Published:  20th Jun 2020

Ranking A New Site From Scratch

Ranking A New Site From Scratch, Day 91-120

In case you missed it, here are the prior articles in this series of "Ranking A New Site From Scratch"

  1. Ranking A New Site From Scratch - Day 0
  2. Ranking A New Site From Scratch - Days 1-31
  3. Ranking A New Site From Scratch - Days 31-60
  4. Ranking A New Site From Scratch - Days 61-90

So what's new?

One of the 3 major terms I have been showing you in this series is still bouncing around at the bottom of the first page / top of the second page. Here is the latest ranking screenshot of it below.

Overall, it is still creeping up looking at the average position now vs the the last update (Ranking A New Site From Scratch - Days 61-90)

Rankings hit late in the month

Coming into the 4th month, the website started to rank a bit better once I got keyword selection out of the way (from the prior month).

I'll be honest, I was sweating it a little bit.

Even though I have done this thousands of times before, you always have a little voice in the back of your head telling you that you might not rank or get rankings for the terms you want to see bringing in traffic.

It took roughly a month and half from the time I picked the terms and added them to the site, until the rankings started to show up in Google Search Console.

I already had rankings for other terms coming into the site too previously, they just weren't the keywords I wanted to rank for... YET.

You know, terms that seem long tail and rank on page 9 of Google.

The terms you don't pay attention to and figure are worthless.

Because you know, "gurus" push you to use keyword tools and do all kinds of other analysis to find the perfect keywords instead of looking at your own data.

And then a change in plan hits

Everything was looking good until I examined the data.

When you don't have your own data, using keyword tools and fancy strategies are OK. I mean, what else are you supposed to do, right?

Even researching your competitors and mulling data in your head for weeks is fine.

When you have nothing else, anything is good.

But when you can finally get data of your own, put trust in your data and only your data.

So on the last day of the month I start looking at results in Google Search Console. Pulling not only the month itself, but the entire 4 months the site was online.

And guess what I found?

I found a phrase that matched my prior selection criteria ( read Ranking A New Site From Scratch - Days 61-90 ) where 2 of the words in the phrase matched my "Inbound Marketing" example, but the 3rd word in the phrase was a word that wasn't present in my prior research of looking over our competitors.

And it was driving more impressions in Google Search Console than my other 3 phrases combined, even though I was nowhere near the front page for this term.

So even though I:

  • Researched competitors landing pages
  • Stalked their LinkedIn pages
  • Monitored their social media postings
  • Memorized their PPC ads and branding message
  • etc

This term escaped getting noticed as a major term. It wasn't a focus of my competitors, even though it would be the perfect term for them to focus on.

And the volume numbers in every keyword tool showed it should be getting way less impressions.

So I looked at this new phrase and its variations and figured out that it would bring in more volume than my other planned keywords and promptly switched in this keyword as the one I should dedicate focus to.

Considering the other competitors were ranking for it, but not using it as a focus, made me feel like this could be a slam dunk.

Corrective action

At this point, I simply swapped out one of the 3 phrases for this new phrase.

Replacing it within the Title, H1, and in the content of the homepage.

Yeah, that was it.

Still no backlinks or new content written. Just a simple swap in of one phrase and reset of my expectations.

Just goes to show you all the "guru" information, ebook secrets, keyword tools, and years of experience is no match for hard core data.

Of course, you have to start somewhere if you have nothing, so using these tools and gut checks is a perfect way to START getting the data you need so you can course correctly quickly when the data shows you otherwise.

Also, I only replaced 1 of the 3 phrases.. so that experience and gut check got 2 out of 3 right, out of the gate.

Just make sure you're collecting data from the start so you can pivot when needed.

At the moment, I feel there is no better tool for this than Google Search Console.

Even with no backlinks, no great rankings, and less than 1k total words of content on the site, I was able to find enough data to help me pivot and change direction.

Next steps

Month 5 ( days 121-150 ) shows me getting a little technical and editing a few things as I focus on our new phrase and trying to get it ranked on the first page.

Find out what I add and what I change that helped push me to the first page in the next update.

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