overly optimistic about splitting the English suppliers and the Scottish suppliers as volumes were not high enough, and people (and Google) didn’t really care for it. We decided to merge the two pages and created the ULTIMATE GUIDE! (we had to find a way for this to sound relatively interesting). Spoiler alert: worked out well!
- Continued strict posting schedule. We thought we could become the Wolves of Cobham and move into a hybrid sales role (More on that in Ben’s biography). We still stuck to our plan of strict scheduling and in-depth content research. This kept up our performance and incrementally improved week-on-week.
- Introduction to our newsletter. We released our first newsletter with our latest blogs to encourage our readership to share around with friends, other businesses and family to get our articles out there and improve our backlinks. It was a modest list at first but slowly grew, helping us improve our brand presence.
- Continued page refreshes. Continuing to keep our core pages up to date allowed us to have the most relevant information regarding the water market, and any new content could easily be included in our FAQs without needing an article re-write. We kept these pages fresh on a weekly basis, constantly improving the wording.
- Partnership outreach. We began reaching out to partner on industry blogs and got our first post out in Smart Water Magazine. After breaking the barrier with our first, things became easier.
- UX tweaks. We tweaked the layout of some of our key pages as we were losing visitors and didn’t have the right information in the right place. We used Microsofts Clarity’s heatmaps and scroll depth partnered with specific screen recordings to make more sense of it and test a new layout. We began to observe an improved conversion rate.
|Top 5 Keywords||Volume||Position by month (May 21)||Dec 21|
|Compare business water suppliers||210||22||2|
|Business water suppliers||1000||24||10|
|Business water supplier||1000||28||12|
|Business water comparison||110||24||5|
|Compare water suppliers for business||210||25||3|
Full results available:
Month 8-9 January 2021 – February 2022
Funnily enough, we were preoccupied with other more pressing matters – and were not rapidly reviewing Google Search Console every day, frantically looking to see if we got the no.1 spot.
We just noticed we were getting higher amounts of organic leads that were actually added to our problem that we didn’t have enough people to deal with our customers.
We soon realised that we had finally achieved this momentous feat. It felt like we had just climbed Everest, equipped with a bikini and roller blades, but the other side of the mountain happened to be the slope of a dune that descended into a paradisiac beach.
But we quickly sobered up when we realised it only gets harder; once you get to the top, you need to sustain it, and fighting off well-established competitors is not easy. But we have secured this spot now until the present time, July ‘22.
To summarise, we continued with our UX revisions, new content and refreshes systematically throughout this period. In March, we decided to move on to the next level of SEO tactics (More on this another day).
Anyway, this is what we saw throughout January and February:
|Top 5 Keywords||Volume||Position by month (May 21)||Jan 22||Feb 22|
|Compare business water suppliers||210||22||1||1|
|Business water suppliers||1000||24||4||1|
|Business water supplier||1000||28||5||1|
|Business water comparison||110||24||3||2|
|Compare water suppliers for business||210||25||1||1|
Full results here:
And then in March ‘22, the holy grail!
March 2022 – Completed it mate.
|Top 5 Keywords||Volume||Position by month (May 21)||March 22|
|Compare business water suppliers||210||22||1|
|Business water suppliers||1000||24||1|
|Business water supplier||1000||28||1|
|Business water comparison||110||24||1|
|Compare water suppliers for business||210||25||1|
Full results here:
These positions equated to a stark increase in organic leads:
What didn’t work?
Yeah. Didn’t expect this did you? We screwed up… a lot. But it’s all about learning and improving.
Here’s what didn’t work for us:
Waiting to start our SEO strategy
Caught up in the now, it’s clear we didn’t start our SEO strategy fast enough. The advice here would be to start it immediately, partner it with other forms of acquisition but don’t let it go by the wayside. It’s free money, essentially! It’s reduced our CPA significantly, don’t fall asleep.
Buying from Business Potato (Not their real name) – was a massive error. I can feel SEO specialists shaking their heads in disgust. We were new; cut us some slack, please. Thank you.
Yes, it was easy; we accumulated a couple of links for inflated prices that google did not appreciate.
It was like going to the supermarket to collect the ingredients for a cake for your friend’s birthday and coming out with a flannel. Pointless and potentially toxic.
Don’t buy them; earn them. Nothing comes easy, and quality backlinks are one of them.
Use that money to invest in something with value, whether it’s a year-long subscription to Ubersuggest or a week of SEMRush access. It’s better than a flannel.
Brian Dean my friend – stop pushing this – it doesn’t work. No one cares if you want to replace a broken link.
After spending many an hour outreaching with bespoke emails to these broken leads, our efforts came to nothing. Leaving us physically and emotionally distraught, with our egos in tatters.
Brians’s broken link-building tactic left us for dead.
How would we ever get a backlink from the big boys?
It was actually relatively simple. Offer them something of value. Pitch a piece of well-researched content; all they need to do is publish this award-winning piece or mastery, and Bob’s your dinosaur a Moz-approved DA of 91; thank you very much.
Sending chocolates to John Mueller
Turns out John is, in fact, lactose intolerant, and we nearly left him on the throne for 24+ hours. Next time we’ll send him dairy-free chocolates.
What the future holds!
Well, our aim at AquaSwitch is to sustain our foothold as no.1 in the water industry as well as becoming no. 1 on the top converting keywords in business energy.
Our business model is to provide transparency in the business utilities market, and as our tagline states:
Business utilities simplified 💡
…We want to simplify business utilities, making it easy to understand water and energy rates and ensuring businesses can switch suppliers with ease.
We still have a long way to go in terms of SEO, and we understand there’s no real blueprint; it’s trial and error, as well as a lot of learning. But we are ever-evolving and will continue attacking the SERPs.
The next pages that shall be sent to the moon 🚀are as follows:
Currently focusing on our mid-level to advanced SEO strategy to catapult us into the stratosphere (If you want the tips, simply email us “tips plz” to firstname.lastname@example.org).
Or, await our Amazon documentary “AquaSwitch: swim or drown” to consume our expert advice visually.
We’re only at the beginning of the AquaSwitch story; there’s more to come – next stop no.1 on those difficult but achievable energy terms.
If this was genuinely helpful, let us know, and we can begin to share our mid-level to advanced tips that are currently helping us battle with the top companies in the business energy market.