For a few months now I have been working on helping my client who is in the business of fridge repairs Melbourne, and boy, has it has been very instructive as to the realities of search engine marketing in the current era.
5 years ago this would have been a doddle, easy-peasy, a cinch. Now, in 2017, it frankly ain’t as easy as it used to be. But it is still doable.
Why it isn’t as easy to rank for something like Fridge Mechanics
Firstly, here’s what I would have done in “the old days”, like in 2010 or 2012: I would have just made a website full of his important terms like “Melbourne refrigeration repair” and “Samsung fridge repairs” and I would have made it in WordPress and made sure that all the little ducks were in a row on his website to keep the “BIG G” happy … and then we would have waited … and that would have been enough.
But now, since taking control of his website a few months ago, it has become apparent to me (and not for the first time, I have been aware of this for some time) that this isn’t going to cut the mustard. I mean, don’t get me wrong, we’ve seen some big improvements. His site is now WAY closer to the top of the rankings than when I started but page two and page three ain’t the same as page one … so we’re digging in for a battle that will take some time.
I think this is the case because of several factors:
Competition Has Increased Dramatically
A few years back, maybe five to seven years ago, any fridge mechanic who employed someone like me to help them get to the top of the G pops would have been the ONLY one in his trade – certainly within his area – to have the advantage of the geek skills to pay the bills. Essentially, the other sites that existed would have been terrible (ie. not indexable) and would have had virtually no content nor on-site optimisation at all. And even better, most of the competition would not have had a website at all.
This has changed. Many sites in even the least techno-savvy verticals now exist.
The First Movers Advantage Is Strong With This One
What’s worse, The Big G has a wonderful tendency to stick with the incumbents unless given a damn good reason to do otherwise. So if you were the early winner in your niche, then no matter how thin a pretext you won the game on, you won’t get bumped unless a lot of very sophisticated competition begins to show up. So in this example, in the case of refrigeration repairs, what I am discovering is that the winning sites are still there despite the fact that they clearly got there by paying old-school practitioners to go out and buy dodgy backlinks. I mean the profiles are so transparently low-value that I would laugh (if I wasn’t already crying).
What Got Them There Then Won’t Get You There Now
Why am I crying? Because there is no way I would risk my reputation and my client’s livelihood emulating these now frowned-upon techniques, even if I thought they would work, which I don’t. But if they did 5 years ago then The Big G ain’t doing anything about it without a good reason.
So is all lost?
Not at all. As I said, the gains in the first few months of battle have been slimmer and tougher-won that in the past, but they have still got us from “nowhere” to “in the game”. So now the trick is to stay cool, stick to the plan and keep griiiiiinding it out, week after week. In QUALITY terms, the competition is completely lousy and I have seen how doing the “right thing” does win out eventually. I have seen it again and again and in tougher environments than this one, in verticals where I used to sit up at night, rocking in a corner, certain that I would never make it to the top of the mountain. But we did, eventually, it just takes patience, persistence and hard work. And then more of it.
So we stick to the plan, dig our heels in and persist in executing the strategy.
And what is the strategy?
Well now … that would be telling…