2015 update: Still holding strong at the top of the rankings for around 60 or so keywords.
Okay, I’ll admit it. I Google myself.
What of it?
It’s my job. I’m an SEO copywriter. Give me a break!
If you’re going to talk the talk you need to walk the walk.
So I’m quite proud that after talking about SEO copywriting for a few years, I’ve finally made it to the top spot* on Google (AU) for “Copywriter Sydney” and the second to top spot for ‘Copywriter’ (damn you Wikipedia).
As you can imagine it’s a pretty competitive field because rising to the top shows your clients that you actually know what you’re talking about.
Would you pick a copywriter in the top three results or the 95th one?
So how did I reach the top of Google?
Well, I’m not going to tell you. Well, not unless you pay me $1000 a minute and promise me your first-born child. I mean that would be stupid…
Oh, okay. Go on then. I’ll tell you but it keep it to yourself right?
This is how I got to the number one spot (“Shut up, Wikipedia. You don’t count.”) on Google:
I focused on a few keyword terms I really wanted
I rank fairly highly for several other terms, but I really wanted to rank well for ‘copywriter Sydney’. So that’s what I went for.
I made sure my site was bug free
My site isn’t perfect, but the basic SEO boxes are ticked. The biggest reason most sites are failing miserably to rank is usually down to an accidental block like poor code, missing files, or something silly like using frames.
I wrote some decent blog posts
I wrote posts about subjects that interested me. Most of the time I wasn’t thinking about SEO because I was either thinking about my customer or it was something I just had to say.
I wrote a few guest posts
This year I’ve written guest posts for Problogger, Flying Solo and Dynamic Business Magazine, to name a few. This has been good not only for rankings but also for ‘meeting’ new people on the interwebs.
I commented on other people’s posts
If I read something interesting I added a comment, feedback or a compliment. No spamming, just occasional random stuff.
I kept my site fresh
I got into Google+
I found a niche
Sydney has a lot of copywriters, SEO consultants and information architects. But not many solo business types offer all three in an integrated way. I think that’s my niche.
I was myself
Heaps of people have criticised my style. My work photos are too ‘risqué’. My illustrations are too ‘out there’. My writing style is too ‘chatty’. And my social media approach is too ‘honest’. But it works for me, and I stand out in the rather vanilla world of copywriting. Love me or hate me, most people remember me.
I embraced the competition
Rather than make my fellow copywriters the enemy, I’ve always taken the approach of there being enough work for everyone. I share leads. I give tips. I ask advice. This probably has sod all to do with my SEO but hey, it’s good Karma. Perhaps my Google ranking is payback.
And here are a few things I haven’t done
Several top SEO types swear by these tactics. But I didn’t do any of them.
I didn’t build back links
I’ve never paid for a back link. In fact, other than registering on directories (Yellow Pages, Hot Frog and the like), I’ve never given two hoots about back links. I just let it happen naturally.
I’m not a hit on Social media
I have a pitiful number of followers on Twitter and Facebook. I tweet a lot and post a fair bit on Facebook, but not because of SEO. Usually I’m just bored.
I haven’t made a video
We all know that when it comes to SEO rich content videos really boost your ranking. But good quality videos are expensive to make so I’m glad I achieved some degree of success without having to splash that cash.
(2015 update, I’ve since made a few videos)
I rarely have time to send out an email newsletter
I send out an email newsletter when I’m having a slow day (which is rare).
I don’t have an ebook
I have yet to write a smash hit ebook. Watch this space!
I don’t have a content strategy
For my clients I’m the epitome or organisation and efficiency. But not for my own business. I didn’t have a strategy. I don’t have a set list of tasks to complete each week. I’m ad-hoc, random, forgetful and busy. Like most of you, I guess.
It’s not easy
Now I’m not saying my achievement was easy. I may be a little random in my approach, but I work hard. My blog posts aren’t quick 300-word skims of other people’s articles. My site isn’t a 20-minute free template job. I’m often working into the wee hours doing client copy or SEO audits. (After all, clients are what it’s all about, right?)
I guess what I’m saying is that, to a degree, when it comes to SEO you need to chillax.
Do your thing.
Run your business.
Put your clients first.
Because with Google the good stuff tends to float to the top.
Over to you
What tactics have helped you rise in the rankings? Please share below:
* By the time you read this I may no longer be at the top spot. That’s Google for you, fickle little beast that it is.
Want to have a chat?
If you need a Copywriter, SEO Consultant or Information Architect, then please contact me.