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An SEO technique that worked immediately

This is a graph of the search performance of pocketoperations.com in its first two weeks after launching.

A graph of the search performance of pocketoperations.com in its first two weeks after launching

This graph has really surprised me. Everybody says you should expect a long lag time doing SEO. Also surprising is the site is brand new and everybody says it takes a long time to establish search authority. It's early days but it seems to be seeing steady search growth from the outset.

How can you replicate this? I don't know for sure. I can only tell you the factors that led to this. The tl;dr is: find an uncrowded niche, do research in communities, follow best practices.

Let's break it down.

Find an uncrowded niche

I didn't set out to find a niche with low-competition. I was already working on pocket operator apps and it was only when I started using ahref's free keyword generator that I realized the space was relatively unoccupied. It would probably be better to use a keyword volume tool from the beginning to find something you have a chance at as part of your initial validation of a business idea.

Do your research in communities

I spent a lot of time in /r/pocketoperators learning about what people there care about. This was easy because I'm genuinely interested. My research was fairly systematic (taking notes). I did the 30 to 40 hours of note taking research recommended by Amy Hoy, over a period of several weeks. This gave me a very clear idea of the most important topics people are interested in around pocket operators. So that's what I wrote about on the site. Every page represents one of the main topics people discuss.

Follow best practices

The article by @jdnoc is the most concise article on SEO I've seen. It isn't filled with marketing blarg and up-selling. It gives you the most important and simple tips first, like getting tags right. It goes into just enough detail without being confusing or complicated. I closely followed Jordan's method.

That's it

So that's a summary of what I did to get this small win in search. I am trying to replicate it now with a different site, and of course I'll keep working on pocketoperations.com in the mean time.

  1. 1

    How about an update? Curious to hear how it kept growing over the past couple of weeks.

    1. 2

      Looks like it's gone flat:

      It's likely I'm close to saturation on these search terms, consistently hitting the front page. If I want to get more volume I'll have to find broader keywords and improve click-through. At this point I need evaluate whether this is worth chasing.

  2. 1

    No clue about SEO, but pocket operators look so nice! Nice job. Love it!

  3. 1

    Nice work Chris! I had no idea pocket operators even existed. This is such a good example it makes me rethink what I'm doing.

  4. 1

    +1 to using online communities for market research
    For future projects, feel free to use thehiveindex.com to find communities, I'm starting out with some targeted niches, but the plan is to continuously grow the topics available.

  5. 1

    Love this. Keep going, and make awesome content for the niche!

    Fun fact: I own a pocket operator. Didn't use it much though so I gave it to my brother haha.

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